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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 Work of the Lord's Servant
1 # Jr 1.5. Everyone, listen,
even you foreign nations
across the sea.
The Lord chose me
and gave me a name
before I was born.
2 # He 4.12; Rev 1.16. He made my words pierce
like a sharp sword
or a pointed arrow;
he kept me safely hidden
in the palm of his hand.
3The Lord said to me,
“Israel, you are my servant;
and because of you
I will be highly honored.”
4I said to myself,
“I'm completely worn out;
my time has been wasted.
But I did it for the Lord God,
and he will reward me.”
5Even before I was born,
the Lord God chose me
to serve him and to lead back
the people of Israel.
So the Lord has honored me
and made me strong.
6 # Is 42.6; Lk 2.32; Ac 26.23; Ac 13.47. Now the Lord says to me,
“It isn't enough for you
to be merely my servant.
You must do more than lead back
survivors from the tribes
of Israel.
I have placed you here as a light
for other nations;
you must take my saving power
to everyone on earth.”
The Lord Will Rescue His People
7Israel, I am the holy Lord God,
the one who rescues you.
You are slaves of rulers
and of a nation
who despises you.#49.7 You … you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Now this is what I promise:
Kings and rulers will honor you
by kneeling at your feet.
You can trust me! I am your Lord,
the holy God of Israel,
and you are my chosen ones.
The Lord Will Lead His People Home
8 # 2 Co 6.2. This is what the Lord says:
I will answer your prayers
because I have set a time
when I will help
by coming to save you.
I have chosen you
to take my promise of hope
to other nations.#49.8 my … nations: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
You will rebuild the country
from its ruins,
then people will come
and settle there.
9You will set prisoners free
from dark dungeons
to see the light of day.
On their way home,
they will find plenty to eat,
even on barren hills.
10 # Rev 7.16,17. They won't go hungry
or get thirsty;
they won't be bothered
by the scorching sun
or hot desert winds.
I will be merciful
while leading them along
to streams of water.
11I will level the mountains
and make roads.
12Then my people will return
from distant lands
in the north and the west
and from the city of Syene.#49.12 Syene: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the Standard Hebrew Text “Sinim.” This city was located at the first cataract of the Nile near the site of modern-day Aswan.
The Lord's Mercy
13Tell the heavens and the earth
to celebrate and sing;
command every mountain
to join in the song.
The Lord's people have suffered,
but he has shown mercy
and given them comfort.
14The people of Zion said,
“The Lord has turned away
and forgotten us.”
15The Lord answered,
“Could a mother forget a child
who nurses at her breast?
Could she fail to love an infant
who came from her own body?
Even if a mother could forget,
I will never forget you.
16A picture of your city
is drawn on my hand.
You are always in my thoughts!
17“Your city will be built faster
than it was destroyed#49.17 Your city … destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
those who attacked it
will retreat and leave.
18Look around! You will see
your people coming home.
As surely as I live,
I, the Lord, promise
that your city with its people
will be as lovely as a bride
wearing her jewelry.”
Jerusalem's Bright Future
19Jerusalem is now in ruins!
Nothing is left of the city.
But it will be rebuilt
and soon overcrowded;
its cruel enemies
will be gone far away.
20Jerusalem is a woman
whose children were born
while she was in deep sorrow#49.20 whose children … sorrow: These “children” are Jews who were born in foreign countries during the time that Jerusalem was in ruins. Jerusalem probably stands for all the cities in Judah that were destroyed by the Babylonians.
over the loss of her husband.
Now those children
will come and seek room
in the crowded city,
21and Jerusalem will ask,
“Am I really their mother?
How could I have given birth
when I was still mourning
in a foreign land?
Who raised these children?
Where have they come from?”
22 # Ba 5.6. The Lord God says:
“I will soon give a signal
for the nations
to return your sons
and your daughters
to the arms of Jerusalem.
23The kings and queens
of those nations
where they were raised
will come and bow down.
They will take care of you
just like a slave
taking care of a child.
Then you will know
that I am the Lord.
You won't be disappointed
if you trust me.”
The Lord Is on Our Side
24Is it possible to rescue victims
from someone strong
and cruel?#49.24 cruel: The Dead Sea Scrolls and two ancient translations; the Standard Hebrew Text “good.”
25But the Lord has promised
to fight on our side
and to rescue our children
from those strong
and violent enemies.
26He will make those cruel people
dine on their own flesh
and get drunk from drinking
their own blood.
Then everyone will know
that the Lord is our Savior;
the powerful God of Israel
has rescued his people.