Israel Exhorted
1“Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness (right standing with God),
Who seek and inquire of the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
And to the excavation of the quarry from which you were dug.
2Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
For I called him when he was but one,
Then I blessed him and made him many.”
3For the Lord will comfort Zion [in her captivity];
He will comfort all her ruins.
And He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and the voice of a melody.
4“Listen carefully to Me [says the Lord], O My people,
And hear Me, O My nation;
For a [divine] law will go forth from Me,
And I will quickly establish My justice as a light to the peoples.
5My righteousness (justice) is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The islands and coastlands will wait for Me,
And they will wait with hope and confident expectation for My arm.
6Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the heavens will be torn to pieces and vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner.
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness (justice) [and faithfully fulfilled promise] will not be broken.
7Listen to Me, you who know righteousness (right standing with God),
The people in whose heart is My law and instruction;
Do not fear the reproach and taunting of man,
Nor be distressed at their reviling.
8For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness and justice [faithfully promised] will exist forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”
9Awake, awake, put on strength and might, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the ancient days, as in the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab (Egypt) in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon [of Egypt]?
10Was it not You who dried up the [Red] Sea,
The waters of the great deep,
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
11So the redeemed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion;
Everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
12“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of a son of man who is made [as destructible] as grass,
13That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you continually tremble with fear all day long because of the rage of the oppressor,
As he takes aim to destroy?
And where is the rage of the oppressor?
14The [captive] exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his food be lacking.
15For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is His name.
16I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to Lit plant.establish the [renewed] heavens and lay the foundations of the [renewed] earth, and to say to Zion (Jerusalem), ‘You are My people.’ ”
17Wake yourself up! Wake yourself up! Stand up, O Jerusalem,
You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath,
You who have drunk the cup of staggering and intoxication to the dregs [leaving only sediment].
18There is no one to guide her among all the sons she has borne,
Nor is there anyone to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.
19These two tragedies have befallen you;
Who will show sympathy for you and mourn with you?
The desolation and destruction [on the land and city], famine and sword [on the inhabitants];
How shall I comfort you?
20Your sons have fainted;
They lie helpless at the head of every street,
Like an antelope in a net,
Full [from drinking] of the wrath of the Lord,
The rebuke of your God.
21Therefore, now hear this, you who are afflicted,
Who are drunk, but not with wine [but overwhelmed by the wrath of God].
22So says your Lord, the Lord, who is also your God
Who pleads the cause of His people,
“Listen carefully, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering and intoxication,
The cup of My wrath;
You shall never drink it again.
23I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
Who have said to you, ‘Lie down so that we may walk over you.’
You have even made your back like the ground
And like the street for those who walk over it.”