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Isaiah 52New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 52

Let Zion Rejoice

Awake, awake!
    Put on your strength, Zion;
Put on your glorious garments,
    Jerusalem, holy city.
Never again shall the uncircumcised
    or the unclean enter you.
Arise, shake off the dust,
    sit enthroned, Jerusalem;
Loose the bonds from your neck,
    captive daughter Zion!
    For thus says the Lord:
For nothing you were sold,
    without money you shall be redeemed.

    For thus says the Lord God:
To Egypt long ago my people went down,
    to sojourn there;
    Assyria, too, oppressed them for nought.
But now, what am I to do here?
    —oracle of the Lord.
My people have been taken away for nothing;
    their rulers mock, oracle of the Lord;
    constantly, every day, my name is reviled.
Therefore my people shall know my name
    on that day, that it is I who speaks: Here I am!
How beautiful upon the mountains[a]
    are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
    announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
    “Your God is King!”

Listen! Your sentinels raise a cry,
    together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
    the Lord’s return to Zion.
Break out together in song,
    O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
    has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth can see
    the salvation of our God.

11 Depart, depart, go out from there,
    touch nothing unclean!
Out from there![b] Purify yourselves,
    you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
12 But not in hurried flight will you go out,
    nor leave in headlong haste,
For the Lord goes before you,
    and your rear guard is the God of Israel.

Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord[c]

13 See, my servant shall prosper,
    he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
14 Even as many were amazed at him—
    so marred were his features,
    beyond that of mortals
    his appearance, beyond that of human beings—
15 So shall he startle many nations,
    kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
    those who have not heard shall ponder it.


  1. 52:7–10 God leads the people back from Babylon to Zion, from whose ruined walls sentinels greet the returning exiles.
  2. 52:11 From there: from Babylon. Vessels of the Lord: taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, now carried back by the exiles returning in procession to Zion; cf. Ezr 1:7.
  3. 52:13–53:12 The last of the “servant of the Lord” oracles (see note on 42:1–4). Taken together, these oracles depict a figure of one called by God for a vocation to Israel and the nations (42:4; 49:5–6); the servant’s exaltation both opens and closes the passage (52:13; 53:12). The servant responded in fidelity but has suffered opposition (50:4–6). In this fourth oracle the servant is characterized as “a man of suffering” (53:3) and appears to be unjustly put to death (53:8–9). Those who have witnessed his career somehow recognize that he is innocent, has undergone suffering for their sins (53:4–6), and his death is referred to as a reparation offering (see note on 53:10–11). The servant is described in ways that identify him with Israel (which is frequently referred to as “servant” in the context of Second Isaiah—e.g., 41:8, 9; 44:2, 21; 43:4) and is designated as “Israel” in 49:3; yet Israel outside the “servant of the Lord” oracles is not presented as sinless, but rather in exile because of sin (40:2; 42:21–25) and even as servant as deaf and blind (42:18–19). The servant is thus both identified with Israel and distinguished from it. As with the previous servant poems, this chapter helped the followers of Jesus to interpret his suffering, death, and resurrection; see especially the passion narratives.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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