6 On your walls, Jerusalem, I have placed sentries;
They must never be silent day or night.
They must remind the Lord of his promises
And never let him forget them.
7 They must give him no rest until he restores Jerusalem
And makes it a city the whole world praises.
8 The Lord has made a solemn promise,
And by his power he will carry it out:
“Your grain will no longer be food for your enemies,
And foreigners will no longer drink your wine.
9 But you that planted and harvested the grain
Will eat the bread and praise the Lord.
You that tended and gathered the grapes
Will drink the wine in the courts of my Temple.”
10 People of Jerusalem, go out of the city
And build a road for your returning people!
Prepare a highway; clear it of stones!
Put up a signal so that the nations can know
11 (A)That the Lord is announcing to all the earth:
“Tell the people of Jerusalem
That the Lord is coming to save you,
Bringing with him the people he has rescued.”
12 You will be called “God's Holy People,”
“The People the Lord Has Saved.”
Jerusalem will be called “The City That God Loves,”
“The City That God Did Not Forsake.”
The Lord's Victory over the Nations
It is the Lord, powerful to save, coming to announce his victory.
2 “Why is his clothing so red, like that of someone who tramples grapes to make wine?”
3 (C)The Lord answers, “I have trampled the nations like grapes, and no one came to help me. I trampled them in my anger, and their blood has stained all my clothing. 4 I decided that the time to save my people had come; it was time to punish their enemies. 5 (D)I was amazed when I looked and saw that there was no one to help me. But my anger made me strong, and I won the victory myself. 6 In my anger I trampled whole nations and shattered them. I poured out their lifeblood on the ground.”
The Lord's Goodness to Israel
7 I will tell of the Lord's unfailing love;
I praise him for all he has done for us.
He has richly blessed the people of Israel
because of his mercy and constant love.
8 The Lord said, “They are my people; they will not deceive me.” And so he saved them 9 from all their suffering. It was not an angel, but the Lord himself who saved them. In his love and compassion he rescued them. He had always taken care of them in the past, 10 but they rebelled against him and made his holy spirit sad. So the Lord became their enemy and fought against them.
11 But then they[b] remembered the past, the days of Moses, the servant of the Lord, and they asked, “Where now is the Lord, who saved the leaders of his people from the sea? Where is the Lord, who gave his spirit to Moses? 12-13 (E)Where is the Lord, who by his power did great things through Moses, dividing the waters of the sea and leading his people through the deep water, to win everlasting fame for himself?”
Led by the Lord, they were as sure-footed as wild horses, and never stumbled. 14 As cattle are led into a fertile valley, so the Lord gave his people rest. He led his people and brought honor to his name.
A Prayer for Mercy and Help
15 Lord, look upon us from heaven, where you live in your holiness and glory. Where is your great concern for us? Where is your power? Where are your love and compassion? Do not ignore us. 16 You are our father. Our ancestors Abraham and Jacob do not acknowledge us, but you, Lord, are our father, the one who has always rescued us. 17 Why do you let us stray from your ways? Why do you make us so stubborn that we turn away from you? Come back, for the sake of those who serve you, for the sake of the people who have always been yours.
18 We, your holy people, were driven out by our enemies for a little while; they trampled down your sanctuary.[c] 19 You treat us as though you had never been our ruler, as though we had never been your people.
64 Why don't you tear the sky open and come down? The mountains would see you and shake with fear. 2 They would tremble like water boiling over a hot fire. Come and reveal your power to your enemies, and make the nations tremble at your presence! 3 There was a time when you came and did terrifying things that we did not expect; the mountains saw you and shook with fear. 4 (F)No one has ever seen or heard of a God like you, who does such deeds for those who put their hope in him. 5 You welcome those who find joy in doing what is right, those who remember how you want them to live. You were angry with us, but we went on sinning; in spite of your great anger we have continued to do wrong since ancient times.[d] 6 All of us have been sinful; even our best actions are filthy through and through. Because of our sins we are like leaves that wither and are blown away by the wind. 7 No one turns to you in prayer; no one goes to you for help. You have hidden yourself from us and have abandoned[e] us because of our sins.
8 But you are our father, Lord. We are like clay, and you are like the potter. You created us, 9 so do not be too angry with us or hold our sins against us forever. We are your people; be merciful to us. 10 Your sacred cities are like a desert; Jerusalem is a deserted ruin, 11 and our Temple, the sacred and beautiful place where our ancestors praised you, has been destroyed by fire. All the places we loved are in ruins. 12 Lord, are you unmoved by all this? Are you going to do nothing and make us suffer more than we can endure?
God's Punishment of the Rebellious
65 (G)The Lord said, “I was ready to answer my people's prayers, but they did not pray. I was ready for them to find me, but they did not even try. The nation did not pray to me, even though I was always ready to answer, ‘Here I am; I will help you.’ 2 (H)I have always been ready to welcome my people, who stubbornly do what is wrong and go their own way. 3 They shamelessly keep on making me angry. They offer pagan sacrifices at sacred gardens[f] and burn incense on pagan altars. 4 At night they go to caves and tombs to consult the spirits of the dead. They eat pork and drink broth made from meat offered in pagan sacrifices. 5 And then they say to others, ‘Keep away from us; we are too holy for you to touch!’ I cannot stand people like that—my anger against them is like a fire that never goes out.
6 “I have already decided on their punishment, and their sentence is written down. I will not overlook what they have done, but will repay them 7 for their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They have burned incense at pagan hill shrines and spoken evil of me. So I will punish them as their past deeds deserve.”
8 The Lord says, “No one destroys good grapes; instead, they make wine with them. Neither will I destroy all my people—I will save those who serve me. 9 I will bless the Israelites who belong to the tribe of Judah, and their descendants will possess my land of mountains. My chosen people, who serve me, will live there. 10 (I)They will worship me and will lead their sheep and cattle to pasture in the Plain of Sharon in the west and in Trouble Valley in the east.
11 “But it will be different for you that forsake me, who ignore Zion, my sacred hill,[g] and worship Gad and Meni, the gods of luck and fate. 12 It will be your fate to die a violent death, because you did not answer when I called you or listen when I spoke. You chose to disobey me and do evil. 13 And so I tell you that those who worship and obey me will have plenty to eat and drink, but you will be hungry and thirsty. They will be happy, but you will be disgraced. 14 They will sing for joy, but you will cry with a broken heart. 15 My chosen people will use your name as a curse. I, the Sovereign Lord, will put you to death. But I will give a new name to those who obey me. 16 Anyone in the land who asks for a blessing will ask to be blessed by the faithful God. Whoever takes an oath will swear by the name of the faithful God. The troubles of the past will be gone and forgotten.”
The New Creation
17 (J)The Lord says, “I am making a new earth and new heavens. The events of the past will be completely forgotten. 18 Be glad and rejoice forever in what I create. The new Jerusalem I make will be full of joy, and her people will be happy. 19 (K)I myself will be filled with joy because of Jerusalem and her people. There will be no weeping there, no calling for help. 20 Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young. To die before that would be a sign that I had punished them. 21-22 People will build houses and get to live in them—they will not be used by someone else. They will plant vineyards and enjoy the wine—it will not be drunk by others. Like trees, my people will live long lives. They will fully enjoy the things that they have worked for. 23 The work they do will be successful, and their children will not meet with disaster. I will bless them and their descendants for all time to come. 24 Even before they finish praying to me, I will answer their prayers. 25 (L)Wolves and lambs will eat together; lions will eat straw, as cattle do, and snakes will no longer be dangerous. On Zion, my sacred hill,[h] there will be nothing harmful or evil.”
- Isaiah 63:1 Some ancient translations marching along; Hebrew bowed down.
- Isaiah 63:11 Probable text they; Hebrew he.
- Isaiah 63:18 Verse 18 in Hebrew is unclear.
- Isaiah 64:5 Probable text in spite of … ancient times; Hebrew unclear.
- Isaiah 64:7 Some ancient translations abandoned; Hebrew melted.
- Isaiah 65:3 See 1.29.
- Isaiah 65:11 See 2.3.
- Isaiah 65:25 See 2.3.
- Isaiah 62:11 : Isa 40:10; Rev 22:12
- Isaiah 63:1 : Isa 34:5-Isa 34:17; Jer 49:7-Jer 49:22; Ezek 25:12-Ezek 25:14; Isa 35:1-Isa 35:15; Amos 1:11; Amos 1:12; Oba 1-14; Mal 1:2-Mal 1:5
- Isaiah 63:3 : Rev 14:20; Isa 19:15; Isa 63:3; Rev 19:13
- Isaiah 63:5 : Isa 59:16
- Isaiah 63:12 : Exod 14:21
- Isaiah 64:4 : 1Cor 2:9
- Isaiah 65:1 : Rom 10:20
- Isaiah 65:2 : Rom 10:21
- Isaiah 65:10 : Josh 7:24-Josh 7:26
- Isaiah 65:17 : Isa 66:22; 2Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1
- Isaiah 65:19 : Rev 21:4
- Isaiah 65:25 : Isa 11:6-Isa 11:9
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 If it is the Lord's will, I hope that I will be able to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be encouraged by news about you. 20 He is the only one who shares my feelings and who really cares about you. 21 Everyone else is concerned only with their own affairs, not with the cause of Jesus Christ. 22 And you yourselves know how he has proved his worth, how he and I, like a son and his father, have worked together for the sake of the gospel. 23 So I hope to send him to you as soon as I know how things are going to turn out for me. 24 And I trust in the Lord that I myself will be able to come to you soon.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you our brother Epaphroditus, who has worked and fought by my side and who has served as your messenger in helping me. 26 He is anxious to see you all and is very upset because you had heard that he was sick. 27 Indeed he was sick and almost died. But God had pity on him, and not only on him but on me, too, and spared me an even greater sorrow. 28 I am all the more eager, then, to send him to you, so that you will be glad again when you see him, and my own sorrow will disappear. 29 Receive him, then, with joy, as a believer in the Lord. Show respect to all such people as he, 30 because he risked his life and nearly died for the sake of the work of Christ, in order to give me the help that you yourselves could not give.
The True Righteousness
3 In conclusion, my friends, be joyful in your union with the Lord. I don't mind repeating what I have written before, and you will be safer if I do so. 2 Watch out for those who do evil things, those dogs, those who insist on cutting the body. 3 It is we, not they, who have received the true circumcision, for we worship God by means of his Spirit and rejoice in our life in union with Christ Jesus. We do not put any trust in external ceremonies.
The Justice of God[a]
73 God is indeed good to Israel,
to those who have pure hearts.
2 But I had nearly lost confidence;
my faith was almost gone
3 because I was jealous of the proud
when I saw that things go well for the wicked.
4 They do not suffer pain;
they are strong and healthy.
5 They do not suffer as other people do;
they do not have the troubles that others have.
6 And so they wear pride like a necklace
and violence like a robe;
7 their hearts pour out evil,[b]
and their minds are busy with wicked schemes.
8 They laugh at other people and speak of evil things;
they are proud and make plans to oppress others.
9 They speak evil of God in heaven
and give arrogant orders to everyone on earth,
10 so that even God's people turn to them
and eagerly believe whatever they say.[c]
11 They say, “God will not know;
the Most High will not find out.”
12 That is what the wicked are like.
They have plenty and are always getting more.
13 Is it for nothing, then, that I have kept myself pure
and have not committed sin?
14 O God, you have made me suffer all day long;
every morning you have punished me.
15 If I had said such things,
I would not be acting as one of your people.
16 I tried to think this problem through,
but it was too difficult for me
17 until I went into your Temple.
Then I understood what will happen to the wicked.
18 You will put them in slippery places
and make them fall to destruction!
19 They are instantly destroyed;
they go down to a horrible end.
20 They are like a dream that goes away in the morning;
when you rouse yourself, O Lord, they disappear.
21 When my thoughts were bitter
and my feelings were hurt,
22 I was as stupid as an animal;
I did not understand you.
23 Yet I always stay close to you,
and you hold me by the hand.
24 You guide me with your instruction
and at the end you will receive me with honor.
25 What else do I have in heaven but you?
Since I have you, what else could I want on earth?
26 My mind and my body may grow weak,
but God is my strength;
he is all I ever need.
27 Those who abandon you will certainly perish;
you will destroy those who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, how wonderful to be near God,
to find protection with the Sovereign Lord
and to proclaim all that he has done!
13 My child, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue, 14 you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you have a bright future.