a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

The Righteousness of God’s Judgment


I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,

to be found by those who did not seek me.

I said, “Here I am, here I am,”

to a nation that did not call on my name.


I held out my hands all day long

to a rebellious people,

who walk in a way that is not good,

following their own devices;


a people who provoke me

to my face continually,

sacrificing in gardens

and offering incense on bricks;


who sit inside tombs,

and spend the night in secret places;

who eat swine’s flesh,

with broth of abominable things in their vessels;


who 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 day long.


See, it is written before me:

I will not keep silent, but I will repay;

I will indeed repay into their laps


their iniquities and their ancestors’ iniquities together,

says the L ord;

because they offered incense on the mountains

and reviled me on the hills,

I will measure into their laps

full payment for their actions.


Thus says the L ord:

As the 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.


I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,

and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;

my chosen shall inherit it,

and my servants shall settle there.


Sharon 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.


But you who forsake the L ord,

who forget my holy mountain,

who set a table for Fortune

and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;


I 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 sight,

and chose what I did not delight in.


Therefore thus says the Lord G od:

My servants shall eat,

but you shall be hungry;

my servants shall drink,

but you shall be thirsty;

my servants shall rejoice,

but you shall be put to shame;


my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,

but you shall cry out for pain of heart,

and shall wail for anguish of spirit.


You shall leave your name to my chosen to use as a curse,

and the Lord G od will put you to death;

but to his servants he will give a different name.


Then whoever invokes a blessing in the land

shall bless by the God of faithfulness,

and whoever takes an oath in the land

shall swear by the God of faithfulness;

because the former troubles are forgotten

and are hidden from my sight.


The Glorious New Creation


For I am about to create new heavens

and a new earth;

the former things shall not be remembered

or come to mind.


But be glad and rejoice forever

in what I am creating;

for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,

and its people as a delight.


I will rejoice in Jerusalem,

and delight in my people;

no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,

or the cry of distress.


No more shall there be in it

an infant that lives but a few days,

or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;

for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,

and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.


They shall build houses and inhabit them;

they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.


They 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 enjoy the work of their hands.


They shall not labor in vain,

or bear children for calamity;

for they shall be offspring blessed by the L ord

and their descendants as well.


Before they call I will answer,

while they are yet speaking I will hear.


The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,

the lion shall eat straw like the ox;

but the serpent—its food shall be dust!

They shall not hurt or destroy

on all my holy mountain,

says the L ord.


13. and 14. Behold, my servants shall eat. Here also the Prophet more deafly distinguishes between hypocrites, who held a place in the Church, and the true and lawful children; for, although all without distinction were called children, yet he skews that many shall be disowned as not belonging to the family, and that they who proudly and haughtily exalted themselves, under the name of the people of God, shall be disappointed of their hope, which is vain and false. We must carefully observe the highly emphatic contrast between “the servants of God,” and those who falsely pretend to his name; for he shews that empty titles, and false boasting, or vain confidence, shall avail them nothing.

Shall eat, shall drink. By these words he denotes happiness and a prosperous condition of life; as if he had said, that he will take care that believers shall not be in want of anything. But the Lord promises to his servants something different from what he actually bestows; for they often “are hungry and thirsty,” (1 Corinthians 4:11,) while the wicked abound in enjoyments of every kind, and abuse them for luxury and intemperance. But it ought to be observed, that the kingdom of Christ is here described under figures; for otherwise we could not understand it. Accordingly, the Prophet draws comparisons from earthly kingdoms, in which, when the people abound in wealth and enjoy comforts of every kind, there is a visible display of the blessing of God from which we may judge of his fatherly love.

But since it is not proper that good men should have their minds engrossed by earthly advantages, it is enough that some taste of those advantages should support their faith. And if they are sometimes oppressed by hunger, yet, being satisfied with a moderate portion of good, they nevertheless acknowledge that God is their Father, and that he is kind to them, and in their poverty have greater riches than kings and nobles. On the other hand, the wicked, whatever may be their abundance of good things, cannot enjoy them with a good conscience, and therefore are the most wretched of all men. The Prophet, therefore, has in his eye the right use of the gifts of God; for they who serve God in a right manner receive, as children from the hand of a father, all that is necessary for this life, while others, like thieves and profane persons, take violent possession of it. Wicked men are never satisfied with any amount of wealth, however great; they have continual fear and trembling, and their conscience can never be at ease.

The Lord, therefore, does not promise here what he does not actually bestow; and this happiness must not be estimated by the outward condition of things. This is still more evident from what follows, where he speaks of joy and thanksgiving. The Prophet undoubtedly intends to state in a few words, that contentment does not lie in abundance of earthly enjoyments, but in calm peace of mind and spiritual joy; for unbelievers have no relish for such things, but to believers a persuasion of God’s fatherly love is more delightful than all earthly enjoyments. Yet let us observe that we ought to look for all prosperity from God alone, who will not permit his people to be in want of anything that belongs to a happy life.

VIEWNAME is study