Isaiah 49:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.

King James Bible
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Darby Bible Translation
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye peoples from afar. Jehovah hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

World English Bible
Listen, islands, to me; and listen, you peoples, from far: Yahweh has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of my name:

Young's Literal Translation
Hearken, O isles, unto me, And attend, O peoples, from afar, Jehovah from the womb hath called me, From the bowels of my mother He hath made mention of my name.

Isaiah 49:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Listen - This is the exordium, or introduction. According to the interpretation which refers it to the Messiah, it is to be regarded as the voice of the Redeemer calling the distant parts of the earth to give a respectful attention to the statement of his qualifications for his work, and to the assurances that his salvation would be extended to them (compare Isaiah 41:1). The Redeemer here is to be regarded as having already come in the flesh, and as having been rejected and despised by the Jews (see Isaiah 49:4-5), and as now turning to the Gentile world, and proffering salvation to them. The time when this is supposed to occur, therefore, as seen by the prophet, is when the Messiah had preached in vain to his own countrymen, and when there was a manifest fitness and propriety in his extending the offer of salvation to the pagan world.

O isles - Ye distant lands (see the note at Isaiah 41:1). The word is used here, as it is there, in the sense of countries beyond sea; distant, unknown regions; the dark, pagan world.

Ye people from far - The reason why the Messiah thus addresses them is stated in Isaiah 49:6. It is because he was appointed to be a light to them, and because, having been rejected by the Jewish nation, it was resolved to extend the offers and the blessings of salvation to other lands.

The Lord hath called me from the womb - Yahweh hath set me apart to this office from my very birth. The stress here is laid on the fact that he was thus called, and not on the particular time when it was done. The idea is, that he had not presumptuously assumed this office; he had not entered on it without being appointed to it; he had been designated to it even before he was born (see Isaiah 49:5). A similar expression is used in respect to Jeremiah Jer 1:5 : 'Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.' Paul also uses a similar expression respecting himself Galatians 1:15 : 'But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb.' That this actually occurred in regard to the Redeemer, it is not needful to pause here to show (see Luke 1:31).

From the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name - This is another form of stating the fact that he had been designated to this office from his very infancy. Many have supposed that the reference here is to the fact that Mary was commanded by the angel, before his birth, to call his name Jesus Luke 1:31. The same command was also repeated to Joseph in a dream Matthew 1:21. So Jerome, Vitringa, Michaelis, and some others understand it. By others it has been supposed that the phrase 'he hath made mention of my name is the same as to call. The Hebrew is literally, 'He has caused my name to be remembered from the bowels of my mother.' The Septuagint renders it, 'He hath called my name.' Grotius renders it, 'He has given to me a beautiful name, by which salvation is signified as about to come from the Lord.' I see no objection to the supposition that this refers to the fact that his name was actually designated before he was born. The phrase seems obviously to imply more than merely to call to an office; and as his name was thus actually designated by God, and as he designed that there should be special significancy and applicability in the name, there can be no impropriety in supposing that this refers to that fact. If so, the idea is, that he was not only appointed to the work of the Messiah from his birth, but that he actually had a name given him by God before he was born, which expressed the fact that he would save people, and which constituted a reason why the distant pagan lands should hearken to his voice.

Isaiah 49:1 Parallel Commentaries

The Writing on God's Hands
'Behold! I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.'--ISAIAH xlix. 16. In the preceding context we have the infinitely tender and beautiful words: 'Zion hath said, The Lord hath forsaken me. Can a woman forget her sucking child? ... yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.' There is more than a mother's love in the Father's heart. But wonderful in their revelation of God, and mighty to strengthen, calm, and comfort, as these transcendent words are,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ in the Covenant
First, we shall examine this property; secondly, we shall notice the purpose for which it was conveyed to us; and thirdly, we shall give one precept, which may well be affixed upon so great a blessing as this, and is indeed an inference from it. I. In the first place, then, here is a GREAT POSSESSION--Jesus Christ by the covenant is the property of every believer. By this we must understand Jesus Christ in many different senses; and we will begin, first of all, by declaring that Jesus Christ is ours,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, when Error Prevaileth, and the Spirit of Error Carrieth Many Away.
There is a time when the spirit of error is going abroad, and truth is questioned, and many are led away with delusions. For Satan can change himself into an angel of light, and make many great and fairlike pretensions to holiness, and under that pretext usher in untruths, and gain the consent of many unto them; so that in such a time of temptation many are stolen off their feet, and made to depart from the right ways of God, and to embrace error and delusions instead of truth. Now the question is,
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The First Thing Suggested at the Very Outset Is...
The first thing suggested at the very outset is, as we have already said (sec. 17-19), that all our prayers to God ought only to be presented in the name of Christ, as there is no other name which can recommend them. In calling God our Father, we certainly plead the name of Christ. For with what confidence could any man call God his Father? Who would have the presumption to arrogate to himself the honour of a son of God were we not gratuitously adopted as his sons in Christ? He being the true Son,
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Cross References
Galatians 1:15
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

Psalm 22:10
Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb.

Isaiah 11:11
Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea.

Isaiah 24:15
Therefore glorify the LORD in the east, The name of the LORD, the God of Israel, In the coastlands of the sea.

Isaiah 33:13
"You who are far away, hear what I have done; And you who are near, acknowledge My might."

Isaiah 42:4
"He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."

Isaiah 44:2
Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, 'Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

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