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Isaiah 49 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Servant, the Light to the Gentiles

49 “Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the [a]matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

“And He said to me,
‘You are My servant, O Israel,
In whom I will be glorified.’
Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;
Yet surely my [b]just reward is with the Lord,
And my [c]work with my God.’ ”

“And now the Lord says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is [d]gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God shall be My strength),
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Thus says the Lord,
The Redeemer of Israel, [e]their Holy One,
To Him [f]whom man despises,
To Him whom the nation abhors,
To the Servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise,
Princes also shall worship,
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
The Holy One of Israel;
And He has chosen You.”

Thus says the Lord:

“In an acceptable[g] time I have heard You,
And in the day of salvation I have helped You;
I will [h]preserve You and give You
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate [i]heritages;
That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’

“They shall feed along the roads,
And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
10 They shall neither hunger nor thirst,
Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;
For He who has mercy on them will lead them,
Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
11 I will make each of My mountains a road,
And My highways shall be elevated.
12 Surely these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”

13 Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.

God Will Remember Zion

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
[j]And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 Your [k]sons shall make haste;
Your destroyers and those who laid you waste
Shall go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes, look around and see;
All these gather together and come to you.
As I live,” says the Lord,
“You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament,
And bind them on you as a bride does.

19 “For your waste and desolate places,
And the land of your destruction,
Will even now be too small for the inhabitants;
And those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children you will have,
After you have lost the others,
Will say again in your ears,
‘The place is too small for me;
Give me a place where I may dwell.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have lost my children and am desolate,
A captive, and wandering to and fro?
And who has brought these up?
There I was, left alone;
But these, where were they?’ ”

22 Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations,
And set up My [l]standard for the peoples;
They shall bring your sons in their [m]arms,
And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
And their queens your nursing mothers;
They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth,
And lick up the dust of your feet.
Then you will 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 captives [n]of the righteous be delivered?

25 But thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
And the prey of the terrible be delivered;
For I will contend with him who contends with you,
And I will save your children.
26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh,
And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine.
All flesh shall know
That I, the Lord, am your Savior,
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 49:1 Lit. inward parts
  2. Isaiah 49:4 justice
  3. Isaiah 49:4 recompense
  4. Isaiah 49:5 Qr., DSS, LXX gathered to Him; Kt. not gathered
  5. Isaiah 49:7 Lit. his or its
  6. Isaiah 49:7 Lit. who is despised of soul
  7. Isaiah 49:8 favorable
  8. Isaiah 49:8 keep
  9. Isaiah 49:8 inheritances
  10. Isaiah 49:15 Lit. From having compassion
  11. Isaiah 49:17 DSS, LXX, Tg., Vg. builders
  12. Isaiah 49:22 banner
  13. Isaiah 49:22 Lit. bosom
  14. Isaiah 49:24 So with MT, Tg.; DSS, Syr., Vg. of the mighty; LXX unjustly
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 49 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Salvation Reaches to the End of the Earth

49 Listen to Me, O islands,
And pay attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called Me from the womb;
From the [a]body of My mother He named Me.
He has made My mouth like a sharp sword,
In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me;
And He has also made Me a [b]select arrow,
He has hidden Me in His quiver.
He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel,
In Whom I will [c]show My glory.”
But I said, “I have toiled in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;
Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,
And My reward with My God.”

And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
And My God is My strength),
He says, “It is too [d]small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light [e]of the nations
So that My salvation may [f]reach to the end of the earth.”
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One,
To the despised One,
To the One abhorred by the nation,
To the Servant of rulers,
Kings will see and arise,
Princes will also bow down,
Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

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 [g]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.
10 “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.
11 “I will make all My mountains a road,
And My highways will be raised up.
12 “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.”
13 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

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “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.
16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 “Your [h]builders hurry;
Your destroyers and devastators
Will depart from you.
18 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 [i]jewels and bind them on as a bride.
19 “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.
20 “The children of [j]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.’
21 “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;
[k]From where did these come?’”

22 Thus says the Lord [l]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.
23 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.

24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty man,
Or the captives of [m]a tyrant be rescued?”

25 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.
26 “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.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 49:1 Lit inward parts
  2. Isaiah 49:2 Or sharpened
  3. Isaiah 49:3 Or glorify Myself
  4. Isaiah 49:6 Lit light
  5. Isaiah 49:6 Or to
  6. Isaiah 49:6 Lit be
  7. Isaiah 49:8 Lit establish
  8. Isaiah 49:17 So ancient versions and DSS; M.T. reads sons
  9. Isaiah 49:18 Lit an ornament
  10. Isaiah 49:20 Lit your bereavement
  11. Isaiah 49:21 Lit These, where are they?
  12. Isaiah 49:22 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  13. Isaiah 49:24 So ancient versions and DSS; M.T. reads the righteous, cf v 25
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Isaiah 49 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Salvation Reaches to the End of the Earth

49 Listen to [a]Me, O islands and coastlands,
And pay attention, you peoples from far away.
The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the body of My mother He has named Me.

He has made My mouth like a sharp sword,
In the shadow of His hand He has kept Me hidden;
And He has made Me a sharpened arrow,
In His quiver He has hidden Me.

And [the Lord] said to Me, “You are My [b]Servant, Israel,
In Whom I will show My glory.”

Then I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity (pride, uselessness);
However My justice is with the Lord,
And My reward is with My God.”


And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him and that Israel might be gathered to Him,
—For I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God is My strength—

He says, “It is too trivial a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the [c]survivors of Israel;
I will also make You a light to the nations
That My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

This is what the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, Israel’s Holy One says,
To the thoroughly despised One,
To the One hated by the nation
To the Servant of rulers,
[d]Kings will see and arise,
Princes shall also bow down,
Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”


This is what the Lord says,
“In a [e]favorable time I have answered You,
And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

Saying to those who are bound and captured, ‘Go forth,’
And to those who are in [spiritual] darkness, ‘Show yourselves [come into the light of the Savior].’
They will feed along the roads [on which they travel],
And their pastures will be on all the bare heights.
10 
“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 He will guide them to springs of water.
11 
“And I will make all My mountains a roadway,
And My highways will be raised.
12 
“In fact, these will come from far away;
And, lo, these shall come from the north and from the west,
And these from the land of [f]Aswan (southern Egypt).”
13 
Shout for joy, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
And break forth into singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.

Promise to Zion

14 
But Zion (Jerusalem in captivity) said, “The Lord has abandoned me,
And my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 
[The Lord answered] “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.
16 
“Indeed, I have inscribed [a picture of] you on the [g]palms of My hands;
Your city walls [Zion] are continually before Me.
17 
“Your [h]builders hurry;
Your destroyers and devastators
Will go away from you.
18 
“Lift up your eyes and look around [at the returning exiles];
All these gather together and they come to you [to rebuild you].
As I live,” declares the Lord,
“You [Zion] will indeed clothe yourself with all of them as jewels and tie them on as a bride.
19 
“For your ruins and desolate places and your land [once the scene] of destruction—
Certainly now [in the coming years] will be too cramped for the inhabitants,
And those who once engulfed you will be far away.
20 
“The children of your bereavement [those born in captivity] will yet say in your ears,
‘The place is too cramped for me’;
Make room for me that I may live here.
21 
“Then [Zion], you will say in your heart,
‘Who has borne me these children,
Since I have been bereaved of my children
And am barren, an exile and a wanderer?
And who has reared these?
Indeed, I was left alone;
[i]From where then did these children come?’”

22 This is what the Lord God says,

“Listen carefully, I will lift up My hand to the [Gentile] nations
And set up My banner to the peoples;
And they will bring your sons in the fold of their garments,
And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
23 
“Kings will be your attendants,
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 shall know [with an understanding based on personal experience] that I am the Lord;
For they shall not be put to shame who wait and hope expectantly for Me.

24 
“Can the spoils of war be taken from the mighty man,
Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?”

25 Indeed, this is what the Lord says,

“Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away,
And the tyrant’s spoils of war will be rescued;
For I will contend with your opponent,
And I will save your children.
26 
“I will make those who oppress you consume their own flesh [in mutually destructive wars]
And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine;
And all [j]mankind will know [with a knowledge grounded in personal experience] that I, the Lord, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 49:1 The upper case pronouns here and in the following verses reflect the position that Isaiah is referring to the Messiah, the divine Servant and Son of God. Some have argued that Isaiah is referring instead to himself or to Israel (see v 3 and the note there).
  2. Isaiah 49:3 At first glance it would seem that Israel is the servant. However, many scholars maintain that the Messiah is being addressed as Israel because He represents and fulfills what Israel as a nation was meant to be: the source of salvation to the world. Note also that in v 6 the Servant is destined to restore Israel, which indicates that He is not Israel itself.
  3. Isaiah 49:6 Lit spared.
  4. Isaiah 49:7 Rising and bowing down are both gestures of respect: kings arise from their thrones.
  5. Isaiah 49:8 One ancient rabbi explained this as a time predestined for good.
  6. Isaiah 49:12 A reading favored by DSS; MT has Sinim, traditionally interpreted as China, which is unlikely. The Greek (LXX) indicates Persia, the Latin (Vulgate) has “southern land.”
  7. Isaiah 49:16 In Jewish tradition there is a story representing Israel as God’s daughter, who asks Him to stamp a seal of her on His heart and arm (Song 8:6). God replies that such a seal cannot always be seen, so He has instead inscribed her upon His palms.
  8. Isaiah 49:17 So DSS and ancient versions; MT reads sons.
  9. Isaiah 49:21 Lit These, where are they.
  10. Isaiah 49:26 Lit flesh.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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