Bible: Isaiah 40-55

The Lord Returns to Jerusalem

40:1Comfort, comfort my people,”

says your 1  God.

40:2Speak kindly to 2  Jerusalem, 3  and tell her

that her time of warfare is over, 4 

that her punishment is completed. 5 

For the Lord has made her pay double 6  for all her sins.”

40:3 A voice cries out,

In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;

construct in the desert a road for our God.

40:4 Every valley must be elevated,

and every mountain and hill leveled.

The rough terrain will become a level plain,

the rugged landscape a wide valley.

40:5 The splendor 7  of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people 8  will see it at the same time.

For 9  the Lord has decreed it.” 10 

40:6 A voice says, “Cry out!”

Another asks, 11 What should I cry out?”

The first voice responds: 12  “All people are like grass, 13 

and all their promises 14  are like the flowers in the field.

40:7 The grass dries up,

the flowers wither,

when the wind sent by the Lord 15  blows on them.

Surely humanity 16  is like grass.

40:8 The grass dries up,

the flowers wither,

but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” 17 

40:9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion!

Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! 18 

Shout, don’t be afraid!

Say to the towns of Judah,

Here is your God!

40:10 Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior; 19 

his military power establishes his rule. 20 

Look, his reward is with him;

his prize goes before him. 21 

40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;

he gathers up the lambs with his arm;

he carries them close to his heart; 22 

he leads the ewes along.

The Lord is Incomparable

40:12 Who has measured out the waters 23  in the hollow of his hand,

or carefully 24  measured the sky, 25 

or carefully weighed 26  the soil of the earth,

or weighed the mountains in a balance,

or the hills on scales? 27 

40:13 Who comprehends 28  the mind 29  of the Lord,

or gives him instruction as his counselor? 30 

40:14 From whom does he receive directions? 31 

Who 32  teaches him the correct way to do things, 33 

or imparts knowledge to him,

or instructs him in skillful design? 34 

40:15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;

they are regarded as dust on the scales.

He lifts 35  the coastlands 36  as if they were dust.

40:16 Not even Lebanon could supply enough firewood for a sacrifice; 37 

its wild animals would not provide enough burnt offerings. 38 

40:17 All the nations are insignificant before him;

they are regarded as absolutely nothing. 39 

40:18 To whom can you compare God?

To what image can you liken him?

40:19 A craftsman casts 40  an idol;

a metalsmith overlays it with gold

and forges silver chains for it.

40:20 To make a contribution one selects wood that will not rot; 41 

he then seeks a skilled craftsman

to make 42  an idol that will not fall over.

40:21 Do you not know?

Do you not hear?

Has it not been told to you since the very beginning?

Have you not understood from the time the earth’s foundations were made?

40:22 He is the one who sits on the earth’s horizon; 43 

its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. 44 

He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, 45 

and spreads it out 46  like a pitched tent. 47 

40:23 He is the one who reduces rulers to nothing;

he makes the earth’s leaders insignificant.

40:24 Indeed, they are barely planted;

yes, they are barely sown;

yes, they barely take root in the earth,

and then he blows on them, causing them to dry up,

and the wind carries them away like straw.

40:25To whom can you compare me? Whom do I resemble?”

says the Holy One. 48 

40:26 Look up at the sky! 49 

Who created all these heavenly lights? 50 

He is the one who leads out their ranks; 51 

he calls them all by name.

Because of his absolute power and awesome strength,

not one of them is missing.

40:27 Why do you say, Jacob,

Why do you say, Israel,

The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me, 52 

My God is not concerned with my vindication? 53 

40:28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is an eternal God,

the creator of the whole earth. 54 

He does not get tired or weary;

there is no limit to his wisdom. 55 

40:29 He gives strength to those who are tired;

to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.

40:30 Even youths get tired and weary;

even strong young men clumsily stumble. 56 

40:31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help 57  find renewed strength;

they rise up as if they had eagleswings, 58 

they run without growing weary,

they walk without getting tired.

The Lord Challenges the Nations

41:1Listen to me in silence, you coastlands! 59 

Let the nations find renewed strength!

Let them approach and then speak;

let us come together for debate! 60 

41:2 Who stirs up this one from the east? 61 

Who 62  officially commissions him for service? 63 

He hands nations over to him, 64 

and enables him to subdue 65  kings.

He makes them like dust with his sword,

like windblown straw with his bow. 66 

41:3 He pursues them and passes by unharmed; 67 

he advances with great speed. 68 

41:4 Who acts and carries out decrees? 69 

Who 70  summons the successive generations from the beginning?

I, the Lord, am present at the very beginning,

and at the very end – I am the one. 71 

41:5 The coastlands 72  see and are afraid;

the whole earth 73  trembles;

they approach and come.

41:6 They help one another; 74 

one says to the other, ‘Be strong!’

41:7 The craftsman encourages the metalsmith,

the one who wields the hammer encourages 75  the one who pounds on the anvil.

He approves the quality of the welding, 76 

and nails it down so it won’t fall over.”

The Lord Encourages His People

41:8You, my servant Israel,

Jacob whom I have chosen,

offspring of Abraham my friend, 77 

41:9 you whom I am bringing back 78  from the earth’s extremities,

and have summoned from the remote regions

I told you, “You are my servant.”

I have chosen you and not rejected you.

41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!

Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! 79 

I strengthen you –

yes, I help you –

yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! 80 

41:11 Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated;

your adversaries 81  will be reduced to nothing 82  and perish.

41:12 When you will look for your opponents, 83  you will not find them;

your enemies 84  will be reduced to absolutely nothing.

41:13 For I am the Lord your God,

the one who takes hold of your right hand,

who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’

41:14 Don’t be afraid, despised insignificant Jacob, 85 

men of 86  Israel.

I am helping you,” says the Lord,

your protector, 87  the Holy One of Israel. 88 

41:15Look, I am making you like 89  a sharp threshing sledge,

new and double-edged. 90 

You will thresh the mountains and crush them;

you will make the hills like straw. 91 

41:16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;

the wind will scatter them.

You will rejoice in the Lord;

you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

41:17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;

their tongues are parched from thirst.

I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers; 92 

I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

41:18 I will make streams flow down the slopes

and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.

I will turn the desert into a pool of water

and the arid land into springs.

41:19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;

I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.

41:20 I will do this so 93  people 94  will observe and recognize,

so they will pay attention and understand

that the Lord’s power 95  has accomplished this,

and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.” 96 

The Lord Challenges the Pagan Gods

41:21Present your argument,” says the Lord.

“Produce your evidence,” 97  says Jacob’s king. 98 

41:22Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen!

Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, 99 

so we may examine them 100  and see how they were fulfilled. 101 

Or decree for us some future events!

41:23 Predict how future events will turn out, 102 

so we might know you are gods.

Yes, do something good or bad,

so we might be frightened and in awe. 103 

41:24 Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent;

the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting. 104 

41:25 I have stirred up one out of the north 105  and he advances,

one from the eastern horizon who prays in my name. 106 

He steps on 107  rulers as if they were clay,

like a potter treading the clay.

41:26 Who decreed this from the beginning, so we could know?

Who announced it 108  ahead of time, so we could say, ‘He’s correct’?

Indeed, none of them decreed it!

Indeed, none of them announced it!

Indeed, no one heard you say anything!

41:27 I first decreed to Zion, ‘Look, here’s what will happen!’ 109 

I sent a herald to Jerusalem. 110 

41:28 I look, but there is no one,

among them there is no one who serves as an adviser,

that I might ask questions and receive answers.

41:29 Look, all of them are nothing, 111 

their accomplishments are nonexistent;

their metal images lack any real substance. 112 

42:1

The Lord Commissions His Special Servant

113 

“Here is my servant whom I support,

my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.

I have placed my spirit on him;

he will make just decrees 114  for the nations. 115 

42:2 He will not cry out or shout;

he will not publicize himself in the streets. 116 

42:3 A crushed reed he will not break,

a dim wick he will not extinguish; 117 

he will faithfully make just decrees. 118 

42:4 He will not grow dim or be crushed 119 

before establishing justice on the earth;

the coastlands 120  will wait in anticipation for his decrees.” 121 

42:5 This is what the true God, 122  the Lord, says –

the one who created the sky and stretched it out,

the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it, 123 

the one who gives breath to the people on it,

and life to those who live on it: 124 

42:6I, the Lord, officially commission you; 125 

I take hold of your hand.

I protect you 126  and make you a covenant mediator for people, 127 

and a light 128  to the nations, 129 

42:7 to open blind eyes, 130 

to release prisoners 131  from dungeons,

those who live in darkness from prisons.

The Lord Intervenes

42:8 I am the Lord! That is my name!

I will not share my glory with anyone else,

or the praise due me with idols.

42:9 Look, my earlier predictive oracles have come to pass; 132 

now I announce new events.

Before they begin to occur,

I reveal them to you.” 133 

42:10 Sing to the Lord a brand new song!

Praise him 134  from the horizon of the earth,

you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, 135 

you coastlands 136  and those who live there!

42:11 Let the desert and its cities shout out,

the towns where the nomads of Kedar live!

Let the residents of Sela shout joyfully;

let them shout loudly from the mountaintops.

42:12 Let them give the Lord the honor he deserves; 137 

let them praise his deeds in the coastlands. 138 

42:13 The Lord emerges like a hero,

like a warrior he inspires himself for battle; 139 

he shouts, yes, he yells,

he shows his enemies his power. 140 

42:14I have been inactive 141  for a long time;

I kept quiet and held back.

Like a woman in labor I groan;

I pant and gasp. 142 

42:15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up; 143 

I will dry up all their vegetation.

I will turn streams into islands, 144 

and dry up pools of water. 145 

42:16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; 146 

I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. 147 

I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,

and level out the rough ground. 148 

This is what I will do for them.

I will not abandon them.

42:17 Those who trust in idols

will turn back and be utterly humiliated, 149 

those who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’

The Lord Reasons with His People

42:18Listen, you deaf ones!

Take notice, 150  you blind ones!

42:19 My servant is truly blind,

my messenger is truly deaf.

My covenant partner, 151  the servant of the Lord, is truly blind. 152 

42:20 You see 153  many things, but don’t comprehend; 154 

their ears are open, but do not hear.”

42:21 The Lord wanted to exhibit his justice

by magnifying his law and displaying it. 155 

42:22 But these people are looted and plundered;

all of them are trapped in pits 156 

and held captive 157  in prisons.

They were carried away as loot with no one to rescue them;

they were carried away as plunder, and no one says, “Bring that back! 158 

42:23 Who among you will pay attention to this?

Who will listen attentively in the future? 159 

42:24 Who handed Jacob over to the robber?

Who handed Israel over to the looters? 160 

Was it not the Lord, against whom we sinned?

They refused to follow his commands;

they disobeyed his law. 161 

42:25 So he poured out his fierce anger on them,

along with the devastation 162  of war.

Its flames encircled them, but they did not realize it; 163 

it burned against them, but they did notice. 164 

The Lord Will Rescue His People

43:1 Now, this is what the Lord says,

the one who created you, O Jacob,

and formed you, O Israel:

“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect 165  you.

I call you by name, you are mine.

43:2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;

when you pass 166  through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;

the flames will not harm 167  you.

43:3 For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, 168  your deliverer.

I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,

Ethiopia and Seba 169  in place of you.

43:4 Since you are precious and special in my sight, 170 

and I love you,

I will hand over people in place of you,

nations in place of your life.

43:5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

From the east I will bring your descendants;

from the west I will gather you.

43:6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’

and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’

Bring my sons from distant lands,

and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,

43:7 everyone who belongs to me, 171 

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed – yes, whom I made!

The Lord Declares His Sovereignty

43:8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,

those who are deaf, even though they have ears!

43:9 All nations gather together,

the peoples assemble.

Who among them announced this?

Who predicted earlier events for us? 172 

Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right;

let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’

43:10 You are my witnesses,” says the Lord,

“my servant whom I have chosen,

so that you may consider 173  and believe in me,

and understand that I am he.

No god was formed before me,

and none will outlive me. 174 

43:11 I, I am the Lord,

and there is no deliverer besides me.

43:12 I decreed and delivered and proclaimed,

and there was no other god among you.

You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “that I am God.

43:13 From this day forward I am he;

no one can deliver from my power; 175 

I will act, and who can prevent it?

The Lord Will Do Something New

43:14 This is what the Lord says,

your protector, 176  the Holy One of Israel: 177 

“For your sake I send to Babylon

and make them all fugitives, 178 

turning the Babyloniansjoyful shouts into mourning songs. 179 

43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, 180 

the one who created Israel, your king.”

43:16 This is what the Lord says,

the one who made a road through the sea,

a pathway through the surging waters,

43:17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction, 181 

together with a mighty army.

They fell down, 182  never to rise again;

they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:

43:18Don’t remember these earlier events; 183 

don’t recall these former events.

43:19Look, I am about to do something new.

Now it begins to happen! 184  Do you not recognize 185  it?

Yes, I will make a road in the desert

and paths 186  in the wilderness.

43:20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,

the jackals and ostriches,

because I put water in the desert

and streams in the wilderness,

to quench the thirst of my chosen people,

43:21 the people whom I formed for myself,

so they might praise me.” 187 

The Lord Rebukes His People

43:22But you did not call for me, O Jacob;

you did not long 188  for me, O Israel.

43:23 You did not bring me lambs for your burnt offerings;

you did not honor me with your sacrifices.

I did not burden you with offerings;

I did not make you weary by demanding 189  incense.

43:24 You did not buy me aromatic reeds; 190 

you did not present to me 191  the fat of your sacrifices.

Yet you burdened me with your sins;

you made me weary with your evil deeds. 192 

43:25 I, I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake;

your sins I do not remember.

43:26 Remind me of what happened! Let’s debate!

You, prove to me that you are right! 193 

43:27 The father of your nation 194  sinned;

your spokesmen 195  rebelled against me.

43:28 So I defiled your holy princes,

and handed Jacob over to destruction,

and subjected 196  Israel to humiliating abuse.”

The Lord Will Renew Israel

44:1Now, listen, Jacob my servant,

Israel whom I have chosen!

44:2 This is what the Lord, the one who made you, says –

the one who formed you in the womb and helps you:

“Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,

Jeshurun, 197  whom I have chosen!

44:3 For I will pour water on the parched ground 198 

and cause streams to flow 199  on the dry land.

I will pour my spirit on your offspring

and my blessing on your children.

44:4 They will sprout up like a tree in the grass, 200 

like poplars beside channels of water.

44:5 One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord,’

and another will use 201  the name ‘Jacob.’

One will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’

and use the name ‘Israel.’ 202 

The Absurdity of Idolatry

44:6 This is what the Lord, Israel’s king, says,

their protector, 203  the Lord who commands armies:

“I am the first and I am the last,

there is no God but me.

44:7 Who is like me? Let him make his claim! 204 

Let him announce it and explain it to me –

since I established an ancient people – 205 

let them announce future events! 206 

44:8 Don’t panic! Don’t be afraid! 207 

Did I not tell you beforehand and decree it?

You are my witnesses! Is there any God but me?

There is no other sheltering rock; 208  I know of none.

44:9 All who form idols are nothing;

the things in which they delight are worthless.

Their witnesses cannot see;

they recognize nothing, so they are put to shame.

44:10 Who forms a god and casts an idol

that will prove worthless? 209 

44:11 Look, all his associates 210  will be put to shame;

the craftsmen are mere humans. 211 

Let them all assemble and take their stand!

They will panic and be put to shame.

44:12 A blacksmith works with his tool 212 

and forges metal over the coals.

He forms it 213  with hammers;

he makes it with his strong arm.

He gets hungry and loses his energy; 214 

he drinks no water and gets tired.

44:13 A carpenter takes measurements; 215 

he marks out an outline of its form; 216 

he scrapes 217  it with chisels,

and marks it with a compass.

He patterns it after the human form, 218 

like a well-built human being,

and puts it in a shrine. 219 

44:14 He cuts down cedars

and acquires a cypress 220  or an oak.

He gets 221  trees from the forest;

he plants a cedar 222  and the rain makes it grow.

44:15 A man uses it to make a fire; 223 

he takes some of it and warms himself.

Yes, he kindles a fire and bakes bread.

Then he makes a god and worships it;

he makes an idol and bows down to it. 224 

44:16 Half of it he burns in the fire

over that half he cooks 225  meat;

he roasts a meal and fills himself.

Yes, he warms himself and says,

Ah! I am warm as I look at the fire.’

44:17 With the rest of it he makes a god, his idol;

he bows down to it and worships it.

He prays to it, saying,

Rescue me, for you are my god!’

44:18 They do not comprehend or understand,

for their eyes are blind and cannot see;

their minds do not discern. 226 

44:19 No one thinks to himself,

nor do they comprehend or understand and say to themselves:

‘I burned half of it in the fire

yes, I baked bread over the coals;

I roasted meat and ate it.

With the rest of it should I make a disgusting idol?

Should I bow down to dry wood?’ 227 

44:20 He feeds on ashes; 228 

his deceived mind misleads him.

He cannot rescue himself,

nor does he say, ‘Is this not a false god I hold in my right hand?’ 229 

44:21 Remember these things, O Jacob,

O Israel, for you are my servant.

I formed you to be my servant;

O Israel, I will not forget you! 230 

44:22 I remove the guilt of your rebellious deeds as if they were a cloud,

the guilt of your sins as if they were a cloud. 231 

Come back to me, for I protect 232  you.”

44:23 Shout for joy, O sky, for the Lord intervenes; 233 

shout out, you subterranean regions 234  of the earth.

O mountains, give a joyful shout;

you too, O forest and all your trees! 235 

For the Lord protects 236  Jacob;

he reveals his splendor through Israel. 237 

The Lord Empowers Cyrus

44:24 This is what the Lord, your protector, 238  says,

the one who formed you in the womb:

“I am the Lord, who made everything,

who alone stretched out the sky,

who fashioned the earth all by myself, 239 

44:25 who frustrates the omens of the empty talkers 240 

and humiliates 241  the omen readers,

who overturns the counsel of the wise men 242 

and makes their advice 243  seem foolish,

44:26 who fulfills the oracles of his prophetic servants 244 

and brings to pass the announcements 245  of his messengers,

who says about Jerusalem, 246 She will be inhabited,’

and about the towns of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt,

her ruins I will raise up,’

44:27 who says to the deep sea, ‘Be dry!

I will dry up your sea currents,’

44:28 who commissions 247  Cyrus, the one I appointed as shepherd 248 

to carry out all my wishes 249 

and to decree concerning Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’

and concerning the temple, ‘It will be reconstructed.’ 250 

45:1 This is what the Lord says to his chosen 251  one,

to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold 252 

in order to subdue nations before him,

and disarm kings, 253 

to open doors before him,

so gates remain unclosed:

45:2I will go before you

and level mountains. 254 

Bronze doors I will shatter

and iron bars 255  I will hack through.

45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, 256 

riches stashed away in secret places,

so you may recognize that I am the Lord,

the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.

45:4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,

Israel, my chosen one,

I call you by name

and give you a title of respect, even though you do not recognize 257  me.

45:5 I am the Lord, I have no peer, 258 

there is no God but me.

I arm you for battle, 259  even though you do not recognize 260  me.

45:6 I do this 261  so people 262  will recognize from east to west

that there is no God but me;

I am the Lord, I have no peer.

45:7 I am 263  the one who forms light

and creates darkness; 264 

the one who brings about peace

and creates calamity. 265 

I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things.

45:8 O sky, rain down from above!

Let the clouds send down showers 266  of deliverance!

Let the earth absorb it 267  so salvation may grow, 268 

and deliverance may sprout up 269  along with it.

I, the Lord, create it. 270 

The Lord Gives a Warning

45:9 One who argues with his creator is in grave danger, 271 

one who is like a mere 272  shard among the other shards on the ground!

The clay should not say to the potter, 273 

“What in the world 274  are you doing?

Your work lacks skill! 275 

45:10 Danger awaits one who says 276  to his father,

What in the world 277  are you fathering?”

and to his mother,

“What in the world are you bringing forth? 278 

45:11 This is what the Lord says,

the Holy One of Israel, 279  the one who formed him,

concerning things to come: 280 

“How dare you question me 281  about my children!

How dare you tell me what to do with 282  the work of my own hands!

45:12 I made the earth,

I created the people who live 283  on it.

It was me – my hands 284  stretched out the sky, 285 

I give orders to all the heavenly lights. 286 

45:13 It is me – I stir him up and commission him; 287 

I will make all his ways level.

He will rebuild my city;

he will send my exiled people home,

but not for a price or a bribe,”

says the Lord who commands armies.

The Lord is the Nations’ Only Hope

45:14 This is what the Lord says:

“The profit 288  of Egypt and the revenue 289  of Ethiopia,

along with the Sabeans, those tall men,

will be brought to you 290  and become yours.

They will walk behind you, coming along in chains. 291 

They will bow down to you

and pray to you: 292 

‘Truly God is with 293  you; he has no peer; 294 

there is no other God!’

45:15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden,

O God of Israel, deliverer!

45:16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed;

those who fashion idols will all be humiliated. 295 

45:17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by the Lord; 296 

you will never again be ashamed or humiliated. 297 

45:18 For this is what the Lord says,

the one who created the sky

he is the true God, 298 

the one who formed the earth and made it;

he established it,

he did not create it without order, 299 

he formed it to be inhabited

“I am the Lord, I have no peer.

45:19 I have not spoken in secret,

in some hidden place. 300 

I did not tell Jacob’s descendants,

Seek me in vain!’ 301 

I am the Lord,

the one who speaks honestly,

who makes reliable announcements. 302 

45:20 Gather together and come!

Approach together, you refugees from the nations!

Those who carry wooden idols know nothing,

those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.

45:21 Tell me! Present the evidence! 303 

Let them consult with one another!

Who predicted this in the past?

Who announced it beforehand?

Was it not I, the Lord?

I have no peer, there is no God but me,

a God who vindicates and delivers; 304 

there is none but me.

45:22 Turn to me so you can be delivered, 305 

all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!

For I am God, and I have no peer.

45:23 I solemnly make this oath 306 

what I say is true and reliable: 307 

‘Surely every knee will bow to me,

every tongue will solemnly affirm; 308 

45:24 they will say about me,

“Yes, the Lord is a powerful deliverer.”’ 309 

All who are angry at him will cower before him. 310 

45:25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the Lord

and will boast in him. 311 

The Lord Carries His People

46:1 Bel 312  kneels down,

Nebo 313  bends low.

Their images weigh down animals and beasts. 314 

Your heavy images are burdensome to tired animals. 315 

46:2 Together they bend low and kneel down;

they are unable to rescue the images; 316 

they themselves 317  head off into captivity. 318 

46:3Listen to me, O family of Jacob, 319 

all you who are left from the family of Israel, 320 

you who have been carried from birth, 321 

you who have been supported from the time you left the womb. 322 

46:4 Even when you are old, I will take care of you, 323 

even when you have gray hair, I will carry you.

I made you and I will support you;

I will carry you and rescue you. 324 

46:5 To whom can you compare and liken me?

Tell me whom you think I resemble, so we can be compared!

46:6 Those who empty out gold from a purse

and weigh out silver on the scale 325 

hire a metalsmith, who makes it into a god.

They then bow down and worship it.

46:7 They put it on their shoulder and carry it;

they put it in its place and it just stands there;

it does not 326  move from its place.

Even when someone cries out to it, it does not reply;

it does not deliver him from his distress.

46:8 Remember this, so you can be brave! 327 

Think about it, you rebels! 328 

46:9 Remember what I accomplished in antiquity! 329 

Truly I am God, I have no peer; 330 

I am God, and there is none like me,

46:10 who announces the end from the beginning

and reveals beforehand 331  what has not yet occurred,

who says, ‘My plan will be realized,

I will accomplish what I desire,’

46:11 who summons an eagle 332  from the east,

from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.

Yes, I have decreed, 333 

yes, I will bring it to pass;

I have formulated a plan,

yes, I will carry it out.

46:12 Listen to me, you stubborn people, 334 

you who distance yourself from doing what is right. 335 

46:13 I am bringing my deliverance near, it is not far away;

I am bringing my salvation near, 336  it does not wait.

I will save Zion; 337 

I will adorn Israel with my splendor.” 338 

Babylon Will Fall

47:1Fall down! Sit in the dirt,

O virgin 339  daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground, not on a throne,

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, 340  you will no longer be called delicate and pampered.

47:2 Pick up millstones and grind flour!

Remove your veil,

strip off your skirt,

expose your legs,

cross the streams!

47:3 Let your private parts be exposed!

Your genitals will be on display! 341 

I will get revenge;

I will not have pity on anyone,” 342 

47:4 says our protector

the Lord who commands armies is his name,

the Holy One of Israel. 343 

47:5Sit silently! Go to a hiding place, 344 

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, 345  you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’

47:6 I was angry at my people;

I defiled my special possession

and handed them over to you.

You showed them no mercy; 346 

you even placed a very heavy burden on old people. 347 

47:7 You said,

I will rule forever as permanent queen!’ 348 

You did not think about these things; 349 

you did not consider how it would turn out. 350 

47:8 So now, listen to this,

O one who lives so lavishly, 351 

who lives securely,

who says to herself, 352 

‘I am unique! No one can compare to me! 353 

I will never have to live as a widow;

I will never lose my children.’ 354 

47:9 Both of these will come upon you

suddenly, in one day!

You will lose your children and be widowed. 355 

You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies, 356 

despite 357  your many incantations

and your numerous amulets. 358 

47:10 You were complacent in your evil deeds; 359 

you thought, 360 No one sees me.’

Your self-professed 361  wisdom and knowledge lead you astray,

when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’ 362 

47:11 Disaster will overtake you;

you will not know how to charm it away. 363 

Destruction will fall on you;

you will not be able to appease it.

Calamity will strike you suddenly,

before you recognize it. 364 

47:12 Persist 365  in trusting 366  your amulets

and your many incantations,

which you have faithfully recited 367  since your youth!

Maybe you will be successful 368 

maybe you will scare away disaster. 369 

47:13 You are tired out from listening to so much advice. 370 

Let them take their stand

the ones who see omens in the sky,

who gaze at the stars,

who make monthly predictions

let them rescue you from the disaster that is about to overtake you! 371 

47:14 Look, they are like straw,

which the fire burns up;

they cannot rescue themselves

from the heat 372  of the flames.

There are no coals to warm them,

no firelight to enjoy. 373 

47:15 They will disappoint you, 374 

those you have so faithfully dealt with since your youth. 375 

Each strays off in his own direction, 376 

leaving no one to rescue you.”

The Lord Appeals to the Exiles

48:1 Listen to this, O family of Jacob, 377 

you who are called by the name ‘Israel,’

and are descended from Judah, 378 

who take oaths in the name of the Lord,

and invoke 379  the God of Israel

but not in an honest and just manner. 380 

48:2 Indeed, they live in the holy city; 381 

they trust in 382  the God of Israel,

whose name is the Lord who commands armies.

48:3I announced events beforehand, 383 

I issued the decrees and made the predictions; 384 

suddenly I acted and they came to pass.

48:4 I did this 385  because I know how stubborn you are.

Your neck muscles are like iron

and your forehead like bronze. 386 

48:5 I announced them to you beforehand;

before they happened, I predicted them for you,

so you could never say,

My image did these things,

my idol, my cast image, decreed them.’

48:6 You have heard; now look at all the evidence! 387 

Will you not admit that what I say is true? 388 

From this point on I am announcing to you new events

that are previously unrevealed and you do not know about. 389 

48:7 Now they come into being, 390  not in the past;

before today you did not hear about them,

so you could not say,

Yes, 391  I know about them.’

48:8 You did not hear,

you do not know,

you were not told beforehand. 392 

For I know that you are very deceitful; 393 

you were labeled 394  a rebel from birth.

48:9 For the sake of my reputation 395  I hold back my anger;

for the sake of my prestige 396  I restrain myself from destroying you. 397 

48:10 Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have purified you 398  in the furnace of misery.

48:11 For my sake alone 399  I will act,

for how can I allow my name to be defiled? 400 

I will not share my glory with anyone else! 401 

48:12 Listen to me, O Jacob,

Israel, whom I summoned!

I am the one;

I am present at the very beginning

and at the very end. 402 

48:13 Yes, my hand founded the earth;

my right hand spread out the sky.

I summon them;

they stand together.

48:14 All of you, gather together and listen!

Who among them 403  announced these things?

The Lord’s ally 404  will carry out his desire against Babylon;

he will exert his power against the Babylonians. 405 

48:15 I, I have spoken

yes, I have summoned him;

I lead him and he will succeed. 406 

48:16 Approach me! Listen to this!

From the very first I have not spoken in secret;

when it happens, 407  I am there.”

So now, the sovereign Lord has sent me, accompanied by his spirit. 408 

48:17 This is what the Lord, your protector, 409  says,

the Holy One of Israel: 410 

“I am the Lord your God,

who teaches you how to succeed,

who leads you in the way you should go.

48:18 If only you had obeyed my 411  commandments,

prosperity would have flowed to you like a river, 412 

deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea. 413 

48:19 Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand, 414 

and your children 415  like its granules.

Their name would not have been cut off

and eliminated from my presence. 416 

48:20 Leave Babylon!

Flee from the Babylonians!

Announce it with a shout of joy!

Make this known!

Proclaim it throughout the earth! 417 

Say, ‘The Lord protects 418  his servant Jacob.

48:21 They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;

he makes water flow out of a rock for them;

he splits open a rock and water flows out.’ 419 

48:22 There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the Lord.

Ideal Israel Delivers the Exiles

49:1 Listen to me, you coastlands! 420 

Pay attention, you people who live far away!

The Lord summoned me from birth; 421 

he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world. 422 

49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,

he hid me in the hollow of his hand;

he made me like a sharpened 423  arrow,

he hid me in his quiver. 424 

49:3 He said to me, “You are my servant,

Israel, through whom I will reveal my splendor.” 425 

49:4 But I thought, 426 I have worked in vain;

I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing.” 427 

But the Lord will vindicate me;

my God will reward me. 428 

49:5 So now the Lord says,

the one who formed me from birth 429  to be his servant

he did this 430  to restore Jacob to himself,

so that Israel might be gathered to him;

and I will be honored 431  in the Lord’s sight,

for my God is my source of strength 432 

49:6 he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,

to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,

and restore the remnant 433  of Israel? 434 

I will make you a light to the nations, 435 

so you can bring 436  my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”

49:7 This is what the Lord,

the protector 437  of Israel, their Holy One, 438  says

to the one who is despised 439  and rejected 440  by nations, 441 

a servant of rulers:

“Kings will see and rise in respect, 442 

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;

I will protect you 443  and make you a covenant mediator for people, 444 

to rebuild 445  the land 446 

and to reassign the desolate property.

49:9 You will say 447  to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’

and to those who are in dark dungeons, 448 Emerge.’ 449 

They will graze beside the roads;

on all the slopes they will find pasture.

49:10 They will not be hungry or thirsty;

the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, 450 

for one who has compassion on them will guide them;

he will lead them to springs of water.

49:11 I will make all my mountains into a road;

I will construct my roadways.”

49:12 Look, they come from far away!

Look, some come from the north and west,

and others from the land of Sinim! 451 

49:13 Shout for joy, O sky! 452 

Rejoice, O earth!

Let the mountains give a joyful shout!

For the Lord consoles his people

and shows compassion to the 453  oppressed.

The Lord Remembers Zion

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

the sovereign master 454  has forgotten me.’

49:15 Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? 455 

Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? 456 

Even if mothers 457  were to forget,

I could never forget you! 458 

49:16 Look, I have inscribed your name 459  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! 460 

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. 461 

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, 462 

make room for us so we can live here.’ 463 

49:21 Then you will think to yourself, 464 

‘Who bore these children for me?

I was bereaved and barren,

dismissed and divorced. 465 

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 466  guardians;

their princesses will nurse your children. 467 

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

and they will lick the dirt on 468  your feet.

Then you will recognize that I am the Lord;

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

49:24 Can spoils be taken from a warrior,

or captives be rescued from a conqueror? 469 

49:25 Indeed,” says the Lord,

“captives will be taken from a warrior;

spoils will be rescued from a conqueror.

I will oppose your adversary

and I will rescue your children.

49:26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;

they will get drunk on their own blood, as if it were wine. 470 

Then all humankind 471  will recognize that

I am the Lord, your deliverer,

your protector, 472  the powerful ruler of Jacob.” 473 

50:1 This is what the Lord says:

“Where is your mother’s divorce certificate

by which I divorced her?

Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? 474 

Look, you were sold because of your sins; 475 

because of your rebellious acts I divorced your mother. 476 

50:2 Why does no one challenge me when I come?

Why does no one respond when I call? 477 

Is my hand too weak 478  to deliver 479  you?

Do I lack the power to rescue you?

Look, with a mere shout 480  I can dry up the sea;

I can turn streams into a desert,

so the fish rot away and die

from lack of water. 481 

50:3 I can clothe the sky in darkness;

I can cover it with sackcloth.”

The Servant Perseveres

50:4 The sovereign Lord has given me the capacity to be his spokesman, 482 

so that I know how to help the weary. 483 

He wakes me up every morning;

he makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do. 484 

50:5 The sovereign Lord has spoken to me clearly; 485 

I have not rebelled,

I have not turned back.

50:6 I offered my back to those who attacked, 486 

my jaws to those who tore out my beard;

I did not hide my face

from insults and spitting.

50:7 But the sovereign Lord helps me,

so I am not humiliated.

For that reason I am steadfastly resolved; 487 

I know I will not be put to shame.

50:8 The one who vindicates me is close by.

Who dares to argue with me? Let us confront each other! 488 

Who is my accuser? 489  Let him challenge me! 490 

50:9 Look, the sovereign Lord helps me.

Who dares to condemn me?

Look, all of them will wear out like clothes;

a moth will eat away at them.

50:10 Who among you fears the Lord?

Who obeys 491  his servant?

Whoever walks in deep darkness, 492 

without light,

should trust in the name of the Lord

and rely on his God.

50:11 Look, all of you who start a fire

and who equip yourselves with 493  flaming arrows, 494 

walk 495  in the light 496  of the fire you started

and among the flaming arrows you ignited! 497 

This is what you will receive from me: 498 

you will lie down in a place of pain. 499 

There is Hope for the Future

51:1Listen to me, you who pursue godliness, 500 

who seek the Lord!

Look at the rock from which you were chiseled,

at the quarry 501  from which you were dug! 502 

51:2 Look at Abraham, your father,

and Sarah, who gave you birth. 503 

When I summoned him, he was a lone individual, 504 

but I blessed him 505  and gave him numerous descendants. 506 

51:3 Certainly the Lord will console Zion;

he will console all her ruins.

He will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the Garden of the Lord.

Happiness and joy will be restored to 507  her,

thanksgiving and the sound of music.

51:4 Pay attention to me, my people!

Listen to me, my people!

For 508  I will issue a decree, 509 

I will make my justice a light to the nations. 510 

51:5 I am ready to vindicate, 511 

I am ready to deliver, 512 

I will establish justice among the nations. 513 

The coastlands 514  wait patiently for me;

they wait in anticipation for the revelation of my power. 515 

51:6 Look up at the sky!

Look at the earth below!

For the sky will dissipate 516  like smoke,

and the earth will wear out like clothes;

its residents will die like gnats.

But the deliverance I give 517  is permanent;

the vindication I provide 518  will not disappear. 519 

51:7 Listen to me, you who know what is right,

you people who are aware of my law! 520 

Don’t be afraid of the insults of men;

don’t be discouraged because of their abuse!

51:8 For a moth will eat away at them like clothes;

a clothes moth will devour them like wool.

But the vindication I provide 521  will be permanent;

the deliverance I give will last.”

51:9 Wake up! Wake up!

Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord! 522 

Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity!

Did you not smash 523  the Proud One? 524 

Did you not 525  wound the sea monster? 526 

51:10 Did you not dry up the sea,

the waters of the great deep?

Did you not make 527  a path through the depths of the sea,

so those delivered from bondage 528  could cross over?

51:11 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return;

they will enter Zion with a happy shout.

Unending joy will crown them, 529 

happiness and joy will overwhelm 530  them;

grief and suffering will disappear. 531 

51:12I, I am the one who consoles you. 532 

Why are you afraid of mortal men,

of mere human beings who are as short-lived as grass? 533 

51:13 Why do you forget 534  the Lord, who made you,

who stretched out the sky 535 

and founded the earth?

Why do you constantly tremble all day long 536 

at the anger of the oppressor,

when he makes plans to destroy?

Where is the anger of the oppressor? 537 

51:14 The one who suffers 538  will soon be released;

he will not die in prison, 539 

he will not go hungry. 540 

51:15 I am the Lord your God,

who churns up the sea so that its waves surge.

The Lord who commands armies is his name!

Zion’s Time to Celebrate

51:16 I commission you 541  as my spokesman; 542 

I cover you with the palm of my hand, 543 

to establish 544  the sky and to found the earth,

to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ 545 

51:17 Wake up! Wake up!

Get up, O Jerusalem!

You drank from the cup the Lord passed to you,

which was full of his anger! 546 

You drained dry

the goblet full of intoxicating wine. 547 

51:18 There was no one to lead her

among all the children she bore;

there was no one to take her by the hand

among all the children she raised.

51:19 These double disasters confronted you.

But who feels sorry for you?

Destruction and devastation,

famine and sword.

But who consoles you? 548 

51:20 Your children faint;

they lie at the head of every street

like an antelope in a snare.

They are left in a stupor by the Lord’s anger,

by the battle cry of your God. 549 

51:21 So listen to this, oppressed one,

who is drunk, but not from wine!

51:22 This is what your sovereign master, 550  the Lord your God, says:

“Look, I have removed from your hand

the cup of intoxicating wine, 551 

the goblet full of my anger. 552 

You will no longer have to drink it.

51:23 I will put it into the hand of your tormentors 553 

who said to you, ‘Lie down, so we can walk over you.’

You made your back like the ground,

and like the street for those who walked over you.”

52:1 Wake up! Wake up!

Clothe yourself with strength, O Zion!

Put on your beautiful clothes,

O Jerusalem, 554  holy city!

For uncircumcised and unclean pagans

will no longer invade you.

52:2 Shake off the dirt! 555 

Get up, captive 556  Jerusalem!

Take off the iron chains around your neck,

O captive daughter Zion!

52:3 For this is what the Lord says:

“You were sold for nothing,

and you will not be redeemed for money.”

52:4 For this is what the sovereign Lord says:

“In the beginning my people went to live temporarily in Egypt;

Assyria oppressed them for no good reason.

52:5 And now, what do we have here?” 557  says the Lord.

“Indeed my people have been carried away for nothing,

those who rule over them taunt,” 558  says the Lord,

“and my name is constantly slandered 559  all day long.

52:6 For this reason my people will know my name,

for this reason they will know 560  at that time 561  that I am the one who says,

Here I am.’

52:7 How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains 562 

the feet of a messenger who announces peace,

a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance,

who says to Zion, “Your God reigns! 563 

52:8 Listen, 564  your watchmen shout;

in unison they shout for joy,

for they see with their very own eyes 565 

the Lord’s return to Zion.

52:9 In unison give a joyful shout,

O ruins of Jerusalem!

For the Lord consoles his people;

he protects 566  Jerusalem.

52:10 The Lord reveals 567  his royal power 568 

in the sight of all the nations;

the entire 569  earth sees

our God deliver. 570 

52:11 Leave! Leave! Get out of there!

Don’t touch anything unclean!

Get out of it!

Stay pure, you who carry the Lord’s holy items! 571 

52:12 Yet do not depart quickly

or leave in a panic. 572 

For the Lord goes before you;

the God of Israel is your rear guard.

The Lord Will Vindicate His Servant

52:13Look, my servant will succeed! 573 

He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted 574 

52:14 (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) 575 

he was so disfigured 576  he no longer looked like a man; 577 

52:15 his form was so marred he no longer looked human 578 

so now 579  he will startle 580  many nations.

Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, 581 

for they will witness something unannounced to them,

and they will understand something they had not heard about.

53:1 Who would have believed 582  what we 583  just heard? 584 

When 585  was the Lord’s power 586  revealed through him?

53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God, 587 

like a root out of parched soil; 588 

he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, 589 

no special appearance that we should want to follow him. 590 

53:3 He was despised and rejected by people, 591 

one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;

people hid their faces from him; 592 

he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. 593 

53:4 But he lifted up our illnesses,

he carried our pain; 594 

even though we thought he was being punished,

attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. 595 

53:5 He was wounded because of 596  our rebellious deeds,

crushed because of our sins;

he endured punishment that made us well; 597 

because of his wounds we have been healed. 598 

53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep;

each of us had strayed off on his own path,

but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him. 599 

53:7 He was treated harshly and afflicted, 600 

but he did not even open his mouth.

Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block,

like a sheep silent before her shearers,

he did not even open his mouth. 601 

53:8 He was led away after an unjust trial 602 

but who even cared? 603 

Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; 604 

because of the rebellion of his own 605  people he was wounded.

53:9 They intended to bury him with criminals, 606 

but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, 607 

because 608  he had committed no violent deeds,

nor had he spoken deceitfully.

53:10 Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill,

once restitution is made, 609 

he will see descendants and enjoy long life, 610 

and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.

53:11 Having suffered, he will reflect on his work,

he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. 611 

“My servant 612  will acquit many, 613 

for he carried their sins. 614 

53:12 So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, 615 

he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, 616 

because he willingly submitted 617  to death

and was numbered with the rebels,

when he lifted up the sin of many

and intervened 618  on behalf of the rebels.”

Zion Will Be Secure

54:1Shout for joy, O barren one who has not given birth!

Give a joyful shout and cry out, you who have not been in labor!

For the children of the desolate one are more numerous

than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.

54:2 Make your tent larger,

stretch your tent curtains farther out! 619 

Spare no effort,

lengthen your ropes,

and pound your stakes deep. 620 

54:3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;

your children will conquer 621  nations

and will resettle desolate cities.

54:4 Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame!

Don’t be intimidated, 622  for you will not be humiliated!

You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth;

you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment. 623 

54:5 For your husband is the one who made you –

the Lord who commands armies is his name.

He is your protector, 624  the Holy One of Israel. 625 

He is called “God of the entire earth.”

54:6Indeed, the Lord will call you back

like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression, 626 

like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.

54:7For a short time I abandoned 627  you,

but with great compassion I will gather you.

54:8 In a burst 628  of anger I rejected you 629  momentarily,

but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,”

says your protector, 630  the Lord.

54:9As far as I am concerned, this is like in Noah’s time, 631 

when I vowed that the waters of Noah’s flood 632  would never again cover the earth.

In the same way I have vowed that I will not be angry at you or shout at you.

54:10 Even if the mountains are removed

and the hills displaced,

my devotion will not be removed from you,

nor will my covenant of friendship 633  be displaced,”

says the Lord, the one who has compassion on you.

54:11O afflicted one, driven away, 634  and unconsoled!

Look, I am about to set your stones in antimony

and I lay your foundation with lapis-lazuli.

54:12 I will make your pinnacles out of gems, 635 

your gates out of beryl, 636 

and your outer wall 637  out of beautiful 638  stones.

54:13 All your children will be followers of the Lord,

and your children will enjoy great prosperity. 639 

54:14 You will be reestablished when I vindicate you. 640 

You will not experience oppression; 641 

indeed, you will not be afraid.

You will not be terrified, 642 

for nothing frightening 643  will come near you.

54:15 If anyone dares to 644  challenge you, it will not be my doing!

Whoever tries to challenge you will be defeated. 645 

54:16 Look, I create the craftsman,

who fans the coals into a fire

and forges a weapon. 646 

I create the destroyer so he might devastate.

54:17 No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed;

you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you. 647 

This is what the Lord will do for his servants

I will vindicate them,” 648 

says the Lord.

The Lord Gives an Invitation

55:1Hey, 649  all who are thirsty, come to the water!

You who have no money, come!

Buy and eat!

Come! Buy wine and milk

without money and without cost! 650 

55:2 Why pay money for something that will not nourish you? 651 

Why spend 652  your hard-earned money 653  on something that will not satisfy?

Listen carefully 654  to me and eat what is nourishing! 655 

Enjoy fine food! 656 

55:3 Pay attention and come to me!

Listen, so you can live! 657 

Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to 658  you,

just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David. 659 

55:4 Look, I made him a witness to nations, 660 

a ruler and commander of nations.”

55:5 Look, you will summon nations 661  you did not previously know;

nations 662  that did not previously know you will run to you,

because of the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, 663 

for he bestows honor on you.

55:6 Seek the Lord while he makes himself available; 664 

call to him while he is nearby!

55:7 The wicked need to abandon their lifestyle 665 

and sinful people their plans. 666 

They should return 667  to the Lord, and he will show mercy to them, 668 

and to their God, for he will freely forgive them. 669 

55:8Indeed, 670  my plans 671  are not like 672  your plans,

and my deeds 673  are not like 674  your deeds,

55:9 for just as the sky 675  is higher than the earth,

so my deeds 676  are superior to 677  your deeds

and my plans 678  superior to your plans.

55:10 679 

The rain and snow fall from the sky

and do not return,

but instead water the earth

and make it produce and yield crops,

and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat.

55:11 In the same way, the promise that I make

does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. 680 

No, it is realized as I desire

and is fulfilled as I intend.” 681 

55:12 Indeed you will go out with joy;

you will be led along in peace;

the mountains and hills will give a joyful shout before you,

and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.

55:13 Evergreens will grow in place of thorn bushes,

firs will grow in place of nettles;

they will be a monument to the Lord, 682 

a permanent reminder that will remain. 683 

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