Isaiah 66

64  pOh that you would rend the heavens and come down,

qthat the mountains might quake at your presence

1 as when fire kindles brushwood

and the fire causes water to boil

rto make your name known to your adversaries,

and that the nations might tremble at your presence!

sWhen you did awesome things that we did not look for,

you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

tFrom of old no one has heard

or perceived by the ear,

uno eye has seen a God besides you,

who acts for those who wait for him.

You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,

those who remember you in your ways.

Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;

in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?2

vWe have all become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

wWe all fade like a leaf,

and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

xThere is no one who calls upon your name,

who rouses himself to take hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us,

and have made us melt in3 the hand of our iniquities.

yBut now, O Lord, you are our Father;

zwe are the clay, and you are our potter;

awe are all the work of your hand.

bBe not so terribly angry, O Lord,

cand remember not iniquity forever.

Behold, please look, we are all your people.

10  dYour holy cities have become a wilderness;

Zion has become a wilderness,

Jerusalem a desolation.

11  eOur holy and beautiful4 house,

where our fathers praised you,

has been burned by fire,

and all our pleasant places have become ruins.

12  fWill you restrain yourself at these things, O Lord?

Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

Judgment and Salvation

65  gI was ready to be sought by hthose who did not ask for me;

I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.

I said, Here I am, here I am,

to a nation that was not called by1 my name.

iI spread out my hands all the day

to a rebellious people,

who walk in a way that is not good,

following their own devices;

a people who provoke me

to my face continually,

jsacrificing in gardens

and making offerings on bricks;

who sit in tombs,

and spend the night in secret places;

kwho eat pig's flesh,

and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;

who say, Keep to yourself,

do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.

lThese are a smoke in my nostrils,

a fire that burns all the day.

Behold, mit is written before me:

nI will not keep silent, but I will repay;

oI will indeed repay into their lap

both your iniquities pand your fathers' iniquities together,

says the Lord;

qbecause they made offerings on the mountains

qand insulted me on the hills,

I will measure into their lap

payment for their former deeds.2

Thus says the Lord:

rAs the new wine is found in the cluster,

and they say, Do not destroy it,

for there is a blessing in it,

so I will do for my servants' sake,

sand not destroy them all.

tI will bring forth offspring from Jacob,

and from Judah possessors of my mountains;

my chosen shall possess it,

and my servants shall dwell there.

10  uSharon shall become a pasture for flocks,

and vthe Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,

for my people wwho have sought me.

11  But xyou who forsake the Lord,

who forget ymy holy mountain,

who zset a table for Fortune

and zfill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,

12  I will destine you to the sword,

and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter,

abecause, when I called, you did not answer;

when I spoke, you did not listen,

bbut you did what was evil in my eyes

and chose what I did not delight in.

13  Therefore thus says the Lord God:

Behold, cmy servants shall eat,

but you shall be hungry;

behold, my servants shall drink,

but you shall be thirsty;

behold, my servants shall rejoice,

but you shall be put to shame;

14  behold, dmy servants shall sing for gladness of heart,

but you shall cry out for pain of heart

and shall wail for breaking of spirit.

15  You shall leave your name to emy chosen ffor a curse,

and the Lord God will put you to death,

but his servants ghe will call by another name,

16  so that he who hblesses himself in the land

shall bless himself by hthe God of truth,

and he who takes an oath in the land

shall swear by ithe God of truth;

jbecause the former troubles are forgotten

and are hidden from my eyes.

New Heavens and a New Earth

17  For behold, kI create new heavens

and a new earth,

and the former things shall not be remembered

or come into mind.

18  But be glad and rejoice forever

in that which I create;

for behold, lI create Jerusalem to be a joy,

and her people to be a gladness.

19  mI will rejoice in Jerusalem

and be glad in my people;

nno more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping

and the cry of distress.

20  No more shall there be in it

an infant who lives but a few days,

or an old man who does not fill out his days,

for othe young man shall die a hundred years old,

and pthe sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

21  qThey shall build houses and inhabit them;

they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22  qThey shall not build and another inhabit;

they shall not plant and another eat;

rfor like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,

and my chosen shall long enjoy3 the work of their hands.

23  sThey shall not labor in vain

tor bear children for calamity,4

for uthey shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,

and their descendants with them.

24  vBefore they call I will answer;

wwhile they are yet speaking I will hear.

25  xThe wolf and the lamb shall graze together;

the lion shall eat straw like the ox,

and ydust shall be the serpent's food.

zThey shall not hurt or destroy

in all my holy mountain,

says the Lord.

The Humble and Contrite in Spirit

66  aThus says the Lord:

bHeaven is my throne,

and the earth is my footstool;

what is the house that you would build for me,

and what is the place of my rest?

cAll these things my hand has made,

and so all these things came to be,

declares the Lord.

dBut this is the one to whom I will look:

he who is humble and contrite in spirit

and trembles at my word.

eHe who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;

he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck;

he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers fpig's blood;

he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.

gThese have chosen their own ways,

and their soul delights in their abominations;

hI also will choose harsh treatment for them

and bring itheir fears upon them,

jbecause when I called, no one answered,

when I spoke, they did not listen;

kbut they did what was evil in my eyes

and chose that in which I did not delight.

Hear the word of the Lord,

you who tremble at his word:

Your brothers who hate you

and cast you out for my name's sake

have said, lLet the Lord be glorified,

that we may see your joy;

but it is they who shall be put to shame.

The sound of an uproar from the city!

A sound from the temple!

The sound of the Lord,

mrendering recompense to his enemies!

Rejoice with Jerusalem

nBefore she was in labor

she gave birth;

before her pain came upon her

she delivered a son.

Who has heard such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?

For nas soon as Zion was in labor

she brought forth her children.

Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?

says the Lord;

shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?

says your God.

10  oRejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,

all you who love her;

rejoice with her in joy,

all you who mourn over her;

11  that you may nurse and be satisfied

from her consoling breast;

that you may drink deeply with delight

from her glorious abundance.1

12  For thus says the Lord:

pBehold, I will extend peace to her like a river,

and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;

and qyou shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,

and bounced upon her knees.

13  As one whom his mother comforts,

so rI will comfort you;

you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14  You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;

syour bones shall flourish like the grass;

and tthe hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,

and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

Final Judgment and Glory of the Lord

15  For behold, uthe Lord will come in fire,

and vhis chariots like the whirlwind,

to render his anger in fury,

and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16  For wby fire xwill the Lord enter into judgment,

and by his sword, with all flesh;

and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 yThose who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, zeating pig's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord.

18 For I know2 their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming3 ato gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them bI will send survivors to the nations, to cTarshish, dPul, and dLud, who draw the bow, to eTubal and eJavan, fto the coastlands far away, gthat have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 hAnd they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations ias an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 jAnd some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

22  For as kthe new heavens and the new earth

that I make

shall remain before me, says the Lord,

so lshall your offspring and your name remain.

23  mFrom new moon to new moon,

and from Sabbath to Sabbath,

all flesh shall come to worship before me,

declares the Lord.

24 And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For ntheir worm shall not die, otheir fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Jeremiah Illustration

Jeremiah

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one aof the priests who were in bAnathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of cJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in dthe thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of eJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and funtil the end of the eleventh year of gZedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, huntil the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

The Call of Jeremiah

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

iBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born jI consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet kto the nations.

Then I said, Ah, Lord God! Behold, lI do not know how to speak, mfor I am only a youth. But the Lord said to me,

Do not say, I am only a youth;

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and nwhatever I command you, you shall speak.

oDo not be afraid of them,

pfor I am with you to deliver you,

declares the Lord.

qThen the Lord put out his hand and rtouched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

Behold, I have put smy words in your mouth.

10  See, I have set you this day kover nations and over kingdoms,

tto pluck up and to break down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.

11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, uJeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see an almond1 branch. 12 Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.

13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, What do you see? And I said, I see va boiling pot, facing away wfrom the north. 14 Then the Lord said to me, wOut of the north disaster2 shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, xI am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, yand they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And zI will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil ain forsaking me. bThey have made offerings to other gods and cworshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, ddress yourself for work;3 arise, and esay to them everything that I command you. fDo not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day ga fortified city, han iron pillar, and ibronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 iThey will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for jI am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.

Israel Forsakes the Lord

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,

I remember the devotion of kyour youth,

your love las a bride,

mhow you followed me in the wilderness,

nin a land not sown.

oIsrael was holy to the Lord,

pthe firstfruits of his harvest.

qAll who ate of it incurred guilt;

disaster came upon them,

declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

rWhat wrong did your fathers find in me

that they went far from me,

sand went after tworthlessness, and became worthless?

They did not say, uWhere is the Lord

who brought us up from the land of Egypt,

who led us vin the wilderness,

in a land of deserts and pits,

in a land of drought and deep darkness,

in a land that none passes through,

where no man dwells?

wAnd I brought you into a plentiful land

to enjoy its fruits and its good things.

But when you came in, xyou defiled my land

and made my heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, Where is the Lord?

yThose who handle the law did not know me;

zthe shepherds1 transgressed against me;

athe prophets prophesied by Baal

and went after bthings that do not profit.

Therefore cI still contend with you,

declares the Lord,

and dwith your children's children I will contend.

10  For cross to the coasts of eCyprus and see,

or send to fKedar and examine with care;

see if there has been such a thing.

11  gHas a nation changed its gods,

heven though they are no gods?

But my people ihave changed their glory

for bthat which does not profit.

12  Be appalled, jO heavens, at this;

be shocked, be utterly desolate,

declares the Lord,

13  for my people have committed two evils:

kthey have forsaken lme,

the fountain of mliving waters,

and hewed out cisterns for themselves,

broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14  nIs Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?

Why then has he become a prey?

15  oThe lions have roared against him;

they have roared loudly.

They have made his land a waste;

his cities are in ruins, pwithout inhabitant.

16  Moreover, the men of qMemphis and rTahpanhes

shave shaved2 the crown of your head.

17  tHave you not brought this upon yourself

by forsaking the Lord your God,

when uhe led you in the way?

18  vAnd now what do you gain by going to Egypt

to drink the waters of wthe Nile?

xOr what do you gain by going to Assyria

to drink the waters of ythe Euphrates?3

19  zYour evil will chastise you,

and ayour apostasy will reprove you.

Know and see that it is evil and bbitter

for cyou to forsake the Lord your God;

the fear of me is not in you,

declares the Lord God of hosts.

20  For long ago I dbroke your yoke

and burst your bonds;

but you said, eI will not serve.

Yes, fon every high hill

and under every green tree

you bowed down glike a whore.

21  hYet I planted you a choice vine,

wholly of pure seed.

iHow then have you turned degenerate

and become a wild vine?

22  Though you wash yourself with lye

and use much soap,

jthe stain of your guilt is still before me,

declares the Lord God.

23  kHow can you say, I am not unclean,

I have not gone after the Baals?

Look at your way lin the valley;

know what you have done

a restless young camel running here and there,

24  ma wild donkey used to the wilderness,

in her heat sniffing the wind!

Who can restrain her lust?

None who seek her need weary themselves;

in her month they will find her.

25  Keep nyour feet from going unshod

and oyour throat from thirst.

But you said, It is hopeless,

pfor I have loved foreigners,

and after them I will go.

26  As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

qthey, their kings, their officials,

their priests, and their prophets,

27  who say to a tree, You are my father,

and to a stone, You gave me birth.

For they have turned their back to me,

and not their face.

But rin the time of their trouble they say,

Arise and save us!

28  But swhere are your gods

that you made for yourself?

Let them arise, tif they can save you,

in your time of trouble;

for uas many as your cities

are your gods, O Judah.

29  Why do you contend with me?

You have all transgressed against me,

declares the Lord.

30  In vain have I vstruck your children;

they took no correction;

wyour own sword devoured your prophets

like a ravening lion.

31  And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord.

Have I been a wilderness to Israel,

or a land of thick darkness?

Why then do my people say, We are free,

we will come no more to you?

32  xCan a virgin forget her ornaments,

or a bride her attire?

Yet ymy people have forgotten me

days without number.

33  How well you direct your course

to seek love!

So that even to wicked women

you have taught your ways.

34  Also on your skirts is found

zthe lifeblood of the guiltless poor;

you did not find them abreaking in.

Yet in spite of all these things

35  you say, I am innocent;

surely his anger has turned from me.

bBehold, I will bring you to judgment

for csaying, I have not sinned.

36  dHow much you go about,

changing your way!

You shall be eput to shame by Egypt

as you were put to shame by Assyria.

37  From it too you will come away

with fyour hands on your head,

for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,

and you will not prosper by them.