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Isaiah 54 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

54 Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
    burst into song and shout,
    you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
    than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
    and your descendants will possess the nations
    and will settle the desolate towns.

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
    do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
    and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
    says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
    I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
    says the Lord, your Redeemer.

This is like the days of Noah to me:
    Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
    would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
    and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
    I am about to set your stones in antimony,
    and lay your foundations with sapphires.[a]
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
    your gates of jewels,
    and all your wall of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
    and great shall be the prosperity of your children.
14 In righteousness you shall be established;
    you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
    and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15 If anyone stirs up strife,
    it is not from me;
whoever stirs up strife with you
    shall fall because of you.
16 See it is I who have created the smith
    who blows the fire of coals,
    and produces a weapon fit for its purpose;
I have also created the ravager to destroy.
17     No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper,
    and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
    and their vindication from me, says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 54:11 Or lapis lazuli
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 54 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

A Promise of the Lord’s Protection

54 Sing and shout,
even though you have never
    had children!
The Lord has promised that you
    will have more children
than someone married
    for a long time.
Make your tents larger!
Spread out the tent pegs;
    fasten them firmly.
You and your descendants
will take over the land
    of other nations.
You will settle in towns
    that are now in ruins.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed
and don’t be discouraged.
    You won’t be disappointed.
Forget how sinful you were
    when you were young;
stop feeling ashamed
    for being left a widow.
The Lord All-Powerful,
the Holy God of Israel,
    rules all the earth.
He is your Creator and husband,
    and he will rescue you.

You were like a young wife,
    brokenhearted and crying
because her husband
    had divorced her.
But the Lord your God says,
    “I am taking you back!
I rejected you for a while,
but with love and tenderness
    I will embrace you again.
For a while, I turned away
    in furious anger.
Now I will have mercy
    and love you forever!
I, your protector and Lord,
    make this promise.”

The Lord Promises Lasting Peace

I once promised Noah that I
would never again
destroy
    the earth by a flood.
Now I have promised that I
will never again
get angry
    and punish you.
10 Every mountain and hill
    may disappear.
But I will always be kind
    and merciful to you;
I won’t break my agreement
    to give your nation peace.

The New Jerusalem

11 Jerusalem, you are sad
and discouraged,
    tossed around in a storm.
But I, the Lord,
will rebuild your city
    with precious stones;[a]
for your foundation
    I will use blue sapphires.
12 Your fortresses[b]
    will be built of rubies,
your gates of jewels,
    and your walls of gems.
13 I will teach your children
    and make them successful.

14 You will be built on fairness
    with no fears of injustice;
every one of your worries
    will be taken far from you.
15 I will never send anyone
    to attack your city,
and you will make prisoners
    of those who do attack.
16 Don’t forget that I created
metalworkers
who make weapons
    over burning coals.
I also created armies
    that can bring destruction.
17 Weapons made to attack you
    won’t be successful;
words spoken against you
    won’t hurt at all.

My servants, Jerusalem is yours!
I, the Lord, promise
    to bless you with victory.

Footnotes:

  1. 54.11 with precious stones: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 54.12 fortresses: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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