49 Listen to me, you islands,
And pay attention, you faraway nations.+
From the time I was in my mother’s womb he has made mention of my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.+
He made me a polished arrow;
He concealed me in his quiver.
4 But I said: “I have toiled for nothing.
I used up my strength for an unreality, in vain.
5 And now Jehovah, the One who formed me from the womb as his servant,
Has said for me to bring Jacob back to him,
So that Israel may be gathered to him.+
I will be glorified in the eyes of Jehovah,
And my God will have become my strength.
6 And he said: “It is not enough that you are my servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob
And to bring back those who were preserved of Israel.
I have also given you as a light of nations,+
So that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”+
“Kings will see and rise up,
And princes will bow down
Because of Jehovah, who is faithful,+
The Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”+
8 This is what Jehovah says:
And in a day of salvation I helped you;+
I kept safeguarding you to give you as a covenant for the people,+
To rehabilitate the land,
To cause them to possess their desolate inheritances,+
9 To say to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’+
And to those in the darkness,+ ‘Show yourselves!’
By the roadways they will feed,
Along all the worn paths* will be their pastures.
10 They will not go hungry, nor will they thirst,+
Nor will scorching heat or the sun beat down on them.+
11 I will make all my mountains into a road,
And my highways will be raised up.+
12 Look! These are coming from far away,+
And look! these from the north and from the west,
And these from the land of Siʹnim.”+
13 Shout for joy, you heavens, and rejoice, you earth.+
Let the mountains become cheerful with a joyful cry.+
14 But Zion kept saying:
15 Can a woman forget her nursing child
Or have no compassion for the son of her womb?
Even if these women forget, I would never forget you.+
16 Look! On my palms I have engraved you.
Your walls are always before me.
17 Your sons hurry back.
Those who tore you down and devastated you will depart from you.
18 Raise your eyes and look all around.
They are all gathering together.+
They are coming to you.
“As surely as I am living,” declares Jehovah,
“You will clothe yourself with all of them as with ornaments,
And you will fasten them on yourself as a bride does.
19 Although your places were devastated and desolate and your land was in ruins,+
Now it will become too cramped for those dwelling there,+
20 The sons born when you were bereaved will say in your hearing,
‘This place is too cramped for me.
Make room for me to dwell here.’+
21 And you will say in your heart,
‘Who has fathered these for me,
Since I am a woman bereaved of children and barren,
Exiled and taken prisoner?
Who has raised these?+
22 This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says:
23 Kings will become caretakers for you,+
And their princesses will be your nurses.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the ground+
And lick the dust of your feet,+
And you will have to know that I am Jehovah;
Those hoping in me will not be put to shame.”+
24 Can those already captured be taken from a mighty man,
Or can the captives of the tyrant be rescued?
25 But this is what Jehovah says:
“Even the captives of a mighty man will be taken away,+
And those captured by the tyrant will be rescued.+
I will oppose those who oppose you,+
And I will save your own sons.
26 I will make those who mistreat you eat their own flesh,
And as with sweet wine, they will become drunk with their own blood.