Invitation to the Thirsty

55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,(A)
    come to the waters;(B)
and you who have no money,
    come, buy(C) and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk(D)
    without money and without cost.(E)
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?(F)
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,(G)
    and you will delight in the richest(H) of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen,(I) that you may live.(J)
I will make an everlasting covenant(K) with you,
    my faithful love(L) promised to David.(M)
See, I have made him a witness(N) to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander(O) of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations(P) you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,(Q)
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One(R) of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”(S)

Seek(T) the Lord while he may be found;(U)
    call(V) on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake(W) their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.(X)
Let them turn(Y) to the Lord, and he will have mercy(Z) on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.(AA)

“For my thoughts(AB) are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”(AC)
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,(AD)
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.(AE)
10 As the rain(AF) and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,(AG)
    so that it yields seed(AH) for the sower and bread for the eater,(AI)
11 so is my word(AJ) that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,(AK)
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose(AL) for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy(AM)
    and be led forth in peace;(AN)
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song(AO) before you,
and all the trees(AP) of the field
    will clap their hands.(AQ)
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers(AR) the myrtle(AS) will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,(AT)
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

Salvation for Others

56 This is what the Lord says:

“Maintain justice(AU)
    and do what is right,(AV)
for my salvation(AW) is close at hand
    and my righteousness(AX) will soon be revealed.
Blessed(AY) is the one who does this—
    the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath(AZ) without desecrating it,
    and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”

Let no foreigner(BA) who is bound to the Lord say,
    “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”(BB)
And let no eunuch(BC) complain,
    “I am only a dry tree.”

For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs(BD) who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose what pleases me
    and hold fast to my covenant(BE)
to them I will give within my temple and its walls(BF)
    a memorial(BG) and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name(BH)
    that will endure forever.(BI)
And foreigners(BJ) who bind themselves to the Lord
    to minister(BK) to him,
to love the name(BL) of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath(BM) without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain(BN)
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices(BO)
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.(BP)(BQ)
The Sovereign Lord declares—
    he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather(BR) still others to them
    besides those already gathered.”

God’s Accusation Against the Wicked

Come, all you beasts of the field,(BS)
    come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!
10 Israel’s watchmen(BT) are blind,
    they all lack knowledge;(BU)
they are all mute dogs,
    they cannot bark;
they lie around and dream,
    they love to sleep.(BV)
11 They are dogs with mighty appetites;
    they never have enough.
They are shepherds(BW) who lack understanding;(BX)
    they all turn to their own way,(BY)
    they seek their own gain.(BZ)
12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine!(CA)
    Let us drink our fill of beer!
And tomorrow will be like today,
    or even far better.”(CB)

57 The righteous perish,(CC)
    and no one takes it to heart;(CD)
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.(CE)
Those who walk uprightly(CF)
    enter into peace;
    they find rest(CG) as they lie in death.

“But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,(CH)
    you offspring of adulterers(CI) and prostitutes!(CJ)
Who are you mocking?
    At whom do you sneer
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,(CK)
    the offspring of liars?
You burn with lust among the oaks(CL)
    and under every spreading tree;(CM)
you sacrifice your children(CN) in the ravines
    and under the overhanging crags.
The idols(CO) among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;
    indeed, they are your lot.
Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings(CP)
    and offered grain offerings.
    In view of all this, should I relent?(CQ)
You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;(CR)
    there you went up to offer your sacrifices.(CS)
Behind your doors and your doorposts
    you have put your pagan symbols.
Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed,
    you climbed into it and opened it wide;
you made a pact with those whose beds you love,(CT)
    and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.(CU)
You went to Molek[a](CV) with olive oil
    and increased your perfumes.(CW)
You sent your ambassadors[b](CX) far away;
    you descended to the very realm of the dead!(CY)
10 You wearied(CZ) yourself by such going about,
    but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’(DA)
You found renewal of your strength,(DB)
    and so you did not faint.

11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared(DC)
    that you have not been true to me,
and have neither remembered(DD) me
    nor taken this to heart?(DE)
Is it not because I have long been silent(DF)
    that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,(DG)
    and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out(DH) for help,
    let your collection of idols save(DI) you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
    a mere breath will blow(DJ) them away.
But whoever takes refuge(DK) in me
    will inherit the land(DL)
    and possess my holy mountain.”(DM)

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!(DN)
    Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”(DO)
15 For this is what the high and exalted(DP) One says—
    he who lives forever,(DQ) whose name is holy:
“I live in a high(DR) and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite(DS) and lowly in spirit,(DT)
to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.(DU)
16 I will not accuse(DV) them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,(DW)
for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people(DX) I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;(DY)
    I punished them, and hid(DZ) my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.(EA)
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal(EB) them;
    I will guide(EC) them and restore comfort(ED) to Israel’s mourners,
19     creating praise on their lips.(EE)
Peace, peace,(EF) to those far and near,”(EG)
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked(EH) are like the tossing sea,(EI)
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire(EJ) and mud.
21 “There is no peace,”(EK) says my God, “for the wicked.”(EL)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 57:9 Or to the king
  2. Isaiah 57:9 Or idols