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Blessings in Store for God’s People


Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the L ord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.


Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,

but I blessed him and made him many.


For the L ord will comfort Zion;

he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the garden of the L ord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.



Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples.


I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,

my salvation has gone out

and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,

and for my arm they hope.


Lift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be forever,

and my deliverance will never be ended.



Listen to me, you who know righteousness,

you people who have my teaching in your hearts;

do not fear the reproach of others,

and do not be dismayed when they revile you.


For the moth will eat them up like a garment,

and the worm will eat them like wool;

but my deliverance will be forever,

and my salvation to all generations.



Awake, awake, put on strength,

O arm of the L ord!

Awake, as in days of old,

the generations of long ago!

Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,

who pierced the dragon?


Was it not you who dried up the sea,

the waters of the great deep;

who made the depths of the sea a way

for the redeemed to cross over?


So the ransomed of the L ord shall return,

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain joy and gladness,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.



I, I am he who comforts you;

why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,

a human being who fades like grass?


You have forgotten the L ord, your Maker,

who stretched out the heavens

and laid the foundations of the earth.

You fear continually all day long

because of the fury of the oppressor,

who is bent on destruction.

But where is the fury of the oppressor?


The oppressed shall speedily be released;

they shall not die and go down to the Pit,

nor shall they lack bread.


For I am the L ord your God,

who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—

the L ord of hosts is his name.


I have put my words in your mouth,

and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,

stretching out the heavens

and laying the foundations of the earth,

and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”



Rouse yourself, rouse yourself!

Stand up, O Jerusalem,

you who have drunk at the hand of the L ord

the cup of his wrath,

who have drunk to the dregs

the bowl of staggering.


There is no one to guide her

among all the children she has borne;

there is no one to take her by the hand

among all the children she has brought up.


These two things have befallen you

—who will grieve with you?—

devastation and destruction, famine and sword—

who will comfort you?


Your children have fainted,

they lie at the head of every street

like an antelope in a net;

they are full of the wrath of the L ord,

the rebuke of your God.



Therefore hear this, you who are wounded,

who are drunk, but not with wine:


Thus says your Sovereign, the L ord,

your God who pleads the cause of his people:

See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;

you shall drink no more

from the bowl of my wrath.


And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,

who have said to you,

“Bow down, that we may walk on you”;

and you have made your back like the ground

and like the street for them to walk on.


17. Awake, awake. The Church was about to endure grievous calamities, and therefore he fortifies her by consolation, and meets a doubt which might arise, that the Jews, being now oppressed by tyrants, saw no fulfillment of these promises. The meaning therefore is, that the Church, though afflicted and tossed in various ways, will nevertheless be set up again, so as to regain her full vigor. By the word “Awake” he recalls her, as it were, from death and the grave; as if he had said, that no ruins shall be so dismal, no desolations shall be so horrible, as to be capable of hindering God from effecting this restoration. And this consolation was highly necessary; for when grief seizes our hearts, we think that the promises do not at all belong to us; and therefore we ought frequently to call to remembrance, and to place constantly before our eyes, that it is God who speaks, and who addresses men who are not in a prosperous or flourishing condition, but fallen and dead, and whom notwithstanding he can raise up and uphold by his word; for this doctrine of salvation is intended not for those who retain their original condition, but for those who are dead and ruined.

Who hast drunk from the hand of Jehovah the cup of his wrath. There are two senses in which the term, “cup of wrath,” may be understood; for sometimes the Lord is said to put into our hands a “cup of wrath,” when he strikes us with some kind of giddiness, or deranges our intellect; as we see that affliction sometimes takes away men’s understanding; but sometimes it is used in a simpler sense, to denote the sharp and heavy punishments by which the Lord severely chastises his people. This is evidently the meaning in which it must be taken here, as appears from the addition of the pronoun His. Nor is this inconsistent with what he says, that the Church was stupified and drunk; for he shews that this happened in consequence of the Lord having severely chastised her. It is an ordinary metaphor by which the chastisement which God inflicts on his people is called a “potion,” 3131     “He sets forth God like a physician, mixing a bitter potion for Jerusalem, putting as it were into one cup all the anger he had conceived against her, and standing by to see her take it off, that not a drop should be spilt, or any of the nauseous settlings left behind: a potion so strong that it made her tremble every limb of her, and so giddy that she stood in need of one to lead her: but such were her misfortunes that none of her inhabitants were able to support her; by all which the Prophet means that her afflictions should be so great as to turn her brain, and make her sink under the load of them.” — W’hite. or a certain measure which he assigns to each. But whenever it relates to the elect, this term “cup” serves to express the moderation of the divine judgment; that the Lord, though he punish his people severely, still observes a limit. 3232     “Pource qu’il retient son bras.” “Because he restrains his arm.”

Pressing out the dregs of the cup of distress (or of trembling.) I consider the word תרעלה (targnelah) to denote “anguish” or “trembling,” by which men are nearly struck dead, when they are weighed down by heavy calamities. Such persons may be called “drunk,” as having exhausted all that is in the cup, because nothing can be added to their affliction and distress.

This is also denoted by another term, “pressing out.” The Church is here reminded that all the evils which befall her proceed from no other source than from the hand of God, that she may not think that they happen to her by chance, or that she is unjustly afflicted. The object which the Prophet has in view is, that the people may know that they are justly punished for their sins. No one can rise up till he first acknowledge that he has fallen, or be delivered from misery till he perceive that it is by his own fault that he is miserable. In short, there can be no room for consolations till they have been preceded by the doctrine of repentance.

Dregs, therefore, must not here be understood in the same sense as in Jeremiah 25:15, where the reprobate are spoken of, whom the Lord chokes and kills by his cup, but as denoting complete and righteous punishment, to which the Lord has been pleased to assign a limit. Thus, when the Lord has inflicted on us such punishment as he thought fit, and puts an end to our afflictions, he declares that the “dregs” are exhausted; as we have seen before at the fortieth chapter. 3333     The allusion appears to be to a different but analogous expression. See Com. on Isaiah, Vol. 3, pp. 201,202. — Ed.

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