The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
Listen to me, then, you who follow the true path, you that have recourse to the Lord. Think of the rock you were quarried from, of the hidden depths whence you came,
of Abraham that begot you, of Sara that was your mother; he was a childless man when I called him, and blessed him, and granted him a posterity.
And has the Lord no pity for Sion, left desolate, no pity on her ruined state? Doubt not he will turn that wilderness into a garden of delight, that loneliness into a paradise; in her, too, mirth and gladness shall be found, there shall be thanksgiving and songs of praise.
People of mine, men of a chosen race, give heed and hearing! Henceforth, my law shall be promulgated, my decrees be ratified, for a whole world’s enlightening.
Soon, now, my faithful servant will come, even now he is on his way to deliver you; these arms of mine shall execute judgement on the nations; the remote islands are waiting for me, are looking for my aid.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, cast them down to earth again; those heavens shall vanish like smoke, that earth be fretted away like a garment, and all who dwell on it share the same destruction; my saving power is eternal, my faithfulness inexhaustible.
Listen to me, you that can discern the right, my own people, with my law written in your hearts; not yours to be afraid of men’s taunts, shrink from them when they revile you;
crumble away they must, like garment the worms have eaten, like wool fretted by the moth; my saving power is eternal, my faithfulness lives on from age to age.
Up, up, arm of the Lord, array thyself in strength; up, as in the days that are past, long ages since. What other power was it that smote our insolent enemy,✻ wounded the dragon;
what other power dried up the sea, with its deep rolling waters, made the sea’s caverns a highway, for a ransomed people to cross?
Now, too, men the Lord has ransomed will come home again to Sion, praising him as they go. Eternal happiness crowns them, joy and happiness in their grasp now, sorrow and sighing fled far away.
It is I, still it is I, that will bring thee consolation. And it is thou that art afraid of mortal man, of earth-born things that die like grass?
Is it thou that dost forget the Lord, thy maker, who spread out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth? What, go in fear all day long of yonder angry tyrant, sworn to undo thee? What of the tyrant’s anger now?
Comes he✻ with hurried step to release his prisoner, persecuted to the death no longer, nor suffered to starve for want of bread!
I am the Lord thy God, the same power that stirs up the sea till waves rise high on it; the Lord of hosts is the name I bear.
To thy lips I have entrusted my message, kept thee under cover of my hand, to replant heaven and refound earth, to tell Sion, Thou art my people.✻
Up, up, Jerusalem, bestir thyself! It was a draught of his vengeance the Lord gave thee to drink; ay, thou hast drunk deep of a cup that numbs the senses, drained it to the dregs.
So many children she has borne and reared, and none to give her support, none to take her by the hand!
Who is to mourn for thee, the sport of a double calamity, by want and war dismantled and unmanned? Who is here to console thee?
They are left to lie at every street corner, those sons of thine, dazed as wild bull caught in a net, brought down by the Lord’s anger, by the punishment he, thy God, has sent them.
Listen thou, the unbefriended, thy wits bemused with sorrow, not with wine,
here is the message thy master has for thee, thy Lord and God, ready to fight in his people’s cause! I am taking it away from thy hand, this draught that numbs the senses, the dregs of the vengeance I had poured out for thee; thou shalt drink it no longer.
Cruel oppressors that bade thee lie down and let them walk over thee, dust under their feet, a pathway for them to tread, shall find the cup has passed from thy hand to theirs.
The Holy Bible