Thus says the Lord,
“In a favorable time I have answered You,
And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To [a]restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
Saying to those who are bound, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
Along the roads they will feed,
And their pasture will be on all bare heights.
“They will not hunger or thirst,
Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
For He who has compassion on them will lead them
And will guide them to springs of water.
“I will make all My mountains a road,
And My highways will be raised up.
“Behold, these will come from afar;
And lo, these will come from the north and from the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”
Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth!
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.
Promise to Zion
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
“Your [b]builders hurry;
Your destroyers and devastators
Will depart from you.
“Lift up your eyes and look around;
All of them gather together, they come to you.
As I live,” declares the Lord,
“You will surely put on all of them as [c]jewels and bind them on as a bride.
“For your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land—
Surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants,
And those who swallowed you will be far away.
“The children of [d]whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears,
‘The place is too cramped for me;
Make room for me that I may live here.’
“Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have been bereaved of my children
And am barren, an exile and a wanderer?
And who has reared these?
Behold, I was left alone;
[e]From where did these come?’”
Thus says the Lord [f]God,
“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations
And set up My standard to the peoples;
And they will bring your sons in their bosom,
And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
“Kings will be your guardians,
And their princesses your nurses.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth
And lick the dust of your feet;
And you will know that I am the Lord;
Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.
“Can the prey be taken from the mighty man,
Or the captives of [g]a tyrant be rescued?”
Surely, thus says the Lord,
“Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away,
And the prey of the tyrant will be rescued;
For I will contend with the one who contends with you,
And I will save your sons.
“I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh,
And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine;
And all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
- Isaiah 49:8 Lit establish
- Isaiah 49:17 So ancient versions and DSS; M.T. reads sons
- Isaiah 49:18 Lit an ornament
- Isaiah 49:20 Lit your bereavement
- Isaiah 49:21 Lit These, where are they?
- Isaiah 49:22 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
- Isaiah 49:24 So ancient versions and DSS; M.T. reads the righteous, cf v 25
God Helps His Servant
Thus says the Lord,
“Where is the certificate of divorce
By which I have sent your mother away?
Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you?
Behold, you were sold for your iniquities,
And for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
“Why was there no man when I came?
When I called, why was there none to answer?
Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke,
I make the rivers a wilderness;
Their fish stink for lack of water
And die of thirst.
“I clothe the heavens with blackness
And make sackcloth their covering.”
The Lord [a]God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord God helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He who vindicates Me is near;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand up to each other;
Who has a case against Me?
Let him draw near to Me.
Behold, the Lord God helps Me;
Who is he who condemns Me?
Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;
The moth will eat them.
Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who [b]encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the [a]quarry from which you were dug.
“Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
When he was but one I called him,
Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”
Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.
“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My [b]nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will [c]set My justice for a light of the peoples.
“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me,
And for My arm they will wait expectantly.
“Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die [d]in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not [e]wane.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of the son of man who is made like grass,
That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor,
As he makes ready to destroy?
But where is the fury of the oppressor?
The [f]exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking. For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name). I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to [g]establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”
- Isaiah 51:1 Lit excavation of a pit
- Isaiah 51:4 Or people
- Isaiah 51:4 Lit cause to rest
- Isaiah 51:6 Or like gnats
- Isaiah 51:6 Lit be broken
- Isaiah 51:14 Lit one in chains
- Isaiah 51:16 Lit plant