1 Listen to this, you islands! Pay attention you people far away. Jehovah chose me long before I was born. He recorded my name while I was in my mothers womb.
2 He made my tongue like a sharp sword. He hid me in the palm of his hand. He made me like a sharpened arrow and hid me in his quiver.
3 He said to me: »You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will show my glory.«
4 I said: »I have toiled in vain. I have spent my energy for nothing and vanity. Yet, to be sure, the justice due to me is with Jehovah. My reward is with my God.«
5 Jehovah formed me in the womb to be his servant. I am to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to him. Jehovah honors me. My God has become my strength.
6 He says: »It is a small thing that you are my servant. You will raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved ones of Israel. I will also make you a light to the nations that my salvation will reach to the end of the earth.«
7 Israels Holy God and Savior says to the one who is deeply despised, hated by the nations and is the servant of rulers: »Kings will see you released and will rise to show their respect. Princes will also see it and they will bow low to honor you.«
8 This is what Jehovah says: »In the time of favor I will answer you. I will appoint you as my promise to the people. You will restore the land. You will make them inherit the desolate inheritance.«
9 Say to those who are bound: »Go forth, to those in the darkness and show yourselves. They will feed along the roads and their pasture is on all bare heights.
10 »They will never be hungry or thirsty. The sun and the burning hot wind will not strike them. The one who has compassion on them will lead them and guide them to springs.
11 »I will make all my mountains a road. My highways will be raised up.
12 »They will come from far away. They will come from the north and from the west. They will come from the land of Sinim.«
13 Shout for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Break into joyful shouting, O mountains! For Jehovah has comforted his people. He will have compassion on his afflicted.
14 Zion replied: »Jehovah has forsaken me and Jehovah has forgotten me!«
15 Can a woman forget her nursing child? Will she have no compassion on the child from her womb? Although mothers forget, I will not forget you.
16 I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. Your walls are constantly before me.
17 Your children will hurry back. Those who destroyed you and laid you waste will leave you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around for they all gather together and come to you. »As I live,« declares Jehovah, »you will certainly wear them like jewels and bind them on like a bride does.«
19 »Even if you are destroyed and demolished, and your land is in ruins, you will be too crowed for your people. Those who devoured you will be long gone.
20 »The children removed from you will say to you: This place is too crowed for me. Make room for me to live here.
21 »You will think in your heart: Who brought these children to birth? I am barren sterile and bereaved of my children. I am an exiled wonderer. Who gave birth to these? From where did these come?
22 »Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,« said Jehovah. »I will set up my standard for the peoples. They will bring your sons and your daughters in their bosom and carried on their shoulders.
23 »Kings will be your guardians. Their princesses will be your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth. They will lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am Jehovah. Those who hopefully wait for me will not be put to shame.
24 »Can the prey be taken from the strong man? Can the captives be rescued from the tyrant?«
25 Certainly Jehovah says: »The captives of the strong man will be taken away. The prey of the tyrant will be rescued. I will contend with the one who grapples with you and I will save your sons.
26 »I will feed oppressors with their own flesh. They will be intoxicated with their own blood as if by sweet wine. Everyone will know that I am Jehovah, your Savior and Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.«