Isaiah 49 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Listen, far-flung islands, pay attention, faraway people: God put me to work from the day I was born. The moment I entered the world he named me. 1 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.
2 He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate. He kept his hand on me to protect me. He made me his straight arrow and hid me in his quiver. 2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, "You're my dear servant, Israel, through whom I'll shine." 3 He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor."
4 But I said, "I've worked for nothing. I've nothing to show for a life of hard work. Nevertheless, I'll let God have the last word. I'll let him pronounce his verdict." 4 But I said, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand, and my reward is with my God."
5 "And now," God says, this God who took me in hand from the moment of birth to be his servant, To bring Jacob back home to him, to set a reunion for Israel - What an honor for me in God's eyes! That God should be my strength! 5 And now the LORD says-- he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength--
6 He says, "But that's not a big enough job for my servant - just to recover the tribes of Jacob, merely to round up the strays of Israel. I'm setting you up as a light for the nations so that my salvation becomes global!" 6 he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
7 God, Redeemer of Israel, The Holy of Israel, says to the despised one, kicked around by the nations, slave labor to the ruling class: "Kings will see, get to their feet - the princes, too - and then fall on their faces in homage Because of God, who has faithfully kept his word, The Holy of Israel, who has chosen you." 7 This is what the LORD says-- the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel-- to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: "Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
8 God also says: "When the time's ripe, I answer you. When victory's due, I help you. I form you and use you to reconnect the people with me, To put the land in order, to resettle families on the ruined properties. 8 This is what the LORD says: "In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9 I tell prisoners, 'Come on out. You're free!' and those huddled in fear, 'It's all right. It's safe now.' There'll be foodstands along all the roads, picnics on all the hills - 9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,' and to those in darkness, 'Be free!' "They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill.
10 Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I'll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into a superhighway. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up.
12 Look: These coming from far countries, and those, out of the north, These streaming in from the west, and those from all the way down the Nile!" 12 See, they will come from afar-- some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan. "
13 Heavens, raise the roof! Earth, wake the dead! Mountains, send up cheers! God has comforted his people. He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people. 13 Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
14 But Zion said, "I don't get it. God has left me. My Master has forgotten I even exist." 14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I'd never forget you - never. 15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16 Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands. The walls you're rebuilding are never out of my sight. 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
17 Your builders are faster than your wreckers. The demolition crews are gone for good. 17 Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18 Look up, look around, look well! See them all gathering, coming to you? As sure as I am the living God" - God's Decree - "you're going to put them on like so much jewelry, you're going to use them to dress up like a bride. 18 Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live," declares the LORD, "you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.
19 "And your ruined land? Your devastated, decimated land? Filled with more people than you know what to do with! And your barbarian enemies, a fading memory. 19 "Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away.
20 The children born in your exile will be saying, 'It's getting too crowded here. I need more room.' 20 The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, 'This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.'
21 And you'll say to yourself, 'Where on earth did these children come from? I lost everything, had nothing, was exiled and penniless. So who reared these children? How did these children get here?'" 21 Then you will say in your heart, 'Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these--where have they come from?' "
22 The Master, God, says: "Look! I signal to the nations, I raise my flag to summon the people. Here they'll come: women carrying your little boys in their arms, men carrying your little girls on their shoulders. 22 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23 Kings will be your babysitters, princesses will be your nursemaids. They'll offer to do all your drudge work - scrub your floors, do your laundry. You'll know then that I am God. No one who hopes in me ever regrets it." 23 Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed."
24 Can plunder be retrieved from a giant, prisoners of war gotten back from a tyrant? 24 Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives rescued from the fierce ?
25 But God says, "Even if a giant grips the plunder and a tyrant holds my people prisoner, I'm the one who's on your side, defending your cause, rescuing your children. 25 But this is what the LORD says: "Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.
26 And your enemies, crazed and desperate, will turn on themselves, killing each other in a frenzy of self-destruction. Then everyone will know that I, God, have saved you - I, the Mighty One of Jacob." 26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."