Comfort for God’s People 1Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD ’s hand double for all her sins.
3A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD
4Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
5And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
9You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
10See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13Who can fathom the Spirit
14Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?
15Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
18With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
19As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.
20A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.
21Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD ; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The Helper of Israel 1“Be silent before me, you islands! Let the nations renew their strength! Let them come forward and speak; let us meet together at the place of judgment.
2“Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service
3He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before.
4Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD —with the first of them and with the last—I am he.”
5The islands have seen it and fear; the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward;
6they help each other and say to their companions, “Be strong!”
7The metalworker encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, “It is good.” The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.
8“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11“All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
12Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.
13For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
14Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15“See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff.
16You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
19I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,
20so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21“Present your case,” says the LORD . “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22“Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come,
23tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable.
25“I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes— one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know, or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’? No one told of this, no one foretold it, no one heard any words from you.
27I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’ I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28I look but there is no one— no one among the gods to give counsel, no one to give answer when I ask them. 29See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion.
The Servant of the LORD 1“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.
2He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:
6“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
7to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8“I am the LORD ; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
9See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
Song of Praise to the LORD 10Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them.
11Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops.
12Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.
14“For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.
15I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools.
16I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
17But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.
Israel Blind and Deaf 18“Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!
19Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one in covenant with me, blind like the servant of the LORD ?
20You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
21It pleased the LORD for the sake of his righteousness to make his law great and glorious.
22But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.”
23Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come?
24Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law. 25So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.
Israel’s Only Savior 1But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush
4Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
8Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.
9All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
11I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
12I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
13Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness
14This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
15I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.”
16This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,
17who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
20The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
22“Yet you have not called on me, Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for
23You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses.
25“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
26Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.
27Your first father sinned; those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
28So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple; I consigned Jacob to destruction
Israel the Chosen 1“But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.
2This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun,
3For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
4They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD ’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD ’s,’ and will take the name Israel.
The LORD, Not Idols 6“This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
7Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come— yes, let them foretell what will come.
8Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
9All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit nothing?
11People who do that will be put to shame; such craftsmen are only human beings. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and shame.
12The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm. He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.
13The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in human form, human form in all its glory, that it may dwell in a shrine.
14He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15It is used as fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!”
18They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
21“Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you.
22I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
23Sing for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.
Jerusalem to Be Inhabited 24“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,
25who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,
26who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’
27who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ 28who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’
1“This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
2I will go before you and will level the mountains
3I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
4For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.
5I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,
6so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
7I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.
8“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.
9“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?
10Woe to the one who says to a father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to a mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’
11“This is what the LORD says— the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.
13I will raise up Cyrus
14This is what the LORD says: “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
15Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself, the God and Savior of Israel.
16All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together.
17But Israel will be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting.
18For this is what the LORD says— he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.
19I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.
20“Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save.
21Declare what is to be, present it— let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD ? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me.
22“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
23By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.
24They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength.’ ” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. 25But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the LORD and will make their boast in him.
Gods of Babylon
1Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden.
2They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity.
3“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.
4Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
5“With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?
6Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it.
7They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles.
8“Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels.
9Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
10I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’
11From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.
12Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. 13I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.
The Fall of Babylon
1“Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, queen city of the Babylonians.
2Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams.
3Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one.”
4Our Redeemer—the LORD Almighty is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.
5“Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms.
6I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke.
7You said, ‘I am forever— the eternal queen!’ But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.
8“Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’
9Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
10You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
12“Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
13All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
14Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by. 15That is all they are to you— these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you.
Stubborn Israel 1“Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness—
2you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and claim to rely on the God of Israel— the LORD Almighty is his name:
3I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze.
5Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
6You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? “From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.
7They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’
8You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.
9For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.
10See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
Israel Freed 12“Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.
13My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.
14“Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? The LORD ’s chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians.
15I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.
16“Come near me and listen to this: “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, endowed with his Spirit.
17This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
18If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
19Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me.”
20Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.”
The Servant of the LORD 1Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.
2He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
3He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
4But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD ’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”
5And now the LORD says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am
6he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
7This is what the LORD says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
Restoration of Israel 8This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill.
10They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
11I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up.
12See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.
13Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
14But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
15“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
17Your children hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.
19“Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away.
20The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’
21Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?’ ”
22This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips.
23Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD ; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
24Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce
25But this is what the LORD says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. 26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience 1This is what the LORD says: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst.
3I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.”
4The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.
6I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
7Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
8He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
9It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.
10Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God. 11But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
Everlasting Salvation for Zion 1“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD : Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.
3The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD . Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
4“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
5My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
7“Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults.
8For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.”
9Awake, awake, arm of the LORD, clothe yourself with strength! Awake, as in days gone by, as in generations of old. Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced that monster through?
10Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?
11Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
12“I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass,
13that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.
15For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name.
16I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”
The Cup of the LORD’s Wrath 17Awake, awake! Rise up, Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes people stagger.
18Among all the children she bore there was none to guide her; among all the children she reared there was none to take her by the hand.
19These double calamities have come upon you— who can comfort you?— ruin and destruction, famine and sword— who can
20Your children have fainted; they lie at every street corner, like antelope caught in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the LORD, with the rebuke of your God.
21Therefore hear this, you afflicted one, made drunk, but not with wine.
22This is what your Sovereign LORD says, your God, who defends his people: “See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again. 23I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Fall prostrate that we may walk on you.’ And you made your back like the ground, like a street to be walked on.”
1Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again.
2Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive.
3For this is what the LORD says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.”
4For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them.
5“And now what do I have here?” declares the LORD . “For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock,
6Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.”
7How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
9Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
11Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the LORD ’s house.
12But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
The Suffering and Glory of the Servant
13See, my servant will act wisely
14Just as there were many who were appalled at him
1Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
9He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the LORD ’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes
11After he has suffered, he will see the light of life
The Future Glory of Zion 1“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD .
2“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.
3For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.
4“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
5For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.
6The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God.
7“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
8In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.
9“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.
10Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
11“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
12I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.
13All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.
14In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.
15If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
16“See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; 17no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD .
Invitation to the Thirsty 1“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
4See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD .
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD ’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”