Isaiah 49

Hearken, O isles, unto me; and listen, ye people, from afar: The Lord hath called me from my birth; from my mother’s womb hath he made mention of my name. And he hath rendered my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hidden me: and he hath rendered me as a polished arrow; in his quiver hath he concealed me; And said unto me, My servant art thou, O Israel, thou on whom I will be glorified. But I had indeed said, For no purpose have I labored, for naught and vanity have I spent my strength; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and the recompense of my work with my God. And now hath said the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, that Israel may be gathered unto him, that I should be honored in the eyes of the Lord, while my God was my strength,— And he said, It is too light a thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved of Israel! but I will also appoint thee for a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach as far as the end of the earth. Thus hath said the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him who is despised by men, to him who is abhorred by nations, to the servant of rulers, Kings shall see it and rise up, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, for the sake of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who hath made choice of thee. Thus hath said the Lord, In the time of favor have I answered thee, and on the day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and I will appoint thee as a people of my covenant to raise up the land, to divide out desolate heritages; When I say to the prisoners, Go forth; to those that are in darkness, Show yourselves. On the roads shall they feed, and on all mountain-peaks shall be their pasture. 10 They shall not be hungry nor thirsty, and neither heat nor sun shall smite them; for he that hath mercy on them will lead them, and by springs of water will he guide them. 11 And I will change all my mountains into a road, and my highways shall be lifted up. 12 Behold, these shall come from afar; and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. 13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth, O mountains, into song; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and upon his oppressed will he have mercy. 14 Yet Zion said, the Eternal hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me. 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, not to have mercy on the son of her body? yea, should these even forget, yet would I not forget thee. 16 Behold, upon the palms of my hands have I engraved thee; thy walls are continually before me. 17 Thy children come in haste; thy destroyers and they that laid thee waste shall go away from thee. 18 Lift up thy eyes round about, and see; they all are assembled together, they come to thee: as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thyself with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride. 19 For thy ruins and thy desolate places, and thy wasted land,—yea, now shall it be too narrow for thee by reason of the inhabitants, and thy destroyers shall be far away. 20 Yet again will say before thy ears the children of whom thou wast deprived, The place is too narrow for me; make room for me that I may dwell. 21 And thou wilt say in thy heart, Who hath born me these, seeing I was bereft of my children, and was solitary, an exile, and outcast? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left entirely alone; these, where have they been? 22 Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Behold, I will lift up to the nations my hand, and to the people will I raise up high my standard; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon shoulders. 23 And kings shall be thy nursing-fathers, and their princesses thy nursing-mothers; with the face toward the earth shall they bow down to thee, and the dust of thy feet shall they lick up: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, who will not suffer those who hope in me to be ashamed. 24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or shall the captive of the victor escape? 25 For thus hath said the Lord, Also the captive of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the powerful shall escape; and with those who contend against thee will I contend, and thy children will I indeed save. 26 And I will feed thy oppressors with their own flesh; and as with new wine shall they be made drunken with their own blood: and all flesh shall know that I the Eternal am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer the Mighty One of Jacob.
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