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Isaiah 50-51 New Living Translation (NLT)

50 This is what the Lord says:

“Was your mother sent away because I divorced her?
    Did I sell you as slaves to my creditors?
No, you were sold because of your sins.
    And your mother, too, was taken because of your sins.
Why was no one there when I came?
    Why didn’t anyone answer when I called?
Is it because I have no power to rescue?
    No, that is not the reason!
For I can speak to the sea and make it dry up!
    I can turn rivers into deserts covered with dying fish.
I dress the skies in darkness,
    covering them with clothes of mourning.”

The Lord’s Obedient Servant

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
    so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
    and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
    and I have listened.
    I have not rebelled or turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me
    and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
I did not hide my face
    from mockery and spitting.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore, I have set my face like a stone,
    determined to do his will.
    And I know that I will not be put to shame.
He who gives me justice is near.
    Who will dare to bring charges against me now?
Where are my accusers?
    Let them appear!
See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side!
    Who will declare me guilty?
All my enemies will be destroyed
    like old clothes that have been eaten by moths!

10 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys his servant?
If you are walking in darkness,
    without a ray of light,
trust in the Lord
    and rely on your God.
11 But watch out, you who live in your own light
    and warm yourselves by your own fires.
This is the reward you will receive from me:
    You will soon fall down in great torment.

A Call to Trust the Lord

51 “Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—
    all who seek the Lord!
Consider the rock from which you were cut,
    the quarry from which you were mined.
Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor,
    and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation.
Abraham was only one man when I called him.
    But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.”

The Lord will comfort Israel[a] again
    and have pity on her ruins.
Her desert will blossom like Eden,
    her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found there.
    Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air.

“Listen to me, my people.
    Hear me, Israel,
for my law will be proclaimed,
    and my justice will become a light to the nations.
My mercy and justice are coming soon.
    My salvation is on the way.
    My strong arm will bring justice to the nations.
All distant lands will look to me
    and wait in hope for my powerful arm.
Look up to the skies above,
    and gaze down on the earth below.
For the skies will disappear like smoke,
    and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing.
The people of the earth will die like flies,
    but my salvation lasts forever.
    My righteous rule will never end!

“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong,
    you who cherish my law in your hearts.
Do not be afraid of people’s scorn,
    nor fear their insults.
For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing.
    The worm will eat at them as it eats wool.
But my righteousness will last forever.
    My salvation will continue from generation to generation.”

Wake up, wake up, O Lord! Clothe yourself with strength!
    Flex your mighty right arm!
Rouse yourself as in the days of old
    when you slew Egypt, the dragon of the Nile.[b]
10 Are you not the same today,
    the one who dried up the sea,
making a path of escape through the depths
    so that your people could cross over?
11 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
    They will enter Jerusalem[c] singing,
    crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
    and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

12 “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
    So why are you afraid of mere humans,
    who wither like the grass and disappear?
13 Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator,
    the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy
    and laid the foundations of the earth.
Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors?
    Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies?
Where is their fury and anger now?
    It is gone!
14 Soon all you captives will be released!
    Imprisonment, starvation, and death will not be your fate!
15 For I am the Lord your God,
    who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar.
    My name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
16 And I have put my words in your mouth
    and hidden you safely in my hand.
I stretched out[d] the sky like a canopy
    and laid the foundations of the earth.
I am the one who says to Israel,
    ‘You are my people!’”

17 Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem!
    You have drunk the cup of the Lord’s fury.
You have drunk the cup of terror,
    tipping out its last drops.
18 Not one of your children is left alive
    to take your hand and guide you.
19 These two calamities have fallen on you:
    desolation and destruction, famine and war.
And who is left to sympathize with you?
    Who is left to comfort you?[e]
20 For your children have fainted and lie in the streets,
    helpless as antelopes caught in a net.
The Lord has poured out his fury;
    God has rebuked them.

21 But now listen to this, you afflicted ones
    who sit in a drunken stupor,
    though not from drinking wine.
22 This is what the Sovereign Lord,
    your God and Defender, says:
“See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands.
    You will drink no more of my fury.
23 Instead, I will hand that cup to your tormentors,
    those who said, ‘We will trample you into the dust
    and walk on your backs.’”

Footnotes:

  1. 51:3 Hebrew Zion; also in 51:16.
  2. 51:9 Hebrew You slew Rahab; you pierced the dragon. Rahab is the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature. The name is used here as a poetic name for Egypt.
  3. 51:11 Hebrew Zion.
  4. 51:16 As in Syriac version (see also 51:13); Hebrew reads planted.
  5. 51:19 As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek, Latin, and Syriac versions; Masoretic Text reads How can I comfort you?
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Isaiah 50-51 New International Version (NIV)

Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience

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?
Because of your sins you were sold;
    because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
When I came, why was there no one?
    When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to deliver you?
    Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
    I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
    and die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with darkness
    and make sackcloth its covering.”

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
    to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
    I have not been rebellious,
    I have not turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
    from mocking and spitting.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
    Who then will bring charges against me?
    Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
    Let him confront me!
It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
    Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
    the moths will eat them up.

10 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    You will lie down in torment.

Everlasting Salvation for Zion

51 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
    and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
    and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
look to Abraham, your father,
    and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
    and I blessed him and made him many.
The Lord will surely comfort Zion
    and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
    her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

“Listen to me, my people;
    hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
    my justice will become a light to the nations.
My righteousness draws near speedily,
    my salvation is on the way,
    and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
    and wait in hope for my arm.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment
    and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
    my righteousness will never fail.

“Hear me, you who know what is right,
    you people who have taken my instruction to heart:
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
    or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
    the worm will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,
    my salvation through all generations.”

Awake, awake, arm of the Lord,
    clothe yourself with strength!
Awake, as in days gone by,
    as in generations of old.
Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces,
    who pierced that monster through?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
who made a road in the depths of the sea
    so that the redeemed might cross over?
11 Those the Lord has rescued will return.
    They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you.
    Who are you that you fear mere mortals,
    human beings who are but grass,
13 that you forget the Lord your Maker,
    who stretches out the heavens
    and who lays the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
    because of the wrath of the oppressor,
    who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14     The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
    nor will they lack bread.
15 For I am the Lord your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar
    the Lord Almighty is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth
    and covered you with the shadow of my hand
I who set the heavens in place,
    who laid the foundations of the earth,
    and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath

17 Awake, awake!
    Rise up, Jerusalem,
you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord
    the cup of his wrath,
you who have drained to its dregs
    the goblet that makes people stagger.
18 Among all the children she bore
    there was none to guide her;
among all the children she reared
    there was none to take her by the hand.
19 These double calamities have come upon you—
    who can comfort you?
ruin and destruction, famine and sword
    who can[a] console you?
20 Your children have fainted;
    they lie at every street corner,
    like antelope caught in a net.
They are filled with the wrath of the Lord,
    with the rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you afflicted one,
    made drunk, but not with wine.
22 This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
    your God, who defends his people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand
    the cup that made you stagger;
from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
    you will never drink again.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
    who said to you,
    ‘Fall prostrate that we may walk on you.’
And you made your back like the ground,
    like a street to be walked on.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 51:19 Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text / how can I
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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