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Isaiah 49New Life Version (NLV)

The Servant of the Lord

49 Listen to Me, O islands. Listen, you people from far away. The Lord called Me before I was born. From the body of My mother he said My name. He has made My mouth like a sharp sword. He has hidden Me in the shadow of His hand. He has made Me a shining arrow, keeping Me in His secret place. And He said to Me, “You are My Servant Israel, in Whom I will show My shining-greatness.” But I said, “My work has been for nothing. I have spent My strength for nothing. Yet for sure what should come to Me is with the Lord, and My reward is with My God.”

And now the Lord speaks, Who made Me before I was born to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, that Israel might be gathered to Him. For I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and My God is My strength. He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the family groups of Jacob, and to bring back those of Israel I have kept safe. I will also make You a light to the nations, so that men over all the earth can be saved from the punishment of their sins.” This is what the Lord, the One Who saves Israel, and its Holy One, says to the hated One, to the One hated by the nations, to the Servant of rulers: “Kings will see and rise up. Rulers will also bow down, because of the Lord Who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel Who has chosen You.”

Israel as a Nation

The Lord says, “I have answered You at the right time. I have helped You in a day when people are saved. I will keep You and give You for an agreement to the people, to make the land good again, and to give them their land which had been destroyed. I will say to those in prison, ‘Come out,’ and to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ They will eat along the roads, and find grass on all the hills. 10 They will not be hungry or thirsty. The burning heat of the sun will not trouble them. For He Who has loving-pity on them will lead them. He will lead them to wells of water. 11 And I will make all My mountains a road. My straight roads will be raised up. 12 See, these will come from far away. See, these will come from the north and from the west, and from the land of Sinim.” 13 Sing for joy, O heavens! Be glad, O earth! Break out into songs of joy, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people. He will have loving-pity on His suffering people.

God Remembers Zion

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has left me alone. The Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child? Can she have no pity on the son to whom she gave birth? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16 See, I have marked your names on My hands. Your walls are always before Me. 17 Your builders hurry. And those who destroy you will leave you. 18 Lift up your eyes and look around. All of them gather together and come to you. As I live,” says the Lord, “you will put them on like objects of beauty. You will tie them on as a bride does. 19 For your waste places and your destroyed land will now be too small for the people. And those who destroyed you will be far away. 20 The children born to you during the time of your sorrow will say for you to hear, ‘The place is too small for us. Make a bigger place for us to live in.’ 21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has given birth to these for me? My children were taken from me, and I could not give birth. I was sent away and had no place of my own. Who has brought up these children? See, I was left alone. Where have these come from?’”

22 The Lord God says, “See, I will lift up My hand to the nations. I will raise My flag to the people. And they will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. 23 Kings will take care of you as fathers. And their queens will be your nursing mothers. They will bow down to you with their faces to the ground, and kiss the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who wait for Me with hope will not be put to shame. 24 “Can that which was taken by a strong man in battle be taken from him? Can those taken away to prison by a powerful ruler be saved?” 25 The Lord says, “Even those taken away by the strong man will be taken from him. Those taken by the powerful ruler will be saved. For I will fight with the one who fights with you, and I will save your sons. 26 I will feed those who make it hard for you with their own flesh. They will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. Then all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am the One Who saves you, and the One Who bought you, the Powerful One of Jacob.”

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International

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