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Sins that Separate from God

59 “See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
    nor are his ears[a] too dull to hear.
Instead, your iniquities have been barriers
    between you and your God,
and your sins have concealed his face from you
    so that he won’t listen.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
    and your fingers with iniquity;
        your tongue[b] mutters wickedness.
No one brings a lawsuit fairly,
    and no one goes to law honestly;
they have relied[c] on empty arguments
    and they tell lies;
they conceive[d] trouble
    and give birth[e] to iniquity.
They hatch[f] adders’ eggs[g]
    and weave[h] a spider’s web;
whoever eats their eggs dies,
    and any crushed egg hatches out futility.[i]
Their cobwebs cannot become clothing,
    they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are deeds of iniquity,
    and acts of violence fill their hands.
Their feet rush to evil,
    and they are quick to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
    ruin, destruction, and violence[j] are in their paths.
The pathway of peace they do not know,
    and there is no justice in their courses.
They have made their roads crooked;
    no one who walks in them will know peace.”

A Commitment to Wait on God

“So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
We wait for light, but look—there is darkness;
    we wait for brightness, but we walk in deep darkness.[k]
10 Let’s grope[l] along the wall like the blind;
    let us grope like those who have no eyes.
We stumble at midday as if it were twilight,
    in desolate places[m] like dead people.
11 We all growl like bears;
    we[n] sigh mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but there is none,
    and[o] for deliverance, but it’s far from us.

12 “For our transgressions before you are many,
    and our sins testify[p] against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
    and as for our iniquities,
        we acknowledge them:
13 they’ve rebelled[q] in[r] treachery against the Lord,
    and are turning away from following our God;
and they’ve spoken[s] oppression and revolt,
    and are conceiving[t] lying words from the heart.
14 I’ll drive back justice,[u]
    and righteousness stands at a distance;
for truth has fallen in the public square,
    and honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is missing,
    and whoever turns away from evil becomes a prey.”

God Brings His Own Salvation

“Then the Lord looked, and it displeased him
    that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
    and was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm[v] brought him victory,
    and his righteous acts upheld him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
    and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
    and wrapped himself in fury like a cloak.
18 So he will repay according to their action:
    Anger to his enemies, retribution to his foes;
        to the coastlands he will render their due.
19 So people will fear the name of the Lord from the west,
    and his glories[w] from the rising of the sun;
for he will come as a pent-up stream
    that the breath of the Lord drives along.

20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” says the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,”[x] says the Lord. “And[y] my Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, won’t depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your children’s children,[z] from now on and forever.”


  1. Isaiah 59:1 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read ear
  2. Isaiah 59:3 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read your lips have spoken lies, your tongue
  3. Isaiah 59:4 So 1QIsaa 1QIsab; MT reads they rely
  4. Isaiah 59:4 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT reads to conceive
  5. Isaiah 59:4 So 1QIsaa 1QIsab; MT reads and to give birth
  6. Isaiah 59:5 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT reads They have hatched; LXX reads hatched
  7. Isaiah 59:5 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT read an adder’s eggs
  8. Isaiah 59:5 So 1QIsaa; MT reads weave, but with a different Heb. word
  9. Isaiah 59:5 Lit. a viper; so 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX utilize feminine form
  10. Isaiah 59:7 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack and violence
  11. Isaiah 59:9 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads darknesses
  12. Isaiah 59:10 So 1QIsaa; MT reads We grope LXX reads They grope
  13. Isaiah 59:10 Or among vigorous people
  14. Isaiah 59:11 So 1QIsaa; MT reads and we
  15. Isaiah 59:11 So 1QIsaa; Not in MT LXX
  16. Isaiah 59:12 1QIsaa cf. LXX; MT reads sin testifies
  17. Isaiah 59:13 So 1QIsaa; MT reads rebellion LXX reads we have sinned
  18. Isaiah 59:13 Lit. and
  19. Isaiah 59:13 So 1QIsaa; MT reads speaking LXX reads we have spoken
  20. Isaiah 59:13 So 1QIsaa; MT reads conceiving and uttering; LXX reads we have conceived and thought about
  21. Isaiah 59:14 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Justice is driven back LXX reads We withdrew justice
  22. Isaiah 59:16 I.e. the Messiah
  23. Isaiah 59:19 So 1QIsaa; MT reads glory LXX reads his glorious name
  24. Isaiah 59:21 So 1QIsaa MTmss LXX; 1QIsab MT read them, but the reading contains a grammatical object error
  25. Isaiah 59:21 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX lack And
  26. Isaiah 59:21 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX read children, says the Lord,