August 11

Isaiah 49:1 — 51:23

49 Listen to me, O YOU islands, and pay attention, YOU national groups far away. Jehovah himself has called me even from the belly. From the inward parts of my mother he has made mention of my name. 2 And he proceeded to make my mouth like a sharp sword. In the shadow of his hand he has hidden me. And he gradually made me a polished arrow. He concealed me in his own quiver. 3 And he went on to say to me: “You are my servant, O Israel, you the one in whom I shall show my beauty.”

4 But as for me, I said: “It is for nothing that I have toiled. For unreality and vanity I have used up my own power. Truly my judgment is with Jehovah, and my wages with my God.” 5 And now Jehovah, the One forming me from the belly as a servant belonging to him, has said [for me] to bring back Jacob to him, in order that to him Israel itself may be gathered. And I shall be glorified in the eyes of Jehovah, and my own God will have become my strength. 6 And he proceeded to say: “It has been more than a trivial matter for you to become my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back even the safeguarded ones of Israel; I also have given you for a light of the nations, that my salvation may come to be to the extremity of the earth.”

7 This is what Jehovah, the Repurchaser of Israel, his Holy One, has said to him that is despised in soul, to him that is detested by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings themselves will see and certainly rise up, [and] princes, and they will bow down, by reason of Jehovah, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who chooses you.”

8 This is what Jehovah has said: “In a time of goodwill I have answered you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you; and I kept safeguarding you that I might give you as a covenant for the people, to rehabilitate the land, to bring about the repossessing of the desolated hereditary possessions, 9 to say to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’ to those who are in the darkness, ‘Reveal yourselves!’ By the ways they will pasture, and on all beaten paths their pasturing will be. 10 They will not go hungry, neither will they go thirsty, nor will parching heat or sun strike them. For the One who is having pity upon them will lead them, and by the springs of water he will conduct them. 11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways themselves will be on an elevation. 12 Look! These will come even from far away, and, look! these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.”

13 Give a glad cry, YOU heavens, and be joyful, you earth. Let the mountains become cheerful with a glad outcry. For Jehovah has comforted his people, and he shows pity upon his own afflicted ones.

14 But Zion kept saying: “Jehovah has left me, and Jehovah himself has forgotten me.” 15 Can a wife forget her suckling so that she should not pity the son of her belly? Even these women can forget, yet I myself shall not forget you. 16 Look! Upon [my] palms I have engraved you. Your walls are in front of me constantly. 17 Your sons have hurried up. The very ones tearing you down and devastating you will go forth even from you. 18 Raise your eyes all around and see. They have all of them been collected together. They have come to you. “As I am living,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “with all of them you will clothe yourself just as with ornaments, and you will bind them on yourself like a bride. 19 Although there are your devastated places and your desolated places and the land of your ruins, although now you are too cramped to be dwelling, and those swallowing you down have been far away, 20 yet in your own ears the sons of your bereaved state will say, ‘The place has become too cramped for me. Do make room for me, that I may dwell.’ 21 And you will for certain say in your heart, ‘Who has become father to these for me, since I am a woman bereaved of children and sterile, gone into exile and taken prisoner? As for these, who has brought [them] up? Look! I myself had been left behind alone. These—where have they been?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Look! I shall raise up my hand even to the nations, and to the peoples I shall lift up my signal. And they will bring your sons in the bosom, and upon the shoulder they will carry your own daughters. 23 And kings must become caretakers for you, and their princesses nursing women for you. With faces to the earth they will bow down to you, and the dust of your feet they will lick up; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah, of whom those hoping in me will not be ashamed.”

24 Can those already taken be taken from a mighty man himself, or can the body of captives of the tyrant make their escape? 25 But this is what Jehovah has said: “Even the body of captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and those already taken by the tyrant himself will make their escape. And against anyone contending against you I myself shall contend, and your own sons I myself shall save. 26 And I will make those maltreating you eat their own flesh; and as with the sweet wine they will become drunk with their own blood. And all flesh will have to know that I, Jehovah, am your Savior and your Repurchaser, the Powerful One of Jacob.”

50 This is what Jehovah has said: “Where, then, is the divorce certificate of the mother of YOU people, whom I sent away? Or which one of my creditors is it to whom I have sold YOU people? Look! Because of YOUR own errors YOU have been sold, and because of YOUR own transgressions YOUR mother has been sent away. 2 Why is it that, when I came in, there was no one? When I called, there was nobody answering? Has my hand become in fact so short that it cannot redeem, or is there in me no power to deliver? Look! With my rebuke I dry up the sea; I make rivers a wilderness. Their fish stink due to there being no water, and they die because of thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with obscurity, and I make sackcloth itself their covering.”

4 The Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself has given me the tongue of the taught ones, that I may know how to answer the tired one with a word. He awakens morning by morning; he awakens my ear to hear like the taught ones. 5 The Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself has opened my ear, and I, for my part, was not rebellious. I did not turn in the opposite direction. 6 My back I gave to the strikers, and my cheeks to those plucking off [the hair]. My face I did not conceal from humiliating things and spit.

7 But the Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself will help me. That is why I shall not have to feel humiliated. That is why I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8 The One declaring me righteous is near. Who can contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my judicial antagonist? Let him approach me. 9 Look! The Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself will help me. Who is there that can pronounce me wicked? Look! All of them, like a garment, will wear out. A mere moth will eat them up.

10 Who among YOU people is in fear of Jehovah, listening to the voice of his servant, who has walked in continual darkness and for whom there has been no brightness? Let him trust in the name of Jehovah and support himself upon his God.

11 “Look! All YOU who are igniting a fire, making sparks light up, walk in the light of YOUR fire, and amid the sparks that YOU have set ablaze. From my hand YOU will certainly come to have this: In sheer pain YOU will lie down.

51 “Listen to me, YOU people who are pursuing after righteousness, YOU who are seeking to find Jehovah. Look to the rock from which YOU were hewn out, and to the hollow of the pit from which YOU were dug out. 2 Look to Abraham YOUR father and to Sarah who gradually brought YOU forth with childbirth pains. For he was one when I called him, and I proceeded to bless him and to make him many. 3 For Jehovah will certainly comfort Zion. He will for certain comfort all her devastated places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert plain like the garden of Jehovah. Exultation and rejoicing themselves will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

4 “Pay attention to me, O my people; and you national group of mine, to me give ear. For from me a law itself will go forth, and my judicial decision I shall cause to repose even as a light to the peoples. 5 My righteousness is near. My salvation will certainly go forth, and my own arms will judge even the peoples. In me the islands themselves will hope, and for my arm they will wait.

6 “Raise YOUR eyes to the heavens themselves, and look at the earth beneath. For the very heavens must be dispersed in fragments just like smoke, and like a garment the earth itself will wear out, and its inhabitants themselves will die like a mere gnat. But as for my salvation, it will prove to be even to time indefinite, and my own righteousness will not be shattered.

7 “Listen to me, YOU the ones knowing righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law. Do not be afraid of the reproach of mortal men, and do not be struck with terror just because of their abusive words. 8 For the moth will eat them up just as if a garment, and the clothes moth will eat them up just as if wool. But as for my righteousness, it will prove to be even to time indefinite, and my salvation to unnumbered generations.”

9 Awake, awake, clothe yourself with strength, O arm of Jehovah! Awake as in the days of long ago, as during the generations of times long past. Are you not the one that broke Rahab to pieces, that pierced the sea monster? 10 Are you not the one that dried up the sea, the waters of the vast deep? The one that made the depths of the sea a way for the repurchased ones to go across? 11 Then the redeemed ones of Jehovah themselves will return and must come to Zion with a joyful outcry, and rejoicing to time indefinite will be upon their head. To exultation and rejoicing they will attain. Grief and sighing will certainly flee away.

12 “I—I myself am the One that is comforting YOU people.

“Who are you that you should be afraid of a mortal man that will die, and of a son of mankind that will be rendered as mere green grass? 13 And that you should forget Jehovah your Maker, the One stretching out the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth, so that you were in dread constantly the whole day long on account of the rage of the one hemming [you] in, as though he was all set to bring [you] to ruin? And where is the rage of the one hemming [you] in?

14 “The one stooping in chains will certainly be loosened speedily, that he may not go in death to the pit and that his bread may not be lacking.

15 “But I, Jehovah, am your God, the One stirring up the sea that its waves may be boisterous. Jehovah of armies is his name. 16 And I shall put my words in your mouth, and with the shadow of my hand I shall certainly cover you, in order to plant the heavens and lay the foundation of the earth and say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’

17 “Rouse yourself, rouse yourself, rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of Jehovah his cup of rage. The goblet, the cup causing reeling, you have drunk, you have drained out. 18 There was none of all the sons that she brought to birth conducting her, and there was none of all the sons that she brought up taking hold of her hand. 19 Those two things were befalling you. Who will sympathize with you? Despoiling and breakdown, and hunger and sword! Who will comfort you? 20 Your own sons have swooned away. They have lain down at the head of all the streets like the wild sheep in the net, as those who are full of the rage of Jehovah, the rebuke of your God.”

21 Therefore listen to this, please, O woman afflicted and drunk, but not with wine. 22 This is what your Lord, Jehovah, even your God, who contends for his people, has said: “Look! I will take away from your hand the cup causing reeling. The goblet, my cup of rage—you will not repeat the drinking of it anymore. 23 And I will put it in the hand of the ones irritating you, who have said to your soul, ‘Bow down that we may cross over,’ so that you used to make your back just like the earth, and like the street for those crossing over.”