Salvation Only through the Lord's Servant*.

1Thus says the LORD: Where is the bill of divorce with which I dismissed your mother?* Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? It was for your sins that you were sold, for your crimes that your mother was dismissed. y Dt 24, 1–4; Mt 19, 3; Mk 10, 2ff; Is 54, 6ff .

2Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called?* Is my hand too short to ransom? Have I not the strength to deliver? Lo, with my rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; Their fish rot for lack of water, and die of thirst. z Ex 7, 18; Ps 105, 29 . 3I clothe the heavens in mourning, and make sackcloth their vesture.

4The Lord GOD has given me* a well‐trained tongue, That I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; 5And I have not rebelled, have not turned back.* 6I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;* My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. a 2 Sm 10, 4ff; Mt 26, 67; 27, 30 .

7The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. b Ez 3, 9 . 8He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. 9See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong? Lo, they will all wear out like cloth, the moth will eat them up. c Is 51, 6–8; Ps 102, 27 .

10Who among you fears the LORD,* heeds his servant's voice, And walks in darkness without any light, Trusting in the name of the LORD and relying on his God? d Is 43, 1f; 44, 1f . 11All of you kindle flames and carry about you fiery darts; Walk by the light of your own fire and by the flares you have burnt! This is your fate from my hand: you shall lie down in a place of pain.