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Isaiah 49

49
XLIX
1Listen, O isles, unto me;
And hearken, ye people, from far;
Jehovah hath called me from the womb,
From the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name.
2And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword,
In the shadow of his hand hath He concealed me;
Yea, He hath made me a polished arrow,
In his quiver hath He hid me:
3And He said unto me: Thou art my servant,
O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
4But I said: I have laboured in vain;
For nought, and for vanity, have I spent my strength:
Nevertheless my right is with Jehovah,
And the reward of my work with my God.
5And now, saith Jehovah
Who hath formed me from the womb to be his servant,
To bring Jacob again unto him,
And that Israel unto him may be gathered:
For I am glorious in the eyes of Jehovah,
And my God is my strength.
6Yea, He said: It is too light a thing that thou shouldest be my servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the saved of Israel:
I will also give thee for a light to the nations,
To be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7Thus saith Jehovah,
The Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One,
To him who is despised of men; to him whom the nation abhorreth;
To the servant of rulers:
Kings shall see, and shall rise up;
Princes, and they shall bow themselves:
Because of Jehovah who is faithful,
The Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee.
8Thus saith Jehovah:
In time of grace will I hear thee,
And in the day of salvation will I help thee;
And I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land, to give possession of the desolate heritages:
9To say to the bounden, Go forth;
To those that are in darkness, Come into light
They shall feed beside the ways,
And on all the eminences shall be their pasture.
10They shall not hunger, nor thirst;
Neither shall the glowing heat, nor the sun, smite them:
For He that hath mercy on them shall lead them,
And shall guide them to the fountains of water.
11And I will make all my mountains an even way,
And my causeways shall be raised on high.
12Behold! these shall come from far;
And, lo! these from the north and from the west;
And these from the land of Sinim.
13Sing, O ye heavens! and be joyful, O earth!
And burst forth into song, O mountains!
For Jehovah hath comforted his people,
And hath had mercy on his afflicted.
14But Zion saith: Jehovah hath forsaken me,
And the Lord hath forgotten me.
15Can a woman forget her suckling,
That she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Yea, they may forget;
Yet I will not forget thee.
16Behold! I have graven thee on the palms of my hands;
Thy walls are ever before me.
17Thy sons shall make haste:
Thy destroyers, and they that made thee waste, shall depart from thee.
18Lift up thine eyes around, and see;
All these are gathered together, they come to thee.
As I live, saith Jehovah,
Thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament;
And bind them on thee as a bride doeth.
19For in thy waste, and in thy desolate places,
And in thy land that is destroyed,
Even now shalt thou be straitened by reason of the inhabitants;
And they that devoured thee shall be removed far away.
20Moreover, thy sons, of whom thou wast bereaved, shall say in thine ears:
This place is too strait for me; make way for me that I may dwell.
21Then shalt thou say in thine heart: Who hath begotten me these?
I was childless and barren;
An exile, and an outcast; who then hath nursed these up?
Behold, I was left alone; these then, where were they?
22Thus saith the Lord Jehovah:
Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the nations,
And set up my standard to the people;
And they shall bring thy sons in their bosom,
And thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
23And kings shall be thy nourishers,
And their queens thy nurses;
They shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth,
And shall lick up the dust of thy feet;
And thou shalt know that I am Jehovah:
For they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
24Shall the spoil be taken away from the mighty?
Or shall the captive seized by right of strength be rescued?
25Yea, thus saith Jehovah:
Even the captive seized by the mighty shall be retaken,
And the spoil seized by the terrible shall be rescued:
For I will contend with him that contends with thee,
And I will save thy children.
26And I will gorge thine oppressors with their own flesh;
And with their own blood, as with new wine, shall they be drunken:
And all flesh shall know
That I Jehovah am thy Saviour,
And that thy Redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 49

49
The Lord’s Servant Commissioned
1Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
from within the womb he called me by name.
2He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
3He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,
and you will bring me glory.”
4I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
I will trust God for my reward.”
5And now the Lord speaks—
the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant,
who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me,
and my God has given me strength.
6He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
7The Lord, the Redeemer
and Holy One of Israel,
says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations,
to the one who is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will stand at attention when you pass by.
Princes will also bow low
because of the Lord, the faithful one,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
Promises of Israel’s Restoration
8This is what the Lord says:
“At just the right time, I will respond to you.#49:8 Greek version reads I heard you. Compare 2 Cor 6:2.
On the day of salvation I will help you.
I will protect you and give you to the people
as my covenant with them.
Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel
and assign it to its own people again.
9I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’
They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures
and on hills that were previously bare.
10They will neither hunger nor thirst.
The searing sun will not reach them anymore.
For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;
he will lead them beside cool waters.
11And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.
The highways will be raised above the valleys.
12See, my people will return from far away,
from lands to the north and west,
and from as far south as Egypt.#49:12 As in Dead Sea Scrolls, which read from the region of Aswan, which is in southern Egypt. Masoretic Text reads from the region of Sinim.
13Sing for joy, O heavens!
Rejoice, O earth!
Burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
14Yet Jerusalem#49:14 Hebrew Zion. says, “The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.”
15“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
16See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.
17Soon your descendants will come back,
and all who are trying to destroy you will go away.
18Look around you and see,
for all your children will come back to you.
As surely as I live,” says the Lord,
“they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display.
19“Even the most desolate parts of your abandoned land
will soon be crowded with your people.
Your enemies who enslaved you
will be far away.
20The generations born in exile will return and say,
‘We need more room! It’s crowded here!’
21Then you will think to yourself,
‘Who has given me all these descendants?
For most of my children were killed,
and the rest were carried away into exile.
I was left here all alone.
Where did all these people come from?
Who bore these children?
Who raised them for me?’”
22This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I will give a signal to the godless nations.
They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms;
they will bring your daughters on their shoulders.
23Kings and queens will serve you
and care for all your needs.
They will bow to the earth before you
and lick the dust from your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”
24Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior?
Who can demand that a tyrant#49:24 As in Dead Sea Scrolls, Syriac version, and Latin Vulgate (also see 49:25); Masoretic Text reads a righteous person. let his captives go?
25But the Lord says,
“The captives of warriors will be released,
and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved.
For I will fight those who fight you,
and I will save your children.
26I will feed your enemies with their own flesh.
They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood.
All the world will know that I, the Lord,
am your Savior and your Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Israel.#49:26 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 14:1.