Coastlands,a listen to me; distant peoples, pay attention. The Lord called me before I was born. He named me while I was in my mother's womb.
He made my words like a sharp sword; He hid me in the shadow of His hand. He made me like a sharpened arrow; He hid me in His quiver.
He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel; I will be glorified in him."
But I myself said: I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and futility; yet my vindication is with the Lord, and my reward is with my God.
And now, says the Lord, who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him so that Israel might be gathered to Him; for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God is my strength-
He says, "It is not enough for you to be My servant raising up the tribes of Jacob and restoring the protected ones of Israel. I will also make you a light for the nations,b to be My salvation to the ends of the earth."
This is what the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One says to one who is despised, to one abhorred by people,c to a servant of rulers: "Kings will see and stand up, and princesd will bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel-and He has chosen you."
This is what the Lord says: I will answer you in a time of favor, and I will help you in the day of salvation.e I will keep you, and I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land, to make them possess the desolate inheritances,
saying to the prisoners: Come out, and to those who are in darkness: Show yourselves. They will feed along the pathways, and their pastures will be on all the barren heights.
They will not hunger or thirst, the scorching heat or sun will not strike them;f for their compassionate One will guide them, and lead them to springs of water.
I will make all My mountains into a road, and My highways will be raised up.
See, these will come from far away, from the north and from the west,g and from the land of Sinim.h13
Shout for joy, you heavens! Earth, rejoice! Mountains break into joyful shouts! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
Zion says, "The Lord has abandoned me; The Lord has forgotten me!"
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the child of her womb? Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you.
Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.
Your buildersi hurry; those who destroy and devastate you will leave you.
Look up, and look around. They all gather together; they come to you. As I live"- the Lord's declaration- "you will wear all your childrenj as jewelry, and put them on as a bride does.
For your waste and desolate places and your land marked by ruins- will now be indeed too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
The children that you have been deprived of will yet say in your hearing: This place is too small for me; make room for me so that I may settle.
Then you will say within yourself: Who fathered these for me? I was deprived of my children and barren, exiled and wandering- but who brought them up? See, I was left by myself- but these, where did they come from?"k22
This is what the Lord God says: Look, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and raise My banner to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queensl your nursing mothers. They will bow down to you with their faces to the ground, and lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who put their hope in Me will not be put to shame.
Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the righteousm be delivered?
For this is what the Lord says: "Even the captives of a mighty man will be taken, and the prey of a tyrant will be delivered; I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your children.
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they will be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. Then all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."n