The Servant and Light to the Gentiles
1Listen to Me, O islands;#49:1 Or coastlands
pay attention, O distant peoples:
The Lord called Me from the womb;
from the body of My mother He named Me.
2He made My mouth like a sharp sword;
He hid Me in the shadow of His hand.
He made Me like a polished arrow;
He hid Me in His quiver.
3He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel,
in whom I will display My glory.”
4But I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent My strength in futility and vanity;
yet My vindication is with the Lord,
and My reward is with My God.”
5And now says the Lord,
who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
to bring Jacob back to Him,
that Israel might be gathered to Him—
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and My God is My strength—
6He says: “It is not enough for You to be My Servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the protected ones of Israel.
I will also make You a light for the nations,
to bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”#49:6 Cited in Acts 13:47
7Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel,
to Him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
to the Servant of rulers:
“Kings will see You and rise,
and princes will bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen You.”
8This is what the Lord says:
“In the time of favor I will answer You,
and in the day of salvation I will help You;#49:8 LXX In the time of favor I heard You, and in the day of salvation I helped You; cited in 2 Corinthians 6:2
I will keep You and appoint You
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land,
to apportion its desolate inheritances,
9to say to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
They will feed along the pathways,
and find pasture on every barren hill.
10They will not hunger or thirst,
nor will scorching heat or sun beat down on them.#49:10 Cited in Revelation 7:16
For He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.
11I will turn all My mountains into roads,
and My highways will be raised up.
12Behold, they will come from far away,
from the north and from the west,#49:12 Or from the sea
and from the land of Aswan.#49:12 That is, a region in southern Egypt (from DSS); MT the land of Sinim”
13Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth;
break forth in song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
and He will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
14But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
the Lord has forgotten me!”
15“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or lack compassion for the son of her womb?
Even if she could forget,
I will not forget you!
16Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are ever before Me.
17Your builders #49:17 DSS; MT Your sons hasten back;
your destroyers and wreckers depart from you.
18Lift up your eyes and look around.
They all gather together; they come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,
“you will wear them all as jewelry
and put them on like a bride.
19For your ruined and desolate places
and your ravaged land
will now indeed be too small for your people,
and those who devoured you will be far away.
20Yet the children of your bereavement
will say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
make room for us to live here.’
21Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has begotten these for me?
I was bereaved and barren;
I was exiled and rejected.
So who has reared them?
Look, I was left all alone,
so where did they come from?’”
22This is what the Lord GOD says:
“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations,
and raise My banner to the peoples.
They will bring your sons in their arms #49:22 Hebrew in their bosom
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23Kings will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow to you facedown
and lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who hope in Me will never be put to shame.”
24Can the plunder be snatched from the mighty,
or the captives of a tyrant #49:24 DSS, Syriac, and Vulgate (see also verse 25); MT of the righteous be delivered?
25Indeed, this is what the Lord says:
“Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away,
and the plunder of the tyrant will be retrieved;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord,
am your Savior and your Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Jacob.”