Good News Translation (GNB)
56

God's People will Include All Nations

561The LORD says to his people, “Do what is just and right, for soon I will save you. 2I will bless those who always observe the Sabbath and do not misuse it. I will bless those who do nothing evil.”

3A foreigner who has joined the LORD's people should not say, “The LORD will not let me worship with his people.”

A man who has been castrated should never think that because he cannot have children, he can never be part of God's people. 4The LORD says to such a man, “If you honour me by observing the Sabbath and if you do what pleases me and faithfully keep my covenant, 5then your name will be remembered in my Temple and among my people longer than if you had sons and daughters. You will never be forgotten.”

6And the LORD says to those foreigners who become part of his people, who love him and serve him, who observe the Sabbath and faithfully keep his covenant: 7

56.7:
Mt 21.13
Mk 11.17
Lk 19.46
“I will bring you to Zion, my sacred hill,56.7 sacred hill: See 2.3. give you joy in my house of prayer, and accept the sacrifices you offer on my altar. My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.”

8The Sovereign LORD, who has brought his people Israel home from exile, has promised that he will bring still other people to join them.

Israel's Leaders are Condemned

9The LORD has told the foreign nations to come like wild animals and devour his people. 10He says, “All the leaders, who are supposed to warn my people, are blind! They know nothing. They are like watchdogs that don't bark — they only lie about and dream. How they love to sleep! 11They are like greedy dogs that never get enough. These leaders have no understanding. They each do as they please and seek their own advantage. 12‘Let's get some wine,’ these drunkards say, ‘and drink all we can hold! Tomorrow will be even better than today!’ ”

57

Israel's Idolatry is Condemned

571Good people die, and no one understands or even cares. But when they die, no calamity can hurt them. 2Those who live good lives find peace and rest in death.

3Come here to be judged, you sinners! You are no better than sorcerers, adulterers, and prostitutes. 4Who are you making fun of? Who are you liars jeering at? 5You worship the fertility gods by having sex under those sacred trees of yours. You offer your children as sacrifices in the rocky caves near the bed of a stream. 6You take smooth stones from there and worship them as gods. You pour out wine as offerings to them and bring them grain offerings. Do you think I am pleased with all this? 7You go to the high mountains to offer sacrifices and have sex. 8You set up your obscene idols just inside your front doors. You forsake me; you take off your clothes and climb into your large beds with your lovers, whom you pay to sleep with you. And there you satisfy your lust. 9You put on your perfumes and ointments and go to worship the god Molech. To find gods to worship, you send messengers far and wide, even to the world of the dead. 10You wear yourselves out looking for other gods, but you never give up. You think your obscene idols give you strength, and so you never grow weak.

11The LORD says, “Who are these gods that make you afraid, so that you tell me lies and forget me completely? Have you stopped honouring me because I have kept silent for so long? 12You think that what you do is right, but I will expose your conduct, and your idols will not be able to help you. 13When you cry for help, let those idols of yours save you! A puff of wind will carry them off! But those who trust in me will live in the land and will worship me in my Temple.”

God's Promise of Help and Healing

14The LORD says, “Let my people return to me. Remove every obstacle from their path! Build the road, and make it ready!

15“I am the high and holy God, who lives for ever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope. 16I gave my people life, and I will not continue to accuse them or be angry with them for ever.57.16 I gave my peoplefor ever; or I will not continue to accuse them or be angry with them for ever, for then they would die — the very people to whom I gave life. 17I was angry with them because of their sin and greed, and so I punished them and abandoned them. But they were stubborn and kept on going their own way.

18“I have seen how they acted, but I will heal them. I will lead them and help them, and I will comfort those who mourn. 19

57.19:
Eph 2.17
I offer peace to all, both near and far! I will heal my people. 20But evil people are like the restless sea, whose waves never stop rolling in, bringing filth and muck. 21
57.21:
Is 48.22
There is no safety for sinners,” says the LORD.

58

True Fasting

581The LORD says, “Shout as loud as you can! Tell my people Israel about their sins! 2They worship me every day, claiming that they are eager to know my ways and obey my laws. They say they want me to give them just laws and that they take pleasure in worshipping me.”

3The people ask, “Why should we fast if the LORD never notices? Why should we go without food if he pays no attention?”

The LORD says to them, “The truth is that at the same time as you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers. 4Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers? 5When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass, and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?

6“The kind of fasting I want is this: remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. 7

58.7:
Mt 25.35
Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.

8“Then my favour will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. 9When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond.

“If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; 10if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. 11And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never runs dry. 12Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.”

The Reward for Keeping the Sabbath

13The LORD says, “If you treat the Sabbath as sacred and do not pursue your own interests on that day; if you value my holy day and honour it by not travelling, working, or talking idly on that day, 14then you will find the joy that comes from serving me. I will make you honoured all over the world, and you will enjoy the land I gave to your ancestor, Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken.”