Isaiah 49

1 Listen, O isles, to me, and hearken, ye peoples from far. LORD has called me from the womb. From the bowels of my mother he has made mention of my name.

2 And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword. He has hid me in the shadow of his hand, and he has made me a polished shaft. He has kept me close in his quiver.

3 And he said to me, Thou are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

4 But 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 LORD, and my recompense with my God.

5 And now says LORD who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, and that Israel be gathered to him (for I am honorable in the eyes of LORD, and my God has become my strength),

6 yea, he says, It is too light a thing that thou should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou may be my salvation to the e

7 Thus says LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers. Kings shall see and arise, rulers, and they shall worship, because of LORD who is faithful

8 Thus says LORD, In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in a day of salvation I have helped thee. And I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate he

9 saying to those who are bound, Go forth to those who are in darkness. Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pasture shall be on all bare heights.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them. For he who has mercy on them will lead them. He will guide them even by springs of water.

11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

12 Lo, these shall come from far, and, lo, these 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 LORD has comforted his people, and will have compassion upon his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, LORD has forsaken me, and LORD has forgotten me.

15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, these may forget, yet I will not forget thee.

16 Behold, I have engraved thee upon the palms of my hands. Thy walls are continually before me.

17 Thy sons make haste. Thy destroyers and those who made thee waste shall go forth from thee.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold. All these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, says LORD, thou shall surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and gird thyself with them, like a bride.

19 For, as for thy waste and thy desolate places, and thy land that has been destroyed, surely now thou shall be too narrow for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed thee up shall be far away.

20 The sons of thy bereavement shall yet say in thine ears, The place is too narrow for me. Give a place to me that I may dwell.

21 Then thou shall say in thy heart, Who has begotten these for me, seeing I have been bereaved of my sons, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone, these, where were

22 Thus says lord LORD: Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my ensign to the peoples. And they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers. They shall bow down to thee with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust of thy feet. And thou shall know that I am LORD, and those who wait for me s

24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives be delivered?

25 But thus says LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered. For I will contend with him who contends with thee, and I will save thy sons.

26 And I will feed those who oppress thee with their own flesh. And they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine. And all flesh shall know that I, LORD, am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.