Words of Comfort to Jerusalem
51 The Lord says,
“Listen to me, you that want to be saved,
you that come to me for help.
Think of the rock from which you came,
the quarry from which you were cut.
2 Think of your ancestor, Abraham,
and of Sarah, from whom you are descended.
When I called Abraham, he was childless,
but I blessed him and gave him children;
I made his descendants numerous.
3 “I will show compassion to Jerusalem,
to all who live in her ruins.
Though her land is a desert, I will make it a garden,
like the garden I planted in Eden.
Joy and gladness will be there,
and songs of praise and thanks to me.
4 “Listen to me, my people,
listen to what I say:
I give my teaching to the nations;
my laws will bring them light.
5 I will come quickly and save them;
the time of my victory is near.
I myself will rule over the nations.
Distant lands wait for me to come;
they wait with hope for me to save them.
6 Look up at the heavens; look at the earth!
The heavens will disappear like smoke;
the earth will wear out like old clothing,
and all its people will die like flies.
But the deliverance I bring will last forever;
my victory will be final.
7 “Listen to me, you that know what is right,
who have my teaching fixed in your hearts.
Do not be afraid when people taunt and insult you;
8 they will vanish like moth-eaten clothing!
But the deliverance I bring will last forever;
my victory will endure for all time.”
9 Wake up, Lord, and help us!
Use your power and save us;
use it as you did in ancient times.
It was you that cut the sea monster Rahab[a] to pieces.
10 It was you also who dried up the sea
and made a path through the water,
so that those you were saving could cross.
11 Those whom you have rescued
will reach Jerusalem with gladness,
singing and shouting for joy.
They will be happy forever,
forever free from sorrow and grief.
12 The Lord says,
“I am the one who strengthens you.
Why should you fear mortals,
who are no more enduring than grass?
13 Have you forgotten the Lord who made you,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the earth's foundations?
Why should you live in constant fear
of the fury of those who oppress you,
of those who are ready to destroy you?
Their fury can no longer touch you.
14 Those who are prisoners will soon be set free;
they will live a long life
and have all the food they need.
15 “I am the Lord your God;
I stir up the sea
and make its waves roar.
My name is the Lord Almighty!
16 I stretched out[b] the heavens
and laid the earth's foundations;
I say to Jerusalem, ‘You are my people!
I have given you my teaching,
and I protect you with my hand.’”
The End of Jerusalem's Suffering
17 (A)Jerusalem, wake up!
Rouse yourself and get up!
You have drunk the cup of punishment
that the Lord in his anger gave you to drink;
you drank it down, and it made you stagger.
18 There is no one to lead you,
no one among your people
to take you by the hand.
19 A double disaster has fallen on you:
your land has been devastated by war,
and your people have starved.
There is no one to show you sympathy.
20 At the corner of every street
your people collapse from weakness;
they are like deer caught in a hunter's net.
They have felt the force of God's anger.
21 You suffering people of Jerusalem,
you that stagger as though you were drunk,
22 the Lord your God defends you and says,
“I am taking away the cup
that I gave you in my anger.
You will no longer have to drink
the wine that makes you stagger.
23 I will give it to those who oppressed you,
to those who made you lie down in the streets
and trampled on you as if you were dirt.”
God Will Rescue Jerusalem
52 (B)Jerusalem, be strong and great again!
Holy city of God, clothe yourself with splendor!
The heathen will never enter your gates again.
2 Shake yourself free, Jerusalem!
Rise from the dust and sit on your throne!
Undo the chains that bind you,
captive people of Zion!
3 The Sovereign Lord says to his people, “When you became slaves, no money was paid for you; in the same way nothing will be paid to set you free. 4 When you went to live in Egypt as foreigners, you did so of your own free will; Assyria, however, took you away by force and paid nothing for you. 5 (C)And now in Babylonia the same thing has happened: you are captives, and nothing was paid for you. Those who rule over you boast and brag and constantly show contempt for me. 6 In time to come you will acknowledge that I am God and that I have spoken to you.”
7 (D)How wonderful it is to see
a messenger coming across the mountains,
bringing good news, the news of peace!
He announces victory and says to Zion,
“Your God is king!”
8 Those who guard the city are shouting,
shouting together for joy.
They can see with their own eyes
the return of the Lord to Zion.
9 Break into shouts of joy,
you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord will rescue his city
and comfort his people.
10 The Lord will use his holy power;
he will save his people,
and all the world will see it.
11 (E)Be sure to leave Babylonia,
all you that carry the Temple equipment.
Touch no forbidden thing;[c]
keep yourselves holy and leave.
12 This time you will not have to leave in a hurry;
you will not be trying to escape.
The Lord your God will lead you
and protect you on every side.
The Suffering Servant
13 The Lord says,
“My servant will succeed in his task;
he will be highly honored.[d]
14 Many people were shocked when they saw him;
he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human.
15 (F)But now many nations will marvel at him,
and kings will be speechless with amazement.
They will see and understand
something they had never known.”
53 (G)The people reply,
“Who would have believed what we now report?
Who could have seen the Lord's hand in this?
2 It was the will of the Lord that his servant
grow like a plant taking root in dry ground.
He had no dignity or beauty
to make us take notice of him.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing that would draw us to him.
3 We despised him and rejected him;
he endured suffering and pain.
No one would even look at him—
we ignored him as if he were nothing.
4 (H)“But he endured the suffering that should have been ours,
the pain that we should have borne.
All the while we thought that his suffering
was punishment sent by God.
5 (I)But because of our sins he was wounded,
beaten because of the evil we did.
We are healed by the punishment he suffered,
made whole by the blows he received.
6 (J)All of us were like sheep that were lost,
each of us going his own way.
But the Lord made the punishment fall on him,
the punishment all of us deserved.
7 (K)“He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly;
he never said a word.
Like a lamb about to be slaughtered,
like a sheep about to be sheared,
he never said a word.
8 He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die,
and no one cared about his fate.
He was put to death for the sins of our people.
9 (L)He was placed in a grave with those who are evil,
he was buried with the rich,
even though he had never committed a crime
or ever told a lie.”
10 The Lord says,
“It was my will that he should suffer;
his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
he will live a long life,
and through him my purpose will succeed.
11 After a life of suffering, he will again have joy;
he will know that he did not suffer in vain.
My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased,
will bear the punishment of many
and for his sake I will forgive them.
12 (M)And so I will give him a place of honor,
a place among the great and powerful.
He willingly gave his life
and shared the fate of evil men.
He took the place of many sinners
and prayed that they might be forgiven.”[e]
- Isaiah 51:9 A legendary sea monster, which represented the forces of chaos and evil, was sometimes a symbol of Egypt.
- Isaiah 51:16 One ancient translation stretched out; Hebrew planted.
- Isaiah 52:11 Any object that was considered ritually unclean.
- Isaiah 52:13 he will be highly honored; or he will be restored to greatness and honor.
- Isaiah 53:12 prayed that they might be forgiven; or suffered the punishment they deserved.
- Isaiah 51:17 : Rev 14:10; Isa 16:19
- Isaiah 52:1 : Rev 21:2; Rev 21:27
- Isaiah 52:5 : Rom 2:24
- Isaiah 52:7 : Nah 1:15; Rom 10:15; Eph 6:15
- Isaiah 52:11 : 2Cor 6:17
- Isaiah 52:15 : Rom 15:21
- Isaiah 53:1 : Rom 10:16; John 12:38
- Isaiah 53:4 : Matt 8:17
- Isaiah 53:5 : 1Pet 2:24
- Isaiah 53:6 : 1Pet 2:25
- Isaiah 53:7 : Rev 5:6; Isa 53:7; Acts 8:32; Acts 8:33
- Isaiah 53:9 : 1Pet 2:22
- Isaiah 53:12 : Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37
Living in the Light
5 Since you are God's dear children, you must try to be like him. 2 (A)Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us and gave his life for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice that pleases God.
3 Since you are God's people, it is not right that any matters of sexual immorality or indecency or greed should even be mentioned among you. 4 Nor is it fitting for you to use language which is obscene, profane, or vulgar. Rather you should give thanks to God. 5 You may be sure that no one who is immoral, indecent, or greedy (for greed is a form of idolatry) will ever receive a share in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Do not let anyone deceive you with foolish words; it is because of these very things that God's anger will come upon those who do not obey him. 7 So have nothing at all to do with such people. 8 You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord's people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light, 9 for it is the light[a] that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness, and truth. 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light. (12 It is really too shameful even to talk about the things they do in secret.) 13 And when all things are brought out to the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed; 14 for anything that is clearly revealed becomes light.[b] That is why it is said,
“Wake up, sleeper,
and rise from death,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 So be careful how you live. Don't live like ignorant people, but like wise people. 16 (B)Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days. 17 Don't be fools, then, but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do.
18 Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 (C)Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts. 20 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father.
Wives and Husbands
21 Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.
22 (D)Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body. 24 And so wives must submit themselves completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.
25 (E)Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26 He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word, after making it clean by washing it in water, 27 in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty—pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection. 28 Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. (29 None of us ever hate our own bodies. Instead, we feed them, and take care of them, just as Christ does the church; 30 for we are members of his body.) 31 (F)As the scripture says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” 32 There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church. 33 But it also applies to you: every husband must love his wife as himself, and every wife must respect her husband.
19 You know how I am insulted,
how I am disgraced and dishonored;
you see all my enemies.
20 Insults have broken my heart,
and I am in despair.
I had hoped for sympathy, but there was none;
for comfort, but I found none.
21 (A)When I was hungry, they gave me poison;
when I was thirsty, they offered me vinegar.
22 (B)May their banquets cause their ruin;
may their sacred feasts cause their downfall.
23 Strike them with blindness!
Make their backs always weak!
24 Pour out your anger on them;
let your indignation overtake them.
25 (C)May their camps be left deserted;
may no one be left alive in their tents.
26 They persecute those whom you have punished;
they talk about the sufferings of those you have wounded.
27 Keep a record of all their sins;
don't let them have any part in your salvation.
28 (D)May their names be erased from the book of the living;
may they not be included in the list of your people.
29 But I am in pain and despair;
lift me up, O God, and save me!
30 I will praise God with a song;
I will proclaim his greatness by giving him thanks.
31 This will please the Lord more than offering him cattle,
more than sacrificing a full-grown bull.
32 When the oppressed see this, they will be glad;
those who worship God will be encouraged.
33 The Lord listens to those in need
and does not forget his people in prison.
34 Praise God, O heaven and earth,
seas and all creatures in them.
35 He will save Jerusalem
and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there and possess the land;
36 the descendants of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love him will live there.
7 Wise sayings are too deep for stupid people to understand. They have nothing to say when important matters are being discussed.