Isaiah 65:1-25

Punishment and salvation

1 The Lord says,

‘I was ready to answer,

even when my people did not ask me anything.

I showed myself to people

who were not even looking for me.

I said, “Look! Here I am!” to a nation

who did not even use my name to pray.

2 All the time, I have been ready to help my people,

even though they turned against me.

But they continue to live in a way that is not good.

They do whatever they want to do.

3 They continue to make me angry,

as they insult me without shame.

They offer sacrifices to their idols in their gardens.

They burn incense to them

on altars that are made from bricks.

4 They sit among the graves

and they hide in caves.

65:4They probably did this to worship the spirits of dead people.

They eat meat from pigs.

They use unclean meat to make their soup.

5 They say to each other,

“Keep away from me! Do not come near me!

I am too holy for you!”

These people are like smoke in my nose!

They are like a fire that burns all day.’

6 The Lord says,

‘Look! I have decided what I will do,

and I have written it down:

I will not keep quiet.

I will punish them completely.

I will give them everything that they deserve,

7 as punishment for their sins

and for the sins of their ancestors.

They burned incense to their idols on the mountains,

and they insulted me on the hills.

So I will punish them completely,

as much as they deserve.’

8 This is what the Lord says:

‘If grapes still have some juice in them,

someone will say, “Do not destroy them.

There is some juice there that we can use.”

I will do the same thing for my servants.

I will not destroy them all.

9 I will cause Jacob's family to have descendants.

There will be people of Judah's family

who will live on my mountains.

The land will belong to the people that I have chosen.

My servants will live there.

10 Sharon will become a field where sheep safely eat grass.

Cows will rest in the Valley of Achor.

Those places will belong to my people,

those who want to serve me.

11 But punishment will come

to those people who turn away from the Lord.

You forget to worship me on my holy mountain.

65:11‘holy mountain’ means Mount Zion, where Solomon built God's temple.

Instead, you prepare food and wine

to offer to your false gods called “Luck” and “Fate”.

12 So this will be your fate:

a sword will kill you.

You will all bend down low for someone to kill you.

This will happen because you did not answer me

when I spoke to you.

You did not even listen to my words.

You did evil things against me.

You chose to do things that I would hate.’

13 So the Almighty Lord says this:

‘Look! My servants will eat,

but you will be hungry.

Look! My servants will drink,

but you will be thirsty.

Look! My servants will be happy,

but you will be ashamed.

14 Yes, my servants will sing with joy

because they are so happy.

But you will cry aloud

because you are so sad.

You will weep

because you are very upset.

15 My own people will use your names when they curse others.

The Almighty Lord will kill you,

but he will give to his servants another name.

16 People in the land will use the name of the true God,

when they want to say a blessing.

People in the land who want to make a strong promise

will also use the name of the true God.

I will forget the troubles that happened in past years.

I will no longer even think about them.

17 Listen! I will create

new heavens and a new earth.

People will not remember what things were like before.

Those thoughts will not be in their minds at all.

18 But be happy about what I will create!

Be happy for ever!

I will create Jerusalem as a happy place.

The people who live there will be full of joy.

19 And Jerusalem will cause me to be happy.

My people will give me joy.

There will be no noise of people who are weeping.

People will not be sad in Jerusalem again.

20 Never again will there be a baby

who only lives for a few days.

Old men will continue to live a long life.

People will live until they are 100 years old

and they will still seem young.

If anyone dies before he is 100 years old,

people will think that God has cursed him.

21 My people will build houses

and they will live in them.

They will plant vineyards

and they will eat the fruit from them.

22 They will no longer build houses

and then other people live in them.

They will not plant trees

and then other people to eat the fruit.

My people will have long lives,

as long as trees live.

My own people will live to enjoy the things

that they have worked hard to get.

23 Their work will not be useless.

They will not give birth to children

who will live in fear.

Instead, the Lord will bless their children.

He will bless them

and their descendants with them.

24 Before they call to me for help,

I will answer them.

While they are still praying,

I will hear them.

25 At that time,

wolves and lambs will eat together.

Lions will eat straw like cows.

A snake's food will be dirt.

Nothing will hurt or destroy anything else

anywhere on my holy mountain.’

That is what the Lord says.

65:25See Isaiah 11:1-9. The ‘holy mountain’ is where God rules as king.