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Zion Will Be Secure

54 “Shout for joy, O barren one who has not given birth!
Give a joyful shout and cry out, you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one are more numerous
than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.
Make your tent larger,
stretch your tent curtains farther out![a]
Spare no effort,
lengthen your ropes,
and pound your stakes deep.[b]
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your children will conquer[c] nations
and will resettle desolate cities.
Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame.
Don’t be intimidated,[d] for you will not be humiliated.
You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth;
you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment.[e]
For your husband is the one who made you—
the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name.
He is your Protector,[f] the Holy One of Israel.[g]
He is called “God of the entire earth.”
“Indeed, the Lord will call you back
like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression,[h]
like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.
“For a short time I abandoned[i] you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In a burst[j] of anger I rejected you[k] momentarily,
but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,”
says your Protector,[l] the Lord.
“As far as I am concerned, this is like in Noah’s time,[m]
when I vowed that the waters of Noah’s flood[n] would never again cover the earth.
In the same way I have vowed that I will not be angry at you or shout at you.
10 Even if the mountains are removed
and the hills displaced,
my devotion will not be removed from you,
nor will my covenant of friendship[o] be displaced,”
says the Lord, the one who has compassion on you.
11 “O afflicted one, driven away,[p] and unconsoled!
Look, I am about to set your stones in antimony,
and lay your foundation with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your pinnacles out of gems,[q]
your gates out of beryl,[r]
and your outer wall[s] out of beautiful[t] stones.
13 All your children will be followers of the Lord,
and your children will enjoy great prosperity.[u]
14 You will be reestablished when I vindicate you.[v]
You will not experience oppression;[w]
indeed, you will not be afraid.
You will not be terrified,[x]
for nothing frightening[y] will come near you.
15 If anyone dares to[z] challenge you, it will not be my doing!
Whoever tries to challenge you will be defeated.[aa]
16 Look, I create the craftsman,
who fans the coals into a fire
and forges a weapon.[ab]
I create the destroyer so he might devastate.
17 No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed;
you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you.[ac]
This is what the Lord will do for his servants—
I will vindicate them,”[ad]
says the Lord.


  1. Isaiah 54:2 tn Heb “the curtains of your dwelling places let them stretch out.”
  2. Isaiah 54:2 tn Heb “your stakes strengthen.”
  3. Isaiah 54:3 tn Or “take possession of”; NAB “shall dispossess.”
  4. Isaiah 54:4 tn Or “embarrassed”; NASB “humiliated…disgraced.”
  5. Isaiah 54:4 tn Another option is to translate, “the disgrace of our widowhood” (so NRSV). However, the following context (vv. 6-7) refers to Zion’s husband, the Lord, abandoning her, not dying. This suggests that an אַלְמָנָה (ʾalmanah) was a woman who had lost her husband, whether by death or abandonment.
  6. Isaiah 54:5 tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
  7. Isaiah 54:5 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
  8. Isaiah 54:6 tn Heb “like a woman abandoned and grieved in spirit.”
  9. Isaiah 54:7 tn Or “forsook” (NASB).
  10. Isaiah 54:8 tn According to BDB 1009 s.v. שֶׁטֶף the noun שֶׁצֶף here is an alternate form of שֶׁטֶף (shetef, “flood”). Some relate the word to an alleged Akkadian cognate meaning “strength.”
  11. Isaiah 54:8 tn Heb “I hid my face from you.”
  12. Isaiah 54:8 tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
  13. Isaiah 54:9 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “For [or “indeed”] the waters of Noah [is] this to me.” כִּי־מֵי (ki-me, “for the waters of”) should be emended to כִּימֵי (kime, “like the days of”), which is supported by the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa and all the ancient versions except LXX.
  14. Isaiah 54:9 tn Heb “the waters of Noah” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
  15. Isaiah 54:10 tn Heb “peace” (so many English versions); NLT “of blessing.”
  16. Isaiah 54:11 tn Or, more literally, “windblown, storm-tossed.”
  17. Isaiah 54:12 tn Perhaps, “rubies” (so ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
  18. Isaiah 54:12 tn On the meaning of אֶקְדָּח (ʾeqdakh), which occurs only here, see HALOT 82 s.v.
  19. Isaiah 54:12 tn Heb “border” (so ASV); NASB “your entire wall.”
  20. Isaiah 54:12 tn Heb “delightful”; KJV “pleasant.”
  21. Isaiah 54:13 tn Heb “and great [will be] the peace of your sons.”
  22. Isaiah 54:14 tn Heb “in righteousness [or “vindication”] you will be established.” The precise meaning of צְדָקָה (tsedaqah) here is uncertain. It could mean “righteousness, justice,” indicating that the city will be a center for justice. But the context focuses on deliverance, suggesting that the term means “deliverance, vindication” here.
  23. Isaiah 54:14 tn Heb “Be far from oppression!” The imperative is used here in a rhetorical manner to express certainty and assurance. See GKC 324 §110.c.
  24. Isaiah 54:14 tn Heb “from terror.” The rhetorical command, “be far” is understood by ellipsis here. Note the preceding context.
  25. Isaiah 54:14 tn Heb “it,” i.e., the “terror” just mentioned.
  26. Isaiah 54:15 tn The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb here for emphasis.
  27. Isaiah 54:15 tn Heb “will fall over you.” The expression נָפַל עַל (nafal ʿal) can mean “attack,” but here it means “fall over to,” i.e., “surrender to.”
  28. Isaiah 54:16 tn Heb “who brings out an implement for his work.”
  29. Isaiah 54:17 tn Heb “and every tongue that rises up for judgment with you will prove to be guilty.”
  30. Isaiah 54:17 tn Heb “this is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication from me.”