God takes back his “wife,” Jerusalem
Say goodbye to bad times1
Sing for joy, childless woman.
Sing out loud and celebrate.
Though you’ve never felt the joy
That comes from the labor,
The LORD himself promises this.
You’ll have plenty of children
More than the others.
Make some strong ropes,
With plenty of length.
And gather a pile of tent pegs.
3You’ll settle in the land.
Then you’ll spread right and left
As your descendants gobble the nations
And bring their ghost towns to life.
Your days of fear are over4
Don’t be afraid of what’s coming.
You won’t be disappointed or ashamed.
Disgrace you experience now, in your youth,
And the pain of your life as a widow,
Will all be forgotten and left in the past.
He’s the Holy God of Israel,
Your Savior and LORD of all.
Reunited in marriage to God6
The LORD takes you back
Like a man who discarded
The wife he married when he was young.
But in compassion I bring you back in.
8I was angry when I left you.
But in kindness
I’ll bring you home to stay.
For I’m the LORD your Savior.
God’s promise: Never again9
I made a promise like that to Noah.
I promised never to flood Earth again.
Now I make a similar promise to you:
My anger about this is over.
I’ll do nothing to punish you further.
Foothills tag along,
But you’ll always have my love.
And this guarantee never expires.
I’m the LORD who loves you
With mercy that never ends.
From Rock City to Jeweled Jerusalem11
Dear ruined Jerusalem,
Broken and unsettled,
I’m about to raise you from rocks.
I’ll lay your foundation with sapphire,
And rebuild you in precious stone.
Gates and walls I’ll cut from gems.
13The LORD himself will teach your children.
They’ll grow into successful adults.
14You’ll build your life on goodness.
No one who mistreats you will win.
So don’t be afraid of that terror.
God of the blacksmith and weapons15
If enemies try to attack you,
They won’t be coming from me.
But they’ll answer to me
And fall when they do.
I made the blacksmith who fires the coal
And creates the weapons of chaos.
17No weapons he makes will succeed against you.
You’ll refute every word that condemns you.
This is the path the LORD prepared for you.
A legacy of victory that he guarantees.
In earlier prophecies, the poet refers to God’s “wife” as Zion, an endearing nickname for Jerusalem (49:14-26). The childless woman is a metaphor describing the desolate Jewish nation and its capital of Jerusalem, leveled to ruins by Babylonian invaders in 586 BC.
God left Israel to suffer the consequences of breaking their covenant agreement with God (Isaiah 50:1). Israel agreed to serve God and God promised to protect and prosper them for it. The nation started worshiping other gods and suffered the punishment God warned them about (Deuteronomy 28).
The Jews of Judah remained in exile in what is now Iraq for 50 years. Persian King Cyrus defeated the Babylonians and then freed Babylon’s political prisoners, including the Jews.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.