Isaiah 66 - The Worship God Demands, The Lord Vindicates Zion, Reign and Indignation of God
Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is my resting place? 2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine,[a] says the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word.
3 Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being; whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever presents a grain offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;[b] whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and in their abominations they take delight; 4 I also will choose to mock[c] them, and bring upon them what they fear; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my sight, and chose what did not please me.
The Lord Vindicates Zion
5 Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word: Your own people who hate you and reject you for my name’s sake have said, “Let the Lord be glorified, so that we may see your joy”; but it is they who shall be put to shame.
6 Listen, an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, dealing retribution to his enemies!
7 Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. 8 Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor she delivered her children. 9 Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? says your God.
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her— 11 that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom.
12 For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. 13 As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
The Reign and Indignation of God
14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies[d] shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies. 15 For the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to pay back his anger in fury, and his rebuke in flames of fire. 16 For by fire will the Lord execute judgment, and by his sword, on all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many.
17 Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the center, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the Lord.
18 For I know[e] their works and their thoughts, and I am[f] coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put,[g] and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the Lord; so shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the Lord.
24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
a. Isaiah 66:2 Gk Syr: Heb these things came to be
b. Isaiah 66:3 Meaning of Heb uncertain
c. Isaiah 66:4 Or to punish
d. Isaiah 66:14 Heb bones
e. Isaiah 66:18 Gk Syr: Heb lacks know
f. Isaiah 66:18 Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb it is
g. Isaiah 66:19 Gk: Heb Pul
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.