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Isaiah 50-58

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.

Blessings in Store for God’s People

51Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
   you that seek the Lord.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
   and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father
   and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
   but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion;
   he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
   her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
   thanksgiving and the voice of song.


4 Listen to me, my people,
   and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
   and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
   my salvation has gone out
   and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
   and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
   and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
   the earth will wear out like a garment,
   and those who live on it will die like gnats;*
but my salvation will be for ever,
   and my deliverance will never be ended.


7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
   you people who have my teaching in your hearts;
do not fear the reproach of others,
   and do not be dismayed when they revile you.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
   and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my deliverance will be for ever,
   and my salvation to all generations.


9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
   O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
   the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
   who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
   the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
   for the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


12 I, I am he who comforts you;
   why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
   a human being who fades like grass?
13 You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
   who stretched out the heavens
   and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
   because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
   But where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The oppressed shall speedily be released;
   they shall not die and go down to the Pit,
   nor shall they lack bread.
15 For I am the Lord your God,
   who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
   the Lord of hosts is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth,
   and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out* the heavens
   and laying the foundations of the earth,
   and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’


17 Rouse yourself, rouse yourself!
   Stand up, O Jerusalem,
you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord
   the cup of his wrath,
who have drunk to the dregs
   the bowl of staggering.
18 There is no one to guide her
   among all the children she has borne;
there is no one to take her by the hand
   among all the children she has brought up.
19 These two things have befallen you
   —who will grieve with you?—
devastation and destruction, famine and sword—
   who will comfort you?*
20 Your children have fainted,
   they lie at the head of every street
   like an antelope in a net;
they are full of the wrath of the Lord,
   the rebuke of your God.


21 Therefore hear this, you who are wounded,*
   who are drunk, but not with wine:
22 Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord,
   your God who pleads the cause of his people:
See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
you shall drink no more
   from the bowl of my wrath.
23 And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
   who have said to you,
   ‘Bow down, that we may walk on you’;
and you have made your back like the ground
   and like the street for them to walk on.

Let Zion Rejoice

52Awake, awake,
   put on your strength, O Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
   O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for the uncircumcised and the unclean
   shall enter you no more.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
   O captive* Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
   O captive daughter Zion!

For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money. 4For thus says the Lord God: Long ago, my people went down into Egypt to reside there as aliens; the Assyrian, too, has oppressed them without cause. 5Now therefore, what am I doing here, says the Lord, seeing that my people are taken away without cause? Their rulers howl, says the Lord, and continually, all day long, my name is despised. 6Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore on that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.


7 How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
8 Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
   the salvation of our God.


11 Depart, depart, go out from there!
   Touch no unclean thing;
go out from the midst of it, purify yourselves,
   you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you shall not go out in haste,
   and you shall not go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
   and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.

The Suffering Servant


13 See, my servant shall prosper;
   he shall be exalted and lifted up,
   and shall be very high.
14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him*
   —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
   and his form beyond that of mortals—
15 so he shall startle* many nations;
   kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
   and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

53Who has believed what we have heard?
   And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
   and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by others;
   a man of suffering* and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces*
   he was despised, and we held him of no account.


4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
   and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
   struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
   crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
   and by his bruises we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.


7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
   and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
   Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
   stricken for the transgression of my people.
9 They made his grave with the wicked
   and his tomb* with the rich,*
although he had done no violence,
   and there was no deceit in his mouth.


10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.*
When you make his life an offering for sin,*
   he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11   Out of his anguish he shall see light;*
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
   The righteous one,* my servant, shall make many righteous,
   and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
   and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors.

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

54Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
   burst into song and shout,
   you who have not been in labour!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
   than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
2 Enlarge the site of your tent,
   and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
   and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
   and your descendants will possess the nations
   and will settle the desolate towns.


4 Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
   do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
   and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5 For your Maker is your husband,
   the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
   the God of the whole earth he is called.
6 For the Lord has called you
   like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
   says your God.
7 For a brief moment I abandoned you,
   but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In overflowing wrath for a moment
   I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
   says the Lord, your Redeemer.


9 This is like the days of Noah to me:
   Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
   would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
   and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart
   and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
   and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
   says the Lord, who has compassion on you.


11 O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
   I am about to set your stones in antimony,
   and lay your foundations with sapphires.*
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
   your gates of jewels,
   and all your wall of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
   and great shall be the prosperity of your children.
14 In righteousness you shall be established;
   you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
   and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15 If anyone stirs up strife,
   it is not from me;
whoever stirs up strife with you
   shall fall because of you.
16 See, it is I who have created the smith
   who blows the fire of coals,
   and produces a weapon fit for its purpose;
I have also created the ravager to destroy.
17   No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper,
   and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgement.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
   and their vindication from me, says the Lord.

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55Ho, everyone who thirsts,
   come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
   and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
   and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
   listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
   my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
   a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
   and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
   for he has glorified you.


6 Seek the Lord while he may be found,
   call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake their way,
   and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.


10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
   and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
   giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
   it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
   and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


12 For you shall go out in joy,
   and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
   shall burst into song,
   and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
   instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
   for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

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.

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