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Social Injustice Is Condemned

59 The Lord hasn’t lost
    his powerful strength;
he can still hear
    and answer prayers.
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.

Your talk is filled with lies
    and plans for violence;
every finger on your hands
    is covered with blood.
You falsely accuse others
    and tell lies in court;
sin and trouble are the names
    of your children.
You eat the deadly eggs
    of poisonous snakes,
and more snakes crawl out
    from the eggs left to hatch.
You weave spider webs,
but you can’t make clothes
    with those webs
    or hide behind them.

You’re sinful and brutal.
You hurry off to do wrong
    or murder innocent victims.
All you think about is sin;
you leave ruin and destruction
    wherever you go.
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

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.
The earth and its people
    are covered with darkness,
but the glory of the Lord
    is shining upon you.
Nations and kings
will come to the light
    of your dawning day.

Crowds Are Coming to Jerusalem

The Lord said:

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.
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.
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.
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.

What is that sailing by
like clouds
    or like doves flying home?
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.
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,
    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.
Then they will rebuild cities
that have been in ruins
    for many generations.

They will hire foreigners
to take care of their sheep
    and their vineyards.
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]
They were terribly insulted
    and horribly mistreated;
now they will be greatly blessed
    and joyful forever.

The Lord Loves Justice

I, the Lord, love justice!
But I hate robbery
    and injustice.[i]
My people, I solemnly promise
to reward you
    with an eternal agreement.
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.
Your great victory will be seen
    by every nation and king;
the Lord will even give you
    a new name.
You will be a glorious crown,
a royal headband,
    for the Lord your God.

Your name will no longer be
“Deserted and Childless,”
    but “Happily Married.”
You will please the Lord;
your country
    will be his bride.
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.

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
    and not let him rest
till he makes Jerusalem strong
    and famous everywhere.

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.
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!”

What are those red spots?
Your clothes look stained
    from stomping on grapes.[l]

“I alone stomped the grapes!
    None of the nations helped.
I stomped nations in my anger
and stained my clothes
    with their blood.
I did this because I wanted
    to take revenge—
the time had come
    to rescue my people.
No one was there to help me
    or to give support;
my mighty arm won the battle,
    strengthened by my anger.
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

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.

The Lord rescued his people,
and said,
“They are mine.
    They won’t betray me.”
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.

Footnotes

  1. 59.10 We can. . . dead: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 60.5 swell with pride: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 60.6 Midian. . . 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.
  4. 60.6 Sheba: Perhaps a place in what is now southwest Arabia. The Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon (1 Kings 10.1-13).
  5. 60.7 Kedar. . . Nebaioth: Regions in northern Arabia.
  6. 60.9 On. . . Lord: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 60.9 Seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.
  8. 61.6 and. . . famous: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. 61.8 But. . . injustice: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. 62.5 Your. . . land: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. 63.1 Bozrah: The main city of Edom.
  12. 63.2 stomping on grapes: This is one way that grapes were crushed to make them into juice.
  13. 63.9 It. . . them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. 63.11 But. . . Moses: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  15. 63.11 the Lord: Or “Moses.”
  16. 63.11 he: Or “Moses.”
  17. 63.14 His. . . valley: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  18. 63.15 us: Hebrew “me.”
  19. 63.18 For. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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