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Rampant Transgression

59 Look! The hand of Yahweh is not too short to save,[a]
    and his ear is not too dull to hear.[b]
Rather, your iniquities have been barriers[c] between you and your God,
    and your sins have hidden his face from you, from hearing.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
    and your fingers with iniquity.
Your lips have spoken lies,
    your tongue speaks wickedness.
There is nobody who pleads with[d] justice,
    and there is nobody who judges with honesty.
They rely on nothing
    and speak vanity.
They conceive trouble
    and beget iniquity;
they hatch viper eggs,
    and they weave a spider web.
One who eats their eggs dies,
    and that which is pressed is hatched as a serpent.
Their webs cannot become clothing,
    and they cannot cover themselves with their works.
Their works are works of iniquity,
    and deeds[e] of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
    and they hasten to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
    devastation and destruction are in their highways.
They do not know the way of peace,
    and there is no justice in their firm paths.
They have made their paths crooked for themselves;
    everyone who walks[f] in it knows no peace.
Therefore justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
We wait for light, but[g] look! there is darkness;
    for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
10 We grope like the blind along a wall,
    and we grope as without[h] eyes.
We stumble at noon as in the twilight;
    among the strong we are like the dead.
11 We all groan like bears,
    and we coo mutteringly like doves.
We wait for justice, but[i] there is none;
    for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions are numerous before you,
    and our sins testify[j] against us.
Indeed, our transgressions are with us,
    and we know our iniquities:
13 transgressing and denying Yahweh,
    and turning away from following[k] our God;
speaking oppression and falsehood,
    conceiving and uttering words of deception from the heart.
14 And justice is pushed back,
    and righteousness stands afar;
for truth stumbles in the public square,
    and straightforwardness is unable to enter,
15 and truth is missing,
    and he who turns aside from evil is plundered.
And Yahweh saw,
    and it was displeasing in his eyes that there was no justice
16 And he saw that there was no man,
    and he was appalled that there was no one who intercedes,
so[l] his arm came to assist him,
    and his righteousness was what[m] sustained him.
17 And he put on righteousness like a breastplate,
    and a helmet of salvation on his head,
and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
    and he wrapped himself in zeal as in a robe.
18 According to deeds, so he will repay;
    wrath to his enemies, requital to those who are his enemies.[n]
    He will repay requital to the coastlands.
19 So[o] they shall fear the name of Yahweh from the west,
    and his glory from the sunrise,
for he will come like a narrow stream;
    the wind of Yahweh drives it on.
20 “And a redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who turn away from transgression,”

declares[p] Yahweh.

21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says Yahweh:

my spirit that is upon you,
    and my words that I have placed in your mouth
shall not depart from your mouth,
    or[q] from the mouths[r] of your children,[s]
    or[t] from the mouths[u] of your children’s children,”[v]
        says Yahweh, “from now on and forever.”


  1. Isaiah 59:1 Literally “from saving”
  2. Isaiah 59:1 Literally “from hearing”
  3. Isaiah 59:2 Literally “dividers”
  4. Isaiah 59:4 Literally “calling in”
  5. Isaiah 59:6 Hebrew “deed”
  6. Isaiah 59:8 Literally “walking”
  7. Isaiah 59:9 Or “and”
  8. Isaiah 59:10 Literally “like there are no”
  9. Isaiah 59:11 Or “and”
  10. Isaiah 59:12 Or “answers”
  11. Isaiah 59:13 Literally “back from behind”
  12. Isaiah 59:16 Or “and”
  13. Isaiah 59:16 Literally “it”
  14. Isaiah 59:18 Literally “hostile”
  15. Isaiah 59:19 Or “And”
  16. Isaiah 59:20 Literally “declaration of”
  17. Isaiah 59:21 Or “and”
  18. Isaiah 59:21 Hebrew “mouth”
  19. Isaiah 59:21 Literally “offspring”
  20. Isaiah 59:21 Or “and”
  21. Isaiah 59:21 Hebrew “mouth”
  22. Isaiah 59:21 Literally “the offspring of your offspring”