The LORD's Everlasting Love for Israel
541 “Sing, barren, you who didn’t bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife,” says Yahweh. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; don’t spare: lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall spread aboard on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 “Don’t be afraid; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be confounded; for you shall not be disappointed: for you shall forget the shame of your youth; and the reproach of your widowhood you shall remember no more. 5 For your Maker is your husband; Yahweh of Armies is his name: and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6 For Yahweh has called you as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even a wife of youth, when she is cast off,” says your God. 7 “For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. 8 In overflowing wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting loving kindness will I have mercy on you,” says Yahweh your Redeemer. 9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. 10 For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my loving kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed,” says Yahweh who has mercy on you.
11 “You afflicted, tossed with storms, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in beautiful colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, and your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. 13 All your children shall be taught of Yahweh; and great shall be the peace of your children. 14 In righteousness you shall be established: you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not be afraid; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. 15 Behold, they may gather together, but not by me: whoever shall gather together against you shall fall because of you. 16 “Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and brings forth a weapon for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. 17 No weapon that is formed against you will prevail;
and you will condemn every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh,
and their righteousness which is of me,” says Yahweh.
A Free Offer of Mercy to All
551 “Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which doesn’t satisfy? listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Turn your ear, and come to me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples. 5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you don’t know; and a nation that didn’t know you shall run to you, because of Yahweh your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you.”
6 Seek Yahweh while he may be found; call you on him while he is near: 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says Yahweh. 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 comes down and the snow from the sky,
and doesn’t return there, but waters the earth,
and makes it bring forth and bud,
and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return to me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing I sent it to do. 12 For you 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 fields shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to Yahweh for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
The Rewards of Keeping God's Covenant
561 Thus says Yahweh, “Keep justice, and do righteousness; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast; who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Neither let the foreigner, who has joined himself to Yahweh, speak, saying, “Yahweh will surely separate me from his people;” neither let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” 4 For thus says Yahweh, “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast my covenant: 5 to them I will 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 who join themselves to Yahweh, to minister to him, and to love the name of Yahweh, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds 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 on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” 8 The Lord Yahweh, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet will I gather others to him, besides his own who are gathered.”
9 All you animals of the field, come to devour, yes, all you animals in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they can’t bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yes, the dogs are greedy, they can never have enough; and these are shepherds who can’t understand: they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from every quarter. 12 “Come,” say they, “I will get wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, a day great beyond measure.”
Condemnation of Israel's Idolatry
571 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. 2 He enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walks in his uprightness.
3 “But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the prostitute. 4 Against whom do you sport yourselves? Against whom do you make a wide mouth, and stick out your tongue? Aren’t you children of disobedience, a seed of falsehood, 5 you who inflame yourselves among the oaks, under every green tree; who kill the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks? 6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they are your lot; you have even poured a drink offering to them. You have offered an offering. Shall I be appeased for these things? 7 On a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed; there also you went up to offer sacrifice. 8 Behind the doors and the posts you have set up your memorial:
for you have uncovered to someone besides me,
and have gone up;
you have enlarged your bed,
and made you a covenant with them:
you loved their bed where you saw it. 9 You went to the king with oil, and did increase your perfumes, and did send your ambassadors far off, and debased yourself even to Sheol. 10 You were wearied with the length of your way; yet you didn’t say, ‘It is in vain.’ You found a reviving of your strength; therefore you weren’t faint. 11 “Of whom have you been afraid and in fear, that you lie, and have not remembered me, nor laid it to your heart? Haven’t I held my peace even of long time, and you don’t fear me? 12 I will declare your righteousness; and as for your works, they shall not profit you.
13 When you cry, let those who you have gathered deliver you; but the wind shall take them, a breath shall carry them all away: but he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.” 14 He will say, “Cast up, cast up, prepare the way,
take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people.” 15 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who 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 forever, neither will I be always angry; for the spirit would faint before me, and the souls who I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and struck him; I hid my face and was angry; 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 to him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him who is far off and to him who is near,” says Yahweh; “and I will heal them.” 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it can’t rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
The Right Observance of Fasts
581 “Cry aloud, don’t spare, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare to my people their disobedience, 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 didn’t forsake the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ say they, ‘and you don’t see? why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge?’
“Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labors. 4 Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don’t fast 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? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh? 6 “Isn’t 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 you break every yoke? 7 Isn’t it to distribute your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and Yahweh will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly; 10 and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then your light shall rise in darkness, and your obscurity be as the noonday; 11 and Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don’t fail. 12 Those who shall be of you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
The Observance of the Sabbath
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy of Yahweh honorable; and shall honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: 14 then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father:”
for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.