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Isaiah 52-53 Good News Translation (GNT)

God Will Rescue Jerusalem

52 Jerusalem, be strong and great again!
    Holy city of God, clothe yourself with splendor!
The heathen will never enter your gates again.
Shake yourself free, Jerusalem!
    Rise from the dust and sit on your throne!
Undo the chains that bind you,
    captive people of Zion!

The Sovereign Lord says to his people, “When you became slaves, no money was paid for you; in the same way nothing will be paid to set you free. When you went to live in Egypt as foreigners, you did so of your own free will; Assyria, however, took you away by force and paid nothing for you. And now in Babylonia the same thing has happened: you are captives, and nothing was paid for you. Those who rule over you boast and brag and constantly show contempt for me. In time to come you will acknowledge that I am God and that I have spoken to you.”

How wonderful it is to see
    a messenger coming across the mountains,
    bringing good news, the news of peace!
He announces victory and says to Zion,
    “Your God is king!”
Those who guard the city are shouting,
    shouting together for joy.
They can see with their own eyes
    the return of the Lord to Zion.

Break into shouts of joy,
    you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord will rescue his city
    and comfort his people.
10 The Lord will use his holy power;
    he will save his people,
    and all the world will see it.
11 Be sure to leave Babylonia,
    all you that carry the Temple equipment.
Touch no forbidden thing;[a]
    keep yourselves holy and leave.
12 This time you will not have to leave in a hurry;
    you will not be trying to escape.
The Lord your God will lead you
    and protect you on every side.

The Suffering Servant

13 The Lord says,

“My servant will succeed in his task;
    he will be highly honored.[b]
14 Many people were shocked when they saw him;
    he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human.
15 But now many nations will marvel at him,
    and kings will be speechless with amazement.
They will see and understand
    something they had never known.”

53 The people reply,

“Who would have believed what we now report?
    Who could have seen the Lord's hand in this?
It was the will of the Lord that his servant
    grow like a plant taking root in dry ground.
He had no dignity or beauty
    to make us take notice of him.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing that would draw us to him.
We despised him and rejected him;
    he endured suffering and pain.
No one would even look at him—
    we ignored him as if he were nothing.

“But he endured the suffering that should have been ours,
    the pain that we should have borne.
All the while we thought that his suffering
    was punishment sent by God.
But because of our sins he was wounded,
    beaten because of the evil we did.
We are healed by the punishment he suffered,
    made whole by the blows he received.
All of us were like sheep that were lost,
    each of us going his own way.
But the Lord made the punishment fall on him,
    the punishment all of us deserved.

“He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly;
    he never said a word.
Like a lamb about to be slaughtered,
like a sheep about to be sheared,
    he never said a word.
He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die,
    and no one cared about his fate.
He was put to death for the sins of our people.
He was placed in a grave with those who are evil,
    he was buried with the rich,
even though he had never committed a crime
    or ever told a lie.”

10 The Lord says,

“It was my will that he should suffer;
    his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
    he will live a long life,
    and through him my purpose will succeed.
11 After a life of suffering, he will again have joy;
    he will know that he did not suffer in vain.
My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased,
    will bear the punishment of many
    and for his sake I will forgive them.
12 And so I will give him a place of honor,
    a place among the great and powerful.
He willingly gave his life
    and shared the fate of evil men.
He took the place of many sinners
    and prayed that they might be forgiven.”[c]

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 52:11 Any object that was considered ritually unclean.
  2. Isaiah 52:13 he will be highly honored; or he will be restored to greatness and honor.
  3. Isaiah 53:12 prayed that they might be forgiven; or suffered the punishment they deserved.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Isaiah 52-53 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Let Zion Rejoice

52 Awake, awake,
    put on your strength, O Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
    O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for the uncircumcised and the unclean
    shall enter you no more.
Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
    O captive[a] Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
    O captive daughter Zion!

For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money. For thus says the Lord God: Long ago, my people went down into Egypt to reside there as aliens; the Assyrian, too, has oppressed them without cause. Now therefore what am I doing here, says the Lord, seeing that my people are taken away without cause? Their rulers howl, says the Lord, and continually, all day long, my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
    who announces salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
    together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
    the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
    you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
    before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
    the salvation of our God.

11 Depart, depart, go out from there!
    Touch no unclean thing;
go out from the midst of it, purify yourselves,
    you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you shall not go out in haste,
    and you shall not go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

The Suffering Servant

13 See, my servant shall prosper;
    he shall be exalted and lifted up,
    and shall be very high.
14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him[b]
    —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of mortals—
15 so he shall startle[c] many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
    and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
53 Who has believed what we have heard?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
    a man of suffering[d] and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces[e]
    he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities
    and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
    struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
    and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
    Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people.
They made his grave with the wicked
    and his tomb[f] with the rich,[g]
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.[h]
When you make his life an offering for sin,[i]
    he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11     Out of his anguish he shall see light;[j]
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
    The righteous one,[k] my servant, shall make many righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 52:2 Cn: Heb rise up, sit
  2. Isaiah 52:14 Syr Tg: Heb you
  3. Isaiah 52:15 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Isaiah 53:3 Or a man of sorrows
  5. Isaiah 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us
  6. Isaiah 53:9 Q Ms: MT and in his death
  7. Isaiah 53:9 Cn: Heb with a rich person
  8. Isaiah 53:10 Or by disease; meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. Isaiah 53:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Isaiah 53:11 Q Mss: MT lacks light
  11. Isaiah 53:11 Or and he shall find satisfaction. Through his knowledge, the righteous one
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.

Isaiah 52-53 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

52 Awake! Awake, Tziyon!
Clothe yourself with your strength!
Dress in your splendid garments,
Yerushalayim, the holy city!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
will enter you no more.
Shake off the dust! Arise!
Be enthroned, Yerushalayim!
Loosen the chains on your neck,
captive daughter of Tziyon!
For thus says Adonai:
“You were sold for nothing,
and you will be redeemed without money.”
For thus says Adonai Elohim:
“Long ago my people went down to Egypt
to live there as aliens,
and Ashur oppressed them for no reason.
So now, what should I do here,” asks Adonai,
“since my people were carried off for nothing?
Their oppressors are howling,” says Adonai,
“and my name is always being insulted, daily.
Therefore my people will know my name;
therefore on that day they will know
that I, the one speaking — here I am!”

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
proclaiming shalom, bringing good news
of good things, announcing salvation
and saying to Tziyon, “Your God is King!”
Listen! Your watchmen are raising their voices,
shouting for joy together.
For they will see, before their own eyes,
Adonai returning to Tziyon.

Break out into joy! Sing together,
you ruins of Yerushalayim!
For Adonai has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Yerushalayim!
10 Adonai has bared his holy arm
in the sight of every nation,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.
11 Leave! Leave! Get out of there!
Don’t touch anything unclean!
Get out from inside it, and be clean,
you who carry Adonai’s temple equipment.
12 You need not leave in haste,
you do not have to flee;
for Adonai will go ahead of you,
and the God of Isra’el will also be behind you.

13 “See how my servant will succeed!
He will be raised up, exalted, highly honored!
14 Just as many were appalled at him,
because he was so disfigured
that he didn’t even seem human
and simply no longer looked like a man,
15 so now he will startle many nations;
because of him, kings will be speechless.
For they will see what they had not been told,
they will ponder things they had never heard.”

53 Who believes our report?
To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed?
For before him he grew up like a young plant,
like a root out of dry ground.
He was not well-formed or especially handsome;
we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.
People despised and avoided him,
a man of pains, well acquainted with illness.
Like someone from whom people turn their faces,
he was despised; we did not value him.

In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.
But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises* we are healed.

We all, like sheep, went astray;
we turned, each one, to his own way;
yet Adonai laid on him
the guilt of all of us.

Though mistreated, he was submissive —
he did not open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to be slaughtered,
like a sheep silent before its shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
After forcible arrest and sentencing,
he was taken away;
and none of his generation protested
his being cut off from the land of the living
for the crimes of my people,
who deserved the punishment themselves.
He was given a grave among the wicked;
in his death he was with a rich man.

Although he had done no violence
and had said nothing deceptive,
10 yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness,
to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering.
If he does, he will see his offspring;
and he will prolong his days;
and at his hand Adonai’s desire
will be accomplished.
11 After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction.
“By his knowing [pain and sacrifice],
my righteous servant makes many righteous;
it is for their sins that he suffers.
12 Therefore I will assign him a share with the great,
he will divide the spoil with the mighty,
for having exposed himself to death
and being counted among the sinners,
while actually bearing the sin of many
and interceding for the offenders.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 52-53 The Message (MSG)

God Is Leading You Out of Here

52 1-2 Wake up, wake up! Pull on your boots, Zion!
    Dress up in your Sunday best, Jerusalem, holy city!
Those who want no part of God have been culled out.
    They won’t be coming along.
Brush off the dust and get to your feet, captive Jerusalem!

Throw off your chains, captive daughter of Zion!

God says, “You were sold for nothing. You’re being bought back for nothing.”

4-6 Again, the Master, God, says, “Early on, my people went to Egypt and lived, strangers in the land. At the other end, Assyria oppressed them. And now, what have I here?” God’s Decree. “My people are hauled off again for no reason at all. Tyrants on the warpath, whooping it up, and day after day, incessantly, my reputation blackened. Now it’s time that my people know who I am, what I’m made of—yes, that I have something to say. Here I am!”

7-10 How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
    proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
    telling Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Voices! Listen! Your scouts are shouting, thunderclap shouts,
    shouting in joyful unison.
They see with their own eyes
    God coming back to Zion.
Break into song! Boom it out, ruins of Jerusalem:
    God has comforted his people!
    He’s redeemed Jerusalem!”
God has rolled up his sleeves.
    All the nations can see his holy, muscled arm.
Everyone, from one end of the earth to the other,
    sees him at work, doing his salvation work.

11-12 Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place!
    Don’t look back. Don’t contaminate yourselves with plunder.
Just leave, but leave clean. Purify yourselves
    in the process of worship, carrying the holy vessels of God.
But you don’t have to be in a hurry.
    You’re not running from anybody!
God is leading you out of here,
    and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.

It Was Our Pains He Carried

13-15 “Just watch my servant blossom!
    Exalted, tall, head and shoulders above the crowd!
But he didn’t begin that way.
    At first everyone was appalled.
He didn’t even look human—
    a ruined face, disfigured past recognition.
Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback,
    kings shocked into silence when they see him.
For what was unheard of they’ll see with their own eyes,
    what was unthinkable they’ll have right before them.”

53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

7-9 He was beaten, he was tortured,
    but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
    and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
    beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
    threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
    or said one word that wasn’t true.

10 Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
    to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
    so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
    And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.

11-12 Out of that terrible travail of soul,
    he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
    will make many “righteous ones,”
    as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
    the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
    because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
    he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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