Isaiah 50 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Isaiah 50)

Verse 1

[1] Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Thus saith the Lord — The scope of this and the next chapter, is to vindicate God's justice and to convince the Jews that they were the causes of their own calamities.

Behold — You can blame none but yourselves and your own sins, for all your captivities and miseries.

Verse 2

[2] Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.

Wherefore — The general accusation delivered in the last words he now proves by particular instances.

When — When I, first by my prophets, came to call them to repentance.

No man — That complied with my call.

To answer — To come at my call.

Is my hand — What is the reason of this contempt? Is it because you think I am either unwilling or unable to save you? A wilderness - As dry and fit for travelling as a wilderness.

Verse 3

[3] I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

I clothe — When it is necessary to save my people, I cover them with thick and dark clouds black as sackcloth, Revelation 6:12.

Verse 4

[4] The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

Given me — This and the following passages may be in some sort understood of the prophet Isaiah, but they are far more evidently and eminently verified in Christ, and indeed seem to be meant directly of him.

The tongue — All ability of speaking plainly, and convincingly, and persuasively.

Weary — Burdened with the sense of his, deplorable condition.

Wakeneth — Me, from time to time, and continually.

To hear — He by his Divine power assists me to the practice of all his commands and my duties, with all attention and diligence.

Verse 6

[6] I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

I gave — I patiently yielded up myself to those who smote me.

Verse 8

[8] He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.

Justifieth — God will clear up my righteousness, and shew by many and mighty signs and wonders, that I lived and died his faithful servant.

Let him come — l am conscious of mine own innocency, and I know that God will give sentence for me.

Verse 9

[9] Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.

They — Mine accusers and enemies.

The moth — Shall be cut off and consumed by a secret curse.

Verse 10

[10] Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

The voice — Of Christ, who is called God's servant, by way of eminency and to intimate that though he was God, yet he would take upon himself the form of a servant.

In darkness — Not in sin, but in misery, that lives in a disconsolate and calamitous condition.

No light — No comfort.

Trust — Let him fix his faith and hope in the mercy, and faithfulness, of the Lord, declared in his word, and in his interest in God, who by the mediation of this servant is reconciled to him and made his God.

Verse 11

[11] Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

All ye — You that reject the light which God hath set up, and seek for comfort and safety, by your own inventions.

Walk — Use your utmost endeavours to get comfort from these devices.

This — This shall be the fruit of all, you shall receive nothing but vexation and misery.