Isaiah 57

The Compassion of the Lord

55  dCome, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

ecome, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

fWhy do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;

ghear, that your soul may live;

hand I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

imy steadfast, sure love for jDavid.

kBehold, I made him a witness to the peoples,

la leader and commander for the peoples.

kBehold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,

and ma nation that did not know you shall run to you,

because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,

nfor he has glorified you.

oSeek the Lord while he may be found;

call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

pFor as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10  qFor as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

rgiving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but sit shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12  tFor you shall go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

uthe mountains and the hills before you

shall break forth into singing,

and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13  vInstead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;

instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;

and it shall make a name for the Lord,

an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Salvation for Foreigners

56  Thus says the Lord:

Keep justice, and do righteousness,

wfor soon my salvation will come,

and my righteousness be revealed.

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.

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.

For thus says the Lord:

To the eunuchs xwho keep my Sabbaths,

who choose the things that please me

and hold fast my covenant,

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.

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

dthese I will bring to emy holy mountain,

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.

The Lord God,

hwho gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,

iI will gather yet others to him

besides those already gathered.

Israel's Irresponsible Leaders

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  pCome, 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;

she enters into peace;

they rest tin their beds

who walk in their uprightness.

But you, draw near,

sons of the sorceress,

uoffspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.

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,

you who burn with lust among ythe oaks,1

under every green tree,

zwho slaughter your children in the valleys,

under the clefts of the rocks?

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?

bOn a high and lofty mountain

you have set your bed,

and there you went up to offer sacrifice.

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

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,

mBuild 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:

pI 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,

19  wcreating xthe fruit of the lips.

yPeace, peace, zto the far and to the near, says the Lord,

uand 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.

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.

fWhy 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,1

gand oppress all your workers.

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.

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?

Is not this the fast that I choose:

jto loose the bonds of wickedness,

to undo the straps kof the yoke,

to let the oppressed2 go free,

and to break every yoke?

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?

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.

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  wIf you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,

from doing your pleasure3 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,

or seeking xyour own pleasure,4 or talking idly;5

14  then you shall take delight in the Lord,

yand I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;6

zI will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,

afor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

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.