Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sunday Knox: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6

"Thou art my servant, he whispers, thou art the Israel I claim for my own.*  But now a new message he sends me; I am his servant, appointed ever since I lay in the womb, to bring Jacob back to him. What if Israel will not answer the summons? None the less, the Lord destines me to honour; none the less, he, my God, protects me. Use thee I will, he promises, nor with thy service be content, when the tribes of Jacob thou hast summoned, brought back the poor remnant of Israel; nay, I have appointed thee to be the light of the Gentiles, in thee I will send out my salvation to the furthest corners of the earth."

Knox Note:
*Perhaps in the sense that this one man is all the Israel left, at a time of general apostasy. The sentence may also be rendered, ‘Thou, Israel, art my servant’; but verse 6 below seems to indicate that the person addressed is a messenger sent to Israel, not the people itself.

"The LORD said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory. 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! It is too little, the LORD 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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