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Isaiah: Chapter 49

Christ, being sent to the Jews, complains of them, 1-4. He is sent to the Gentiles with gracious promises, 5-12. God's love is perpetual to his church, 13-17. The ample restoration of the church, 18-23. The powerful deliverance out of captivity, 24-26.

1 Listen to me, O islands, and listen, you people, from far. The LORD has called me from the womb. From the body of my mother he has made mention of my name.

2 And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword. In the shade of his hand he has hid me, and made me a polished shaft. In his quiver he has hid me,

3 And said to me, "You are my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

4 Then I said, "I have labored in vain. I have spent my strength for nothing, and in vain. Yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God."

5 And now, the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, though Israel is not gathered (yet I shall 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 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 Gentiles, so that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth."

7 Thus says the 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, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose you."

8 Thus says the LORD: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. And I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages,

9 So that you may say to the prisoners, 'Go forth,' to those who are in darkness, 'Show 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 who has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water he shall 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 behold, 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 has comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me."

15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Even they may forget, yet I will not forget you.

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

17 Your children shall make haste. Your destroyers and those who made you waste, shall go forth from you.

18 Lift up your eyes around, and behold. All these assemble themselves, and come to you. As I live," says the LORD, "you shall surely clothe yourself with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on yourself, as a bride does.

19 For your waste and your desolate places, and the land of your destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants. And those who swallowed you up shall be far away.

20 The children which you shall have, after you have lost the other, shall say again in your ears, 'The place is too narrow for me. Give place to me so that I may dwell.'

21 Then you shall say in your heart, 'Who has begotten these for me, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? And who has brought these up? Behold, I was left alone. These, where have they been?'"

22 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people. And they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They shall bow to you with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of your feet. And you shall know that I am the LORD, for they shall not be ashamed who wait for me.

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

25 But thus says 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 who contends with you, and I will save your children.

26 And I 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, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob."