Chapter 20

  1. Ho, everyone that thirsts, come to the waters; and he that has no money, come, buy, and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfies not? Listen diligently unto me and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, you shall call a nation that you know not, and nations that knew not you shall run unto you because of the Lord your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you.
  2. Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, and returns not there but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing to which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
  3. Thus says the Lord: Keep judgment and do justice, for my salvation is near to come and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that does this and the son of man that lays hold on it, that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger that has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying, The Lord has utterly separated me from his people. Neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus says the Lord: Unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant, even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Also, the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it and takes hold of my covenant, even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord God who gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather others to him, besides those that are gathered unto him.
  4. All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all you beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant. They are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand. They all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come, say they, I will fetch wine and we will fill ourselves with strong drink, and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
  5. The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
  6. But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do you sport yourselves? Against whom do you make a wide mouth and draw out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood? Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks? Among the smooth stones of the stream is your portion; they, they are your lot. Even to them have you poured a drink offering, you have offered a meal offering. Should I receive comfort in these? Upon a lofty and high mountain have you set your bed; even there you went up to offer sacrifice. Behind the doors also and the doorposts have you set up your remembrance, for you have revealed yourself to another than me and have gone up; you have enlarged your bed and made a covenant with them, you loved their bed where you saw it. And you went to the king with ointment and did increase your perfumes, and did send your messengers far off, and did debase yourself even unto hell. You are wearied in the greatness of your way; yet you said not, There is no hope. You have found the life of your hand, therefore you were not grieved. And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, that you have lied and have not remembered me, nor laid it to your heart? Have not I held my peace even of old, and you fear me not? I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they shall not profit you. When you cry, let your companies deliver you, but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them. But he that puts his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain, and shall say, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people. For thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy: I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always angry, for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and smote him. I hid myself and was angry, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways and will heal him. I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace to him that is far off and to him that is near, says the Lord, and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.
  7. Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of me the ordinances of justice, they take delight in approaching to God. Why have we fasted, say they, and you see not? Why have we afflicted our soul and you take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast, you find pleasure and exact all your labors. Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness. You shall not fast as you do this day to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to remove the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then shall you call and the Lord shall answer, you shall cry and he shall say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity, and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall your light rise in obscurity and your darkness be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations, and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath — from doing your pleasure on my holy day — and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honorable, and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then shall you delight yourself in the Lord. And I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.