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Blessings for All Nations

56 This is what the Lord says:

“Be just and fair to all.
    Do what is right and good,
for I am coming soon to rescue you
    and to display my righteousness among you.
Blessed are all those
    who are careful to do this.
Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest
    and keep themselves from doing wrong.

“Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say,
    ‘The Lord will never let me be part of his people.’
And don’t let the eunuchs say,
    ‘I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.’
For this is what the Lord says:
I will bless those eunuchs
    who keep my Sabbath days holy
and who choose to do what pleases me
    and commit their lives to me.
I will give them—within the walls of my house—
    a memorial and a name
    far greater than sons and daughters could give.
For the name I give them is an everlasting one.
    It will never disappear!

“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord,
    who serve him and love his name,
who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest,
    and who hold fast to my covenant.
I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem
    and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.
I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
For the Sovereign Lord,
    who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says:
I will bring others, too,
    besides my people Israel.”

Sinful Leaders Condemned

Come, wild animals of the field!
    Come, wild animals of the forest!
    Come and devour my people!
10 For the leaders of my people—
    the Lord’s watchmen, his shepherds—
    are blind and ignorant.
They are like silent watchdogs
    that give no warning when danger comes.
They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming.
11     Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied.
They are ignorant shepherds,
    all following their own path
    and intent on personal gain.
12 “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party.
    Let’s all get drunk.
Then tomorrow we’ll do it again
    and have an even bigger party!”

57 Good people pass away;
    the godly often die before their time.
    But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
    that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For those who follow godly paths
    will rest in peace when they die.

Idolatrous Worship Condemned

“But you—come here, you witches’ children,
    you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Whom do you mock,
    making faces and sticking out your tongues?
    You children of sinners and liars!
You worship your idols with great passion
    beneath the oaks and under every green tree.
You sacrifice your children down in the valleys,
    among the jagged rocks in the cliffs.
Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys.
    You worship them with liquid offerings and grain offerings.
They, not I, are your inheritance.
    Do you think all this makes me happy?
You have committed adultery on every high mountain.
    There you have worshiped idols
    and have been unfaithful to me.
You have put pagan symbols
    on your doorposts and behind your doors.
You have left me
    and climbed into bed with these detestable gods.
You have committed yourselves to them.
    You love to look at their naked bodies.
You have gone to Molech[a]
    with olive oil and many perfumes,
sending your agents far and wide,
    even to the world of the dead.[b]
10 You grew weary in your search,
    but you never gave up.
Desire gave you renewed strength,
    and you did not grow weary.

11 “Are you afraid of these idols?
    Do they terrify you?
Is that why you have lied to me
    and forgotten me and my words?
Is it because of my long silence
    that you no longer fear me?
12 Now I will expose your so-called good deeds.
    None of them will help you.
13 Let’s see if your idols can save you
    when you cry to them for help.
Why, a puff of wind can knock them down!
    If you just breathe on them, they fall over!
But whoever trusts in me will inherit the land
    and possess my holy mountain.”

God Forgives the Repentant

14 God says, “Rebuild the road!
    Clear away the rocks and stones
    so my people can return from captivity.”
15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
    the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place
    with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
    and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
16 For I will not fight against you forever;
    I will not always be angry.
If I were, all people would pass away—
    all the souls I have made.
17 I was angry,
    so I punished these greedy people.
I withdrew from them,
    but they kept going on their own stubborn way.
18 I have seen what they do,
    but I will heal them anyway!
    I will lead them.
I will comfort those who mourn,
19     bringing words of praise to their lips.
May they have abundant peace, both near and far,”
    says the Lord, who heals them.
20 “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea,
    which is never still
    but continually churns up mud and dirt.
21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
    says my God.

Footnotes

  1. 57:9a Or to the king.
  2. 57:9b Hebrew to Sheol.