Heaven Is God’s Throne
66 This is what the Lord says,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where, then, is a house that you could build for Me?
And where will My resting place be?(A)
“For all these things My hand has made,
So all these things came into being [by and for Me],” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look [graciously],
To him who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who [reverently] trembles at My word and honors My commands.(B)
“He who kills an ox [for pagan sacrifice] is [as guilty] as one who kills a man;
He who sacrifices a lamb, as one who breaks a dog’s neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as one who offers swine’s blood;
He who offers incense, as one who blesses an idol.
Such people have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their repulsive acts;
So I will choose their punishments,
And will bring the things they dread upon them
Because I called, but no one answered;
I spoke, but they did not listen or obey.
But they did evil in My sight
And chose that in which I did not delight.”
Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble [with awe-filled reverence] at His word:
“Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you for My Name’s sake,
Have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’
But they will be put to shame.
“The sound of an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple!
The voice of the Lord, providing retribution to His enemies.
“Before she (Zion) was in labor, she gave birth;
Before her labor pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
“Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Can a land [a]be born in one day?
Or can a nation be brought forth in a moment?
As soon as Zion was in labor, she also brought forth her sons.
“Shall I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
“Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.
Joy in Jerusalem’s Future
“Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her;
Rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her,
That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts,
That you may drink deeply and be delighted with her bountiful bosom.”
For the Lord says this, “Behold, I extend peace to her (Jerusalem) like a river,
And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
And you will be nursed, you will be carried on her hip and [playfully] rocked on her knees.
“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
When you see this, your heart will rejoice;
Your bones will flourish like new grass.
And the [powerful] hand of the Lord will be revealed to His servants,
But His indignation will be toward His enemies.
For indeed, the Lord will come in fire
And His chariots will be like the stormy wind,
To render His anger with rage,
And His rebuke with flames of fire.
For the Lord will execute judgment by fire
And by His sword on all mankind,
And those slain by the Lord will be many.
“Those who [vainly attempt to] sanctify and cleanse themselves to go to the gardens [to sacrifice to idols],
Following after [b]one in the center,
Who eat swine’s flesh, [c]detestable things and mice,
Will come to an end together,” says the Lord.
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. The time is coming to gather all nations and languages, and they will come and see My glory. 19 I will set up a [miraculous] sign among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations: Tarshish, Pul (Put), Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Javan, to the distant islands and coastlands that have not heard of My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare and proclaim My glory among the nations. 20 Then they shall bring all your countrymen (children of Israel) from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels—to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 I will also take some of them as priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I make will remain and endure before Me,” declares the Lord,
“So your offspring and your name will remain and endure.
“And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon
And from Sabbath to Sabbath,
All mankind will come to bow down and worship before Me,” says the Lord.
“Then they will go forth and look
Upon the dead bodies of the [rebellious] men
Who have transgressed against Me;
For their worm (maggot) will not die,
And their fire will not go out;
And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”
- Isaiah 66:8 Never in the history of the world had such a thing happened before—but God keeps His word. As foretold here and in Ezek 37:21, 22, Israel became a recognized nation, actually “born in one day.” After being away from their homeland for almost 2,000 years, the Jews were given a national homeland in Palestine by the Balfour Declaration in November 1917. In 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate over Palestine. On May 14, 1948, Great Britain withdrew her mandate, and immediately Israel was declared a sovereign state, and her growth and importance among nations was astonishing.
- Isaiah 66:17 Perhaps referring to the image of the Syrian god Adad. Some commentators also suggest that this may refer to the cultic leader in the center who shows by his example how to conduct the ceremonies.
- Isaiah 66:17 This may refer to a reptile of some kind.
New International Version
Judgment and Hope
66 This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,(A)
and the earth is my footstool.(B)
Where is the house(C) you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things,(D)
and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,(E)
and who tremble at my word.(F)
3 But whoever sacrifices a bull(G)
is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
is like one who presents pig’s(H) blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense(I)
is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,(J)
and they delight in their abominations;(K)
4 so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
and will bring on them what they dread.(L)
For when I called, no one answered,(M)
when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil(N) in my sight
and chose what displeases me.”(O)
5 Hear the word of the Lord,
you who tremble at his word:(P)
“Your own people who hate(Q) you,
and exclude you because of my name, have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
that we may see your joy!’
Yet they will be put to shame.(R)
6 Hear that uproar from the city,
hear that noise from the temple!
It is the sound(S) of the Lord
repaying(T) his enemies all they deserve.
7 “Before she goes into labor,(U)
she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
she delivers a son.(V)
8 Who has ever heard of such things?
Who has ever seen(W) things like this?
Can a country be born in a day(X)
or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
than she gives birth to her children.(Y)
9 Do I bring to the moment of birth(Z)
and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
“Do I close up the womb
when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice(AA) with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love(AB) her;
rejoice greatly with her,
all you who mourn(AC) over her.
11 For you will nurse(AD) and be satisfied
at her comforting breasts;(AE)
you will drink deeply
and delight in her overflowing abundance.”(AF)
12 For this is what the Lord says:
“I will extend peace(AG) to her like a river,(AH)
and the wealth(AI) of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried(AJ) on her arm
and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,(AK)
so will I comfort(AL) you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice(AM)
and you will flourish(AN) like grass;
the hand(AO) of the Lord will be made known to his servants,(AP)
but his fury(AQ) will be shown to his foes.
15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,(AR)
and his chariots(AS) are like a whirlwind;(AT)
he will bring down his anger with fury,
and his rebuke(AU) with flames of fire.
16 For with fire(AV) and with his sword(AW)
the Lord will execute judgment(AX) on all people,
and many will be those slain(AY) by the Lord.
17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens,(AZ) following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs,(BA) rats(BB) and other unclean things—they will meet their end(BC) together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.
19 “I will set a sign(BG) among them, and I will send some of those who survive(BH) to the nations—to Tarshish,(BI) to the Libyans[b] and Lydians(BJ) (famous as archers), to Tubal(BK) and Greece,(BL) and to the distant islands(BM) that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.(BN) They will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 And they will bring(BO) all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain(BP) in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,”(BQ) says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.(BR) 21 And I will select some of them also to be priests(BS) and Levites,” says the Lord.
22 “As the new heavens and the new earth(BT) that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.(BU) 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath(BV) to another, all mankind will come and bow down(BW) before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies(BX) of those who rebelled(BY) against me; the worms(BZ) that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched,(CA) and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”