New American Bible (Revised Edition)
B. Expiation of Sin, Spiritual Liberation of Israel
The Servant of the Lord[a]
1 Hear me, coastlands,
listen, distant peoples.(A)
Before birth the Lord called me,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.[b]
2 He made my mouth like a sharp-edged sword,
concealed me, shielded by his hand.
He made me a sharpened arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
3 He said to me, You are my servant,
in you, Israel,[c] I show my glory.
4 Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
for nothing and for naught spent my strength,
Yet my right is with the Lord,
my recompense is with my God.(B)
5 For now the Lord has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and my God is now my strength!
6 It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;(C)
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.[d]
7 Thus says the Lord,
the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
To the one despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers:
When kings see you, they shall stand up,
and princes shall bow down
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.(D)
- 49:1–7 The second of the four “servant of the Lord” oracles (cf. note on 42:1–4).
- 49:1 Gave me my name: designated me for a special task or mission (cf. Jer 1:5).
- 49:3 Israel: the servant is identified with the people of Israel as their ideal representative; however, vv. 5–6 seem to distinguish the servant from Israel.
- 49:6 The servant’s vocation extends beyond the restoration of Israel in order to bring the knowledge of Israel’s God to the rest of the earth; cf. Lk 2:32.