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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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