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Isaiah 47-50

The Humiliation of Babylon

47Come down and sit in the dust,
   virgin daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground without a throne,
   daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called
   tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones and grind meal,
   remove your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
   pass through the rivers.
3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
   and your shame shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
   and I will spare no one.
4 Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
   is the Holy One of Israel.


5 Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
   daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called
   the mistress of kingdoms.
6 I was angry with my people,
   I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand,
   you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke
   exceedingly heavy.
7 You said, ‘I shall be mistress for ever’,
   so that you did not lay these things to heart
   or remember their end.


8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
   who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
   ‘I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
   or know the loss of children’—
9 both these things shall come upon you
   in a moment, in one day:
the loss of children and widowhood
   shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
   and the great power of your enchantments.


10 You felt secure in your wickedness;
   you said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and your knowledge
   led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
   ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
11 But evil shall come upon you,
   which you cannot charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
   which you will not be able to ward off;
and ruin shall come on you suddenly,
   of which you know nothing.


12 Stand fast in your enchantments
   and your many sorceries,
   with which you have laboured from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed,
   perhaps you may inspire terror.
13 You are wearied with your many consultations;
   let those who study* the heavens
stand up and save you,
   those who gaze at the stars
and at each new moon predict
   what* shall befall you.


14 See, they are like stubble,
   the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
   from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
   no fire to sit before!
15 Such to you are those with whom you have laboured,
   who have trafficked with you from your youth;
they all wander about in their own paths;
   there is no one to save you.

God the Creator and Redeemer

48Hear this, O house of Jacob,
   who are called by the name of Israel,
   and who came forth from the loins* of Judah;
who swear by the name of the Lord,
   and invoke the God of Israel,
   but not in truth or right.
2 For they call themselves after the holy city,
   and lean on the God of Israel;
   the Lord of hosts is his name.


3 The former things I declared long ago,
   they went out from my mouth and I made them known;
   then suddenly I did them and they came to pass.
4 Because I know that you are obstinate,
   and your neck is an iron sinew
   and your forehead brass,
5 I declared them to you from long ago,
   before they came to pass I announced them to you,
so that you would not say, ‘My idol did them,
   my carved image and my cast image commanded them.’


6 You have heard; now see all this;
   and will you not declare it?
From this time forward I make you hear new things,
   hidden things that you have not known.
7 They are created now, not long ago;
   before today you have never heard of them,
   so that you could not say, ‘I already knew them.’
8 You have never heard, you have never known,
   from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
   and that from birth you were called a rebel.


9 For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
   for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
   so that I may not cut you off.
10 See, I have refined you, but not like* silver;
   I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
   for why should my name* be profaned?
   My glory I will not give to another.


12 Listen to me, O Jacob,
   and Israel, whom I called:
I am He; I am the first,
   and I am the last.
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
   and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summon them,
   they stand at attention.


14 Assemble, all of you, and hear!
   Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
   he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
   and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
15 I, even I, have spoken and called him,
   I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.
16 Draw near to me, hear this!
   From the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
   from the time it came to be I have been there.
And now the Lord God has sent me and his spirit.


17 Thus says the Lord,
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord your God,
   who teaches you for your own good,
   who leads you in the way you should go.
18 O that you had paid attention to my commandments!
   Then your prosperity would have been like a river,
   and your success like the waves of the sea;
19 your offspring would have been like the sand,
   and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
   or destroyed from before me.


20 Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,
   declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,
send it forth to the end of the earth;
   say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!’
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
   he made water flow for them from the rock;
   he split open the rock and the water gushed out.


22 ‘There is no peace’, says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’

The Servant’s Mission

49Listen to me, O coastlands,
   pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
   while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
   in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
   in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, ‘You are my servant,
   Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
4 But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain,
   I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
   and my reward with my God.’


5 And now the Lord says,
   who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
   and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord,
   and my God has become my strength—
6 he says,
‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
   to raise up the tribes of Jacob
   and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’


7 Thus says the Lord,
   the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
   the slave of rulers,
‘Kings shall see and stand up,
   princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’

Zion’s Children to Be Brought Home


8 Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favour I have answered you,
   on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you
   as a covenant to the people,*
to establish the land,
   to apportion the desolate heritages;
9 saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out’,
   to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
They shall feed along the ways,
   on all the bare heights* shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
   neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
   and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will turn all my mountains into a road,
   and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Lo, these shall come from far away,
   and lo, these from the north and from the west,
   and these from the land of Syene.*


13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
   break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
   and will have compassion on his suffering ones.


14 But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me,
   my Lord has forgotten me.’
15 Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
   or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
   yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
   your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders outdo your destroyers,*
   and those who laid you waste go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes all around and see;
   they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
   you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
   and like a bride you shall bind them on.


19 Surely your waste and your desolate places
   and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
   and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children born in the time of your bereavement
   will yet say in your hearing:
‘The place is too crowded for me;
   make room for me to settle.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
   ‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
   exiled and put away—
   so who has reared these?
I was left all alone—
   where then have these come from?’


22 Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
   and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster-fathers,
   and their queens your nursing-mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
   and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
   those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.


24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
   or the captives of a tyrant* be rescued?
25 But thus says the Lord:
Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
   and the prey of the tyrant be rescued;
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
   and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
   and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
   that I am the Lord your Saviour,
   and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

50Thus says the Lord:
Where is your mother’s bill of divorce
   with which I put her away?
Or which of my creditors is it
   to whom I have sold you?
No, because of your sins you were sold,
   and for your transgressions your mother was put away.
2 Why was no one there when I came?
   Why did no one answer when I called?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
   Or have I no power to deliver?
By my rebuke I dry up the sea,
   I make the rivers a desert;
their fish stink for lack of water,
   and die of thirst.*
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness,
   and make sackcloth their covering.

The Servant’s Humiliation and Vindication


4 The Lord God has given me
   the tongue of a teacher,*
that I may know how to sustain
   the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
   wakens my ear
   to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear,
   and I was not rebellious,
   I did not turn backwards.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me,
   and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
   from insult and spitting.


7 The Lord God helps me;
   therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
   and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8   he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
   Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
   Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me;
   who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
   the moth will eat them up.


10 Who among you fears the Lord
   and obeys the voice of his servant,
who walks in darkness
   and has no light,
yet trusts in the name of the Lord
   and relies upon his God?
11 But all of you are kindlers of fire,
   lighters of firebrands.*
Walk in the flame of your fire,
   and among the brands that you have kindled!
This is what you shall have from my hand:
   you shall lie down in torment.

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From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.