Isaiah 51New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Lord’s Saving Power for Zion Lasts Forever
51 The Lord says, “Listen to me, you who want to do what is right. Pay attention, you who look to me. Consider the rock you were cut out of. Think about the rock pit you were dug from. 2 Consider Abraham. He is the father of your people. Think about Sarah. She is your mother. When I chose Abraham, he did not have any children. But I blessed him and gave him many of them. 3 You can be sure that I will comfort Zion’s people. I will look with loving concern on all their destroyed buildings. I will make their deserts like Eden. I will make their dry and empty land like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be there. People will sing and give thanks to me.
4 “Listen to me, my people. Pay attention, my nation. My instruction will go out to the nations. I make everything right. That will be a guiding light for them. 5 The time for me to set you free is near. I will soon save you. My powerful arm will make everything right among the nations. The islands will put their hope in me. They will wait for my powerful arm to act. 6 Look up toward the heavens. Then look at the earth. The heavens will vanish like smoke. The earth will wear out like clothes. Those who live there will die like flies. But I will save you forever. My saving power will never end.
7 “Listen to me, you who know what is right. Pay attention, you who have taken my instruction to heart. Do not be afraid when mere human beings make fun of you. Do not be terrified when they laugh at you. 8 They will be like clothes that moths have eaten up. They will be like wool that worms have chewed up. But my saving power will last forever. I will save you for all time to come.”
9 Wake up, arm of the Lord! Wake up! Dress yourself with strength as if it were your clothes! Wake up, just as you did in the past. Wake up, as you did long ago. Didn’t you cut Rahab to pieces? Didn’t you stab that sea monster to death? 10 Didn’t you dry up the Red Sea? Didn’t you dry up those deep waters? You made a road on the bottom of that sea. Then those who were set free went across. 11 Those the Lord has saved will return to their land. They will sing as they enter the city of Zion. Joy that lasts forever will be like beautiful crowns on their heads. They will be filled with gladness and joy. Sorrow and sighing will be gone.
12 The Lord says to his people, “I comfort you because of who I am. Why are you afraid of mere human beings? They are like grass that dries up. 13 How can you forget me? I made you. I stretch out the heavens. I lay the foundations of the earth. Why are you terrified every day? Is it because those who are angry with you are crushing you? Is it because they are trying to destroy you? Their anger can’t harm you anymore. 14 You prisoners who are so afraid will soon be set free. You will not die in your prison cells. You will not go without food. 15 I am the Lord your God. I stir up the ocean. I make its waves roar. My name is the Lord Who Rules Over All. 16 I have put my words in your mouth. I have kept you safe in the palm of my hand. I set the heavens in place. I laid the foundations of the earth. I say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”
The Cup of the Lord’s Great Anger
17 Wake up, Jerusalem! Wake up! Get up! The Lord has handed you the cup of his great anger. And you have drunk from it. That cup makes people unsteady on their feet. And you have drunk from it to the very last drop. 18 Among all the children who were born to you there was none to guide you. Among all the children you brought up there was none to lead you by the hand. 19 Nothing but trouble has come to you. You have been wiped out and destroyed. And you have suffered hunger and war. No one feels sorry for you. No one can comfort you. 20 Your children have fainted. They lie helpless at every street corner. They are like antelope that have been caught in a net. They have felt the full force of the Lord’s great anger. Jerusalem, your God had to warn them strongly.
21 So listen to me, you suffering people of Jerusalem. You have been made drunk, but not by drinking wine. 22 Your Lord and King speaks. He is your God. He stands up for his people. He says, “I have taken from you the cup of my great anger. It made you unsteady on your feet. But you will never drink from that cup again. 23 Instead, I will give it to those who made you suffer. They said to you, ‘Fall down flat on the ground. Then we can walk all over you.’ And that is exactly what you did. You made your back like a street to be walked on.”
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