Isaiah 47–49; 1 Thessalonians 4

The Humiliation of Babylon

47  eCome down and sit in the dust,

O virgin fdaughter of Babylon;

gsit on the ground without a throne,

O daughter of hthe Chaldeans!

iFor you shall no more be called

tender and delicate.

Take the millstones and jgrind flour,

kput off your veil,

strip off your robe, uncover your legs,

pass through the rivers.

Your nakedness shall be uncovered,

and your disgrace shall be seen.

I will take vengeance,

and I will spare no one.

lOur Redeemerthe Lord of hosts is his name

is the Holy One of Israel.

mSit in silence, and go into darkness,

O daughter of hthe Chaldeans;

for you shall no more be called

nthe mistress of kingdoms.

oI was angry with my people;

I profaned my heritage;

I gave them into your hand;

pyou showed them no mercy;

on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.

You said, I shall be qmistress forever,

so that you did not lay these things to heart

or remember their end.

Now therefore hear this, qyou lover of pleasures,

rwho sit securely,

who say in your heart,

sI am, and there is no one besides me;

tI shall not sit as a widow

or know the loss of children:

uThese two things shall come to you

in a moment, vin one day;

the loss of children and widowhood

shall come upon you in full measure,

win spite of your many sorceries

and the great power of your enchantments.

10  You felt secure in your wickedness;

you said, No one sees me;

your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,

and you said in your heart,

xI am, and there is no one besides me.

11  But evil shall come upon you,

which you will not know how to charm away;

disaster shall fall upon you,

for which you will not be able to atone;

yand ruin shall come upon you suddenly,

of which you know nothing.

12  zStand fast in your enchantments

and your many sorceries,

with which you have labored from your youth;

perhaps you may be able to succeed;

perhaps you may inspire terror.

13  You are wearied with your many counsels;

let them stand forth and save you,

athose who divide the heavens,

who gaze at the stars,

who at the new moons make known

what shall come upon you.

14  Behold, bthey are like stubble;

cthe fire consumes them;

they cannot deliver themselves

from the power of the flame.

No coal for warming oneself is this,

no fire to sit before!

15  Such to you are those with whom you have labored,

who have done business with you from your youth;

they wander about, each in his own direction;

there is no one to save you.

Israel Refined for God’s Glory

48  Hear this, O house of Jacob,

dwho are called by the name of Israel,

and ewho came from the waters of Judah,

fwho swear by the name of the Lord

and confess the God of Israel,

but not in truth or right.

For they call themselves after the holy city,

gand stay themselves on the God of Israel;

the Lord of hosts is his name.

The former things hI declared of old;

they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;

then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.

Because I know that iyou are obstinate,

and your neck is an iron sinew

and your forehead brass,

hI declared them to you from of old,

before they came to pass I announced them to you,

lest you should say, jMy idol did them,

my carved image and my metal image commanded them.

You have heard; now see all this;

and will you not declare it?

From this time forth kI announce to you new things,

hidden things that you have not known.

They are created now, not long ago;

before today you have never heard of them,

lest you should say, Behold, I knew them.

You have never heard, you have never known,

from of old your ear has not been opened.

For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,

and that lfrom before birth you were called a rebel.

mFor my name’s sake I defer my anger;

for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,

that I may not cut you off.

10  Behold, I have refined you, nbut not as silver;

oI have tried1 you in the furnace of affliction.

11  pFor my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,

for how should my name2 be profaned?

qMy glory I will not give to another.

The Lord’s Call to Israel

12  Listen to me, O Jacob,

and Israel, whom I called!

I am he; rI am the first,

and I am the last.

13  My hand slaid the foundation of the earth,

and my right hand sspread out the heavens;

twhen I call to them,

they stand forth together.

14  Assemble, all of you, and listen!

uWho among them has declared these things?

The Lord loves him;

vhe shall perform his purpose on Babylon,

and his arm shall be against wthe Chaldeans.

15  xI, even I, have spoken and called him;

I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.

16  yDraw near to me, hear this:

from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,

from the time it came to be I have been there.

And now zthe Lord God has sent me, and his Spirit.

17  Thus says the Lord,

your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I am the Lord your God,

who teaches you to profit,

who leads you in the way you should go.

18  aOh that you had paid attention to my commandments!

bThen your peace would have been like a river,

and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;

19  cyour offspring would have been like the sand,

and your descendants like its grains;

their name would never be cut off

or destroyed from before me.

20  dGo out from Babylon, flee from eChaldea,

declare this fwith a shout of joy, proclaim it,

send it out to the end of the earth;

say, gThe Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!

21  hThey did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;

ihe made water flow for them from the rock;

he split the rock and the water gushed out.

22  jThere is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked.

The Servant of the Lord

49  Listen to me, kO coastlands,

and give attention, you peoples lfrom afar.

mThe Lord called me from the womb,

from the body of my mother he named my name.

nHe made my mouth like a sharp sword;

oin the shadow of his hand he hid me;

he made me a polished arrow;

in his quiver he hid me away.

And he said to me, You are my servant,

Israel, pin whom I will be glorified.3

qBut I said, I have labored in vain;

I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

yet surely my right is with the Lord,

and my recompense with my God.

rAnd now the Lord says,

he mwho formed me from the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him;

and that Israel might be gathered to him

for sI am honored in the eyes of the Lord,

and my God has become my strength

he says:

It is too light a thing that you should be my servant

to raise up the tribes of Jacob

and to bring back the preserved of Israel;

tI will make you uas a light for the nations,

that vmy salvation may reach to the end of the earth.

Thus says the Lord,

wthe Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,

xto one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,

the servant of rulers:

yKings shall see and arise;

princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;

because of the Lord, who is faithful,

the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.

The Restoration of Israel

Thus says the Lord:

zIn a atime of favor I have answered you;

in a day of salvation I have helped you;

I will keep you band give you

as a covenant to the people,

to establish the land,

cto apportion the desolate heritages,

dsaying to the prisoners, Come out,

to those who are in darkness, Appear.

eThey shall feed along the ways;

on all bare heights shall be their pasture;

10  fthey shall not hunger or thirst,

neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,

for he who has pity on them gwill lead them,

and by springs of water will guide them.

11  hAnd I will make all my mountains a road,

and my highways shall be raised up.

12  iBehold, these shall come from afar,

and behold, jthese from the north and from the west,4

and these from the land of Syene.5

13  kSing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;

break forth, O mountains, into singing!

For the Lord lhas comforted his people

and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14  But Zion said, mThe Lord has forsaken me;

my Lord has forgotten me.

15  nCan a woman forget her nursing child,

that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,

yet I will not forget you.

16  Behold, oI have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me.

17  Your builders make haste;6

pyour destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.

18  qLift up your eyes around and see;

they all gather, they come to you.

rAs I live, declares the Lord,

syou shall put them all on as an ornament;

you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19  Surely your waste and your desolate places

and your devastated land

tsurely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,

and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

20  uThe children of your bereavement

will yet say in your ears:

tThe place is too narrow for me;

make room for me to dwell in.

21  Then you will say in your heart:

Who has borne me these?

uI was bereaved and barren,

exiled and put away,

but who has brought up these?

Behold, I was left alone;

from where have these come?

22  Thus says the Lord God:

Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,

vand raise my signal to the peoples;

wand they shall bring your sons in their arms,7

and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

23  xKings shall be your foster fathers,

and their queens your nursing mothers.

yWith their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,

and zlick the dust of your feet.

Then you will know that I am the Lord;

athose who wait for me bshall not be put to shame.

24  Can the prey be taken from the mighty,

or the captives of a tyrant8 be rescued?

25  For thus says the Lord:

cEven the captives of the mighty shall be taken,

and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,

for I will contend with those who contend with you,

and I will save your children.

26  dI will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,

and they shall be drunk ewith their own blood as with wine.

Then all flesh shall know

that fI am the Lord your Savior,

and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.


A Life Pleasing to God

Finally, then, brothers,1 we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you dreceived from us ehow you ought to walk and fto please God, just as you are doing, that you gdo so more and more. For hyou know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, iyour sanctification:2 jthat you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own kbody3 in holiness and lhonor, not in mthe passion of lust nlike the Gentiles owho do not know God; that no one transgress and pwrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is qan avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For rGod has not called us for simpurity, but in holiness. Therefore twhoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, uwho gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Now concerning vbrotherly love wyou have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been xtaught by God yto love one another, 10 for that indeed is what zyou are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to ado this more and more, 11 and to aspire bto live quietly, and cto mind your own affairs, and dto work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may ewalk properly before foutsiders and be dependent on no one.

The Coming of the Lord

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, gthat you may not grieve as others do hwho have no hope. 14 For isince we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him jthose who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you kby a word from the Lord,4 that lwe who are alive, who are left until mthe coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For nthe Lord himself will descend ofrom heaven pwith a cry of command, with the voice of qan archangel, and rwith the sound of the trumpet of God. And sthe dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be tcaught up together with them uin the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so vwe will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.