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Isaiah 49:1–26

The Servant of the Lord

49 Listen to me, kO coastlands,

and give attention, you peoples lfrom afar.

mThe Lord called me from the womb,

from the body of my mother he named my name.

nHe made my mouth like a sharp sword;

oin the shadow of his hand he hid me;

he made me a polished arrow;

in his quiver he hid me away.

And he said to me, “You are my servant,

Israel, pin whom I will be glorified.”1

qBut I said, “I have labored in vain;

I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

yet surely my right is with the Lord,

and my recompense with my God.”

rAnd now the Lord says,

he mwho formed me from the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him;

and that Israel might be gathered to him—

for sI am honored in the eyes of the Lord,

and my God has become my strength—

he says:

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant

to raise up the tribes of Jacob

and to bring back the preserved of Israel;

tI will make you uas a light for the nations,

that vmy salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord,

wthe Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,

xto one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,

the servant of rulers:

y“Kings shall see and arise;

princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;

because of the Lord, who is faithful,

the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel

Thus says the Lord:

z“In a atime of favor I have answered you;

in a day of salvation I have helped you;

I will keep you band give you

as a covenant to the people,

to establish the land,

cto apportion the desolate heritages,

dsaying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’

to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’

eThey shall feed along the ways;

on all bare heights shall be their pasture;

10  fthey shall not hunger or thirst,

neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,

for he who has pity on them gwill lead them,

and by springs of water will guide them.

11  hAnd I will make all my mountains a road,

and my highways shall be raised up.

12  iBehold, these shall come from afar,

and behold, jthese from the north and from the west,2

and these from the land of Syene.”3

13  kSing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;

break forth, O mountains, into singing!

For the Lord lhas comforted his people

and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14  But Zion said, m“The Lord has forsaken me;

my Lord has forgotten me.”

15  n“Can a woman forget her nursing child,

that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,

yet I will not forget you.

16  Behold, oI have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me.

17  Your builders make haste;4

pyour destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.

18  qLift up your eyes around and see;

they all gather, they come to you.

rAs I live, declares the Lord,

syou shall put them all on as an ornament;

you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19  “Surely your waste and your desolate places

and your devastated land—

tsurely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,

and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

20  uThe children of your bereavement

will yet say in your ears:

t‘The place is too narrow for me;

make room for me to dwell in.’

21  Then you will say in your heart:

‘Who has borne me these?

uI was bereaved and barren,

exiled and put away,

but who has brought up these?

Behold, I was left alone;

from where have these come?’ ”

22  Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,

vand raise my signal to the peoples;

wand they shall bring your sons in their arms,5

and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

23  xKings shall be your foster fathers,

and their queens your nursing mothers.

yWith their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,

and zlick the dust of your feet.

Then you will know that I am the Lord;

athose who wait for me bshall not be put to shame.”

24  Can the prey be taken from the mighty,

or the captives of a tyrant6 be rescued?

25  For thus says the Lord:

c“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,

and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,

for I will contend with those who contend with you,

and I will save your children.

26  dI will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,

and they shall be drunk ewith their own blood as with wine.

Then all flesh shall know

that fI am the Lord your Savior,

and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

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