Isaiah 49 - God's Will

I got the idea that Isaiah 49 contains a message about where the people of God are going.  It is a message of encouragement and hope.  It is a message about redemption and restoration.

I am going to write a series of posts on Isaiah 49.  At a glance, this chapter is about The Servant of The Lord and Israel's restoration.

The whole Bible is His-story.  And as Christians, his story becomes our story.  My thoughts are a starting point for discussion and conversational exegesis, in coming to an understanding of the application of the text for us communally.  As Peter wrote:

First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one's own interpretation.
-1 Peter 1:20
That (above) is a "word cloud" of Isaiah 49, from the HCSB.  The bigger the word, the more it occurs.  I immediately  noticed "I" and "will".  Then I noticed "you", "me", "your", "my", "Lord", and "for".

Isaiah 49 has to do with "will".  I was excited about this.  Because we ask, "what is your will?", to God.  We wonder what "will" happen, what we "will" God do, and what is God's will to do that God will do?  We also wonder what we will do, based on what is God going to do.


I got a little discouraged that the English word "will" is not exactly a Hebrew word, but part of various Hebrew words.  Ideally. I wanted to take all the words of Isaiah 49, in Hebrew, and do a word count, word-cloud on those and see what comes up the most, but I was not able to do that.

What I am able to do, is to look at all the verses in the HCSB that have "will" and see if other translations (NRSV, ESV, NIV, and NKJV) have the word in the same verses, and if they do, then we can deduce that the Hebrew reads, "will" as well.

Isaiah 49 is 26 verses and "will" occurs 38 times, in the HCSB, 17 times in the NRSV & ESV, 37 times in the NIV, and 18 times in the NKJV.  Every time that the HCSB or NIV have "will", the ESV, NRSV, and NKJV have "shall" or, "have".

"Shall" and "will are pretty much the same: "I shall go outside", and "I will go outside".  But "have" is past tense, "I have gone outside".  God, who stands outside of time, can say, "I have", when we don't see it yet.  Perhaps that is that what is going on, when the NRSV has "have", where the HCSB & NIV have "will", in verse 8:
Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favor I have answered you,
on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you
as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
to apportion the desolate heritages
(NRSV)


This is what the Lord says:

I will answer you in a time of favor,
and I will help you in the day of salvation.
I will keep you, and I will appoint you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land,
to make them possess the desolate inheritances 
(HCSB) 
It is interesting that the King James and the ESV have, "I have", "I have", and "I will".  If you are curious, the NLT says, "I will", "I will", and "I will".  I get the idea that it literally says, in verse 8, "I have", because Isaiah is taking in (writing from) God's perspective, who stands outside of time and is all-powerful.

A human example is that when an authority makes a deal, they say, "it's done" (it's a done deal).  They say this when it has not happened yet, the actual transaction or job or task or favor.  The authority saying it will be done is the same as saying it is done, has been done, that. "I have done it".  That is what is going on here, I believe when we have, "will do it", vs, "have done it".

"Will" (also translated "shall" and "have") is found 38 times in Isaiah 49, in the HCSB (37 times in the NIV).  "Me", "my", and "myself" occur 39 times.  "You" and "your", and "yourselves" occur 41 times.  "Lord" occurs 13 times.


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