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Isaiah 49:6-7

Context

49:6 he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,

to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,

and restore the remnant 1  of Israel? 2 

I will make you a light to the nations, 3 

so you can bring 4  my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”

49:7 This is what the Lord,

the protector 5  of Israel, their Holy One, 6  says

to the one who is despised 7  and rejected 8  by nations, 9 

a servant of rulers:

“Kings will see and rise in respect, 10 

princes will bow down,

because of the faithful Lord,

the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”

1 tn Heb “the protected [or “preserved”] ones.”

2 sn The question is purely rhetorical; it does not imply that the servant was dissatisfied with his commission or that he minimized the restoration of Israel.

3 tn See the note at 42:6.

4 tn Heb “be” (so KJV, ASV); CEV “you must take.”

5 tn Heb “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

6 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

7 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “to [one who] despises life.” It is preferable to read with the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa לבזוי, which should be vocalized as a passive participle, לִבְזוּי (livzuy, “to the one despised with respect to life” [נֶפֶשׁ is a genitive of specification]). The consonantal sequence וי was probably misread as ה in the MT tradition. The contextual argument favors the 1QIsaa reading. As J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:294) points out, the three terse phrases “convey a picture of lowliness, worthlessness, and helplessness.”

8 tn MT’s Piel participle (“to the one who rejects”) does not fit contextually. The form should be revocalized as a Pual, “to the one rejected.”

9 tn Parallelism (see “rulers,” “kings,” “princes”) suggests that the singular גּוֹי (goy) be emended to a plural or understood in a collective sense (see 55:5).

10 tn For this sense of קוּם (qum), see Gen 19:1; 23:7; 33:10; Lev 19:32; 1 Sam 20:41; 25:41; 1 Kgs 2:19; Job 29:8.



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