but no one cares. 2
Honest people disappear, 3
57:2 Those who live uprightly enter a place of peace;
they rest on their beds. 10
57:3 But approach, you sons of omen readers,
you offspring of adulteresses and prostitutes! 11
57:4 At whom are you laughing?
At whom are you opening your mouth
and sticking out your tongue?
You are the children of rebels,
the offspring of liars, 12
who slaughter children near the streams under the rocky overhangs. 14
57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream are the idols you love;
they, they are the object of your devotion. 15
You pour out liquid offerings to them,
you make an offering.
Because of these things I will seek vengeance. 16
57:7 On every high, elevated hill you prepare your bed;
you go up there to offer sacrifices.
and invite them into bed with you. 20
You purchase favors from them, 21
you love their bed,
along with many perfumes. 26
You send your messengers to a distant place;
you go all the way to Sheol. 27
but you do not say, ‘I give up.’ 29
You get renewed energy, 30
so you don’t collapse. 31
57:11 Whom are you worried about?
Whom do you fear, that you would act so deceitfully
and not remember me
or think about me? 32
Because I have been silent for so long, 33
you are not afraid of me. 34
but they will not help you.
The wind blows them all away, 37
a breeze carries them away. 38
But the one who looks to me for help 39 will inherit the land
and will have access to 40 my holy mountain.”
“Build it! Build it! Clear a way!
Remove all the obstacles out of the way of my people!”
57:15 For this is what the high and exalted one says,
the one who rules 42 forever, whose name is holy:
“I dwell in an exalted and holy place,
but also with the discouraged and humiliated, 43
in order to cheer up the humiliated
and to encourage the discouraged. 44
or perpetually angry,
for then man’s spirit would grow faint before me, 46
the life-giving breath I created.
57:17 I was angry because of their sinful greed;
I attacked them and angrily rejected them, 47
yet they remained disobedient and stubborn. 48
but I will heal them and give them rest,
and I will once again console those who mourn. 50
Complete prosperity 52 is available both to those who are far away and those who are nearby,”
says the Lord, “and I will heal them.
57:20 But the wicked are like a surging sea
that is unable to be quiet;
its waves toss up mud and sand.
57:21 There will be no prosperity,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
58:1 “Shout loudly! Don’t be quiet!
Yell as loud as a trumpet!
Confront my people with their rebellious deeds; 53
confront Jacob’s family with their sin! 54
58:2 They seek me day after day;
they want to know my requirements, 55
like a nation that does what is right
and does not reject the law of their God.
They ask me for just decrees;
they want to be near God.
Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’
Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, 57
you oppress your workers. 58
and fistfights. 60
Do not fast as you do today,
trying to make your voice heard in heaven.
Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, 62
bowing their heads like a reed
and stretching out 63 on sackcloth and ashes?
Is this really what you call a fast,
a day that is pleasing to the Lord?
I want you 65 to remove the sinful chains,
to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke,
to set free the oppressed, 66
and to break every burdensome yoke.
and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. 68
When you see someone naked, clothe him!
Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood! 69
your restoration will quickly arrive; 71
your godly behavior 72 will go before you,
and the Lord’s splendor will be your rear guard. 73
58:9 Then you will call out, and the Lord will respond;
you will cry out, and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’
You must 74 remove the burdensome yoke from among you
and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully.
and feed the oppressed. 76
Then your light will dispel the darkness, 77
and your darkness will be transformed into noonday. 78
58:11 The Lord will continually lead you;
he will feed you even in parched regions. 79
He will give you renewed strength, 80
and you will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring that continually produces water.
you will reestablish the ancient foundations.
You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls,
the one who makes the streets inhabitable again.’ 82
rather than doing anything you please on my holy day. 85
You must look forward to the Sabbath 86
and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. 87
You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities,
and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. 88
and I will give you great prosperity, 90
and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.” 91
Know for certain that the Lord has spoken. 92
his ear is not too deaf to hear you. 94
59:2 But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God;
your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers. 95
59:3 For your hands are stained with blood
and your fingers with sin;
your lips speak lies,
your tongue utters malicious words.
no one sets forth his case truthfully.
They depend on false words 97 and tell lies;
they conceive of oppression 98
and give birth to sin.
59:5 They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake
and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
a poisonous snake is hatched. 99
59:6 Their webs cannot be used for clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are sinful;
they commit violent crimes. 100
quick to shed innocent blood. 102
Their thoughts are sinful;
they crush and destroy. 103
59:8 They are unfamiliar with peace;
their deeds are unjust. 104
They use deceitful methods,
and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace. 105
and salvation does not reach us.
59:10 We grope along the wall like the blind,
we grope like those who cannot see; 114
we stumble at noontime as if it were evening.
Though others are strong, we are like dead men. 115
59:11 We all growl like bears,
we coo mournfully like doves;
we wait for deliverance, 116 but there is none,
for salvation, but it is far from us.
and our sins testify against us;
indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds;
we know our sins all too well. 118
59:13 We have rebelled and tried to deceive the Lord;
we turned back from following our God.
We stir up 119 oppression and rebellion;
we tell lies we concocted in our minds. 120
59:14 Justice is driven back;
godliness 121 stands far off.
Indeed, 122 honesty stumbles in the city square
and morality is not even able to enter.
59:15 Honesty has disappeared;
the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed.
The Lord watches and is displeased, 123
for there is no justice.
he is shocked 125 that no one intervenes.
So he takes matters into his own hands; 126
his desire for justice drives him on. 127
and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head. 130
He puts on the garments of vengeance 131
and wears zeal like a robe.
59:18 He repays them for what they have done,
dispensing angry judgment to his adversaries
and punishing his enemies. 132
He repays the coastlands. 133
in the east they recognize his splendor. 136
For he comes like a rushing 137 stream
driven on by wind sent from the Lord. 138
to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds,” 140 says the Lord.
59:21 “As for me, this is my promise to 141 them,” says the Lord. “My spirit, who is upon you, and my words, which I have placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and descendants from this time forward,” 142 says the Lord.
1 tn Or “righteous” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “the just man”; TEV “Good people.”
2 tn Or perhaps, “understands.” Heb “and there is no man who sets [it] upon [his] heart.”
3 tn Heb “Men of loyalty are taken away.” The Niphal of אָסַף (’asaf) here means “to die.”
5 tn Or “realizes”; Heb “understands” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
6 tn Or “righteous” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “the just man.”
7 tn Heb “are taken away.” The Niphal of אָסַף (’asaf) here means “to die.”
8 tn The term מִפְּנֵי (mippÿne, “from the face of”) often has a causal nuance. It also appears with the Niphal of אָסַף (’asaph, “gather”) in 2 Chr 12:5: אֲשֶׁר־נֶאֶסְפוּ אֶל־יְרוּשָׁלַם מִפְּנֵי שִׁישָׁק (’asher-ne’esphu ’el-yÿrushalam mippÿney shishaq, “who had gathered at Jerusalem because of [i.e., due to fear of] Shishak”).
9 tn The translation assumes that this verse, in proverbial fashion, laments society’s apathy over the persecution of the godly. The second half of the verse observes that such apathy results in more widespread oppression. Since the next verse pictures the godly being taken to a place of rest, some interpret the second half of v. 1 in a more positive vein. According to proponents of this view, God removes the godly so that they might be spared suffering and calamity, a fact which the general populace fails to realize.
10 tn Heb “he enters peace, they rest on their beds, the one who walks straight ahead of himself.” The tomb is here viewed in a fairly positive way as a place where the dead are at peace and sleep undisturbed.
11 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “offspring of an adulterer [masculine] and [one who] has committed adultery.” Perhaps the text has suffered from transposition of vav (ו) and tav (ת) and מְנָאֵף וַתִּזְנֶה (mÿna’ef vattizneh) should be emended to מְנָאֶפֶת וְזֹנָה (mÿna’efet vÿzonah, “an adulteress and a prostitute”). Both singular nouns would be understood in a collective sense. Most modern English versions render both forms as nouns.
12 tn Heb “Are you not children of rebellion, offspring of a lie?” The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “Of course you are!”
13 tn Heb “inflame yourselves”; NRSV “burn with lust.” This verse alludes to the practice of ritual sex that accompanied pagan fertility rites.
14 sn This apparently alludes to the practice of child sacrifice (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
15 tn Heb “among the smooth stones of the stream [is] your portion, they, they [are] your lot.” The next line indicates idols are in view.
16 tn The text reads literally, “Because of these am I relenting?” If the prefixed interrogative particle is retained at the beginning of the sentence, then the question would be rhetorical, with the Niphal of נָחָם (nakham) probably being used in the sense of “relent, change one’s mind.” One could translate: “Because of these things, how can I relent?” However, the initial letter he may be dittographic (note the final he [ה] on the preceding word). In this case one may understand the verb in the sense of “console oneself, seek vengeance,” as in 1:24.
17 tn The precise referent of זִכָּרוֹן (zikkaron) in this context is uncertain. Elsewhere the word refers to a memorial or commemorative sign. Here it likely refers to some type of idolatrous symbol.
18 tn Or “for” (KJV, NRSV).
19 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “from me you uncover.” The translation assumes an emendation of the Piel form גִּלִּית (gillit, “you uncover”), which has no object expressed here, to the Qal גָּלִית (galit, “you depart”).
20 tn Heb “you make wide your bed” (NASB similar).
21 tc Heb “and you [second masculine singular, unless the form be taken as third feminine singular] cut for yourself [feminine singular] from them.” Most English translations retain the MT reading in spite of at least three problems. This section makes significant use of feminine verbs and noun suffixes because of the sexual imagery. The verb in question is likely a 2nd person masculine singular verb. Nevertheless, this kind of fluctuation in gender appears elsewhere (GKC 127-28 §47.k and 462 §144.p; cf. Jer 3:5; Ezek 22:4; 23:32; cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:473, n. 13). Secondly, when this verbal root signifies establishing a covenant, it is normally accompanied by the noun for “covenant” (בְּרִית, bÿrit). Finally, this juxtaposition of the verb “to cut” and “covenant” normally is followed by the preposition “with,” while here it is “from.” The translation above assumes an emendation of וַתִּכְרָת (vatikhrah, “and you cut”) to וְכָרִית (vÿkharit, “and you purchase”) from the root כָּרָה (kharah); see HALOT 497 s.v. II כרה.
22 tn The Hebrew text has simply חָזָה (khazah, “gaze”). The adverb “longingly” is interpretive (see the context, where sexual lust is depicted).
23 tn Heb “[at] a hand you gaze.” The term יָד (yad, “hand”) probably has the sense of “power, manhood” here, where it is used, as in Ugaritic, as a euphemism for the genitals. See HALOT 387 s.v. I יָד.
24 tn Heb “you journey with oil.”
25 tn Heb “the king.” Since the context refers to idolatry and child sacrifice (see v. 5), some emend מֶלֶך (melekh, “king”) to “Molech.” Perhaps Israel’s devotion to her idols is likened here to a subject taking tribute to a ruler.
26 tn Heb “and you multiply your perfumes.”
27 sn Israel’s devotion to her idols is inordinate, irrational, and self-destructive.
28 tn Heb “by the greatness [i.e., “length,” see BDB 914 s.v. רֹב 2] of your way you get tired.”
29 tn Heb “it is hopeless” (so NAB, NASB, NIV); NRSV “It is useless.”
30 tn Heb “the life of your hand you find.” The term חַיָּה (khayyah, “life”) is here used in the sense of “renewal” (see BDB 312 s.v.) while יָד (yad) is used of “strength.”
31 tn Heb “you do not grow weak.”
32 tn Heb “you do not place [it] on your heart.”
33 tn Heb “Is it not [because] I have been silent, and from long ago?”
34 sn God’s patience with sinful Israel has caused them to think that they can sin with impunity and suffer no consequences.
35 tn Heb “I, I will declare your righteousness and your deeds.”
36 tn The Hebrew text has קִבּוּצַיִךְ (qibbutsayikh, “your gatherings”), an otherwise unattested noun from the verbal root קָבַץ (qavats, “gather”). Perhaps this alludes to their religious assemblies and by metonymy to their rituals. Since idolatry is a prominent theme in the context, some understand this as a reference to a collection of idols. The second half of the verse also favors this view.
37 tn Heb “all of them a wind lifts up.”
38 tn Heb “a breath takes [them] away.”
39 tn Or “seeks refuge in me.” “Seeking refuge” is a metonymy for “being loyal to.”
40 tn Heb “possess, own.” The point seems to be that he will have free access to God’s presence, as if God’s temple mount were his personal possession.
42 tn Heb “the one who dwells forever.” שֹׁכֵן עַד (shokhen ’ad) is sometimes translated “the one who lives forever,” and understood as a reference to God’s eternal existence. However, the immediately preceding and following descriptions (“high and exalted” and “holy”) emphasize his sovereign rule. In the next line, he declares, “I dwell in an exalted and holy [place],” which refers to the place from which he rules. Therefore it is more likely that שֹׁכֵן עַד (shokhen ’ad) means “I dwell [in my lofty palace] forever” and refers to God’s eternal kingship.
43 tn Heb “and also with the crushed and lowly of spirit.” This may refer to the repentant who have humbled themselves (see 66:2) or more generally to the exiles who have experienced discouragement and humiliation.
44 tn Heb “to restore the lowly of spirit and to restore the heart of the crushed.”
45 tn Or perhaps, “argue,” or “accuse” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
46 tn Heb “for a spirit from before me would be faint.”
47 tn Heb “and I struck him, hiding, and I was angry.” פָּנַיִם (panayim, “face”) is the implied object of “hiding.”
48 tn Heb “and he walked [as an] apostate in the way of his heart.”
49 tn Heb “his ways” (so KJV, NASB, NIV); TEV “how they acted.”
50 tn Heb “and I will restore consolation to him, to his mourners.”
51 tc The Hebrew text has literally, “one who creates fruit of lips.” Perhaps the pronoun אֲנִי (’ani) should be inserted after the participle; it may have been accidentally omitted by haplography: נוּב שְׂפָתָיִם[אֲנִי] בּוֹרֵא (bore’ [’ani] nuv sÿfatayim). “Fruit of the lips” is often understood as a metonymy for praise; perhaps it refers more generally to joyful shouts (see v. 18).
52 tn Heb “Peace, peace.” The repetition of the noun emphasizes degree.
53 tn Heb “declare to my people their rebellion.”
54 tn Heb “and to the house of Jacob their sin.” The verb “declare” is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
55 tn Heb “ways” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV); NLT “my laws.”
56 tn The words “they lament” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
57 tn Heb “you find pleasure”; NASB “you find your desire.”
58 tn Or perhaps, “debtors.” See HALOT 865 s.v. * עָצֵב.
59 tn Heb “you fast for” (so NASB); NRSV “you fast only to quarrel.”
60 tn Heb “and for striking with a sinful fist.”
61 tn Heb “choose” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB “wish.”
62 tn Heb “a day when man humbles himself.” The words “Do I want” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
63 tn Or “making [their] bed.”
64 tn Heb “Is this not a fast I choose?” “No” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
65 tn The words “I want you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
66 tn Heb “crushed.”
67 tn Heb “Is it not?” The rhetorical question here expects a positive answer, “It is!”
68 tn Heb “and afflicted [ones], homeless [ones] you should bring [into] a house.” On the meaning of מְרוּדִים (mÿrudim, “homeless”) see HALOT 633 s.v. *מָרוּד.
69 tn Heb “and from your flesh do not hide yourself.”
70 tn Heb “will burst out like the dawn.”
sn Light here symbolizes God’s favor and restored blessing, as the immediately following context makes clear.
71 tn Heb “prosper”; KJV “spring forth speedily.”
72 tn Or “righteousness.” Their godly behavior will be on display for all to see.
73 sn The nation will experience God’s protective presence.
76 tn Heb “If you furnish for the hungry [with] your being, and the appetite of the oppressed you satisfy.”
77 tn Heb “will rise in the darkness.”
78 tn Heb “and your darkness [will be] like noonday.”
79 tn Heb “he will satisfy in parched regions your appetite.”
80 tn Heb “and your bones he will strengthen.”
81 tn Heb “and they will build from you ancient ruins.”
82 tc The Hebrew text has “the one who restores paths for dwelling.” The idea of “paths to dwell in” is not a common notion. Some have proposed emending נְתִיבוֹת (nÿtivot, “paths”) to נְתִיצוֹת (nÿtitsot, “ruins”), a passive participle from נָתַץ (natats, “tear down”; see HALOT 732 s.v. *נְתִיצָה), because tighter parallelism with the preceding line is achieved. However, none of the textual sources support this emendation. The line may mean that paths must be repaired in order to dwell in the land.
84 tn Heb “if you turn from the Sabbath your feet.”
85 tn Heb “[from] doing your desires on my holy day.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa supplies the preposition מִן (min) on “doing.”
86 tn Heb “and call the Sabbath a pleasure”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “a delight.”
88 tn Heb “and you honor it [by refraining] from accomplishing your ways, from finding your desire and speaking a word.” It is unlikely that the last phrase (“speaking a word”) is a prohibition against talking on the Sabbath; instead it probably refers to making transactions or plans (see Hos 10:4). Some see here a reference to idle talk (cf. 2 Sam 19:30).
91 tn Heb “and I will cause you to eat the inheritance of Jacob your father.” The Hebrew term נַחֲלָה (nakhalah) likely stands by metonymy for the crops that grow on Jacob’s “inheritance” (i.e., the land he inherited as a result of God’s promise).
92 tn Heb “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The introductory כִּי (ki) may be asseverative (as reflected in the translation) or causal/explanatory, explaining why the preceding promise will become reality (because it is guaranteed by the divine word).
93 tn Heb “short” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
94 tn Heb “or his ear too heavy [i.e., “dull”] to hear.”
95 tn Heb “and your sins have caused [his] face to be hidden from you so as not to hear.”
96 tn Heb “no one pleads with justice.”
97 tn Heb “nothing”; NAB “emptiness.”
98 tn Or “trouble” (NIV), or “harm.”
99 tn Heb “that which is pressed in hatches [as] a snake.”
100 tn Heb “their deeds are deeds of sin, and the work of violence [is] in their hands.”
101 tn Heb “their feet run to evil.”
102 tn Heb “they quickly pour out innocent blood.”
103 tn Heb “their thoughts are thoughts of sin, destruction and crushing [are] in their roadways.”
104 tn Heb “a way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their pathways.”
105 tn Heb “their paths they make crooked, everyone who walks in it does not know peace.”
106 tn מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), which refers to “justice” in the earlier verses, here refers to “justice from God,” or “vindication.” Because the people are unjust, God refuses to vindicate them before their enemies. See v. 11.
107 sn The prophet speaks on behalf of the sinful nation and confesses its sins.
108 sn Light here symbolizes prosperity and blessing.
109 tn Heb “but, look, darkness”; NIV “but all is darkness.”
110 tn The words “we wait for” are supplied in the translation; the verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
111 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.
112 tn Or “walk about”; NCV “all we have is darkness.”
113 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.
114 tn Heb “like there are no eyes.”
115 tn Heb among the strong, like dead men.”
117 tn Heb “for many are our rebellious deeds before you.”
118 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] our rebellious deeds (are) with us, and our sins, we know them.”
119 tn Heb “speaking.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.
120 tn Heb “conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.”
121 tn Or “righteousness” (ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); KJV, NAB “justice.”
122 tn Or “for” (KJV, NRSV).
123 tn Heb “and it is displeasing in his eyes.”
124 tn Heb “man” (so KJV, ASV); TEV “no one to help.”
125 tn Or “appalled” (NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “disgusted.”
126 tn Heb “and his arm delivers for him.”
127 tn Heb “and his justice [or “righteousness”] supports him.”
128 tn Or “righteousness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “goodness.”
129 tn Or “a breastplate” (traditional; so many English versions); TEV “a coat of armour.”
130 tn Heb “and [as] a helmet deliverance on his head.”
131 tn Heb “and he puts on the clothes of vengeance [as] a garment.”
132 tn Heb “in accordance with deeds, so he repays, anger to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies.”
133 tn Or “islands” (KJV, NIV).
134 tc Heb “fear.” A few medieval Hebrew
135 tn Heb “and they fear from the west the name of the Lord.”
136 tn Heb “and from the rising of the sun his splendor.”
137 tn Heb “narrow”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “pent-up.”
140 tn Heb “and to those who turn from rebellion in Jacob.”
141 tn Or “my covenant with” (so many English versions); NCV “my agreement with.”
sn The Lord promises the repentant (note “to them”) that they and their offspring will possess his spirit and function as his spokesmen. In this regard they follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s special servant. See 42:1; 49:2; 51:16.
142 tn Heb “from now and on into the future.”