Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 5

Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience

50  Thus says the Lord:

Where is gyour mother’s certificate of divorce,

with which hI sent her away?

Or iwhich of my creditors is it

to whom I have sold you?

jBehold, for your iniquities you were sold,

and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

kWhy, when I came, was there no man;

why, when I called, was there no one to answer?

lIs my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?

Or have I no power to deliver?

mBehold, by my rebuke nI dry up the sea,

oI make the rivers a desert;

ptheir fish stink for lack of water

and die of thirst.

qI clothe the heavens with blackness

and make sackcloth their covering.

The Lord God has given rme

the tongue of those who are taught,

that sI may know how to sustain with a word

thim who is weary.

Morning by morning he awakens;

he awakens my ear

to hear as those who are taught.

uThe Lord God has opened my ear,

vand I was not rebellious;

I turned not backward.

wI gave my back to those who strike,

and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;

I hid not my face

from disgrace and spitting.

But the Lord God helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

xtherefore I have set my face like a flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

yHe who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who is my adversary?

Let him come near to me.

zBehold, the Lord God helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;

the moth will eat them up.

10  Who among you fears the Lord

and obeys athe voice of his servant?

bLet him who walks in darkness

and has no light

trust in the name of the Lord

and rely on his God.

11  Behold, all you who kindle a fire,

who equip yourselves with burning torches!

Walk by the light of your fire,

and by the torches that you have kindled!

cThis you have from my hand:

you shall lie down in torment.

The Lord’s Comfort for Zion

51  dListen to me, you who pursue righteousness,

you who seek the Lord:

look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for ehe was but one when I called him,

that I might bless him and multiply him.

For the Lord fcomforts Zion;

he comforts all her waste places

and makes her wilderness like gEden,

her desert like hthe garden of the Lord;

ijoy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.

jGive attention to me, my people,

and give ear to me, my nation;

kfor a law1 will go out from me,

and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.

lMy righteousness draws near,

my salvation has gone out,

and my arms will judge the peoples;

mthe coastlands hope for me,

and for my arm they wait.

nLift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

ofor the heavens vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;2

pbut my salvation will be forever,

and my righteousness will never be dismayed.

qListen to me, you who know righteousness,

the people rin whose heart is my law;

sfear not the reproach of man,

nor be dismayed at their revilings.

tFor the moth will eat them up like a garment,

and the worm will eat them like wool,

pbut my righteousness will be forever,

and my salvation to all generations.

uAwake, awake, vput on strength,

O warm of the Lord;

awake, xas in days of old,

the generations of long ago.

Was it not you who cut yRahab in pieces,

who pierced zthe dragon?

10  aWas it not you who dried up the sea,

the waters of the great deep,

who made the depths of the sea a way

for the redeemed to pass over?

11  bAnd the ransomed of the Lord shall return

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12  I, I am he cwho comforts you;

who are you that you are afraid of dman who dies,

of the son of man who is made elike grass,

13  and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,

fwho stretched out the heavens

and glaid the foundations of the earth,

and you fear continually all the day

because of the wrath of hthe oppressor,

when he sets himself to destroy?

And where is the wrath of hthe oppressor?

14  iHe who is bowed down shall speedily be released;

he shall not die and go down jto the pit,

neither shall his bread be lacking.

15  I am the Lord your God,

kwho stirs up the sea so that its waves roar

the Lord of hosts is his name.

16  lAnd I have put my words in your mouth

mand covered you in the shadow of my hand,

nestablishing3 the heavens

and olaying the foundations of the earth,

and saying to Zion, You are my people.

17  pWake yourself, wake yourself,

stand up, O Jerusalem,

qyou who have drunk from the hand of the Lord

the cup of his wrath,

who have drunk to the dregs

the bowl, rthe cup of staggering.

18  sThere is none to guide her

among all the sons she has borne;

there is none to take her by the hand

among all the sons she has brought up.

19  tThese two things have happened to you

who will console you?

devastation and destruction, famine and sword;

who will comfort you?4

20  uYour sons have fainted;

they lie at the head of every street

like an vantelope win a net;

they are full of the wrath of the Lord,

the rebuke of your God.

21  xTherefore hear this, you who are afflicted,

who are drunk, but not with wine:

22  Thus says your Lord, the Lord,

your God ywho pleads the cause of his people:

Behold, I have taken from your hand rthe cup of staggering;

the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;

23  zand I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,

awho have said to you,

Bow down, that we may pass over;

and byou have made your back like the ground

and like the street for them to pass over.

The Lord’s Coming Salvation

52  cAwake, awake,

put on your strength, O Zion;

dput on your beautiful garments,

O Jerusalem, ethe holy city;

ffor there shall no more come into you

the uncircumcised and the unclean.

gShake yourself from the dust and arise;

be seated, O Jerusalem;

hloose the bonds from your neck,

O captive daughter of Zion.

For thus says the Lord: iYou were sold for nothing, and jyou shall be redeemed without money. For thus says the Lord God: kMy people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing.5 Now therefore what have I here, declares the Lord, seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail, declares the Lord, and lcontinually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. mTherefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.

nHow beautiful upon the mountains

are the feet of him who brings good news,

who publishes peace, owho brings good news of happiness,

who publishes salvation,

who says to Zion, Your God reigns.

The voice of pyour watchmenthey lift up their voice;

together they sing for joy;

qfor eye to eye they see

the return of the Lord to Zion.

rBreak forth together into singing,

syou waste places of Jerusalem,

for tthe Lord has comforted his people;

he has redeemed Jerusalem.

10  uThe Lord has bared his holy arm

before the eyes of all the nations,

vand all the ends of the earth shall see

the salvation of our God.

11  wDepart, depart, go out from there;

touch no unclean thing;

go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,

xyou who bear the vessels of the Lord.

12  For you shall not ygo out in haste,

and you shall not go in flight,

zfor the Lord will go before you,

aand the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions

13  Behold, bmy servant shall act wisely;6

he shall be high and lifted up,

and shall be exalted.

14  As many were astonished at you

chis appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,

and his form beyond that of the children of mankind

15  so dshall he sprinkle7 many nations.

eKings shall shut their mouths because of him,

ffor that which has not been told them they see,

and that which they have not heard they understand.


The Day of the Lord

Now concerning wthe times and the seasons, brothers,1 xyou have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that ythe day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, There is peace and security, then zsudden destruction will come upon them aas labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you bare not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all cchildren2 of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then dlet us not sleep, as others do, but let us ekeep awake and fbe sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, gare drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, hhaving put on the breastplate of ifaith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for jwrath, but kto obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 lwho died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Final Instructions and Benediction

12 We ask you, brothers, mto respect those who labor among you and nare over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. oBe at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish pthe idle,3 qencourage the fainthearted, rhelp the weak, sbe patient with them all. 15 See that tno one repays anyone evil for evil, but always useek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 vRejoice always, 17 wpray without ceasing, 18 xgive thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 yDo not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise zprophecies, 21 but atest everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may bthe God of peace himself csanctify you completely, and may your dwhole espirit and soul and body be kept blameless at fthe coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 gHe who calls you is faithful; hhe will surely do it.

25 iBrothers, pray for us.

26 jGreet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have kthis letter read to all the brothers.

28 lThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.