53 Who has believed [confidently trusted in, relied on, and adhered to] our message [of salvation]? And to whom [if not us] has the arm and infinite power of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender shoot (plant), And like a root out of dry ground; He has no stately form or majestic splendor That we would look at Him, Nor [handsome] appearance that we would [a]be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; And like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him.
4 But [in fact] He has borne our griefs, And He has carried our sorrows and pains; Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken, Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, We have turned, each one, to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] To fall on Him [instead of us].
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth [to complain or defend Himself]; Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before her shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 [b]After oppression and judgment He was taken away; And [c]as for His generation [His contemporaries], who [among them] concerned himself with the fact That He was cut off from the land of the living [by His death] For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke [of death] was due? 9 His grave was assigned with the wicked, But He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet the Lord was [d]willing To crush Him, [e]causing Him to suffer; If [f]He would give Himself as a guilt offering [an atonement for sin], He shall see His [spiritual] offspring, He shall prolong His days, And the will (good pleasure) of the Lord shall succeed and prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the [g]anguish of His soul, He shall see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge [of what He has accomplished] the Righteous One, My Servant, shall justify the many [making them righteous—upright before God, in right standing with Him], For He shall bear [the responsibility for] their sins. 12 Therefore, I will divide and give Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers], And He shall divide the spoils with the mighty, Because He [willingly] poured out His life to death, And was counted among the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore and took away the sin of many, And interceded [with the Father] for the transgressors.
The Fertility of Zion
54 “Shout for joy, O barren one, she who has not given birth; Break forth into joyful shouting and rejoice, she who has not gone into labor [with child]! For the [spiritual] sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord. 2 “Enlarge the site of your tent [to make room for more children]; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them; Lengthen your tent ropes And make your pegs (stakes) firm [in the ground]. 3 “For you will spread out to the right and to the left; And your descendants will take possession of nations And will inhabit deserted cities.
4 “Do not fear, for you will not be put to shame, And do not feel humiliated or ashamed, for you will not be disgraced. For you will forget the shame of your youth, And you will no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood. 5 “For your husband is your Maker, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of the whole earth. 6 “For the Lord has called you, Like a wife who has been abandoned, grieved in spirit, And like a wife [married] in her youth when she is [later] rejected and scorned,” Says your God. 7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, But with great compassion and mercy I will gather you [to Myself again]. 8 “In an outburst of wrath I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer.
9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me, As I swore [an oath] that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; In the same way I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. 10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, Nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you.
11 “O you afflicted [city], storm-tossed, and not comforted, Listen carefully, I will set your [precious] stones in mortar, And lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 “And I will make your battlements of rubies, And your gates of [shining] beryl stones, And all your [barrier] [h]walls of precious stones. 13 “And all your [spiritual] sons will be disciples [of the Lord], And great will be the [i]well-being of your sons. 14 “You will be firmly established in righteousness: You will be far from [even the thought of] oppression, for you will not fear, And from terror, for it will not come near you. 15 “If anyone fiercely attacks you it will not be from Me. Whoever attacks you will fall because of you. 16 “Listen carefully, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals And who produces a weapon for its purpose; And I have created the destroyer to inflict ruin. 17 “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; And every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord.
The Free Offer of Mercy
55 “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy grain and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost [simply accept it as a gift from God]. 2 “Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, And your earnings for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight in [j]abundance. 3 “Incline your ear [to listen] and come to Me; Hear, so that your soul may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies [promised and] shown to David. 4 “Listen carefully, I have appointed [k]him [David, representing the Messiah] to be a witness to the nations [regarding salvation], A leader and commander to the peoples. 5 “In fact, you [l][Israel] will call a nation that you do not know, And a nation that does not know you will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.”
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call on Him [for salvation] while He is near. 7 Let the wicked leave (behind) his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion (mercy) on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts higher than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, Making it bear and sprout, And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12 “For you will go out [from exile] with joy And be led forth [by the Lord Himself] with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress tree will grow, And instead of the nettle the myrtle tree will grow; And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign [of His mercy] which will not be cut off.”
Rewards for Obedience to God
56 This is what the Lord says, “Maintain justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is soon to come, And My righteousness and justice is soon to be revealed. 2 “Blessed (happy, fortunate) is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it, Who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.” 3 Do not let the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will most certainly separate me from His people.” And do not let the eunuch say, “Look, I am a dry tree.”
4 This is what the Lord says,
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths And choose what pleases Me, And hold firmly to My covenant, 5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.
6 “Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it And holds fast to My covenant [by conscientious obedience]; 7 All these I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will [m]be accepted on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” 8 The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares: “I will gather yet others to them (Israel), to those [already] gathered.”
9 All you beasts of the field, All you beasts (hostile nations) in the forest, Come to eat. 10 Israel’s watchmen are blind, They are all without knowledge. They are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; Panting, lying down, they love to slumber. 11 And the dogs are greedy; they [n]never have enough. They are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unlawful gain, without exception. 12 “Come,” [they say,] “let us get wine, and let us fill ourselves with strong drink; And tomorrow will be like today, very great indeed.”
Isaiah 55:5The identification of the one addressed here is uncertain. A large number of authorities believe it to be Israel, as here indicated, but other interpreters think it is the Messiah [the second David], or David as His representative.
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