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The Covenant Extended to the Righteous

56 For[a] this is what the Lord says:
    “Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
    and soon my deliverance will be revealed.
Blessed is the one who does this,
    and the person that holds it fast,
who observes the Sabbath without profaning it,
    and restrains his hands[b] from practicing any evil.

“Let[c] no foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say:
    ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.’
Furthermore, let no eunuch say,
    ‘Look![d] I am just a dry tree.’”
For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths,
    who choose the things that please me,
        and who hold fast my covenant—
to them I will give in my house[e] and within my walls
    a monument and a name
        better than sons and daughters.
I will give them[f] an everlasting name
    that will not be cut off.[g]

“Also, the foreigners who join themselves to[h] the Lord,
    to minister to him,
        to love the name of the Lord,[i]
to be his servants,
    and to bless the Lord’s name,
observing[j] the Sabbath without profaning it,
    and who hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
    and make them joyful in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
    will rise up to be accepted[k] on my altar;
for my house will be called a house of prayer
    for everyone.”[l]

A Rebuke to Israel’s Guardians

This is what the Lord God says,
    the one who gathers the outcasts of Israel:

“I’ll gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered.[m]

“All you wild animals,[n] come and devour—
    even[o] all of you wild animals.[p]
10 His[q] watchmen[r] are blind;
    they are all without knowledge.
They are all dumb dogs—
    they cannot bark.
They keep on dreaming and lying around,
    and they’re lovers of sleep![s]
11 Meanwhile,[t] the dogs have a mighty appetite—
    they can never get enough.
And as for them, they are the shepherds[u] who lack understanding;
    they have all turned to their own way,
each one to his gain,
    each and every one.

12 “‘Come!’ they say, ‘let’s[v] have some wine,
    and let’s fill ourselves with strong drink!
Then,[w] tomorrow will be like today,[x]
    or even much better!’”


  1. Isaiah 56:1 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack For
  2. Isaiah 56:2 So 1QIsaa LXX 1QIsab MT read hand
  3. Isaiah 56:3 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT read And let
  4. Isaiah 56:3 So 1QIsaa 1QIsab MT; LXX lacks Look!
  5. Isaiah 56:5 I.e. God’s Temple
  6. Isaiah 56:5 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT read him
  7. Isaiah 56:5 The Heb. verb is a word play on the Heb. word eunuch
  8. Isaiah 56:6 So 1QIsaa (cf. v 3); 1QIsab MT read upon
  9. Isaiah 56:6 So 1QIsab MT LXX; 1QIsaa lacks this line
  10. Isaiah 56:6 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX read all who observe
  11. Isaiah 56:7 1QIsaa; 1QIsab 4QIsai MT LXX read will be accepted
  12. Isaiah 56:7 Lit. for all peoples
  13. Isaiah 56:8 Lit. besides their gathered ones
  14. Isaiah 56:9 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT read Every wild animal
  15. Isaiah 56:9 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX lack even
  16. Isaiah 56:9 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT read every wild animal
  17. Isaiah 56:10 I.e. Israel’s; so 1QIsaa MTq
  18. Isaiah 56:10 MT reads His watchman; LXX reads Look! They all
  19. Isaiah 56:10 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads sleeping
  20. Isaiah 56:11 Lit. And
  21. Isaiah 56:11 So 1QIsaa; MT reads shepherds; LXX reads evil
  22. Isaiah 56:12 So 1QIsaa MTms; 1QIsab reads I will; MT reads let me
  23. Isaiah 56:12 Or And
  24. Isaiah 56:12 1QIsaa reads this the day; 1QIsab MT read this day