Isaiah 66
Contemporary English Version

True Worship

1 The Lord said:

Heaven is my throne;

the earth is my footstool.

What kind of house

could you build for me?

In what place will I rest?

2I have made everything;

that's how it all came to be.+

I, the Lord, have spoken.

The people I treasure most

are the humble—

they depend only on me

and tremble when I speak.

3You sacrifice oxen to me,

and you commit murder;

you sacrifice lambs to me

and dogs to other gods;

you offer grain to me

and pigs' blood to idols;

you burn incense to me

and praise your idols.+

You have made your own choice

to do these disgusting things

that you enjoy so much.

4You refused to answer

when I called out;

you paid no attention

to my instructions.

Instead, you did what I hated,

knowing it was wrong.

Now I will punish+ you

in a way you dread the most.

The Lord Will Help Jerusalem

5If you tremble

when the Lord speaks,

listen to what he says:

“Some of your own people hate

and reject you because of me.

They make fun and say,

‘Let the Lord show his power!

Let us see him

make you truly happy.’+

But those who say these things

will be terribly ashamed.”

6Do you hear that noise

in the city and those shouts

coming from the temple?

It is the Lord shouting

as he punishes his enemies.

7 Have you ever heard of a woman

who gave birth to a child

before having labor pains?

8Who ever heard of such a thing

or imagined it could happen?

Can a nation be born in a day

or come to life in a second?

Jerusalem is like a mother

who gave birth to her children

as soon as she was in labor.

9The Lord is the one

who makes birth possible.

And he will see that Zion

has many more children.

The Lord has spoken.

10If you love Jerusalem,

celebrate and shout!

If you were in sorrow

because of the city,

you can now be glad.

11She will nurse and comfort you,

just like your own mother,

until you are satisfied.

You will fully enjoy

her wonderful glory.

12The Lord has promised:

“I will flood Jerusalem

with the wealth of nations

and make the city prosper.

Zion will nurse you at her breast,

carry you in her arms,

and hold you in her lap.

13I will comfort you there

like a mother

comforting her child.”

14When you see this happen,

you will celebrate;

your strength will return

faster than grass can sprout.

Then everyone will know

that the Lord provides help

for his servants,

but he is angry

with his enemies.

15The Lord will come down

like a whirlwind

with his flaming chariots.

He will be furiously angry

and punish his enemies

with fire.

16The Lord's fiery sword

will bring justice

everywhere on this earth

and execute many people.

A Threat and a Promise

17Some of you get yourselves ready and go to a garden to worship a foreign goddess.+ You eat the meat of pigs, lizards, and mice. But I, the Lord, will destroy you for this.

18I know everything you do and think! The time has now come+ to bring together the people of every language and nation and to show them my glory 19by proving what I can do.+ I will send the survivors to Tarshish, Pul,+ Lud, Meshech,+ Tubal, Javan,+ and to the distant islands. I will send them to announce my wonderful glory to nations that have never heard about me.

20They will bring your relatives from the nations as an offering to me, the Lord. They will come to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, on horses, chariots, wagons, mules, and camels.+ It will be like the people of Israel bringing the right offering to my temple. 21I promise that some of them will be priests and others will be helpers in my temple. I, the Lord, have spoken.

22 I also promise that you will always have descendants and will never be forgotten, just as the new heavens and the new earth that I create will last forever. 23On the first day of each month and on each Sabbath, everyone will worship me. I, the Lord, have spoken.

24 My people will go out and look at the dead bodies of those who turned against me. The worms there never die, the fire never stops burning, and the sight of those bodies will be disgusting to everyone.




Footnotes:

66.2 that's … be: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.3 You sacrifice oxen … idols: Or “Sacrificing oxen to me is the same as murder; sacrificing lambs to me is the same as sacrificing dogs to other gods; offering grain to me is the same as offering pigs' blood to idols; and burning incense to me is the same as praising idols.”
66.4 punish: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.5 Some … happy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.17 Some … goddess: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.18 I … come: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.19 by … do: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66.19 Pul: Hebrew; one ancient translation “Put,” a country in Africa, but neither the location of Pul or Put is known for certain.
66.19 Meshech: One ancient translation; Hebrew “those who use bows and arrows.”
66.19 Tarshish … Javan: Tarshish may have been a Phoenician city in Spain; Put (see note on Pul) and Lud were African people; Meshech and Tubal were regions south or southeast of the Black Sea; the Javan were people of Asia Minor and the Greek islands.
66.20 camels: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.


Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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