Glorious things had been spoken in the previous chapters concerning the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon; but lest any should think, when it was accomplished, that it looked much greater and brighter in the prophecy than in the performance, and that the return of about 40,000 Jews in a poor condition out of Babylon to Jerusalem was not an event sufficiently answering to the height and grandeur of the expressions used in the prophecy, he here comes to show that the prophecy had a further intention, and was to have its full accomplishment in a redemption that should as far outdo these expressions as the other seemed to come short of them, even the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ, of whom not only Cyrus, who was God’s servant in foretelling it, was a type. In this chapter we have, I. The designation of Christ, under the type of Isaiah, to his office as Mediator, Isa. 49:1-3. II. The assurance given him of the success of his undertaking among the Gentiles, Isa. 49:4-8. III. The redemption that should be wrought by him, and the progress of that redemption, Isa. 49:9-12. IV. The encouragement given hence to the afflicted church, Isa. 49:13-17. V. The addition of many to it, and the setting up of a church among the Gentiles, Isa. 49:18-23. VI. A ratification of the prophecy of the Jews’ release out of Babylon, which was to be the figure and type of all these blessings,, Isa. 49:24-26. If this chapter be rightly understood, we shall see ourselves to be more concerned in the prophecies relating to the Jews’ deliverance out of Babylon than we thought we were.
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