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Isaiah 51-55 Common English Bible (CEB)

Look to Abraham and Sarah

51 Listen to me, you who look for righteousness, you who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
    and to the quarry where you were dug.
Look to Abraham your ancestor,
    and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
They were alone when I called them, but I blessed them
    and made them many.
The Lord will comfort Zion;
    he will comfort all her ruins.
He will make her desert like Eden
    and her wilderness like the Lord’s garden.
Happiness and joy will be found in her—
    thanks and the sound of singing.

Salvation endures forever

Pay attention to me, my people;
    listen to me, my nation,
        for teaching will go out from me,
        my justice, as a light to the nations.
    I will quickly bring my victory.
My salvation is on its way,
    and my arm will judge the peoples.
    The coastlands hope for me;
    they wait for my judgment.[a]
Look up to the heavens,
        and gaze at the earth beneath.
    The heavens will disappear like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like clothing,
    and its inhabitants will die like gnats.
But my salvation will endure forever,
    and my righteousness will be unbroken.
Listen to me, you who know what is right,
    people who carry my teaching in your heart:
    Don’t fear human scorn,
    and don’t be upset when they abuse you.
The moth will eat them as if they were clothing,
    and the worm will eat them like wool,
    but my righteousness is forever,
    and my salvation for all generations.

Awake, arm of the Lord

Awake, awake, put on strength,
    arm of the Lord.
Awake as in times past,
    generations long ago.
Aren’t you the one who crushed Rahab,
    who pierced the dragon?
10 Didn’t you dry up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep?
    And didn’t you make the redeemed a road to cross
    through the depths of the sea,
    a road for the redeemed to pass?
11 Then let those ransomed by the Lord return
    and come to Zion with singing
    and with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Let happiness and joy overwhelm them;
    let grief and groaning flee.

12 I, I am the one who comforts you.
Why should you fear humans who will die,
    mortals who are treated like grass?
13 You forgot the Lord your maker,
    the one who stretched out the heavens
    and founded the earth.
    You were continually afraid, all day long,
    on account of the oppressor’s wrath—
    a fear by which they intend to destroy you.
    Where now is the oppressor’s wrath?
14 The imprisoned ones will soon be released;
    they won’t die in the pit
    or even lack bread.
15 I am the Lord your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
    the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.
16 I put my words in your mouth
    and hid you in the shadow of my hand,
    stretching out[b] the heavens, founding the earth,
    and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”

Wake yourself, Jerusalem

17 Wake yourself, wake yourself!
    Rise up, Jerusalem,
    who drank the cup of wrath from the Lord’s hand.
    You drank; you drained the goblet of reeling.
18     There’s no one to guide her among all the children she bore;
    there’s no one to take her by the hand among all the children she raised.
19 These two things have happened to you—
    Who will be sorry for you?[c]
        destruction and devastation,
        famine and sword—
    who will comfort you?[d]
20 Your children passed out;
    they lay at the head of every street like antelope in a net,
    filled with the Lord’s wrath,
    with the rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore, hear this, suffering one,
    who is drunk, but not from wine.
22 The Lord, your Lord and your God,
    who contends for his people, says:
    Look, I have taken the cup of reeling,
    the goblet of my wrath, from your hand.
    You will no longer drink from it.
23 I will put it in the hand of your tormentors,
    who said to you,
    “Lie down so that we can walk on you.
    Make your back like the ground,
    like a street for those walking on it.”

Awake, holy Zion

52 Awake, awake,
    put on your strength, Zion!
    Put on your splendid clothing,
    Jerusalem, you holy city;
        for the uncircumcised and unclean
        will no longer come into you.
Shake the dust off yourself;
    rise up; sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Loose the bonds from your neck,
    captive Daughter Zion!

The Lord proclaims:
You were sold for nothing,
    and you will be redeemed without money.
The Lord God proclaims:
Long ago my people went down
    to reside in Egypt.
    Moreover, Assyria has oppressed them without cause.
And now what have I here? says the Lord.
    My people are taken away for nothing.
Their rulers wail, says the Lord,
    and continually all day long my name is despised.
Therefore, my people will know my name on that day;
    I’m the one who promises it; I’m here.

Your God rules

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of a messenger
    who proclaims peace,
    who brings good news,
    who proclaims salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God rules!”
Listen! Your lookouts lift their voice;
    they sing out together!
    Right before their eyes they see the Lord returning to Zion.

Break into song together, you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord has comforted his people and has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm in view of all the nations;
    all the ends of the earth have seen our God’s victory.

11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there!
    Unclean! Don’t touch!
    Get out of that place; purify yourselves,
    carriers of the Lord’s equipment!
12 You won’t go out in a rush,
    nor will you run away,
    because the one going before you is the Lord;
    your rear guard is the God of Israel.

Suffering servant

13 Look, my servant will succeed.
    He will be exalted and lifted very high.
14 Just as many were appalled by you,
    he too appeared disfigured, inhuman,
    his appearance unlike that of mortals.
15 But he will astonish[e] many nations.
    Kings will be silenced because of him,
    because they will see what they haven’t seen before;
    what they haven’t heard before, they will ponder.

53 Who can believe what we have heard,
    and for whose sake has the Lord’s arm[f] been revealed?
He grew up like a young plant before us,[g]
    like a root from dry ground.
He possessed no splendid form for us to see,
    no desirable appearance.
He was despised and avoided by others;
    a man who suffered, who knew sickness well.
Like someone from whom people hid their faces,
    he was despised, and we didn’t think about him.

It was certainly our sickness that he carried,
    and our sufferings that he bore,
    but we thought him afflicted,
    struck down by God and tormented.
He was pierced because of our rebellions
    and crushed because of our crimes.
    He bore the punishment that made us whole;
    by his wounds we are healed.
Like sheep we had all wandered away,
    each going its own way,
    but the Lord let fall on him all our crimes.

He was oppressed and tormented,
    but didn’t open his mouth.
Like a lamb being brought to slaughter,
    like a ewe silent before her shearers,
    he didn’t open his mouth.

Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away,
    and his fate—who will think about it?
He was eliminated from the land of the living,
    struck dead because of my people’s rebellion.
His grave was among the wicked,
    his tomb with evildoers,[h]
    though he had done no violence,
    and had spoken nothing false.

10 But the Lord wanted to crush him
    and to make him suffer.
If his life is offered[i] as restitution,
    he will see his offspring; he will enjoy long life.
    The Lord’s plans will come to fruition through him.
11 After his deep anguish he will see light,[j] and he will be satisfied.
Through his knowledge, the righteous one, my servant,
    will make many righteous,
    and will bear their guilt.
12 Therefore, I will give him a share with the great,
    and he will divide the spoil with the strong,
    in return for exposing his life to death
    and being numbered with rebels,
    though he carried the sin of many
    and pleaded on behalf of those who rebelled.

Sing, barren woman

54 Sing, barren woman who has borne no child;
    break forth into singing and cry out,
        you who were never in labor,
    for the children of the wife who has been deserted will be more numerous than the children of the married, says the Lord.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
    and stretch out the drapes of your dwellings;
    don’t hold back.
    Lengthen your tent ropes and strengthen your stakes.
    To the right and to the left you will burst out,
    and your children will possess the nations’ land
    and settle their desolate cities.

Don’t fear,
    because you won’t be ashamed;
    don’t be dismayed,
    because you won’t be disgraced.
You will forget the shame of your youth;
    you’ll no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood.
The one marrying you is the one who made you—
    the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.
The one redeeming you is the holy one of Israel,
    the one called the God of all the earth.
As an abandoned and dejected woman the Lord has summoned you;
    as a young wife when she is rejected,
        says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great mercy I will bring you back.
    In an outburst of rage,
    I hid my face from you for a moment,
    but with everlasting love I have consoled you,
    says your redeemer, the Lord.

These are like the days[k] of Noah for me,
    when I promised that Noah’s waters would never again cover the earth.
    Likewise I promise not to rage against you or rebuke you.
10 The mountains may shift,
    and the hills may be shaken,
    but my faithful love won’t shift from you,
    and my covenant of peace won’t be shaken,
    says the Lord, the one who pities you.

11 Suffering one, storm-tossed, uncomforted,
    look, I am setting your gemstones
    in silvery metal
    and your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your towers of rubies,
    and your gates of beryl,
    and all your walls of precious jewels.
13     All your children will be disciples of the Lord
    I will make peace abound for your children.
14 You will be firmly founded in righteousness.
    You will stay far from oppression because you won’t fear,
    far from terror because it won’t come near you.
15 If anyone attacks you, it’s none of my doing.
    Whoever attacks you will fall because of you.
16 Look, I myself created the metalworker who blows the fire of coal and who produces a tool for his work.
    And I myself created the looter to destroy.
17 No weapon fashioned against you will succeed,
    and you may condemn every tongue that disputes with you.
This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants,
    whose righteousness comes from me, says the Lord.

Invitation to the feast

55 All of you who are thirsty, come to the water!
Whoever has no money, come, buy food and eat!
Without money, at no cost, buy wine and milk!
Why spend money for what isn’t food,
    and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me and eat what is good;
    enjoy the richest of feasts.
Listen and come to me;
    listen, and you will live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful loyalty to David.
Look, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a prince and commander of peoples.
Look, you will call a nation you don’t know,
    a nation you don’t know will run to you
    because of the Lord your God,
    the holy one of Israel, who has glorified you.

Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
    call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
    and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
    to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.
My plans aren’t your plans,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways,
    and my plans than your plans.
10 Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky
        and don’t return there without watering the earth,
        making it conceive and yield plants
        and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater,
11     so is my word that comes from my mouth;
        it does not return to me empty.
        Instead, it does what I want,
        and accomplishes what I intend.

12 Yes, you will go out with celebration,
    and you will be brought back in peace.
Even the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you;
    all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 In place of the thorn the cypress will grow;
    in place of the nettle the myrtle will grow.
This will attest to the Lord’s stature,
        an enduring reminder that won’t be removed.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 51:5 Or for my arm
  2. Isaiah 51:16 Or planting
  3. Isaiah 51:19 DSS (1QIsaa), LXX, Vulg; MT How will I
  4. Isaiah 51:19 Or how will I comfort you?
  5. Isaiah 52:15 Or sprinkle
  6. Isaiah 53:1 Or power
  7. Isaiah 53:2 Or him
  8. Isaiah 53:9 Cf Tg; MT and with a rich one in his deaths
  9. Isaiah 53:10 Or if you place his life
  10. Isaiah 53:11 DSS (1QIsaa); MT lacks light.
  11. Isaiah 54:9 Or for the waters
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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