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A Call to Return to God

50 This is what the Lord says:

“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce
    with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors did I sell you?
    Look! It’s because of your sins that you were sold,
        and because of your transgressions that your mother was sent away.
Why is it that when I came, no one was there?
    Why was there no answer when I called?
Was my arm[a] too short to redeem you?
    Do[b] I lack the strength to rescue you?
Look! By my mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
    I turn rivers into a desert.
Their fish stink for lack of water
    and die of thirst.
I clothe the skies with darkness
    and make sackcloth their covering.”

The Servant’s Obedience

“The Lord God has given me
    a learned tongue, so that I may know
        how to sustain the weary with words.
And[c] morning after morning he wakens,
    and[d] he wakens my ear to
        listen like those who are being taught.
My Lord God[e] has opened my ears,
    and I did not rebel;
        I did not shrink back.
I gave my back to those who beat me
    and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.[f]
I did not turn away[g] my face
    from insults and spitting.
For the Lord God helps me,
    so I won’t be disgraced.
Therefore I’ve made my face like flint,
    and I know that I won’t be put to shame.”

The Servant’s Vindication

The one who vindicates me is near.
    Who, then, will bring a charge against me?
        Let’s face each other!
Who has a case against me?
    Let him confront me!
See! It is the Lord God who will help me.
    Who is it that will declare me guilty?
See! They will all wear out like a garment;
    moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears[h] the Lord,
    obeying the voice of his servant,
who among you[i] walks[j] in darkness[k]
    and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord,
    and rely upon his God.
11 Look! All those[l] who light a fire,
    who surround yourselves with flaming torches—
walk by the light of your fire,
    and by the torches that you have set ablaze!
This is what you will receive from my hand:
    you will lie down in torment.


  1. Isaiah 50:2 Lit. my hand
  2. Isaiah 50:2 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read Or do
  3. Isaiah 50:4 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack And
  4. Isaiah 50:4 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack and
  5. Isaiah 50:5 So 1QIsaa; MT reads the Lord
  6. Isaiah 50:6 So MT; 1QIsaa employs an incorrect reading; LXX reads to blows
  7. Isaiah 50:6 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads hide
  8. Isaiah 50:10 So 1QIsaa (pl.); MT LXX read fear (sing.)
  9. Isaiah 50:10 1QIsaa MT LXX lack among you
  10. Isaiah 50:10 So 1QIsaa LXX (pl.); MT reads walks (sing.)
  11. Isaiah 50:10 So 1QIsaa; MT employs a different form
  12. Isaiah 50:11 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read you