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Isaiah: 51

Words of comfort to Jerusalem.  Is.51.1-16

1"Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance,
you who seek the LORD;
look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were digged.
2Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for when he was but one I called him,
and I blessed him and made him many.
3For the LORD will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.

4"Listen to me, my people,
and give ear to me, my nation;
for a law will go forth from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5My deliverance draws near speedily,
my salvation has gone forth,
and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope.
6Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and they who dwell in it will die like gnats; Or: in like manner
but my salvation will be for ever,
and my deliverance will never be ended.

7"Hearken to me, you who know righteousness,
the people in whose heart is my law;
fear not the reproach of men,
and be not dismayed at their revilings.
8For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my deliverance will be for ever,
and my salvation to all generations."

9Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the LORD;
awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago.
Was it not thou that didst cut Rahab in pieces,
that didst pierce the dragon?
10Was it not thou that didst dry up the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
that didst make the depths of the sea
a way for the redeemed to pass over?
11And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12"I, I am he that comforts you;
who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
of the son of man who is made like grass,
13and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
and fear continually all the day
because of the fury of the oppressor,
when he sets himself to destroy?
And where is the fury of the oppressor?
14He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
he shall not die and go down to the Pit,
neither shall his bread fail.
15For I am the LORD your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar -
the LORD of hosts is his name.
16And I have put my words in your mouth,
and hid you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out Syr: Heb: plant the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth,
and saying to Zion, 'You are my people.'"

The end of Jerusalem's suffering.  Is.51.17-23

17Rouse yourself, rouse yourself,
stand up, O Jerusalem,
you who have drunk at the hand of the LORD
the cup of his wrath,
who have drunk to the dregs
the bowl of staggering.
18There is none to guide her
among all the sons she has borne;
there is none to take her by the hand
among all the sons she has brought up.
19These two things have befallen you -
who will condole with you? -
devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
who will comfort you? One ancient Ms Gk Syr Vg: Heb: how may I comfort you
20Your sons have fainted,
they lie at the head of every street
like an antelope in a net;
they are full of the wrath of the LORD,
the rebuke of your God.

21Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,
who are drunk, but not with wine:
22Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
"Behold, I have taken from your hand
the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath
you shall drink no more;
23and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
who have said to you,
'Bow down, that we may pass over';
and you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to pass over."


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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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