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Isaiah 64-66New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

64 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
    so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
[a] as when fire kindles brushwood
    and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
    so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,
    those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
    because you hid yourself we transgressed.[b]
We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name,
    or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
    and have delivered[c] us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
    and do not remember iniquity forever.
    Now consider, we are all your people.
10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness,
    Zion has become a wilderness,
    Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful house,
    where our ancestors praised you,
has been burned by fire,
    and all our pleasant places have become ruins.
12 After all this, will you restrain yourself, O Lord?
    Will you keep silent, and punish us so severely?

The Righteousness of God’s Judgment

65 I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,
    to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
    to a nation that did not call on my name.
I held out my hands all day long
    to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
    following their own devices;
a people who provoke me
    to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
    and offering incense on bricks;
who sit inside tombs,
    and spend the night in secret places;
who eat swine’s flesh,
    with broth of abominable things in their vessels;
who say, “Keep to yourself,
    do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
    a fire that burns all day long.
See, it is written before me:
    I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will indeed repay into their laps
    their[d] iniquities and their[e] ancestors’ iniquities together,
says the Lord;
because they offered incense on the mountains
    and reviled me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
    full payment for their actions.
Thus says the Lord:
As the wine is found in the cluster,
    and they say, “Do not destroy it,
    for there is a blessing in it,”
so I will do for my servants’ sake,
    and not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants[f] from Jacob,
    and from Judah inheritors[g] of my mountains;
my chosen shall inherit it,
    and my servants shall settle there.
10 Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,
    and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
    for my people who have sought me.
11 But you who forsake the Lord,
    who forget my holy mountain,
who set a table for Fortune
    and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;
12 I will destine you to the sword,
    and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter;
because, when I called, you did not answer,
    when I spoke, you did not listen,
but you did what was evil in my sight,
    and chose what I did not delight in.
13 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
My servants shall eat,
    but you shall be hungry;
my servants shall drink,
    but you shall be thirsty;
my servants shall rejoice,
    but you shall be put to shame;
14 my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,
    but you shall cry out for pain of heart,
    and shall wail for anguish of spirit.
15 You shall leave your name to my chosen to use as a curse,
    and the Lord God will put you to death;
    but to his servants he will give a different name.
16 Then whoever invokes a blessing in the land
    shall bless by the God of faithfulness,
and whoever takes an oath in the land
    shall swear by the God of faithfulness;
because the former troubles are forgotten
    and are hidden from my sight.

The Glorious New Creation

17 For I am about to create new heavens
    and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
    or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
    and its people as a delight.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
    and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
    or the cry of distress.
20 No more shall there be in it
    an infant that lives but a few days,
    or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
    and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
    or bear children for calamity;[h]
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord
    and their descendants as well.
24 Before they call I will answer,
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
    but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.

The Worship God Demands

66 Thus says the Lord:
Heaven is my throne
    and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
    and what is my resting place?
All these things my hand has made,
    and so all these things are mine,[i]
says the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look,
    to the humble and contrite in spirit,
    who trembles at my word.

Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being;
    whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever presents a grain offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;[j]
    whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
    and in their abominations they take delight;
I also will choose to mock[k] them,
    and bring upon them what they fear;
because, when I called, no one answered,
    when I spoke, they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my sight,
    and chose what did not please me.

The Lord Vindicates Zion

Hear the word of the Lord,
    you who tremble at his word:
Your own people who hate you
    and reject you for my name’s sake
have said, “Let the Lord be glorified,
    so that we may see your joy”;
    but it is they who shall be put to shame.

Listen, an uproar from the city!
    A voice from the temple!
The voice of the Lord,
    dealing retribution to his enemies!

Before she was in labor
    she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
    she delivered a son.
Who has heard of such a thing?
    Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
    Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?
Yet as soon as Zion was in labor
    she delivered her children.
Shall I open the womb and not deliver?
    says the Lord;
shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb?
    says your God.

10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
    all you who mourn over her—
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
    from her glorious bosom.

12 For thus says the Lord:
I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
    and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm,
    and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,
    so I will comfort you;
    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

The Reign and Indignation of God

14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
    your bodies[l] shall flourish like the grass;
and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants,
    and his indignation is against his enemies.
15 For the Lord will come in fire,
    and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to pay back his anger in fury,
    and his rebuke in flames of fire.
16 For by fire will the Lord execute judgment,
    and by his sword, on all flesh;
    and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the center, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the Lord.

18 For I know[m] their works and their thoughts, and I am[n] coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put,[o] and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth,
    which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the Lord;
    so shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
    and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the Lord.

24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 64:2 Ch 64.1 in Heb
  2. Isaiah 64:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Isaiah 64:7 Gk Syr Old Latin Tg: Heb melted
  4. Isaiah 65:7 Gk Syr: Heb your
  5. Isaiah 65:7 Gk Syr: Heb your
  6. Isaiah 65:9 Or a descendant
  7. Isaiah 65:9 Or an inheritor
  8. Isaiah 65:23 Or sudden terror
  9. Isaiah 66:2 Gk Syr: Heb these things came to be
  10. Isaiah 66:3 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  11. Isaiah 66:4 Or to punish
  12. Isaiah 66:14 Heb bones
  13. Isaiah 66:18 Gk Syr: Heb lacks know
  14. Isaiah 66:18 Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb it is
  15. Isaiah 66:19 Gk: Heb Pul
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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