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59Isaiah

1 The LORD's arm is not so short that he cannot save
nor his ear too dull to hear;

The prophet condemns the people's sins. Is.59.1-8
2 it is your iniquities that raise a barrier
between you and your God,
because of your sins he has hidden his face
so that he does not hear you.

 
3 Your hands are stained with blood
and your fingers with crime;
your lips speak lies
and your tongues utter injustice.

 
4 No man sues with just cause,
no man goes honestly to law;
all trust in empty words, all tell lies,
conceive mischief and give birth to trouble.

 
5 They hatch snakes' eggs, they weave cobwebs;
eat their eggs and you will die,
for rotten eggs hatch only rottenness.

 
6 As for their webs, they will never make cloth,
no one can use them for clothing;
their works breed trouble
and their hands are busy with deeds of violence.

 
7 They rush headlong into crime
in furious haste to shed innocent blood;
their schemes are schemes of mischief
and leave a trail of ruin and devastation.

 
8 They do not know the way to peace,
no justice guides their steps;
all the paths they follow are crooked;
no one who walks in them enjoys true peace.

 
9 Therefore justice is far away from us,
right does not reach us;
we look for light but all is darkness,
for the light of dawn, but we walk in deep gloom.

The people confess their sin. Is.59.9-15
10 We grope like blind men along a wall,
feeling our way like men without eyes;
we stumble at noonday as if it were twilight,
like dead men in the ghostly underworld.

 
11 We growl like bears,
like doves we moan incessantly,
waiting for justice, and there is none;
for deliverance, but it is still far away.

 
12 Our acts of rebellion against thee are past counting
and our sins bear witness against us;
we remember our many rebellions, we know well our guilt:

 
13 we have rebelled and broken faith with the LORD,
we have relapsed and forsaken our God;
we have conceived lies in our hearts and repeated them
in slanderous and treacherous words.

 
14 Justice is rebuffed and flouted
while righteousness stands aloof;
truth stumbles in the market-place
and honesty is kept out of court,

 
15 so truth is lost to sight,
and whoever shuns evil is thought a madman.

The LORD saw, and in his eyes it was an evil thing,
that there was no justice;

 
16 he saw that there was no man to help
and was outraged that no one intervened;
so his own arm brought him victory
and his own integrity upheld him.

The LORD prepares to rescue his people. Is.59.15b-21
17 He put on integrity as a coat of mail
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in a cloak of jealous anger.

 
18 High God of retribution that he is,
he pays in full measure,
wreaking his anger on his foes, retribution on his enemies.

 
19 So from the west men shall fear his name,
fear his glory from the rising of the sun;
for it shall come like a shining river,
the spirit of the LORD hovering over it,

 
20 come as the ransomer of Zion
and of all in Jacob who repent of their rebellion.
This is the very word of the LORD.

 
21 This, says the LORD, is my covenant, which I make with them: My spirit which rests on you and my words which I have put into your mouth shall never fail you from generation to generation of your descendants from now onward for ever. The LORD has said it.

 
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