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True peace begins with knowing God. Those who listen and live by His teachings find that wholeness and goodness flood into their lives. The wicked, however, face a different reality; they live with constant danger and problems.

49 Listen to this, everyone—near and far:
    The Eternal One singled me out, even before I was born.
He called me and named me when I was still in my mother’s belly.
Even then, God was preparing my mouth to speak like a sharp sword.
    He kept my purpose quiet, kept me safe in the shadow of His hand,
He crafted me into a sharp-tipped arrow and tucked me away in His quiver;
God said to me, “You are My servant, Israel.
    Through you, I will be glorified.”
I said, “I’ve worked hard for nothing.
    I spent my strength, and what have I accomplished—nothing,
Yet my justice and reward are secure with my God, the Eternal One.”
And now the Eternal who watched, shaped, and made me His own servant
    from the womb has determined to restore Jacob’s family;
Israel will be made right with the Eternal again.
    For God has counted me worthy and He has been my strength right along.

Eternal One: As My servant you will do even more than this,
        even more than restoring Jacob’s family to Me
    And making Israel right with Me again.
        I will make you a light for the nations,
    And You will illumine them until My salvation reaches to the ends of the earth.[a]

This is what the Eternal One, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel,
    told to the one who is despised and loathed by the nation,
To the servant of national leaders.

Eternal One: At the sight of you, kings will rise and princes will bow down,
        for I, the Eternal, faithful and true, the Holy One of Israel, have chosen you.

The Eternal has this to say:

Eternal One: When the time was right, I answered you;
        on the day you were delivered, I was your help.[b]
    I will watch over you, and give you
        as a promise, a binding covenant to the people.
    Through you, My gift to the people, the land of promise will recover.
        Ancestral ground, once deserted, will be entrusted to them.
    Through you, My gift to the people, I will declare to the prisoners,
        “Come out. Now you are free”;
    To those who are held in darkness, “Come out into the light.
        They will find sustenance wherever they are
    Along the roads or in the open hills—
        with peace of mind, in comfort and security.
10     Wherever they are, they will be fine, never hungry nor thirsty.
        They will be protected from oppressive heat and the burning sun
    Because the One who loves them—as a mother loves her child—will be their guide.
        God will lead them to restful places, rejuvenating springs of water.
11     I will make their going easy, level the mountain road
        and smooth the path that leads them home.
12     Look! Even now, they are coming from lands far away,
        some from the north, others from the west, these from the land of Sinim.[c]

13 Oh joy! Be glad—sky! Take joy—earth! Burst into song—mountains!
    For the Eternal, moved to compassion, has comforted and consoled His people.

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Footnotes

  1. 49:6 Acts 13:47
  2. 49:8 2 Corinthians 6:2
  3. 49:12 Likely a reference to southern Egypt

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