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Isaiah 49:5-7 New English Translation (NET Bible)

So now the Lord says,
the one who formed me from birth[a] to be his servant—
he did this[b] to restore Jacob to himself,
so that Israel might be gathered to him;
and I will be honored[c] in the Lord’s sight,
for my God is my source of strength[d]
he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,
to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the remnant[e] of Israel?[f]
I will make you a light to the nations,[g]
so you can bring[h] my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”
This is what the Lord,
the Protector[i] of Israel, their Holy One,[j] says
to the one who is despised[k] and rejected[l] by nations,[m]
a servant of rulers:
“Kings will see and rise in respect,[n]
princes will bow down,
because of the faithful Lord,
the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”


  1. Isaiah 49:5 tn Heb “from the womb” (so KJV, NASB).
  2. Isaiah 49:5 tn The words “he did this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the infinitive construct of purpose is subordinated to the previous statement.
  3. Isaiah 49:5 tn The vav (ו) + imperfect is translated here as a result clause; one might interpret it as indicating purpose, “and so I might be honored.”
  4. Isaiah 49:5 tn Heb “and my God is [perhaps, “having been”] my strength.” The disjunctive structure (vav [ו] + subject + verb) is interpreted here as indicating a causal circumstantial clause.
  5. Isaiah 49:6 tn Heb “the protected [or “preserved”] ones.”
  6. Isaiah 49:6 sn The question is purely rhetorical; it does not imply that the servant was dissatisfied with his commission or that he minimized the restoration of Israel.
  7. Isaiah 49:6 tn See the note at 42:6.
  8. Isaiah 49:6 tn Heb “be” (so KJV, ASV); CEV “you must take.”
  9. Isaiah 49:7 tn Heb “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
  10. Isaiah 49:7 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
  11. Isaiah 49:7 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “to [one who] despises life.” It is preferable to read with the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa לבזוי, which should be vocalized as a passive participle, לִבְזוּי (livzuy, “to the one despised with respect to life” [נֶפֶשׁ is a genitive of specification]). The consonantal sequence וי was probably misread as ה in the MT tradition. The contextual argument favors the 1QIsaa reading. As J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:294) points out, the three terse phrases “convey a picture of lowliness, worthlessness, and helplessness.”
  12. Isaiah 49:7 tn MT’s Piel participle (“to the one who rejects”) does not fit contextually. The form should be revocalized as a Pual, “to the one rejected.”
  13. Isaiah 49:7 tn Parallelism (see “rulers,” “kings,” “princes”) suggests that the singular גּוֹי (goy) be emended to a plural or understood in a collective sense (see 55:5).
  14. Isaiah 49:7 tn For this sense of קוּם (qum), see Gen 19:1; 23:7; 33:10; Lev 19:32; 1 Sam 20:41; 25:41; 1 Kgs 2:19; Job 29:8.
New English Translation (NET)

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