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Isaiah 49:24 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives be delivered?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Shall the prey be taken from the mighty? and shall he that is rightfully captive be delivered?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Shall prey, be taken from a mighty one? Or, the captive of one in the right, be delivered?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Is prey taken from the mighty? And the captive of the righteous delivered?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Shall the prey be taken from the strong? or can that which was taken by the mighty, be delivered?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Shall the pray be taken from the mightie, or the lawfull captiue deliuered?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Will any one take spoils from a giant? and if one should take [a man] captive unjustly, shall he be delivered?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Shall the prey 4455
{4455} Prime
From H3947; transitively (in dual) the jaws (as taking food); intransitively spoil (and captives), (as taken).
be taken 3947
{3947} Prime
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
<8714> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 178
from the mighty, 1368
{1368} Prime
Intensive from the same as H1397; powerful; by implication warrior, tyrant.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
or x518
(0518) Complement
A primitive particle; used very widely as demonstrative, lo!; interrogitive, whether?; or conditional, if, although; also Oh that!, when; hence as a negative, not.
the lawful 6662
{6662} Prime
From H6663; just.
captive 7628
{7628} Prime
From H7618; exiled; captured; as noun, exile (abstractly or concretely and collectively); by extension booty.
delivered? 4422
{4422} Prime
A primitive root; properly to be smooth, that is, (by implication) to escape (as if by slipperiness); causatively to release or rescue; specifically to bring forth young, emit sparks.
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 49:24

_ _ the prey — Israel, long a prey to mighty Gentile nations, whose oppression of her shall reach its highest point under Antichrist (Daniel 11:36, Daniel 11:37, Daniel 11:41, Daniel 11:45).

_ _ lawful captive — the Jews justly consigned for their sins (Isaiah 50:1) as captives to the foe. Secondarily, Satan and Death are “the mighty” conquerors of man, upon whom his sin give them their “lawful” claim. Christ answers that claim for the sinners, and so the captive is set free (Job 19:25; Job 14:14; Matthew 12:29; Hosea 6:2, where Isaiah 49:4 shows the primary reference is to Israel’s restoration, to which the resurrection corresponds; Isaiah 26:19; Ephesians 4:8; Hebrews 2:14, Hebrews 2:15). Others not so well translate, “the captives taken from among the just Israelites.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 49:24-26

_ _ Here is, I. An objection started against the promise of the Jews' release out of their captivity in Babylon, suggesting that it was a thing not to be expected; for (Isaiah 49:24) they were a prey in the hand of the mighty, of such as were then the greatest potentates on earth, and therefore it was not likely they should be rescued by force. Yet that was not all: they were lawful captives; by the law of God, having offended, they were justly delivered into captivity; and by the law of nations, being taken in war, they were justly detained in captivity till they should be ransomed or exchanged. Now this is spoken either, 1. By the enemies, as justifying themselves in their refusal to let them go. They plead both might and right. Proud men think all their own that they can lay their hands on and their title good if they have but the longest sword. Or, 2. By their friends, either in a way of distrust, despairing of the deliverance (“for who is able to deal with those that detain us, either by force of arms or a treaty of peace?”), or in a way of thankfulness, admiring the deliverance. “Who would have thought that ever the prey should be taken from the mighty? Yet it is done.” This is applicable to our redemption by Christ. As to Satan, we were a prey in the hand of the mighty, and yet delivered even from him that had the power of death, by him that had the power of life. As to the justice of God, we were lawful captives, and yet delivered by a price of inestimable value.

_ _ II. This objection answered by an express promise, and a further promise; for God's promises being all yea, and amen, they may well serve to corroborate one another. 1. Here is an express promise with a non-obstantenotwithstanding to the strength of the enemy (Isaiah 49:25): “Even the captives of the mighty, though they are mighty, shall be taken away, and it is to no purpose for them to oppose it; and the prey of the terrible, though they are terrible, shall be delivered; and, as they cannot with all their strength outforce, so they cannot with all their impudence outface, the deliverance, and the counsels of God concerning it.” The Lord saith thus, who, having all power and all hearts in his hands is able to make his words good. 2. Here is a further promise, showing how, and in what way, God will bring about the deliverance. He will bring judgments upon the oppressors, and so will work salvation for the oppressed: “I will contend with him that contends with thee, will plead thy cause against those that justify themselves in oppressing thee; whoever it be, though but a single person, that contends with thee, he shall know that it is at his peril, and thus I will save thy children.” The captives shall be delivered by leading captivity captive, that is, sending those into captivity that had held God's people captive, Revelation 13:10. Nay, they shall have blood for blood (Isaiah 49:26): “I will feed those that oppress thee with their own flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own blood. The proud Babylonians shall become not only an easy, but an acceptable, prey to one another. God will send a dividing spirit among them, and their ruin, which was begun by a foreign invasion, shall be completed by their intestine divisions. They shall bite and devour one another, till they are consumed one of another. They shall greedily and with delight prey upon those that are their own flesh and blood.” God can make the oppressors of his church to be their own tormentors and their own destroyers. The New Testament Babylon, having made herself drunk with the blood of the saints, shall have blood given her to drink, for she is worthy. See how cruel men sometimes are to themselves and to one another: indeed those who are so to others are so to themselves, for God's justice and men's revenge will mete to them what they have measured to others. They not only thirst after blood, but drink it so greedily that they are drunken with it, and with as much pleasure as if it were sweet wine. If God had not more mercy on sinners than they would have one upon another were their passions let loose, the world would be soon an Aceldama, nay, a desolation.

_ _ III. See what will be the effect of Babylon's ruin: All flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour. God will make it to appear, to the conviction of all the world, that, though Israel seem lost and cast off, they have a Redeemer, and, though they are made a prey to the mighty, Jacob has a mighty One, who is able to deal with all his enemies. God intends, by the deliverances of his church, both to notify and to magnify his own name.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 49:24

Shall the prey — Here is a double impediment to their deliverance, the power of the enemy who kept them in bondage, and the justice of God which pleads against their deliverance.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 49:24

Shall the prey be (d) taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

(d) He makes this as an objection as though the Chaldeans were strong, and had them in just possession.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.


Isaiah 42:22 But this [is] a people robbed and spoiled; [they are] all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Psalms 124:6-7 Blessed [be] the LORD, who hath not given us [as] a prey to their teeth. ... Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Psalms 126:1-3 [[A Song of degrees.]] When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. ... The LORD hath done great things for us; [whereof] we are glad.
Matthew 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
Luke 11:21-22 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: ... But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

lawful captive:
Heb. captivity of the just,
Ezra 9:9 For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
Ezra 9:13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities [deserve], and hast given us [such] deliverance as this;
Nehemiah 9:33 Howbeit thou [art] just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
Nehemiah 9:37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we [are] in great distress.
Jeremiah 25:6-9 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. ... Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Jeremiah 25:11-14 And this whole land shall be a desolation, [and] an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. ... For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.
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Ezr 9:9, 13. Ne 9:33, 37. Ps 124:6; 126:1. Is 42:22; 53:12. Jr 25:6, 11. Ezk 37:3, 11. Mt 12:29. Lk 11:21.

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