Isaiah 49–50

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:

yKings 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.

Thus says the Lord:

zIn 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, mThe Lord has forsaken me;

my Lord has forgotten me.

15  nCan 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:

tThe 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:

cEven 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.

Thus says the Lord:

Where is gyour mother’s certificate of divorce,

with which hI sent her away?

Or iwhich of my creditors is it

to whom I have sold you?

jBehold, for your iniquities you were sold,

and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

kWhy, when I came, was there no man;

why, when I called, was there no one to answer?

lIs my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?

Or have I no power to deliver?

mBehold, by my rebuke nI dry up the sea,

oI make the rivers a desert;

ptheir fish stink for lack of water

and die of thirst.

qI clothe the heavens with blackness

and make sackcloth their covering.

The Lord God has given rme

the tongue of those who are taught,

that sI may know how to sustain with a word

thim who is weary.

Morning by morning he awakens;

he awakens my ear

to hear as those who are taught.

uThe Lord God has opened my ear,

vand I was not rebellious;

I turned not backward.

wI gave my back to those who strike,

and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;

I hid not my face

from disgrace and spitting.

But the Lord God helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

xtherefore I have set my face like a flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

yHe who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who is my adversary?

Let him come near to me.

zBehold, the Lord God helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;

the moth will eat them up.

10  Who among you fears the Lord

and obeys athe voice of his servant?

bLet him who walks in darkness

and has no light

trust in the name of the Lord

and rely on his God.

11  Behold, all you who kindle a fire,

who equip yourselves with burning torches!

Walk by the light of your fire,

and by the torches that you have kindled!

cThis you have from my hand:

you shall lie down in torment.

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