57 The good men perish; the godly die before their time, and no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to realize that God is taking them away from evil days ahead. For the godly who die shall rest in peace.

But you—come here, you witches’ sons, you offspring of adulterers and harlots! Who is it you mock, making faces and sticking out your tongues? You children of sinners and liars! You worship your idols with great zeal beneath the shade of every tree and slay your children as human sacrifices down in the valleys, under overhanging rocks. Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys. You worship them, and they, not I, are your inheritance. Does all this make me happy? 7-8 You have committed adultery on the tops of the mountains, for you worship idols there, deserting me. Behind closed doors you set your idols up and worship someone other than me. This is adultery, for you are giving these idols your love instead of loving me. You have taken pleasant incense and perfume to Molech as your gift. You have traveled far, even to hell itself, to find new gods to love. 10 You grew weary in your search, but you never gave up. You strengthened yourself and went on. 11 Why were you more afraid of them than of me? How is it that you gave not even a second thought to me? Is it because I’ve been too gentle that you have no fear of me?

12 And then there is your “righteousness” and your “good works”—none of which will save you. 13 Let’s see if the whole collection of your idols can help you when you cry to them to save you! They are so weak that the wind can carry them off! A breath can puff them away. But he who trusts in me shall possess the land and inherit my holy mountain. 14 I will say, Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones. Prepare a glorious highway for my people’s return from captivity.

15 The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in that high and holy place where those with contrite, humble spirits dwell; and I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts. 16 For I will not fight against you forever, nor always show my wrath; if I did, all mankind would perish—the very souls that I have made. 17 I was angry and smote these greedy men. But they went right on sinning, doing everything their evil hearts desired. 18 I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them and comfort them, helping them to mourn and to confess their sins. 19 Peace, peace to them, both near and far, for I will heal them all. 20 But those who still reject me[a] are like the restless sea, which is never still, but always churns up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, says my God, for them!

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 57:20 those who still reject me, literally, “the wicked.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 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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