Isaiah 49:1-3. God’s Servant (vv. 3, 5-6) is the speaker in verses 1-5; God addressed Him in verse 6.
Like the Lord, He called on the islands and the nations to listen to Him because of His special “calling” from the Lord.
His mouth was like a sharpened sword, that is, it was a weapon to destroy the disobedient (cf. 1:20; also note Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:16; 19:15). He was also likened to a sharp arrow. The Servant was to display God’s splendor (Isa. 49:3; cf. 60:21; 61:3).
Why is the Servant here called Israel? This cannot refer to the nation because the Servant is to draw that nation back to God. The Messiah is called Israel because He fulfills what Israel should have done. In His person and work He epitomizes the nation.
49:4. The Servant saw little visible reward for His service. No change was evident in the nation by which the Servant could claim He had accomplished what He set out to do (cf. John 1:11). However, this did not bother Him for He trusted that in due time God would reward Him.
49:5-6. Formed... in the womb as God’s Servant (cf. v. 1), the Messiah’s commission is to restore Jacob and Israel (see comments on 40:27) to the Lord. With God as His strength, He would also be a light for the Gentiles (cf. 42:6; Luke 1:79) so that salvation from the Lord would extend to people in the ends of the earth.
49:7. The Lord assured the Servant—despised and abhorred by His people—that He would succeed in His ministry to the Gentiles. Kings and princes will bow down to Him because He has been chosen by the Lord. In His first coming Jesus Christ was rejected by His own people (John 1:10-11), but at His second coming all will bow before Him (Phil. 2:10-11).
—Bible Knowledge Commentary
· 1 decade ago