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Deliverance for Zion

51 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
    you who seek the Lord!
Look to the rock from which you were cut,
    to the quarry from which you were hewn.
Look to Abraham your father,
    and to Sarah who gave you birth.
For when he was only one person I called him,
    but I made him fruitful[a] and made him many.
For the Lord will have compassion on Zion,
    have compassion on all her ruins.
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
    and her deserts like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving, and the sound of singing.[b]
        Sorrow and sighing will flee away.[c]

“Pay attention to me, my people!
    Listen to me, my nation!
For instruction[d] will go out from me,
    and my justice will become a light for the nations.[e]
I will quickly bring my deliverance near;
    my salvation is on the way.
His arm[f] will bring justice to[g] the nations;[h]
    the coastlands will hope for him,[i]
        and they will wait for his arm.[j]

“Lift up your eyes, you[k] heavens
    and look to the earth beneath;
        and see who created these.[l]
Its inhabitants will die just like this;[m]
    but my salvation will be forever,
        and my deliverance will never fail.
Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
    you people who have my instruction[n] in their hearts.
Don’t fear the insults of mortals,
    and don’t be dismayed at their hateful words.[o]
For moths will eat them up just like a garment,
    and worms will devour them like wool;
but my deliverance will last[p] forever,
    and my salvation to all generations.

“Awake! Awake! Clothe yourself with strength,
    you arm[q] of the Lord!
Awake, as in days gone by,
    as in generations of long ago.
Was it not you who split apart[r] Rehob,[s]
    who pierced that sea monster through?[t]
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
who made a road in[u] the depths of the sea
    so that the redeemed could cross over?”

A Promise of Return to the Land

11 “The scattered ones[v] of the Lord will return,
    and they will enter Zion with singing.
Everlasting joy will be upon their heads;
    they will attain joy and gladness,
        and[w] sorrow and sighing will flee away.[x]

12 “I—yes, I—am the one who comforts you.
    Who are you, that you are so afraid of humans who will die,
        descendants of mere[y] men, who have been made[z] like grass?
13 As a result, you have forgotten the Lord who made you,
    who stretched out the heavens
and laid the earth’s foundations,
    and you live in constant fear every day
because of the oppressor’s fury,
    since he’s ready to destroy.
        Now where is the[aa] oppressor’s fury?
14 Distress[ab] will quickly be set free.
    He won’t die in the Pit,[ac]
        nor will he lack food.”

A Promise of Restoration

15 “For I am the Lord your God,
    who churns up the sea, so that its waves roar,
        ‘The Lord of the Heavenly Armies is his name.’
16 I have put my words in your mouth
    and have covered you with the shadow of my hand,
so that I could plant the heavens
    and lay the earth’s foundations,
        to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’

17 “Awake, Awake!
    Stand up, Jerusalem,
you who have drunk from the Lord’s hand
    from the cup that is[ad] his anger.
You have drunk to the dregs
    the cup that makes you stagger,[ae]
        and have drained it.
18 There is no one to guide you[af]
    out of all the children she bore,
no one to take her by the hand
    out of all the children she brought up.

19 “These twin things have come upon you
    (who can feel sorry for you?):
ruin and destruction,
    famine and the sword—
        who can console you?
20 Your children have fainted.
    They lie at the head of every street,
        like antelope caught in a trap,
filled with the anger of the Lord
    and the rebuke of your God.
21 Now listen to this, you afflicted one,
    made drunk, but not with wine:
22 This is what your Lord, the Lord,[ag] says,
    your[ah] God, who defends his people’s cause:

“See, I have taken from your hand the cup that made you stagger.[ai]
    And you will never again drink to the dregs the cup that is my anger.
23 But I will put it into the hands of those who tormented and oppressed you,[aj]
    those who said to you,
‘Lie down,[ak] so we can step over you,’
    so that you had to make your back like the ground,
        and like a street for them to walk over.”


  1. Isaiah 51:2 So 1QIsaa; MT reads blessed him; LXX reads blessed him and loved him
  2. Isaiah 51:3 Or music
  3. Isaiah 51:3 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack this line; cf Isa 51:11
  4. Isaiah 51:4 Or For the Law
  5. Isaiah 51:4 Lit. peoples
  6. Isaiah 51:5 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab reads My arms; or My arm; MT LXX read My arms
  7. Isaiah 51:5 The verb is pl. in 1QIsaa MT
  8. Isaiah 51:5 Lit. peoples
  9. Isaiah 51:5 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX read me
  10. Isaiah 51:5 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX read my arm
  11. Isaiah 51:6 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read to the
  12. Isaiah 51:6 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX read for the heavens will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment
  13. Isaiah 51:6 Or like gnats
  14. Isaiah 51:7 Or Law
  15. Isaiah 51:7 So 1QIsaa 1QIsab; spelling differs from MT; LXX reads contempt
  16. Isaiah 51:8 Lit. be
  17. Isaiah 51:9 I.e. the Messiah
  18. Isaiah 51:9 So 1QIsaa 4QIsac Vulg (cf. Job 26:12). MT LXXmss read cut in pieces
  19. Isaiah 51:9 So 1QIsaa MT qere reads Rahab
  20. Isaiah 51:9 So 1QIsaa 4QIsac MT Vulg; LXX lacks Was it…through?
  21. Isaiah 51:10 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack in
  22. Isaiah 51:11 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read ransomed ones; 1QIsaa corrector wrote redeemed then erased and wrote scattered ones
  23. Isaiah 51:11 So 1QIsaa 4QIsac LXX; MT LXX lack and
  24. Isaiah 51:11 So 1QIsaa MTms (sing.); cf Isa 51:3; MT (pl.)
  25. Isaiah 51:12 1QIsaa MT LXX lack mere
  26. Isaiah 51:12 So 1QIsaa; MT reads are made; LXX reads will be dried up
  27. Isaiah 51:13 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsaa omitted oppressor’s…the then inserted the missing lines at the top of column 43
  28. Isaiah 51:14 So 1QIsaa; MT reads The cowering one; LXX lacks Distress
  29. Isaiah 51:14 I.e. the realm of punishment in the afterlife
  30. Isaiah 51:17 Lit. hand, the cup of
  31. Isaiah 51:17 Lit. the cup of staggering
  32. Isaiah 51:18 So 1QIsaa; MT reads no one to guide her; LXX reads no one who comforted you
  33. Isaiah 51:22 1QIsaa MT; MTms lacks Lord
  34. Isaiah 51:22 So 1QIsaa; MT reads and your
  35. Isaiah 51:22 Lit. the cup of staggering
  36. Isaiah 51:23 So 1QIsaa; MT reads tormented you; LXX reads harmed you and humiliated you
  37. Isaiah 51:23 Lit.bow down