New Living Translation
The Lord’s Servant Commissioned
49 Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
from within the womb he called me by name.
2 He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
3 He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,
and you will bring me glory.”
4 I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
I will trust God for my reward.”
5 And now the Lord speaks—
the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant,
who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me,
and my God has given me strength.
6 He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
7 The Lord, the Redeemer
and Holy One of Israel,
says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations,
to the one who is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will stand at attention when you pass by.
Princes will also bow low
because of the Lord, the faithful one,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
Promises of Israel’s Restoration
8 This is what the Lord says:
“At just the right time, I will respond to you.[a]
On the day of salvation I will help you.
I will protect you and give you to the people
as my covenant with them.
Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel
and assign it to its own people again.
9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’
They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures
and on hills that were previously bare.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst.
The searing sun will not reach them anymore.
For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;
he will lead them beside cool waters.
11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.
The highways will be raised above the valleys.
12 See, my people will return from far away,
from lands to the north and west,
and from as far south as Egypt.[b]”
13 Sing for joy, O heavens!
Rejoice, O earth!
Burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
14 Yet Jerusalem[c] says, “The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.”
15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.
17 Soon your descendants will come back,
and all who are trying to destroy you will go away.
18 Look around you and see,
for all your children will come back to you.
As surely as I live,” says the Lord,
“they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display.
19 “Even the most desolate parts of your abandoned land
will soon be crowded with your people.
Your enemies who enslaved you
will be far away.
20 The generations born in exile will return and say,
‘We need more room! It’s crowded here!’
21 Then you will think to yourself,
‘Who has given me all these descendants?
For most of my children were killed,
and the rest were carried away into exile.
I was left here all alone.
Where did all these people come from?
Who bore these children?
Who raised them for me?’”
22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I will give a signal to the godless nations.
They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms;
they will bring your daughters on their shoulders.
23 Kings and queens will serve you
and care for all your needs.
They will bow to the earth before you
and lick the dust from your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”
24 Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior?
Who can demand that a tyrant[d] let his captives go?
25 But the Lord says,
“The captives of warriors will be released,
and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved.
For I will fight those who fight you,
and I will save your children.
26 I will feed your enemies with their own flesh.
They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood.
All the world will know that I, the Lord,
am your Savior and your Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Israel.[e]”
- 49:8 Greek version reads I heard you. Compare 2 Cor 6:2.
- 49:12 As in Dead Sea Scrolls, which read from the region of Aswan, which is in southern Egypt. Masoretic Text reads from the region of Sinim.
- 49:14 Hebrew Zion.
- 49:24 As in Dead Sea Scrolls, Syriac version, and Latin Vulgate (also see 49:25); Masoretic Text reads a righteous person.
- 49:26 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 14:1.
New International Version
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)
2 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.
3 He said to me, “You are my servant,(J)
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.(K)”
4 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)
5 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)—
6 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)
7 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
8 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)
9 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]”
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)”
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)”