Isaiah 51
Contemporary English Version

The Lord Will Bring Comfort

1 If you want to do right

and obey the Lord,

follow Abraham's example.

He was the rock from which

you were chipped.

2God chose Abraham and Sarah

to be your ancestors.

The Lord blessed Abraham,

and from that one man

came many descendants.

3Though Zion is in ruins,

the Lord will bring comfort,

and the city will be as lovely

as the garden of Eden

that he provided.

Then Zion will celebrate;

it will be thankful

and sing joyful songs.

The Lord's Victory Will Last

4The Lord says:

You are my people and nation!

So pay attention to me.

My teaching will cause justice

to shine like a light

for every nation.

5Those who live across the sea

are eagerly waiting

for me to rescue them.

I am strong and ready;

soon I will come to save

and to rule all nations.

6Look closely at the sky!

Stare at the earth.

The sky will vanish like smoke;

the earth will wear out

like clothes.

Everyone on this earth

will die like flies.

But my victory will last;

my saving power never ends.

7If you want to do right

and obey my teaching

with all your heart,

then pay close attention.

Don't be discouraged

when others insult you

and say hurtful things.

8They will be eaten away

like a moth-eaten coat.

But my victory will last;

my saving power

will never end.

A Prayer for the Lord's Help

9Wake up! Do something, Lord.

Be strong and ready.

Wake up! Do what you did

for our people long ago.

Didn't you chop up

Rahab+ the monster?

10Didn't you dry up the deep sea

and make a road for your people

to follow safely across?

11Now those you have rescued

will return to Jerusalem,

singing on their way.

They will be crowned

with great happiness,

never again to be burdened

with sadness and sorrow.

The Lord Gives Hope

12I am the Lord, the one

who encourages you.

Why are you afraid

of mere humans?

They dry up and die like grass.

13I spread out the heavens

and laid foundations

for the earth.

But you have forgotten me,

your Lord and Creator.

All day long you were afraid

of those who were angry

and hoped to oppress you.

Where are they now?

14Everyone crying out in pain

will be quickly set free;

they will be rescued

from the power of death

and never go hungry.

15I will help them

because I am your God,

the Lord All-Powerful,

who makes the ocean roar.

16I have told you what to say,

and I will keep you safe

in the palm of my hand.

I spread out the heavens

and laid foundations

for the earth.

Now I say, “Jerusalem,

your people are mine.”

A Warning to Jerusalem

17 Jerusalem, wake up! Stand up!

You've drunk too much

from the cup filled

with the Lord's anger.

You have swallowed every drop,

and you can't walk straight.

18Not one of your many children

is there to guide you

or to offer a helping hand.

19You have been destroyed

by war and by famine;

I cannot comfort you.+

20The Lord your God is angry,

and on every street corner

your children lie helpless,

like deer trapped in nets.

21You are in trouble and drunk,

but not from wine.

So pay close attention

22to the Lord your God,

who defends you and says,

“I have taken from your hands

the cup filled with my anger

that made you drunk.

You will never be forced

to drink it again.

23Instead I will give it

to your brutal enemies,

who treated you like dirt

and walked all over you.”


51.9 Rahab: This may refer to Egypt at the time of the exodus.
51.19 I … you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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