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Chapter 51

Exhortation to Trust in the Lord

Listen to me, you who pursue justice,
    who seek the Lord;
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
    to the quarry[a] from which you were taken;(A)
Look to Abraham, your father,
    and to Sarah, who gave you birth;
Though he was but one when I called him,
    I blessed him and made him many.(B)
Yes, the Lord shall comfort Zion,
    shall comfort all her ruins;
Her wilderness he shall make like Eden,
    her wasteland like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness shall be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the sound of song.

Be attentive to me, my people;[b]
    my nation, give ear to me.
For teaching shall go forth from me,
    and my judgment, as light to the peoples.(C)
I will make my victory come swiftly;
    my salvation shall go forth
    and my arm shall judge the nations;
In me the coastlands shall hope,
    and my arm they shall await.

Raise your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth below;
Though the heavens vanish like smoke,
    the earth wear out like a garment
    and its inhabitants die like flies,
My salvation shall remain forever
    and my victory shall always be firm.[c]
Hear me, you who know justice,
    you people who have my teaching at heart:
Do not fear the reproach of others;
    remain firm at their revilings.
They shall be like a garment eaten by moths,
    like wool consumed by grubs;
But my victory shall remain forever,
    my salvation, for all generations.(D)

Awake, awake, put on strength,
    arm of the Lord!
Awake as in the days of old,
    in ages long ago!
Was it not you who crushed Rahab,[d]
    you who pierced the dragon?(E)
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,[e]
You who made the depths of the sea into a way
    for the redeemed to pass through?
11 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return
    and enter Zion singing,
    crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
    sorrow and mourning will flee.

12 I, it is I who comfort you.
    Can you then fear mortals who die,
    human beings who are just grass,
13 And forget the Lord, your maker,
    who stretched out the heavens
    and laid the foundations of earth?
All the day you are in constant dread
    of the fury of the oppressor
When he prepares himself to destroy;
    but where is the oppressor’s fury?

14 The captives shall soon be released;
    they shall not die and go down into the pit,
    nor shall they want for bread.
15 For I am the Lord, your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
    the Lord of hosts by name.(F)
16 I have put my words into your mouth,
    I covered you, shielded by my hand,
Stretching out the heavens,
    laying the foundations of the earth,
    saying to Zion: You are my people.

The Cup of the Lord

17 Wake up, wake up!
    Arise, Jerusalem,
You who drank at the Lord’s hand
    the cup of his wrath;
Who drained to the dregs
    the bowl of staggering!(G)
18 She has no one to guide her
    of all the children she bore;
She has no one to take her by the hand,
    of all the children she reared!—
19 Your misfortunes are double;
    who is there to grieve with you?
Desolation and destruction, famine and sword!
    Who is there to comfort you?
20 Your children lie helpless
    at every street corner
    like antelopes in a net.
They are filled with the wrath of the Lord,
    the rebuke of your God.

21 But now, hear this, afflicted one,
    drunk, but not with wine,(H)
22 Thus says the Lord, your Master,
    your God, who defends his people:
See, I am taking from your hand
    the cup of staggering;
The bowl of my wrath
    you shall no longer drink.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
    those who said to you,
    “Bow down, that we may walk over you.”
So you offered your back like the ground,
    like the street for them to walk on.


  1. 51:1 Rock…quarry: your glorious ancestry.
  2. 51:4–5 The conversion of the nations.
  3. 51:6 While the heavens and the earth appear eternal and changeless, they are not so firm and lasting as God’s saving will for Israel.
  4. 51:9 Rahab: see note on 30:7. The dragon: see notes on 27:1; Ps 74:12–17.
  5. 51:10 Great deep: a reference to the primeval chaos (cf. Gn 1:2; 7:11; 49:25; Jb 28:14; Ps 36:7; Jon 2:4).