66 Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool: What Temple can you build for me as good as that? 2 My hand has made both earth and skies, and they are mine. Yet I will look with pity on the man who has a humble and a contrite heart, who trembles at my word.
3 But those who choose their own ways, delighting in their sins, are cursed. God will not accept their offerings. When such men sacrifice an ox on the altar of God, it is no more acceptable to him than human sacrifice. If they sacrifice a lamb or bring an offering of grain, it is as loathsome to God as putting a dog or the blood of a swine on his altar! When they burn incense to him, he counts it the same as though they blessed an idol. 4 I will send great troubles upon them—all the things they feared, for when I called them, they refused to answer, and when I spoke to them, they would not hear. Instead, they did wrong before my eyes and chose what they knew I despised.
5 Hear the words of God, all you who fear him, and tremble at his words: Your brethren hate you and cast you out for being loyal to my name. “Glory to God,” they scoff. “Be happy in the Lord!” But they shall be put to shame.
6 What is all the commotion in the city? What is that terrible noise from the Temple? It is the voice of the Lord taking vengeance upon his enemies.
7-8 Who has heard or seen anything as strange as this? For in one day, suddenly, a nation, Israel, shall be born, even before the birth pains come. In a moment, just as Israel’s anguish starts, the baby is born; the nation begins. 9 Shall I bring to the point of birth and then not deliver? asks the Lord your God. No! Never!
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem; be glad with her, all you who love her, you who mourned for her. 11 Delight in Jerusalem; drink deep of her glory even as an infant at a mother’s generous breasts. 12 Prosperity shall overflow Jerusalem like a river, says the Lord, for I will send it; the riches of the Gentiles will flow to her. Her children shall be nursed at her breasts, carried on her hips and dandled on her knees. 13 I will comfort you there as a little one is comforted by its mother.
14 When you see Jerusalem, your heart will rejoice; vigorous health will be yours. All the world will see the good hand of God upon his people and his wrath upon his enemies. 15 For see, the Lord will come with fire and with swift chariots of doom to pour out the fury of his anger and his hot rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For the Lord will punish the world by fire and by his sword, and the slain of the Lord shall be many!
17 Those who worship idols that are hidden behind a tree in the garden, feasting there on pork and mouse and all forbidden meat—they will come to an evil end, says Jehovah. 18 I see full well what they are doing; I know what they are thinking, so I will gather together all nations and people against Jerusalem, where they shall see my glory. 19 I will perform a mighty miracle against them, and I will send those who escape,[a] as missionaries to the nations—to Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal, Javan, and to the lands beyond the sea that have not heard my fame nor seen my glory. There they shall declare my glory to the Gentiles. 20 And they shall bring back all your brethren from every nation as a gift to the Lord, transporting them gently[b] on horses and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules and camels, to my holy mountain, to Jerusalem, says the Lord. It will be like offerings flowing into the Temple of the Lord at harvesttime, carried in vessels consecrated to the Lord. 21 And I will appoint some of those returning to be my priests and Levites, says the Lord.
22 As surely as my new heavens and earth shall remain, so surely shall you always be my people, with a name that shall never disappear. 23 All mankind shall come to worship me from week to week and month to month. 24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me, for their worm shall never die; their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be a disgusting sight to all mankind.
- Isaiah 66:19 I will send those who escape. It is not clear from the Hebrew whether “those who escape” means survivors of the armies of the nations, or survivors of the Jews in Israel. The context seems to favor the former. Put and Lud were in North Africa; Meshech, Rosh, and Tubal were in Asia Minor and Armenia.
- Isaiah 66:20 transporting them gently, implied.