Modern English Version
The Servant of the Lord
49 Listen to me, O coastlands,
and pay attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb;
from the body of my mother He named me.
2 He has made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of His hand He has hidden me
and made me a select arrow;
in His quiver He has hidden me.
3 He said to me, “You are My servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 Then I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity,
yet surely the justice due to me is with the Lord,
and my reward with my God.”
5 Now says the Lord,
who formed me from the womb to be His servant,
to bring Jacob back to Him,
so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(yet I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God is my strength),
6 He says,
“It is a light thing that you should be My servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make you a light to the nations
so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
7 Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One,
to the despised one, to the one whom the nation abhors,
to the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise,
princes also shall worship,
because of the Lord who is faithful
and the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
The Restoration of Israel
8 Thus says the Lord:
In an acceptable time I have heard you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you;
and I will preserve you, and give you
as a covenant of the people,
to restore the earth,
to make them inherit the desolate heritages,
9 saying to the prisoners, “Go forth,”
to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.”
They shall feed along the paths,
and their pastures shall be in all desolate heights;
10 they shall not hunger nor thirst,
neither shall the heat nor sun strike them;
for He who has mercy on them shall lead them,
even by the springs of water He shall guide them.
11 I will make all My mountains a road,
and My highways shall be raised up.
12 See, these shall come from afar;
and these will come from the north and from the west,
and these from the land of Sinim.
13 Sing, O heavens!
And be joyful, O earth!
And break forth into singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people
and will have mercy on His afflicted.
14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
and the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 Can a woman forget her nursing child,
and have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are continually before Me;
17 your builders hurry;
your destroyers and those who devastated you shall depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look all around;
all these gather themselves together and come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
you shall surely put on all of them as ornaments
and bind them on you as a bride does.
19 For your waste and your desolate places,
and the land of your destruction,
shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up shall be far away.
20 The children whom you shall have,
after you have lost the others,
shall say again in your ears,
“The place is too cramped for me;
make room for me that I may dwell here.”
21 Then you shall say in your heart,
“Who bore these for me,
since I have lost my children and am barren,
a captive and a wanderer?
And who has brought these up?
I was left alone;
from where did these come?”
22 Thus says the Lord God:
See, I will lift up My hand to the nations
and set up My standard to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their arms,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;
23 kings shall be your foster fathers
and their queens your nursing mothers;
they shall bow down to you with their faces toward the ground
and lick up the dust of your feet.
And you shall know that I am the Lord,
for those who wait for Me shall not be ashamed.
24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty
or the captives of a tyrant be delivered?
25 For thus says the Lord:
Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
and the prey of the tyrant shall be delivered;
for I will contend with him who contends with you,
and I will save your sons.
26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine.
And all flesh shall know
that I, the Lord, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.