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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.

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