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. 2 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. 3 He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” 4 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.”
5 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— 6 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.”
7 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.”
Restoration of Israel
8 This is what the Lord says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’
“They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12 See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.[b]”
13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17 Your children hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. 18 Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.
19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. 20 The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’ 21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?’”
22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips. 23 Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
24 Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce[c]?
25 But this is what the Lord says:
“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. 26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience
50 This is what the Lord says:
“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away. 2 When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.”
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. 5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. 6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. 7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. 8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! 9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. 11 But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
Isaiah 49:5Or him, / but Israel would not be gathered; / yet I will be
24 Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; 2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.
3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
5 The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. 6 Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.
7 Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
8 Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer. 9 The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker.
10 If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! 11 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. 12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. 14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling place; 16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, 20 for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials, 22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?
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