The LORD's Everlasting Love for Israel
541 Exult, thou barren, that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and shout for joy, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith Jehovah. 2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. 3 For thou shalt spread abroad on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall possess nations, and they shall make desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5 For thy Maker is thy husband: Jehovah of hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: the God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6 For Jehovah hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and as a wife of youth, that hath been refused, saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In the outpouring of wrath have I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting loving-kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer. 9 For this is [as] the waters of Noah unto me, since I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth: so have I sworn that I will no more be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my loving-kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah, that hath mercy on thee.
11 [Thou] afflicted, tossed with tempest, not comforted! Behold, I will set thy stones in antimony, and lay thy foundations with sapphires; 12 and I will make thy battlements of rubies, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of precious stones. 13 And all thy children [shall be] taught of Jehovah, and great shall be the peace of thy children. 14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee. 15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, [but] not by me: whosoever gathereth together against thee shall fall because of thee. 16 Behold, it is I who have created the smith that bloweth in the fire of coal, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the destroyer to ravage. 17 No weapon that is prepared against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that riseth against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the inheritance of the servants of Jehovah; and their righteousness is of me, saith Jehovah.
A Free Offer of Mercy to All
551 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat: yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price! 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him [for] a witness to the peoples, a prince and commander to the peoples. 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation thou knowest not, and a nation [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of Jehovah thy God, and the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6 Seek ye Jehovah while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall do that which I please, and it shall accomplish that for which I send it. 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, and instead of the nettle shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to Jehovah for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.
The Rewards of Keeping God's Covenant
561 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
571 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
581 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.