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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.

17. They who sanctify themselves. He now describes those enemies of whom he said, that God’s anger would be kindled against them; for it might have been doubtful whether he spoke of foreign and avowed enemies, or directed his discourse to the despisers of God, although they had been mixed with those who were elect and holy; and therefore he plainly addresses the false and degenerate Jews. Nor have I any doubt that, in the first place, he rebukes hypocrites, and, in the second place, when he says, “Who eat swine’s flesh,” he describes men of immoral lives, that is, those who were openly wicked and grossly licentious. Hypocrites sanctified themselves, that is, assumed false disguises of holiness, and deceived many under this pretense.

They purified themselves in the gardens; that is, they polluted themselves with various superstitions, although they imagined that, by means of those superstitions, they rendered themselves pure in the sight of God. Others, without any reserve, despised God and all religion. It is therefore a general statement, in which he includes all the ungodly, to whatever class they may belong; that is, both those who openly display their wickedness, and those who hide and cover it by various disguises.

Behind one in the midst. 227227     “Gessenius attaches to it here (as he does in 2 Samuel 4:6) the sense of the interior or court of an oriental house, and applies it to the edifice in which the lustrations were performed before entering the gardens; which may also be the meaning of the Septuagint version, εἰς τοὺς κήπους, ἐν τοῖς προθύροις. Maurer and others follow Scaliger, who makes it mean the midst of the grove or garden, where the idol was commonly erected. But Knobel, by ingeniously combining Genesis 42:5; Psalm 42:5; Psalm 68:26, makes it not improbable that “in the midst,” means in the crowd or procession of worshippers.” — Alexander. Some commentators supply the word “pool,” or “laver;” as if holy water had been placed “in the midst” of the garden for ablutions. But another meaning would be equally appropriate; that every one chose a God for himself exclusively, and therefore every one out of many trees had his own tree.

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