The Eternal Covenant of Peace
54 h“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of ithe desolate one jwill be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
2 k“Enlarge the place 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 lFor you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.
4 “Fear not, mfor you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5 nFor your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
oand the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
pthe God of the whole earth he is called.
6 qFor the Lord has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
7 rFor a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 rIn overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
sbut with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
9 “This is like tthe days of Noah to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more 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 umy covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
11 v“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,
behold, wI will set your stones in antimony,
xand lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of agate,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your wall of precious stones.
13 yAll your children zshall be taught by the Lord,
aand great shall be the peace 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 bIf anyone stirs up strife,
it is not from me;
whoever stirs up strife with you
shall fall because of you.
16 Behold, I have created the smith
who blows the fire of coals
and produces a weapon for its purpose.
I have also created the ravager to destroy;
17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
cand their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”
The Compassion of the Lord
55 d“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
ecome, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 fWhy do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
ghear, that your soul may live;
hand I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
imy steadfast, sure love for jDavid.
4 kBehold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
la leader and commander for the peoples.
5 kBehold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and ma nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
nfor he has glorified you.
6 o“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 pFor as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 q“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
rgiving 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 sit shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 t“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
uthe mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 vInstead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Salvation for Foreigners
56 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
wfor soon my salvation will come,
and my righteousness be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man who does this,
and the son of man who holds it fast,
xwho keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,
and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Let not ythe foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;
and let not the eunuch say,
“Behold, I am za dry tree.”
4 For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs xwho keep my Sabbaths,
who choose the things that please me
and hold fast my covenant,
5 aI will give in my house and within my walls
a bmonument and a name
better than sons and daughters;
cI will give them an everlasting name
that shall not be cut off.
6 “And ythe foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
everyone xwho keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
and holds fast my covenant—
7 dthese I will bring to emy holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
ftheir burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for gmy house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.”
8 The Lord God,
hwho gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
i“I will gather yet others to him
besides those already gathered.”
Israel's Irresponsible Leaders
9 jAll you beasts of the field, come to devour—
all you beasts in the forest.
10 kHis watchmen are blind;
they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent ldogs;
they cannot bark,
dreaming, lying down,
loving to slumber.
11 mThe dogs have a mighty appetite;
they never have enough.
But nthey are shepherds who have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way,
oeach to his own gain, one and all.
12 p“Come,” they say, “let me get wine;
let us fill ourselves with strong drink;
qand tomorrow will be like this day,
great beyond measure.”
Israel's Futile Idolatry
57 The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
rdevout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
2 she enters into peace;
they rest tin their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
3 But you, draw near,
sons of the sorceress,
uoffspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
4 Whom are you mocking?
Against whom vdo you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of wtransgression,
xthe offspring of deceit,
5 you who burn with lust among ythe oaks,
under every green tree,
zwho slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of athe 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 relent for these things?
7 bOn 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 memorial;
for, deserting me, cyou have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
dyou have made it wide;
and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness.
9 You journeyed to the king with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
eyou sent your envoys far off,
and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You were wearied with the length of your way,
fbut you did not say, “It is hopeless”;
you found new life for your strength,
and so you were not faint.
11 gWhom did you dread and fear,
hso that you lied,
and did not remember me,
did not lay it to heart?
iHave I not held my peace, even for a long time,
and you do not fear me?
12 I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
but they will not profit you.
13 jWhen you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
The wind will carry them all off,
a breath will take them away.
kBut he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
and shall inherit lmy holy mountain.
Comfort for the Contrite
14 And it shall be said,
m“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people's way.”
15 For thus says nthe One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is oHoly:
p“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also qwith him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
rto revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 sFor I will not contend forever,
nor will I always be angry;
for the spirit would grow faint before me,
and the breath of life that I made.
17 Because of the iniquity of his tunjust gain I was angry,
I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18 I have seen his ways, ubut I will heal him;
I will lead him vand restore comfort to him and his mourners,
19 wcreating xthe fruit of the lips.
yPeace, peace, zto the far and to the near,” says the Lord,
u“and I will heal him.
20 aBut the wicked are like the tossing sea;
for it cannot be quiet,
and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21 bThere is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
True and False Fasting
58 “Cry aloud; do not hold back;
clift up your voice like a trumpet;
ddeclare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 eYet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 f‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
gand oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 hIs such the fast that I choose,
ia day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
jto loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps kof the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not lto share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
mand not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 nThen shall your light break forth like the dawn,
oand your healing shall spring up speedily;
pyour righteousness shall go before you;
qthe glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away rthe yoke from your midst,
sthe pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 tif you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
nthen shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be ulike a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 vAnd 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 dwell in.
13 w“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking xyour own pleasure, or talking idly;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
yand I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
zI will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
afor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”