Bible: Isaiah 51-52

There is Hope for the Future

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

who seek the Lord!

Look at the rock from which you were chiseled,

at the quarry 2  from which you were dug! 3 

51:2 Look at Abraham, your father,

and Sarah, who gave you birth. 4 

When I summoned him, he was a lone individual, 5 

but I blessed him 6  and gave him numerous descendants. 7 

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 8  her,

thanksgiving and the sound of music.

51:4 Pay attention to me, my people!

Listen to me, my people!

For 9  I will issue a decree, 10 

I will make my justice a light to the nations. 11 

51:5 I am ready to vindicate, 12 

I am ready to deliver, 13 

I will establish justice among the nations. 14 

The coastlands 15  wait patiently for me;

they wait in anticipation for the revelation of my power. 16 

51:6 Look up at the sky!

Look at the earth below!

For the sky will dissipate 17  like smoke,

and the earth will wear out like clothes;

its residents will die like gnats.

But the deliverance I give 18  is permanent;

the vindication I provide 19  will not disappear. 20 

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

you people who are aware of my law! 21 

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 22  will be permanent;

the deliverance I give will last.”

51:9 Wake up! Wake up!

Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord! 23 

Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity!

Did you not smash 24  the Proud One? 25 

Did you not 26  wound the sea monster? 27 

51:10 Did you not dry up the sea,

the waters of the great deep?

Did you not make 28  a path through the depths of the sea,

so those delivered from bondage 29  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, 30 

happiness and joy will overwhelm 31  them;

grief and suffering will disappear. 32 

51:12I, I am the one who consoles you. 33 

Why are you afraid of mortal men,

of mere human beings who are as short-lived as grass? 34 

51:13 Why do you forget 35  the Lord, who made you,

who stretched out the sky 36 

and founded the earth?

Why do you constantly tremble all day long 37 

at the anger of the oppressor,

when he makes plans to destroy?

Where is the anger of the oppressor? 38 

51:14 The one who suffers 39  will soon be released;

he will not die in prison, 40 

he will not go hungry. 41 

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 42  as my spokesman; 43 

I cover you with the palm of my hand, 44 

to establish 45  the sky and to found the earth,

to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ 46 

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! 47 

You drained dry

the goblet full of intoxicating wine. 48 

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? 49 

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. 50 

51:21 So listen to this, oppressed one,

who is drunk, but not from wine!

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

“Look, I have removed from your hand

the cup of intoxicating wine, 52 

the goblet full of my anger. 53 

You will no longer have to drink it.

51:23 I will put it into the hand of your tormentors 54 

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, 55  holy city!

For uncircumcised and unclean pagans

will no longer invade you.

52:2 Shake off the dirt! 56 

Get up, captive 57  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?” 58  says the Lord.

“Indeed my people have been carried away for nothing,

those who rule over them taunt,” 59  says the Lord,

“and my name is constantly slandered 60  all day long.

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

for this reason they will know 61  at that time 62  that I am the one who says,

Here I am.’

52:7 How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains 63 

the feet of a messenger who announces peace,

a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance,

who says to Zion, “Your God reigns! 64 

52:8 Listen, 65  your watchmen shout;

in unison they shout for joy,

for they see with their very own eyes 66 

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 67  Jerusalem.

52:10 The Lord reveals 68  his royal power 69 

in the sight of all the nations;

the entire 70  earth sees

our God deliver. 71 

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! 72 

52:12 Yet do not depart quickly

or leave in a panic. 73 

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! 74 

He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted 75 

52:14 (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) 76 

he was so disfigured 77  he no longer looked like a man; 78 

52:15 his form was so marred he no longer looked human 79 

so now 80  he will startle 81  many nations.

Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, 82 

for they will witness something unannounced to them,

and they will understand something they had not heard about.

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