501The LORD says,
“Do you think I sent my people away
like a man who divorces his wife?
Where, then, are the papers of divorce?
Do you think I sold you into captivity
like a man who sells his children as slaves?
No, you went away captive because of your sins;
you were sent away because of your crimes.
2“Why did my people fail to respond
when I went to them to save them?
Why did they not answer when I called?
Am I too weak to save them?
I can dry up the sea with a command
and turn rivers into a desert,
so that the fish in them die for lack of water.
3I can make the sky turn dark,
as if it were in mourning for the dead.”
4The Sovereign LORD has taught me what to say,
so that I can strengthen the weary.
Every morning he makes me eager
to hear what he is going to teach me.
5The LORD has given me understanding,
and I have not rebelled
or turned away from him.
I bared my back to those who beat me.
I did not stop them when they insulted me,
when they pulled out the hairs of my beard
and spat in my face.
7But their insults cannot hurt me
because the Sovereign LORD gives me help.
I brace myself to endure them.
I know that I will not be disgraced,
for God is near,
and he will prove me innocent.
Does anyone dare to bring charges against me?
Let us go to court together!
Let him bring his accusation!
9The Sovereign LORD himself defends me —
who, then, can prove me guilty?
All my accusers will disappear;
they will vanish like moth-eaten cloth.
10All of you that honour the LORD
and obey the words of his servant,
the path you walk may be dark indeed,
but trust in the LORD, rely on your God.
11All of you that plot to destroy others
will be destroyed by your own plots.
The LORD himself will make this happen;
you will suffer a miserable fate.
511The 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 dug.
2Think 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.
5I 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.
6Look 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 for ever;
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;
8they will vanish like moth-eaten clothing!
But the deliverance I bring will last for ever;
my victory will endure for all time.”
9Wake 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 Rahab51.9 Rahab: A legendary sea monster, which represented the forces of chaos and evil, and was sometimes a symbol of Egypt. to pieces.
10It was you also who dried up the sea
and made a path through the water,
so that those you were saving could cross.
11Those whom you have rescued
will reach Jerusalem with gladness,
singing and shouting for joy.
They will be happy for ever,
for ever free from sorrow and grief.
12The LORD says,
“I am the one who strengthens you.
Why should you fear mortals,
who are no more enduring than grass?
13Have 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.
14Those 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!
16I stretched out51.16 One ancient translation stretched out; Hebrew planted. 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.’ ”
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.
18There is no one to lead you,
no one among your people
to take you by the hand.
19A 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.
20At 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.
21You suffering people of Jerusalem,
you that stagger as though you were drunk,
22the 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.
23I 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.”
Jerusalem, be strong and great again!
Holy city of God, clothe yourself with splendour!
The heathen will never enter your gates again.
2Shake yourself free, Jerusalem!
Rise from the dust and sit on your throne!
Undo the chains that bind you,
captive people of Zion!
3The 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. 4When 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
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. 6In time to come you will acknowledge that I am God and that I have spoken to you.”
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!”
8Those who guard the city are shouting,
shouting together for joy!
They can see with their own eyes
the return of the LORD to Zion!
9Break into shouts of joy,
you ruins of Jerusalem!
The LORD will rescue his city
and comfort his people.
10The LORD will use his holy power;
he will save his people,
and all the world will see it.
Make sure you leave Babylonia,
all you that carry the temple equipment!
Touch no forbidden thing;52.11 forbidden thing: Any object that was considered ritually unclean.
keep yourselves holy and leave.
12This 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.
13The LORD says,
“My servant will succeed in his task;
he will be highly honoured.52.13 he will be highly honoured; or he will be restored to greatness and honour.
14Many people were shocked when they saw him;
he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human.
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.”