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Isaiah 54 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 54

The New Zion

Raise a glad cry, you barren one[a] who never bore a child,
    break forth in jubilant song, you who have never been in labor,
For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife
    than the children of her who has a husband,
    says the Lord.
Enlarge the space for your tent,
    spread out your tent cloths unsparingly;
    lengthen your ropes and make firm your pegs.
For you shall spread abroad to the right and left;
    your descendants shall dispossess the nations
    and shall people the deserted cities.[b]

[c]Do not fear, you shall not be put to shame;
    do not be discouraged, you shall not be disgraced.
For the shame of your youth you shall forget,
    the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
For your husband is your Maker;
    the Lord of hosts is his name,
Your redeemer,[d] the Holy One of Israel,
    called God of all the earth.

The Lord calls you back,
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
A wife married in youth and then cast off,
    says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
    I hid my face from you;
But with enduring love I take pity on you,
    says the Lord, your redeemer.

This is for me like the days of Noah:
As I swore then that the waters of Noah
    should never again flood the earth,
So I have sworn now not to be angry with you,
    or to rebuke you.
10 Though the mountains fall away
    and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never fall away from you
    nor my covenant of peace[e] be shaken,
    says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

11 O afflicted one,[f] storm-battered and unconsoled,
    I lay your pavements in carnelians,
    your foundations in sapphires;
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
    your gates of jewels,
    and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord;
    great shall be the peace of your children.
14 In justice shall you be established,
    far from oppression, you shall not fear,
    from destruction, it cannot come near.
15 If there be an attack, it is not my doing;
    whoever attacks shall fall before you.

16 See, I have created the smith
    who blows on the burning coals
    and forges weapons as his work;
It is I also who have created
    the destroyer to work havoc.
17 Every weapon fashioned against you shall fail;
    every tongue that brings you to trial
    you shall prove false.

This is the lot of the servants of the Lord,
    their vindication from me—oracle of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 54:1 Jerusalem, pictured as a wife who had been barren and deserted, now suddenly finds herself with innumerable children (the returning exiles); cf. Gal 4:27 for an application to a new context.
  2. 54:3 Those who had taken advantage of the exile to encroach on Jerusalem’s territory will be driven out, and the returning exiles will repopulate the cities of Judah.
  3. 54:4–8 As with some other Old Testament themes, Second Isaiah uses that of Israel as the Lord’s bride in a new manner. Whereas Hosea and Jeremiah had depicted Israel as the Lord’s spouse to emphasize both Israel’s infidelity and the Lord’s continued love (Hos 1–3; Jer 2:2; 3:1–15) and Ezekiel to accuse Israel unsparingly (Ez 16; 23), Second Isaiah speaks only of the love with which the Lord restores the people, speaking tender words with no hint of reproach.
  4. 54:5 Redeemer: cf. note on 41:14.
  5. 54:10 Covenant of peace: this whole section, vv. 9–17, is given to various assurances of God’s love for Israel and of safety from various possible threats; the phrase sums up both the positive aspects of shalom, which implies a fullness of blessing, and protection from all that might harm. Cf. also 55:3; Nm 25:12; Ez 34:25; 37:26; Mal 2:5.
  6. 54:11 Afflicted one: Jerusalem.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Isaiah 54 New International Version (NIV)

The Future Glory of Zion

54 “Sing, barren woman,
    you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy,
    you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband,
says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
    your descendants will dispossess nations
    and settle in their desolate cities.

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
    Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
    and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
For your Maker is your husband
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
    he is called the God of all the earth.
The Lord will call you back
    as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,
    only to be rejected,” says your God.
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
In a surge of anger
    I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
    I will have compassion on you,”
    says the Lord your Redeemer.

“To me this is like the days of Noah,
    when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
    never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
    I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,[a]
    your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
    your gates of sparkling jewels,
    and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
    and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
    you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
    it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
    whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
    who fans the coals into flame
    and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 54:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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