52 Wake up, wake up, Jerusalem, and clothe yourselves with strength from God.[a] Put on your beautiful clothes, O Zion, Holy City; for sinners—those who turn from God—will no longer enter your gates. 2 Rise from the dust, Jerusalem; take off the slave bands from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For the Lord says: When I sold you into exile, I asked no fee from your oppressors; now I can take you back again and owe them not a cent! 4 My people were tyrannized without cause by Egypt and Assyria, and I delivered them.
5 And now, what is this? asks the Lord. Why are my people enslaved again and oppressed without excuse? Those who rule them shout in exultation, and my name is constantly blasphemed day by day. 6 Therefore I will reveal my name to my people, and they shall know the power in that name. Then at last they will recognize that it is I, yes, I, who speaks to them.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring the happy news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns. 8 The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for right before their eyes they see the Lord God bring his people home again. 9 Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyous song, for the Lord has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11 Go now, leave your bonds and slavery. Put Babylon and all it represents far behind you—it is unclean to you. You are the holy people of the Lord; purify yourselves, all you who carry home the vessels of the Lord. 12 You shall not leave in haste, running for your lives; for the Lord will go ahead of you, and he, the God of Israel, will protect you from behind.
13 See, my Servant[b] shall prosper; he shall be highly exalted. 14-15 Yet many shall be amazed when they see him—yes, even far-off foreign nations and their kings; they shall stand dumbfounded, speechless in his presence. For they shall see and understand what they had not been told before. They shall see my Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there. So shall he cleanse[c] many nations.
- Isaiah 52:1 from God, implied.
- Isaiah 52:13 my Servant. The Servant of the Lord, as the term is used here, is the Messiah, our Lord Jesus. This was the interpretation of this passage by Christ himself, the writers of the New Testament, and orthodox Christianity ever since.
- Isaiah 52:14 cleanse, or “startle.” The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain.