Notes on Isaiah. Chapter 49

Isaiah 49  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Up to this, the Lord's controversy with idolatry and Babylon, only Christ (chap. 42) necessarily brought in for blessing. From this, to the end of chapter 57, Christ, Himself, as rejected. We find here the whole plan and ways of God in government, as regards His rejection of. Christ by Israel, i.e., the fact of Israel's not being then gathered.
Note how very distinctly we have first Israel, then the blessed Lord substituted for Israel when rejected by them, then, on resurrection, the condition of a new order of things, available at present, but resulting in the re-establishment of Zion.
This is a full development of the work of Christ, with a testimony that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Israel is taken up as a witness, and the Spirit of Christ in them takes up the summons to the isles, and people from afar, to recognize the election of God in Israel, in whom He would be glorified. But then, necessarily, comes in not only the wickedness and idolatry of Israel, but their conduct as to Messiah. He takes up Israel according to this counsel of God, declared in His will, and purpose by the Spirit "in the volume of the Book," but has to declare that if so He has labored in vain. Thereon the fuller revelation of God, as to His glory. It was a light thing to raise up Israel, He should be a light to the Gentiles, and God's salvation to the ends of the earth, which would be raised up and comforted in Him, scattered Israel brought back, and, notwithstanding all her fears, Jerusalem is blessed according to the immutable and tender love of God, for Jerusalem is the center of all God's affections, in providence on earth; see Jeremiah and Zechariah. All would be subservient to her blessing.
3. This verse requires attention. I apprehend the English translation neglects the Hebrew stops. I call Athnach1 a stop. I should think De Wette added words to complete his translation. The question is, can asher-b'ka (literally, "whom in thee") be translated "Thou in whom"? "The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my servant; Israel, thou art he in whom I will be glorified”? De Wette translates it: "It is Israel in whom, through thee, I glorify myself;" paying attention to Athnach. The English is: Thou art my servant, 0 Israel, in whom I will be glorified. This is the Hebrew: vay-yosner li av-di. attah Yis-ra-el asher-b'ka eth pa-ar (And said to me, my servant, Thou, Israel, whom in thee I shall be glorified). I apprehend "In whom through thee" is surely not there. I am not sure that one is warranted in adding "Thou" (art he) "in whom." The importance lies in the question, who is "My servant," here, Israel or Christ the blessed Lord? It is clearly the transition point of Israel, servant, and the Lord, Servant—verse 4 makes that plain.
I am not far from suspecting that De Wette's is the right sense, only that he has unwarrantably added "by thee," durch dich. Asher b'ka can hardly be an dem durch dich. Luther's is as the English. If I remember the French, it is in substance as De Wette, if not literally.
1. Athnach is one of the Hebrew accents.