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Isaiah 52 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Jerusalem Can Celebrate

52 Jerusalem, wake up!
    Stand up and be strong.
Holy city of Zion,
    dress in your best clothes.
Those foreigners who ruined
your sacred city
    won’t bother you again.
Zion, rise from the dirt!
Free yourself from the rope
    around your neck.

Suffering Will End

The Lord says:
My people, you were sold,
    but not for money;
now you will be set free,
    but not for a payment.
Long ago you went to Egypt
where you lived
    as foreigners.
Then Assyria was cruel to you,
    and now another nation[a]
has taken you prisoner
    for no reason at all.
Your leaders groan with pain,[b]
and day after day
    my own name is cursed.
My people, you will learn
who I am and who is speaking
    because I am here.

A Message of Hope for Jerusalem

What a beautiful sight!
On the mountains a messenger
    announces to Jerusalem,
“Good news! You’re saved.
There will be peace.
    Your God is now King.”
Everyone on guard duty,
    sing and celebrate!
Look! You can see the Lord
    returning to Zion.
Jerusalem, rise from the ruins!
    Join in the singing.
The Lord has given comfort
to his people;
    he comes to your rescue.
10 The Lord has shown all nations
    his mighty strength;
now everyone will see
    the saving power of our God.

A Command To Leave Babylon

11 Leave the city of Babylon!
    Don’t touch anything filthy.
Wash yourselves. Be ready
to carry back everything sacred
    that belongs to the Lord.
12 You won’t need to run.
    No one is chasing you.
The Lord God of Israel
will lead and protect you
    from enemy attacks.

The Suffering Servant

13 The Lord says:
    My servant will succeed!
He will be given great praise
    and the highest honors.
14 Many were horrified
    at what happened to him.[c]
But everyone who saw him
    was even more horrified
because he suffered until
    he no longer looked human.[d]
15 My servant will make
nations worthy to worship me;[e]
    kings will be silent
    as they bow in wonder.[f]
They will see and think about
they have never seen
    or thought about before.


  1. 52.5 another nation: Babylonia.
  2. 52.5 groan with pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 52.14 him: One ancient translation; Hebrew “you.”
  4. 52.14 human: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
  5. 52.15 My. . . me: Hebrew; one ancient translation “The nations will be amazed at him.”
  6. 52.15 kings. . . wonder: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Isaiah 52 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

52 “Wake up, wake up;
put on your strength, Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
Jerusalem, the Holy City!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
will no longer enter you.
Stand up, shake the dust off yourself!
Take your seat, Jerusalem.
Remove the bonds[a] from your neck,
captive Daughter Zion.”
For this is what the Lord says:
“You were sold for nothing,
and you will be redeemed without silver.”
For this is what the Lord God says:
“At first My people went down to Egypt to live there,
then Assyria oppressed them without cause.[b]
So now what have I here”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“that My people are taken away for nothing?
Its rulers wail”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“and My name is continually blasphemed all day long.
Therefore My people will know My name;
therefore they will know on that day
that I am He who says:
Here I am.”

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the herald,
who proclaims peace,
who brings news of good things,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
The voices of your watchmen
they lift up their voices,
shouting for joy together;
for every eye will see
when the Lord returns to Zion.
Be joyful, rejoice together,
you ruins of Jerusalem!
For the Lord has comforted His people;
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has displayed His holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.

11 Leave, leave, go out from there!
Do not touch anything unclean;
go out from her, purify yourselves,
you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you will not leave in a hurry,
and you will not have to take flight;
because the Lord is going before you,
and the God of Israel is your rear guard.

The Servant’s Suffering and Exaltation

13 See, My Servant[c] will act wisely;[d]
He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
14 Just as many were appalled at You[e]
His appearance was so disfigured
that He did not look like a man,
and His form did not resemble a human being—
15 so He will sprinkle[f][g] many nations.[h]
Kings will shut their mouths because of Him,
For they will see what had not been told them,
and they will understand what they had not heard.


  1. Isaiah 52:2 Alt Hb tradition reads The bonds are removed
  2. Isaiah 52:4 Or them at last, or them for nothing
  3. Isaiah 52:13 Tg adds the Messiah
  4. Isaiah 52:13 Or will be successful
  5. Isaiah 52:14 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg read Him
  6. Isaiah 52:15 Or startle
  7. Isaiah 52:15 As the blood of a sacrifice is sprinkled on the altar on behalf of the people
  8. Isaiah 52:15 LXX reads so many nations will marvel at Him
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