What does isaiah 49:1-6 mean?

1 Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name.

2 He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.

3 You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.

4 Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God.

5 For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength!

6 It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    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).

    Source(s): —Bible Knowledge Commentary
  • sounds like something the Christians will say related to Jesus, but everyone else will clearly see is actually talking about the nation of Israel as a whole.

  • 4 years ago

    King James version says, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." This refers to Jesus Christ, and what this means is that since He paid the price for our sins, all who come to Him are His adopted sons and daughters, since he bought us with His blood.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is one of the prophesies of the messiah, Jesus Christ.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Could it be speaking about Jesus?

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