The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
So ready I to answer, and ask they will not; so easy to be found, and search for me is none! A people that will not call on my name; else my own voice should whisper, I am here, I am close at hand.✻
Outstretched these hands of mine, all the day long, to a nation of rebels, straying this way and that as the mood takes them,
openly defying me. Shrines hidden away in gardens, altars of brick!
See how they lodge in tombs, pass the night in the precincts of strange gods;✻ eat swine’s flesh, and stew themselves broth of forbidden things!
And all the while so scrupulous: Touch of thine would defile me! What marvel, if my indignation smoulders yet? Nay, fire it is that burns continually.
See where the decree stands written in my presence, This shall not be passed over; I will take vengeance, pour it out into their laps.
Sin of yours, the Lord says, sin of your fathers, that sacrificed on mountain-tops, worshipped on the hill-sides in defiance of me; for all these I must repay due measure, poured out into the lap; that is my first task.
Thus says the Lord: If one sound grape is found in a cluster, the cry is, Do not destroy it, there is a blessing in it. And I, for the sake of my true servants, will not destroy root and branch;
I will leave Jacob a stock to breed from, settlers enough in Juda for these mountains of mine; the men of my choice shall have their portion, my servant shall dwell there.
Flocks there shall be, folded on the Plain,✻ and cattle resting in the valley of Achor; of my people none shall be disappointed that had recourse to me.
But you that forsook the Lord, left his mountain sanctuary forgotten, spread a table for the Powers of Fortune, and poured out wine at it,✻
fortune that awaits you is the sword, you shall bow down to death. My call unanswered, my voice unheard, you did ever what I forbade, chose ever what I hated.
This, then, is the sentence the Lord God pronounces; you shall be hungry, while my servants have food, you shall be thirsty, while my servants drink,
you shall be disappointed, while my servants are glad. My servants shall be light-hearted and sing, while you, with sad hearts, cry aloud, groan in the heaviness of your spirits.
A name you shall leave behind you to serve my chosen people as a curse; the Lord God takes full toll. For his own servants he will have a new name instead;
By the God of truth shall be the blessing men invoke, By the God of truth shall be the oath men take, in this land of mine henceforward.✻ Forgotten, the sorrows of past days, hidden away from my eyes.
See where I create new heavens and a new earth; old things shall be remembered no longer, have no place in men’s thoughts.
Joy of yours, pride of yours, this new creation shall be; joy of mine, pride of mine, Jerusalem and her folk, created anew.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem, take pride in my people, and the sound of weeping and lament shall be heard among them no more.
None shall die there unweaned from life; never an old man but lives out his full time; young he dies that dies a hundred years old; so brief a span, it shall be the curse pronounced on a sinner.✻
Live they now to occupy the houses they built, enjoy the fruit of the vines they planted,
that once built houses for others to occupy, planted what others should enjoy; my people shall live to the age of trees and see the work of their own hands wear out before them.
Not in vain they shall toil, these, my chosen, nor beget children to see them overwhelmed by calamity; their race the Lord blesses, their children shall be spared to them.
Answer shall come ere cry for help is uttered, prayer find audience while it is yet on their lips.
Wolf and lamb shall feed together, lion and ox eat straw side by side, and the serpent be content with dust for its food; all over this mountain, my sanctuary, there shall be no hurt done, the Lord says, no life shall be forfeit.
The Holy Bible