Old Testament

Isaiah 49
The Second Servant Song
The Lord's Servant Saves the Nations
491Listen to me, you coastlands.
Pay attention, you faraway peoples!
The Lord called me from the womb.
When I was inside my mother, he mentioned my name.
2He made my mouth like a sharpened sword.
He hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me a polished arrow.
He concealed me in his quiver.
3He said to me, “You are my servant Israel,
in whom I will display my glory.”
4But I said to myself, “I have labored in vain.
I spent my strength and came up empty, with nothing.
Yet a just verdict for me rests with the Lord,
and my reward is with my God.”
5But now the Lord,
who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to turn Jacob back to him,
so that Israel might be gathered to him,
so that I will be honored in the eyes of the Lord,
because my God has been my strength—
6the Lord said:
It is too small a thing that you should just be my servant
to raise up only the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the ones I have preserved in Israel,
so I will appoint you to be a light for the nations,
so that my salvation will be known to the end of the earth.
7This is what the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, its Holy One,
says to the one deeply despised,
to the one who is detested by the nation,
to the servant of rulers.
Kings will see and stand up.
Officials will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
because of the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.
8This is what the Lord says.
In the time of favor, I will answer you.
In the day of salvation, I will help you.
I will guard you,
and I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people,
to re-establish the land,
to redistribute inheritances that are now deserted,
9to say to the prisoners, “Go forth!”
to those who are in the darkness, “Show yourselves!”
They will graze beside roads,
and they will find pasture on all the barren heights.
10They will not hunger, and they will not thirst,
and neither scorching wind nor sun will strike them,
because the one who shows them mercy will lead them.
He will guide them beside springs of water.
11I will make all my mountains into a smooth road,
and my highways will be raised up.
12Look, people will come from far away.
Look, some will come from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Sinim.[]
13Shout for joy, O heavens,
and rejoice, O earth.
Let mountains burst forth with shouts of joy,
because the Lord is comforting his people,
and he is showing mercy to his afflicted ones.
The Faithful Few Are Not Forgotten
14But Zion said, “The Lord has abandoned me.
The Lord has forgotten me.”
15Can a woman forget her nursing child
and not show mercy to the son from her womb?
Even if these women could forget,
I will never forget you.
16Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.
Your walls are never out of my sight.
17Your children[] are hurrying back.
Those who destroyed and devastated you will depart from you.
18Lift up your eyes all around and see!
All of them are gathered. They are coming to you.
As surely as I live, declares the Lord,
all of them are like jewelry that you will put on.
You will wear them like a bride.
19Though your land was wasted and desolate and devastated,
now it will be too small for its inhabitants.
Then those who are swallowing you will be far from you.
20The children you lost will say this into your ears once again,
“The place is too small for me.
Make room for me so that I can settle there.”
21Then you will say in your heart,
“Who has given birth to these for me?
I had lost my children and could have no more.
I was exiled and divorced.
So who raised these?
I was left all by myself.
Where did these come from?”
22This is what God the Lord says.
Look, I will lift up my hand to nations,
and I will raise my signal flag for peoples.
Then they will bring your sons in their embrace,
and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
23Then kings will be your foster fathers,
and their queens will be your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground, they will bow down to you.
They will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Those who wait hopefully for me will not be ashamed.
24Can plunder be taken from a mighty man?
Can captives be rescued from a tyrant?[]
25This is what the Lord says.
Even from a mighty man captives can be taken,
and the victims of a tyrant can be rescued.
So I myself will contend with the one who contends with you,
and I myself will save your children.
26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh.
They will get drunk on the new wine of their own blood.
So all flesh will know that I am the Lord, your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.


  • 49:12 Sinim the reading of the Hebrew, may be a name for China. The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah reads Syene, a place in the southern part of Egypt.
  • 49:17 Hebrew variant your builders
  • 49:24 The translation follows the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and ancient versions. The Hebrew reads the righteous.