Announce Freedom to All Captives
61 1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.
8-9 “Because I, God, love fair dealing
and hate thievery and crime,
I’ll pay your wages on time and in full,
and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
as the people I have blessed.”
10-11 I will sing for joy in God,
explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
and puts praise on display before the nations.
Look, Your Savior Comes!
62 1-5 Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut,
regarding Jerusalem, I can’t hold my tongue,
Until her righteousness blazes down like the sun
and her salvation flames up like a torch.
Foreign countries will see your righteousness,
and world leaders your glory.
You’ll get a brand-new name
straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
so your God is happy with you.
6-7 I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out,
reminding God to remember.
They are to give him no peace until he does what he said,
until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.
8-9 God has taken a solemn oath,
an oath he means to keep:
“Never again will I open your grain-filled barns
to your enemies to loot and eat.
Never again will foreigners drink the wine
that you worked so hard to produce.
No. The farmers who grow the food will eat the food
and praise God for it.
And those who make the wine will drink the wine
in my holy courtyards.”
10-12 Walk out of the gates. Get going!
Get the road ready for the people.
Build the highway. Get at it!
Clear the debris,
hoist high a flag, a signal to all peoples!
Yes! God has broadcast to all the world:
“Tell daughter Zion, ‘Look! Your Savior comes,
Ready to do what he said he’d do,
prepared to complete what he promised.’”
Zion will be called new names: Holy People, God-Redeemed,
Who Goes There?
63 The watchmen call out,
“Who goes there, marching out of Edom,
out of Bozrah in clothes dyed red?
Name yourself, so splendidly dressed,
advancing, bristling with power!”
“It is I: I speak what is right,
I, mighty to save!”
2 “And why are your robes so red,
your clothes dyed red like those who tread grapes?”
3-6 “I’ve been treading the winepress alone.
No one was there to help me.
Angrily, I stomped the grapes;
raging, I trampled the people.
Their blood spurted all over me—
all my clothes were soaked with blood.
I was set on vengeance.
The time for redemption had arrived.
I looked around for someone to help
I couldn’t believe it
—not one volunteer.
So I went ahead and did it myself,
fed and fueled by my rage.
I trampled the people in my anger,
crushed them under foot in my wrath,
soaked the earth with their lifeblood.”
All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising
7-9 I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
He said, “Without question these are my people,
children who would never betray me.”
So he became their Savior.
In all their troubles,
he was troubled, too.
He didn’t send someone else to help them.
He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
for a long, long time.
10 But they turned on him;
they grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he turned on them,
became their enemy and fought them.
11-14 Then they remembered the old days,
the days of Moses, God’s servant:
“Where is he who brought the shepherds of his flock
up and out of the sea?
And what happened to the One who set
his Holy Spirit within them?
Who linked his arm with Moses’ right arm,
divided the waters before them,
Making him famous ever after,
and led them through the muddy abyss
as surefooted as horses on hard, level ground?
Like a herd of cattle led to pasture,
the Spirit of God gave them rest.”
14-19 That’s how you led your people!
That’s how you became so famous!
Look down from heaven, look at us!
Look out the window of your holy and magnificent house!
Whatever happened to your passion,
your famous mighty acts,
Your heartfelt pity, your compassion?
Why are you holding back?
You are our Father.
Abraham and Israel are long dead.
They wouldn’t know us from Adam.
But you’re our living Father,
our Redeemer, famous from eternity!
Why, God, did you make us wander from your ways?
Why did you make us cold and stubborn
so that we no longer worshiped you in awe?
Turn back for the sake of your servants.
You own us! We belong to you!
For a while your holy people had it good,
but now our enemies have wrecked your holy place.
For a long time now, you’ve paid no attention to us.
It’s like you never knew us.