Skip to content

Isaiah 49:1 Servant

Print or Share


This is a study on the Suffering Servant. Isaiah predicted the birth of Jesus and his suffering. His ministry spread to the Gentiles throughout the world.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

Isaiah 49:1-13

“The servant addresses the nations that did not know Israel’s God. The Gentiles were ‘far off,’ and only God’s Servant could bring them near (Ephesians 2:11-22).” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002], 54)

1. “The whole world, including Gentiles (‘coastland,’ ‘people from afar’) are called to recognize two significant points: (1) The Messiah / Servant will be a human being born as others are of a woman, yet virgin born (cf. 7:14; Luke 1:30-33), and (2) He will be an individual as distinct from a personified group as the nation of Israel, which has also been called the Lord’s servant (41:8-9; 42:19; 43:10; 44:1-2, 21, 26; 45:4; 48:20; 50:10).” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 819)

2. “The Lord has given power to His Servant to speak effectively and thereby to conquer His enemies (11:4; cf. Psalm 2:9; Revelation 1:16; 2:12, 16; 19:15). (MacArthur, 819)

He hid me [KJV] “Part of this hiddenness may relate simply to the fact that the divine plan for the Servant was largely hidden until just the right time.” (Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. [Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009], 343)


3. “The Jewish nation was called to glorify God and be a light to the Gentiles, but they failed in their mission. This is why Messiah is called ‘Israel’ in Isaiah 49:3: He did the work that Israel was supposed to do.” (Wiersbe, 54)

4. “Though the Lord was rejected, and it may look as if He labored in vain, His confidence is in God…The emphasis in this section, therefore, is in the suffering Servant.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 303)

5. “The goal of the Servant’s work is to cause the people of Israel to return spiritually or turn back to God. The nation’s central problem that God was attempting to solve through the Servant was the people’s personal relationship with God.” (Smith, 347)

6. “God indicates that the Servant’s work would not receive great worldwide honor if he just took on the ‘smaller, lighter, easier’ task of restoring the tribes of Israel (a small percentage of the people on the earth. Therefore, God also gave him the task of reaching out to transform all the nations of the earth.” (Smith, 348)

7. “The rejection of Christ by Israel meant that the gospel went to the ends of the earth. Just think how great it will be some day in the future when God regathers Israel!” (McGee, 303)


8. “At His appointed time in the future, the Lord will, by His Servant, accomplish the final deliverance of Israel.” (MacArthur, 820)

“When the Lord saves and regathers Israel, they will return to the land, to which Joshua brought their ancestors after their exit from Egypt; then it will be restored and glorious (44:26; Joshua 13:1-8).” (MacArthur, 830)

During the holocaust while World War II was happening, Jews migrated to Israel. After the war the country of Israel was born. The Lord had regathered the Israelites to the land He had given Abraham centuries ago.

9. “The best approach is to interpret these phrases as metaphors of God’s deliverance of all people from the prison of spiritual darkness and ignorance, (9:2; 42:19-20; 43:8; 44:18-19) through the work of the Servant.” (Smith, 354)

10. “These ideal conditions will be enjoyed by the faithful remnant returning for their kingdom in Israel. John reveals that this condition is a foretaste of heaven (Revelation 7:16-17).” (MacArthur, 820)

11. “This imagery pertains to sheep so the interpreter needs to be careful not to interpret all these things that God will do as literal changes in the climate or geographic features of the land.” (Smith, 355)


12. “Israel’s regathering will be from a worldwide exile (43:5-6), even from far away places like Sinim, probably an ancient name for the region known today as China.” (MacArthur, 820)

13. “God’s purposes in the earth center in the nation Israel. When they are back in the land, then both the heavens and the earth can rejoice.” (McGee, 303)

Cf. Revelation 12:12.

“The reason for this wonderful hymn of praise is that God has comforted ‘his afflicted ones’ who struggled in darkness (49:9a). These are the needy people who have lived in spiritual darkness.” (Smith, 356)

“The New Testament saw Jesus as the fulfillment of this Servant prophecy. He exemplified a servant spirit throughout his life (Matthew 20:28; Philippians 2:7), and the new covenant was established through his blood (Luke 22:20).” (Smith 356)


Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002

Listen                                                                                            Zion

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print or Share