People Will Return to Jerusalem
54 The Lord says, “Sing, ·Jerusalem [L barren one; Gal. 4:27].
·You are like a woman who [L …who] never gave birth to children.
Start singing and shout for joy.
You never ·felt the pain of giving birth [were in labor],
·but you will have more children [L for more are the children of the desolate one]
than the woman who has a husband.
2 Make your tent bigger;
stretch ·it [L your tent curtains] out and make it wider.
Do not hold back.
Make the ·ropes [cords] longer
and its stakes stronger,
3 because you will spread out to the right and to the left.
Your ·children [descendants; offspring; seed] will take ·over [possession of] other nations,
and they will ·again live in [resettle] cities that once were ·destroyed [ruined; desolate].
4 “Don’t be afraid, because you will not be ashamed.
Don’t be ·embarrassed [discouraged], because you will not be disgraced.
You will forget the shame ·you felt earlier [L of your youth];
you will not remember the ·shame [disgrace; reproach] ·you felt when you lost your husband [of your widowhood; or of your abandonment].
5 ·The God who made you is like [L For your Maker is] your husband.
His name is the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
The Holy One of Israel [1:4] is ·the one who saves you [your redeemer].
He is called the God of all the earth.
6 You were like a woman ·whose husband left her [deserted; abandoned],
·and you were very sad [L grieved/distressed in spirit].
You were like a wife who married young
and then ·her husband left her [was rejected].
But the Lord ·called you to be his [or will call you back],”
says your God.
7 God says, “I left you for a ·short time [moment],
but with great ·kindness [mercy; compassion] I will bring you back again.
8 I ·became very angry [had a surge/burst of anger]
and hid from you for a ·time [moment],
but I will show you ·mercy [compassion] with ·kindness [lovingkindness; loyalty; covenant love] forever,”
says the Lord ·who saves you [your redeemer].
9 The Lord says, “This day is like the ·time [days] of Noah to me [Gen. 6–9].
I ·promised [swore] then that ·I [L the waters of Noah] would never ·flood [cover] the world again [Gen. 9:11].
In the same way, I ·promise [swore] I will not be angry with you
or ·punish [rebuke] you again.
10 The mountains may ·disappear [move; be shaken],
and the hills may ·come to an end [be removed; disappear],
but my ·love [lovingkindness; loyalty; covenant love] will never ·disappear [be moved/shaken];
my ·promise [covenant; treaty] of peace will not ·come to an end [be removed; disappear],”
says the Lord who ·shows mercy to [has compassion for] you.
11 “·You poor city [L Afflicted one]. Storms have ·hurt [battered; tossed] you,
and you have not been comforted.
But I will rebuild you with ·turquoise stones [gems],
and I will build your foundations with ·sapphires [or lapis lazuli].
12 I will use ·rubies [or agate; or jasper] to build your ·walls [towers; battlements; pinnacles]
and ·shining jewels [or beryl; or garnet; or crystal] for the gates
and precious jewels for all your outer walls.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and they will have much ·peace [prosperity; wholeness; C Hebrew: shalom].
14 I will ·build [establish] you ·using fairness [in righteousness].
·You will be safe from those who would hurt you [L Tyranny/oppression will be far from you],
·so you will have nothing to fear [terror will be far away].
Nothing will come to make you afraid.
15 ·I will not send anyone to attack you [L If anyone attacks, it is not from me],
and you will defeat those who do attack you.
16 “See, I made the blacksmith.
He fans the fire to make it hotter,
and he ·makes the kind of tool he wants [forges a weapon for his purpose].
In the same way I have made the destroyer to destroy.
17 So no weapon ·that is used [forged] against you will ·defeat you [succeed].
You will ·show that those who speak against you are wrong [refute every accusation against you; L refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment].
These are the ·good things [heritage] my servants receive.
Their ·victory [vindication; righteousness] comes from me,” says the Lord.