Isaiah 49:1-13 Expanded Bible (EXB)
God Calls His Special Servant
49 All of you ·people in faraway places [or islands; or coastlands], listen to me.
·Listen [Pay attention], all you nations far away.
·Before I was born [L From the womb], the Lord called me to serve him.
The Lord named me while I was still in my mother’s womb [C this passage (49:1–13) is the second of four “servant songs” in Isaiah; 42:1].
2 He made my ·tongue [mouth] like a sharp sword [C his words enact judgment; 11:4; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:16].
He hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me like a ·sharp [or polished] arrow.
He hid me in ·the holder for his arrows [his quiver].
3 He told me, “Israel, you are my servant.
I will show my glory ·through [in] you.”
4 But I said, “I have worked hard ·for nothing [in vain];
I have used all my power, ·but I did nothing useful [for nothing; in futility].
But ·the Lord will decide what my work is worth [L my judgment/vindication is the Lord’s];
God will decide my reward.”
5 The Lord made me in the ·body [womb] of my mother
to be his servant,
to lead ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob] back to him
so that Israel might be gathered to him.
·The Lord will honor me [L I am honored in the eyes of the Lord],
and ·I will get my strength from my God [L God will be my strength].
6 Now he told me,
“·You are an important servant to me [It is too small a thing; or Is it too small a thing…?]
to ·bring back [restore; raise up] the tribes of Jacob,
to bring back the ·people of Israel who are left alive [remnant/preserved ones of Israel].
I will make you a light for the nations [42:6; Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47]
so that my salvation will reach ·people all over the world [L the end of the earth].”
7 The Lord ·who saves you [the Redeemer], the Holy One of Israel [1:4].
says to the one who is ·hated [L despised and abhorred] by the ·people [or nation; or nations],
to the servant of rulers.
This is what he says: “Kings will see you and ·stand [rise; C to honor him];
·great leaders [princes] will bow down before you,
because the Lord ·can be trusted [is faithful].
He is the Holy One of Israel [1:4], who has chosen you.”
The Day of Salvation
8 This is what the Lord says:
“At the ·right time [time of favor] I will ·hear your prayers [answer you].
On the day of salvation I will help you [2 Cor. 6:2].
I will protect you,
and ·you will be the sign of my agreement with [L I will give/establish you as a covenant for] the people [42:6].
·You will bring back the people to the land [L …to restore/rebuild the land]
and ·give the land that is now ruined back to its owners [L bequeath its desolate inheritances].
9 You will tell the prisoners, ‘·Come out [42:7].’
You will tell those in darkness, ‘·Come into the light [Show yourselves; Appear].’
·The people [L They] will ·eat [feed; graze] beside the roads [C the people are symbolically pictured as sheep],
and they will find ·food [pasture] even on bare hills.
10 They will not be hungry or thirsty.
Neither the ·desert wind [L heat] nor the hot sun will ·hurt [strike] them.
The God who comforts them will lead them
and guide them by springs of water.
11 I will make my mountains into roads,
and the ·roads [highways] will be raised up [C to make a level road; 40:4].
12 Look, people are coming to me from far away,
from the north and from the west,
from ·Aswan in southern Egypt [L the land of Sinim].”
13 Heavens, shout with joy;
earth, be happy;
mountains, burst into song,
because the Lord comforts his people
and will have ·pity [compassion] on ·those who suffer [the oppressed].