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Second Servant Song: Light of the Nations

49 Listen, to Me, islands!
Pay attention, peoples far away.
Adonai called Me from the womb,
from My mother’s belly He named Me.
He made My mouth like a sharp sword.
In the shadow of His hand He hid Me.
He made Me a polished arrow,
He has hidden Me in His quiver.
He said to Me, “You are My servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

But I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and futility.
Yet surely the justice due to me is with Adonai,
and my reward with my God.”

So now says Adonai,
    who formed Me from the womb to be His servant,
to bring Jacob back to Him,
to gather Israel back to Him.
For I am honored in the eyes of Adonai
and My God has become my strength.
So He says,
“It is too trifling a thing that You should be My servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and restore the preserved ones of Israel.
So I will give You as a light for the nations,
    that You should be My salvation to the end of the earth.”[a]
Thus says Adonai,
the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One,
to the One despised,[b] to the One the nation abhors,
to a servant of rulers:
“Kings will see and arise,
    princes will also bow down,
because of Adonai who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

Compassion on Zion’s Children

Thus says Adonai:
“In a time of favor I will answer you.
In a day of salvation I will help you.
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
to restore the land,
    to make them possess its desolate inheritances,
saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’
    to those in darkness, ‘Be shown!’
Along the roads they will graze—
    their pasture will be on all the barren heights.
10 They will not hunger or thirst,
nor scorching wind or sun strike them,
for their compassionate One will lead them,
    and will guide them by springs of water.
11 I will make all My mountains a road,
and My highways will be raised up.

12 “Behold, these shall come from afar.
behold, these from the north and from the west,
and from the land of Sinim.
13 Shout for joy, heavens!
Rejoice, earth!
Break forth into ringing shouts, O mountains!
For Adonai has comforted His people
and has compassion on His afflicted.”

14 But Zion said: “Adonai has forsaken me,
Adonai has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing baby
or lack compassion for a child of her womb?
Even if these forget,
I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you
    on the palms of My hands.
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 Your children will come quickly.
Your destroyers and devastators will go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see:
all of them will gather and come to you.”
“As I live”
—it is Adonai’s declaration—
“you will wear them all as jewelry
    and bind them on like a bride.”
19 For your waste and desolate places
and your destroyed land
    will now be surely too small for the inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears,
“The place is too cramped for me!
Make room for me to settle in.”
21 Then you will say in your heart,
“Who has borne these for me?
Wasn’t I bereaved of my children—
    barren, an exile and wandering?
So who has raised these?
Behold, I was left alone—
    these, where were they?”

22 Thus says Adonai Elohim:
“Look, I will lift My hand to the nations,
and raise My banner to the peoples!
They will bring your sons on their chest,
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23 Kings will be your guardians,
their princesses your nurses.
They will bow down to you with their face to the ground,
    and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am Adonai
those hoping in Me will not be ashamed.”

24 Can plunder be taken from the mighty,
or captives of the righteous freed?
25 For thus says Adonai:
“Yes, captives of the mighty will be taken
and the prey of the tyrant will be freed.
For I will oppose your adversary.
I will save your children.
26 I will feed your oppressors their flesh.
They will be drunk with their blood as with sweet wine.
Then all flesh will know
    that I, Adonai, am your Savior
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”