Bible: Isaiah 49-55
Ideal Israel Delivers the Exiles
49:1 Listen to me, you coastlands! 1
Pay attention, you people who live far away!
he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world. 3
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 4 arrow,
he hid me in his quiver. 5
49:3 He said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I will reveal my splendor.” 6
49:4 But I thought, 7 “I have worked in vain;
I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing.” 8
my God will reward me. 9
49:5 So now the
the one who formed me from birth 10 to be his servant –
he did this 11 to restore Jacob to himself,
so that Israel might be gathered to him;
and I will be honored 12 in the
for my God is my source of strength 13 –
49:6 he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,
to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,
I will make you a light to the nations, 16
so you can bring 17 my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”
49:7 This is what the
a servant of rulers:
“Kings will see and rise in respect, 23
princes will bow down,
because of the faithful
the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
49:8 This is what the
“At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you;
in the day of deliverance I will help you;
and to reassign the desolate property.
49:9 You will say 28 to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
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, 31
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! 32
49:13 Shout for joy, O sky! 33
Rejoice, O earth!
Let the mountains give a joyful shout!
and shows compassion to the 34 oppressed.
The Lord Remembers Zion
49:14 “Zion said, ‘The
the sovereign master 35 has forgotten me.’
49:15 Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? 36
Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? 37
Even if mothers 38 were to forget,
I could never forget you! 39
49:16 Look, I have inscribed your name 40 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! 41
All of them gather to you.
As surely as I live,” says the
“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. 42
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, 43
make room for us so we can live here.’ 44
49:21 Then you will think to yourself, 45
‘Who bore these children for me?
I was bereaved and barren,
dismissed and divorced. 46
Who raised these children?
Look, I was left all alone;
where did these children come from?’”
49:22 This is what the sovereign
“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 47 guardians;
their princesses will nurse your children. 48
With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you
and they will lick the dirt on 49 your feet.
Then you will recognize that I am the
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? 50
49:25 Indeed,” says the
“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. 51
Then all humankind 52 will recognize that
I am the
50:1 This is what the
“Where is your mother’s divorce certificate
by which I divorced her?
Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? 55
Look, you were sold because of your sins; 56
because of your rebellious acts I divorced your mother. 57
50:2 Why does no one challenge me when I come?
Why does no one respond when I call? 58
Do I lack the power to rescue you?
Look, with a mere shout 61 I can dry up the sea;
I can turn streams into a desert,
so the fish rot away and die
from lack of water. 62
50:3 I can clothe the sky in darkness;
I can cover it with sackcloth.”
The Servant Perseveres
50:4 The sovereign
so that I know how to help the weary. 64
He wakes me up every morning;
he makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do. 65
50:5 The sovereign
I have not rebelled,
I have not turned back.
50:6 I offered my back to those who attacked, 67
my jaws to those who tore out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from insults and spitting.
50:7 But the sovereign
so I am not humiliated.
For that reason I am steadfastly resolved; 68
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! 69
50:9 Look, the sovereign
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
Who obeys 72 his servant?
Whoever walks in deep darkness, 73
should trust in the name of the
and rely on his God.
50:11 Look, all of you who start a fire
and among the flaming arrows you ignited! 78
This is what you will receive from me: 79
you will lie down in a place of pain. 80
There is Hope for the Future
51:1 “Listen to me, you who pursue godliness, 81
who seek the
Look at the rock from which you were chiseled,
51:2 Look at Abraham, your father,
and Sarah, who gave you birth. 84
When I summoned him, he was a lone individual, 85
51:3 Certainly the
he will console all her ruins.
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the Garden of the
Happiness and joy will be restored to 88 her,
thanksgiving and the sound of music.
51:4 Pay attention to me, my people!
Listen to me, my people!
I will make my justice a light to the nations. 91
51:5 I am ready to vindicate, 92
I am ready to deliver, 93
I will establish justice among the nations. 94
The coastlands 95 wait patiently for me;
they wait in anticipation for the revelation of my power. 96
51:6 Look up at the sky!
Look at the earth below!
For the sky will dissipate 97 like smoke,
and the earth will wear out like clothes;
its residents will die like gnats.
But the deliverance I give 98 is permanent;
51:7 Listen to me, you who know what is right,
you people who are aware of my law! 101
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 102 will be permanent;
the deliverance I give will last.”
51:9 Wake up! Wake up!
Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the
Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity!
51:10 Did you not dry up the sea,
the waters of the great deep?
Did you not make 108 a path through the depths of the sea,
so those delivered from bondage 109 could cross over?
51:11 Those whom the
they will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them, 110
happiness and joy will overwhelm 111 them;
grief and suffering will disappear. 112
51:12 “I, I am the one who consoles you. 113
Why are you afraid of mortal men,
of mere human beings who are as short-lived as grass? 114
51:13 Why do you forget 115 the
who stretched out the sky 116
and founded the earth?
Why do you constantly tremble all day long 117
at the anger of the oppressor,
when he makes plans to destroy?
Where is the anger of the oppressor? 118
51:14 The one who suffers 119 will soon be released;
he will not die in prison, 120
he will not go hungry. 121
51:15 I am the
who churns up the sea so that its waves surge.
Zion’s Time to Celebrate
I cover you with the palm of my hand, 124
to establish 125 the sky and to found the earth,
to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” 126
51:17 Wake up! Wake up!
Get up, O Jerusalem!
You drank from the cup the
which was full of his anger! 127
You drained dry
the goblet full of intoxicating wine. 128
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? 129
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
by the battle cry of your God. 130
51:21 So listen to this, oppressed one,
who is drunk, but not from wine!
51:22 This is what your sovereign master, 131 the
“Look, I have removed from your hand
the cup of intoxicating wine, 132
the goblet full of my anger. 133
You will no longer have to drink it.
51:23 I will put it into the hand of your tormentors 134
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, 135 holy city!
For uncircumcised and unclean pagans
will no longer invade you.
52:2 Shake off the dirt! 136
Get up, captive 137 Jerusalem!
Take off the iron chains around your neck,
O captive daughter Zion!
52:3 For this is what the
“You were sold for nothing,
and you will not be redeemed for money.”
52:4 For this is what the sovereign
“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?” 138 says the
“Indeed my people have been carried away for nothing,
those who rule over them taunt,” 139 says the
“and my name is constantly slandered 140 all day long.
52:6 For this reason my people will know my name,
‘Here I am.’”
52:7 How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains 143
the feet of a messenger who announces peace,
a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 144
52:8 Listen, 145 your watchmen shout;
in unison they shout for joy,
for they see with their very own eyes 146
52:9 In unison give a joyful shout,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
he protects 147 Jerusalem.
in the sight of all the nations;
the entire 150 earth sees
our God deliver. 151
52:11 Leave! Leave! Get out of there!
Don’t touch anything unclean!
Get out of it!
Stay pure, you who carry the
52:12 Yet do not depart quickly
or leave in a panic. 153
the God of Israel is your rear guard.
The Lord Will Vindicate His Servant
52:13 “Look, my servant will succeed! 154
He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted 155 –
52:14 (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) 156
52:15 his form was so marred he no longer looked human 159 –
Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, 162
for they will witness something unannounced to them,
and they will understand something they had not heard about.
53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God, 168
like a root out of parched soil; 169
he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, 170
no special appearance that we should want to follow him. 171
53:3 He was despised and rejected by people, 172
one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
people hid their faces from him; 173
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. 174
53:4 But he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain; 175
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. 176
53:5 He was wounded because of 177 our rebellious deeds,
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well; 178
because of his wounds we have been healed. 179
53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep;
each of us had strayed off on his own path,
53:7 He was treated harshly and afflicted, 181
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. 182
53:8 He was led away after an unjust trial 183 –
but who even cared? 184
Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; 185
because of the rebellion of his own 186 people he was wounded.
53:9 They intended to bury him with criminals, 187
but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, 188
because 189 he had committed no violent deeds,
nor had he spoken deceitfully.
53:10 Though the
once restitution is made, 190
he will see descendants and enjoy long life, 191
53:11 Having suffered, he will reflect on his work,
he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. 192
for he carried their sins. 195
53:12 So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, 196
he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, 197
because he willingly submitted 198 to death
and was numbered with the rebels,
when he lifted up the sin of many
and intervened 199 on behalf of the rebels.”
Zion Will Be Secure
54:1 “Shout 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
54:2 Make your tent larger,
stretch your tent curtains farther out! 200
Spare no effort,
lengthen your ropes,
and pound your stakes deep. 201
54:3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your children will conquer 202 nations
and will resettle desolate cities.
54:4 Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame!
Don’t be intimidated, 203 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. 204
54:5 For your husband is the one who made you –
He is called “God of the entire earth.”
54:6 “Indeed, the
like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression, 207
like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.
54:7 “For a short time I abandoned 208 you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,”
says your protector, 211 the
54:9 “As far as I am concerned, this is like in Noah’s time, 212
when I vowed that the waters of Noah’s flood 213 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 214 be displaced,”
54:11 “O afflicted one, driven away, 215 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, 216
your gates out of beryl, 217
54:13 All your children will be followers of the
and your children will enjoy great prosperity. 220
54:14 You will be reestablished when I vindicate you. 221
You will not experience oppression; 222
indeed, you will not be afraid.
You will not be terrified, 223
for nothing frightening 224 will come near you.
54:15 If anyone dares to 225 challenge you, it will not be my doing!
Whoever tries to challenge you will be defeated. 226
54:16 Look, I create the craftsman,
who fans the coals into a fire
and forges a weapon. 227
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. 228
This is what the
I will vindicate them,” 229
The Lord Gives an Invitation
55:1 “Hey, 230 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! 231
55:2 Why pay money for something that will not nourish you? 232
Enjoy fine food! 237
55:3 Pay attention and come to me!
Listen, so you can live! 238
Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to 239 you,
just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David. 240
55:4 Look, I made him a witness to nations, 241
a ruler and commander of nations.”
55:5 Look, you will summon nations 242 you did not previously know;
nations 243 that did not previously know you will run to you,
because of the
the Holy One of Israel, 244
for he bestows honor on you.
55:6 Seek the
call to him while he is nearby!
55:7 The wicked need to abandon their lifestyle 246
and sinful people their plans. 247
and to their God, for he will freely forgive them. 250
55:9 for just as the sky 256 is higher than the earth,
and my plans 259 superior to your plans.55:10 260
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. 261
No, it is realized as I desire
and is fulfilled as I intend.” 262
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
a permanent reminder that will remain. 264