Isaiah Chapter 51 to 54 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Israel Should Be Like Abraham

51 “Some of you people try hard to live good lives. You go to the Lord for help. Listen to me. You should look at Abraham your father. He is the rock you were cut from. 2Abraham is your father, and you should look at him. You should look at Sarah—the woman that gave birth to you. Abraham was alone when I called him. Then I blessed him, and he began a great family. Many, many people came from him.” 3{In the same way,} the Lord will bless Zion.* The Lord will feel sorry for her and her people, and he will do a great thing for her. The Lord will change the desert. The desert will become a garden like the garden of Eden. That land was empty, but it will become like the Lord’s Garden. People there will be very, very happy. People there will show their joy. They will sing songs about thanks and victory. 4“My people, listen to me! My decisions will be like lights showing people how to live. 5I will soon show I am fair. I will soon save you. I will use my power and judge all nations. All the faraway places are waiting for me. They wait for my power to help them. 6Look up to the heavens! Look around you at the earth below! The skies will disappear like clouds of smoke. The earth will become like worthless old clothes. The people on earth will die, but my Salvation will continue forever. My goodness will never end. 7You people that understand goodness should listen to me. You people that follow my teachings should hear the things I say. Don’t be afraid of evil people. Don’t be afraid of the bad things that they say to you. 8Why? Because they will be like old clothes. Moths will eat them. They will be like wool. Worms will eat them. But my goodness will continue forever. My salvation will continue forever and ever.”

God’s Own Power Will Save His People

9Arm (power) of the Lord, wake up! Wake up! Be strong! Use your strength like you did a long time ago, like you have from ancient times. You are the power that defeated Rahab. You defeated the Dragon.* 10You caused the sea to become dry! You dried the waters of the great deep! You made the deepest parts of the sea into a road. Your people crossed over that road and were saved. 11The Lord will save his people. They will return to Zion* with joy. They will be very, very happy. Their happiness will be like a crown on their heads forever. They will be singing with joy. All sadness will be gone far away. 12The Lord says, “I am the One who comforts you. So why should you be afraid of people? They are only people that live and die. They are only humans—they die the same as grass.” 13The Lord made you. With his power he made the earth! And with his power he spread the skies over the earth! But you forget him and his power. So you are always afraid of angry men that hurt you. Those men planned to destroy you. But where are they now? {They are all gone}! 14People in prison will soon be made free. Those people will not die and rot in prison. Those people will have enough food. 15“I, the Lord, am your God. I stir up the sea and make the waves.” (The Lord All-Powerful is his name.) 16{“My servant,} I will give you the words I want you to say. And I will cover you with my hands and protect you. I will use you to make the new heaven and earth. I will use you to tell Israel, ‘You are my people.’”

God Punished Israel

17Wake up! Wake up! Jerusalem, get up! The Lord was very angry at you. So you were punished. {This punishment was like} a cup of poison you had to drink. And you drank it. 18Jerusalem had many people, but none of those people became leaders for her. None of the children she raised became guides to lead her. 19Troubles came to Jerusalem in groups of two; stealing and rationing food, great hunger and fighting. No person helped you when you were suffering. No person show mercy to you. 20Your people became weak. They fell on the ground and lay there. Those people were lying on every street corner. They were like animals caught in a net. They were punished from the Lord’s anger until they could not accept any more punishment. When God said he would give them more punishment, they became very weak. 21Listen to me, poor Jerusalem. You are {weak like} a drunk person, but you are not drunk from wine. {You are weak from that “cup of poison.”} 22Your God and Master, the Lord, will fight for his people. He says to you, “Look, I am taking this ‘cup of poison’ (punishment) away from you. I am taking my anger away from you. You will not be punished by my anger any more. 23I will now use my anger to punish the people that hurt you. Those people tried to kill you. They told you, ‘Bow down before us, and we will walk on you!’ They forced you to bow down before them. And then they walked on your back like dirt. You were like a road for them to walk on.”

Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. Rahab … Dragon This is Rahab the great sea monster. Some ancient stories tell about Rahab fighting with God.

Israel Will Be Saved

52 Wake up! Wake up Zion!* Dress yourself! Put on your strength! Holy Jerusalem, stand up! People that have not agreed to follow God* will not enter you again. Those people are not pure and clean. 2Shake off the dust! Put on your wonderful clothes! Jerusalem, Daughter of Zion,* you were a prisoner. But now, free yourself from the chains that are around your neck! 3The Lord says, “You were not sold for money. So I will not use money to make you free.” 4The Lord my Master says, “My people first went down to Egypt to stay—{and then they became slaves}. Later, Assyria made them slaves. 5Now look what has happened! Another nation has taken my people. That country did not pay to take my people. This nation rules my people and laughs at them. Those people always say bad things about me.” 6The Lord says, “{This has happened} so my people will learn about me. My people will know who I am. My people will know my name, and they will know that I Am He* is speaking to them.” 7It is a wonderful thing to see a messenger come over the hills with good news. It is wonderful to hear a messenger announce, “There is peace! We have been saved! Your God is king!” 8The city guards* begin shouting. They are all rejoicing together! Why? Because every one of them sees the Lord returning to Zion.* 9Jerusalem, your destroyed buildings will be happy again. You will all rejoice together. Why? Because the Lord will be kind to Jerusalem. The Lord will rescue his people. 10The Lord will show his holy strength to all the nations. All the faraway countries will see how God saves his people. 11You people should leave Babylon! Leave that place! {Priests,} you carry the things that are used in worship. So make yourselves pure. Don’t touch anything that is not pure. 12You will leave Babylon. But they will not force you to leave in a hurry. You will not be forced to run away. You will walk out, {and the Lord will walk with you}. The Lord will be in front of you, and the God of Israel will be behind you.*

God’s Suffering Servant

13“Look at my Servant. He will be very successful.* He will be very important. {In the future} people will honor and respect him. 14“But many people were shocked when they saw my Servant. He was hurt so badly that they could hardly recognize him as a man. 15But even more people will be amazed. Kings will look at him, amazed, and not say a word. Those people did not hear the story about my Servant—they saw what happened. They did not hear that story, but they understood.”

Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. have not agreed to follow God Literally, “People that are not circumcised and that are not pure.” Daughter of Zion This means Jerusalem, the city built on Mount Zion. I Am He This is like the Hebrew name for God. It shows God lives forever, and that he is always with his people. See Ex. 3:13–17. guards Men that stand on the city walls and watch for messengers or trouble coming to the city. Here this probably means the prophets. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. The Lord … behind you This shows God will protect the people. Compare Ex. 14:19,20. He will be very successful Or, “He is very wise.” Or “He will teach people—making them wise.”

53 Who really believed the things we announced? Who really accepted the Lord’s punishment? 2He grew up like a small plant before the Lord. He was like a root growing in dry ground. He did not look special. He had no special glory. If we looked at him, we would see nothing special that would cause us to like him. 3People made fun of him, and his friends left him. He was a man that had much pain. He knew sickness very well. People did not even give him the honor of looking at him. We did not even notice him. 4But he took our troubles and made them his. He bore our pain, and we thought God was punishing him. We thought God beat him {for something he did}. 5But he was given pain to suffer for the wrong things we did. He was crushed for our guilt. A debt we owed—our punishment—was given to him. We were healed (forgiven) because of his pain. 6But {even after he did this,} all of us wandered away like sheep. We all went our own way. {We did this after} the Lord {freed us from our guilt and} put all our guilt on him. 7He was hurt and punished. But he never protested. He said nothing—like a sheep being taken to be killed. He was like a lamb that makes no sound when someone cuts off its wool. He never opened his mouth {to defend himself}. 8Men used force and took him—and they did not judge him fairly. No person can tell about his future family, because he was taken from the land of living people. He was punished to pay for the sins of my people. 9He died and was buried with the rich. He was buried with evil men. He did nothing wrong—he never spoke lies—but still these things happened to him. 10The Lord decided to crush him. The Lord decided that he must suffer, so the Servant gave himself to be the one to die. But he will live a new life for a long, long time. He will see his people. He will complete the things the Lord wants him to do. 11He will suffer many things in his soul, but he will see the good things that happen. He will be satisfied with the things he learns. My Good Servant will make many people not guilty; he will carry away their guilt. 12For this reason, I will reward him among my people. He will have a share of all things with the people that are strong. {I will do this for him} because he gave his life for the people and died. People said he was a criminal. But {the truth is that} he carried away the sins of many, many people. And now he speaks for people that have sinned.”

God Brings His People Home

54 Woman, be happy! You have not had any children. But you should be very happy! The Lord says, “The woman that is alone* will have more children than the woman with a husband.” 2Make your tent bigger. Open your doors wide. Don’t stop adding to your home. Make your tent large and strong. 3Why? Because you will grow very much. Your children will get people from many nations. Your children will again live in the cities that were destroyed. 4Don’t be afraid! You will not be disappointed. People will not say bad things against you. You will not be embarrassed. When you were young, you felt shame. But you will forget that shame now. You will not remember the shame that you felt when you lost your husband. 5Why? Because your husband* is the One (God) who made you. His name is the Lord All-Powerful. He is the Protector* of Israel. He is the Holy One of Israel. And he will be called the God of all the earth! 6You were like a woman whose husband had left her. You were very sad in your spirit, but the Lord called you to be his. You were like a woman that married young, and her husband left her. But God called you to be his. 7God says, “I left you, but only for a short time. I will gather you to me again. And I will show you great kindness. 8I became very angry and hid from you for a short time. But I will comfort you with kindness forever.” The Lord your Savior said this.

God Always Loves His People

9God says, “Remember, in Noah’s time I punished the world with the flood. But I made a promise to Noah that I would never again destroy the world with a flood. {In the same way,} I promise you that I will never again get angry at you and say bad things to you.” 10The Lord says, “The mountains may disappear, and the hills may become dust. But my kindness will never leave you. I will make peace with you, and it will never end.” The Lord shows mercy to you. And he is the One that said these things. 11“You poor city! Enemies came against you like storms. And no one comforted you. But I will build you again. I will use a beautiful mortar to lay the stones of your walls. I will use sapphire stones when I lay the foundation. 12The stones on top of the wall will be made from rubies. I will use shiny jewels for the gates. I will use precious stones to build the walls around you. 13Your children will follow God, and he will teach them. Your children will have real peace. 14You will be built on goodness. So you will be safe from cruelty and fear. You will have nothing to fear. Nothing will come to hurt you. 15None of my armies will fight against you. And if any army tries to attack you, you will defeat that army. 16“Look, I made the blacksmith.* He blows on fire to make it hotter. Then he takes the hot iron and makes the kind of tool he wants to make. In the same way, I made the ‘Destroyer’ that destroys things. 17“People will make weapons to fight against you, but those weapons will not defeat you. Some people will say things against you. But every person that speaks against you will be shown to be wrong.” The Lord says, “What do the Lord’s servants get? They get the good things that come from me!”  

The woman … alone This Hebrew word is like the word, “destroyed.” This probably means “Jerusalem, the city that is destroyed.” husband In Hebrew this word is like the name Baal. This shows that the Lord is the true God, not the false god Baal. Protector Or, “Redeemer.” Usually this meant a person that cared for and protected the family of a dead relative. Often this person bought back (redeemed) the poor relatives from slavery, making them free again. blacksmith A man that makes things from iron.

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