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Isaiah 56-58New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey

56 Thus says the Lord:
    Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
    and my deliverance be revealed.

Happy is the mortal who does this,
    the one who holds it fast,
who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,
    and refrains from doing any evil.

Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say,
    “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;
and do not let the eunuch say,
    “I am just a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
    who choose the things that please me
    and hold fast my covenant,
I will give, in my house and within my walls,
    a monument and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that shall not be cut off.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
    to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
    and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
    for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
    who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
    besides those already gathered.[a]

The Corruption of Israel’s Rulers

All you wild animals,
    all you wild animals in the forest, come to devour!
10 Israel’s[b] sentinels are blind,
    they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs
    that cannot bark;
dreaming, lying down,
    loving to slumber.
11 The dogs have a mighty appetite;
    they never have enough.
The shepherds also have no understanding;
    they have all turned to their own way,
    to their own gain, one and all.
12 “Come,” they say, “let us[c] get wine;
    let us fill ourselves with strong drink.
And tomorrow will be like today,
    great beyond measure.”

Israel’s Futile Idolatry

57 The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    while no one understands.
For the righteous are taken away from calamity,
    and they enter into peace;
those who walk uprightly
    will rest on their couches.
But as for you, come here,
    you children of a sorceress,
    you offspring of an adulterer and a whore.[d]
Whom are you mocking?
    Against whom do you open your mouth wide
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
    the offspring of deceit—
you that burn with lust among the oaks,
    under every green tree;
you that slaughter your children in the valleys,
    under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
    they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
    you have brought a grain offering.
    Shall I be appeased for these things?
Upon a high and lofty mountain
    you have set your bed,
    and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
Behind the door and the doorpost
    you have set up your symbol;
for, in deserting me,[e] you have uncovered your bed,
    you have gone up to it,
    you have made it wide;
and you have made a bargain for yourself with them,
    you have loved their bed,
    you have gazed on their nakedness.[f]
You journeyed to Molech[g] with oil,
    and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far away,
    and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You grew weary from your many wanderings,
    but you did not say, “It is useless.”
You found your desire rekindled,
    and so you did not weaken.

11 Whom did you dread and fear
    so that you lied,
and did not remember me
    or give me a thought?
Have I not kept silent and closed my eyes,[h]
    and so you do not fear me?
12 I will concede your righteousness and your works,
    but they will not help you.
13 When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
    The wind will carry them off,
    a breath will take them away.
But whoever takes refuge in me shall possess the land
    and inherit my holy mountain.

A Promise of Help and Healing

14 It shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
15 For thus says the high and lofty one
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 For I will not continually accuse,
    nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me,
    even the souls that I have made.
17 Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
    I struck them, I hid and was angry;
    but they kept turning back to their own ways.
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
    creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.[i]
19 Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord;
    and I will heal them.
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea
    that cannot keep still;
    its waters toss up mire and mud.
21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

False and True Worship

58 Shout out, do not hold back!
    Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet day after day they seek me
    and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
    and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
    they delight to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
    Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
    and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
    and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
    will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
    a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
    and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of injustice,
    to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
    and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator[j] shall go before you,
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
    the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10 if you offer your food to the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    and satisfy your needs in parched places,
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters never fail.
12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to live in.

13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
    from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;[k]
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 56:8 Heb besides his gathered ones
  2. Isaiah 56:10 Heb His
  3. Isaiah 56:12 Q Ms Syr Vg Tg: MT me
  4. Isaiah 57:3 Heb an adulterer and she plays the whore
  5. Isaiah 57:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Isaiah 57:8 Or their phallus; Heb the hand
  7. Isaiah 57:9 Or the king
  8. Isaiah 57:11 Gk Vg: Heb silent even for a long time
  9. Isaiah 57:18 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Isaiah 58:8 Or vindication
  11. Isaiah 58:13 Heb or speaking words
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.

2 Thessalonians 2New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Man of Lawlessness

As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters,[a] not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one[b] is revealed, the one destined for destruction.[c] He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus[d] will destroy[e] with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12 so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.

Chosen for Salvation

13 But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters[f] beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits[g] for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news,[h] so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters,[i] stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17 comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Gk brothers
  2. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Gk the man of lawlessness; other ancient authorities read the man of sin
  3. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Gk the son of destruction
  4. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 Other ancient authorities lack Jesus
  5. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 Other ancient authorities read consume
  6. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Gk brothers
  7. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Other ancient authorities read from the beginning
  8. 2 Thessalonians 2:14 Or through our gospel
  9. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Gk brothers
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.

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