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Judgment and Salvation

1I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here am I, here am I,”
to a nation that was not called by11Or that did not call upon my name.
2I spread out my hands all the day
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;
3a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and making offerings on bricks;
4who sit in tombs,
and spend the night in secret places;
who eat pig's flesh,
and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;
5who say, “Keep to yourself,
do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
a fire that burns all the day.
6Behold, it is written before me:
“I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will indeed repay into their bosom
7both your iniquities and your fathers' iniquities together,
says the Lord;
because they made offerings on the mountains
and insulted me on the hills,
I will measure into their bosom
payment for their former deeds.”22Or I will first measure their payment into their bosom

8Thus says the Lord:
“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
and they say, ‘Do not destroy it,
for there is a blessing in it,’
so I will do for my servants' sake,
and not destroy them all.
9I will bring forth offspring from Jacob,
and from Judah possessors of my mountains;
my chosen shall possess it,
and my servants shall dwell there.
10Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,
and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
for my people who have sought me.
11But you who forsake the Lord,
who forget my holy mountain,
who set a table for Fortune
and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,
12I will destine you to the sword,
and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter,
because, when I called, you did not answer;
when I spoke, you did not listen,
but you did what was evil in my eyes
and chose what I did not delight in.”

13Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, my servants shall eat,
but you shall be hungry;
behold, my servants shall drink,
but you shall be thirsty;
behold, my servants shall rejoice,
but you shall be put to shame;
14behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,
but you shall cry out for pain of heart
and shall wail for breaking of spirit.
15You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse,
and the Lord God will put you to death,
but his servants he will call by another name.
16So that he who blesses himself in the land
shall bless himself by the God of truth,
and he who takes an oath in the land
shall swear by the God of truth;
because the former troubles are forgotten
and are hidden from my eyes.

New Heavens and a New Earth

17“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
18But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
19I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.
20No more shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
21They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy33Hebrew shall wear out the work of their hands.
23They shall not labor in vain
or bear children for calamity,44Or for sudden terror
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
and their descendants with them.
24Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.


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20. There shall be no more thence an infant of days. Some think that this points out the difference between the Law and the Gospel; because “the Law, as a schoolmaster,” (Galatians 3:24,) kept scholars in the first elements, but the Gospel leads us on to mature age. Others suppose it to mean that there will no longer be any distinction of age; because, where life is eternal, no line is drawn between the child and the old man. But I interpret the words of the Prophet in this manner, “Whether they are children or old men, they shall arrive at mature age so as to be always vigorous, like persons in the prime of life; and, in short, they shall always be healthful and robust;” for it is on account of our sins that we grow old and lose our strength. “All our days,” saith Moses, “pass away when thou art angry: we close our years quicker than a word. The days of our years in which we live are seventy years, or, at the utmost, eighty: what goeth beyond this in the strongest is toil and vexation; our strength passeth swiftly, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:9, 10.) But Christ comes to repair our strength, and to restore and preserve our original condition.

For the son of a hundred years shall die young. It is proper to distinguish between the two clauses; for, after having said that the citizens of the Church shall be long-lived, so that no one shall be taken out of the world till he has reached mature age and fully completed his course, he likewise adds that, even in old age, they shall be robust. Although the greater part of believers hardly support themselves through weakness, and the strength of others decays even before the time, yet that promise is not made void; for, if Christ reigned truly and perfectly in us, his strength would undoubtedly flourish in us, and would invigorate both body and soul. To our sins, therefore, it ought to be imputed, that we are liable to diseases, pains, old age, and other inconveniences; for we do not permit Christ to possess us fully, and have not advanced so far in newness of life as to lay aside all that is old. 214214     “Tout le vieil homme.” “All the old man.”

Here it ought also to be observed, that blessings either of soul or body are found only in the kingdom of Christ, that is, in the Church, apart from which there is nothing but cursing. Hence it follows that all who have no share in that kingdom are wretched and unhappy; and, however fresh and vigorous they may appear to be, they are, nevertheless, in the sight of God, rotten and stinking corpses.




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