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TitleIsaiah 49
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Book of Isaiah: A New Translation (Preliminary Edition)
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT
KeywordsBible; Isaiah (Book); Isaiah (Prophet); Old Testament

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Two Servants—The Messiah and the House of Israel (49:1–12)

The Lord (to Israel)

49 1[Hearken, O you house of Israel, all you that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of My people, yea, all you that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of My people, O house of Israel].[1]

Hear, O islands,
and listen attentively, peoples from afar.


The LORD has called me from the womb;
from my mother’s belly, He assigned my name.

2And He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
He hid me in the shadow of His hand.

And He made me a sharpened arrow;
He hid me in His quiver.


3And He {the Lord} said to me,

The Lord

“You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will glorify myself.”


4And I said, “I have labored in vain.
I have spent my strength for chaos and vanity.

Yet my judgment is with the LORD,
and my reward is with my God.

5And now the LORD said, He who formed me from the womb as His servant,
to bring Jacob back to Him, and Israel will be gathered to Him.

And I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength.”

6And He said,

The Lord (to the Messiah)

“It is an easy thing that you should be My servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the preserved ones of Israel.

I will make you a light to the nations,
to be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”


7Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel,
His Holy One,

to the one who is despised,
abhorred by nations, to the servant of rulers:

The Lord

“Kings will see,
and princes will arise.

And they will bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, and He has chosen you.”


8Thus says the LORD,

The Lord (to the isles)

“In an acceptable time, I have answered you, [O isles of the sea,][2]
and in a day of salvation, I have helped you.

The Lord (to the Messiah)

And I will preserve you,
and I will make you [My servant] to be a covenant of the people,

to establish the land,
to cause to inherit desolate inheritances.

9That you may say to the prisoners,


‘Go forth,’

The Lord

to those [that sit][3] in darkness,


‘Show yourselves.’”


They will feed along the ways,
and their pastures will be on all barren heights.

10They will not hunger
nor will they thirst,

neither will heat
nor [the][4] sun smite them:

for He that has compassion on them will lead them;
even by the springs of water will He guide them.

The Lord

11And I will make all My mountains a way,
and My highways will be exalted.

12[And then, O house of Israel,][5] behold, these will come from far:
and behold, these from the north
and from the west;
and these from the land of Sinim.


The Lord Comforts His Returning Children (49:13–21)


13Sing gladly, O heavens,
and be joyful, O earth;

[for the feet of those who are in the east will be established;
and][6] break forth into singing, O mountains:
[for they will be smitten no more;]

for the LORD has comforted His people
and will have compassion upon His afflicted.

14But [behold] Zion says,

Lady Zion

“The LORD has forsaken me,
and my Lord has forgotten me”


15[—but He will show that He has not].

The Lord

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
lack compassion on the son of her womb?

Yea, they may forget,
yet I will not forget you, [O house of Israel].

16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are always before Me.

17Your children are swift [against] your destroyers,
and they who lay you waste, depart from you.

18Lift up your eyes,
and look all around.

All of them gather together;
they will come to you.

[And] as I live,”


declares the LORD,

The Lord

“you will surely clothe all of them, as with an ornament,
and bind them on, as a bride.

19For your waste places,
and your desolate places,
and your destroyed land

will even now be too narrow for inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

20The children of your bereavement will again say in your ears,

Bereaved children

‘The place is too narrow for me;
make place for me that I may dwell.’

The Lord

21Then will you say in your heart,

Lady Zion

‘Who gave birth for me to these? I was bereaved and barren, exiled and put away.
And who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?’”


Nations Will Assist Returning Israel (49:22–26)


22Thus says the LORD:

The Lord

“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations,
and I will raise My ensign to the peoples;

and they will bring your sons in their lap,
and your daughters will be carried upon their shoulders.

23And kings will be your foster fathers,
and their princesses your wet nurses.

Faces to the ground, they will bow down to you
and lick up the dust of your feet;

then you will know that I am the LORD.
They who wait for Me will not be ashamed.

God’s covenant people

24[For][7] will the prey be taken from the mighty
or captives of a tyrant be rescued?”


25For thus says the LORD:

The Lord

“Even captives of the mighty will be taken away,
and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued.”


For [the Mighty God will deliver His covenant people. For thus says the Lord.][8]

The Lord

“I will contend with them that contend with you,
and I will save your children.

26And I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh,
and they will be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine;

then all flesh will know that I the LORD
am your Savior
and your Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Jacob.”


[1] Biblical commentators have different views of Isaiah 49:1–12, especially regarding the identification of the speakers and the servants (see verses 3, 5, 6 and 7). But 1 Nephi 21 (see the words in brackets) helps us to identify both the speakers and the recipients of the message. In this section, there are two different servants—the Messiah (see verses 5, 6, 7, and 8) and Israel (see verse 3).

[2] Words in brackets in verse 8 are from 1 Nephi 21:8.

[3] From 1 Nephi 21:9.

[4] From 1 Nephi 21:10.

[5] From 1 Nephi 21:12.

[6] Bracketed words in verses 13–18 are from 1 Nephi 21:13–18.

[7] From 1 Nephi 21:24.

[8] JST textual variation.


Scripture Reference

Isaiah 49:1