Chapter 18

  1. The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto you, O house of Israel, when you are weary. He wakens morning by morning; he wakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. And the Lord is near, and he justifies me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near me and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth. For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God. Behold, all you that kindle fire, that encompass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which you have kindled. This shall you have of my hand: you shall lie down in sorrow.
  2. Listen unto me, you that follow after righteousness. You that seek the Lord, look unto the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you are dug. Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah that bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Listen unto me, my people, and give ear unto me, O my nation, for a law shall proceed from me and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people. The isles shall wait upon me, and on my arm shall they trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look upon the earth beneath, for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. But my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Listen unto me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written my law. Fear not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment and the worm shall eat them like wool. But my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
  3. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord. Awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are you not it that has cut Rahab and wounded the dragon? Are you not it which has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their head. They shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I am he, yea, I am he that comforts you.
  4. Behold, who are you, that you should be afraid of a man that shall die and of the son of man who shall be made as grass, and forget the Lord your Maker that has stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hastens that he may be released and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord your God that divided the sea, whose waves roared; the Lord of Hosts is his name. And I have put my words in your mouth and I have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Behold, you are my people.
  5. Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; you have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out — and none to guide her, among all the sons she has brought forth, neither that takes her by the hand, of all the sons she has brought up. These two sons have come unto you. Who shall be sorry for you — your desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword? And by whom shall I comfort you? Your sons have fainted, save these two; they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net. They are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of your God.
  6. Therefore, hear now this, you afflicted, and drunk but not with wine. Thus says your Lord — the Lord and your God that pleads the cause of his people: Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; you shall no more drink it again. But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict you, who have said to your soul, Bow down that we may go over — and you have laid your body as the ground and as the street to them that went over.
  7. Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion. Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake yourself from the dust. Arise, sit down, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the bands of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus says the Lord: You have sold yourselves for naught, and you shall be redeemed without money. For thus says the Lord: My people went down before into Egypt, to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore what have I here, says the Lord, that my people is taken away for naught? They that rule over them make them to howl, says the Lord, and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore, my people shall know my name, yea, in that day they shall know that I am he that does speak. Behold, it is I.
  8. And then shall they say, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings unto them, that publishes peace, that brings good tidings unto them of good, that publishes salvation, that says unto Zion, Your God reigns! Your watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart, depart, go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out of her midst, be clean, you that bear the vessels of the Lord. For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.