The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 57


The just man perishes, but no one takes it to heart; Devout men are swept away, with no one giving it a thought. Though he is taken away from the presence of evil, the just man


enters into peace; There is rest on his couch for the sincere, straightforward man.


But you, draw near, you sons of a sorceress, adulterous, wanton race!


Of whom do you make sport, at whom do you open wide your mouth, and put out your tongue? Are you not rebellious children, a worthless race;


You who are in heat among the terebinths, under every green tree; You who immolate children in the wadies, behind the crevices in the cliffs?


1 Among the smooth stones of the wadi is your portion, these are your lot; To these you poured out libations, and brought offerings. Should I decide not to punish these things?


Upon a high and lofty mountain you made your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.


Behind the door and the doorpost you placed your indecent symbol. Deserting me, you spread out your high, wide bed; And of those whose embraces you love you carved the symbol and gazed upon it


2 While you approached the king with scented oil, and multiplied your perfumes; While you sent your ambassadors far away, down even to the nether world.


Though worn out by your many misdeeds, you never said, "It is hopeless"; New strength you found, and so you did not weaken.


Of whom were you afraid? Whom did you fear, that you became false And did not remember me or give me any thought? Was I to remain silent and unseeing, so that you would not have me to fear?


3 I will expose your justice and your works;


4 They shall not help you when you cry out, nor save you in your distress. All these the wind shall carry off, the breeze shall bear away; But he who takes refuge in me shall inherit the land, and possess my holy mountain.


Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove the stumbling blocks from my people's path.


For thus says he who is high and exalted, living eternally, whose name is the Holy One: On high I dwell, and in holiness, and with the crushed and dejected in spirit, To revive the spirits of the dejected, to revive the hearts of the crushed.


I will not accuse forever, nor always be angry; For their spirits would faint before me, the souls that I have made.


Because of their wicked avarice I was angry, and struck them, hiding myself in wrath, as they went their own rebellious way.


I saw their ways, but I will heal them and lead them; I will give full comfort to them and to those who mourn for them,


I, the Creator, who gave them life. Peace, peace to the far and the near, says the LORD; and I will heal them.


But the wicked are like the tossing sea which cannot be calmed, And its waters cast up mud and filth.


No peace for the wicked! says my God.



1 [6] Smooth stones: the Hebrew word for this expression has the same consonants as the word for "portion"; instead of making the Lord their portion (cf Psalm 16:5), the people adored slabs of stone which they took from the streambeds in valleys and set up as idols; cf Jeremiah 3:9. Therefore, it is implied, they will be swept away as by a sudden torrent of waters carrying them down the rocky-bottomed gorge to destruction and death without burial.

2 [9] The king: the pagan god Moloch. Ambassadors: children sent to him through a sacrificial death.

3 [12] Justice: here used ironically.

4 [13] All these: the wicked mentioned in 57:3-10.

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