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Warnings against Sin

59 Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you,
    nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.
    Because of your sins, he has turned away
    and will not listen anymore.
Your hands are the hands of murderers,
    and your fingers are filthy with sin.
Your lips are full of lies,
    and your mouth spews corruption.

No one cares about being fair and honest.
    The people’s lawsuits are based on lies.
They conceive evil deeds
    and then give birth to sin.
They hatch deadly snakes
    and weave spiders’ webs.
Whoever eats their eggs will die;
    whoever cracks them will hatch a viper.
Their webs can’t be made into clothing,
    and nothing they do is productive.
All their activity is filled with sin,
    and violence is their trademark.
Their feet run to do evil,
    and they rush to commit murder.
They think only about sinning.
    Misery and destruction always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace
    or what it means to be just and good.
They have mapped out crooked roads,
    and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace.

So there is no justice among us,
    and we know nothing about right living.
We look for light but find only darkness.
    We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.
10 We grope like the blind along a wall,
    feeling our way like people without eyes.
Even at brightest noontime,
    we stumble as though it were dark.
Among the living,
    we are like the dead.
11 We growl like hungry bears;
    we moan like mournful doves.
We look for justice, but it never comes.
    We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.
12 For our sins are piled up before God
    and testify against us.
    Yes, we know what sinners we are.
13 We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord.
    We have turned our backs on our God.
We know how unfair and oppressive we have been,
    carefully planning our deceitful lies.
14 Our courts oppose the righteous,
    and justice is nowhere to be found.
Truth stumbles in the streets,
    and honesty has been outlawed.
15 Yes, truth is gone,
    and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.

The Lord looked and was displeased
    to find there was no justice.
16 He was amazed to see that no one intervened
    to help the oppressed.
So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm,
    and his justice sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his body armor
    and placed the helmet of salvation on his head.
He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance
    and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion.
18 He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds.
    His fury will fall on his foes.
    He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth.
19 In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord;
    in the east, they will glorify him.
For he will come like a raging flood tide
    driven by the breath of the Lord.[a]

20 “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem
    to buy back those in Israel
who have turned from their sins,”[b]
    says the Lord.

21 “And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Future Glory for Jerusalem

60 “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.
    For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.
Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
    but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.
All nations will come to your light;
    mighty kings will come to see your radiance.

“Look and see, for everyone is coming home!
    Your sons are coming from distant lands;
    your little daughters will be carried home.
Your eyes will shine,
    and your heart will thrill with joy,
for merchants from around the world will come to you.
    They will bring you the wealth of many lands.
Vast caravans of camels will converge on you,
    the camels of Midian and Ephah.
The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense
    and will come worshiping the Lord.
The flocks of Kedar will be given to you,
    and the rams of Nebaioth will be brought for my altars.
I will accept their offerings,
    and I will make my Temple glorious.

“And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel,
    like doves to their nests?
They are ships from the ends of the earth,
    from lands that trust in me,
    led by the great ships of Tarshish.
They are bringing the people of Israel home from far away,
    carrying their silver and gold.
They will honor the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has filled you with splendor.

10 “Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns,
    and their kings will serve you.
For though I have destroyed you in my anger,
    I will now have mercy on you through my grace.
11 Your gates will stay open day and night
    to receive the wealth of many lands.
The kings of the world will be led as captives
    in a victory procession.
12 For the nations that refuse to serve you
    will be destroyed.

13 “The glory of Lebanon will be yours—
    the forests of cypress, fir, and pine—
to beautify my sanctuary.
    My Temple will be glorious!
14 The descendants of your tormentors
    will come and bow before you.
Those who despised you
    will kiss your feet.
They will call you the City of the Lord,
    and Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15 “Though you were once despised and hated,
    with no one traveling through you,
I will make you beautiful forever,
    a joy to all generations.
16 Powerful kings and mighty nations
    will satisfy your every need,
as though you were a child
    nursing at the breast of a queen.
You will know at last that I, the Lord,
    am your Savior and your Redeemer,
    the Mighty One of Israel.[c]
17 I will exchange your bronze for gold,
    your iron for silver,
your wood for bronze,
    and your stones for iron.
I will make peace your leader
    and righteousness your ruler.
18 Violence will disappear from your land;
    the desolation and destruction of war will end.
Salvation will surround you like city walls,
    and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there.

19 “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day,
    nor the moon to give its light by night,
for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun will never set;
    your moon will not go down.
For the Lord will be your everlasting light.
    Your days of mourning will come to an end.
21 All your people will be righteous.
    They will possess their land forever,
for I will plant them there with my own hands
    in order to bring myself glory.
22 The smallest family will become a thousand people,
    and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation.
    At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”

Footnotes

  1. 59:19 Or When the enemy comes like a raging flood tide, / the Spirit of the Lord will drive him back.
  2. 59:20 Hebrew The Redeemer will come to Zion / to buy back those in Jacob / who have turned from their sins. Greek version reads The one who rescues will come on behalf of Zion, / and he will turn Jacob away from ungodliness. Compare Rom 11:26.
  3. 60:16 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 14:1.

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