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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 49

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Text Commentary

1Listen, O coastlands, to me, And give heed, O nations afar: The LORD appointed me before I was born, He named me while I was in my mother's womb. 2He made my mouth like a sharpened blade, He hid me in the shadow of His hand, And He made me like a polished arrow; He concealed me in His quiver. 3And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel in whom I glory.” 4I thought, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for empty breath.” But my case rested with the LORD, My recompense was in the hands of my God. 5And now the LORD has resolved— He who formed me in the womb to be His servant— To bring back Jacob to Himself, That Israel may be restored to Him. And I have been honored in the sight of the LORD, My God has been my strength. 6For He has said: “It is too little that you should be My servant In that I raise up the tribes of Jacob And restore the survivors of Israel: I will also make you a light a I.e., the agent of good fortune; cf. 42.1–4; 51.4–5 . of nations, That My salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”

7Thus said the LORD, The Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, b‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Emendation yields “Whose being is despised, / Whose body is detested”; cf. 51.23 . To the despised one, To the abhorred nations, ‐b Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Emendation yields “Whose being is despised, / Whose body is detested”; cf. 51.23 . To the slave of rulers: Kings shall see and stand up; Nobles, and they shall prostrate themselves— To the honor of the LORD, who is faithful, To the Holy One of Israel who chose you. 8Thus said the LORD: In an hour of favor I answer you, And on a day of salvation I help you— I created you and appointed you c‐ See note b‐b at 42.6 . a covenant people ‐c See note b‐b at 42.6 . Restoring the land, Allotting anew the desolate holdings, 9Saying to the prisoners, “Go free,” To those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” They shall pasture along the roads, On every bare height shall be their pasture. 10They shall not hunger or thirst, Hot wind and sun shall not strike them; For He who loves them will lead them, He will guide them to springs of water. 11I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways shall be built up. 12Look! These are coming from afar, These from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim. a 1QIsa reads “the Syenians”; cf. Ezek. 30.6 . 13Shout, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth! Break into shouting, O hills! For the LORD has comforted His people, And has taken back His afflicted ones in love.

14Zion says, “The LORD has forsaken me, My Lord has forgotten me.” 15Can a woman forget her baby, Or disown the child of her womb? Though she might forget, I never could forget you. 16See, I have engraved you On the palms of My hands, Your walls are ever before Me. 17Swiftly your children are coming; Those who ravaged and ruined you shall leave you. 18Look up all around you and see: They are all assembled, are come to you! As I live

—declares the LORD—

You shall don them all like jewels, Deck yourself with them like a bride. 19As for your ruins and desolate places And your land laid waste— You shall soon be crowded with settlers, While destroyers stay far from you. 20The children b‐ Lit. “of your bereavement.” you thought you had lost ‐b Lit. “of your bereavement.” Shall yet say in your hearing, “The place is too crowded for me; Make room for me to settle.” 21And you will say to yourself, “Who bore these for me When I was bereaved and barren, Exiled and disdained a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. By whom, then, were these reared? I was left all alone— And where have these been?”

22Thus said the Lord GOD: I will raise My hand to nations And lift up My ensign to peoples; And they shall bring your sons in their bosoms, And carry your daughters on their backs. 23Kings shall tend your children, Their queens shall serve you as nurses. They shall bow to you, face to the ground, And lick the dust of your feet. And you shall know that I am the LORD— Those who trust in Me shall not be shamed.

24Can spoil be taken from a warrior, Or captives retrieved from a victor? 25Yet thus said the LORD: Captives shall be taken from a warrior And spoil shall be retrieved from a tyrant; For I will contend with your adversaries, And I will deliver your children. 26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, They shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. And all mankind shall know That I the LORD am your Savior, The Mighty One of Jacob, your Redeemer.

Notes:

a I.e., the agent of good fortune; cf. 42.1–4; 51.4–5 .

b‐b Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Emendation yields “Whose being is despised, / Whose body is detested”; cf. 51.23 .

c‐c See note b‐b at 42.6 .

a 1QIsa reads “the Syenians”; cf. Ezek. 30.6 .

b‐b Lit. “of your bereavement.”

a Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

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