59 The Lord hasn’t lost his powerful strength; he can still hear and answer prayers. 2 Your sins are the roadblock between you and your God. That’s why he doesn’t answer your prayers or let you see his face.
3 Your talk is filled with lies and plans for violence; every finger on your hands is covered with blood. 4 You falsely accuse others and tell lies in court; sin and trouble are the names of your children. 5 You eat the deadly eggs of poisonous snakes, and more snakes crawl out from the eggs left to hatch. You weave spider webs, 6 but you can’t make clothes with those webs or hide behind them.
You’re sinful and brutal. 7 You hurry off to do wrong or murder innocent victims. All you think about is sin; you leave ruin and destruction wherever you go. 8 You don’t know how to live in peace or to be fair with others. The roads you make are crooked; your followers cannot find peace.
The People Confess Their Sins
9 No one has come to defend us or to bring about justice. We hoped for a day of sunshine, but all we found was a dark, gloomy night. 10 We feel our way along, as if we were blind; we stumble at noon, as if it were night. We can see no better than someone dead.[a]
11 We growl like bears and mourn like doves. We hope for justice and victory, but they escape us. 12 How often have we sinned and turned against you, the Lord God? Our sins condemn us! We have done wrong. 13 We have rebelled and refused to follow you. Our hearts were deceitful, and so we lied; we planned to abuse others and turn our backs on you.
14 Injustice is everywhere; justice seems far away. Truth is chased out of court; honesty is shoved aside. 15 Everyone tells lies; those who turn from crime end up ruined.
The Lord Will Rescue His People
When the Lord noticed that justice had disappeared, he became very displeased. 16 It disgusted him even more to learn that no one would do a thing about it. So with his own powerful arm, he won victories for truth. 17 Justice was the Lord’s armor; saving power was his helmet; anger and revenge were his clothes.
18 Now the Lord will get furious and do to his enemies, both near and far, what they did to his people. 19 He will attack like a flood in a mighty windstorm. Nations in the west and the east will then honor and praise his wonderful name. 20 The Lord has promised to rescue the city of Zion and Jacob’s descendants who turn from sin.
21 The Lord says: “My people, I promise to give you my Spirit and my message. These will be my gifts to you and your families forever. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
A New Day for Jerusalem
60 Jerusalem, stand up! Shine! Your new day is dawning. The glory of the Lord shines brightly on you. 2 The earth and its people are covered with darkness, but the glory of the Lord is shining upon you. 3 Nations and kings will come to the light of your dawning day.
Crowds Are Coming to Jerusalem
The Lord said:
4 Open your eyes! Look around! Crowds are coming. Your sons are on their way from distant lands; your daughters are being carried like little children. 5 When you see this, your faces will glow; your hearts will pound and swell with pride.[b] Treasures from across the sea and the wealth of nations will be brought to you. 6 Your country will be covered with caravans of young camels from Midian and Ephah.[c] The people of Sheba[d] will bring gold and spices in praise of me, the Lord. 7 Every sheep of Kedar will come to you; rams from Nebaioth[e] will be yours as well. I will accept them as offerings and bring honor to my temple.
8 What is that sailing by like clouds or like doves flying home? 9 On those distant islands your people are waiting for me, the Lord.[f] Seagoing ships[g] lead the way to bring them home with their silver and gold. I, the holy Lord God of Israel, do this to honor your people, so they will honor me.
Jerusalem Will Be Rebuilt
The Lord said:
10 Jerusalem, your city walls will be rebuilt by foreigners; their rulers will become your slaves. I punished you in my anger; now I will be kind and treat you with mercy.
11 Your gates will be open day and night to let the rulers of nations lead their people to you with all their treasures. 12 Any nation or kingdom that refuses to serve you will be wiped out. 13 Wood from Lebanon’s best trees will be brought to you— the pines, the firs, and the cypress trees. It will be used in my temple to make beautiful the place where I rest my feet.
14 The descendants of enemies who hated and mistreated you will kneel at your feet. They will say, “You are Zion, the city of the Lord, the holy God of Israel.”
15 You were hated and deserted, rejected by everyone. But I will make you beautiful, a city to be proud of for all time to come. 16 You will drain the wealth of kings and foreign nations. You will know that I, the mighty Lord God of Israel, have saved and rescued you.
17 I will bring bronze and iron in place of wood and stone; in place of bronze and iron, I will bring gold and silver. I will appoint peace and justice as your rulers and leaders. 18 Violence, destruction, and ruin will never again be heard of within your borders. “Victory” will be the name you give to your walls; “Praise” will be the name you give to your gates.
19 You won’t need the light of the sun or the moon. I, the Lord your God, will be your eternal light and bring you honor. 20 Your sun will never set or your moon go down. I, the Lord, will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will come to an end. 21 Your people will live right and always own the land; they are the trees I planted to bring praise to me. 22 Even the smallest family will be a powerful nation. I am the Lord, and when the time comes, I will quickly do all this.
The Good News of Victory
61 The Spirit of the Lord God has taken control of me! The Lord has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives. 2 This is the year when the Lord God will show kindness to us and punish our enemies.
The Lord has sent me to comfort those who mourn, 3 especially in Jerusalem. He sent me to give them flowers in place of their sorrow, olive oil in place of tears, and joyous praise in place of broken hearts. They will be called “Trees of Justice,” planted by the Lord to honor his name. 4 Then they will rebuild cities that have been in ruins for many generations.
5 They will hire foreigners to take care of their sheep and their vineyards. 6 But they themselves will be priests and servants of the Lord our God. The treasures of the nations will belong to them, and they will be famous.[h] 7 They were terribly insulted and horribly mistreated; now they will be greatly blessed and joyful forever.
The Lord Loves Justice
8 I, the Lord, love justice! But I hate robbery and injustice.[i] My people, I solemnly promise to reward you with an eternal agreement. 9 Your descendants will be known in every nation. All who see them will realize that they have been blessed, by me, the Lord.
Celebrate and Shout
10 I celebrate and shout because of my Lord God. His saving power and justice are the very clothes I wear. They are more beautiful than the jewelry worn by a bride or a groom. 11 The Lord will bring about justice and praise in every nation on earth, like flowers blooming in a garden.
Jerusalem Will Be Saved
62 Jerusalem, I will speak up for your good. I will never be silent till you are safe and secure, sparkling like a flame. 2 Your great victory will be seen by every nation and king; the Lord will even give you a new name. 3 You will be a glorious crown, a royal headband, for the Lord your God.
4 Your name will no longer be “Deserted and Childless,” but “Happily Married.” You will please the Lord; your country will be his bride. 5 Your people will take the land,[j] just as a young man takes a bride. The Lord will be pleased because of you, just as a husband is pleased with his bride.
6 Jerusalem, on your walls I have stationed guards, whose duty it is to speak out day and night, without resting. They must remind the Lord 7 and not let him rest till he makes Jerusalem strong and famous everywhere.
8 The Lord has given his word and made this promise: “Never again will I give to your enemies the grain and grapes for which you struggled. 9 As surely as you harvest your grain and grapes, you will eat your bread with thankful hearts, and you will drink your wine in my temple.”
10 People of Jerusalem, open your gates! Repair the road to the city and clear it of stones; raise a banner to help the nations find their way. 11 Here is what the Lord has said for all the earth to hear: “Soon I will come to save the city of Zion, and to reward you. 12 Then you will be called, ‘The Lord’s Own People, The Ones He Rescued!' Your city will be known as a good place to live and a city full of people.”
The Lord’s Victory over the Nations
63 Who is this coming from Bozrah[k] in Edom with clothes stained red? Who is this hero marching in his glorious uniform?
“It’s me, the Lord! I have won the battle, and I can save you!”
2 What are those red spots? Your clothes look stained from stomping on grapes.[l]
3 “I alone stomped the grapes! None of the nations helped. I stomped nations in my anger and stained my clothes with their blood. 4 I did this because I wanted to take revenge— the time had come to rescue my people. 5 No one was there to help me or to give support; my mighty arm won the battle, strengthened by my anger. 6 In my fury I stomped on nations and made them drunk; their blood poured out everywhere on earth.”
The Lord’s Goodness to His People
7 I will tell about the kind deeds the Lord has done. They deserve praise! The Lord has shown mercy to the people of Israel; he has been kind and good.
8 The Lord rescued his people, and said, “They are mine. They won’t betray me.” 9 It troubled the Lord to see them in trouble, and his angel saved them.[m] The Lord was truly merciful, so he rescued his people. He took them in his arms and carried them all those years.
10 Then the Lord’s people turned against him and made his Holy Spirit sad. So he became their enemy and attacked them. 11 But his people remembered what had happened during the time of Moses.[n] Didn’t the Lord[o] bring them and their leaders safely through the sea? Didn’t he[p] give them his Holy Spirit? 12 The glorious power of the Lord marched beside Moses. The Lord will be praised forever for dividing the sea. 13 He led his people across like horses running wild without stumbling. 14 His Spirit gave them rest, just as cattle find rest when led into a valley.[q] The name of the Lord was praised for doing these things.
A Prayer for Mercy and Help
15 Please, Lord, look down from your holy and glorious home in the heavens and see what’s going on. Have you lost interest? Where is your power? Show that you care about us[r] and have mercy! 16 Our ancestors Abraham and Jacob have both rejected us. But you are still our Father; you have been our protector since ancient times.
17 Why did you make us turn away from you, our Lord? Why did you make us want to disobey you? Please change your mind! We are your servants, your very own people. 18 For a little while, your temple belonged to us;[s] and now our enemies have torn it down. 19 We act as though you had never ruled us or called us your people.
59.10We can. . . dead: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
60.5swell with pride: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
60.6Midian. . . Ephah: Midian was the ancestor of a nomadic tribe of the Arabian desert, east of the Gulf of Aqaba. Ephah was a clan within the tribe of Midian.
60.6Sheba: Perhaps a place in what is now southwest Arabia. The Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon (1 Kings 10.1-13).
60.7Kedar. . . Nebaioth: Regions in northern Arabia.
60.9On. . . Lord: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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