Isaiah 43; Isaiah 44; Isaiah 45; Isaiah 46; Isaiah 47; Isaiah 48; Isaiah 49; Isaiah 50; Isaiah 51; Isaiah 52; Isaiah 53; Isaiah 54; Isaiah 55

1 Israel, the Lord who created you says, "Do not be afraid - I will save you. I have called you by name - you are mine. 2 When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you. I will give up Egypt to set you free; I will give up Ethiopia and Seba. 4 I will give up whole nations to save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor. 5 Do not be afraid - I am with you! "From the distant east and the farthest west I will bring your people home. 6 I will tell the north to let them go and the south not to hold them back. Let my people return from distant lands, from every part of the world. 7 They are my own people, and I created them to bring me glory." 8 God says, "Summon my people to court. They have eyes, but they are blind; they have ears, but they are deaf! 9 Summon the nations to come to the trial. Which of their gods can predict the future? Which of them foretold what is happening now? Let these gods bring in their witnesses to prove that they are right, to testify to the truth of their words. 10 "People of Israel, you are my witnesses; I chose you to be my servant, so that you would know me and believe in me and understand that I am the only God. Besides me there is no other god; there never was and never will be. 11 "I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you. 12 I predicted what would happen, and then I came to your aid. No foreign god has ever done this; you are my witnesses. 13 I am God and always will be. No one can escape from my power; no one can change what I do." 14 Israel's holy God, the Lord who saves you, says, "To save you, I will send an army against Babylon; I will break down the city gates, and the shouts of her people will turn into crying. 15 I am the Lord, your holy God. I created you, Israel, and I am your king." 16 Long ago the Lord made a road through the sea, a path through the swirling waters. 17 He led a mighty army to destruction, an army of chariots and horses. Down they fell, never to rise, snuffed out like the flame of a lamp! 18 But the Lord says, "Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. 19 Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already - you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there. 20 Even the wild animals will honor me; jackals and ostriches will praise me when I make rivers flow in the desert to give water to my chosen people. 21 They are the people I made for myself, and they will sing my praises!" 22 The Lord says, "But you were tired of me, Israel; you did not worship me. 23 You did not bring me your burnt offerings of sheep; you did not honor me with your sacrifices. I did not burden you by demanding offerings or wear you out by asking for incense. 24 You didn't buy incense for me or satisfy me with the fat of your animals. Instead you burdened me with your sins; you wore me out with the wrongs you have committed. 25 And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you. 26 "Let us go to court; bring your accusation! Present your case to prove you are in the right! 27 Your earliest ancestor sinned; your leaders sinned against me, 28 and your rulers profaned my sanctuary. So I brought destruction on Israel; I let my own people be insulted."
1 The Lord says, "Listen now, Israel, my servant, my chosen people, the descendants of Jacob. 2 I am the Lord who created you; from the time you were born, I have helped you. Do not be afraid; you are my servant, my chosen people whom I love. 3 "I will give water to the thirsty land and make streams flow on the dry ground. I will pour out my spirit on your children and my blessing on your descendants. 4 They will thrive like well-watered grass, like willows by streams of running water. 5 "One by one, people will say, "I am the Lord's.' They will come to join the people of Israel. They each will mark the name of the Lord on their arms and call themselves one of God's people." 6 The Lord, who rules and protects Israel, the Lord Almighty, has this to say: "I am the first, the last, the only God; there is no other god but me. 7 Could anyone else have done what I did? Who could have predicted all that would happen from the very beginning to the end of time? 8 Do not be afraid, my people! You know that from ancient times until now I have predicted all that would happen, and you are my witnesses. Is there any other god? Is there some powerful god I never heard of?" 9 All those who make idols are worthless, and the gods they prize so highly are useless. Those who worship these gods are blind and ignorant - and they will be disgraced. 10 It does no good to make a metal image to worship as a god! 11 Everyone who worships it will be humiliated. The people who make idols are human beings and nothing more. Let them come and stand trial - they will be terrified and will suffer disgrace. 12 The metalworker takes a piece of metal and works with it over a fire. His strong arm swings a hammer to pound the metal into shape. As he works, he gets hungry, thirsty, and tired. 13 The carpenter measures the wood. He outlines a figure with chalk, carves it out with his tools, and makes it in the form of a man, a handsome human figure, to be placed in his house. 14 He might cut down cedars to use, or choose oak or cypress wood from the forest. Or he might plant a laurel tree and wait for the rain to make it grow. 15 A person uses part of a tree for fuel and part of it for making an idol. With one part he builds a fire to warm himself and bake bread; with the other part he makes a god and worships it. 16 With some of the wood he makes a fire; he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He warms himself and says, "How nice and warm! What a beautiful fire!" 17 The rest of the wood he makes into an idol, and then he bows down and worships it. He prays to it and says, "You are my god - save me!" 18 Such people are too stupid to know what they are doing. They close their eyes and their minds to the truth. 19 The maker of idols hasn't the wit or the sense to say, "Some of the wood I burned up. I baked some bread on the coals, and I roasted meat and ate it. And the rest of the wood I made into an idol. Here I am bowing down to a block of wood!" 20 It makes as much sense as eating ashes. His foolish ideas have so misled him that he is beyond help. He won't admit to himself that the idol he holds in his hand is not a god at all. 21 The Lord says, "Israel, remember this; remember that you are my servant. I created you to be my servant, and I will never forget you. 22 I have swept your sins away like a cloud. Come back to me; I am the one who saves you." 23 Shout for joy, you heavens! Shout, deep places of the earth! Shout for joy, mountains, and every tree of the forest! The Lord has shown his greatness by saving his people Israel. 24 "I am the Lord, your savior; I am the one who created you. I am the Lord, the Creator of all things. I alone stretched out the heavens; when I made the earth, no one helped me. 25 I make fools of fortunetellers and frustrate the predictions of astrologers. The words of the wise I refute and show that their wisdom is foolishness. 26 But when my servant makes a prediction, when I send a messenger to reveal my plans, I make those plans and predictions come true. I tell Jerusalem that people will live there again, and the cities of Judah that they will be rebuilt. Those cities will rise from the ruins. 27 With a word of command I dry up the ocean. 28 I say to Cyrus, "You are the one who will rule for me; you will do what I want you to do: you will order that Jerusalem be rebuilt and that the foundations of the Temple be laid.' "
1 The Lord has chosen Cyrus to be king. He has appointed him to conquer nations; he sends him to strip kings of their power; the Lord will open the gates of cities for him. To Cyrus the Lord says, 2 "I myself will prepare your way, leveling mountains and hills. I will break down bronze gates and smash their iron bars. 3 I will give you treasures from dark, secret places; then you will know that I am the Lord and that the God of Israel has called you by name. 4 I appoint you to help my servant Israel, the people that I have chosen. I have given you great honor, although you do not know me. 5 "I am the Lord; there is no other god. I will give you the strength you need, although you do not know me. 6 I do this so that everyone from one end of the world to the other may know that I am the Lord and that there is no other god. 7 I create both light and darkness; I bring both blessing and disaster. I, the Lord, do all these things. 8 I will send victory from the sky like rain; the earth will open to receive it and will blossom with freedom and justice. I, the Lord, will make this happen." 9 Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker, a pot that is like all the others? Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing? Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill? 10 Do we dare say to our parents, "Why did you make me like this?" 11 The Lord, the holy God of Israel, the one who shapes the future, says: "You have no right to question me about my children or to tell me what I ought to do! 12 I am the one who made the earth and created human beings to live there. By my power I stretched out the heavens; I control the sun, the moon, and the stars. 13 I myself have stirred Cyrus to action to fulfill my purpose and put things right. I will straighten out every road that he travels. He will rebuild my city, Jerusalem, and set my captive people free. No one has hired him or bribed him to do this." The Lord Almighty has spoken. 14 The Lord says to Israel, "The wealth of Egypt and Ethiopia will be yours, and the tall men of Seba will be your slaves; they will follow you in chains. They will bow down to you and confess, "God is with you - he alone is God. 15 The God of Israel, who saves his people, is a God who conceals himself. 16 Those who make idols will all be ashamed; all of them will be disgraced. 17 But Israel is saved by the Lord, and her victory lasts forever; her people will never be disgraced.' " 18 The Lord created the heavens - he is the one who is God! He formed and made the earth - he made it firm and lasting. He did not make it a desolate waste, but a place for people to live. It is he who says, "I am the Lord, and there is no other god. 19 I have not spoken in secret or kept my purpose hidden. I did not require the people of Israel to look for me in a desolate waste. I am the Lord, and I speak the truth; I make known what is right." 20 The Lord says, "Come together, people of the nations, all who survive the fall of the empire; present yourselves for the trial! The people who parade with their idols of wood and pray to gods that cannot save them - those people know nothing at all! 21 Come and present your case in court; let the defendants consult one another. Who predicted long ago what would happen? Was it not I, the Lord, the God who saves his people? There is no other god. 22 "Turn to me now and be saved, people all over the world! I am the only God there is. 23 My promise is true, and it will not be changed. I solemnly promise by all that I am: Everyone will come and kneel before me and vow to be loyal to me. 24 "They will say that only through me are victory and strength to be found; but all who hate me will suffer disgrace. 25 I, the Lord, will rescue all the descendants of Jacob, and they will give me praise.
1 "This is the end for Babylon's gods! Bel and Nebo once were worshiped, but now they are loaded on donkeys, a burden for the backs of tired animals. 2 The idols cannot save themselves; they are captured and carried away. This is the end for Babylon's gods! 3 "Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all who are left of my people. I have cared for you from the time you were born. 4 I am your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is gray. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you. 5 "To whom will you compare me?" says the Lord. "Is there anyone else like me? 6 People open their purses and pour out gold; they weigh out silver on the scales. They hire a goldsmith to make a god; then they bow down and worship it. 7 They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they put it in place, and there it stands, unable to move from where it is. If any pray to it, it cannot answer or save them from disaster. 8 "Remember this, you sinners; consider what I have done. 9 Remember what happened long ago; acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me. 10 From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. I said that my plans would never fail, that I would do everything I intended to do. 11 I am calling a man to come from the east; he will swoop down like a hawk and accomplish what I have planned. I have spoken, and it will be done. 12 "Listen to me, you stubborn people who think that victory is far away. 13 I am bringing the day of victory near - it is not far away at all. My triumph will not be delayed. I will save Jerusalem and bring honor to Israel there."
1 The Lord says, "Babylon, come down from your throne, and sit in the dust on the ground. You were once like a virgin, a city unconquered, but you are soft and delicate no longer! You are now a slave! 2 Turn the millstone! Grind the flour! Off with your veil! Strip off your fine clothes! Lift up your skirts to cross the streams! 3 People will see you naked; they will see you humbled and shamed. I will take vengeance, and no one will stop me." 4 The holy God of Israel sets us free - his name is the Lord Almighty. 5 The Lord says to Babylon, "Sit in silence and darkness; no more will they call you the queen of nations! 6 I was angry with my people; I treated them as no longer mine: I put them in your power, and you showed them no mercy; even the aged you treated harshly. 7 You thought you would always be a queen, and did not take these things to heart or think how it all would end. 8 "Listen to this, you lover of pleasure, you that think you are safe and secure. You claim you are as great as God - that there is no one else like you. You thought that you would never be a widow or suffer the loss of your children. 9 But in a moment, in a single day, both of these things will happen. In spite of all the magic you use, you will lose your husband and children. 10 "You felt sure of yourself in your evil; you thought that no one could see you. Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray, and you said to yourself, "I am God - there is no one else like me.' 11 Disaster will come upon you, and none of your magic can stop it. Ruin will come on you suddenly - ruin you never dreamed of! 12 Keep all your magic spells and charms; you have used them since you were young. Perhaps they will be of some help to you; perhaps you can frighten your enemies. 13 You are powerless in spite of the advice you get. Let your astrologers come forward and save you - those people who study the stars, who map out the zones of the heavens and tell you from month to month what is going to happen to you. 14 "They will be like bits of straw, and a fire will burn them up! They will not even be able to save themselves - the flames will be too hot for them, not a cozy fire to warm themselves by. 15 That is all the good they will do you - those astrologers you've consulted all your life. They all will leave you and go their own way, and none will be left to save you."
1 Listen to this, people of Israel, you that are descended from Judah: You swear by the name of the Lord and claim to worship the God of Israel - but you don't mean a word you say. 2 And yet you are proud to say that you are citizens of the holy city and that you depend on Israel's God, whose name is the Lord Almighty. 3 The Lord says to Israel, "Long ago I predicted what would take place; then suddenly I made it happen. 4 I knew that you would prove to be stubborn, as rigid as iron and unyielding as bronze. 5 And so I predicted your future long ago, announcing events before they took place, to keep you from claiming that your idols and images made them happen. 6 "All I foretold has now taken place; you have to admit my predictions were right. Now I will tell you of new things to come, events that I did not reveal before. 7 Only now am I making them happen; nothing like this took place in the past. If it had, you would claim that you knew all about it. 8 I knew that you couldn't be trusted, that you have always been known as a rebel. That is why you never heard of this at all, why no word of it ever came to your ears. 9 "In order that people will praise my name, I am holding my anger in check; I am keeping it back and will not destroy you. 10 I have tested you in the fire of suffering, as silver is refined in a furnace. But I have found that you are worthless. 11 What I do is done for my own sake - I will not let my name be dishonored or let anyone else share the glory that should be mine and mine alone." 12 The Lord says, "Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called! I am God, the first, the last, the only God! 13 My hands made the earth's foundations and spread the heavens out. When I summon earth and sky, they come at once and present themselves. 14 "Assemble and listen, all of you! None of the gods could predict that the man I have chosen would attack Babylon; he will do what I want him to do. 15 I am the one who spoke and called him; I led him out and gave him success. 16 "Now come close to me and hear what I say. From the beginning I have spoken openly and have always made my words come true." (Now the Sovereign Lord has given me his power and sent me.) 17 The holy God of Israel, the Lord who saves you, says: "I am the Lord your God, the one who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go. 18 "If only you had listened to my commands! Then blessings would have flowed for you like a stream that never goes dry. Victory would have come to you like the waves that roll on the shore. 19 Your descendants would be as numerous as grains of sand, and I would have made sure they were never destroyed." 20 Go out from Babylon, go free! Shout the news gladly; make it known everywhere: "The Lord has saved his servant Israel!" 21 When the Lord led his people through a hot, dry desert, they did not suffer from thirst. He made water come from a rock for them; he split the rock open, and water flowed out. 22 "There is no safety for sinners," says the Lord.
1 Listen to me, distant nations, you people who live far away! Before I was born, the Lord chose me and appointed me to be his servant. 2 He made my words as sharp as a sword. With his own hand he protected me. He made me like an arrow, sharp and ready for use. 3 He said to me, "Israel, you are my servant; because of you, people will praise me." 4 I said, "I have worked, but how hopeless it is! I have used up my strength, but have accomplished nothing." Yet I can trust the Lord to defend my cause; he will reward me for what I do. 5 Before I was born, the Lord appointed me; he made me his servant to bring back his people, to bring back the scattered people of Israel. The Lord gives me honor; he is the source of my strength. 6 The Lord said to me, "I have a greater task for you, my servant. Not only will you restore to greatness the people of Israel who have survived, but I will also make you a light to the nations - so that all the world may be saved." 7 Israel's holy God and savior says to the one who is deeply despised, who is hated by the nations and is the servant of rulers: "Kings will see you released and will rise to show their respect; princes also will see it, and they will bow low to honor you." This will happen because the Lord has chosen his servant; the holy God of Israel keeps his promises. 8 The Lord says to his people, "When the time comes to save you, I will show you favor and answer your cries for help. I will guard and protect you and through you make a covenant with all peoples. I will let you settle once again in your land that is now laid waste. 9 I will say to the prisoners, "Go free!' and to those who are in darkness, "Come out to the light!' They will be like sheep that graze on the hills; 10 they will never be hungry or thirsty. Sun and desert heat will not hurt them, for they will be led by one who loves them. He will lead them to springs of water. 11 "I will make a highway across the mountains and prepare a road for my people to travel. 12 My people will come from far away, from the north and the west, and from Aswan in the south." 13 Sing, heavens! Shout for joy, earth! Let the mountains burst into song! The Lord will comfort his people; he will have pity on his suffering people. 14 But the people of Jerusalem said, "The Lord has abandoned us! He has forgotten us." 15 So the Lord answers, "Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you. 16 Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands. 17 "Those who will rebuild you are coming soon, and those who destroyed you will leave. 18 Look around and see what is happening! Your people are assembling - they are coming home! As surely as I am the living God, you will be proud of your people, as proud as a bride is of her jewels. 19 "Your country was ruined and desolate - but now it will be too small for those who are coming to live there. And those who left you in ruins will be far removed from you. 20 Your people who were born in exile will one day say to you, "This land is too small - we need more room to live in!' 21 Then you will say to yourself, "Who bore all these children for me? I lost my children and could have no more. I was exiled and driven away - who brought these children up? I was left all alone - where did these children come from?' " 22 The Sovereign Lord says to his people: "I will signal to the nations, and they will bring your children home. 23 Kings will be like fathers to you; queens will be like mothers. They will bow low before you and honor you; they will humbly show their respect for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord; no one who waits for my help will be disappointed." 24 Can you take away a soldier's loot? Can you rescue the prisoners of a tyrant? 25 The Lord replies, "That is just what is going to happen. The soldier's prisoners will be taken away, and the tyrant's loot will be seized. I will fight against whoever fights you, and I will rescue your children. 26 I will make your oppressors kill each other; they will be drunk with murder and rage. Then all people will know that I am the Lord, the one who saves you and sets you free. They will know that I am Israel's powerful God."
1 The 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. 3 I can make the sky turn dark, as if it were in mourning for the dead." 4 The 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. 5 The Lord has given me understanding, and I have not rebelled or turned away from him. 6 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 spit in my face. 7 But 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, 8 for God is near, and he will prove me innocent. Does anyone dare bring charges against me? Let us go to court together! Let him bring his accusation! 9 The Sovereign Lord himself defends me - who, then, can prove me guilty? All my accusers will disappear; they will vanish like moth-eaten cloth. 10 All of you that honor 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. 11 All 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.
1 The 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 cut. 2 Think 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. 5 I 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. 6 Look 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 forever; 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; 8 they will vanish like moth-eaten clothing! But the deliverance I bring will last forever; my victory will endure for all time." 9 Wake 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 Rahab to pieces. 10 It was you also who dried up the sea and made a path through the water, so that those you were saving could cross. 11 Those whom you have rescued will reach Jerusalem with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief. 12 The Lord says, "I am the one who strengthens you. Why should you fear mortals, who are no more enduring than grass? 13 Have 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. 14 Those 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! 16 I stretched out 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.' " 17 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. 18 There is no one to lead you, no one among your people to take you by the hand. 19 A 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. 20 At 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. 21 You suffering people of Jerusalem, you that stagger as though you were drunk, 22 the 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. 23 I 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."
1 Jerusalem, be strong and great again! Holy city of God, clothe yourself with splendor! The heathen will never enter your gates again. 2 Shake yourself free, Jerusalem! Rise from the dust and sit on your throne! Undo the chains that bind you, captive people of Zion! 3 The 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. 4 When 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. 6 In time to come you will acknowledge that I am God and that I have spoken to you." 7 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!" 8 Those who guard the city are shouting, shouting together for joy. They can see with their own eyes the return of the Lord to Zion. 9 Break into shouts of joy, you ruins of Jerusalem! The Lord will rescue his city and comfort his people. 10 The Lord will use his holy power; he will save his people, and all the world will see it. 11 Be sure to leave Babylonia, all you that carry the Temple equipment. Touch no forbidden thing; keep yourselves holy and leave. 12 This 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. 13 The Lord says, "My servant will succeed in his task; he will be highly honored. 14 Many people were shocked when they saw him; he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human. 15 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."
1 The people reply, "Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the Lord's hand in this? 2 It was the will of the Lord that his servant 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. 3 We 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. 4 "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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 "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. 8 He 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. 9 He was placed in a grave with those who are evil, he was buried with the rich, even though he had never committed a crime or ever told a lie." 10 The 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. 11 After 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. 12 And so I will give him a place of honor, 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."
1 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. 2 Make the tent you live in larger; lengthen its ropes and strengthen the pegs! 3 You 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. 4 Do 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. 5 Your 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. 6 Israel, 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. 8 I turned away angry for only a moment, but I will show you my love forever." So says the Lord who saves you. 9 "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. 10 The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace." So says the Lord who loves you. 11 The Lord says, "O Jerusalem, you suffering, helpless city, with no one to comfort you, I will rebuild your foundations with precious stones. 12 I will build your towers with rubies, your gates with stones that glow like fire, and the wall around you with jewels. 13 "I myself will teach your people and give them prosperity and peace. 14 Justice and right will make you strong. You will be safe from oppression and terror. 15 Whoever 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. 17 But 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.
1 The Lord says, "Come, everyone who is thirsty - here is water! Come, you that have no money - buy grain and eat! Come! Buy wine and milk - it will cost you nothing! 2 Why 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. 3 "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. 4 I made him a leader and commander of nations, and through him I showed them my power. 5 Now 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 honor and glory." 6 Turn to the Lord and pray to him, now that he is near. 7 Let 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. 9 As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours. 10 "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 planting and food to eat. 11 So 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. 13 Cypress trees will grow where now there are briers; myrtle trees will come up in place of thorns. This will be a sign that will last forever, a reminder of what I, the Lord, have done."