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The Eternal Covenant of Peace


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 L ord.


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.


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.


For your Maker is your husband,

the L ord of hosts is his name;

the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,

the God of the whole earth he is called.


For the L ord 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.


For a brief moment I abandoned you,

but with great compassion I will gather you.


In overflowing wrath for a moment

I hid my face from you,

but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,

says the L ord, 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.


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 L ord, 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.


I will make your pinnacles of rubies,

your gates of jewels,

and all your wall of precious stones.


All your children shall be taught by the L ord,

and great shall be the prosperity of your children.


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.


If anyone stirs up strife,

it is not from me;

whoever stirs up strife with you

shall fall because of you.


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.


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 L ord

and their vindication from me, says the L ord.


9. For the waters of Noah, or, As the days of Noah. There are two readings of this passage; for if we read it כי מי (ki me), כי (ki) must be translated for; and if we read it כימי, (kime,) כ (caph) must be translated As, and ימי (yeme) must be translated Days. 7070     מי, (me,) “waters of,” is the construct form of מים, (maim,) “waters;” and ימי, (yeme,) “days of,” is the construct form of ימים, (yamim,) “days.” ­ Ed.
On peut lire ceci en deux sortes, assavoir comme nous l’avons traduit, Car ceci m’est comme les eaux de Noe, ou, Ceci m’est comme les jours de Noe.” “This may be read in two ways, namely, as we have translated it, This is to me as the waters of Noah, or, This is to me as the days of Noah.”
As to the general meaning, it makes little difference; and therefore we ought chiefly to consider what the Prophet meant, for commentators do not appear to me to have caught his meaning. They explain it generally, that the Lord promised to: Noah by an oath, that there would never be a deluge, and that this oath would perpetually remain in force. (Genesis 9:10) But for this, the good man might have trembled, and, at the approach of rain, might have dreaded a similar calamity, if the Lord had not sworn that this should never again happen. In like manner, when afflictions are at hand, we might dread that we should be ruined, if the Lord did not promise that the Church would be safe.

But I think that this ought to be limited to the period of the Babylonish captivity. He compares that captivity to a deluge, which destroyed the face of the earth; for it appeared as if the Church was utterly ruined. The people had almost entirely passed over to another nation, and had no kingdom and no civil government of their own; they underwent very hard bondage, and thought that their name was wholly extinguished. And at that time was actually fulfilled what the Prophet formerly declared,

“If the Lord had not left to us a seed, we should have been like Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9)

Justly, therefore, does he compare that calamity to “the waters of Noah,” that is, to the deluge; and on this account I rather agree with those who read כי מי (ki me) that is, “For the waters;” for I consider that reading to rest on better evidence than the other, and it is generally adopted by Jewish writers.

This is to me. I think that we ought carefully to inquire into the meaning of these words, which are slightly passed over by commentators. He means that this calamity will resemble the deluge; so that, as he was satisfied with a single deluge, and would never again send another, so he is satisfied with this one destruction, so to speak, of the Church, and will never again permit the face of it to be destroyed. Such is therefore the manner in which I think that we ought to explain this passage and apply the metaphor, that the desolation of Judea will be to God like the deluge which happened in “the days of Noah;“ for as he swore at that time that he would never afterwards inflict such punishment on the crimes which stripped the earth of its inhabitants, so he will not again destroy the Church, as he did in the Babylonish captivity. And indeed, whatever might be any confused state of affairs that afterwards followed, still the Church retained some name, and preserved some form, until, at the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, the seed of the Gospel was everywhere scattered, that it might bring sons to God out of all nations. In a word, the Lord promises that henceforth he will restrain his wrath, and will not punish his people with so great severity.

It will be objected, that since that time the Church sustained very grievous calamities; from which it might be concluded, either that this oath failed of its accomplishment, or that this is not the Prophet’s meaning. I reply, the Church did not sustain so grievous a calamity as to have its face altogether destroyed, which happened when the people were carried away into Babylon. For although Antiochus and other tyrants brought upon it dreadful calamities, although afterwards there also happened those apostasies which Paul foretold, (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1,) and everything was defiled by innumerable superstitions, so that the Christian name was nearly buried; yet still there remained some form of a Church, however disfigured, and the building was not in so ruinous a condition that there did not exist some remnants of Christianity above the deluge, so that this oath was in full force.

That I will not be wroth with thee. This must not be taken in an absolute, but in a comparative sense. He contrasts this clause with the preceding; for he promises that he will never chastise his people so severely as not to mitigate the severity of the punishment. Although therefore tyrants indulge in wanton and unbridled rage, and Satan employ his utmost efforts in attacking the Church, and the Lord give him a loose rein, in order to punish our ingratitude, yet he will never suffer the Church to be ruined.

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