Isaiah 59

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.

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,1

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;2

but the Lord will be your everlasting light,

and your God will be your glory.3

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.4

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;1

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;2

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.3

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;4

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.