Isaiah 51:1-23, NLT
A Call to Trust the Lord
1“Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—
all who seek the Lord!
Consider the rock from which you were cut,
the quarry from which you were mined.
2Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor,
and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation.
Abraham was only one man when I called him.
But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.”
3The Lord will comfort Israel*51:3 Hebrew Zion; also in 51:16. again
and have pity on her ruins.
Her desert will blossom like Eden,
her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found there.
Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air.
4“Listen to me, my people.
Hear me, Israel,
for my law will be proclaimed,
and my justice will become a light to the nations.
5My mercy and justice are coming soon.
My salvation is on the way.
My strong arm will bring justice to the nations.
All distant lands will look to me
and wait in hope for my powerful arm.
6Look up to the skies above,
and gaze down on the earth below.
For the skies will disappear like smoke,
and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing.
The people of the earth will die like flies,
but my salvation lasts forever.
My righteous rule will never end!
7“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong,
you who cherish my law in your hearts.
Do not be afraid of people’s scorn,
nor fear their insults.
8For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing.
The worm will eat at them as it eats wool.
But my righteousness will last forever.
My salvation will continue from generation to generation.”
9Wake up, wake up, O Lord! Clothe yourself with strength!
Flex your mighty right arm!
Rouse yourself as in the days of old
when you slew Egypt, the dragon of the Nile.*51:9 Hebrew You slew Rahab; you pierced the dragon. Rahab is the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature. The name is used here as a poetic name for Egypt.
10Are you not the same today,
the one who dried up the sea,
making a path of escape through the depths
so that your people could cross over?
11Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem*51:11 Hebrew Zion. singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
12“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?
13Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator,
the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy
and laid the foundations of the earth.
Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors?
Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies?
Where is their fury and anger now?
It is gone!
14Soon all you captives will be released!
Imprisonment, starvation, and death will not be your fate!
15For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar.
My name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
16And I have put my words in your mouth
and hidden you safely in my hand.
I stretched out*51:16 As in Syriac version (see also 51:13); Hebrew reads planted. the sky like a canopy
and laid the foundations of the earth.
I am the one who says to Israel,
‘You are my people!’”
17Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem!
You have drunk the cup of the Lord’s fury.
You have drunk the cup of terror,
tipping out its last drops.
18Not one of your children is left alive
to take your hand and guide you.
19These two calamities have fallen on you:
desolation and destruction, famine and war.
And who is left to sympathize with you?
Who is left to comfort you?*51:19 As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek, Latin, and Syriac versions; Masoretic Text reads How can I comfort you?
20For your children have fainted and lie in the streets,
helpless as antelopes caught in a net.
The Lord has poured out his fury;
God has rebuked them.
21But now listen to this, you afflicted ones
who sit in a drunken stupor,
though not from drinking wine.
22This is what the Sovereign Lord,
your God and Defender, says:
“See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands.
You will drink no more of my fury.
23Instead, I will hand that cup to your tormentors,
those who said, ‘We will trample you into the dust
and walk on your backs.’”