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Idolatry is Adultery

57 The righteous one perishes, and there is no one who takes[a] it to heart.
    And men of faithfulness are gathered, while there is no one who understands,
for the righteous is gathered from the presence of wickedness.
    he enters into peace;
they will rest on their beds,
    walking straight ahead of him.
“But[b] you, come near here, you children of a soothsayer,
    offspring of an adulterer and she who commits fornication.
At whom do you make fun?
    At whom do you open[c] your mouth and stick out[d] your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
    offspring of deception,
who burn with lust among the oaks,
    under every leafy tree,
who slaughter children in the valleys,
    under the clefts of the rocks?
Your portion is among the smooth stones of the valley;
    they, they are your lot;
indeed, to them you have poured out a drink offering,
    you have brought a food offering.

Shall I relent concerning these things?

You have set your bed upon a high and lofty mountain;
    indeed, you went up there to slaughter sacrifice.
And you have set your symbol behind the door and the doorpost;
    for you depart[e] from me, and you go up;
you make your bed wide, and you make a deal with[f] them,
    you have loved their bed; you have seen their genitals.[g]
And you climbed down to the king with oil,
    and you made your perfumes numerous,
and you sent your envoys far away,[h]
    and you sent down deep[i] to Sheol.
10 You grow weary by the greatness of your way,
    but you did not say, ‘Despairing!’
You found the renewal[j] of your strength,[k]
    therefore you do not grow weak.
11 And of whom were you afraid and feared, that you deceived
    and did not remember me?
    Did you not place it on your heart?
Have I not been silent, even from long ago,
    and so you do not fear me?
12 I myself will declare your righteousness and your works,
    but[l] they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry,[m] let your collection deliver you,
    and the wind will carry all of them away;
    a breath will take them away.
But[n] he who takes refuge in me shall take possession of the land,
    and he shall inherit my holy mountain.”[o]

Peace for the Contrite

14 And one shall say, “Build up, build up! Clear the way!
    Remove the obstacles[p] from the way of my people!”

15 For thus says the high and lofty one who resides forever, and whose name is holy:

“I reside in a high and holy place,
    and with the contrite[q] and humble of spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.[r]
16 For I will not attack forever,
    and I will not be angry forever,
for the spirit will grow faint before me,
    and the breaths that I myself I have made.
17 I was angry because of his sin of gain, and I struck him;
    I hid and I was angry, but[s] he walked apostate, in the ways[t] of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, but[u] I will heal him;
    and I will lead him and give him and his mourners comfort as a recompense,
19     creating fruit of lips.
Peace, peace to the far and near,” says Yahweh, “and I will heal him.
20 But[v] the wicked are like the churning sea,
    that is not able to keep quiet,
    and its waters toss up mire and mud.
21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”


  1. Isaiah 57:1 Or “sets”
  2. Isaiah 57:3 Or “And”
  3. Isaiah 57:4 Literally “widen”
  4. Isaiah 57:4 Literally “make long”
  5. Isaiah 57:8 The reading tradition (Qere) has “uncover,” which makes no sense in context, but with different vowels it would be “depart”
  6. Isaiah 57:8 Literally “cut off for yourself from”
  7. Isaiah 57:8 Literally “hand”
  8. Isaiah 57:9 Literally “to from far”
  9. Isaiah 57:9 Literally “humiliated”
  10. Isaiah 57:10 Literally “life”
  11. Isaiah 57:10 Literally “hand;” compare the “hand” in verse 8
  12. Isaiah 57:12 Or “and”
  13. Isaiah 57:13 Literally “your crying”
  14. Isaiah 57:13 Or “And”
  15. Isaiah 57:13 Literally “mountain of holiness “
  16. Isaiah 57:14 Hebrew “obstacle”
  17. Isaiah 57:15 Literally “crushed”
  18. Isaiah 57:15 Literally “crushed”
  19. Isaiah 57:17 Or “and”
  20. Isaiah 57:17 Hebrew “way”
  21. Isaiah 57:18 Or “and”
  22. Isaiah 57:20 Or “And”