49 Listens to me, you islands;t
hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was bornu the Lord calledv me;
from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.w
2 He made my mouthx like a sharpened sword,y
in the shadow of his handz he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrowa
and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, “You are my servant,b
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.c”
4 But I said, “I have labored in vain;d
I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,e
and my rewardf is with my God.”g
he who formed me in the wombh to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israeli to himself,
for I ama honoredj in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strengthk—
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servantl
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.m
I will also make you a lightn for the Gentiles,o
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”p
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israelq—
to him who was despisedr and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
“Kingss will see you and stand up,
princes will see and bow down,t
because of the Lord, who is faithful,u
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosenv you.”
8 This is what the Lord says:
“In the time of my favorw I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;x
I will keepy you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,z
to restore the landa
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,b
9 to say to the captives,c ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness,d ‘Be free!’
“They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.e
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,f
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.g
He who has compassionh on them will guidei them
and lead them beside springsj of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highwaysk will be raised up.l
12 See, they will come from afarm—
some from the north, some from the west,n
some from the region of Aswan.b”
13 Shout for joy,o you heavens;
rejoice, you earth;p
burst into song, you mountains!q
For the Lord comfortsr his people
and will have compassions on his afflicted ones.t
14 But Zionu said, “The Lord has forsakenv me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the childw she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!x
16 See, I have engravedy you on the palms of my hands;
your wallsz are ever before me.
and those who laid you wastea depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your children gatherb and come to you.
As surely as I live,c” declares the Lord,
“you will weard them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.
19 “Though you were ruined and made desolatee
and your land laid waste,f
now you will be too small for your people,g
and those who devouredh 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.’i
21 Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who bore me these?j
I was bereavedk and barren;
I was exiled and rejected.l
Who brought thesem up?
but these—where have they come from?’ ”
22 This is what the Sovereign Lordp says:
“See, I will beckon to the nations,
I will lift up my bannerq to the peoples;
they will bringr your sons in their arms
and carry your daughters on their hips.s
23 Kingst will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.u
They will bow downv before you with their faces to the ground;
they will lick the dustw at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;x
those who hopey in me will not be disappointed.z”
24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,a
or captives be rescued from the fiercec?
25 But this is what the Lord says:
“Yes, captivesb will be taken from warriors,c
and plunder retrieved from the fierce;d
I will contend with those who contend with you,e
and your children I will save.f
26 I will make your oppressorsg eath their own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood,i as with wine.
Then all mankind will knowj
that I, the Lord, am your Savior,k
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