66:5 Hear the word of the Lord,
you who respect what he has to say! 1
Your countrymen, 2 who hate you
and exclude you, supposedly for the sake of my name,
say, “May the Lord be glorified,
then we will witness your joy.” 3
But they will be put to shame.
66:6 The sound of battle comes from the city;
the sound comes from the temple!
It is the sound of the Lord paying back his enemies.
66:7 Before she goes into labor, she gives birth!
Before her contractions begin, she delivers a boy!
66:8 Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has ever seen this?
Can a country 4 be brought forth in one day?
Can a nation be born in a single moment?
Yet as soon as Zion goes into labor she gives birth to sons!
66:9 “Do I bring a baby to the birth opening and then not deliver it?”
asks the Lord.
“Or do I bring a baby to the point of delivery and then hold it back?”
asks your God. 5
66:10 Be happy for Jerusalem
and rejoice with her, all you who love her!
Share in her great joy,
all you who have mourned over her!
you will feed with joy from her milk-filled breasts. 8
66:12 For this is what the Lord says:
“Look, I am ready to extend to her prosperity that will flow like a river,
the riches of nations will flow into her like a stream that floods its banks. 9
You will nurse from her breast 10 and be carried at her side;
you will play on her knees.
so I will console you,
and you will be consoled over Jerusalem.”
and you will be revived. 13
The Lord will reveal his power to his servants
and his anger to his enemies. 14
66:15 For look, the Lord comes with fire,
his chariots come like a windstorm, 15
to reveal his raging anger,
his battle cry, and his flaming arrows. 16
with fire and his sword;
the Lord will kill many. 18
66:17 “As for those who consecrate and ritually purify themselves so they can follow their leader and worship in the sacred orchards, 19 those who eat the flesh of pigs and other disgusting creatures, like mice 20 – they will all be destroyed together,” 21 says the Lord. 66:18 “I hate their deeds and thoughts! So I am coming 22 to gather all the nations and ethnic groups; 23 they will come and witness my splendor. 66:19 I will perform a mighty act among them 24 and then send some of those who remain to the nations – to Tarshish, Pul, 25 Lud 26 (known for its archers 27 ), Tubal, Javan, 28 and to the distant coastlands 29 that have not heard about me or seen my splendor. They will tell the nations of my splendor. 66:20 They will bring back all your countrymen 30 from all the nations as an offering to the Lord. They will bring them 31 on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, and on camels 32 to my holy hill Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the Israelites bring offerings to the Lord’s temple in ritually pure containers. 66:21 And I will choose some of them as priests and Levites,” says the Lord. 66:22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth I am about to make will remain standing before me,” says the Lord, “so your descendants and your name will remain.
1 tn Heb “who tremble at his word.”
2 tn Heb “brothers” (so NASB, NIV); NRSV “Your own people”; NLT “Your close relatives.”
3 tn Or “so that we might witness your joy.” The point of this statement is unclear.
4 tn Heb “land,” but here אֶרֶץ (’erets) stands metonymically for an organized nation (see the following line).
5 sn The rhetorical questions expect the answer, “Of course not!”
6 tn Or “in order that”; ASV, NRSV “that.”
7 tn Heb “you will suck and be satisfied, from her comforting breast.”
8 tn Heb “you will slurp and refresh yourselves from her heavy breast.”
sn Zion’s residents will benefit from and enjoy her great material prosperity. See v. 12.
9 tn Heb “Look, I am ready to extend to her like a river prosperity [or “peace”], and like an overflowing stream, the riches of nations.”
11 tn Heb “like a man whose mother comforts him.”
12 tn “and you will see and your heart will be happy.”
13 tn Heb “and your bones like grass will sprout.”
14 tn Heb “and the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants, and anger to his enemies.”
15 sn Chariots are like a windstorm in their swift movement and in the way that they kick up dust.
16 tn Heb “to cause to return with the rage of his anger, and his battle cry [or “rebuke”] with flames of fire.”
17 tn Heb “flesh” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV “upon all men”; TEV “all the people of the world.”
18 tn Heb “many are the slain of the Lord.”
19 tn Heb “the ones who consecrate themselves and the ones who purify themselves toward the orchards [or “gardens”] after the one in the midst.” The precise meaning of the statement is unclear, though it is obvious that some form of idolatry is in view.
20 tn Heb “ones who eat the flesh of the pig and the disgusting thing and the mouse.”
21 tn Heb “together they will come to an end.”
22 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “and I, their deeds and their thoughts, am coming.” The syntax here is very problematic, suggesting that the text may have suffered corruption. Some suggest that the words “their deeds and their thoughts” have been displaced from v. 17. This line presents two primary challenges. In the first place, the personal pronoun “I” has no verb after it. Most translations insert “know” for the sake of clarity (NASB, NRSV, NLT, ESV). The NIV has “I, because of their actions and their imaginations…” Since God’s “knowledge” of Israel’s sin occasions judgment, the verb “hate” is an option as well (see above translation). The feminine form of the next verb (בָּאָה, ba’ah) could be understood in one of two ways. One could provide an implied noun “time” (עֵת, ’et) and render the next line “the time is coming/has come” (NASB, ESV). One could also emend the feminine verb to the masculine בָּא (ba’) and have the “I” at the beginning of the line govern this verb as well (for the Lord is speaking here): “I am coming” (cf. NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).
23 tn Heb “and the tongues”; KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV “and tongues.”
24 tn Heb “and I will set a sign among them.” The precise meaning of this statement is unclear. Elsewhere “to set a sign” means “perform a mighty act” (Ps 78:43; Jer 32:20), “make [someone] an object lesson” (Ezek 14:8), and “erect a [literal] standard” (Ps 74:4).
25 tn Some prefer to read “Put” (i.e., Libya).
26 sn That is, Lydia (in Asia Minor).
27 tn Heb “drawers of the bow” (KJV and ASV both similar).
28 sn Javan is generally identified today as Greece (so NIV, NCV, NLT).
29 tn Or “islands” (NIV).
30 tn Heb “brothers” (so NIV); NCV “fellow Israelites.”
31 tn The words “they will bring them” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
32 tn The precise meaning of this word is uncertain. Some suggest it refers to “chariots.” See HALOT 498 s.v. *כִּרְכָּרָה.