The Bible in Its Traditions

Isaiah 49:1–26

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Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken, ye peoples, from far: YHWH hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name;

Hearken to me, ye islands; and attend, ye Gentiles; after a long time it shall come to pass, saith the Lord: from my mother’s womb he has called my name

Pay attention, you islands, and listen closely, you far away peoples. The Lord has called me from the womb; from the womb of my mother, he has been mindful of my name.

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And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand hath He hid me; and He hath made me a polished shaft, in His quiver hath He concealed me;

And he has appointed my mouth as a sharp sword. In the shadow of his hand, he has protected me. And he has appointed me as an elect arrow. In his quiver, he has hidden me.

He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand has he hid me and made me a chosen arrow; in his quiver has he hid me,

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And He said unto me: 'Thou art My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.'

And he has said to me: “You are my servant, Israel. For in you, I will glory.”

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But I said: 'I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and vanity; yet surely my right is with YHWH, and my recompense with my God.'

Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have given my strength for vanity and for nothing: therefore is my judgement with the Lord, and my labour before my God.

I have not said to the descendants of Jacob that I have labored in vain, nor that I have spent my strength for nought. Surely my judgment is before the LORD, and my work before my God.

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And now saith YHWH that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel be gathered unto Him--for I am honourable in the eyes of the YHWH, and my God is become my strength--

And now, thus saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his own servant, to gather Jacob to him and Israel. I shall be gathered and glorified before the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.

Now, thus says the LORD, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel together; I am glorified in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength.

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Yea, He saith: 'It is too light a thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel; I will also give thee for a light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth.'

And he said to me, It is a great thing for thee to be called my servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob, and to recover the dispersion of Israel: behold, I have given thee for the covenant of a race, for a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation to the end of the earth.

and so he has said: “It is a small thing that you should be my servant so as to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and so as to convert the dregs of Israel. Behold, I have offered you as a light for the Gentiles, so that you may be my salvation, even to the furthest regions of the earth.”

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Thus saith YHWH, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him who is despised of men, to him who is abhorred of nations, to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the YHWH that is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee.

Thus saith the Lord that delivered thee, the God of Israel, Sanctify him that despises his life, him that is abhorred by the nations that are the servants of princes: kings shall behold him, and princes shall arise, and shall worship him, for the Lord’s sake: for the Holy One of Israel is faithful, and I have chosen thee.

Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to a contemptible soul, to an abominable nation, to the servant of lords: The kings will see, and the princes will rise up, and they will adore, because of the Lord. For he is faithful, and he is the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.

Thus saith YHWH: In an acceptable time have I answered thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I succored thee: and I have formed thee, and given thee for a covenant of the nations, to establish the earth, and to cause to inherit the desert heritages

Thus says the Lord: In a pleasing time, I have heeded you, and in the day of salvation, I have assisted you. And I have preserved you, and I have presented you as a covenant of the people, so that you would lift up the earth, and possess the scattered inheritances,

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Saying to the prisoners: 'Go forth'; to them that are in darkness: 'Show yourselves'; they shall feed in the ways, and in all high hills shall be their pasture;

so that you would say to those who are bound, “Go forth!” and to those who are in darkness, “Be released!” They will pasture along the roads, and their pastures will be in every open place.

That you may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to those who are shut up, Show yourselves. Come out. They shall feed in the paths and their pastures shall be in all highways.

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10  They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for He that hath compassion on them will lead them, even by the springs of water will He guide them.

10  They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the heat of the sun beat down upon them. For the one who takes pity on them will rule them, and he will give them to drink from fountains of waters.

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11  And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be raised on high.

11  And I will make every mountain a way, and every path a pasture to them.

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12  Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.

12  Behold, some will come from far away, and behold, others from the north and from the sea, and still others from the land of the south.

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13  Sing, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains; for YHWH hath comforted His people, and hath compassion upon His afflicted.

13  Rejoice, ye heavens; and let the earth be glad: let the mountains break forth with joy; for the Lard has had mercy on his people, and has comforted the lowly ones of his people.

13  Give praise, O heavens! And exult, O earth! Let the mountains give praise with jubilation! For the Lord has consoled his people, and he will take pity on his poor ones.

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14  But Zion said: 'YHWH hath forsaken me, and YHWH hath forgotten me.'

14  But Sion said, The Lord has forsaken me, and, The Lord has forgotten me.

14  And Zion said: “The Lord has abandoned me, and the Lord has forgotten me.”

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15  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, these may forget, yet will not I forget thee.

15  Will a woman forget her child, so as not to have compassion upon the offspring of her womb? but if a woman should even forget these, yet I will not forget thee, saith the Lord.

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16  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.

16  Behold, I have engraved you on my hands. Your walls are always before my eyes.

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17  Thy children make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth from thee.

17  Your builders have arrived. Those who would tear you down and destroy you, they will depart from you.

18  Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith YHWH, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all as with an ornament, and gird thyself with them, like a bride.

18  Lift up your eyes all around, and see: all these have been gathered together; they have come to you. As I live, says the Lord, you shall be clothed with all these things, as if with an ornament. And like a bride, you shall wrap these things all around you.

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19  For thy waste and thy desolate places and thy land that hath been destroyed--surely now shalt thou be too strait for the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

19  For thy desert and marred and ruined places shall now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that devoured thee shall be removed far from thee.

19  For your deserts, and your solitary places, and the land of your ruination will now be too narrow, because of all the inhabitants. And those who devoured you will be chased far away.

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20  The children of thy bereavement shall yet say in thine ears: 'The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell.'

20  For thy sons whom thou hast lost shall say in thine ears, The place is too narrow for me: make room for me that I may dwell.

20  Even the children of your barrenness will say in your ears: “This place is too narrow for me. Make me a spacious place in which to dwell.”

21  Then shalt thou say in thy heart: 'Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering to and fro? And who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?'

21  And thou shalt say in thine heart, Who has begotten me these? whereas I was childless, and a widow; but who has brought up these for me? and I was left alone; but whence came these to me?

21  And you will say in your heart: “Who has conceived them? I was barren and unable to give birth. I was taken away and held captive. And so, who has raised them? I was destitute and alone. And so, where have they been?”

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22  Thus saith YHWH GOD: Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up Mine ensign to the peoples, and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

22  Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and I will exalt my sign before the peoples. And they will carry your sons in their arms, and they will bear your daughters on their shoulders.

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23  And kings shall be thy foster-fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face to the earth, and lick the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am YHWH, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.

23  And kings will be your caretakers, and queens will be your nursemaids. They will reverence you with their face to the ground, and they will lick the dust at your feet. And you will know that I am the Lord. For those who hope in him will not be confounded.

23  And kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers; they shall bow down to you with their faces to the ground and shall lick the dust off your feet; and you shall know that I am the LORD; for they who wait for me shall not be ashamed.

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24  Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the victorious be delivered?

24  Will any one take spoils from a giant? and if one should take a man captive unjustly, shall he be delivered?

24  Can prey be taken from the strong? Or is anything taken captive by the powerful able to be saved?

25  But thus saith YHWH: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; and I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

25  For thus saith the Lord, If one should take a giant captive, he shall take spoils, and he who takes them from a mighty man shall be delivered: for I will plead thy cause, and I will deliver thy children.

25  For thus says the Lord: Certainly, even the captives will be taken away from the strong, even what has been taken by the powerful will be saved. And truly, I will judge those who have judged you, and I will save your children.

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26  And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine; and all flesh shall know that I YHWH am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.