54 “Shout for joy, O barren one who has not given birth!
Give a joyful shout and cry out, you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one are more numerous
than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.
2 Make your tent larger,
stretch your tent curtains farther out! 1
Spare no effort,
lengthen your ropes,
and pound your stakes deep. 2
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your children will conquer 3 nations
and will resettle desolate cities.
4 Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame!
Don’t be intimidated, 4 for you will not be humiliated!
You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth;
you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment. 5
5 For your husband is the one who made you –
the Lord who commands armies is his name.
He is your protector, 6 the Holy One of Israel. 7
He is called “God of the entire earth.”
6 “Indeed, the Lord will call you back
like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression, 8
like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.
7 “For a short time I abandoned 9 you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In a burst 10 of anger I rejected you 11 momentarily,
but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,”
says your protector, 12 the Lord.
9 “As far as I am concerned, this is like in Noah’s time, 13
when I vowed that the waters of Noah’s flood 14 would never again cover the earth.
In the same way I have vowed that I will not be angry at you or shout at you.
10 Even if the mountains are removed
and the hills displaced,
my devotion will not be removed from you,
nor will my covenant of friendship 15 be displaced,”
says the Lord, the one who has compassion on you.
11 “O afflicted one, driven away, 16 and unconsoled!
Look, I am about to set your stones in antimony
and I lay your foundation with lapis-lazuli.
12 I will make your pinnacles out of gems, 17
your gates out of beryl, 18
and your outer wall 19 out of beautiful 20 stones.
13 All your children will be followers of the Lord,
and your children will enjoy great prosperity. 21
14 You will be reestablished when I vindicate you. 22
You will not experience oppression; 23
indeed, you will not be afraid.
You will not be terrified, 24
for nothing frightening 25 will come near you.
15 If anyone dares to 26 challenge you, it will not be my doing!
Whoever tries to challenge you will be defeated. 27
16 Look, I create the craftsman,
who fans the coals into a fire
and forges a weapon. 28
I create the destroyer so he might devastate.
17 No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed;
you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you. 29
This is what the Lord will do for his servants –
I will vindicate them,” 30
says the Lord.
55 “Hey, 1 all who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come!
Buy and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk
without money and without cost! 2
2 Why pay money for something that will not nourish you? 3
Why spend 4 your hard-earned money 5 on something that will not satisfy?
Listen carefully 6 to me and eat what is nourishing! 7
Enjoy fine food! 8
3 Pay attention and come to me!
Listen, so you can live! 9
Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to 10 you,
just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David. 11
4 Look, I made him a witness to nations, 12
a ruler and commander of nations.”
5 Look, you will summon nations 13 you did not previously know;
nations 14 that did not previously know you will run to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, 15
for he bestows honor on you.
6 Seek the Lord while he makes himself available; 16
call to him while he is nearby!
7 The wicked need to abandon their lifestyle 17
and sinful people their plans. 18
They should return 19 to the Lord, and he will show mercy to them, 20
and to their God, for he will freely forgive them. 21
8 “Indeed, 22 my plans 23 are not like 24 your plans,
and my deeds 25 are not like 26 your deeds,
9 for just as the sky 27 is higher than the earth,
so my deeds 28 are superior to 29 your deeds
and my plans 30 superior to your plans. 10 31
The rain and snow fall from the sky
and do not return,
but instead water the earth
and make it produce and yield crops,
and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat.
11 In the same way, the promise that I make
does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. 32
No, it is realized as I desire
and is fulfilled as I intend.” 33
12 Indeed you will go out with joy;
you will be led along in peace;
the mountains and hills will give a joyful shout before you,
and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.
13 Evergreens will grow in place of thorn bushes,
firs will grow in place of nettles;
they will be a monument to the Lord, 34
a permanent reminder that will remain. 35
56 This is what the Lord says,
“Promote 1 justice! Do what is right!
For I am ready to deliver you;
I am ready to vindicate you openly. 2
2 The people who do this will be blessed, 3
the people who commit themselves to obedience, 4
who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it,
who refrain from doing anything that is wrong. 5
3 No foreigner who becomes a follower of 6 the Lord should say,
‘The Lord will certainly 7 exclude me from his people.’
The eunuch should not say,
‘Look, I am like a dried-up tree.’”
4 For this is what the Lord says:
“For the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths
and choose what pleases me
and are faithful to 8 my covenant,
5 I will set up within my temple and my walls a monument 9
that will be better than sons and daughters.
I will set up a permanent monument 10 for them that will remain.
6 As for foreigners who become followers of 11 the Lord and serve him,
who love the name of the Lord and want to be his servants –
all who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it,
and who are faithful to 12 my covenant –
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain;
I will make them happy in the temple where people pray to me. 13
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar,
for my temple will be known as a temple where all nations may pray.” 14
8 The sovereign Lord says this,
the one who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
“I will still gather them up.” 15
9 All you wild animals in the fields, come and devour,
all you wild animals in the forest!
10 All their watchmen 16 are blind,
they are unaware. 17
All of them are like mute dogs,
unable to bark.
They pant, 18 lie down,
and love to snooze.
11 The dogs have big appetites;
they are never full. 19
They are shepherds who have no understanding;
they all go their own way,
each one looking for monetary gain. 20
12 Each one says, 21
‘Come on, I’ll get some wine!
Let’s guzzle some beer!
Tomorrow will be just like today!
We’ll have everything we want!’ 22