Isaiah 50




This chapter seems to be made up of short fragments, which the collector,

or collectors, of Isaiah’s writings regarded as too precious to be lost, and

which they consequently here threw together, though in reality they were

detached utterances, and are not even connected in subject-matter. vs. 1-

3 are a rebuke to the exiles for deeming themselves wholly rejected, and

not rising to the occasion now that deliverance is at hand. vs. 4-9 carry

on the account of “the Servant of the Lord” from Isaiah 49:3, further

describing His humiliation, and declaring His steadfastness and His faith.

vs. 10, 11 are an exhortation to weak believers generally, and contain an

encouragement and a warning.



v. 1 – “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? On account

of her persistent “backsliding,” God had “put away Israel,” Judah’s sister,

and had “given her a bill of divorce” (Jeremiah 3:8). But He had not repudiated

Judah; and her children were wrong to suppose themselves altogether cast

off (Isaiah 49:14). They had, in fact, by their transgressions, especially their

idolatries, wilfully divorced themselves, or at any rate separated themselves,

from God; but no sentence had gone forth from Him to bar reconciliation and

return – “or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?”. They are

not sold — He has “taken no money for them” (Psalm 44:12; Isaiah 52:3); and

the Babylonians are thus not their rightful owners (Isaiah 49:24) — they are still

God’s children, His property, and the objects of His care – “for your iniquities…

for your transgressions; rather, by your iniquitiesby your

transgressions. The separation, such as it was, between God and His people

was caused by their sins, not by any act of His – “ye sold yourselves”


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v. 2 - “Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot

            redeem?  or have I no power to deliver?


He can change the course of nature (El Shaddai)

as seemeth good to Him and accomplish His goals

against all odds or obstacles.







It is as easy for God to reverse a law as to maintain

it - He can:


  • dry up the sea in a moment
  • make rivers a desert
  • clothe heaven in blackness
  • cause the stars to fall
  • create a new heaven and new earth
  • cast death and hell into the lake of fire
  • cause the sun to stand still or go back

            ten degrees (see II Kings 20:9-11)


(I recommend a close perusal of Genesis 17 – Names of God –

El Shaddai – by Nathan Stone)  - this web site



separateness of this passage has been maintained in the opening paragraph.

That it is not of himself that the prophet here speaks, appears:


  • from the self-assertion (vers, 4, 5, 9);
  • from the depth of humiliation declared in ver. 6, which is beyond

            anything recorded of Isaiah. But if he does not speak of himself,            

            he can scarcely speak of any other besides “the Servant,” of whom

            he has already said much (Isaiah 42:1-8; 49:1-12), and of whom he

            has still much more to say (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12).


vs. 4-9 carry on the account of “the Servant of the Lord” from ch. 49:6-10,

            further by describing His humiliation and declaring His

            steadfastness and faith!


v. 4a - not enlightening Him occasionally as He did

            the prophets but continuously - John 8:29


v. 5 – “I was not rebellious neither turned away back” - His ear was

            opened to receive God’s word perpetually; He was not rebellious,

            did not turn away back. Even when most tried, His final word was,

            “Not my will, but thine, be done” - (Luke 22:42).


v. 6 – “I gave my back to the smiter(Isaiah 53:5, and comp. Matthew 26:67;

            27:26; John 19:1) – “my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair” –

            This is a detail not historically recorded by the evangelists; but it may

            have had a literal fulfilment. Plucking off the hair was not unknown to

            the Jews as a punishment (Nehemiah 13:25) – “I hid not my face from

            shame and spitting (Matthew 26:67; 27:30). Spitting in the East marked

            at once contempt and abhorrence. It is a practice which continues to the

            present day.


v. 7 – “I set my face like a flint” – (compare Luke 9:51 – when Jesus was

            ready to go to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world “He

            steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem”) – also Ezekiel 3:8-9)









(I know from my interest in archeology how hard flint is – locally we have

an abundant source of chert that is now known as Hopkinsville chert – it

was used by some of the first inhabitants of the New World during the

Ice Age – Christian County is well known throughout the world for this

outcrop – see “My One Hundred Favorite Artifacts from the Little River

Clovis Complex” – {hopefully on this or a sister web page soon} – chert

will cut glass – CY – 2009)  If impatient, and really interested in the

early days of Christian County, Kentucky – type in your browser –

The Little River Clovis Complex and see what you get)


vs. 8-9 – “He is near that justifieth me” -  God, who knows His

innocence, is near at hand, and will shortly “make His righteousness clear

as the noonday.” This was done when God raised up from the dead “the

Holy One and the Just” (Acts 3:14). whom cruel men “by wicked hands

had crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). By the resurrection God acquitted

Christ of the charge of blasphemy on which He had been condemned, and

proclaimed Him “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and

made higher than the heavens” – Hebrews 7:26


Now for us, also, there is no condemnation for those whom God justifies-

Romans 8:32-34



v. 10 - Every person is bidden to put aside his doubts

            and trust wholly “in the name of the Lord God

            and stay upon his God”


v. 11 – THE DANGER OF PLAYING WITH FIRE!  - “ye that

            compass yourselves with sparks” with highly combustible

            sinful material all around their lives??????


my candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night, but Ah my foes

and Oh my friends, it gives a lovely light!” (it just doesn’t last for eternity!)



The persons intended seem to be those whose “tongue is a fire, a world of

iniquity” (James 3:6), and who by means of it are employed in “stirring up

strife all the day long.” They are condemned to be scorched by the fire which

they have themselves kindled, to be made wretched by the strife which they have

themselves caused to spring up. Their end, moreover, will be to lie down in

sorrow; God will punish them in the next world for the misery which they have

brought about in this, and will thus exercise retributive justice upon the

wicked ones, whose main object in life has been to embitter the lives of

their fellow-men.




                                                ADDITIONAL NOTES


            No Condemnation for Those Whom God Justifies.


Those whom God has justified may still be, sometimes are, arraigned:


  • by Satan;


  • by their fellow-men.

I. SATAN’S ARRAIGNMENT VAIN. “Hast thou considered my servant

Job,” said Jehovah to Satan, “that there is none like him in the earth, a

perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” To

which the answer was given, “Doth Job fear God for nought?” (Job 1:8, 9).

Satan arraigned Job as selfish, hypocritical, irreligious, and was

allowed to put him to the proof; but with the result that Job’s integrity was

established, and the accuser put to shame. Satan, however, gains no

wisdom by experience. Still he remains “the accuser of the brethren, which

accuseth them before God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). All that

can be said against them, doubtless, he says — misrepresents their motives,

exposes their shortcomings, exaggerates their failings and their sins. But to

what purpose? “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb”

(Revelation 12:11). To them whom God has justified, whom God has

forgiven, past sins are blotted out, past shortcomings are made up. The

merits of Christ suffice to cover all their iniquities. Let them but have true

faith in Him, let them but cling to Him, and then “their sins, though they be

as scarlet, shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they

shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).







II. MAN’S ARRAIGNMENT IDLE. Man’s arraignment of his fellowmen

can have no effect at all excepting in this world. He may bring them

before tribunals, obtain their condemnation, their execution, their temporal

disgrace. He may gibbet them in history, misrepresent, malign, blacken

their names and their reputations. But over their real selves he is powerless.

God justifies them, pardons them, receives them into His kingdom, looks on

them with favour, reckons them among his saints, gives them the blessing

of eternal communion with Him in heaven. What matters it to them that

somewhere, in a paltry planet, ignorant and ephemeral mortals speak evil of

them and brand their memories? “It is God that justifieth.” One justifying

word from Him may well outweigh any amount of human dispraise, of

human contumely. Their end in this world may have been “without

honour;” but their entrance into the next is with words at once of promise

and of high honour, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into

the joy of thy Lord,”


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(One parting note – reader – you may rest assured thatthere is nothing

covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known…..

whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in light; and that

which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the

housetops” – Jesus Christ – Luke 12:2-3)