51 1-2 Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance, who seek the Lord! Consider the quarry from which you were mined, the rock from which you were cut! Yes, think about your ancestors Abraham and Sarah, from whom you came. You worry at being so small and few, but Abraham was only one when I called him. But when I blessed him, he became a great nation. 3 And the Lord will bless Israel again, and make her deserts blossom; her barren wilderness will become as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Joy and gladness will be found there, thanksgiving and lovely songs.
4 Listen to me, my people; listen, O Israel, for I will see that right prevails. 5 My mercy and justice are coming soon; your salvation is on the way. I will rule the nations; they shall wait for me and long for me to come. 6 Look high in the skies and watch the earth beneath, for the skies shall disappear like smoke, the earth shall wear out like a garment, and the people of the earth shall die like flies. But my salvation lasts forever; my righteous rule will never die nor end.
7 Listen to me, you who know the right from wrong and cherish my laws in your hearts: don’t be afraid of people’s scorn or their slanderous talk. 8 For the moth shall destroy them like garments; the worm shall eat them like wool; but my justice and mercy shall last forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
9 Awake, O Lord! Rise up and robe yourself with strength. Rouse yourself as in the days of old when you slew Egypt, the dragon[a] of the Nile. 10 Are you not the same today, the mighty God who dried up the sea, making a path right through it for your ransomed ones? 11 The time will come when God’s redeemed will all come home again. They shall come with singing to Jerusalem, filled with joy and everlasting gladness; sorrow and mourning will all disappear.
12 I, even I, am he who comforts you and gives you all this joy. So what right have you to fear mere mortal men, who wither like the grass and disappear? 13 And yet you have no fear of God, your Maker—you have forgotten him, the one who spread the stars throughout the skies and made the earth. Will you be in constant dread of men’s oppression, and fear their anger all day long? 14 Soon, soon you slaves shall be released; dungeon, starvation, and death are not your fate. 15 For I am the Lord your God, the Lord Almighty, who dried a path for you right through the sea, between the roaring waves. 16 And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safe within my hand. I planted the stars in place and molded all the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, “You are mine.”
17 Wake up, wake up, Jerusalem! You have drunk enough from the cup of the fury of the Lord. You have drunk to the dregs the cup of terror and squeezed out the last drops. 18 Not one of her sons is left alive to help or tell her what to do. 19 These two things have been your lot: desolation and destruction. Yes, famine and the sword. And who is left to sympathize? Who is left to comfort you? 20 For your sons have fainted and lie in the streets, helpless as wild goats caught in a net. The Lord has poured out his fury and rebuke upon them. 21 But listen now to this, afflicted ones—full of troubles and in a stupor (but not from being drunk)— 22 this is what the Lord says, the Lord your God who cares for his people: “See, I take from your hands the terrible cup; you shall drink no more of my fury; it is gone at last. 23 But I will put that terrible cup into the hands of those who tormented you and trampled your souls to the dust and walked upon your backs.”
- Isaiah 51:9 Egypt, the dragon, literally, “Rahab, the dragon.”