Salvation for Foreigners
56 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
wfor soon my salvation will come,
and my righteousness be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man who does this,
and the son of man who holds it fast,
xwho keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,
and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Let not ythe foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;
and let not the eunuch say,
“Behold, I am za dry tree.”
4 For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs xwho keep my Sabbaths,
who choose the things that please me
and hold fast my covenant,
5 aI will give in my house and within my walls
a bmonument and a name
better than sons and daughters;
cI will give them an everlasting name
that shall not be cut off.
6 “And ythe foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
everyone xwho keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
and holds fast my covenant—
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
ftheir burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for gmy house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.”
8 The Lord God,
hwho gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
i“I will gather yet others to him
besides those already gathered.”
Israel’s Irresponsible Leaders
9 jAll you beasts of the field, come to devour—
all you beasts in the forest.
10 kHis watchmen are blind;
they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent ldogs;
they cannot bark,
dreaming, lying down,
loving to slumber.
11 mThe dogs have a mighty appetite;
they never have enough.
But nthey are shepherds who have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way,
oeach to his own gain, one and all.
12 p“Come,” they say, “let me get wine;
let us fill ourselves with strong drink;
qand tomorrow will be like this day,
great beyond measure.”
Israel’s Futile Idolatry
57 The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
rdevout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
2 she enters into peace;
they rest tin their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
3 But you, draw near,
sons of the sorceress,
uoffspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
4 Whom are you mocking?
Against whom vdo you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of wtransgression,
xthe offspring of deceit,
under every green tree,
zwho slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of athe 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 relent for these things?
7 bOn a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your memorial;
for, deserting me, cyou have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
dyou have made it wide;
and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness.2
9 You journeyed to the king with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
eyou sent your envoys far off,
and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You were wearied with the length of your way,
fbut you did not say, “It is hopeless”;
you found new life for your strength,
and so you were not faint.3
11 gWhom did you dread and fear,
hso that you lied,
and did not remember me,
did not lay it to heart?
iHave I not held my peace, even for a long time,
and you do not fear me?
12 I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
but they will not profit you.
13 jWhen you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
The wind will carry them all off,
a breath will take them away.
kBut he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
and shall inherit lmy holy mountain.
Comfort for the Contrite
14 And it shall be said,
m“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
15 For thus says nthe One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is oHoly:
p“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also qwith him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
rto revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 sFor I will not contend forever,
nor will I always be angry;
for the spirit would grow faint before me,
and the breath of life that I made.
17 Because of the iniquity of his tunjust gain I was angry,
I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18 I have seen his ways, ubut I will heal him;
I will lead him vand restore comfort to him and his mourners,
u“and I will heal him.
20 aBut the wicked are like the tossing sea;
for it cannot be quiet,
and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21 bThere is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
True and False Fasting
58 “Cry aloud; do not hold back;
clift up your voice like a trumpet;
ddeclare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 eYet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 f‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,4
gand oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 hIs such the fast that I choose,
ia day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
jto loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps kof the yoke,
to let the oppressed5 go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not lto share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
mand not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 nThen shall your light break forth like the dawn,
oand your healing shall spring up speedily;
pyour righteousness shall go before you;
qthe glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away rthe yoke from your midst,
sthe pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 tif you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
nthen shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be ulike a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 vAnd 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 dwell in.
13 w“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure6 on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
zI will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
afor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The Man of Lawlessness
2 Now concerning athe coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our bbeing gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,1 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or calarmed, either dby a spirit or a espoken word, or ea letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that fthe day of the Lord has come. 3 gLet no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, hunless the rebellion comes first, and ithe man of lawlessness2 is revealed, jthe son of destruction,3 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, kproclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For lthe mystery of lawlessness mis already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then nthe lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus owill kill with pthe breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by qthe appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan rwith all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for sthose who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore tGod sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe uwhat is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned vwho did not believe the truth but whad pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But xwe ought always to give thanks to God for you, ybrothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you zas the firstfruits4 ato be saved, bthrough sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through cour gospel, aso that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, dstand firm and hold to ethe traditions that you were taught by us, either fby our spoken word or by four letter.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, gwho loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hhope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and iestablish them in every good work and word.