Isaiah 49:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD, "In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah: In a time of acceptance have I answered thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the land, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh, "In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage:

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah: 'In a time of good pleasure I answered thee, And in a day of salvation I helped thee, And I keep thee, and give thee, For a covenant of the people, To establish the earth, To cause to inherit desolate inheritances.

Isaiah 49:8 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Thus saith the Lord - Still an address to the Messiah, and designed to give the assurance that he should extend the true religion, and repair the evils of sin on the earth. The Messiah is represented as having asked for the divine favor to attend his efforts, and this is the answer, and the assurance that his petition had not been offered in vain.

In an acceptable time - Hebrew, 'In a time of delight or will,' that is, a time when Yahweh was willing, or pleased to hear him. The word רצין râtsôn means properly delight, satisfaction, acceptance Proverbs 14:35; Isaiah 56:7; will, or pleasure Esther 8:1; Psalm 40:9; Daniel 8:4-11; then also goodwill, favor, grace Proverbs 16:15; Proverbs 19:12. The Septuagint renders this, Καιρῷ δεκτῷ Kairō dektō - 'In an acceptable time.' So Jerome, Gesenius, and Hengstenberg render it, 'In a time of grace or mercy.' The main idea is plain, that Yahweh was well pleased to hear him when he called upon him, and would answer his prayers. In a time of favor; in a time that shall be adjudged to be the best fitted to the purposes of salvation, Yahweh will be pleased to exalt the Messiah to glory, and to make him the means of salvation to all mankind.

Have I heard thee - Have I heard thy petitions, and the desires of thy heart. The giving of the world to the Messiah is represented as in answer to his prayer in Psalm 2:8 :

Ask of me, and I shall give time the pagan for thine inheritance,

And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

And in a day of salvation - In a time when I am disposed to grant salvation; when the period for imparting salvation shall have arrived.

Have I helped thee - Have I imparted the assistance which is needful to accomplish the great purpose of salvation to the world. This passage is quoted by Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:2, and is by him applied to the times of the Messiah. It means that the time would come, fixed by the purpose of God, which would be a period in which he would be disposed, that is, well pleased, to extend salvation to the world through the Messiah: and that in that time he would afford all the requisite aid and help by his grace, for the extension of the true religion among the nations.

I will preserve thee - That is, the cause of the Redeemer would be dear to the heart of God, and he would preserve that cause from being destroyed on the earth.

And give thee for a covenant of the people - The 'people' (עם 'âm) refers doubtless primarily to the Jews - the better portion of the Israelite people - the true Israel Romans 2:28-29. To them he was first sent, and his own personal work was with them (see the notes at Isaiah 49:6). On the meaning of the phrase 'for a covenant,' see the notes at Isaiah 42:6.

To establish the earth - Margin, as Hebrew, 'To raise up.' The language is derived from restoring the ruins of a land that has been overrun by an enemy, when the cities have been demolished, and the country laid waste. It is to be taken here in a spiritual sense, as meaning that the work of the Messiah would be like that which would be accomplished if a land lying waste should be restored to its former prosperity. In regard to the spiritual interests of the people, he would accomplish what would be accomplished if there should be such a restoration; that is, he would recover the true Israel from the ravages of sin, and would establish the church on a firm foundation.

To cause to inherit the desolate heritages - The image here is taken from the condition of the land of Israel during the Babylonian captivity. It was in ruins. The cities were all desolate. Such, spiritually, would be the condition of the nation when the Messiah should come; and his work would be like restoring the exiles to their own land, and causing them to re-enter on their former possessions. The one would be an appropriate emblem of the other; and the work of the Messiah would be like rebuilding dilapidated towns; restoring fertility to desolate fields; replanting vineyards and olive gardens; and diffusing smiling peace and plenty over a land that had been subjected to the ravages of fire and sword, and that had long been a scene of mournful desolation.

Isaiah 49:8 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
2 Corinthians 6:2

2 Samuel 7:13
"He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Psalm 69:13
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth.

Isaiah 26:3
"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 27:3
"I, the LORD, am its keeper; I water it every moment. So that no one will damage it, I guard it night and day.

Isaiah 41:10
'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Isaiah 42:6
"I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,

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