Isa 56-66

The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey 1Thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. 2Happy is the mortal who does this, the one who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it, and refrains from doing any evil. 3Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and do not let the eunuch say, “I am just a dry tree.”4For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant,5I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. 6And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant—7these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.8Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered. The Corruption of Israel's Rulers 9All you wild animals, all you wild animals in the forest, come to devour!10Israel's sentinels are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs that cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.11The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, to their own gain, one and all.12“Come,” they say, “let us get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink. And tomorrow will be like today, great beyond measure.” Chapter 57Israel's Futile Idolatry 1The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous are taken away from calamity,2and they enter into peace; those who walk uprightly will rest on their couches.3But as for you, come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of an adulterer and a whore.4Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit—5you that burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree; you that slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?6Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they, are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink offering, you have brought a grain offering. Shall I be appeased for these things?7Upon a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.8Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your symbol; for, in deserting me, you have uncovered your bed, you have gone up to it, you have made it wide; and you have made a bargain for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have gazed on their nakedness.9You journeyed to Molech with oil, and multiplied your perfumes; you sent your envoys far away, and sent down even to Sheol.10You grew weary from your many wanderings, but you did not say, “It is useless.” You found your desire rekindled, and so you did not weaken. 11Whom did you dread and fear so that you lied, and did not remember me or give me a thought? Have I not kept silent and closed my eyes, and so you do not fear me?12I will concede your righteousness and your works, but they will not help you.13When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them off, a breath will take them away. But whoever takes refuge in me shall possess the land and inherit my holy mountain. A Promise of Help and Healing 14It shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people's way.”15For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.16For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.17Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry; I struck them, I hid and was angry; but they kept turning back to their own ways.18I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.19Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them.20But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud.21There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked. Chapter 58False and True Worship 1Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.2Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.3“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.5Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.11The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. 13If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;14then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Chapter 59Injustice and Oppression to Be Punished 1See, the Lord's hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.2Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.3For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness.4No one brings suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity.5They hatch adders' eggs, and weave the spider's web; whoever eats their eggs dies, and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.6Their webs cannot serve as clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands.7Their feet run to evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways.8The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths. Their roads they have made crooked; no one who walks in them knows peace. 9Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us; we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.10We grope like the blind along a wall, groping like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among the vigorous as though we were dead.11We all growl like bears; like doves we moan mournfully. We wait for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.12For our transgressions before you are many, and our sins testify against us. Our transgressions indeed are with us, and we know our iniquities:13transgressing, and denying the Lord, and turning away from following our God, talking oppression and revolt, conceiving lying words and uttering them from the heart.14Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter.15Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.16He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him.17He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle.18According to their deeds, so will he repay; wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render requital.19So those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord, and those in the east, his glory; for he will come like a pent-up stream that the wind of the Lord drives on. 20And he will come to Zion as Redeemer, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the Lord.21And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children's children, says the Lord, from now on and forever. Chapter 60The Ingathering of the Dispersed 1Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.2For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.5Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.6A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.7All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall be acceptable on my altar, and I will glorify my glorious house. 8Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows?9For the coastlands shall wait for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from far away, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the Lord your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you.10Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I struck you down, but in my favor I have had mercy on you.11Your gates shall always be open; day and night they shall not be shut, so that nations shall bring you their wealth, with their kings led in procession.12For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.13The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify where my feet rest.14The descendants of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.15Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.16You shall suck the milk of nations, you shall suck the breasts of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will appoint Peace as your overseer and Righteousness as your taskmaster.18Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.God the Glory of Zion 19The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.20Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.21Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever. They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands, so that I might be glorified.22The least of them shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the Lord; in its time I will accomplish it quickly. Chapter 61The Good News of Deliverance 1The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;2to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;3to provide for those who mourn in Zion— to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.4They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 5Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines;6but you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.7Because their shame was double, and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot, therefore they shall possess a double portion; everlasting joy shall be theirs. 8For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.9Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.11For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. Chapter 62The Vindication and Salvation of Zion 1For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.2The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.4You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.5For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.6Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest,7and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth.8The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have labored;9but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts. 10Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples.11The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, “See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.”12They shall be called, “The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord”; and you shall be called, “Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.” Chapter 63Vengeance on Edom 1“Who is this that comes from Edom, from Bozrah in garments stained crimson? Who is this so splendidly robed, marching in his great might?” “It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save.” 2“Why are your robes red, and your garments like theirs who tread the wine press?” 3“I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their juice spattered on my garments, and stained all my robes.4For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year for my redeeming work had come.5I looked, but there was no helper; I stared, but there was no one to sustain me; so my own arm brought me victory, and my wrath sustained me.6I trampled down peoples in my anger, I crushed them in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” God's Mercy Remembered 7I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.8For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely”; and he became their savior9in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. 10But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit; therefore he became their enemy; he himself fought against them.11Then they remembered the days of old, of Moses his servant. Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is the one who put within them his holy spirit,12who caused his glorious arm to march at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name,13who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.14Like cattle that go down into the valley, the spirit of the Lord gave them rest. Thus you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.A Prayer of Penitence 15Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and glorious habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The yearning of your heart and your compassion? They are withheld from me.16For you are our father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our father; our Redeemer from of old is your name.17Why, O Lord, do you make us stray from your ways and harden our heart, so that we do not fear you? Turn back for the sake of your servants, for the sake of the tribes that are your heritage.18Your holy people took possession for a little while; but now our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.19We have long been like those whom you do not rule, like those not called by your name. Chapter 641O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence—2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.10Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.11Our holy and beautiful house, where our ancestors praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.12After all this, will you restrain yourself, O Lord? Will you keep silent, and punish us so severely? Chapter 65The Righteousness of God's Judgment 1I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that did not call on my name.2I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices;3a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and offering incense on bricks;4who sit inside tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine's flesh, with broth of abominable things in their vessels;5who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all day long.6See, it is written before me: I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will indeed repay into their laps7their iniquities and their ancestors' iniquities together, says the Lord; because they offered incense on the mountains and reviled me on the hills, I will measure into their laps full payment for their actions.8Thus says the Lord: As the wine is found in the cluster, and they say, “Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,” so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all.9I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah inheritors of my mountains; my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall settle there.10Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me.11But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;12I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my sight, and chose what I did not delight in.13Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame;14my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit.15You shall leave your name to my chosen to use as a curse, and the Lord GOD will put you to death; but to his servants he will give a different name.16Then whoever invokes a blessing in the land shall bless by the God of faithfulness, and whoever takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of faithfulness; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hidden from my sight. The Glorious New Creation 17For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.18But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.19I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.20No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.21They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.22They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.23They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well.24Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord. Chapter 66The Worship God Demands 1Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is my resting place?2All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word. 3Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being; whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; whoever presents a grain offering, like one who offers swine's blood; whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and in their abominations they take delight;4I also will choose to mock them, and bring upon them what they fear; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my sight, and chose what did not please me.The Lord Vindicates Zion 5Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word: Your own people who hate you and reject you for my name's sake have said, “Let the Lord be glorified, so that we may see your joy”; but it is they who shall be put to shame. 6Listen, an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, dealing retribution to his enemies! 7Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.8Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor she delivered her children.9Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? says your God. 10Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her—11that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom. 12For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees.13As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.The Reign and Indignation of God 14You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies.15For the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to pay back his anger in fury, and his rebuke in flames of fire.16For by fire will the Lord execute judgment, and by his sword, on all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many. 17Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the center, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the Lord. 18For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory,19and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.20They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.21And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord. 22For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the Lord; so shall your descendants and your name remain.23From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the Lord. 24And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.