The Servant of the Lord

49 Listen(A) to me, you islands;(B)
    hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born(C) the Lord called(D) me;
    from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.(E)
He made my mouth(F) like a sharpened sword,(G)
    in the shadow of his hand(H) he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow(I)
    and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant,(J)
    Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.(K)
But I said, “I have labored in vain;(L)
    I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,(M)
    and my reward(N) is with my God.”(O)

And now the Lord says—
    he who formed me in the womb(P) to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
    and gather Israel(Q) to himself,
for I am[a] honored(R) in the eyes of the Lord
    and my God has been my strength(S)
he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant(T)
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.(U)
I will also make you a light(V) for the Gentiles,(W)
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”(X)

This is what the Lord says—
    the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel(Y)
to him who was despised(Z) and abhorred by the nation,
    to the servant of rulers:
“Kings(AA) will see you and stand up,
    princes will see and bow down,(AB)
because of the Lord, who is faithful,(AC)
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen(AD) you.”

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favor(AE) I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;(AF)
I will keep(AG) you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,(AH)
to restore the land(AI)
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,(AJ)
to say to the captives,(AK) ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness,(AL) ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.(AM)
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,(AN)
    nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.(AO)
He who has compassion(AP) on them will guide(AQ) them
    and lead them beside springs(AR) of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
    and my highways(AS) will be raised up.(AT)
12 See, they will come from afar(AU)
    some from the north, some from the west,(AV)
    some from the region of Aswan.[b]

13 Shout for joy,(AW) you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;(AX)
    burst into song, you mountains!(AY)
For the Lord comforts(AZ) his people
    and will have compassion(BA) on his afflicted ones.(BB)

14 But Zion(BC) said, “The Lord has forsaken(BD) me,
    the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child(BE) she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!(BF)
16 See, I have engraved(BG) you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls(BH) are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
    and those who laid you waste(BI) depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
    all your children gather(BJ) and come to you.
As surely as I live,(BK)” declares the Lord,
    “you will wear(BL) them all as ornaments;
    you will put them on, like a bride.

19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate(BM)
    and your land laid waste,(BN)
now you will be too small for your people,(BO)
    and those who devoured(BP) you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
    give us more space to live in.’(BQ)
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?(BR)
I was bereaved(BS) and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.(BT)
    Who brought these(BU) up?
I was left(BV) all alone,(BW)
    but these—where have they come from?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord(BX) says:

“See, I will beckon to the nations,
    I will lift up my banner(BY) to the peoples;
they will bring(BZ) your sons in their arms
    and carry your daughters on their hips.(CA)
23 Kings(CB) will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.(CC)
They will bow down(CD) before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust(CE) at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;(CF)
    those who hope(CG) in me will not be disappointed.(CH)

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,(CI)
    or captives be rescued from the fierce[c]?

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives(CJ) will be taken from warriors,(CK)
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;(CL)
I will contend with those who contend with you,(CM)
    and your children I will save.(CN)
26 I will make your oppressors(CO) eat(CP) their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood,(CQ) as with wine.
Then all mankind will know(CR)
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,(CS)
    your Redeemer,(CT) the Mighty One of Jacob.(CU)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 49:5 Or him, / but Israel would not be gathered; / yet I will be
  2. Isaiah 49:12 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text Sinim
  3. Isaiah 49:24 Dead Sea Scrolls, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint and verse 25); Masoretic Text righteous
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Servant, the Light to the Gentiles

49 “Listen, (A)O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
(B)The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the [a]matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
And He has made (C)My mouth like a sharp sword;
(D)In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me (E)a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

“And He said to me,
(F)‘You are My servant, O Israel,
(G)In whom I will be glorified.’
(H)Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;
Yet surely my [b]just reward is with the Lord,
And my [c]work with my God.’ ”

“And now the Lord says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel (I)is [d]gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God shall be My strength),
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a (J)light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Thus says the Lord,
The Redeemer of Israel, [e]their Holy One,
(K)To Him [f]whom man despises,
To Him whom the nation abhors,
To the Servant of rulers:
(L)“Kings shall see and arise,
Princes also shall worship,
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
The Holy One of Israel;
And He has chosen You.”

Thus says the Lord:

“In an (M)acceptable[g] time I have heard You,
And in the day of salvation I have helped You;
I will [h]preserve You (N)and give You
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate [i]heritages;
That You may say (O)to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’

“They shall feed along the roads,
And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
10 They shall neither (P)hunger nor thirst,
(Q)Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;
For He who has mercy on them (R)will lead them,
Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
11 (S)I will make each of My mountains a road,
And My highways shall be elevated.
12 Surely (T)these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”

13 (U)Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.

God Will Remember Zion

14 (V)But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can(W) a woman forget her nursing child,
[j]And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
(X)Yet I will not forget you.
16 See, (Y)I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 Your [k]sons shall make haste;
Your destroyers and those who laid you waste
Shall go away from you.
18 (Z)Lift up your eyes, look around and see;
All these gather together and come to you.
As I live,” says the Lord,
“You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all (AA)as an ornament,
And bind them on you as a bride does.

19 “For your waste and desolate places,
And the land of your destruction,
(AB)Will even now be too small for the inhabitants;
And those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 (AC)The children you will have,
(AD)After you have lost the others,
Will say again in your ears,
‘The place is too small for me;
Give me a place where I may dwell.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have lost my children and am desolate,
A captive, and wandering to and fro?
And who has brought these up?
There I was, left alone;
But these, where were they?’ ”

22 (AE)Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations,
And set up My [l]standard for the peoples;
They shall bring your sons in their [m]arms,
And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;
23 (AF)Kings shall be your foster fathers,
And their queens your nursing mothers;
They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth,
And (AG)lick up the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord,
(AH)For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.”

24 (AI)Shall the prey be taken from the mighty,
Or the captives [n]of the righteous be delivered?

25 But thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
And the prey of the terrible be delivered;
For I will contend with him who contends with you,
And I will save your children.
26 I will (AJ)feed those who oppress you with their own flesh,
And they shall be drunk with their own (AK)blood as with sweet wine.
All flesh (AL)shall know
That I, the Lord, am your Savior,
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 49:1 Lit. inward parts
  2. Isaiah 49:4 justice
  3. Isaiah 49:4 recompense
  4. Isaiah 49:5 Qr., DSS, LXX gathered to Him; Kt. not gathered
  5. Isaiah 49:7 Lit. his or its
  6. Isaiah 49:7 Lit. who is despised of soul
  7. Isaiah 49:8 favorable
  8. Isaiah 49:8 keep
  9. Isaiah 49:8 inheritances
  10. Isaiah 49:15 Lit. From having compassion
  11. Isaiah 49:17 DSS, LXX, Tg., Vg. builders
  12. Isaiah 49:22 banner
  13. Isaiah 49:22 Lit. bosom
  14. Isaiah 49:24 So with MT, Tg.; DSS, Syr., Vg. of the mighty; LXX unjustly
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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