6Great caravans of camels will come, from Midian and Ephah.
They will come from Sheba, bringing gold and incense.
People will tell the good news of what the LORD has done!
7All the sheep of Kedar and Nebaioth
Will be brought to you as sacrifices
And offered on the altar to please the LORD.
The LORD will make his Temple more glorious than ever.
8What are these ships that skim along like clouds,
Like doves returning home?
9They are ships coming from distant lands,
Bringing God's people home.
They bring with them silver and gold
To honour the name of the LORD,
The holy God of Israel,
Who has made all nations honour his people.
10The LORD says to Jerusalem,
“Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
And their kings will serve you.
In my anger I punished you,
But now I will show you my favour and mercy.
11Day and night your gates will be open,
So that the kings of the nations
May bring you their wealth.
12But nations that do not serve you
Will be completely destroyed.
13“The wood of the pine, the juniper, and the cypress,
The finest wood from the forests of Lebanon,
Will be brought to rebuild you, Jerusalem,
To make my Temple beautiful,
To make my city glorious.
14The descendants of those who oppressed you will come
And bow low to show their respect.
All who once despised you will worship at your feet.
They will call you ‘The City of the LORD’,
‘Zion, the City of Israel's Holy God’.
15“You will no longer be forsaken and hated,
A city deserted and desolate.
I will make you great and beautiful,
A place of joy for ever and ever.
16Nations and kings will care for you
As a mother nurses her child.
You will know that I, the LORD, have saved you,
That the mighty God of Israel sets you free.
17“I will bring you gold instead of bronze,
Silver and bronze instead of iron and wood,
And iron instead of stone.
Your rulers will no longer oppress you;
I will make them rule with justice and peace.
18The sounds of violence will be heard no more;
Destruction will not shatter your country again.
I will protect and defend you like a wall;
You will praise me because I have saved you.
19“No longer will the sun be your light by day
Or the moon be your light by night;
I, the LORD, will be your eternal light;
The light of my glory will shine on you.
20Your days of grief will come to an end.
I, the LORD, will be your eternal light,
More lasting than the sun and moon.
21Your people will all do what is right,
And will possess the land for ever.
I planted them, I made them,
To reveal my greatness to all.
22Even your smallest and humblest family
Will become as great as a powerful nation.
When the right time comes,
I will make this happen quickly.
I am the LORD!”
The Good News of Deliverance
1The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit.
He has chosen me and sent me
To bring good news to the poor,
To heal the broken-hearted,
To announce release to captives
And freedom to those in prison.
2He has sent me to proclaim
That the time has come
When the LORD will save his people
And defeat their enemies.
He has sent me to comfort all who mourn,
3To give to those who mourn in Zion
Joy and gladness instead of grief,
A song of praise instead of sorrow.
They will be like trees
That the LORD himself has planted.
They will all do what is right,
And God will be praised for what he has done.
4They will rebuild cities that have long been in ruins.
5My people, foreigners will serve you.
They will take care of your flocks
And farm your land and tend your vineyards.
6And you will be known as the priests of the LORD,
The servants of our God.
You will enjoy the wealth of the nations
And be proud that it is yours.
7Your shame and disgrace are ended.
You will live in your own land,
And your wealth will be doubled;
Your joy will last for ever.
8The LORD says,
“I love justice and I hate oppression and crime.
I will faithfully reward my people
And make an eternal covenant with them.
9They will be famous among the nations;
Everyone who sees them will know
That they are a people whom I have blessed.”
10Jerusalem rejoices because of what the LORD has done.
She is like a bride dressed for her wedding.
God has clothed her with salvation and victory.
11As surely as seeds sprout and grow,
The Sovereign LORD will save his people,
And all the nations will praise him.
1I will speak out to encourage Jerusalem;
I will not be silent until she is saved,
And her victory shines like a torch in the night.
2Jerusalem, the nations will see you victorious!
All their kings will see your glory.
You will be called by a new name,
A name given by the LORD himself.
3You will be like a beautiful crown for the LORD.
4No longer will you be called “Forsaken”,
Or your land be called “The Deserted Wife”.
Your new name will be “God is Pleased with Her”.
Your land will be called “Happily Married”,
Because the LORD is pleased with you
And will be like a husband to your land.
5Like a young man taking a virgin as his bride,
He who formed you will marry you.
As a groom is delighted with his bride,
So your God will delight in you.
6On your walls, Jerusalem,
I have placed sentries;
They must never be silent day or night.
They must remind the LORD of his promises
And never let him forget them.
7They must give him no rest until he restores Jerusalem
And makes it a city the whole world praises.
8The LORD has made a solemn promise,
And by his power he will carry it out:
“Your corn will no longer be food for your enemies,
And foreigners will no longer drink your wine.
9But you that sowed and harvested the corn
Will eat the bread and praise the LORD.
You that tended and gathered the grapes
Will drink the wine in the courts of my Temple.”
10People of Jerusalem, go out of the city
And build a road for your returning people!
Prepare a highway; clear it of stones!
Put up a signal so that the nations can know
11That the LORD is announcing to all the earth:
“Tell the people of Jerusalem
That the LORD is coming to save you,
Bringing with him the people he has rescued.”
12You will be called “God's Holy People”,
“The People the LORD has Saved”.
Jerusalem will be called “The City that God Loves”,
“The City that God did not Forsake”.
The LORD's Victory over the Nations
1“Who is this coming from the city of Bozrah in Edom? Who is this so splendidly dressed in red, marching along in power and strength?”
“It is the LORD, powerful to save, coming to announce his victory.”
2“Why is his clothing so red, like that of someone who tramples grapes to make wine?”
3The LORD answers, “I have trampled the nations like grapes, and no one came to help me. I trampled them in my anger, and their blood has stained all my clothing. 4I decided that the time to save my people had come; it was time to punish their enemies. 5I was amazed when I looked and saw that there was no one to help me. But my anger made me strong, and I won the victory myself. 6In my anger I trampled whole nations and shattered them. I poured out their lifeblood on the ground.”
The LORD's Goodness to Israel
7I will tell of the LORD's unfailing love;
I praise him for all he has done for us.
He has richly blessed the people of Israel
because of his mercy and constant love.
8The LORD said, “They are my people; they will not deceive me.” And so he saved them 9from all their suffering. It was not an angel, but the LORD himself who saved them. In his love and compassion he rescued them. He had always taken care of them in the past, 10but they rebelled against him and made his Holy Spirit sad. So the LORD became their enemy and fought against them.
11But then they remembered the past, the days of Moses, the servant of the LORD, and they asked, “Where now is the LORD, who saved the leaders of his people from the sea? Where is the LORD, who gave his Spirit to Moses? 12-13Where is the LORD, who by his power did great things through Moses, dividing the waters of the sea and leading his people through the deep water, to win everlasting fame for himself?”
Led by the LORD, they were as sure-footed as wild horses, and never stumbled. 14As cattle are led into a fertile valley, so the LORD gave his people rest. He led his people and brought honour to his name.
A Prayer for Mercy and Help
15LORD, look upon us from heaven, where you live in your holiness and glory. Where is your great concern for us? Where is your power? Where are your love and compassion? Do not ignore us. 16You are our father. Our ancestors Abraham and Jacob do not acknowledge us, but you, LORD, are our father, the one who has always rescued us. 17Why do you let us stray from your ways? Why do you make us so stubborn that we turn away from you? Come back, for the sake of those who serve you, for the sake of the people who have always been yours.
18We, your holy people, were driven out by our enemies for a little while: they trampled down your sanctuary.19You treat us as though you had never been our ruler, as though we had never been your people.
1Why don't you tear the sky apart and come down? The mountains would see you and shake with fear. 2They would tremble like water boiling over a hot fire. Come and reveal your power to your enemies, and make the nations tremble at your presence! 3There was a time when you came and did terrifying things that we did not expect; the mountains saw you and shook with fear. 4No one has ever seen or heard of a God like you, who does such deeds for those who put their hope in him. 5You welcome those who find joy in doing what is right, those who remember how you want them to live. You were angry with us, but we went on sinning; in spite of your great anger we have continued to do wrong since ancient times.6All of us have been sinful; even our best actions are filthy through and through. Because of our sins we are like leaves that wither and are blown away by the wind. 7No one turns to you in prayer; no one goes to you for help. You have hidden yourself from us and have abandoned us because of our sins.
8But you are our father, LORD. We are like clay, and you are like the potter. You created us, 9so do not be too angry with us or hold our sins against us for ever. We are your people; be merciful to us. 10Your sacred cities are like a desert; Jerusalem is a deserted ruin, 11and our Temple, the sacred and beautiful place where our ancestors praised you, has been destroyed by fire. All the places we loved are in ruins. 12LORD, are you unmoved by all this? Are you going to do nothing and make us suffer more than we can endure?