Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!(A)
    Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”(B)
15 For this is what the high and exalted(C) One says—
    he who lives forever,(D) whose name is holy:
“I live in a high(E) and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite(F) and lowly in spirit,(G)
to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.(H)
16 I will not accuse(I) them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,(J)
for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people(K) I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;(L)
    I punished them, and hid(M) my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.(N)
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal(O) them;
    I will guide(P) them and restore comfort(Q) to Israel’s mourners,
19     creating praise on their lips.(R)
Peace, peace,(S) to those far and near,”(T)
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked(U) are like the tossing sea,(V)
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire(W) and mud.
21 “There is no peace,”(X) says my God, “for the wicked.”(Y)

True Fasting

58 “Shout it aloud,(Z) do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.(AA)
Declare to my people their rebellion(AB)
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.(AC)
For day after day they seek(AD) me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken(AE) the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near(AF) them.
‘Why have we fasted,’(AG) they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled(AH) ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’(AI)

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please(AJ)
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(AK)
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard(AL) on high.
Is this the kind of fast(AM) I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble(AN) themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed(AO)
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?(AP)
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting(AQ) I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice(AR)
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed(AS) free
    and break every yoke?(AT)
Is it not to share your food with the hungry(AU)
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter(AV)
when you see the naked, to clothe(AW) them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?(AX)
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,(AY)
    and your healing(AZ) will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a](BA) will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.(BB)
Then you will call,(BC) and the Lord will answer;(BD)
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger(BE) and malicious talk,(BF)
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,(BG)
then your light(BH) will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.(BI)
11 The Lord will guide(BJ) you always;
    he will satisfy your needs(BK) in a sun-scorched land(BL)
    and will strengthen(BM) your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,(BN)
    like a spring(BO) whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins(BP)
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;(BQ)
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,(BR)
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath(BS)
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight(BT)
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,(BU)
14 then you will find your joy(BV) in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights(BW) of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance(BX) of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.(BY)

Sin, Confession and Redemption

59 Surely the arm(BZ) of the Lord is not too short(CA) to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.(CB)
But your iniquities have separated(CC)
    you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.(CD)
For your hands are stained with blood,(CE)
    your fingers with guilt.(CF)
Your lips have spoken falsely,(CG)
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.
No one calls for justice;(CH)
    no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely(CI) on empty arguments, they utter lies;(CJ)
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.(CK)
They hatch the eggs of vipers(CL)
    and spin a spider’s web.(CM)
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
    and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
    they cannot cover themselves with what they make.(CN)
Their deeds are evil deeds,
    and acts of violence(CO) are in their hands.
Their feet rush into sin;
    they are swift to shed innocent blood.(CP)
They pursue evil schemes;(CQ)
    acts of violence mark their ways.(CR)
The way of peace they do not know;(CS)
    there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;(CT)
    no one who walks along them will know peace.(CU)

So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;(CV)
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10 Like the blind(CW) we grope along the wall,
    feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble(CX) as if it were twilight;
    among the strong, we are like the dead.(CY)
11 We all growl like bears;
    we moan mournfully like doves.(CZ)
We look for justice, but find none;
    for deliverance, but it is far away.

12 For our offenses(DA) are many in your sight,
    and our sins testify(DB) against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
    and we acknowledge our iniquities:(DC)
13 rebellion(DD) and treachery against the Lord,
    turning our backs(DE) on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,(DF)
    uttering lies(DG) our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice(DH) is driven back,
    and righteousness(DI) stands at a distance;
truth(DJ) has stumbled in the streets,
    honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth(DK) is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.(DL)
16 He saw that there was no one,(DM)
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;(DN)
so his own arm achieved salvation(DO) for him,
    and his own righteousness(DP) sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,(DQ)
    and the helmet(DR) of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments(DS) of vengeance(DT)
    and wrapped himself in zeal(DU) as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
    so will he repay(DV)
wrath to his enemies
    and retribution to his foes;
    he will repay the islands(DW) their due.
19 From the west,(DX) people will fear the name of the Lord,
    and from the rising of the sun,(DY) they will revere his glory.(DZ)
For he will come like a pent-up flood
    that the breath(EA) of the Lord drives along.[b]

20 “The Redeemer(EB) will come to Zion,(EC)
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”(ED)
declares the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant(EE) with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit,(EF) who is on you, will not depart from you,(EG) and my words that I have put in your mouth(EH) will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.


  1. Isaiah 58:8 Or your righteous One
  2. Isaiah 59:19 Or When enemies come in like a flood, / the Spirit of the Lord will put them to flight

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