A Confession of National Wickedness
591 Truly, the Lord's hand has not become short, so that he is unable to give salvation; and his ear is not shut from hearing: 2 But your sins have come between you and your God, and by your evil doings his face has been veiled from you, so that he will give you no answer. 3 For your hands are unclean with blood, and your fingers with sin; your lips have said false things, and your tongue gives out deceit. 4 No one puts forward an upright cause, or gives a true decision: their hope is in deceit, and their words are false; they are with child with sin, and give birth to evil. 5 They give birth to snake's eggs, and make spider's threads: whoever takes their eggs for food comes to his death, and the egg which is crushed becomes a poison-snake. 6 Their twisted threads will not make clothing, and their works will give them nothing for covering themselves: their works are works of sin, and violent acts are in their hands. 7 Their feet go quickly to evil, and they take delight in the death of the upright; their thoughts are thoughts of sin; wasting and destruction are in their ways. 8 They have no knowledge of the way of peace, and there is no sense of what is right in their behaviour: they have made for themselves ways which are not straight; whoever goes in them has no knowledge of peace.
9 For this cause our right is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us: we are looking for light, but there is only the dark; for the shining of the sun, but our way is in the night. 10 We go on our way, like blind men feeling for the wall, even like those who have no eyes: we are running against things in daylight as if it was evening; our place is in the dark like dead men. 11 We make noises of grief, like bears, and sad sounds like doves: we are looking for our right, but it is not there; for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our evil doings are increased before you, and our sins give witness against us: for our evil doings are with us, and we have knowledge of our sins: 13 We have gone against the Lord, and been false to him, turning away from our God, our words have been uncontrolled, and in our hearts are thoughts of deceit. 14 And the right is turned back, and righteousness is far away: for good faith is not to be seen in the public places, and upright behaviour may not come into the town. 15 Yes, faith is gone; and he whose heart is turned from evil comes into the power of the cruel: and the Lord saw it, and he was angry that there was no one to take up their cause.
16 And he saw that there was no man, and was surprised that there was no one to take up their cause: so his arm gave salvation, and he made righteousness his support. 17 Yes, he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and salvation as a head-dress; and he put on punishment as clothing, and wrath as a robe. 18 He will give them the right reward of their doings, wrath to his attackers, punishment to his haters, and even on the sea-lands he will send punishment. 19 So they will see the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the east: for he will come like a rushing stream, forced on by a wind of the Lord. 20 And as a saviour he will come to Zion, turning away sin from Jacob, says the Lord. 21 And as for me, this is my agreement with them, says the Lord: my spirit which is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, will not go away from your mouth, or from the mouth of your seed, or from the mouth of your seed's seed, says the Lord, from now and for ever.
The Future Glory of Zion
601 Up! let your face be bright, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is shining on you. 2 For truly, the earth will be dark, and the peoples veiled in blackest night; but the Lord will be shining on you, and his glory will be seen among you. 3 And nations will come to your light, and kings to your bright dawn. 4 Let your eyes be lifted up, and see: they are all coming together to you: your sons will come from far, and your daughters taken with loving care. 5 Then you will see, and be bright with joy, and your heart will be shaking with increase of delight: for the produce of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you. 6 You will be full of camel-trains, even the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba will come, with gold and spices, giving word of the great acts of the Lord. 7 All the flocks of Kedar will come together to you, the sheep of Nebaioth will be ready for your need; they will be pleasing offerings on my altar, and my house of prayer will be beautiful. 8 Who are these coming like a cloud, like a flight of doves to their windows?
9 Vessels of the sea-lands are waiting for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, so that your sons may come from far, and their silver and gold with them, to the place of the name of the Lord your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he has made you beautiful. 10 And men from strange countries will be building up your walls, and their kings will be your servants: for in my wrath I sent punishment on you, but in my grace I have had mercy on you. 11 Your doors will be open at all times; they will not be shut day or night; so that men may come into you with the wealth of the nations, with their kings at their head. 12 For the nation or kingdom which will not be your servant will come to destruction; such nations will be completely waste. 13 The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the sherbin-tree together, to make my holy place beautiful; and the resting-place of my feet will be full of glory. 14 And the sons of those who were cruel to you will come before you with bent heads; and those who made sport of you will go down on their faces at your feet; and you will be named, The Town of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 And though you were turned away from, and hated, and had no helper, I will make you a pride for ever, a joy from generation to generation. 16 And you will take the milk of the nations, flowing from the breast of kings; and you will see that I, the Lord, am your saviour, and he who takes up your cause, the Strong One of Jacob. 17 In place of brass, I will give gold, and for iron silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: and I will make Peace your judge, and Righteousness your overseer. 18 Violent acts will no longer be seen in your land, wasting or destruction in your limits; but your walls will be named, Salvation, and your doors Praise. 19 The sun will not be your light by day, and the moon will no longer be bright for you by night: but the Lord will be to you an eternal light, and your God your glory. 20 Your sun will never again go down, or your moon keep back her light: for the Lord will be your eternal light, and the days of your sorrow will be ended. 21 Your people will all be upright, the land will be their heritage for ever; the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, to be for my glory. 22 The smallest of their families will become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I, the Lord, will make it come quickly in its time.
Good Tidings of Salvation to Zion
611 The spirit of the Lord is on me, because I am marked out by him to give good news to the poor; he has sent me to make the broken-hearted well, to say that the prisoners will be made free, and that those in chains will see the light again; 2 To give knowledge that the year of the Lord's good pleasure has come, and the day of punishment from our God; to give comfort to all who are sad; 3 To give them a fair head-dress in place of dust, the oil of joy in place of the clothing of grief, praise in place of sorrow; so that they may be named trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and so that he may have glory.
4 And they will be building again the old broken walls, and will make new the old waste places, and will put up again the towns which have been waste for long generations. 5 And men from strange countries will be your herdsmen, and those who are not Israelites will be your ploughmen and vine-keepers. 6 But you will be named the priests of the Lord, the servants of our God: you will have the wealth of the nations for your food, and you will be clothed with their glory. 7 As they had twice as much grief, and marks of shame were their heritage, so in their land they will be rewarded twice over, and will have eternal joy. 8 For I, the Lord, take pleasure in upright judging; I will not put up with the violent taking away of right; and I will certainly give them their reward, and I will make an eternal agreement with them. 9 And their seed will be noted among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples: it will be clear to all who see them that they are the seed to which the Lord has given his blessing.
10 I will be full of joy in the Lord, my soul will be glad in my God; for he has put on me the clothing of salvation, covering me with the robe of righteousness, as the husband puts on a fair head-dress, and the bride makes herself beautiful with jewels. 11 For as the earth puts out buds, and as the garden gives growth to the seeds which are planted in it, so the Lord will make righteousness and praise to be flowering before all the nations.