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Isaiah 49 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Yahweh’s Servant Brings Salvation

49 Listen to me, coastlands,
    and listen attentively, peoples from far away!
Yahweh called me from the womb;
    from the body[a] of my mother he made my name known.
And he made[b] my mouth like a sharp sword;
    he hid me in the shadow of his hand,
and he made[c] me like an sharpened arrow;
    he hid me in his quiver.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will show my glory.”
But[d] I myself said, “I have labored in[e] vain;
    I have used up my strength for nothing and vanity!
Nevertheless, my justice is with Yahweh,
    and my reward is with my God.”
And now Yahweh says,
    who formed me from the womb as a servant for him,
to bring Jacob back to him,
    and that Israel might not[f] be gathered,
for[g] I am honored in the eyes of Yahweh,
    and my God has become my strength.

And he says, “It is trivial for you to be[h] a servant for me,

to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to bring back the preserved of Israel.
I will give you as a light to the nations,
    to be my salvation to the end of the earth.”

Thus says Yahweh, the redeemer of Israel, his holy one,

to the one who despises[i] life,
    to the one who abhors the nation,
    to the slave of rulers:
“Kings shall see and stand up;
    princes, and they shall bow down,
for the sake of Yahweh, who is faithful,
    the holy one of Israel, and he has chosen you.”

Yahweh Restores the Afflicted

Thus says Yahweh:

“I have answered you in a time of favor,
    and helped you on a day of salvation,
and watched over you,
    and given you as a covenant of the people,
to raise up the land,
    to give the desolate hereditary property as an inheritance,
saying to the prisoners,[j] “Come out!”
    to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves!”
they shall feed along[k] the ways,
    and their pasturage shall be on all the barren heights.
10 They shall not be hungry or thirsty,
    and heat and sun shall not strike them,
for he who takes pity on them will lead them,
    and he will guide them to springs of water.
11 And I will make[l] all my mountains like a road,
    and my highways shall lead up.[m]
12 Look! These shall come from afar,
    And look! These from the north and from the west
    and these from the land of Sinim.”
13 Sing for joy, heavens, and rejoice, earth!
    Mountains must break forth in rejoicing!
For Yahweh has comforted his people,
    and he will take pity on his afflicted ones.

Yahweh Remembers Zion

14 But[n] Zion said, “Yahweh has forsaken me,
    and the Lord has forgotten me!”
15 Can a woman forget her suckling,
    refrain from having compassion on the child of her womb?
Indeed, these may forget,
    but[o] I, I will not forget you!
16 Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.
17 Your children hasten;
    your destroyers and those who laid you waste depart[p] from you.
18 Lift your eyes up all around and see;
    all of them gather; they come to you.
As surely as I live,[q]
    declares[r] Yahweh,
surely you shall put on all of them like an ornament,
    and you shall bind them on like a bride.

19 Surely your sites of ruins and desolate places and land of ruins,[s]

surely now you will be too cramped for your[t] inhabitants,[u]
    and those who engulfed you will be far away.

20 Yet the children born when you were bereaved[v] will say in your hearing,[w]

“The place is too cramped for me;
    make room[x] for me so that I can dwell.”

21 Then[y] you will say in your heart,

“Who has borne me these?”
    And, “I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and thrust away;
    so[z] who raised these?
Look at me! I was left alone;
    where have these come from?”[aa]

22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh:

“Look! I will lift my hand up to the nations,
    and I will raise my signal to the peoples,
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.[ab]
23 And kings shall be your guardians,[ac]
    and their queens your nurses.
They shall bow down, faces[ad] to the ground, to you,
    and they will lick up the dust of your feet.
Then[ae] you will know that I am Yahweh;
    those who await me shall not be ashamed.
24 Can war-booty be taken from the mighty?
    or can a captive of a righteous[af] person be rescued?

25 But thus says Yahweh:

“Indeed a captive of the mighty shall be taken,
    and the war-booty of the tyrant shall be rescued,
for[ag] I myself will dispute with your opponent,
    and I myself will save your children.
26 And I will feed your oppressors their own flesh,
    and they shall be drunk with their blood as with wine.
Then[ah] all flesh shall know that I am Yahweh,
    your savior and redeemer, the strong one of Jacob.”


  1. Isaiah 49:1 Literally “intestines”
  2. Isaiah 49:2 Literally “put”
  3. Isaiah 49:2 Literally “put”
  4. Isaiah 49:4 Or “And”
  5. Isaiah 49:4 Or “for”
  6. Isaiah 49:5 The reading tradition (Qere) has “to him”
  7. Isaiah 49:5 Or “and”
  8. Isaiah 49:6 Literally “from being you”
  9. Isaiah 49:7 A Dead Sea Scroll reads “is despised with respect to
  10. Isaiah 49:9 Literally “captured ones”
  11. Isaiah 49:9 Literally “on”
  12. Isaiah 49:11 Literally “put”
  13. Isaiah 49:11 Or “be high”
  14. Isaiah 49:14 Or “And”
  15. Isaiah 49:15 Or “and”
  16. Isaiah 49:17 Or “move away”
  17. Isaiah 49:18 Literally “Life I”
  18. Isaiah 49:18 Literally “declaration of”
  19. Isaiah 49:19 Hebrew “ruin”
  20. Isaiah 49:19 Literally “cramped by”
  21. Isaiah 49:19 Hebrew “inhabitant”
  22. Isaiah 49:20 Literally “of your bereavement”
  23. Isaiah 49:20 Literally “ears”
  24. Isaiah 49:20 Literally “approach”
  25. Isaiah 49:21 Or “And”
  26. Isaiah 49:21 Or “and”
  27. Isaiah 49:21 Literally “these where they”
  28. Isaiah 49:22 Hebrew “shoulder”
  29. Isaiah 49:23 Literally “those who nurture”
  30. Isaiah 49:23 Literally “noses”
  31. Isaiah 49:23 Or “And”
  32. Isaiah 49:24 The Dead Sea Scroll has “violent”
  33. Isaiah 49:25 Or “and”
  34. Isaiah 49:26 Or “And”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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Isaiah 49 New International Version (NIV)

The Servant of the Lord

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

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

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

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

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

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

13 Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
    the Lord has forgotten me.”

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

19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate
    and your land laid waste,
now you will be too small for your people,
    and those who devoured 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.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.
    Who brought these up?
I was left all alone,
    but these—where have they come from?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

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

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

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and your children I will save.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.


  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)

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