Isaiah 59–61; 2 Thessalonians 3

Evil and Oppression

59  Behold, bthe Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,

or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;

cbut your iniquities have made a separation

between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden his face from you

so that he does not hear.

dFor your hands are defiled with blood

and your fingers with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies;

your tongue mutters wickedness.

eNo one enters suit justly;

no one goes to law honestly;

they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,

fthey conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

They hatch adders’ eggs;

they weave the spider’s web;

he who eats their eggs dies,

and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.

gTheir webs will not serve as clothing;

men will not cover themselves with what they make.

Their works are works of iniquity,

and deeds of violence are in their hands.

hTheir feet run to evil,

and they are swift to shed innocent blood;

their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;

desolation and destruction are in their highways.

The way of peace they do not know,

and there is no justice in their paths;

they have made their roads crooked;

ino one who treads on them knows peace.

Therefore justice is far from us,

and righteousness does not overtake us;

jwe hope for light, and behold, darkness,

and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

10  kWe grope for the wall like the blind;

we grope like those who have no eyes;

we stumble at noon as in the twilight,

lamong those in full vigor we are like dead men.

11  We all growl like bears;

mwe moan and moan like doves;

nwe hope for justice, but there is none;

for salvation, but it is far from us.

12  For our transgressions are multiplied before you,

and our sins testify against us;

for our transgressions are with us,

and we know our iniquities:

13  transgressing, and denying the Lord,

and turning back from following our God,

ospeaking oppression and revolt,

conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Judgment and Redemption

14  pJustice is turned back,

and righteousness stands far away;

for truth has stumbled in the public squares,

and uprightness cannot enter.

15  Truth is lacking,

and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him1

that there was no justice.

16  qHe saw that there was no man,

and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

then his own arm brought him salvation,

and his righteousness upheld him.

17  rHe put on righteousness as a breastplate,

and a helmet of salvation on his head;

he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,

and wrapped himself in szeal as a cloak.

18  tAccording to their deeds, so will he repay,

wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;

uto the coastlands he will render repayment.

19  vSo they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west,

and his glory from the rising of the sun;

wfor he will come like a rushing stream,2

which the wind of the Lord drives.

20  xAnd ya Redeemer will come to Zion,

to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, declares the Lord.

21 And as for me, zthis is my covenant with them, says the Lord: My Spirit that is upon you, aand my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring, says the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore.

The Future Glory of Israel

60  bArise, shine, for your light has come,

and cthe glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,

and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you,

and his glory will be seen upon you.

dAnd nations shall come to your light,

and kings to the brightness of your rising.

eLift up your eyes all around, and see;

they all gather together, they come to you;

fyour sons shall come from afar,

and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.

Then you shall see and gbe radiant;

your heart shall thrill and exult,3

because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,

hthe wealth of the nations shall come to you.

A multitude of camels shall cover you,

the young camels of iMidian and jEphah;

all those from kSheba shall come.

lThey shall bring gold and frankincense,

and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.

All the flocks of mKedar shall be gathered to you;

the rams of nNebaioth shall minister to you;

othey shall come up with acceptance on my altar,

pand I will beautify my beautiful house.

Who are these that fly like a cloud,

and qlike doves to their windows?

For rthe coastlands shall hope for me,

sthe ships of Tarshish first,

tto bring your children from afar,

their silver and gold with them,

for the name of the Lord your God,

and for the Holy One of Israel,

because uhe has made you beautiful.

10  vForeigners shall build up your walls,

and vtheir kings shall minister to you;

for in my wrath I struck you,

but in my favor I have had mercy on you.

11  wYour gates shall be open continually;

day and night they shall not be shut,

wthat people may bring to you the wealth of the nations,

with their kings led in procession.

12  xFor the nation and kingdom

that will not serve you shall perish;

those nations shall be utterly laid waste.

13  yThe glory of Lebanon shall come to you,

the cypress, the plane, and zthe pine,

to beautify the place of my sanctuary,

and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

14  aThe sons of those who afflicted you

shall come bending low to you,

band all who despised you

shall bow down at your feet;

cthey shall call you the City of the Lord,

the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15  dWhereas you have been forsaken and hated,

with no one passing through,

eI will make you majestic forever,

a joy from age to age.

16  fYou shall suck the milk of nations;

you shall nurse at the breast of kings;

and you shall know that gI, the Lord, am your Savior

and your Redeemer, hthe Mighty One of Jacob.

17  Instead of bronze I will bring gold,

and instead of iron I will bring silver;

instead of wood, bronze,

instead of stones, iron.

I will make your overseers peace

iand your taskmasters righteousness.

18  jViolence shall no more be heard in your land,

devastation or destruction within your borders;

kyou shall call your walls Salvation,

and your gates Praise.

19  lThe sun shall be no more

your light by day,

nor for brightness shall the moon

give you light;4

but the Lord will be your everlasting light,

and your God will be your glory.5

20  Your sun shall no more go down,

nor your moon withdraw itself;

for the Lord will be your everlasting light,

and myour days of mourning shall be ended.

21  nYour people shall all be righteous;

othey shall possess the land forever,

pthe branch of my planting, the work of my hands,

that I might be glorified.6

22  qThe least one shall become a clan,

and the smallest one a mighty nation;

rI am the Lord;

in its time I will hasten it.

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61  sThe Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has tanointed me

to bring good news to the poor;7

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and uthe opening of the prison to those who are bound;8

vto proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

wand the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

to grant to those who mourn in Zion

xto give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

ythe oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

zthat they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord, athat he may be glorified.9

bThey shall build up the ancient ruins;

they shall raise up the former devastations;

they shall repair the ruined cities,

the devastations of many generations.

cStrangers shall stand and tend your flocks;

foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;

dbut you shall be called the priests of the Lord;

they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;

eyou shall eat the wealth of the nations,

and in their glory you shall boast.

fInstead of your shame there shall be a double portion;

instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;

therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;

they shall have everlasting joy.

gFor I the Lord love justice;

I hate robbery and wrong;10

hI will faithfully give them their recompense,

iand I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

Their offspring shall be known among the nations,

and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;

all who see them shall acknowledge them,

that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed.

10  jI will greatly rejoice in the Lord;

my soul shall exult in my God,

kfor he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;

he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

as a bridegroom decks himself llike a priest with a beautiful headdress,

mand as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11  For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,

and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,

so the Lord God will cause nrighteousness and praise

to sprout up before all the nations.


Pray for Us

Finally, brothers,1 jpray for us, that kthe word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,2 as happened among you, and lthat we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For mnot all have faith. But nthe Lord is faithful. He will establish you and oguard you against pthe evil one.3 And qwe have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord rdirect your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning Against Idleness

Now we command you, brothers, sin the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, tthat you keep away from any ubrother vwho is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know whow you ought to imitate us, because xwe were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but ywith toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was znot because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves aan example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: bIf anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you cwalk in idleness, not busy at work, but dbusybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.4

13 As for you, brothers, edo not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and fhave nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 gDo not regard him as an enemy, but hwarn him as a brother.

Benediction

16 Now may ithe Lord of peace himself jgive you peace at all times in every way. kThe Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, write lthis greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 mThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.