Isaiah 49:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

King James Bible
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Darby Bible Translation
Lo, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

World English Bible
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, on the palms of the hand I have graven thee, Thy walls are before Me continually.

Isaiah 49:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands - This is another argument in answer to the complaint of Zion in Isaiah 49:14. There have been various interpretations of this passage. Grotius supposes that it refers to a custom of placing some mark or sign on the hand, or on one of the fingers when they wished to remember anything, and appeals to Exodus 13:9. Lowth supposes that it is an allusion to some practice common among the Jews at that time, of making marks on their hands or arms by means of punctures in the skin with some sign or representation of the city or temple, to show their zeal and affection for it. In illustration of this, he refers to the fact that the pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre are accustomed to get themselves marked in this manner with what are called the signs of Jerusalem. Vitringa supposes that it alludes to the custom of architects, in which they delineate the size, form, and proportions of an edifice on parchment, before they commence building it - such as we mean by the draft or model of the building; and that the sense here is, that God, in like manner, had delineated or drawn Jerusalem on his hands long before it was founded, and had it constantly before his eyes. According to this, the idea is, that God had laid out the plan of Jerusalem long before it was built, and that it was so dear to him that he had even engraven it on his hands. Others have supposed that it refers to a device on a signet, or on a ring worn on the finger or the wrist, and that the plan of Jerusalem was drawn and engraven there. To me, it seems that the view of Lowth is most accordant with probability, and is best, sustained by the Oriental customs. The essential idea is, that Zion was dear to his heart; and that he had sketched or delineated it as an object in which he felt a deep interest - so deep as even to delineate its outlines on the palms of his bands, where it would be constantly before him.

Thy walls - The meaning is, that he constantly looked upon them; that he never forgot them. He had a constant and sacred regard for his people, and amidst all their disasters and trials, still remembered them.

Isaiah 49:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
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
Psalm 48:12
Walk about Zion and go around her; Count her towers;

Psalm 48:13
Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces, That you may tell it to the next generation.

Song of Solomon 8:6
"Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD.

Isaiah 62:6
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;

Isaiah 62:7
And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Jeremiah 17:1
The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart And on the horns of their altars,

Jeremiah 22:24
"As I live," declares the LORD, "even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;

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