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Isaiah 49:1-13 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

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The servant speaks up

1 Listen to me, coastlands; pay attention, peoples far away. The LORD called me before my birth, called my name when I was in my mother's womb. 2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, and hid me in the shadow of God's own hand. He made me a sharpened arrow, and concealed me in God's quiver, 3 saying to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I show my glory." 4 But I said, "I have wearied myself in vain. I have used up my strength for nothing." Nevertheless, the LORD will grant me justice; my reward is with my God. 5 And now the LORD has decided— the one who formed me from the womb as his servant— to restore Jacob to God, so that Israel might return to him. Moreover, I'm honored in the LORD's eyes; my God has become my strength. 6 He said: It is not enough, since you are my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the survivors of Israel. Hence, I will also appoint you as light to the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. 7 The LORD, redeemer of Israel and its holy one, says to one despised, rejected by nations, to the slave of rulers: Kings will see and stand up; commanders will bow down on account of the LORD, who is faithful, the holy one of Israel, who has chosen you. 8 The LORD said: At the right time, I answered you; on a day of salvation, I helped you. I have guarded you, and given you as a covenant to the people, to restore the land, and to reassign deserted properties, 9 saying to the prisoners, "Come out," and to those in darkness, "Show yourselves." Along the roads animalsa will graze; their pasture will be on every treeless hilltop. 10 They won't hunger or thirst; the burning heat and sun won't strike them, because one who has compassion for them will lead them and will guide them by springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads; my highways will be built up. 12 Look! These will come from far away. Look! These from the north and west, and these from the southland.b 13 Sing, heavens! Rejoice, earth! Break out, mountains, with a song. The LORD has comforted his people, and taken pity on those who suffer.
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