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.”
The people reply,
“Who would have believed what we now report?
Who could have seen the LORD's hand in this?
2It was the will of the LORD that his servant
should 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.
3We 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.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
8He 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.
He was placed in a grave with the wicked,
he was buried with the rich,
even though he had never committed a crime
or ever told a lie.”
10The 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.
11After 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.
And so I will give him a place of honour,
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.”53.12 prayed that they might be forgiven; or suffered the punishment they deserved.