Isaiah, CHAPTER 57
The just have perished,
but no one takes it to heart;
The steadfast are swept away,
while no one understands.
Yet the just are taken away from the presence of evil,
and enter into peace;
They rest upon their couches,
the sincere, who walk in integrity.
AN IDOLATROUS PEOPLE
But you, draw near,
you children of a sorceress,
offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute!
Against whom do you make sport,
against whom do you open wide your mouth,
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not rebellious children,
You who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree;
You who immolate children in the wadies,
among the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the wadi is your portion,
they, they are your allotment;
Indeed, you poured out a drink offering to them,
and brought up grain offerings.
With these things, should I be appeased?
Upon a towering and lofty mountain
you set up your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
Behind the door and the doorpost
you set up your symbol.
Yes, deserting me, you carried up your bedding;
and spread it wide.
You entered an agreement with them,
you loved their couch, you gazed upon nakedness.
You approached the king with oil,
and multiplied your perfumes;
You sent your ambassadors far away,
down even to deepest Sheol.
Though worn out with the length of your journey,
you never said, “It is hopeless”;
You found your strength revived,
and so you did not weaken.
Whom did you dread and fear,
that you told lies,
And me you did not remember
nor take to heart?
Am I to keep silent and conceal,
while you show no fear of me?
I will proclaim your justice
and your works;
but they shall not help you.
When you cry out,
let your collection of idols save you.
All these the wind shall carry off,
a mere breath shall bear them away;
But whoever takes refuge in me shall inherit the land,
and possess my holy mountain.
THE WAY TO PEACE FOR GOD’S PEOPLE
And I say:
Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstacle from my people’s way.
For thus says the high and lofty One,
the One who dwells forever, whose name is holy:
I dwell in a high and holy place,
but also with the contrite and lowly of spirit,
To revive the spirit of the lowly,
to revive the heart of the crushed.
For I will not accuse forever,
nor always be angry;
For without me their spirit fails,
the life breath that I have given.
Because of their wicked avarice I grew angry;
I struck them, hiding myself from them in wrath.
But they turned back, following the way
of their own heart.
I saw their ways,
but I will heal them.
I will lead them and restore full comfort to them
and to those who mourn for them,
creating words of comfort.
Peace! Peace to those who are far and near,
says the LORD; and I will heal them.
But the wicked are like the tossing sea
which cannot be still,
Its waters cast up mire and mud.
There is no peace for the wicked!
says my God.