This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh
Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3
14 Zion says,
“The Lord has forsaken me,
My Lord has forgotten me.”
15 Can a woman forget her baby,
Or disown the child of her womb?
Though she might forget,
I never could forget you.
16 See, I have engraved you
On the palms of My hands,
Your walls are ever before Me.
17 Swiftly your children are coming;
Those who ravaged and ruined you shall leave you.
18 Look 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.
19 As for your ruins and desolate places
And your land laid waste —
You shall soon be crowded with settlers,
While destroyers stay far from you.
20 The children you thought you had lost
Shall yet say in your hearing,
“The place is too crowded for me;
Make room for me to settle.”
21 And you will say to yourself,
“Who bore these for me
When I was bereaved and barren,
Exiled and disdained —
By whom, then, were these reared?
I was left all alone —
And where have these been?”
22 Thus 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.
23 Kings 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.
24 Can spoil be taken from a warrior,
Or captives retrieved from a victor?
25 Yet 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.
26 I 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.
1 Thus said the Lord:
Where is the bill of divorce
Of your mother whom I dismissed?
And which of My creditors was it
To whom I sold you off?
You were only sold off for your sins,
And your mother dismissed for your crimes.
2 Why, when I came, was no one there,
Why, when I called, would none respond?
Is my arm, then, too short to rescue,
Have I not the power to save?
With a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
And turn rivers into desert.
Their fish stink from lack of water;
They lie dead of thirst.
3 I clothe the skies in blackness
And make their raiment sackcloth.
4 The Lord God gave me a skilled tongue,
To know how to speak timely words to the weary.
Morning by morning, He rouses,
He rouses my ear
To give heed like disciples.
5 The Lord God opened my ears,
And I did not disobey,
I did not run away.
6 I offered my back to the floggers,
And my cheeks to those who tore out my hair.
I did not hide my face
From insult and spittle.
7 But the Lord God will help me —
Therefore I feel no disgrace;
Therefore I have set my face like flint,
And I know I shall not be shamed.
8 My Vindicator is at hand —
Who dares contend with me?
Let us stand up together!
Who would be my opponent?
Let him approach me!
9 Lo, the Lord God will help me —
Who can get a verdict against me?
They shall all wear out like a garment,
The moth shall consume them.
10 Who among you reveres the Lord
And heeds the voice of His servant? —
Though he walk in darkness
And have no light,
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.
11 But you are all kindlers of fire,
Girding on firebrands.
Walk by the blaze of your fire,
By the brands that you have lit!
This has come to you from My hand:
You shall lie down in pain.
1 Listen to Me, you who pursue justice,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock you were hewn from,
To the quarry you were dug from.
2 Look back to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who brought you forth.
For he was only one when I called him,
But I blessed him and made him many.
3 Truly the Lord has comforted Zion,
Comforted all her ruins;
He has made her wilderness like Eden,
Her desert like the Garden of the Lord.
Gladness and joy shall abide there,
Thanksgiving and the sound of music.
Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright © 1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society.
No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
Please visit the JPS website for more fine books of Jewish literature and tradition.