1 All of you people in faraway places, listen to me. Listen, all you nations far away. Before I was born, the Lord called me to serve him. The Lord named me while I was still in my mother's body. 2 He made my tongue like a sharp sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me like a sharp arrow. He hid me in the holder for his arrows. 3 He told me, "Israel, you are my servant. I will show my glory through you." 4 But I said, "I have worked hard for nothing; I have used all my power, but I did nothing useful. But the Lord will decide what my work is worth; God will decide my reward." 5 The Lord made me in the body of my mother to be his servant, to lead the people of Jacob back to him so that Israel might be gathered to him. The Lord will honor me, and I will get my strength from my God. 6 Now he told me, "You are an important servant to me to bring back the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the people of Israel who are left alive. But, more importantly, I will make you a light for all nations to show people all over the world the way to be saved." 7 The Lord who saves you is the Holy One of Israel. He speaks to the one who is hated by the people, to the servant of rulers. This is what he says: "Kings will see you and stand to honor you; great leaders will bow down before you, because the Lord can be trusted. He is the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." 8 This is what the Lord says: "At the right time I will hear your prayers. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you, and you will be the sign of my agreement with the people. You will bring back the people to the land and give the land that is now ruined back to its owners. 9 You will tell the prisoners, 'Come out of your prison.' You will tell those in darkness, 'Come into the light.' The people will eat beside the roads, and they will find food even on bare hills. 10 They will not be hungry or thirsty. Neither the hot sun nor the desert wind will hurt them. and guide them by springs of water. 11 I will make my mountains into roads, and the roads will be raised up. 12 Look, people are coming to me from far away, from the north and from the west, from Aswan in southern Egypt." 13 Heavens and earth, be happy. Mountains, shout with joy, because the Lord comforts his people and will have pity on those who suffer. 14 But Jerusalem said, "The Lord has left me; the Lord has forgotten me." 15 The Lord answers, "Can a woman forget the baby she nurses? Can she feel no kindness for the child to which she gave birth? Even if she could forget her children, I will not forget you. 16 See, I have written your name on my hand. Jerusalem, I always think about your walls. 17 Your children will soon return to you, and the people who defeated you and destroyed you will leave. 18 Look up and look around you. All your children are gathering to return to you." The Lord says, "As surely as I live, your children will be like jewels that a bride wears proudly. 19 "You were destroyed and defeated, and your land was made useless. But now you will have more people than the land can hold, and those people who destroyed you will be far away. 20 Children were born to you while you were sad, but they will say to you, 'This place is too small for us. Give us a bigger place to live.' 21 Then you will say to yourself, 'Who gave me all these children? I was sad and lonely, defeated and separated from my people. So who reared these children? I was left all alone. Where did all these children come from?'" 22 This is what the Lord God says: "See, I will lift my hand to signal the nations; I will raise my banner for all the people to see. Then they will bring your sons back to you in their arms, and they will carry your daughters on their shoulders. 23 Kings will teach your children, and daughters of kings will take care of them. They will bow down before you and kiss the dirt at your feet. Then you will know I am the Lord. Anyone who trusts in me will not be disappointed." 24 Can the wealth a soldier wins in war be taken away from him? Can a prisoner be freed from a powerful soldier? 25 This is what the Lord says: "The prisoners will be taken from the strong soldiers. What the soldiers have taken will be saved. I will fight your enemies, and I will save your children. 26 I will force those who trouble you to eat their own flesh. Their own blood will be the wine that makes them drunk. Then everyone will know I, the Lord, am the One who saves you; I am the Powerful One of Jacob who saves you."
1 This is what the Lord says: "People of Israel, you say I divorced your mother. Then where is the paper that proves it? Or do you think I sold you to pay a debt? Because of the evil things you did, I sold you. Because of the times she turned against me, your mother was sent away. 2 I came home and found no one there; I called, but no one answered. Do you think I am not able to save you? Do I not have the power to save you? Look, I need only to shout and the sea becomes dry. I change rivers into a desert, and their fish rot because there is no water; they die of thirst. 3 I can make the skies dark; I can make them black like clothes of sadness." 4 The Lord God gave me the ability to teach so that I know what to say to make the weak strong. Every morning he wakes me. He teaches me to listen like a student. 5 The Lord God helps me learn, and I have not turned against him nor stopped following him. 6 I offered my back to those who beat me. I offered my cheeks to those who pulled my beard. I won't hide my face from them when they make fun of me and spit at me. 7 The Lord God helps me, so I will not be ashamed. I will be determined, and I know I will not be disgraced. 8 He shows that I am innocent, and he is close to me. So who can accuse me? If there is someone, let us go to court together. If someone wants to prove I have done wrong, he should come and tell me. 9 Look! It is the Lord God who helps me. So who can prove me guilty? Look! All those who try will become useless like old clothes; moths will eat them. 10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? That person may walk in the dark and have no light. and depend on his God. 11 But instead, some of you want to light your own fires and make your own light. So, go, walk in the light of your fires, and trust your own light to guide you. But this is what you will receive from me: You will lie down in a place of pain.
1 The Lord says, "Listen to me, those of you who try to live right and follow the Lord. Look at the rock from which you were cut; look at the stone quarry from which you were dug. 2 Look at Abraham, your ancestor, and Sarah, who gave birth to your ancestors. Abraham had no children when I called him, but I blessed him and gave him many descendants. 3 So the Lord will comfort Jerusalem; he will show mercy to those who live in her ruins. He will change her deserts into a garden like Eden; he will make her empty lands like the garden of the Lord. People there will be very happy; they will give thanks and sing songs. 4 "My people, listen to me; my nation, pay attention to me. I will give the people my teachings, and my decisions will be like a light to all people. 5 I will soon show that I do what is right. I will soon save you. I will use my power and judge all nations. All the faraway places are waiting for me; they wait for my power to help them. 6 Look up to the heavens. Look around you at the earth below. The skies will disappear like clouds of smoke. The earth will become useless like old clothes, and its people will die like flies. But my salvation will continue forever, and my goodness will never end. 7 "You people who know what is right should listen to me; you people who follow my teachings should hear what I say. Don't be afraid of the evil things people say, and don't be upset by their insults. 8 Moths will eat those people as if they were clothes, and worms will eat them as if they were wool. But my goodness will continue forever, and my salvation will continue from now on." 9 Wake up, wake up, and use your strength, powerful Lord. Wake up as you did in the old times, as you did a long time ago. With your own power, you cut Rahab into pieces and killed that sea monster. 10 You dried up the sea and the waters of the deep ocean. You made the deepest parts of the sea into a road for your people to cross over and be saved. 11 The people the Lord has freed will return and enter Jerusalem with joy. Their happiness will last forever. They will have joy and gladness, and all sadness and sorrow will be gone far away. 12 The Lord says, "I am the one who comforts you. So why should you be afraid of people, who die? Why should you fear people who die like the grass? 13 Have you forgotten the Lord who made you, who stretched out the skies and made the earth? Why are you always afraid of those angry people who trouble you and who want to destroy? But where are those angry people now? 14 People in prison will soon be set free; they will not die in prison, and they will have enough food. 15 I am the Lord your God, who stirs the sea and makes the waves roar. My name is the Lord All-Powerful. 16 I will give you the words I want you to say. I will cover you with my hands and protect you. I made the heavens and the earth, and I say to Jerusalem, 'You are my people.'" 17 Awake! Awake! Get up, Jerusalem. The Lord was very angry with you; your punishment was like wine in a cup. The Lord made you drink that wine; you drank the whole cup until you stumbled. 18 Jerusalem had many people, but there was not one to lead her. Of all the people who grew up there, no one was there to guide her. 19 Troubles came to you two by two, but no one will feel sorry for you. There was ruin and disaster, great hunger and fighting. No one can comfort you. 20 Your people have become weak. They fall down and lie on every street corner, like animals caught in a net. and have heard God's angry shout. 21 So listen to me, poor Jerusalem, you who are drunk but not from wine. 22 Your God will defend his people. "The punishment I gave you is like a cup of wine. You drank it and could not walk straight. But I am taking that cup of my anger away from you, and you will never be punished by my anger again. 23 I will now give that cup of punishment to those who gave you pain, who told you, 'Bow down so we can walk over you.' They made your back like dirt for them to walk on; you were like a street for them to travel on."
1 Wake up, wake up, Jerusalem! Become strong! Be beautiful again, holy city of Jerusalem. will not enter you again. 2 Jerusalem, you once were a prisoner. Now shake off the dust and stand up. Jerusalem, you once were a prisoner. Now free yourself from the chains around your neck. 3 This is what the Lord says: "You were not sold for a price, so you will be saved without cost." 4 This is what the Lord God says: "First my people went down to Egypt to live. Later Assyria made them slaves. 5 "Now see what has happened," says the Lord. "Another nation has taken away my people for nothing. This nation who rules them makes fun of me," says the Lord. "All day long they speak against me. 6 This has happened so my people will know who I am, and so, on that future day, they will know that I am the one speaking to them. It will really be me." 7 How beautiful is the person who comes over the mountains to bring good news, who announces peace and brings good news, who announces salvation and says to Jerusalem, "Your God is King." 8 Listen! Your guards are shouting. They are all shouting for joy! They all will see with their own eyes when the Lord returns to Jerusalem. 9 Jerusalem, your buildings are destroyed now, but shout and rejoice together, because the Lord has comforted his people. He has saved Jerusalem. 10 The Lord will show his holy power to all the nations. Then everyone on earth will see the salvation of our God. 11 You people, leave, leave; get out of Babylon! Touch nothing that is unclean. You men who carry the Lord's things used in worship, leave there and make yourselves pure. 12 You will not be forced to leave Babylon quickly; you will not be forced to run away, because the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will guard you from behind. 13 The Lord says, "See, my servant will act wisely. People will greatly honor and respect him. 14 Many people were shocked when they saw him. His appearance was so changed he did not look like a man; his form was changed so much they could barely tell he was human. 15 But now he will surprise many nations. Kings will be amazed and shut their mouths. They will see things they had not been told about him, and they will understand things they had not heard."
1 Who would have believed what we heard? Who saw the Lord's power in this? 2 He grew up like a small plant before the Lord, like a root growing in a dry land. He had no special beauty or form to make us notice him; there was nothing in his appearance to make us desire him. 3 He was hated and rejected by people. He had much pain and suffering. People would not even look at him. He was hated, and we didn't even notice him. 4 But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us. We saw his suffering and thought God was punishing him. 5 But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds. 6 We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. for all the evil we have done. 7 He was beaten down and punished, but he didn't say a word. He was like a lamb being led to be killed. He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet while its wool is being cut; he never opened his mouth. 8 Men took him away roughly and unfairly. He died without children to continue his family. He was put to death; he was punished for the sins of my people. 9 He was buried with wicked men, and he died with the rich. He had done nothing wrong, and he had never lied. 10 But it was the Lord who decided to crush him and make him suffer. The Lord made his life a penalty offering, but he will still see his descendants and live a long life. He will complete the things the Lord wants him to do. 11 "After his soul suffers many things, he will see life and be satisfied. My good servant will make many people right with God; he will carry away their sins. 12 For this reason I will make him a great man among people, and he will share in all things with those who are strong. He willingly gave his life and was treated like a criminal. But he carried away the sins of many people and asked forgiveness for those who sinned."