64 Rip the heavens apart! Come down, Lord; make the mountains tremble. 2 Be a spark that starts a fire causing water to boil.[a] Then your enemies will know who you are; all nations will tremble because you are nearby.
3 Your fearsome deeds have completely amazed us; even the mountains shake when you come down. 4 You are the only God ever seen or heard of who works miracles for his followers.
5 You help all who gladly obey and do what you want, but sin makes you angry. Only by your help can we ever be saved.[b] 6 We are unfit to worship you; each of our good deeds is merely a filthy rag. We dry up like leaves; our sins are storm winds sweeping us away. 7 No one worships in your name or remains faithful. You have turned your back on us and let our sins melt us away.[c]
8 You, Lord, are our Father. We are nothing but clay, but you are the potter who molded us. 9 Don’t be so furious or keep our sins in your thoughts forever! Remember that all of us are your people. 10 Every one of your towns has turned into a desert, especially Jerusalem. 11 Zion’s glorious and holy temple where our ancestors praised you has been destroyed by fire. Our beautiful buildings are now a pile of ruins. 12 When you see these things, how can you just sit there and make us suffer more?
The Lord Will Punish the Guilty
65 I, the Lord, was ready answer even those who were not asking and to be found by those who were not searching. To a nation that refused to worship me,[d] I said, “Here I am!”
2 All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way. 3 They keep making me angry by sneering at me, while offering sacrifices to idols in gardens and burning incense to them on bricks. 4 They spend their nights hiding in burial caves; they eat the meat of pigs,[e] cooked in sauces made of stuff unfit to eat. 5 And then they say to others, “Don’t come near us! We’re dedicated to God.” Such people are like smoke, irritating my nose all day. 6 I have written this down; I won’t keep silent. I’ll pay them back just as their sins deserve. 7 I, the Lord, will make them pay for their sins and for those of their ancestors— they have disgraced me by burning incense on mountains.
8 Here is what the Lord says: A cluster of grapes that produces wine is worth keeping! So, because of my servants, I won’t destroy everyone. 9 I have chosen the people of Israel and Judah, and I will bless them with many descendants. They will settle here in this land of mountains, and it will be theirs. 10 My people will worship me. Then the coastlands of Sharon and the land as far as Achor Valley[f] will turn into pastureland where cattle and sheep will feed and rest.
11 What will I, the Lord, do if any of you reject me and my holy mountain? What will happen to you for offering food and wine to the gods you call “Good Luck” and “Fate”? 12 Your luck will end! I will see to it that you are slaughtered with swords. You refused to answer when I called out; you paid no attention to my instructions. Instead, you did what I hated, knowing it was wrong.
13 I, the Lord God, will give food and drink to my servants, and they will celebrate. But all of you sinners will go hungry and thirsty, overcome with disgrace. 14 My servants will laugh and sing, but you will be sad and cry out in pain. 15 I, the Lord God, promise to see that you are killed and that my chosen servants use your names as curse words. But I will give new names[g] to my servants.[h] 16 I am God! I can be trusted. Your past troubles are gone; I no longer think of them. When you pray for someone to receive a blessing, or when you make a promise, you must do it in my name. I alone am the God who can be trusted.
The Lord’s New Creation
17 I am creating new heavens and a new earth; everything of the past will be forgotten. 18 Celebrate and be glad forever! I am creating a Jerusalem, full of happy people. 19 I will celebrate with Jerusalem and all of its people; there will be no more crying or sorrow in that city.
20 No child will die in infancy; everyone will live to a ripe old age. Anyone a hundred years old will be considered young, and to die younger than that will be considered a curse.
21 My people will live in the houses they build; they will enjoy grapes from their own vineyards. 22 No one will take away their homes or vineyards. My chosen people will live to be as old as trees, and they will enjoy what they have earned. 23 Their work won’t be wasted, and their children won’t die of dreadful diseases.[i] I will bless their children and their grandchildren. 24 I will answer their prayers before they finish praying.
25 Wolves and lambs will graze together; lions and oxen will feed on straw. Snakes will eat only dirt! They won’t bite or harm anyone on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!
66 The Lord said:
Heaven is my throne; the earth is my footstool. What kind of house could you build for me? In what place will I rest? 2 I have made everything; that’s how it all came to be.[j] I, the Lord, have spoken.
The people I treasure most are the humble— they depend only on me and tremble when I speak.
3 You sacrifice oxen to me, and you commit murder; you sacrifice lambs to me and dogs to other gods; you offer grain to me and pigs' blood to idols; you burn incense to me and praise your idols.[k] You have made your own choice to do these disgusting things that you enjoy so much. 4 You refused to answer when I called out; you paid no attention to my instructions. Instead, you did what I hated, knowing it was wrong. Now I will punish[l] you in a way you dread the most.
The Lord Will Help Jerusalem
5 If you tremble when the Lord speaks, listen to what he says: “Some of your own people hate and reject you because of me. They make fun and say, ‘Let the Lord show his power! Let us see him make you truly happy.’[m] But those who say these things will be terribly ashamed.”
6 Do you hear that noise in the city and those shouts coming from the temple? It is the Lord shouting as he punishes his enemies.
7 Have you ever heard of a woman who gave birth to a child before having labor pains? 8 Who ever heard of such a thing or imagined it could happen? Can a nation be born in a day or come to life in a second? Jerusalem is like a mother who gave birth to her children as soon as she was in labor. 9 The Lord is the one who makes birth possible. And he will see that Zion has many more children. The Lord has spoken.
10 If you love Jerusalem, celebrate and shout! If you were in sorrow because of the city, you can now be glad. 11 She will nurse and comfort you, just like your own mother, until you are satisfied. You will fully enjoy her wonderful glory.
12 The Lord has promised: “I will flood Jerusalem with the wealth of nations and make the city prosper. Zion will nurse you at her breast, carry you in her arms, and hold you in her lap. 13 I will comfort you there like a mother comforting her child.”
14 When you see this happen, you will celebrate; your strength will return faster than grass can sprout. Then everyone will know that the Lord is present with his servants, but he is angry with his enemies. 15 The Lord will come down like a whirlwind with his flaming chariots. He will be terribly furious and punish his enemies with fire. 16 The Lord’s fiery sword will bring justice everywhere on this earth and execute many people.
A Threat and a Promise
17 Some of you get yourselves ready and go to a garden to worship a foreign goddess.[n] You eat the meat of pigs, lizards, and mice. But I, the Lord, will destroy you for this.
18 I know everything you do and think! The time has now come[o] to bring together the people of every language and nation and to show them my glory 19 by proving what I can do.[p] I will send the survivors to Tarshish, Pul,[q] Lud, Meshech,[r] Tubal, Javan,[s] and to the distant islands. I will send them to announce my wonderful glory to nations that have never heard about me.
20 They will bring your relatives from the nations as an offering to me, the Lord. They will come on horses, chariots, wagons, mules, and camels[t] to Jerusalem, my holy mountain. It will be like the people of Israel bringing the right offering to my temple. 21 I promise that some of them will be priests and others will be helpers in my temple. I, the Lord, have spoken.
22 I also promise that you will always have descendants and will never be forgotten, just as the new heavens and the new earth that I create will last forever. 23 On the first day of each month and on each Sabbath, everyone will worship me. I, the Lord, have spoken.
24 My people will go out and look at the dead bodies of those who turned against me. The worms there never die, the fire never stops burning, and the sight of those bodies will be disgusting to everyone.
64.2Be. . . boil: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
64.5saved: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
64.7and let. . . away: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
65.1refused. . . me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
65.4burial. . . pigs: Coming in contact with the dead or eating the meat of pigs made a person unacceptable to God.
65.10coastlands of Sharon. . . Achor Valley: Sharon is the coastal plain on the west, and Achor Valley is in the east near Jericho. These two places stand for the whole country.
65.15new names: The giving of a new name suggests the beginning of a new life.
65.15But I. . . servants: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
65.23their children. . . diseases: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.2that’s. . . be: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.3You sacrifice oxen. . . idols: Or “Sacrificing oxen to me is the same as murder; sacrificing lambs to me is the same as sacrificing dogs to other gods; offering grain to me is the same as offering pigs' blood to idols; and burning incense to me is the same as praising idols.”
66.4punish: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.5Some. . . happy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.17Some. . . goddess: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.18I. . . come: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.19by. . . do: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.19Pul: Hebrew; one ancient translation “Put,” a country in Africa, but neither the location of Pul or Put is known for certain.
66.19Meshech: One ancient translation; Hebrew “those who use bows and arrows.”
66.19Tarshish. . . Javan: Tarshish may have been a Phoenician city in Spain; Put (see note on Pul) and Lud were African people; Meshech and Tubal were regions south or southeast of the Black Sea; the Javan were people of Asia Minor and the Greek islands.
66.20camels: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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