Yahweh’s Servant Brings Salvation
1Listen to me, coastlands,
and listen attentively, peoples from far away!
Yahweh called me from the womb;
from the body#Literally “intestines” of my mother he made my name known.
2And he made#Literally “put” my mouth like a sharp sword;
he hid me in the shadow of his hand,
and he made#Literally “put” me like an sharpened arrow;
he hid me in his quiver.
3And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will show my glory.”
4But#Or “And” I myself said, “I have labored in#Or “for” vain;
I have used up my strength for nothing and vanity!
Nevertheless, my justice is with Yahweh,
and my reward is with my God.”
5And now Yahweh says,
who formed me from the womb as a servant for him,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might not#The reading tradition (Qere) has “to him” be gathered,
for#Or “and” I am honored in the eyes of Yahweh,
and my God has become my strength.
6And he says, “It is trivial for you to be#Literally “from being you” a servant for me,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel.
I will give you as a light to the nations,
to be my salvation to the end of the earth.”
7Thus says Yahweh, the redeemer of Israel, his holy one,
to the one who despises#A Dead Sea Scroll reads “is despised with respect to” life,
to the one who abhors the nation,
to the slave of rulers:
“Kings shall see and stand up;
princes, and they shall bow down,
for the sake of Yahweh, who is faithful,
the holy one of Israel, and he has chosen you.”
Yahweh Restores the Afflicted
8Thus says Yahweh:
“I have answered you in a time of favor,
and helped you on a day of salvation,
and watched over you,
and given you as a covenant of the people,
to raise up the land,
to give the desolate hereditary property as an inheritance,
9saying to the prisoners,#Literally “captured ones” “Come out!”
to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves!”
they shall feed along#Literally “on” the ways,
and their pasturage shall be on all the barren heights.
10They shall not be hungry or thirsty,
and heat and sun shall not strike them,
for he who takes pity on them will lead them,
and he will guide them to springs of water.
11And I will make#Literally “put” all my mountains like a road,
and my highways shall lead up.#Or “be high”
12Look! These shall come from afar,
And look! These from the north and from the west
and these from the land of Sinim.”
13Sing for joy, heavens, and rejoice, earth!
Mountains must break forth in rejoicing!
For Yahweh has comforted his people,
and he will take pity on his afflicted ones.
Yahweh Remembers Zion
14But#Or “And” Zion said, “Yahweh has forsaken me,
and the Lord has forgotten me!”
15Can a woman forget her suckling,
refrain from having compassion on the child of her womb?
Indeed, these may forget,
but#Or “and” I, I will not forget you!
16Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
17Your children hasten;
your destroyers and those who laid you waste depart#Or “move away” from you.
18Lift your eyes up all around and see;
all of them gather; they come to you.
As surely as I live,#Literally “Life I”
declares#Literally “declaration of” Yahweh,
surely you shall put on all of them like an ornament,
and you shall bind them on like a bride.
19Surely your sites of ruins and desolate places and land of ruins,#Hebrew “ruin”
surely now you will be too cramped for your#Literally “cramped by” inhabitants,#Hebrew “inhabitant”
and those who engulfed you will be far away.
20Yet the children born when you were bereaved#Literally “of your bereavement” will say in your hearing,#Literally “ears”
“The place is too cramped for me;
make room#Literally “approach” for me so that I can dwell.”
21Then#Or “And” you will say in your heart,
“Who has borne me these?”
And, “I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and thrust away;
so#Or “and” who raised these?
Look at me! I was left alone;
where have these come from?”#Literally “these where they”
22Thus says the Lord Yahweh:
“Look! I will lift my hand up to the nations,
and I will raise my signal to the peoples,
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.#Hebrew “shoulder”
23And kings shall be your guardians,#Literally “those who nurture”
and their queens your nurses.
They shall bow down, faces#Literally “noses” to the ground, to you,
and they will lick up the dust of your feet.
Then#Or “And” you will know that I am Yahweh;
those who await me shall not be ashamed.
24Can war-booty be taken from the mighty?
or can a captive of a righteous#The Dead Sea Scroll has “violent” person be rescued?
25But thus says Yahweh:
“Indeed a captive of the mighty shall be taken,
and the war-booty of the tyrant shall be rescued,
for#Or “and” I myself will dispute with your opponent,
and I myself will save your children.
26And I will feed your oppressors their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their blood as with wine.
Then#Or “And” all flesh shall know that I am Yahweh,
your savior and redeemer, the strong one of Jacob.”