Announce Freedom to All Captives

61 1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
    because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
    pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
    planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
    raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
    take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
    and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
    honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
    you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
    and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
    and your joy go on forever.

8-9 “Because I, God, love fair dealing
    and hate thievery and crime,
I’ll pay your wages on time and in full,
    and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
    Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
    as the people I have blessed.”

10-11 I will sing for joy in God,
    explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
    he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
    and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
    and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
    and puts praise on display before the nations.

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit(A) of the Sovereign Lord(B) is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed(C) me
    to proclaim good news(D) to the poor.(E)
He has sent me to bind up(F) the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom(G) for the captives(H)
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor(I)
    and the day of vengeance(J) of our God,
to comfort(K) all who mourn,(L)
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown(M) of beauty
    instead of ashes,(N)
the oil(O) of joy
    instead of mourning,(P)
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting(Q) of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.(R)

They will rebuild the ancient ruins(S)
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers(T) will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests(U) of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth(V) of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame(W)
    you will receive a double(X) portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit(Y) a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy(Z) will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;(AA)
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant(AB) with them.
Their descendants(AC) will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”(AD)

10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices(AE) in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,(AF)
as a bridegroom adorns his head(AG) like a priest,
    and as a bride(AH) adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden(AI) causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness(AJ)
    and praise spring up before all nations.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 61:1 Hebrew; Septuagint the blind

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