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Isaiah 65 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord Will Punish the Guilty

65 I, the Lord, was ready
answer even those
    who were not asking
and to be found by those
    who were not searching.
To a nation that refused
to worship me,[a]
    I said, “Here I am!”

All day long I have reached out
to stubborn and sinful people
    going their own way.
They keep making me angry
    by sneering at me,
while offering sacrifices
    to idols in gardens
and burning incense
    to them on bricks.
They spend their nights
    hiding in burial caves;
they eat the meat of pigs,[b]
cooked in sauces
    made of stuff unfit to eat.
And then they say to others,
“Don’t come near us!
    We’re dedicated to God.”
Such people are like smoke,
    irritating my nose all day.
I have written this down;
    I won’t keep silent.
I’ll pay them back
    just as their sins deserve.
I, the Lord, will make them pay
for their sins
and for those
    of their ancestors—
they have disgraced me
by burning incense
    on mountains.

Here is what the Lord says:
    A cluster of grapes
    that produces wine
    is worth keeping!
So, because of my servants,
    I won’t destroy everyone.
I have chosen the people
    of Israel and Judah,
and I will bless them
    with many descendants.
They will settle here
in this land of mountains,
    and it will be theirs.
10 My people will worship me.
Then the coastlands of Sharon
    and the land as far
    as Achor Valley[c]
will turn into pastureland
where cattle and sheep
    will feed and rest.

11 What will I, the Lord, do
if any of you reject me
    and my holy mountain?
What will happen to you
    for offering food and wine
to the gods you call
    “Good Luck” and “Fate”?
12 Your luck will end!
I will see to it
that you
    are slaughtered with swords.
You refused to answer
    when I called out;
you paid no attention
    to my instructions.
Instead, you did what I hated,
    knowing it was wrong.

13 I, the Lord God, will give
food and drink
to my servants,
    and they will celebrate.
But all of you sinners
will go hungry and thirsty,
    overcome with disgrace.
14 My servants will laugh and sing,
but you will be sad
    and cry out in pain.
15 I, the Lord God, promise
    to see that you are killed
and that my chosen servants use
    your names
as curse words.
But I will give new names[d]
    to my servants.[e]
16 I am God! I can be trusted.
Your past troubles are gone;
    I no longer think of them.
When you pray for someone
    to receive a blessing,
or when you make a promise,
    you must do it in my name.
I alone am the God
    who can be trusted.

The Lord’s New Creation

17 I am creating new heavens
    and a new earth;
everything of the past
    will be forgotten.
18 Celebrate and be glad forever!
I am creating a Jerusalem,
    full of happy people.
19 I will celebrate with Jerusalem
    and all of its people;
there will be no more crying
    or sorrow in that city.

20 No child will die in infancy;
everyone will live
    to a ripe old age.
Anyone a hundred years old
    will be considered young,
and to die younger than that
    will be considered a curse.

21 My people will live
    in the houses they build;
they will enjoy grapes
    from their own vineyards.
22 No one will take away
    their homes or vineyards.
My chosen people will live
    to be as old as trees,
and they will enjoy
    what they have earned.
23 Their work won’t be wasted,
and their children won’t die
    of dreadful diseases.[f]
I will bless their children
    and their grandchildren.
24 I will answer their prayers
    before they finish praying.

25 Wolves and lambs
    will graze together;
lions and oxen
    will feed on straw.
Snakes will eat only dirt!
They won’t bite
or harm anyone
    on my holy mountain.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

Footnotes:

  1. 65.1 refused. . . me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 65.4 burial. . . pigs: Coming in contact with the dead or eating the meat of pigs made a person unacceptable to God.
  3. 65.10 coastlands of Sharon. . . Achor Valley: Sharon is the coastal plain on the west, and Achor Valley is in the east near Jericho. These two places stand for the whole country.
  4. 65.15 new names: The giving of a new name suggests the beginning of a new life.
  5. 65.15 But I. . . servants: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 65.23 their children. . . diseases: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Isaiah 65 New International Version (NIV)

Judgment and Salvation

65 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
    I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
    I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
All day long I have held out my hands
    to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good,
    pursuing their own imaginations
a people who continually provoke me
    to my very face,
offering sacrifices in gardens
    and burning incense on altars of brick;
who sit among the graves
    and spend their nights keeping secret vigil;
who eat the flesh of pigs,
    and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;
who say, ‘Keep away; don’t come near me,
    for I am too sacred for you!’
Such people are smoke in my nostrils,
    a fire that keeps burning all day.

“See, it stands written before me:
    I will not keep silent but will pay back in full;
    I will pay it back into their laps
both your sins and the sins of your ancestors,”
    says the Lord.
“Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains
    and defied me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
    the full payment for their former deeds.”

This is what the Lord says:

“As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes
    and people say, ‘Don’t destroy it,
    there is still a blessing in it,’
so will I do in behalf of my servants;
    I will not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
    and from Judah those who will possess my mountains;
my chosen people will inherit them,
    and there will my servants live.
10 Sharon will become a pasture for flocks,
    and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds,
    for my people who seek me.

11 “But as for you who forsake the Lord
    and forget my holy mountain,
who spread a table for Fortune
    and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
12 I will destine you for the sword,
    and all of you will fall in the slaughter;
for I called but you did not answer,
    I spoke but you did not listen.
You did evil in my sight
    and chose what displeases me.”

13 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“My servants will eat,
    but you will go hungry;
my servants will drink,
    but you will go thirsty;
my servants will rejoice,
    but you will be put to shame.
14 My servants will sing
    out of the joy of their hearts,
but you will cry out
    from anguish of heart
    and wail in brokenness of spirit.
15 You will leave your name
    for my chosen ones to use in their curses;
the Sovereign Lord will put you to death,
    but to his servants he will give another name.
16 Whoever invokes a blessing in the land
    will do so by the one true God;
whoever takes an oath in the land
    will swear by the one true God.
For the past troubles will be forgotten
    and hidden from my eyes.

New Heavens and a New Earth

17 “See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 “Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 65:20 Or the sinner who reaches
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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