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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 51


1 Listen to me, you who pursue justice, who seek the LORD; Look to the rock from which you were hewn, to the pit from which you were quarried;


Look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth; When he was but one I called him, I blessed him and made him many.


Yes, the LORD shall comfort Zion and have pity on all her ruins; Her deserts he shall make like Eden, her wasteland like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of song.


2 Be attentive to me, my people; my folk, give ear to me. For law shall go forth from my presence, and my judgment, as the light of the peoples.


I will make my justice come speedily; my salvation shall go forth (and my arm shall judge the nations); In me shall the coastlands hope, and my arm they shall await.


3 Raise your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth below; Though the heavens grow thin like smoke, the earth wears out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies, My salvation shall remain forever and my justice shall never be dismayed.


Hear me, you who know justice, you people who have my teaching at heart: Fear not the reproach of men, be not dismayed at their revilings.


They shall be like a garment eaten by moths, like wool consumed by grubs; But my justice shall remain forever and my salvation, for all generations.


4 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the days of old, in ages long ago! Was it not you who crushed Rahab, you who pierced the dragon?


5 Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, Who made the depths of the sea into a way for the redeemed to pass over?


Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.


I, it is I who comfort you. Can you then fear mortal man, who is human only, to be looked upon as grass,


And forget the LORD, your maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth? All the day you are in constant dread of the fury of the oppressor; But when he sets himself to destroy, what is there of the oppressor's fury?


The oppressed shall soon be released; they shall not die and go down into the pit, nor shall they want for bread.


For I am the LORD, your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts by name.


I have put my words into your mouth and shielded you in the shadow of my hand, I, who stretched out the heavens, who laid the foundations of the earth, who say to Zion: You are my people.


Awake, awake! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who drank at the LORD'S hand the cup of his wrath; Who drained to the dregs the bowl of staggering!


She has no one to guide her of all the sons she bore; She has no one to grasp her by the hand, of all the sons she reared! - 


Your misfortunes are double; who is there to condole with you? Desolation and destruction, famine and sword! Who is there to comfort you?


Your sons lie helpless at every street corner like antelopes in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the LORD, the rebuke of your God.


But now, hear this, O afflicted one, drunk, but not with wine,


Thus says the LORD, your Master, your God, who defends his people: See, I am taking from your hand the cup of staggering; The bowl of my wrath you shall no longer drink.


I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, those who ordered you to bow down, that they might walk over you, While you offered your back like the ground, like the street for them to walk on.



1 [1] Rock . . . pit: your glorious ancestry.

2 [4-5] The conversion of the Gentiles.

3 [6] God's salvation and justice are eternal, in contrast to the impermanence of the heavens and the earth: cf Matthew 24:35.

4 [9] Rahab: see note on Isaiah 30:7. The dragon: see notes on Isaiah 27:1; Psalm 74:13.

5 [10] Great deep: another reference to the primeval chaos of Genesis 1:2.

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