49 All of you ·people in faraway places [or islands; or coastlands], listen to me. ·Listen [Pay attention], all you nations far away. ·Before I was born [L From the womb], the Lord called me to serve him. The Lord named me while I was still in my mother’s womb [C this passage (49:1–13) is the second of four “servant songs” in Isaiah; 42:1]. 2 He made my ·tongue [mouth] like a sharp sword [C his words enact judgment; 11:4; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:16]. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me like a ·sharp [or polished] arrow. He hid me in ·the holder for his arrows [his quiver]. 3 He told me, “Israel, you are my servant. I will show my glory ·through [in] you.” 4 But I said, “I have worked hard ·for nothing [in vain]; I have used all my power, ·but I did nothing useful [for nothing; in futility]. But ·the Lord will decide what my work is worth [L my judgment/vindication is the Lord’s]; God will decide my reward.” 5 The Lord made me in the ·body [womb] of my mother to be his servant, to lead ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob] back to him so that Israel might be gathered to him. ·The Lord will honor me [L I am honored in the eyes of the Lord], and ·I will get my strength from my God [L God will be my strength]. 6 Now he told me, “·You are an important servant to me [It is too small a thing; or Is it too small a thing…?] to ·bring back [restore; raise up] the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the ·people of Israel who are left alive [remnant/preserved ones of Israel]. I will make you a light for the nations [42:6; Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47] so that my salvation will reach ·people all over the world [L the end of the earth].”
7 The Lord ·who saves you [the Redeemer], the Holy One of Israel [1:4]. says to the one who is ·hated [L despised and abhorred] by the ·people [or nation; or nations], to the servant of rulers. This is what he says: “Kings will see you and ·stand [rise; C to honor him]; ·great leaders [princes] will bow down before you, because the Lord ·can be trusted [is faithful]. He is the Holy One of Israel [1:4], who has chosen you.”
The Day of Salvation
8 This is what the Lord says:
“At the ·right time [time of favor] I will ·hear your prayers [answer you]. On the day of salvation I will help you [2 Cor. 6:2]. I will protect you, and ·you will be the sign of my agreement with [L I will give/establish you as a covenant for] the people [42:6]. ·You will bring back the people to the land [L …to restore/rebuild the land] and ·give the land that is now ruined back to its owners [L bequeath its desolate inheritances]. 9 You will tell the prisoners, ‘·Come out [42:7].’ You will tell those in darkness, ‘·Come into the light [Show yourselves; Appear].’ ·The people [L They] will ·eat [feed; graze] beside the roads [C the people are symbolically pictured as sheep], and they will find ·food [pasture] even on bare hills. 10 They will not be hungry or thirsty. Neither the ·desert wind [L heat] nor the hot sun will ·hurt [strike] them. The God who comforts them will lead them and guide them by springs of water. 11 I will make my mountains into roads, and the ·roads [highways] will be raised up [C to make a level road; 40:4]. 12 Look, people are coming to me from far away, from the north and from the west, from ·Aswan in southern Egypt [L the land of Sinim].”
13 Heavens, shout with joy; earth, be happy; mountains, burst into song, because the Lord comforts his people and will have ·pity [compassion] on ·those who suffer [the oppressed].
Jerusalem and Her Children
14 But ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple] said, “The Lord has ·left [abandoned; forsaken] me; the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 The Lord answers, “Can a woman forget the baby she nurses? Can she feel no kindness for the child ·to which she gave birth [of her womb]? Even if she could forget her children, I will not forget you. 16 See, I have ·written [engraved; inscribed] your name on my ·hand [palms]. ·Jerusalem, I always think about your walls [L Your walls are always before me; C destroyed by the Babylonians]. 17 Your children ·will soon return to you [L hurry; hasten], and the people who defeated you and destroyed you will leave. 18 ·Look up [L Lift up your eyes] and look around you. All your children are gathering to return to you.” The Lord says, “As surely as I live, ·your children will be [L you will wear them all] like ·jewels [or ornaments] ·that a bride wears proudly [L you will put them on like a bride].
19 “You were destroyed and defeated, and your land was made ·useless [desolate]. But now you will have more people than the land can hold, and those people who ·destroyed [devoured] you will be far away. 20 The children ·born to you while you were sad [L of your bereavement] will say to you, ‘This place is too small for us. Give us a bigger place to live.’ 21 Then you will say ·to yourself [L in your heart], ‘Who ·gave me all these children [bore me these]? I was ·sad [bereaved] and ·lonely [barren], ·defeated [rejected] and ·separated from my people [exiled]. So who reared these children? I was left all alone. Where did all these children come from?’”
22 This is what the Lord God says: “See, I will lift my hand ·to signal [L to] the nations; I will raise my banner for all the people to see. Then they will bring your sons back to you in their ·arms [L bosom; lap], and they will carry your daughters on their shoulders [C Jews returning from exile are pictured as children returning to their parents]. 23 Kings will ·teach your children [be guardians/foster parents], and ·daughters of kings [princesses; or queens] will take care of them. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground and ·kiss the dirt [lick the dust] at your feet. Then you will know I am the Lord. Anyone who ·trusts in [hopes in; waits on] me will not be ·disappointed [or ashamed].”
24 Can ·the wealth a soldier wins in war [spoils; plunder] be taken away from ·him [a warrior; a strong man]? Can a prisoner be freed from a ·powerful soldier [tyrant][a]? 25 This is what the Lord says: “The ·prisoners [captives] will be taken from the ·strong soldiers [mighty one]. ·What the soldiers have taken will be saved [L …and spoils/plunder rescued from the tyrant]. I will fight ·your enemies [L those who fight with you], and I will save your children. 26 I will force ·those who trouble you [your enemies/oppressors] to eat their own flesh. Their own blood will be the wine that makes them drunk. Then ·everyone [all flesh] will know I, the Lord, am the One who saves you; I am the Powerful One of Jacob ·who saves you [your redeemer].”
Isaiah 49:24tyrant The Dead Sea Scrolls read “tyrant.” Some Hebrew copies have “righteous one.”
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.