Yahweh called me from my mother’s womb
1 Listen to me, O islands,
1 pay attention, peoples from distant lands.
1 Yahweh called me from my mother’s womb;
1 he pronounced my name before I was born.
2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword.
2 He hid me in the shadow of his hand.
2 He made me into a polished arrow
2 set apart in his quiver.
3 He said to me, “You are Israel, my servant,
3 Through you I will be known.”
4 “I have labored in vain,” I thought
4 and spent my strength for nothing.”
4 Yet what is due me was in the hand of Yahweh,
4 and my reward was with my God.
4 I am important in the sight of Yahweh,
4 and my God is my strength.
5 And now Yahweh has spoken,
5 he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
5 to bring Jacob back to him,
5 to gather Israel to him.
6 He said: “It is not enough
6 that you be my servant,
6 to restore the tribes of Jacob,
6 to bring back the remnant of Israel.
6 I will make you the light of the nations,
6 that my salvation will reach to the ends of the earth.”
7 Thus says Yahweh,
7 the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel,
7 to him whom people despise,
7 to him whom nations abhor,
7 to the servant of tyrants:
7 “Kings will see you and stand up,
7 and princes will bow down
7 for the sake of Yahweh, the faithful one,
7 the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
8 This is what Yahweh says:
8 “At a favorable time I have answered you, on the day of salvation I have been your help; I have formed you and made you to be my covenant with the people.
8 You will restore the land, and allot its abandoned farms. 9 You will say to the captives: Come out; and to those in darkness: Show yourselves.
9 They will feed along the road; they will find pasture on barren hills. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the scorching wind or the sun beat upon them; for he who has mercy on them will guide them and lead them to springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads and raise up my highways.
12 See, they come from afar, some from the north and west, others from the land of Sinim.”
Though your mother forgets you
13 Sing, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth;
13 break forth into song, O mountains:
13 for Yahweh has comforted his people
13 and taken pity on those who are afflicted.
14 But Zion said: “Yahweh has forsaken me,
14 my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 Can a woman forget the baby at her breast
15 and have no compassion on the child of her womb?
15 Yet though she forget, I will never forget you.
16 See, I have written your name upon the palm of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17 Your sons hurry back, and those who laid you waste hasten to de part from you.
18 Lift up your eyes, look around and see: your children are all assembling and coming to you. As I live, says Yahweh, you will wear them all as your jewels; they will adorn you as brides are adorned.
19 Your lonely places and your ruins, your wastelands and devastated country, will now be too small for your people, while those who destroy you will be driven off.
20 The children you will have, after those you lost, will also say in your hearing, “This place is too small for us. Give us more space to live in.”
21 You will then say in your heart, “Who has borne me these? I was be reaved and barren, and who has brought these up? I was left alone; but these – where have they come from?”
22 Thus speaks the Lord Yahweh: See, I am to make signs to the nations; and to raise my banner to the peoples, that they will bring your sons in their arms, your daughters upon their shoulders.
23 Kings will be your foster fathers, their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am Yahweh and that those who hope in me will not be put to shame.
24 Can booty be taken from a warrior, or captives be rescued from a tyrant? But thus says Yahweh: 25 Yes, captives will be taken from warriors and booty rescued from a tyrant: for I will fight whoever fights you and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh and be drunk with their own blood, as with wine. All peoples will know that I, Yahweh, am your savior, your re deemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.