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Israel’s Futile Idolatry

57 The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
    while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity,
    he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds
    who walk in their uprightness.
But you, draw near hither,
    sons of the sorceress,
    offspring of the adulterer and the harlot.
Of whom are you making sport?
    Against whom do you open your mouth wide
    and put out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
    the offspring of deceit,
you who burn with lust among the oaks,
    under every green tree;
who slay your children in the valleys,
    under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
    they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
    you have brought a cereal offering.
    Shall I be appeased for these things?
Upon a high and lofty mountain
    you have set your bed,
    and thither you went up to offer sacrifice.
Behind the door and the doorpost
    you have set up your symbol;
for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,
    you have gone up to it,
    you have made it wide;
and you have made a bargain for yourself with them,
    you have loved their bed,
    you have looked on nakedness.[a]
You journeyed to Molech[b] with oil
    and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far off,
    and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You were wearied with the length of your way,
    but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;
you found new life for your strength,
    and so you were not faint.

11 Whom did you dread and fear,
    so that you lied,
and did not remember me,
    did not give me a thought?
Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,
    and so you do not fear me?
12 I will tell of your righteousness and your doings,
    but they will not help you.
13 When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
    The wind will carry them off,
    a breath will take them away.
But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land,
    and shall inherit my holy mountains.

A Promise of Help and Healing

14 And it shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
15 For thus says the high and lofty One
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 For I will not contend for ever,
    nor will I always be angry;
for from me proceeds the spirit,
    and I have made the breath of life.
17 Because of the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry,
    I smote him, I hid my face and was angry;
    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and requite him with comfort,
    creating for his mourners the fruit of the lips.
19 Peace, peace, to the far and to the near, says the Lord;
    and I will heal him.
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
    for it cannot rest,
    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 57:8 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  2. Isaiah 57:9 Or the king
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 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.

57 The righteous perish,(A)
    and no one takes it to heart;(B)
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.(C)
Those who walk uprightly(D)
    enter into peace;
    they find rest(E) as they lie in death.

“But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,(F)
    you offspring of adulterers(G) and prostitutes!(H)
Who are you mocking?
    At whom do you sneer
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,(I)
    the offspring of liars?
You burn with lust among the oaks(J)
    and under every spreading tree;(K)
you sacrifice your children(L) in the ravines
    and under the overhanging crags.
The idols(M) among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;
    indeed, they are your lot.
Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings(N)
    and offered grain offerings.
    In view of all this, should I relent?(O)
You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;(P)
    there you went up to offer your sacrifices.(Q)
Behind your doors and your doorposts
    you have put your pagan symbols.
Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed,
    you climbed into it and opened it wide;
you made a pact with those whose beds you love,(R)
    and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.(S)
You went to Molek[a](T) with olive oil
    and increased your perfumes.(U)
You sent your ambassadors[b](V) far away;
    you descended to the very realm of the dead!(W)
10 You wearied(X) yourself by such going about,
    but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’(Y)
You found renewal of your strength,(Z)
    and so you did not faint.

11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared(AA)
    that you have not been true to me,
and have neither remembered(AB) me
    nor taken this to heart?(AC)
Is it not because I have long been silent(AD)
    that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,(AE)
    and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out(AF) for help,
    let your collection of idols save(AG) you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
    a mere breath will blow(AH) them away.
But whoever takes refuge(AI) in me
    will inherit the land(AJ)
    and possess my holy mountain.”(AK)

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!(AL)
    Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”(AM)
15 For this is what the high and exalted(AN) One says—
    he who lives forever,(AO) whose name is holy:
“I live in a high(AP) and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite(AQ) and lowly in spirit,(AR)
to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.(AS)
16 I will not accuse(AT) them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,(AU)
for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people(AV) I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;(AW)
    I punished them, and hid(AX) my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.(AY)
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal(AZ) them;
    I will guide(BA) them and restore comfort(BB) to Israel’s mourners,
19     creating praise on their lips.(BC)
Peace, peace,(BD) to those far and near,”(BE)
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked(BF) are like the tossing sea,(BG)
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire(BH) and mud.
21 “There is no peace,”(BI) says my God, “for the wicked.”(BJ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 57:9 Or to the king
  2. Isaiah 57:9 Or idols
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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