1Listen, islands, to me; and listen, you peoples, from far: Yahweh has
called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of
2and he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of
his hand has he hid me: and he has made me a polished shaft; in his quiver
has he kept me close:
3and he said to me, You are my servant; Israel, in
whom I will be glorified.
4But 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 Yahweh, and my recompense with my God.
5Now says Yahweh 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 Yahweh, and
my God is become my strength);
6yes, he says, It is too light a thing
that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore
the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the nations,
that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.
7Thus says Yahweh,
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; princes, and they shall worship; because of Yahweh who is faithful,
even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.
Yahweh, In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation
have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of
the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage:
9saying to those who are bound, Go forth; to those who are in darkness,
Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall
be their pasture.
10They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the
heat nor sun strike them: for he who has mercy on them will lead them, even
by springs of water he will guide them.
11I will make all my mountains a
way, and my highways shall be exalted.
12Behold, these shall come from
far; and behold, these from the north and from the west; and these from the
land of Sinim.
13Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; and break forth
into singing, mountains: for Yahweh has comforted his people, and will have
compassion on his afflicted.
14But Zion said, Yahweh has forsaken me, and
the Lord has forgotten me.
15Can a woman forget her sucking child, that
she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of
my hands; your walls are continually before me.
17Your children make
haste; your destroyers and those who made you waste shall go forth from you.
18Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all these gather themselves
together, and come to you. As I live, says Yahweh, you shall surely clothe
you with them all as with an ornament, and gird yourself with them, like a
19For, as for your waste and your desolate places, and your land
that has been destroyed, surely now shall you be too small for the
inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up shall be far away.
children of your bereavement shall yet say in your ears, The place is too
small for me; give place to me that I may dwell.
21Then shall you say in
your heart, Who has conceived these for me, seeing I have been bereaved of my
children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? and who
has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?
22Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the
nations, and set up my banner to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons
in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23Kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing
mothers: they shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick
the dust of your feet; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; and those who
wait for me shall not be disappointed.
24Shall the prey be taken from the
mighty, or the lawful captives be delivered?
25But thus says Yahweh, 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 you, and I
will save your children.
26I will feed those who oppress you with their
own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet
wine: and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior, and your
Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.