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  Discovery Box

Isaiah 49:13-23


49:13 Shout for joy, O sky! 1 

Rejoice, O earth!

Let the mountains give a joyful shout!

For the Lord consoles his people

and shows compassion to the 2  oppressed.

The Lord Remembers Zion

49:14 “Zion said, ‘The Lord has abandoned me,

the sovereign master 3  has forgotten me.’

49:15 Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? 4 

Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? 5 

Even if mothers 6  were to forget,

I could never forget you! 7 

49:16 Look, I have inscribed your name 8  on my palms;

your walls are constantly before me.

49:17 Your children hurry back,

while those who destroyed and devastated you depart.

49:18 Look all around you! 9 

All of them gather to you.

As surely as I live,” says the Lord,

“you will certainly wear all of them like jewelry;

you will put them on as if you were a bride.

49:19 Yes, your land lies in ruins;

it is desolate and devastated. 10 

But now you will be too small to hold your residents,

and those who devoured you will be far away.

49:20 Yet the children born during your time of bereavement

will say within your hearing,

‘This place is too cramped for us, 11 

make room for us so we can live here.’ 12 

49:21 Then you will think to yourself, 13 

‘Who bore these children for me?

I was bereaved and barren,

dismissed and divorced. 14 

Who raised these children?

Look, I was left all alone;

where did these children come from?’”

49:22 This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“Look I will raise my hand to the nations;

I will raise my signal flag to the peoples.

They will bring your sons in their arms

and carry your daughters on their shoulders.

49:23 Kings will be your children’s 15  guardians;

their princesses will nurse your children. 16 

With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you

and they will lick the dirt on 17  your feet.

Then you will recognize that I am the Lord;

those who wait patiently for me are not put to shame.

1 tn Or “O heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

2 tn Heb “his” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

3 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

4 tn Heb “her suckling”; NASB “her nursing child.”

5 tn Heb “so as not to have compassion on the son of her womb?”

6 tn Heb “these” (so ASV, NASB).

7 sn The argument of v. 15 seems to develop as follows: The Lord has an innate attachment to Zion, just like a mother does for her infant child. But even if mothers were to suddenly abandon their children, the Lord would never forsake Zion. In other words, the Lord’s attachment to Zion is like a mother’s attachment to her infant child, but even stronger.

8 tn Heb “you.” Here the pronoun is put by metonymy for the person’s name.

9 tn Heb “Lift up around your eyes and see.”

10 tn Heb “Indeed your ruins and your desolate places, and the land of your destruction.” This statement is abruptly terminated in the Hebrew text and left incomplete.

11 tn Heb “me.” The singular is collective.

12 tn Heb “draw near to me so I can dwell.”

13 tn Heb “and you will say in your heart.”

14 tn Or “exiled and thrust away”; NIV “exiled and rejected.”

15 tn Heb “your,” but Zion here stands by metonymy for her children (see v. 22b).

16 tn Heb “you.” See the preceding note.

17 tn Or “at your feet” (NAB, NIV); NLT “from your feet.”

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