The Fertility of Zion

54 (A)Shout for joy, infertile one, you who have not given birth to any child;
Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor;
For the sons of the (B)desolate one will be (C)more numerous
Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.
(D)Enlarge the place of your tent;
[a]Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them;
Lengthen your (E)ropes
And strengthen your (F)pegs.
For you will (G)spread out to the right and to the left.
And your [b]descendants will (H)possess nations
And will (I)resettle the desolate cities.

“Fear not, for you will (J)not be put to shame;
And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;
But you will forget the (K)shame of your youth,
And no longer remember the (L)disgrace of your widowhood.
For your (M)husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the Lord of armies;
And your (N)Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the (O)God of all the earth.
For the Lord has called you,
Like a wife (P)forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,”
Says your God.
[c]For a (Q)brief moment I abandoned you,
But with great compassion I will (R)gather you.
In an [d](S)outburst of anger
I hid My face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting (T)favor I will (U)have compassion on you,”
Says the Lord your (V)Redeemer.

“For [e]this is like the days of Noah to Me,
When I swore that the waters of Noah
Would (W)not [f]flood the earth again;
So I have sworn that I will (X)not be angry with you
Nor rebuke you.
10 For the (Y)mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My [g]favor will not be removed from you,
Nor will My (Z)covenant of peace be shaken,”
Says (AA)the Lord who has compassion on you.

11 (AB)Afflicted one, storm-tossed, and (AC)not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And I will (AD)lay your foundations with [h](AE)sapphires.
12 Moreover, I will make your battlements of [i]rubies,
And your gates of [j]crystal,
And your entire [k]wall of precious stones.
13 (AF)All your sons will be [l]taught by the Lord;
And the well-being of your sons will be (AG)great.
14 In (AH)righteousness you will be established;
You will be far from (AI)oppression, for you will (AJ)not fear;
And from (AK)terror, for it will not come near you.
15 If anyone fiercely attacks you, it will not be from Me.
(AL)Whoever attacks you will fall because of you.
16 Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals
And produces a weapon for its work;
And I have created the destroyer to inflict ruin.
17 (AM)No weapon that is formed against you will succeed;
And you will condemn (AN)every tongue that [m]accuses you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their (AO)vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 54:2 Lit Let them stretch out
  2. Isaiah 54:3 Lit seed
  3. Isaiah 54:7 Lit In
  4. Isaiah 54:8 Lit overflowing
  5. Isaiah 54:9 Some mss the waters of Noah this is to Me
  6. Isaiah 54:9 Lit cross over
  7. Isaiah 54:10 Or faithfulness
  8. Isaiah 54:11 Or lapis lazuli
  9. Isaiah 54:12 I.e., bright red
  10. Isaiah 54:12 Or carbuncles
  11. Isaiah 54:12 Lit border, boundary
  12. Isaiah 54:13 Or disciples of
  13. Isaiah 54:17 Lit rises against

The Free Offer of Mercy

55 [a]You there! Everyone who (A)thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have (B)no [b]money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy (C)wine and milk
(D)Without money and without cost.
Why do you [c]spend money for what is (E)not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and (F)eat what is good,
And (G)delight yourself in abundance.
(H)Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that [d]you may (I)live;
And I will make (J)an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the (K)faithful mercies [e]shown to David.
Behold, I have made (L)him a witness to the peoples,
A (M)leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you will call a (N)nation you do not know,
And a nation which does not know you will (O)run to you,
Because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel;
For He has (P)glorified you.”

(Q)Seek the Lord while He may be found;
(R)Call upon Him while He is near.
(S)Let the wicked abandon his way,
And the unrighteous person his (T)thoughts;
And let him (U)return to the Lord,
And He will have (V)compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will (W)abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not (X)your thoughts,
Nor are (Y)your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For (Z)as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the (AA)rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it produce and sprout,
And providing (AB)seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My (AC)word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will (AD)not return to Me empty,
Without (AE)accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.
12 For you will go out with (AF)joy
And be led in (AG)peace;
The (AH)mountains and the hills will break into shouts of joy before you,
And all the (AI)trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the (AJ)thorn bush, the (AK)juniper will come up,
And instead of the (AL)stinging nettle, the myrtle will come up;
And [f]it will be a [g](AM)memorial to the Lord,
An everlasting (AN)sign which (AO)will not be eliminated.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 55:1 Lit Hoy
  2. Isaiah 55:1 Lit silver
  3. Isaiah 55:2 Lit weigh out silver
  4. Isaiah 55:3 Lit your soul
  5. Isaiah 55:3 Lit of David
  6. Isaiah 55:13 I.e., the transformation of the desert
  7. Isaiah 55:13 Lit name

Rewards for Obedience to God

56 This is what the Lord says:
(A)Guard justice and do righteousness,
For My (B)salvation is about to come
And My righteousness to be revealed.
(C)Blessed is a man who does this,
And a son of man who (D)takes hold of it;
Who (E)keeps from profaning the Sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Let not the (F)foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The Lord will certainly separate me from His people.”
Nor let the (G)eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
For this is what the Lord says:
“To the eunuchs who (H)keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And (I)hold firmly to My covenant,
To them I will give in My (J)house and within My (K)walls a memorial,
And a name better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give [a]them an everlasting (L)name which (M)will not be eliminated.

“Also the (N)foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
To attend to His service and to love the name of the Lord,
To be His servants, every one who (O)keeps the Sabbath so as not to profane it,
And holds firmly to My covenant;
Even (P)those I will bring to My (Q)holy mountain,
And (R)make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on (S)My altar;
For (T)My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
The Lord [b]God, who (U)gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares,
“I will yet gather (V)others to [c]them, to those already gathered.”

All you [d](W)wild animals,
All you animals in the forest,
Come to eat.
10 His (X)watchmen are (Y)blind,
All of them know nothing.
All of them are mute dogs unable to bark,
Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber;
11 And the dogs are [e](Z)greedy, they [f]are never satisfied.
And they are shepherds who have (AA)no understanding;
They have all (AB)turned to their own way,
Each one to his unjust gain, [g]without exception.
12 “Come,” they say, “[h]let’s get (AC)wine, and let’s drink heavily of intoxicating drink;
And (AD)tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 56:5 As in DSS; MT him
  2. Isaiah 56:8 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  3. Isaiah 56:8 Lit him
  4. Isaiah 56:9 Lit animals of the field
  5. Isaiah 56:11 Lit strong of soul/appetite
  6. Isaiah 56:11 Lit do not know satisfaction
  7. Isaiah 56:11 Lit from his end
  8. Isaiah 56:12 As in DSS and some ancient versions; MT I will

Evil Leaders Rebuked

57 The righteous person perishes, and no one (A)takes it to heart;
And devout people are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous person is taken away from (B)evil,
He enters into peace;
They rest in their [a]beds,
Each one who (C)walked in his upright way.
“But come here, you sons of a (D)sorceress,
(E)Offspring of an adulterer and [b]a (F)prostitute!
Of whom do you make fun?
Against whom do you open wide your mouth
And stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of (G)rebellion,
Offspring of deceit,
Who inflame yourselves among the (H)oaks,
(I)Under every luxuriant tree,
Who (J)slaughter the children in the [c]ravines,
Under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the [d](K)smooth stones of the [e]ravine
Is your portion, [f]they are your lot;
Even to them you have (L)poured out a drink offering,
You have made a grain offering.
Should I [g](M)relent of these things?
On a (N)high and lofty mountain
You have (O)made your bed.
You also went up there to offer sacrifice.
Behind the door and the doorpost
You have set up your sign;
Indeed, far removed from Me, you have (P)uncovered yourself,
And have gone up and made your bed wide.
And you have made an agreement for yourself with them,
You have loved their bed,
You have looked at their [h]manhood.
You have journeyed to the king with oil
And increased your perfumes;
You have (Q)sent your messengers a great distance
And made them go down to [i]Sheol.
10 You were tired out by the length of your road,
Yet you did not say, ‘(R)It is hopeless!’
You found [j]renewed strength,
Therefore you did not [k]faint.

11 “Of (S)whom were you worried and fearful
When you lied, and did (T)not remember Me
[l]Nor (U)give Me a thought?
Was I not silent, even for a long time,
So you do not fear Me?
12 I will (V)declare your righteousness and your (W)deeds,
And they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out, (X)let your collection of idols save you.
But the wind will carry them all up,
And a breath will take them away.
But the one who (Y)takes refuge in Me will (Z)inherit the land
And (AA)possess My holy mountain.”

14 And it will be said,
(AB)Build up, build up, prepare the way,
Remove every obstacle from the way of My people.”
15 For this is what the (AC)high and exalted One
Who [m](AD)lives forever, whose name is Holy, says:
“I (AE)dwell in a high and holy place,
And also with the (AF)contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to (AG)revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 For I will (AH)not contend forever,
(AI)Nor will I always be angry;
For the spirit would grow faint before Me,
And the (AJ)breath of those whom I have made.
17 Because of the wrongful act of his (AK)unjust gain I was angry and struck him;
I hid My face and was angry,
And he went on (AL)turning away, in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, but I will (AM)heal him;
I will (AN)lead him and (AO)restore comfort to him and to his mourners,
19 Creating the [n](AP)praise of the lips.
(AQ)Peace, peace to him who is (AR)far away and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord, “and I will heal him.”
20 But the (AS)wicked are like the tossing sea,
For it cannot be quiet,
And its waters toss up refuse and mud.
21 (AT)There is no peace,” says (AU)my God, “for the wicked.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 57:2 I.e., graves
  2. Isaiah 57:3 As in ancient versions; MT she prostitutes herself
  3. Isaiah 57:5 Or wadis
  4. Isaiah 57:6 I.e., symbols of fertility gods
  5. Isaiah 57:6 Or wadi
  6. Isaiah 57:6 Lit they, they
  7. Isaiah 57:6 Or repent
  8. Isaiah 57:8 Lit hand
  9. Isaiah 57:9 I.e., the netherworld
  10. Isaiah 57:10 Lit the life of your hand
  11. Isaiah 57:10 Or become sick
  12. Isaiah 57:11 Lit You did not set it upon your heart
  13. Isaiah 57:15 Or dwells in eternity
  14. Isaiah 57:19 Lit fruit of the lips

Observances of Fasts

58 (A)Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their (B)wrongdoing,
And to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they (C)seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done (D)righteousness
And (E)has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight (F)in the nearness of God.
‘Why have we (G)fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not [a]notice?’
Behold, on the (H)day of your fast you find your desire,
And oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast for contention and (I)strife, and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you have done today to (J)make your voice heard on high!
Is it a fast like this that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it for bowing [b]one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out (K)sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an (L)acceptable day to the Lord?
Is this not the fast that I choose:
To (M)release the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the ropes of the yoke,
And to (N)let the oppressed go free,
And (O)break every yoke?
Is it not to (P)break your bread [c]with the hungry
And (Q)bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the (R)naked, to cover him;
And not to (S)hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your (T)light will break out like the dawn,
And your (U)recovery will spring up quickly;
And your (V)righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the (W)Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will (X)call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry for help, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you (Y)remove the yoke from your midst,
The [d](Z)pointing of the finger and (AA)speaking wickedness,
10 And if you (AB)offer yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the [e]need of the afflicted,
Then your (AC)light will rise in darkness,
And your gloom will become like midday.
11 And the (AD)Lord will continually guide you,
And (AE)satisfy your [f]desire in scorched places,
And (AF)give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a (AG)watered garden,
And like a (AH)spring of water whose waters do not [g]fail.
12 Those from among you will (AI)rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will (AJ)raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the (AK)breach,
The restorer of the [h]streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13 “If, because of the Sabbath, you (AL)restrain your foot
From doing as you wish on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a (AM)pleasure, and the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your (AN)own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And (AO)speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take (AP)delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride (AQ)on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the (AR)mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 58:3 Lit know
  2. Isaiah 58:5 Lit his
  3. Isaiah 58:7 Lit for
  4. Isaiah 58:9 I.e., an abusive gesture
  5. Isaiah 58:10 Or soul
  6. Isaiah 58:11 Or soul
  7. Isaiah 58:11 Or deceive
  8. Isaiah 58:12 Lit paths