Isa 56-58

The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey 1Thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. 2Happy is the mortal who does this, the one who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it, and refrains from doing any evil. 3Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and do not let the eunuch say, “I am just a dry tree.”4For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant,5I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. 6And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant—7these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.8Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered. The Corruption of Israel's Rulers 9All you wild animals, all you wild animals in the forest, come to devour!10Israel's sentinels are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs that cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.11The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, to their own gain, one and all.12“Come,” they say, “let us get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink. And tomorrow will be like today, great beyond measure.” Chapter 57Israel's Futile Idolatry 1The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous are taken away from calamity,2and they enter into peace; those who walk uprightly will rest on their couches.3But as for you, come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of an adulterer and a whore.4Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit—5you that burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree; you that slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?6Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they, are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink offering, you have brought a grain offering. Shall I be appeased for these things?7Upon a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.8Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your symbol; for, in deserting me, you have uncovered your bed, you have gone up to it, you have made it wide; and you have made a bargain for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have gazed on their nakedness.9You journeyed to Molech with oil, and multiplied your perfumes; you sent your envoys far away, and sent down even to Sheol.10You grew weary from your many wanderings, but you did not say, “It is useless.” You found your desire rekindled, and so you did not weaken. 11Whom did you dread and fear so that you lied, and did not remember me or give me a thought? Have I not kept silent and closed my eyes, and so you do not fear me?12I will concede your righteousness and your works, but they will not help you.13When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them off, a breath will take them away. But whoever takes refuge in me shall possess the land and inherit my holy mountain. A Promise of Help and Healing 14It shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people's way.”15For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.16For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.17Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry; I struck them, I hid and was angry; but they kept turning back to their own ways.18I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.19Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them.20But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud.21There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked. Chapter 58False and True Worship 1Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.2Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.3“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.5Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.11The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. 13If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;14then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.