The Passion Translation
Invitation to an Abundant Life
55 “Listen! Are you thirsty for more?
Come to the refreshing waters and drink.[a]
Even if you have no money,
come, buy, and eat.[b]
Yes, come and buy all the wine[c] and milk[d] you desire—
it won’t cost a thing.
2 Why spend your hard-earned money
on something that can’t nourish you[e]
or work so hard for something that can’t satisfy?[f]
So listen carefully to me
and you’ll enjoy a sumptuous feast,
delighting in the finest of food.[g]
3 Pay attention and come closer to me,
and hear, that your total being may flourish.[h]
I will enter into an everlasting covenant with you,[i]
and I will show you the same faithful love
that I showed David.[j]
4 See! I made him a witness to the nations,
an example of leadership,
as prince and commander of peoples.”
5 Look! You will summon nations you’ve never heard of.
Nations who have never heard of you
will come running to follow you[k]
because Yahweh, your God, the Holy One of Israel,
has glorified you!
God’s Mercy Greater than Man’s
6 Seek the Lord Yahweh when he makes himself approachable;[l]
call upon him when you sense he is near.
7 The wicked need to abandon their ways,
and sinful ones need to banish every evil thought.[m]
Let them return to Yahweh,
and they will experience his compassionate mercy.
Yes, let them return to God,
for he will lavish forgiveness upon them.
8 “For my thoughts about mercy[n] are not like your thoughts,
and my ways are different from yours.
9 As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so my ways and my thoughts are higher than yours.
10 “As the snow and rain that fall from heaven[o]
do not return until they have accomplished their purpose,
soaking the earth and causing it to sprout with new life,
providing seed to sow and bread to eat.
11 So also will be the word[p] that I speak;
it does not return to me unfulfilled.[q]
My word performs my purpose
and fulfills the mission I sent it out to accomplish.”[r]
12 For you will leave your exile with joy[s]
and be led[t] home wrapped in peace.
The mountains and hills in front of you will burst into singing
and the trees of the field will applaud![u]
13 Cypress trees will flourish where there were only thorns[v]
and myrtle trees instead of nettles.[w]
These will stand as a testimony to Yahweh’s renown,
everlasting signs[x] that will not be cut off.
- Isaiah 55:1 See Ps. 23:2; John 4:14; 7:37-39; Rev. 22:17.
- Isaiah 55:1 See Matt. 4:4.
- Isaiah 55:1 See Song. 2:4; Neh. 8:10. This wine can symbolize the joy-filled blessings of God.
- Isaiah 55:1 See 1 Peter 2:2. This milk can symbolize the spiritual nourishment we receive from God’s Word.
- Isaiah 55:2 See Ps. 107:9.
- Isaiah 55:2 Matthew 11:28-30 is Jesus’ commentary on this verse.
- Isaiah 55:2 See John 6:48-63.
- Isaiah 55:3 Or “Listen to me so that your soul may live.”
- Isaiah 55:3 See Heb. 13:20.
- Isaiah 55:3 See Acts 13:34.
- Isaiah 55:5 See 2 Sam. 22:44-46; Song. 1:4; John 12:19.
- Isaiah 55:6 Or “while he lets himself be found.” See 1 Tim. 6:16: “the immortal God, living in the unapproachable light of divine glory!” It is “the true man, Jesus, the Anointed One” who makes himself approachable (1 Tim. 2:5).
- Isaiah 55:7 See 2 Cor. 10:3-6.
- Isaiah 55:8 In the context, the thoughts of God are in reference to compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. Man’s thoughts of mercy are not God’s. Man’s mercy runs out, but God’s mercy is higher than the heavens. God’s mercy and forgiveness are generous and abundant.
- Isaiah 55:10 In the language of biblical metaphor, snow is a picture of mercy blanketing the earth. Rain is a frequent symbol of revelation-teaching that soaks the heart (soil) and makes us fruitful. Note the seven terms for God’s Word in vv. 8–10: thoughts, ways, snow, rain, water, seed, bread. These same terms can be used to describe the Lord Jesus. He is the seed of the woman, living bread, the way and the life that sprouts in us. He is the Word that was sent (as our Apostle, Heb. 3:1), and he will not return to heaven without accomplishing all God’s pleasure.
- Isaiah 55:11 In the context, God’s word is his promise to show love, compassion, and forgiveness to all who turn to him.
- Isaiah 55:11 Or “empty.”
- Isaiah 55:11 The Septuagint adds a phrase not found in the Hebrew: “And I will make your way prosperous.”
- Isaiah 55:12 See Rom. 14:17.
- Isaiah 55:12 See Rom. 8:14.
- Isaiah 55:12 Isaiah was a master poet. With beautiful metaphors, he describes the return of God’s people out of captivity. What once limited God’s people as a barrier (mountains and hills) now celebrates with singing as the redeemed leave their captivity and come into God’s full purpose for them. See Rom. 8:19-21.
- Isaiah 55:13 Thorns are a symbol of the curse of sin. See Gen. 3:18; Matt. 27:29; Gal. 3:13-14.
- Isaiah 55:13 There is a hint of the Lord Jesus in these trees. Jesus is the blessed man who is like a tree (Ps. 1); he replaces the briars and thorns of our flesh with the flourishing tree of life in us.
- Isaiah 55:13 Or “memorial (as a reminder).”