oremus Bible Browser




Isaiah 56 - 59

The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey

56Thus says the Lord:
   Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
   and my deliverance be revealed.


2 Happy 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.


3 Do 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.’
4 For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
   who choose the things that please me
   and hold fast my covenant,
5 I 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.


6 And 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—
7 these 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.
8 Thus 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


9 All you wild animals,
   all you wild animals in the forest, come to devour!
10 Israel’s* sentinels are blind,
   they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs
   that cannot bark;
dreaming, lying down,
   loving to slumber.
11 The 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.’

Israel’s Futile Idolatry

57The 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,
2   and they enter into peace;
those who walk uprightly
   will rest on their couches.
3 But as for you, come here,
   you children of a sorceress,
   you offspring of an adulterer and a whore.*
4 Whom 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—
5 you 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?
6 Among 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?
7 Upon a high and lofty mountain
   you have set your bed,
   and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind 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.*
9 You journeyed to Molech* with oil,
   and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far away,
   and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You 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.


11 Whom 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?
12 I will concede your righteousness and your works,
   but they will not help you.
13 When 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


14 It shall be said,
‘Build up, build up, prepare the way,
   remove every obstruction from my people’s way.’
15 For 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.
16 For 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.
17 Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
   I struck them, I hid and was angry;
   but they kept turning back to their own ways.
18 I 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.*
19 Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord;
   and I will heal them.
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea
   that cannot keep still;
   its waters toss up mire and mud.
21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

False and True Worship

58Shout 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.
2 Yet day after day they seek me
   and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practised righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
   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.
4 Look, 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.
5 Is 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?


6 Is 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?
7 Is 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?
8 Then 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 rearguard.
9 Then 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,
10 if 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.
11 The 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.
12 Your 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.


13 If 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 honourable;
if you honour it, not going your own ways,
   serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;*
14 then 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.

Injustice and Oppression to Be Punished

59See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
   nor his ear too dull to hear.
2 Rather, 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.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood,
   and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
   your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one brings suit justly,
   no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
   conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity.
5 They hatch adders’ eggs,
   and weave the spider’s web;
whoever eats their eggs dies,
   and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.
6 Their 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.
7 Their feet run to evil,
   and they rush to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
   desolation and destruction are in their highways.
8 The 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.


9 Therefore 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.
10 We 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.
11 We 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.
12 For our transgressions before you are many,
   and our sins testify against us.
Our transgressions indeed are with us,
   and we know our iniquities:
13 transgressing, and denying the Lord,
   and turning away from following our God,
talking oppression and revolt,
   conceiving lying words and uttering them from the heart.
14 Justice is turned back,
   and righteousness stands at a distance;
for truth stumbles in the public square,
   and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Truth is lacking,
   and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.


The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
   that there was no justice.
16 He 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.
17 He 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.
18 According to their deeds, so will he repay;
   wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies;
   to the coastlands he will render requital.
19 So 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.


20 And 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 for ever.

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14 July 2018

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.