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Isaiah 65-66

Isaiah :Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

65 The Lord Will Punish the Guilty
1 I, the Lord, was ready
answer even those
who were not asking
and to be found by those
who were not searching.
To a nation that refused
to worship me,
p 65.1 refused ... me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I said, “Here I am!”

2 All day long I have reached out
to stubborn and sinful people
going their own way.
3 They keep making me angry
by sneering at me,
while offering sacrifices
to idols in gardens
and burning incense
to them on bricks.
4 They spend their nights
hiding in burial caves;
they eat the meat of pigs,
q 65.4 burial ... pigs: Coming in contact with the dead or eating the meat of pigs made a person unacceptable to God.
cooked in sauces
made of stuff unfit to eat.
5 And then they say to others,
“Don't come near us!
We're dedicated to God.”
Such people are like smoke,
irritating my nose all day.
6 I have written this down;
I won't keep silent.
I'll pay them back
just as their sins deserve.
7 I, the Lord, will make them pay
for their sins
and for those
of their ancestors—
they have disgraced me
by burning incense
on mountains.

8 Here is what the Lord says:
A cluster of grapes
that produces wine
is worth keeping!
So, because of my servants,
I won't destroy everyone.
9 I have chosen the people
of Israel and Judah,
and I will bless them
with many descendants.
They will settle here
in this land of mountains,
and it will be theirs.
10 My people will worship me.
Then the coastlands of Sharon
and the land as far
as Achor Valley
r 65.10 coastlands of Sharon ... Achor Valley: Sharon is the coastal plain on the west, and Achor Valley is in the east near Jericho. These two places stand for the whole country.
will turn into pastureland
where cattle and sheep
will feed and rest.

11 What will I, the Lord, do
if any of you reject me
and my holy mountain?
What will happen to you
for offering food and wine
to the gods you call
“Good Luck” and “Fate”?
12 Your luck will end!
I will see to it
that you
are slaughtered with swords.
You refused to answer
when I called out;
you paid no attention
to my instructions.
Instead, you did what I hated,
knowing it was wrong.

13 I, the Lord God, will give
food and drink
to my servants,
and they will celebrate.
But all of you sinners
will go hungry and thirsty,
overcome with disgrace.
14 My servants will laugh and sing,
but you will be sad
and cry out in pain.
15 I, the Lord God, promise
to see that you are killed
and that my chosen servants use
your names
as curse words.
But I will give new names
s 65.15 new names: The giving of a new name suggests the beginning of a new life.
to my servants.
t 65.15 But I ... servants: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
16 I am God! I can be trusted.
Your past troubles are gone;
I no longer think of them.
When you pray for someone
to receive a blessing,
or when you make a promise,
you must do it in my name.
I alone am the God
who can be trusted.
The Lord's New Creation
17 I am creating new heavens
and a new earth;
everything of the past
will be forgotten.
18 Celebrate and be glad forever!
I am creating a Jerusalem,
full of happy people.
19 I will celebrate with Jerusalem
and all of its people;
there will be no more crying
or sorrow in that city.

20 No child will die in infancy;
everyone will live
to a ripe old age.
Anyone a hundred years old
will be considered young,
and to die younger than that
will be considered a curse.

21 My people will live
in the houses they build;
they will enjoy grapes
from their own vineyards.
22 No one will take away
their homes or vineyards.
My chosen people will live
to be as old as trees,
and they will enjoy
what they have earned.
23 Their work won't be wasted,
and their children won't die
of dreadful diseases.
u 65.23 their children ... diseases: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I will bless their children
and their grandchildren.
24 I will answer their prayers
before they finish praying.

25 Wolves and lambs
will graze together;
lions and oxen
will feed on straw.
Snakes will eat only dirt!
They won't bite
or harm anyone
on my holy mountain.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
True Worship
1 The Lord said:
Heaven is my throne;
the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house
could you build for me?
In what place will I rest?
2 I have made everything;
that's how it all came to be.
v 66.2 that's ... be: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I, the Lord, have spoken.

The people I treasure most
are the humble—
they depend only on me
and tremble when I speak.

3 You sacrifice oxen to me,
and you commit murder;
you sacrifice lambs to me
and dogs to other gods;
you offer grain to me
and pigs' blood to idols;
you burn incense to me
and praise your idols.
w 66.3 You sacrifice oxen ... idols: Or “Sacrificing oxen to me is the same as murder; sacrificing lambs to me is the same as sacrificing dogs to other gods; offering grain to me is the same as offering pigs' blood to idols; and burning incense to me is the same as praising idols.”
You have made your own choice
to do these disgusting things
that you enjoy so much.
4 You refused to answer
when I called out;
you paid no attention
to my instructions.
Instead, you did what I hated,
knowing it was wrong.
Now I will punish
x 66.4 punish: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
in a way you dread the most.
The Lord Will Help Jerusalem
5 If you tremble
when the Lord speaks,
listen to what he says:
“Some of your own people hate
and reject you because of me.
They make fun and say,
‘Let the Lord show his power!
Let us see him
make you truly happy.’
y 66.5 Some ... happy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
But those who say these things
will be terribly ashamed.”

6 Do you hear that noise
in the city and those shouts
coming from the temple?
It is the Lord shouting
as he punishes his enemies.

7 Have you ever heard of a woman
who gave birth to a child
before having labor pains?
8 Who ever heard of such a thing
or imagined it could happen?
Can a nation be born in a day
or come to life in a second?
Jerusalem is like a mother
who gave birth to her children
as soon as she was in labor.
9 The Lord is the one
who makes birth possible.
And he will see that Zion
has many more children.
The Lord has spoken.

10 If you love Jerusalem,
celebrate and shout!
If you were in sorrow
because of the city,
you can now be glad.
11 She will nurse and comfort you,
just like your own mother,
until you are satisfied.
You will fully enjoy
her wonderful glory.

12 The Lord has promised:
“I will flood Jerusalem
with the wealth of nations
and make the city prosper.
Zion will nurse you at her breast,
carry you in her arms,
and hold you in her lap.
13 I will comfort you there
like a mother
comforting her child.”

14 When you see this happen,
you will celebrate;
your strength will return
faster than grass can sprout.
Then everyone will know
that the Lord is present
with his servants,
but he is angry
with his enemies.
15 The Lord will come down
like a whirlwind
with his flaming chariots.
He will be terribly furious
and punish his enemies
with fire.
16 The Lord's fiery sword
will bring justice
everywhere on this earth
and execute many people.
A Threat and a Promise
17 Some of you get yourselves ready and go to a garden to worship a foreign goddess.
z 66.17 Some ... goddess: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
You eat the meat of pigs, lizards, and mice. But I, the Lord, will destroy you for this.
18 I know everything you do and think! The time has now come
a 66.18 I ... come: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
to bring together the people of every language and nation and to show them my glory 19 by proving what I can do.
b 66.19 by ... do: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I will send the survivors to Tarshish, Pul,
c 66.19 Pul: Hebrew; one ancient translation “Put,” a country in Africa, but neither the location of Pul or Put is known for certain.
Lud, Meshech,
d 66.19 Meshech: One ancient translation; Hebrew “those who use bows and arrows.”
Tubal, Javan,
e 66.19 Tarshish ... Javan: Tarshish may have been a Phoenician city in Spain; Put (see note on Pul) and Lud were African people; Meshech and Tubal were regions south or southeast of the Black Sea; the Javan were people of Asia Minor and the Greek islands.
and to the distant islands. I will send them to announce my wonderful glory to nations that have never heard about me.
20 They will bring your relatives from the nations as an offering to me, the Lord. They will come on horses, chariots, wagons, mules, and camels
f 66.20 camels: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain. It will be like the people of Israel bringing the right offering to my temple. 21 I promise that some of them will be priests and others will be helpers in my temple. I, the Lord, have spoken.
22 I also promise that you will always have descendants and will never be forgotten, just as the new heavens and the new earth that I create will last forever. 23 On the first day of each month and on each Sabbath, everyone will worship me. I, the Lord, have spoken.
24 My people will go out and look at the dead bodies of those who turned against me. The worms there never die, the fire never stops burning, and the sight of those bodies will be disgusting to everyone.

© 1999 American Bible Society

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