The Rewards of Keeping God's Covenant
56 1 Thus saith Jehovah: Keep ye judgment 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 fast to it; that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
3 And let not the son of the alien, that hath joined himself to Jehovah, speak saying, Jehovah hath entirely separated me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree; 4 for thus saith Jehovah: Unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast to my covenant, 5 even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the alien, 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 to 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 the peoples. 8 The Lord Jehovah, who gathereth the outcasts of Israel, saith: Yet will I gather [others] to him, with those of his that are gathered.
9 All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, all ye beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are all of them blind, they are without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs that cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber: 11 and the dogs are greedy, they know not to be satisfied, and these are shepherds that know not how to discern: they all turn to their own way, every one for his gain, even to the last of them: 12 Come, [say they,] I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant.
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 before the evil. 2 He entereth into peace: they rest in their beds, [each one] that hath walked 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 do ye make a wide mouth, [and] draw out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, 5 inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks? 6 Among the smooth [stones] of the torrent is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured out a drink-offering, thou hast offered an oblation. Shall I be comforted myself as to these things? 7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither didst thou go up to offer sacrifice. 8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for apart from me, thou hast uncovered thyself, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and hast made agreement with them; thou lovedst their bed, thou sawest their nakedness. 9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst multiply thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers afar off, and didst debase thyself unto Sheol. 10 Thou wast wearied by the multitude of thy ways; [but] thou saidst not, It is of no avail. Thou didst find a quickening of thy strength; therefore thou wast not sick [of it]. 11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor taken it to heart? Have not I even of long time held my peace, and thou fearest me not? 12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; and they shall not profit thee.
13 When thou criest, let them that are gathered by thee deliver thee! But a wind shall carry them all away, a breath shall take them; but he that putteth his trust in me shall inherit the land, and possess my holy mountain. 14 And it shall be said, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-blocks out of the way of my people. 15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, and whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy [place], and with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit would fail before me, and the souls [which] I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on backslidingly in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; and I will lead him, and will restore comforts unto him and to those of his that mourn. 19 I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him [that is] afar off, and to him [that is] nigh, saith Jehovah; and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and whose 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 doeth righteousness, and hath not forsaken the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of righteousness, they take delight in approaching to God:
3 —Wherefore have we fasted, and thou seest not; have afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find what pleaseth [you], and exact all your labours. 4 Behold, ye have fasted for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye do not at present fast, to cause your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul,—that he should bow down his head as a bulrush, and spread sackcloth and ashes [under him]? Wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to Jehovah? 6 Is not this the fast which I have chosen: to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, and to send forth free the crushed, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring to thy house the needy wanderers; 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 dawn, and thy health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of Jehovah shall be thy rearguard. 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 the unjust speech, 10 and thou proffer thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then shall thy light rise in the darkness, and thine obscurity be as midday; 11 and Jehovah will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and strengthen thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a water-spring, whose waters deceive not. 12 And they [that come] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations [that have remained] from generation to generation; and thou shalt be called, Repairer of the breaches, restorer of frequented paths.
The Observance of the Sabbath
13 If thou turn back thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy [day] of Jehovah, honourable; and thou honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [idle] words; 14 then shalt thou delight thyself in Jehovah, and I will cause thee to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken.
The Revealing of the Man of Sin
2 1 Now we beg you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, 2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as [if it were] by us, as that the day of the Lord is present.
3 Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because [it will not be] unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition; 4 who opposes and exalts himself on high against all called God, or object of veneration; so that he himself sits down in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, I said these things to you? 6 And now ye know that which restrains, that he should be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only [there is] he who restrains now until he be gone, 8 and then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall annul by the appearing of his coming; 9 whose coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and in all deceit of unrighteousness to them that perish, because they have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God sends to them a working of error, that they should believe what is false, 12 that all might be judged who have not believed the truth, but have found pleasure in unrighteousness.
Chosen to Salvation
13 But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of [the] Lord, that God has chosen you from [the] beginning to salvation in sanctification of [the] Spirit and belief of [the] truth: 14 whereto he has called you by our glad tidings, to [the] obtaining of [the] glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm, and hold fast the instructions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.
16 But our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us, and given [us] eternal consolation and good hope by grace, 17 encourage your hearts, and establish you in every good work and word.