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, 3
so you can bring 4 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, 10
princes will bow down,
because of the faithful Lord,
the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
49:8 This is what the Lord says:
“At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you;
in the day of deliverance I will help you;
and to reassign the desolate property.
1 tn Heb “the protected [or “preserved”] ones.”
2 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.
4 tn Heb “be” (so KJV, ASV); CEV “you must take.”
7 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.”
8 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.”
11 tn The translation assumes the verb is derived from the root נָצָר (natsar, “protect”). Some prefer to derive it from the root יָצָר (yatsar, “form”).
12 tn Heb “a covenant of people.” A person cannot literally be a covenant; בְּרִית (bÿrit) is probably metonymic here, indicating a covenant mediator. Here עָם (’am, “people”) appears to refer to Israel. See the note at 42:6.
13 tn The Hiphil of קוּם (qum, “arise”) is probably used here in the sense of “rebuild.”
14 tn The “land” probably stands by metonymy for the ruins within it.