New English Translation
Ideal Israel Delivers the Exiles
1 Listen to me, you coastlands! Pay attention, you people who live far away! The LORD summoned me from birth; he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, he hid me in the hollow of his hand; he made me like a sharpened arrow, he hid me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, through whom I will reveal my splendor."
4 But I thought, "I have worked in vain; I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing." But the LORD will vindicate me; my God will reward me.
5 So now the LORD says, the one who formed me from birth to be his servant - he did this to restore Jacob to himself, so that Israel might be gathered to him; and I will be honored in the LORD's sight, for my God is my source of strength -
6 he says, "Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant, to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and restore the remnant of Israel? I will make you a light to the nations, so you can bring my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth."
7 This is what the LORD, the protector of Israel, their Holy One, says to the one who is despised and rejected by nations, a servant of rulers: "Kings will see and rise in respect, princes will bow down, because of the faithful LORD, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you."
8 This is what the LORD says: "At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you; in the day of deliverance I will help you; I will protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people, to rebuild the land and to reassign the desolate property.
9 You will say to the prisoners, 'Come out,' and to those who are in dark dungeons, 'Emerge.' They will graze beside the roads; on all the slopes they will find pasture.
10 They will not be hungry or thirsty; the sun's oppressive heat will not beat down on them, for one who has compassion on them will guide them; he will lead them to springs of water.
11 I will make all my mountains into a road; I will construct my roadways."
12 Look, they come from far away! Look, some come from the north and west, and others from the land of Sinim!
13 Shout for joy, O sky! Rejoice, O earth! Let the mountains give a joyful shout! For the LORD consoles his people and shows compassion to the oppressed.
The LORD Remembers Zion
14 "Zion said, 'The LORD has abandoned me, the sovereign master has forgotten me.'
15 Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!
16 Look, I have inscribed your name on my palms; your walls are constantly before me.
17 Your children hurry back, while those who destroyed and devastated you depart.
18 Look all around you! All of them gather to you. As surely as I live," says the LORD, "you will certainly wear all of them like jewelry; you will put them on as if you were a bride.
19 Yes, your land lies in ruins; it is desolate and devastated. But now you will be too small to hold your residents, and those who devoured you will be far away.
20 Yet the children born during your time of bereavement will say within your hearing, 'This place is too cramped for us, make room for us so we can live here.'
21 Then you will think to yourself, 'Who bore these children for me? I was bereaved and barren, dismissed and divorced. Who raised these children? Look, I was left all alone; where did these children come from?'"
22 This is what the sovereign LORD says: "Look I will raise my hand to the nations; I will raise my signal flag to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23 Kings will be your children's guardians; their princesses will nurse your children. With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you and they will lick the dirt on your feet. Then you will recognize that I am the LORD; those who wait patiently for me are not put to shame.
24 Can spoils be taken from a warrior, or captives be rescued from a conqueror?
25 Indeed," says the LORD, "captives will be taken from a warrior; spoils will be rescued from a conqueror. I will oppose your adversary and I will rescue your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will get drunk on their own blood, as if it were wine. Then all humankind will recognize that I am the LORD, your deliverer, your protector, the powerful ruler of Jacob."
King James Version
1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.
5 ¶ And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest 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 mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
12 Behold, 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 the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.
18 ¶ Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.
19 For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.
20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.
21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, 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 face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
24 ¶ Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
25 But thus saith the 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 that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
26 And I will feed them that 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 the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.