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Isaiah 49:1-7 Good News Translation (GNT)

Israel, A Light to the Nations

49 Listen to me, distant nations,
    you people who live far away!
Before I was born, the Lord chose me
    and appointed me to be his servant.
He made my words as sharp as a sword.
    With his own hand he protected me.[a]
He made me like an arrow,
    sharp and ready for use.
He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;
    because of you, people will praise me.”

I said, “I have worked, but how hopeless it is!
    I have used up my strength, but have accomplished nothing.”
Yet I can trust the Lord to defend my cause;
    he will reward me for what I do.

Before I was born, the Lord appointed me;
    he made me his servant to bring back his people,
    to bring back the scattered people of Israel.
The Lord gives me honor;
    he is the source of my strength.

The Lord said to me,

“I have a greater task for you, my servant.
    Not only will you restore to greatness
    the people of Israel who have survived,
but I will also make you a light to the nations—
    so that all the world may be saved.”

Israel's holy God and savior says
    to the one who is deeply despised,
    who is hated by the nations
    and is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you released
    and will rise to show their respect;
princes also will see it,
    and they will bow low to honor you.”

This will happen because the Lord has chosen his servant;
the holy God of Israel keeps his promises.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 49:2 With his own hand … me; or He kept me hidden in his hand.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Isaiah 49:1-7 The Message (MSG)

A Light for the Nations

49 1-3 Listen, far-flung islands,
    pay attention, faraway people:
God put me to work from the day I was born.
    The moment I entered the world he named me.
He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate.
    He kept his hand on me to protect me.
He made me his straight arrow
    and hid me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You’re my dear servant,
    Israel, through whom I’ll shine.”

But I said, “I’ve worked for nothing.
    I’ve nothing to show for a life of hard work.
Nevertheless, I’ll let God have the last word.
    I’ll let him pronounce his verdict.”

5-6 “And now,” God says,
    this God who took me in hand
    from the moment of birth to be his servant,
To bring Jacob back home to him,
    to set a reunion for Israel—
What an honor for me in God’s eyes!
    That God should be my strength!
He says, “But that’s not a big enough job for my servant—
    just to recover the tribes of Jacob,
    merely to round up the strays of Israel.
I’m setting you up as a light for the nations
    so that my salvation becomes global!

God, Redeemer of Israel, The Holy of Israel,
    says to the despised one, kicked around by the nations,
    slave labor to the ruling class:
“Kings will see, get to their feet—the princes, too—
    and then fall on their faces in homage
Because of God, who has faithfully kept his word,
    The Holy of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Isaiah 49:1-7 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.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 49:5 Or him, / but Israel would not be gathered; / yet I will be
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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