49:5 So now the Lord says,
the one who formed me from birth 1 to be his servant –
he did this 2 to restore Jacob to himself,
so that Israel might be gathered to him;
and I will be honored 3 in the Lord’s sight,
for my God is my source of strength 4 –
49:6 he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,
to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,
I will make you a light to the nations, 7
so you can bring 8 my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”
49:7 This is what the Lord,
a servant of rulers:
“Kings will see and rise in respect, 14
princes will bow down,
because of the faithful Lord,
the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
1 tn Heb “from the womb” (so KJV, NASB).
2 tn The words “he did this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the infinitive construct of purpose is subordinated to the previous statement.
3 tn The vav (ו) + imperfect is translated here as a result clause; one might interpret it as indicating purpose, “and so I might be honored.”
4 tn Heb “and my God is [perhaps, “having been”] my strength.” The disjunctive structure (vav [ו] + subject + verb) is interpreted here as indicating a causal circumstantial clause.
5 tn Heb “the protected [or “preserved”] ones.”
6 sn The question is purely rhetorical; it does not imply that the servant was dissatisfied with his commission or that he minimized the restoration of Israel.
8 tn Heb “be” (so KJV, ASV); CEV “you must take.”
11 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “to [one who] despises life.” It is preferable to read with the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa לבזוי, which should be vocalized as a passive participle, לִבְזוּי (livzuy, “to the one despised with respect to life” [נֶפֶשׁ is a genitive of specification]). The consonantal sequence וי was probably misread as ה in the MT tradition. The contextual argument favors the 1QIsaa reading. As J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:294) points out, the three terse phrases “convey a picture of lowliness, worthlessness, and helplessness.”
12 tn MT’s Piel participle (“to the one who rejects”) does not fit contextually. The form should be revocalized as a Pual, “to the one rejected.”