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The Worship God Demands


Thus says the L ord:

Heaven is my throne

and the earth is my footstool;

what is the house that you would build for me,

and what is my resting place?


All these things my hand has made,

and so all these things are mine,

says the L ord.

But this is the one to whom I will look,

to the humble and contrite in spirit,

who trembles at my word.



Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being;

whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;

whoever presents a grain offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;

whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.

These have chosen their own ways,

and in their abominations they take delight;


I also will choose to mock them,

and bring upon them what they fear;

because, when I called, no one answered,

when I spoke, they did not listen;

but they did what was evil in my sight,

and chose what did not please me.

The L ord Vindicates Zion


Hear the word of the L ord,

you who tremble at his word:

Your own people who hate you

and reject you for my name’s sake

have said, “Let the L ord be glorified,

so that we may see your joy”;

but it is they who shall be put to shame.



Listen, an uproar from the city!

A voice from the temple!

The voice of the L ord,

dealing retribution to his enemies!



Before she was in labor

she gave birth;

before her pain came upon her

she delivered a son.


Who has heard of such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?

Yet as soon as Zion was in labor

she delivered her children.


Shall I open the womb and not deliver?

says the L ord;

shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb?

says your God.



Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,

all you who love her;

rejoice with her in joy,

all you who mourn over her—


that you may nurse and be satisfied

from her consoling breast;

that you may drink deeply with delight

from her glorious bosom.



For thus says the L ord:

I will extend prosperity to her like a river,

and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;

and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm,

and dandled on her knees.


As a mother comforts her child,

so I will comfort you;

you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

The Reign and Indignation of God


You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;

your bodies shall flourish like the grass;

and it shall be known that the hand of the L ord is with his servants,

and his indignation is against his enemies.


For the L ord will come in fire,

and his chariots like the whirlwind,

to pay back his anger in fury,

and his rebuke in flames of fire.


For by fire will the L ord execute judgment,

and by his sword, on all flesh;

and those slain by the L ord shall be many.


17 Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the center, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the L ord.


18 For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the L ord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the L ord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the L ord. 21And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the L ord.



For as the new heavens and the new earth,

which I will make,

shall remain before me, says the L ord;

so shall your descendants and your name remain.


From new moon to new moon,

and from sabbath to sabbath,

all flesh shall come to worship before me,

says the L ord.


24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

15. For, lo, Jehovah will come in fire. The object of this (ὑποτύπωσις) lively description is, that believers, when they see worthless men laughing at their distresses, and growing more and more insolent, may not on that account turn aside from the right path, or lose courage; for he intended not only to smite wicked men, who are moved by no threatenings, and scorn all instruction, 225225     “Et se moquent de tout ce qu’on leur dit.” “And mock at everything that is said to them.” but to comfort good men, that they may feel that they are happy, because they are under God’s protection; and may not attach themselves to the wicked on account of the prosperity of all their undertakings. Their advantage is, therefore, what he has chiefly in view, that they may be satisfied with God’s protection and grace. But it may admit of doubt whether or not he includes the last judgment, along with the temporal punishments with which he now begins to chastise the wicked. For my own part, I have no doubt that he intends to include that judgment also, along with those which were only the forerunners of eternal destruction.

Will come. This began to be accomplished, when, by carrying away the people to Babylon, God took vengeance on domestic foes. Next, when the time of the deliverance was accomplished, he attacked more severely the wicked Gentiles by an armed force, and ceased not to give other and various proofs of his approach, by which he shewed himself to be present with the elect people, and came in fire to judge their enemies. Lastly, we know that he will come in fire at the last day, to take vengeance on all the wicked. But this passage ought not to be limited to the last judgment, so as to include all the rest. Yet these threatenings, as we shall see soon afterwards, are especially directed by the Prophet against hypocritical Jews.

These metaphorical expressions are very customary in Scripture; for we could not comprehend this dreadful judgment of God in any other way than by the Prophets employing metaphors drawn from known and familiar objects. (2 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Peter 3:7.) By means of them the prophets endeavor to make a deep impression on our senses, that, struck with the true fear of God, we may not envy the wicked, for whom such dreadful vengeance is prepared. Hence we see how trivial and useless are the speculations of the Sophists, who dispute about the refined nature and qualities of that fire; for the design of Scripture is to point out to us under figures the dreadful judgment of God, which otherwise we could not imagine or understand. This is still more evident from the word “sword,” in the following verse; for it conveys the same meaning.

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