New Heart English Bible
1Listen, islands, to me; and listen, you peoples, from far: the LORD has called me from the womb; from the body of my mother has he made mention of my name:
2and he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand, he has hidden me; and he has made me a polished arrow, in his quiver has he kept me close:
3and he said to me, "You are my servant; Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
4But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to me is with the LORD, and my reward with my God."
5Now says the LORD who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, and that Israel be gathered to him; for I am honorable in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength.
6And he says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give you as a light to the nations, that you may bring salvation to the farthest part of the earth."
7Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to the one who is despised, to the abhorred of the nation, the servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall worship; because of the LORD who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
8Thus says the LORD, "In an acceptable time I have answered you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you as a covenant to the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage:
9saying to those who are bound, 'Come out.'; to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' "They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture.
10They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun strike them: for he who has mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water he will guide them.
11I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
12Look, these shall come from far; and look, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Syene."
13Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; and break forth into singing, mountains: for the LORD has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me."
15"Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
16Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
17Your children make haste; your destroyers and those who made you waste shall go forth from you.
18Lift up your eyes all around, and see: all these gather themselves together, and come to you. As I live," says the LORD, "you shall surely clothe yourself with them all as with an ornament, and dress yourself with them, like a bride.
19"For, as for your waste and your desolate places, and your land that has been destroyed, surely now you shall be too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up shall be far away.
20The children of your bereavement shall yet say in your ears, The place is too small for me; give place to me that I may dwell.
21Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? Who has brought up these? Look, I was left alone; these, where were they?'"
22Thus says the LORD, "Look, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my banner to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23Kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers: they shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust of your feet; and you shall know that I am the LORD; and those who wait for me shall not be disappointed."
24Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be delivered?
25But thus says the LORD, "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant shall be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.
26I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."