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Vignette 1

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1 Hear me, O isles; listen, you distant peoples:Jehovah called me before I was in the belly;before I was in my mother’s womb,he mentioned me by name. 2 He has made my mouth like a sharp swordin the shadowa of his hand he hid me.He has made me into a polished arrowin his quiver he kept me secret. 3 He said to me, You are my servant,Israel, in whom I will be glorified. 4 I had thought, I have labored in vain,I have spent my strength for nothingand to no purpose!Yet my cause rested with Jehovah,my recompense with my God.
5 For now Jehovah has saidhe who formed me from the wombto be his servant, to restore Jacob to him,Israel having been gathered to him;for I won honor in the eyes of Jehovahwhen my God became my strength 6 he said: It is too small a thingfor you to be my servantto raise up the tribes of Jacoband to restore those preserved of Israel.I will also appoint you to be a light to the nations,bthat my salvation may be to the end of the earth.
7 Thus says Jehovah,the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel,to him who is despised as a person,who is abhorred by his nation,a servant to those in authority:Kings shall rise up when they see you,princes shall prostrate themselves,because Jehovah keeps faith with you,because the Holy One of Israel has chosen you.
8 Thus says Jehovah:At a favorable time I have answered you;in the day of salvation I have come to your aid:I have created you and appointed youto be a covenant of the people,to restore the Land and reapportion the desolate estates, 9 to say to the captives, Come forth!and to those in darkness, Show yourselves!They shall feed along the wayand find pasture on all barren heights; 10 they shall not hunger or thirst,nor be smitten by the heatwave or the sun:he who has mercy on them will guide them;he will lead them by springs of water.
11 All my mountain ranges I will appoint as roads;my highways shall be on high. 12 See these, coming from afar, these, from the northwest,and these, from the land of Sinim. 13 Shout for joy, O heavens; celebrate, O earth!Burst into song, O mountains!Jehovah is comforting his people,showing compassion for his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, Jehovah has forsaken me,my Lord has forgotten me. 15 Can a woman forget her suckling infant,or feel no compassion for the child of her womb?Although these shall forget, I will not forget you. 16 See, I have engraved you on my palms;cI have sealed youc to be continually before me.
17 Your sons shall hasten your ravagers away—those who ruined you shall depart from you. 18 Lift up your eyes and look around you;with one accord they gather and come to you.As surely as I live, says Jehovah,you shall adorn yourself with them all as with jewels,bind them on you as does a bride.
19 For your ruins and ravaged places,and your land laid waste,shall now be too small for your inhabitants,despite the departure of your devourers. 20 The children born during the time of your bereavementshall yet say in your ears,This place is too cramped for us;give us space in which to settle! 21 And you will say to yourself,Who bore me these while I was bereaved and barren?I was exiled, banished;by whom were these reared?When I was left to myself, where were they?
22 Thus says my Lord Jehovah:I will lift up my hand to the nations,raise my ensign to the peoples;and they will bring your sons in their bosomsand carry your daughters on their shoulders. 23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,queens your nursing mothers.They will bow down before you,their faces to the ground;they will lick the dust of your feet.Then shall you know that I am Jehovah,and that they who hope in me are not disappointed.
24 Can the warrior’s spoil be taken from him,or the tyrant’sd captives escape free? 25 Yet thus says Jehovah: The warrior’s spoileshall indeed be taken from him,and the tyrant’s captivesf escape free:I myself will contend with your contenders,and I will deliver your children. 26 I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh;they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.And all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am your Savior,that your Redeemer is the Valiant One of Jacob.


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