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Isaiah 56

56:0In Part 5 (Chapters 56-66), God's Messiah beats God's enemies

A place where everyone can pray

1 This is what the LORD is saying to you. ‘Always be fair. And do what is right. Do those things because I will make you safe. It will happen very soon. Also, soon I will show to everybody that I am righteous.

2 God will bless the man who does those things. He will bless the man who really does those things. That man does not do the wrong things on the Sabbath and he does not make it dirty. And he does not let his hand do anything that is bad.’

56:2Verse 2 ‘make it dirty’ here means ‘do what was wrong on the Sabbath’.

3 A foreigner may have promised to obey the LORD. That foreigner should not say, ‘The LORD will surely not let me join his people.’ And no eunuch should say, ‘I am only like a dry tree.’

4 The LORD says that to the eunuchs who do the things in this list:

· They do not do wrong things on my Sabbaths.

· They choose to do what makes me happy.

· They really obey my covenant.

5 He says, ‘If they do those things, I will give to them these things inside the walls of my temple:

· something to cause people to remember them

· a name that is better than sons and daughters.

I will give to them a name that will always stay. Nobody will cut it off.’

56:5Verse 5 ‘cut it off’ A eunuch could not have children, because someone had cut off some of his male sex parts.

6 ‘That will happen to foreigners who do these things:

· They promise that they will obey the LORD. And they promise that they will be the LORD's servants.

· They love the name of the LORD and they worship him.

· They all do the right things on the Sabbath and they do not make it dirty.

· They really obey my covenant.’

56:6Verse 6 ‘make it dirty’ here means ‘do what was wrong on the Sabbath’.

7 ‘I will bring them to my holy mountain. And I will make them happy in my house for prayer. I will accept what they offer. I will accept what they burn as sacrifices on my altar. That is because people will call my house, “A house for prayer for people from every country”.’

56:7The words ‘holy mountain’ mean Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where Solomon built God's temple.
56:7The words ‘house for prayer’ mean a place where people pray to God. Here, it means the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus said those words again in Matthew 21:13.

8 The LORD is the God who brings the exiles of Israel together. The LORD God says, ‘I will bring even other people to them. They will be with those people that I have brought already.’

9 God says this about what will happen to bad people. ‘Come here, you wild animals that live in fields! Come, you wild animals that live in the forest! Come and eat everything!’

10 Israel's watchmen cannot see anything. They do not know anything. They are all like dogs that cannot make a noise. They cannot make the noise that dogs usually make. They lie about and they dream. They like to sleep.

11 They are like dogs that like to eat a lot. And they never have enough. Also, they are like shepherds who do not understand anything. They all turn to do what they want. Everybody tries to get what he can for himself.

12 They shout, ‘Come! We must get wine! We must drink as much beer as we can! And tomorrow will be like today. It might be much better!’