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.
Jerusalem, you have been like a childless woman,
but now you can sing and shout for joy.
Now you will have more children
than a woman whose husband never left her!
2Make the tent you live in larger;
lengthen its ropes and strengthen the pegs!
3You will extend your boundaries on all sides;
your people will get back the land
that the other nations now occupy.
Cities now deserted will be filled with people.
4Do not be afraid — you will not be disgraced again;
you will not be humiliated.
You will forget your unfaithfulness as a young wife,
and your desperate loneliness as a widow.
5Your Creator will be like a husband to you —
the LORD Almighty is his name.
The holy God of Israel will save you —
he is the ruler of all the world.
6Israel, you are like a young wife,
deserted by her husband and deeply distressed.
But the LORD calls you back to him and says:
7“For one brief moment I left you;
with deep love I will take you back.
8I turned away angry for only a moment,
but I will show you my love for ever.”
So says the LORD who saves you.
“In the time of Noah I promised
never again to flood the earth.
Now I promise not to be angry with you again;
I will not reprimand or punish you.
10The mountains and hills may crumble,
but my love for you will never end;
I will keep for ever my promise of peace.”
So says the LORD who loves you.
The LORD says,
“O Jerusalem, you suffering, helpless city,
with no one to comfort you,
I will rebuild your foundations with precious stones.
12I will build your towers with rubies,
your gates with stones that glow like fire,
and the wall around you with jewels.
“I myself will teach your people,
and give them prosperity and peace.
14Justice and right will make you strong.
You will be safe from oppression and terror.
15Whoever attacks you
does it without my consent;
whoever fights against you will fall.
16“I create the blacksmith,
who builds a fire and forges weapons.
I also create the soldier,
who uses the weapons to kill.
17But no weapon will be able to hurt you;
you will have an answer for all who accuse you.
I will defend my servants
and give them victory.”The LORD has spoken.
The LORD says,
“Come, everyone who is thirsty —
here is water!
Come, you that have no money —
buy corn and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk —
it will cost you nothing!
2Why spend money on what does not satisfy?
Why spend your wages and still be hungry?
Listen to me and do what I say,
and you will enjoy the best food of all.
“Listen now, my people, and come to me;
come to me, and you will have life!
I will make a lasting covenant with you
and give you the blessings I promised to David.
4I made him a leader and commander of nations,
and through him I showed them my power.
5Now you will summon foreign nations;
at one time they did not know you,
but now they will come running to join you!
I, the LORD your God, the holy God of Israel,
will make all this happen;
I will give you honour and glory.”
6Turn to the LORD and pray to him,
now that he is near.
7Let the wicked leave their way of life
and change their way of thinking.
Let them turn to the LORD, our God;
he is merciful and quick to forgive.
8“My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours,
and my ways are different from yours.
9As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.
“My word is like the snow and the rain
that come down from the sky to water the earth.
They make the crops grow
and provide seed for sowing and food to eat.
11So also will be the word that I speak —
it will not fail to do what I plan for it;
it will do everything I send it to do.
12“You will leave Babylon with joy;
you will be led out of the city in peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into singing,
and the trees will shout for joy.
13Cypress trees will grow where now there are briars;
myrtle trees will come up in place of thorns.
This will be a sign that will last for ever,
a reminder of what I, the LORD, have done.”