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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.


23. They shall not toil in vain. He enumerates other kinds of blessings which God promises to the kingdom of Christ; for, although God always blessed his people, yet the blessings were in some measure suspended till the coming of Christ, in whom was displayed full and complete happiness. In a word, both Jews and Gentiles shall be happy, in all respects, under the reign of Christ. Now, as it is a token of God’s wrath and curse when we obtain no advantage front our labor, so, on the other hand, it is a token of blessing when we clearly see the fruit of our labor. For this reason he says that they who shall have returned from captivity, in order that they may obtain a true and complete deliverance, shall not spend their labor in vain or lose their pains. The Law threatens the death of relatives, destructive wars, losses of property, and terror in their hearts. (Leviticus 26:22; Deuteronomy 28:48.) Here, on the contrary, are promised fertility, peace, the fruit of labor, and repose. And blessings of this kind ought to be carefully observed; for there are few who, amidst their labors, think of the blessing of God, so as to ascribe everything to him alone, and to be fully convinced that they will accomplish nothing whatever unless the Lord grant to them a prosperous result. Wherefore, as every blessing should be sought from God, so, when it has been received, thanksgiving should be rendered for it to God alone.

And they shall not bring forth in terror. When it is said that women “shall not bring forth in terror,” some explain it to mean, that they shall have no uneasiness or dread of childbirth, because they shall be free from pain. We know that this punishment was inflicted on the woman on account of sin, to bring forth with difficulty, and to be in danger of death. Children are brought into the world with fear and trembling, when there is any expectation of war; and it is probable that the Prophet rather looks to this, that there shall be such settled peace that neither women nor men shall have any reason to fear; for this must be viewed as relating to both parents, who will have no dread about their children, as commonly happens when any danger is threatened.

For they shall be the seed of the blessed of Jehovah. This reason is highly appropriate; for whence come fears and terrors, whence come alarms, but from the curse of God? When the curse has been removed, the Prophet therefore says justly that parents, together with their offspring, shall be free from dread and anxious solicitude; because they shall be convinced that they shall always be safe and sound through the favor of God.

And their offspring with them. This is contrasted with childlessness, which is reckoned in the number of the curses of God; and therefore it is the same as if he had said, “I will no longer deprive them of their children, but will cause them to enjoy them, along with the rest of the blessings which I shall bestow upon them.”

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