Isaiah 59 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Social Injustice Is Condemned
59 The Lord hasn’t lost
his powerful strength;
he can still hear
and answer prayers.
2 Your sins are the roadblock
between you and your God.
That’s why he doesn’t answer
or let you see his face.
3 Your talk is filled with lies
and plans for violence;
every finger on your hands
is covered with blood.
4 You falsely accuse others
and tell lies in court;
sin and trouble are the names
of your children.
5 You eat the deadly eggs
of poisonous snakes,
and more snakes crawl out
from the eggs left to hatch.
You weave spider webs,
6 but you can’t make clothes
with those webs
or hide behind them.
You’re sinful and brutal.
7 You hurry off to do wrong
or murder innocent victims.
All you think about is sin;
you leave ruin and destruction
wherever you go.
8 You don’t know how
to live in peace
or to be fair with others.
The roads you make are crooked;
your followers cannot find peace.
The People Confess Their Sins
9 No one has come to defend us
or to bring about justice.
We hoped for a day of sunshine,
but all we found
was a dark, gloomy night.
10 We feel our way along,
as if we were blind;
we stumble at noon,
as if it were night.
We can see no better
than someone dead.
11 We growl like bears
and mourn like doves.
We hope for justice and victory,
but they escape us.
12 How often have we sinned
and turned against you,
the Lord God?
Our sins condemn us!
We have done wrong.
13 We have rebelled and refused
to follow you.
Our hearts were deceitful,
and so we lied;
we planned to abuse others
and turn our backs on you.
14 Injustice is everywhere;
justice seems far away.
Truth is chased out of court;
honesty is shoved aside.
15 Everyone tells lies;
those who turn from crime
end up ruined.
The Lord Will Rescue His People
When the Lord noticed
that justice had disappeared,
he became very displeased.
16 It disgusted him even more
that no one
would do a thing about it.
So with his own powerful arm,
he won victories for truth.
17 Justice was the Lord’s armor;
saving power was his helmet;
anger and revenge
were his clothes.
18 Now the Lord will get furious
and do to his enemies,
both near and far,
what they did to his people.
19 He will attack like a flood
in a mighty windstorm.
Nations in the west and the east
will then honor and praise
his wonderful name.
20 The Lord has promised to rescue
the city of Zion
and Jacob’s descendants
who turn from sin.
21 The Lord says: “My people,
I promise to give you my Spirit
and my message.
These will be my gifts to you
and your families forever.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Isaiah 59 New International Version (NIV)
Sin, Confession and Redemption
59 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
2 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,
and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4 No one calls for justice;
no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 They hatch the eggs of vipers
and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6 Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are evil deeds,
and acts of violence are in their hands.
7 Their feet rush into sin;
they are swift to shed innocent blood.
They pursue evil schemes;
acts of violence mark their ways.
8 The way of peace they do not know;
there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;
no one who walks along them will know peace.
9 So justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10 Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
among the strong, we are like the dead.
11 We all growl like bears;
we moan mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but find none;
for deliverance, but it is far away.
12 For our offenses are many in your sight,
and our sins testify against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13 rebellion and treachery against the Lord,
turning our backs on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,
uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice is driven back,
and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
The Lord looked and was displeased
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
and retribution to his foes;
he will repay the islands their due.
19 From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord,
and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood
that the breath of the Lord drives along.
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the Lord.
21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
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