Isaiah 49:1-26 Reading the Passage

You Are Not Forsaken – Isaiah 49:1-26

49 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Jehovah called me before I was born; while I was still in my mother’s womb, he made mention of my name. (2) He has made my mouth like a sharp sword—he has hidden me in the hallow of his hand; he has made me like a polished arrow—he has concealed me in his quiver. (3) He said to me, You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified. (4) But I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. But surely the justice I deserve is with Jehovah, and my reward is with my God. (5) And now this is what Jehovah says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, he who appointed me to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel unto him, for I am honorable in the eyes of Jehovah and my God has been my strength—(6) indeed, he says, It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and to bring back those of Israel whom I have preserved. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.

(7) This is what Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, says to the one whom men despised, to the one whom the nation abhorred, to the one who was a servant of rulers: Kings will see you and stand up; princes will see you and bow down, because of Jehovah, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you. (8) This is what Jehovah says, In my appointed time I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you. I will preserve you and make you to be the covenant representative for the people, to restore the land and to cause them to inherit their heritage that has lain desolate, (9) to say to those who are captives, Come out! and to those in darkness, Come to the light! They will feed beside the roadways and will find pasture on every barren hill. (10) They will neither hunger nor thirst; neither the desert mirage nor the sun will blind them; for he who has mercy upon them will guide them and will lead them to springs of water. (11) I will turn all my mountains into a roadway and my highways will be highly elevated. (12) See! They will come from distant places—some from the north, some from the west, some from the land of Sinim.

(13) Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains; for Jehovah has comforted his people and will have compassion upon his afflicted children. (14) But Zion said, Jehovah has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. (15) Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion for the child to whom she has given birth? Yes, they might forget; but I will not forget you. (16) Look! I have engraved you on the palms of my hands—your walls are continually before me! (17) Your sons hurry back to you; but those who destroyed you and desolated you will depart from you. (18) Lift up your eyes and look around: all your sons assemble themselves and come to you. As surely as I live, declares Jehovah, you will wear them all like beautiful ornaments; like a bride, you will deck yourself with them.

(19) With regard to your land that was laid waste and desolated and destroyed—surely, now, O land, you will be too narrow for your inhabitants; but those who devoured you will be far away. (20) The children of whom you were bereaved will say in your hearing, The land is too narrow for me; give me more space in which to live! (21) Then you shall say in your heart, Who bore these children for me, since I suffered the lose of my children and was barren, I was sent away and rejected? Who raised these children for me? I was left all alone; but these children, from where did they come? (22) This is what the Lord Jehovah says, See, I will beckon to the nations and I will give my signal to the Gentiles; then they will bring your sons in their arms and your daughters will be carried upon their shoulders. (23) Kings shall be your foster fathers and their queens shall be your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground and lick the dust off your feet. Then you will know that I am Jehovah—those who put their hope in me shall not be disappointed.

(24) Can the plunder be taken from the mighty warriors, or can the lawful captives be released? (25) But this is what Jehovah says, Yes, the captive will be taken from the mighty warriors, and the plunder will be retrieved from the tyrant; for I will wage war against those who wage war against you, and I will save your children. (26) I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh; and they will become drunk with their own blood as men become drunk with sweet wine. Then all mankind will know that I, Jehovah, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.