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Isaiah 66

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Isaiah 66

The Worship God Demands

1Thus says the Lord:

"Heaven is my throne

and the earth is my footstool;

what is the house which you would build for me,

and what is the place of my rest?

2All these things my hand has made,

and so all these things are mine,a

says the Lord.

But this is the man to whom I will look,

he that is humble and contrite in spirit,

and trembles at my word.

3"He who slaughters an ox is like him who kills a man;

he who sacrifices a lamb, like him who breaks a dog's neck;

he who presents a cereal offering, like him who offers swine's blood;

he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like him who blesses an idol.

These have chosen their own ways,

and their soul delights in their abominations;

4I also will choose affliction for them,

and bring their fears upon them;

because, when I called, no one answered,

when I spoke they did not listen;

but they did what was evil in my eyes,

and chose that in which I did not delight."

The Lord Vindicates Zion

5Hear the word of the Lord,

you who tremble at his word:

"Your brethren who hate you

and cast you out for my name's sake

have said, 'Let the Lord be glorified,

that we may see your joy';

but it is they who shall be put to shame.

6"Hark, an uproar from the city!

A voice from the temple!

The voice of the Lord,

rendering recompense to his enemies!

7"Before she was in labor

she gave birth;

before her pain came upon her

she was delivered of a son.

8Who has heard such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?

For as soon as Zion was in labor

she brought forth her sons.

9Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?

says the Lord;

shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?

says your God.

10"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,

all you who love her;

rejoice with her in joy,

all you who mourn over her;

11that you may suck and be satisfied

with her consoling breasts;

that you may drink deeply with delight

from the abundance of her glory."

12For thus says the Lord:

"Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river,

and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;

and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip,

and dandled upon her knees.

13As one whom his mother comforts,

so I will comfort you;

you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

The Reign and Indignation of God

14You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;

your bones shall flourish like the grass;

and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants,

and his indignation is against his enemies.

15"For behold, the Lord will come in fire,

and his chariots like the stormwind,

to render his anger in fury,

and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16For by fire will the Lord execute judgment,

and by his sword, upon all flesh;

and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17"Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating swine's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, says the Lord.

18"For I knowb their works and their thoughts, and I amc coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put,d and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

22"For as the new heavens and the new earth

which I will make

shall remain before me, says the Lord;

so shall your descendants and your name remain.

23From new moon to new moon,

and from sabbath to sabbath,

all flesh shall come to worship before me,

says the Lord.

24"And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."