Isaiah 51 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Israel Should Be Like Abraham
51 “Some of you people try hard to live good lives. You go to the Lord for help. Listen to me. You should look at Abraham your father. He is the rock you were cut from. 2 Abraham is your father, so look at him. Look at Sarah, who gave birth to you. Abraham was alone when I called him. Then I blessed him, and he began a great family with many descendants.”
3 In the same way, the Lord will bless Zion. He will feel sorry for her and her people, and he will do something great for her. He will turn the desert into a garden. It will be like the Garden of Eden. The land was empty, but it will become like the Lord’s garden. People there will be very happy. They will sing victory songs to thank God for what he did.
4 “My people, listen to me!
God’s Own Power Will Save His People
9 Wake up! Wake up!
12 The Lord says, “I am the one who comforts you.
13 “I, the Lord, am the one who made you.
14 “People in prison will soon be made free.
15 “I am the Lord your God,
16 “My servant, I gave you the words I want you to say, and I covered you with my hands to protect you. I did this to make a new heaven and earth and so that you would say to Israel, ‘You are my people.’”
God Punished Israel
17 Wake up! Wake up!
18 Jerusalem had many people, but none of them became leaders for her. None of the children she raised became guides to lead her. 19 Troubles came to you, Jerusalem, in pairs: Your land was destroyed and lies in ruins, and your people suffered from famine and war.
But no one felt sorry for you or showed you mercy. 20 Your people became weak. They fell on the ground and lay there. They were lying on every street corner, like animals caught in a net. They were punished by the Lord’s anger until they could not accept any more punishment. When God said he would give them more punishment, they became very weak.
21 Listen to me, poor Jerusalem. You are weak like a drunk, but you are not drunk from wine. You are weak from that “cup of poison.”
22 Your God is the one who fights for his people. He is your Lord God, and he says to you, “Look, I am taking this ‘cup of poison’ away from you. It is full of my anger, and I am taking it out of your hand. You will not be punished by my anger again. 23 I will now use my anger to punish the people who hurt you. They tried to kill you. They told you, ‘Bow down before us, and we will walk on you.’ They forced you to bow down before them, and then they walked on your back like dirt. You were like a road for them to walk on.”