Isaiah 49

You are My Servant

Listen to me, O islands, and pay attention, O distant peoples: The LORD called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me. He 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. He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will display My glory.” But 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.” And 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— He 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.” Thus 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.” This is what the LORD says: “In the time of favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and appoint you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land, to apportion its desolate inheritances, to 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. 10  They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them. For He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11  I will turn all My mountains into roads, and My highways will be raised up. 12  Behold, they will come from far away, from the north and from the west,
Or from the sea
and from the land of Aswan.”
That is, a region in southern Egypt (from DSS); MT Sinim
13  Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; break into joyful song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and He will have compassion on His afflicted ones. 14  But 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? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16  Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me. 17  Your builders
DSS; MT Your sons
hasten back; those who laid you waste will depart.
18  Lift 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. 19  For 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. 20  Yet the children of your bereavement will say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; make room for us to live here.’ 21  Then 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?’” 22  This 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
Hebrew in their bosom
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23  Kings 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.” 24  Can the plunder be snatched from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant
DSS, Syriac, Vulgate (see also verse 25); MT of the righteous
be delivered?
25  Indeed, this is what the LORD says: “Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the plunder of a tyrant will be retrieved; I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. 26  I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they will be drunk on their own blood, as with sweet wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
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