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The Worship God Demands

66 Thus says the Lord:
Heaven is my throne
    and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
    and what is my resting-place?
All these things my hand has made,
    and so all these things are mine,[a]
says the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look,
    to the humble and contrite in spirit,
    who trembles at my word.

Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being;
    whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever presents a grain-offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;[b]
    whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
    and in their abominations they take delight;
I also will choose to mock[c] them,
    and bring upon them what they fear;
because, when I called, no one answered,
    when I spoke, they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my sight,
    and chose what did not please me.

The Lord Vindicates Zion

Hear the word of the Lord,
    you who tremble at his word:
Your own people who hate you
    and reject you for my name’s sake
have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified,
    so that we may see your joy’;
    but it is they who shall be put to shame.

Listen, an uproar from the city!
    A voice from the temple!
The voice of the Lord,
    dealing retribution to his enemies!

Before she was in labour
    she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
    she delivered a son.
Who has heard of such a thing?
    Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
    Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?
Yet as soon as Zion was in labour
    she delivered her children.
Shall I open the womb and not deliver?
    says the Lord;
shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb?
    says your God.

10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
    all you who mourn over her—
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
    from her glorious bosom.

12 For thus says the Lord:
I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
    and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm,
    and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,
    so I will comfort you;
    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

The Reign and Indignation of God

14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
    your bodies[d] shall flourish like the grass;
and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants,
    and his indignation is against his enemies.
15 For the Lord will come in fire,
    and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to pay back his anger in fury,
    and his rebuke in flames of fire.
16 For by fire will the Lord execute judgement,
    and by his sword, on all flesh;
    and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the centre, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the Lord.

18 For I know[e] their works and their thoughts, and I am[f] coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put,[g] and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain-offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth,
    which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
    so shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
    and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the Lord.

24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 66:2 Gk Syr: Heb these things came to be
  2. Isaiah 66:3 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Isaiah 66:4 Or to punish
  4. Isaiah 66:14 Heb bones
  5. Isaiah 66:18 Gk Syr: Heb lacks know
  6. Isaiah 66:18 Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb it is
  7. Isaiah 66:19 Gk: Heb Pul

Judgment and Hope

66 This is what the Lord says:

“Heaven is my throne,(A)
    and the earth is my footstool.(B)
Where is the house(C) you will build for me?
    Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,(D)
    and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.

“These are the ones I look on with favor:
    those who are humble and contrite in spirit,(E)
    and who tremble at my word.(F)
But whoever sacrifices a bull(G)
    is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
    is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
    is like one who presents pig’s(H) blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense(I)
    is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,(J)
    and they delight in their abominations;(K)
so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
    and will bring on them what they dread.(L)
For when I called, no one answered,(M)
    when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil(N) in my sight
    and chose what displeases me.”(O)

Hear the word of the Lord,
    you who tremble at his word:(P)
“Your own people who hate(Q) you,
    and exclude you because of my name, have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
    that we may see your joy!’
    Yet they will be put to shame.(R)
Hear that uproar from the city,
    hear that noise from the temple!
It is the sound(S) of the Lord
    repaying(T) his enemies all they deserve.

“Before she goes into labor,(U)
    she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
    she delivers a son.(V)
Who has ever heard of such things?
    Who has ever seen(W) things like this?
Can a country be born in a day(X)
    or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
    than she gives birth to her children.(Y)
Do I bring to the moment of birth(Z)
    and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
“Do I close up the womb
    when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice(AA) with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
    all you who love(AB) her;
rejoice greatly with her,
    all you who mourn(AC) over her.
11 For you will nurse(AD) and be satisfied
    at her comforting breasts;(AE)
you will drink deeply
    and delight in her overflowing abundance.”(AF)

12 For this is what the Lord says:

“I will extend peace(AG) to her like a river,(AH)
    and the wealth(AI) of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried(AJ) on her arm
    and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,(AK)
    so will I comfort(AL) you;
    and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice(AM)
    and you will flourish(AN) like grass;
the hand(AO) of the Lord will be made known to his servants,(AP)
    but his fury(AQ) will be shown to his foes.
15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,(AR)
    and his chariots(AS) are like a whirlwind;(AT)
he will bring down his anger with fury,
    and his rebuke(AU) with flames of fire.
16 For with fire(AV) and with his sword(AW)
    the Lord will execute judgment(AX) on all people,
    and many will be those slain(AY) by the Lord.

17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens,(AZ) following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs,(BA) rats(BB) and other unclean things—they will meet their end(BC) together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.

18 “And I, because of what they have planned and done,(BD) am about to come[a] and gather the people of all nations(BE) and languages, and they will come and see my glory.(BF)

19 “I will set a sign(BG) among them, and I will send some of those who survive(BH) to the nations—to Tarshish,(BI) to the Libyans[b] and Lydians(BJ) (famous as archers), to Tubal(BK) and Greece,(BL) and to the distant islands(BM) that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.(BN) They will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 And they will bring(BO) all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain(BP) in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,”(BQ) says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.(BR) 21 And I will select some of them also to be priests(BS) and Levites,” says the Lord.

22 “As the new heavens and the new earth(BT) that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.(BU) 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath(BV) to another, all mankind will come and bow down(BW) before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies(BX) of those who rebelled(BY) against me; the worms(BZ) that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched,(CA) and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 66:18 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
  2. Isaiah 66:19 Some Septuagint manuscripts Put (Libyans); Hebrew Pul

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