59 Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. 2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. 3 Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption.
4 No one cares about being fair and honest. The people’s lawsuits are based on lies. They conceive evil deeds and then give birth to sin. 5 They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders’ webs. Whoever eats their eggs will die; whoever cracks them will hatch a viper. 6 Their webs can’t be made into clothing, and nothing they do is productive. All their activity is filled with sin, and violence is their trademark. 7 Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. 8 They don’t know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace.
9 So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living. We look for light but find only darkness. We look for bright skies but walk in gloom. 10 We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead. 11 We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes. We look for rescue, but it is far away from us. 12 For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us. Yes, we know what sinners we are. 13 We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord. We have turned our backs on our God. We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies. 14 Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. 15 Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.
The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. 16 He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him. 17 He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion. 18 He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds. His fury will fall on his foes. He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth. 19 In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord; in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord.[a]
20 “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,”[b] says the Lord.
21 “And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!
Future Glory for Jerusalem
60 “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. 2 Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. 3 All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
4 “Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. 5 Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands. 6 Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord. 7 The flocks of Kedar will be given to you, and the rams of Nebaioth will be brought for my altars. I will accept their offerings, and I will make my Temple glorious.
8 “And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves to their nests? 9 They are ships from the ends of the earth, from lands that trust in me, led by the great ships of Tarshish. They are bringing the people of Israel home from far away, carrying their silver and gold. They will honor the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has filled you with splendor.
10 “Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns, and their kings will serve you. For though I have destroyed you in my anger, I will now have mercy on you through my grace. 11 Your gates will stay open day and night to receive the wealth of many lands. The kings of the world will be led as captives in a victory procession. 12 For the nations that refuse to serve you will be destroyed.
13 “The glory of Lebanon will be yours— the forests of cypress, fir, and pine— to beautify my sanctuary. My Temple will be glorious! 14 The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despised you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the Lord, and Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. 16 Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.[c] 17 I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. 18 Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there.
19 “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. 21 All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. 22 The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”
Good News for the Oppressed
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.[d] 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,[e] and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel,[f] he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. 5 Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. 6 You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. 7 Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. 11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.
Isaiah’s Prayer for Jerusalem
62 Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 2 The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth. 3 The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. 4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”[g] or “The Desolate Land.”[h] Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”[i] and “The Bride of God,”[j] for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 5 Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.
6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. 7 Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. 8 The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. 9 You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the Lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.”
10 Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. 11 The Lord has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel,[k] ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’” 12 They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”
59:19Or When the enemy comes like a raging flood tide, / the Spirit of the Lord will drive him back.
59:20Hebrew The Redeemer will come to Zion / to buy back those in Jacob / who have turned from their sins. Greek version reads The one who rescues will come on behalf of Zion, / and he will turn Jacob away from ungodliness. Compare Rom 11:26.
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