1Listen to me, O islands; and listen, you peoples from afar. Yahweh called me from the womb; from the belly of my mother he mentioned my name.
2And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; and he has made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away,
3and he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; yet surely the justice due to me is with Yahweh, and my reward with my God.”
5And now, says Yahweh, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring back Jacob to him, and so that Israel would be gathered to him (for I am honorable in the eyes of Yahweh, and my God is my strength),
6yes, 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 of Israel: I will also make you a light to the nations, to be my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
7This is what Yahweh, the Redeemer of Israel, its Holy One, says to one whose soul is despised, to one whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: “Kings will see and arise; officials will see, and they will bow down because of Yahweh who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
8This is what Yahweh says: “In an acceptable time I will answer you, and in a day of salvation I will help you, and I will preserve you and give you as a covenant for the people, to raise up the land; to make them inherit the desolate heritage:
9saying to those who are bound, ‘Come out!’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves!’ They will feed along the paths, and on all bare heights will be their pasture.
10They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the heat or sun strike them, for he who has mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water he will guide them.
11I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways will be raised up.
12Behold, these will come from far, and behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.”
13Sing, heavens, and be joyful, earth, and break forth into singing, mountains, for Yahweh has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14But Zion said, “Yahweh has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.”
15“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, these may forget, yet I will not forget you!
16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
17Your children make haste; your destroyers and those who made you waste will depart from you.
18Lift up your eyes all around, and see: all these gather themselves together and come to you. “As I live,” says Yahweh, “you will surely clothe yourself with them all as with an ornament, and dress yourself with them like a bride.
19For, as for your waste and your desolate places and your land that has been destroyed, surely now you will be too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20The children that you have been deprived of will yet say in your ears, ‘The place is too small for me; make room for me so that I can live in it.’
21Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? Who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?’”
22This is what the Lord Yahweh says, “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations and set up my banner to the peoples, and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
23Kings will be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers: 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 Yahweh. For those who wait for me will not be put to shame.”
24Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
25But this is what Yahweh says, “Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be delivered, for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.
26I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they will be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine, and all flesh will know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”