Isaiah 61

Good news of salvation

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is on me,

because he has chosen me to serve him.

61:1The Lord's special Servant is speaking in verses 1-4. See Isaiah 42:1-4; 42:7; 49:9; 50:4.

He has sent me to tell good news to poor people.

He has sent me to comfort people who are very upset.

He has sent me to tell prisoners that they are now free.

They can go out of their prisons!

2 He has sent me to say,

‘This is the year when the Lord will be kind to his people.’

It is the time when our God will punish our enemies.

He has sent me to comfort people who are weeping

because they are sad.

3 In that way, the people in Zion who are sad

will become strong again.

They will not put ashes on their heads any more.

61:3People put ashes on their heads when they were very sad and upset.

Instead, they will wear beautiful hats.

Instead of weeping,

they will have olive oil to show their joy.

They will not feel upset,

but they will sing happy songs to praise God.

People will call them ‘Strong trees that show God's righteousness’.

They will be like trees that the Lord himself has planted

to show how great he is.

4 God's people will build again their towns

that became heaps of stones a long time ago.

Once again, they will live in the cities

that have been empty for so long.

5 The Lord says to his people,

‘Foreign people will take care of your sheep for you.

They will work on your farms,

and they will take care of your vines.

61:5God's people would be able to pay foreigners to work for them.

6 People will call you

“The Lord's priests who are servants of our God”.

You will enjoy valuable things from other nations.

You will boast about all the riches

that you receive from them.

7 You will not be ashamed any more.

Instead, you will receive twice as much blessing.

People will not say that you are useless.

Instead, you will live happily on your own land.

Yes, my people will have twice the crops from their land,

And so they will always be very happy.

8 I, the Lord, love justice.

I hate it when people rob others,

or they do other wrong things.

Because I am faithful,

I will give help to my people.

I will make a covenant with them

that will continue for ever.

9 Their descendants will be famous

among the other nations.

Everyone who sees them will know

that the Lord has blessed them.’

10 I am very happy,

because of what the Lord, my God, has done.

61:10In verses 10-11, it is probably Zion (Jerusalem) that is speaking on behalf of the nation of God's people.

I have so much joy!

He has given salvation to me,

like clothes that I can wear all the time.

I have his righteousness as my coat!

He makes me handsome,

like a bridegroom who wears a priest's hat.

He makes me beautiful,

like a bride who wears her jewels.

11 The Lord God will cause his righteousness

to grow everywhere.

It will grow like crops in the fields,

and like plants that grow in a garden.

Then his people will praise him,

and all the nations will see it!