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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
Israel, a Light to the Nations
1 # Jer 1.5 Listen to me, distant nations,
you people who live far away!
Before I was born, the LORD chose me
and appointed me to be his servant.
2 # Heb 4.12; Rev 1.16 He made my words as sharp as a sword.
With his own hand he protected me.#49.2 With his own hand… me; or He kept me hidden in his hand.
He made me like an arrow,
sharp and ready for use.
3He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;
because of you, people will praise me.”
4I said, “I have worked, but how hopeless it is!
I have used up my strength, but have accomplished nothing.”
Yet I can trust the LORD to defend my cause;
he will reward me for what I do.
5Before I was born, the LORD appointed me;
he made me his servant to bring back his people,
to bring back the scattered people of Israel.
The LORD gives me honour;
he is the source of my strength.
6 # Is 42.6; Lk 2.32; Acts 13.47; 26.23 The LORD said to me,
“I have a greater task for you, my servant.
Not only will you restore to greatness
the people of Israel who have survived,
but I will also make you a light to the nations —
so that all the world may be saved.”
7Israel's holy God and saviour says
to the one who is deeply despised,
who is hated by the nations
and is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you released
and will rise to show their respect;
princes also will see it,
and they will bow low to honour you.”
This will happen because the LORD has chosen his servant;
the holy God of Israel keeps his promises.
The Restoration of Jerusalem
8 # 2 Cor 6.2 The LORD says to his people,
“When the time comes to save you, I will show you favour
and answer your cries for help.
I will guard and protect you
and through you make a covenant with all peoples.
I will let you settle once again
in your land that is now laid waste.
9I will say to the prisoners, ‘Go free!’
and to those who are in darkness,
‘Come out to the light!’
They will be like sheep that graze on the hills;
10 # Rev 7.16–17 they will never be hungry or thirsty.
Sun and desert heat will not hurt them,
for they will be led by one who loves them.
He will lead them to springs of water.
11“I will make a highway across the mountains
and prepare a road for my people to travel.
12My people will come from far away,
from the north and the west,
and from Aswan#49.12 Aswan: A city in southern Egypt, where a large Jewish community had settled. in the south.”
13Sing, heavens! Shout for joy, earth!
Let the mountains burst into song!
The LORD will comfort his people;
he will have pity on his suffering people.
14But the people of Jerusalem said,
“The LORD has abandoned us!
He has forgotten us.”
15So the LORD answers,
“Can a woman forget her own baby
and not love the child she bore?
Even if a mother should forget her child,
I will never forget you.
16Jerusalem, I can never forget you!
I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
17“Those who will rebuild you are coming soon,
and those who destroyed you will leave.
18Look around and see what is happening!
Your people are assembling — they are coming home!
As surely as I am the living God,
you will be proud of your people,
as proud as a bride is of her jewels.
19“Your country was ruined and desolate —
but now it will be too small
for those who are coming to live there.
And those who left you in ruins
will be far removed from you.
20Your people who were born in exile
will one day say to you,
‘This land is too small —
we need more room to live in!’
21Then you will say to yourself,
‘Who bore all these children for me?
I lost my children and could have no more.
I was exiled and driven away —
who brought these children up?
I was left all alone —
where did these children come from?’ ”
22The Sovereign LORD says to his people:
“I will signal to the nations,
and they will bring your children home.
23Kings will be like fathers to you;
queens will be like mothers.
They will bow low before you and honour you;
they will humbly show their respect for you.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
no one who waits for my help will be disappointed.”
24Can you take away a soldier's loot?
Can you rescue the prisoners of a tyrant?
25The LORD replies,
“That is just what is going to happen.
The soldier's prisoners will be taken away,
and the tyrant's loot will be seized.
I will fight against whoever fights you,
and I will rescue your children.
26I will make your oppressors kill each other;
they will be drunk with murder and rage.
Then the whole human race will know that I am the LORD,
the one who saves you and sets you free.
They will know that I am Israel's powerful God.”