The LORD Will Punish the Guilty 65 1I, the LORD, was ready to answer even those who were not asking and to be found by those who were not searching. To a nation that refused to worship me,[Q] I said, “Here I am!” 2 All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way. 3They keep making me angry by sneering at me, while offering sacrifices to idols in gardens and burning incense to them on bricks. 4They spend their nights hiding in burial caves; they eat the meat of pigs,[R] cooked in sauces made of stuff unfit to eat. 5And then they say to others, “Don't come near us! We're dedicated to God.” Such people are like smoke, irritating my nose all day. 6I have written this down; I won't keep silent. I'll pay them back just as their sins deserve. 7I, the LORD, will make them pay for their sins and for those of their ancestors— they have disgraced me by burning incense on mountains. 8Here is what the LORD says: A cluster of grapes that produces wine is worth keeping! So, because of my servants, I won't destroy everyone. 9I have chosen the people of Israel and Judah, and I will bless them with many descendants. They will settle here in this land of mountains, and it will be theirs. 10 My people will worship me. Then the coastlands of Sharon and the land as far as Achor Valley[S] will turn into pastureland where cattle and sheep will feed and rest. 11What will I, the LORD, do if any of you reject me and my holy mountain? What will happen to you for offering food and wine to the gods you call “Good Luck” and “Fate”? 12Your luck will end! I will see to it that you are slaughtered with swords. You refused to answer when I called out; you paid no attention to my instructions. Instead, you did what I hated, knowing it was wrong. 13I, the LORD God, will give food and drink to my servants, and they will celebrate. But all of you sinners will go hungry and thirsty, overcome with disgrace. 14My servants will laugh and sing, but you will be sad and cry out in pain. 15I, the LORD God, promise to see that you are killed and that my chosen servants use your names as curse words. But I will give new names[T] to my servants.[U] 16I am God! I can be trusted. Your past troubles are gone; I no longer think of them. When you pray for someone to receive a blessing, or when you make a promise, you must do it in my name. I alone am the God who can be trusted. The LORD's New Creation 17 I am creating new heavens and a new earth; everything of the past will be forgotten. 18Celebrate and be glad forever! I am creating a Jerusalem, full of happy people. 19 I will celebrate with Jerusalem and all its people; there will be no more crying or sorrow in that city. 20No child will die in infancy; everyone will live a very long life. Anyone a hundred years old will be considered young, and to die younger than that will be considered a curse. 21My people will live in the houses they build; they will enjoy grapes from their own vineyards. 22No one will take away their homes or vineyards. My chosen people will live to be as old as trees, and they will enjoy what they have earned. 23Their work won't be wasted, and their children won't die of dreadful diseases.[V] I will bless their children and their grandchildren. 24I will answer their prayers before they finish praying. 25 Wolves and lambs will graze together; lions and oxen will feed on straw. Snakes will eat only dirt! They won't bite or harm anyone on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken!
Contemporary English Version / ©1995 American Bible Society About