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Relationship to Isaiah. The relationship of Chapter 49 to the rest of Isaiah is discussed at Isaiah.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 49 include:
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- Isa 49:2. The first two phrases of 51:16 parallel those here very closely:
- "And I have put my words in thy mouth,
- and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand..."
- However, it is written there from the LORD's point of view. This parallel suggests that the LORD making his "mouth like a sharp sword" here means the same as "I have put my words in thy mouth" there. In other words, the figurative of the LORD making one's mouth "like a sharp sword" could mean that the LORD is putting His words into one's mouth (ie. a mortal speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost).
- Isa 49:7: Definitions.
- Shall also bow down. The Hebrew word used here for princes seems to mean "bow down" forming an interesting contrast with the rising up of the kings that is lost in the KJV.
- Arise to worship? In several other passages, arising precedes bowing: Gen 19:1; Gen 23:7; 1 Sam 20:41; 1 Sam 25:41; 1 Kgs 2:19.
- Isa 49:14. What is promised here? How does this (quoted in 1 Ne 21:14) compare to what Nephi said in 1 Ne 19:15?
- Isa 49:15-16. The people of Zion are reassured that they will be shown that they are remembered even though they feel like they are forsaken and forgotten
- Isa 49:23. The phrase about waiting and not being ashamed could be a reference to Ps 25:3, where the English word "wait" is a translation of the Hebrew verb Qavah which means to wait, look for, hope, expect. The same sentiment and wording is found in Ps 69:6, where being ashamed is related to being confounded.
- Isa 49:23. When we are told in vs. 23 that those who wait upon the Lord will not be ashamed, we are being assured that the Lord will remember his people and will not abandon them in difficulty. While we may have to wait, our faithfulness will be rewarded and we will not be ashamed or confounded by waiting in vain.
- Isa 49:23. The kings and queens who will be nursing fathers and mothers may be gentile members of the restored church who go throughout the world (particularly at this time in south and central America) sharing the gospel with the scattered Jews and gathering them in to a knowledge of their redeemer. It may also refer to the gentiles having created, by political means, a Jewish state allowing the Jews to physically gather to a geographical location.
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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- Isa 49:3: How is the Lord glorified in Israel? Does this help us understand better what Isaiah said in Isa 48:9?
- Isa 49:7: Arise to worship. The phrase "also shall worship" seems to suggest that the "arising" of the kings is analagous or at least related to worshiping the Lord. Usually we think of bending down to our knees to worship. Why is the word arise used here?
- Isa 49:16: What does the phrase "thy walls are continually before me" mean?
- Isa 49:22-23. What is promised here? To whom? What is the role of the Gentiles? How does this promise compare to the prophecy in Lehi and Nephi’s vision, for example the last part of chapter 13? Are there other parallels between their vision and these parts of Isaiah’s writings?
- Isa 49:23: What is meant by," Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers"? Why would they lick up the dust of their feet?
- Isa 49:24-26: The usual answer to the question of v. 16 would be “No,” but when speaking of the children of God, as v. 17 shows, the answer is, “Yes.” What is the point of vv. 16-17?
- Isa 49:26: What might the image of feeding on ones’ own flesh mean? It has an obvious literal meaning, but is there any other meaning as well?
- Isa 49:21-26: What does the word “wait” mean in “they shall not be ashamed that wait for me"? Does it mean “to await,” “to be quiet” (as in Ps 62:1), “to serve,” or something else?
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Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.