The Rewards of Keeping God's Covenant
56 1 Thus saith Jehovah, Keep ye justice, and do righteousness; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that holdeth it fast; that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
3 Neither let the foreigner, that hath joined himself to Jehovah, speak, saying, Jehovah will surely separate me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith Jehovah of the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast my covenant: 5 Unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the foreigners that join themselves to Jehovah, to minister unto him, and to love the name of Jehovah, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast my covenant; 7 even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. 8 The Lord Jehovah, who gathereth the outcasts of Israel, saith, Yet will I gather [others] to him, besides his own that are gathered.
9 All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, [yea], all ye beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, the dogs are greedy, they can never have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand: they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from every quarter. 12 Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this day, [a day] great beyond measure.
Condemnation of Israel's Idolatry
57 1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come]. 2 He entereth into peace; they rest in their beds, each one that walketh in his uprightness.
3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the harlot. 4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and put out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, 5 ye that inflame yourselves among the oaks, under every green tree; that slay the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks? 6 Among the smooth [stones] of the valley is thy portion; they, they are thy lot; even to them hast thou poured a drink-offering, thou hast offered an oblation. Shall I be appeased for these things? 7 Upon a high and lofty mountain hast thou set thy bed; thither also wentest thou up to offer sacrifice. 8 And behind the doors and the posts hast thou set up thy memorial: for thou hast uncovered [thyself] to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them: thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it. 9 And thou wentest to the king with oil, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thine ambassadors far off, and didst debase thyself even unto Sheol. 10 Thou wast wearied with the length of thy way; yet saidst thou not, It is in vain: thou didst find a quickening of thy strength; therefore thou wast not faint. 11 And of whom hast thou been afraid and in fear, that thou liest, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of long time, and thou fearest me not? 12 I will declare thy righteousness; and as for thy works, they shall not profit thee.
13 When thou criest, let them that thou hast gathered deliver thee; but the wind shall take them, a breath shall carry them all away: but he that taketh refuge in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain. 14 And he will say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people. 15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that 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, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit would faint before me, and the souls that I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid [my face] and was wroth; and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith Jehovah; and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
The Right Observance of Fasts
58 1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and declare unto my people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near unto God.
3 Wherefore have we fasted, [say they], and thou seest not? [wherefore] have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find [your own] pleasure, and exact all your labors. 4 Behold, ye fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye fast not this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah? 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of Jehovah shall by thy rearward. 9 Then shalt thou call, and Jehovah will answer; thou shalt cry, and he will say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly; 10 and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thine obscurity be as the noonday; 11 and Jehovah will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in dry places, and make strong thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
The Observance of the Sabbath
13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, [and] the holy of Jehovah honorable; and shalt honor it, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: 14 then shalt thou delight thyself in Jehovah; and I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth; and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.
The Revealing of the Man of Sin
2 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; 2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand;
3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for [it will not be,] except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only [there is] one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; 9 [even he], whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Chosen to Salvation
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.