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Isaiah: Chapter 54

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Sing, O barren one who did not bear; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married, says the LORD. 2 Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will settle the desolate towns.


Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. 6 For the LORD has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like the wife of a man's youth when she is cast off, says your God. 7 For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you. 8 In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer.


This is like the days of Noah to me: Just as I swore that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you. 10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.


O afflicted one, storm‐tossed, and not comforted, I am about to set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. a Q Mss: MT lacks light 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of jewels, and all your wall of precious stones. 13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the prosperity of your children. 14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. 15 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. 16 See it is I who have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and produces a weapon fit for its purpose; I have also created the ravager to destroy. 17 No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, says the LORD.


g Q Mss: MT lacks light

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54.1–17 : Apostrophe to Zion.

1–3 :

A major motif in chs 40–66 is Jerusalem/Zion as mother of a dispersed and depressed family, and as a woman destined no longer to be forsaken, bereaved, or infertile ( 49.14–21,22,25; 51.17–20; 52.1–2,7–10; 60.1–22; 62.1–12; 66.7–11 ). Jerusalem, represented as a tent, reminiscent of the tent in the wilderness, will be repopulated together with the other Judean cities.

4–8 :

After the separation of the exile, there will be a spousal reconciliation between the LORD and Jerusalem (cf. Hos 1–3 ).

9–10 :

Exile in Babylon is compared with the great flood (Gen 6–9 ) and the new order envisaged by the prophet with the promise made to all humanity, a promise confirmed by oath, after the water subsided (Gen 8.21–22; 9.8–11 ). The covenant of peace (cf. 55.3; Ezek 34.25 ) signifies God's commitment to his people's well‐being.

11–13a :

The new Jerusalem is adorned with precious stones and gems by builders supernaturally instructed; cf. Ezek 28.13–19 . Christian apocalyptic literature draws on this imagery to describe the new Jerusalem (Rev 21.18–21 ).

17b :

The future Jerusalem will be confided to the servants of the LORD. The mention of this faithful segment of the people serves as a point of transition to the last section of the book (cf. 56.6; 63.17; 65.8–9,13–16; 66.14 ). Opinions are divided as to whether the second part of the book (Second Isaiah) ends with ch 54 or ch 55 .

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