God's Messiah Beats God's Enemies

An EasyEnglish Bible Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) on Isaiah chapters 56-66


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A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

Isaiah wrote his book in the Hebrew language. Words in brackets, ( … ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.


PART 5: Chapters 56-66 God’s *Messiah beats God’s enemies

A place where everyone can pray (chapters 56-57)

Chapter 56

v1 This is what the *LORD is saying (to you). ‘Always be fair. And do what is right. (Do this) because I will make you safe. It will happen very soon. Also, soon I will show (everybody) that I am *righteous.

v2 (God) will *bless the man that does this. (He will bless) the man that really does this. (That man) does not do the wrong things on the *Sabbath and he does not make it dirty. And he does not let his hand do anything that is really bad.’

Verse 2 ‘make it dirty’ here means ‘do what was wrong on the *Sabbath’.

v3 (A *foreigner) may have promised to obey the *LORD. That foreigner should not say, ‘The LORD will surely not let me join his people.’ And no *eunuch should say, ‘I am only like a dry tree.’

v4 The *LORD says this to the *eunuchs that do the things in this list:

·           They do not do wrong things on my *Sabbaths.

·           They choose to do what makes me happy.

·           They really obey my *covenant.

v5 (He says,) ‘Then I will give to them these things inside the walls of my *temple:

·           something to (cause people) to remember them

·           a name that is better than sons and daughters.

I will give them a name that will always stay. Nobody will cut it off.’

Verse 5 ‘cut it off’ A *eunuch could not have children, because someone had cut off his male sex part.

v6 ‘(This will happen) to *foreigners who (do these things):

·           They promise to obey and to be the *LORD’s servants.

·           They love the name of the LORD and they *worship him.

·           They all do the right things on the *Sabbath and they do not make it dirty.

·           They hold strongly to my *covenant.’

Verse 6 ‘make it dirty’ here means ‘do what was wrong on the *Sabbath’.

v7 ‘I will bring them to my *holy mountain. And I will make them happy in my house for *prayer. I will accept what they offer. (I will accept) what they burn as *sacrifices on my *altar. (This is) because (people will) call my house, “A house for prayer for people from every country”.’

‘*holy mountain’ means Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

‘house for prayer’ means a place where people pray to God. Here, it means the *temple in Jerusalem. Jesus said these words again in Matthew 21:13.

v8 The *LORD (is the God) that brings the *exiles of Israel together. The *LORD (who is) *Lord says, ‘I will bring even other (people) to them. (They will be) with those people that I have brought already.’

v9 (God says this about bad people.) ‘Come here, you wild animals (that live) in fields! (Come,) you wild animals (that live) in the forest! Come and eat everything!’

v10 Israel’s *watchmen cannot see anything. They do not know anything. They are all (like) dogs that cannot make a noise. They cannot make the noise that dogs usually make. They lie about and they dream. They like to sleep.

v11 They are (like) dogs that like to eat a lot. And they never have enough. (Also), they are (like) *shepherds who understand nothing. They all turn to their own way. Everybody (tries) to get (what he can for himself).

v12 (Each one of them) shouts, ‘Come, I must get *wine! We must drink as much beer as we can! And tomorrow will be like today. It might be much better!’

Chapter 57

v1 When a very good man dies, nobody really thinks about it. (Death) takes away men that (God) loves. But nobody understands why (death) takes them away. It is to save the very good man from trouble that will come soon.

v2 (When a good man dies) he goes into (a place where there is) *peace. They lie on their beds. He is the man that walks in the right (way).

v3 But you, come here! (You are) sons of a woman that does *magic. (You are) the children of an *adulteress. (You are the children of) a woman that sells her body for sex.

v4 Tell me whom you are you laughing at in a bad way. Tell me about whom you are saying bad things. You push your *tongue out of your mouth! You are a crowd of people that do not obey (God’s) rules. You do not say what is true.

v5 You like to have sex among the big trees. Also, (you have sex) under every tree that hangs out (its branches). You kill and burn your children (for false gods). (You do this) in the deep valleys and under the rocks that hang over (the sides of hills).

To have sex was one way in which they *worshipped false gods.

v6 Your place is among the flat (stones) in the deep valley. Yes, they, they are where you should be. Yes, you have poured out drink, to offer it to (your false gods). And you have offered (them) *grain. Because of this, I, (God), will not change my mind.

‘flat stones’ may mean false gods.

v7 You have made your bed on a high and tall hill. You went there to offer things to your (false gods).

v8 You have put your notice behind your door, where the door opens. But you left me and you opened your bed. You climbed into it and you opened it wide. You agreed with those people whose beds you loved. You saw a hand (to help you).

Verses 7 and 8

The notice might say that they were God’s servants. But they were not!

‘bed’ here means a place to *worship false gods. A man had sex with someone who was not his wife. That is how he *worshipped those false gods.

‘hand’ here means the hand of a false god. We could translate ‘a hand to help’ as ‘someone to help’.

v9 You went to the king with *olive oil and you made more *perfumes. You sent your leaders far away and you even went down to *Sheol.

Verse 9 ‘the king’ may be the name of Moloch, a false god.

v10 All your journeys made you very tired. But you would not say, ‘We cannot continue to hope.’ You became strong again and so you did not stop trying.

v11 Perhaps someone is frightening you, so that you do not *worship (me). Perhaps you are so afraid of someone that you cannot remember me. And you have not thought about me in your minds. Perhaps you are afraid of me because I have not said anything for a long time.

v12 I will show (to everybody) the very good things that you do. (Only you think that they are good!) And they will not be a benefit to you.

v13 You will shout for help. Then I will let all (your false gods) save you (if they can)! The wind will carry them all away. (Somebody’s) *breath will blow them away. But anyone that comes to me for help will have the land. (He or she) will have my *holy mountain.

‘*holy mountain’ here may mean Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

v14 He will say, ‘Build up (a road)! Build (it) up. Make a road. Remove the things that stop my people from using the road.’

v15 The High (God), who is Above (Everything), is speaking. He (is the God that) will always be alive. His name is *holy. (He says,) ‘I live in a high and holy place. But (I will live) also with anyone who has a *lowly and a *humble *spirit. I will cause the *spirit of the humble person to continue to live. I will also cause the heart of the lowly person to stay alive.

v16 I will not always say that someone is bad. (I will not always) be angry (with him). (If I did, his) *spirit would become weak in front of me. I made (him) alive when I made man.

v17 His *sin, *greed made me angry and I *punished him. I was angry and I hid from him. But he continued to do what he wanted to do.

v18 I have seen what he is doing. But I will give him health again. Then I will be a guide to him and I will make him strong again.’

v19 (God) will cause the people who are sad to speak words of *praise. The *LORD says, ‘(I will give) *peace. (There will be) peace to the people that are far away. And (there will be peace) to those that are near. And I will give them health.

v20 But bad people are like a sea that is always moving. Its waters throw up dirt. And they throw up wet material that is not clean.

v21 There is no *peace’, says my God, ‘for bad people.’

Chapter 58

*Fast or *Feast

v1 (God says),’Shout with (your) voice! Do not keep (the sound) quiet! Make a sound with your voice like a *trumpet! Tell my people that they have not obeyed me. Also, (tell) the house of Jacob about their *sins.’

Verse 1 ‘the house of Jacob’ here means God’s people, Judah and Israel, who were *descendants of Jacob.

v2 ‘(Do this) because every day (my people) look for me. And it seems that they really want to know my ways. They are like a country that does what is right. And they seem not to have turned away from what their God wants them to do. They ask me to decide fairly. And they seem to want God to come near to them.’

v3 (They say this.) ‘We have *fasted and you, (God), did not see it. We made ourselves *humble and you did not seem to see it.’ (God answers), ‘Look! On the day when you fast, you make yourselves happy. And you are not kind to the people that work for you.

v4 Look! While you fast, you quarrel. Then you fight. And you hit each other with your fists. You cannot fast today so that (I, God) will hear your voice in (*heaven).

v5 I did not want you to do these things when you fast:

·           A man makes himself *humble (only) for a day.

·           (A man) is humble, like a plant that is dying.

·           And (a man) lies on hairy cloth and ashes.

That is what you do when you fast. (Do not think) that the *LORD will accept that.

v6-7 This is the way that I want you to fast:

·           Remove the *chains that wrongly tie (people) up.

·           And take off the chains (that hold) the *yoke.

·           Let the people that the enemy has been cruel to go free.

·           And break every yoke.

·           Give some of your food to hungry people.

·           And give a safe place to the poor person who goes from place to place.

·           When you see *bare people, give them clothes.

·           And do not turn away from your own family.

v8 Then your light will shine like the (light at) dawn. And soon (everyone) will see that you are well again. Then your *righteous (God) will go in front of you. And the *glory of the *LORD at your backs will make you safe.

v9-10 Then you will pray and the *LORD will answer (you). You will ask for help and immediately he will say, “Here I am.”

(You must do these things:)

·           Remove the *yoke.

·           Do not point with the finger (at people) and say bad things (about them).

·           Use all your power to give help to hungry people.

·           Give to *oppressed people the things that they need.

Then your light will shine in the dark places and your night will be like midday.

v11 (Then) the *LORD will always be your guide. He will give to you plenty of everything, in a country where the sun is burning (everything). And he will make your bodies strong. You will become like a garden that has plenty of water. (You will be) like a well whose waters never fail.

v12 You will build again the old (places that the enemy) destroyed. And you will build the old houses again. (People) will call you “The Person who Mends Broken Walls” and “The Person who Builds Again Streets with Houses”.

v13-14 If you (do these things), then you will enjoy yourselves with the *LORD:

·           Do not do wrong things on the *Sabbath.

·           Do not do what only what makes you happy you on my *holy day.

·           Call the Sabbath a lovely day.

·           Call the LORD’s *holy day a good day.

·           Think good things about (the Sabbath). (You will do this) when you do not do things in your own way.

·           Do not do things to make yourself happy (on the Sabbath). And do not speak words that are not important (on the Sabbath).

(If you do these things,) I will cause you to ride on the high places in the country. Also, you will have a *feast with what your *ancestor Jacob gave to you.’ (Do these things) because the mouth of the LORD has said them.

Chapter 59

v1 Look! The hand of the *LORD is not too short to save you. Neither is his ear too weak to hear you.

v2 But the wrong things that you have done have made you separate from your God. Your *sins have hidden (his) face from you, so that he will not listen (to you).

v3-4 (This is true) for these reasons:

·           Blood makes your hands red. The wrong things that you do are on your fingers.

·           Your lips have said things that are not true. Also, your *tongue quietly says bad things.

·           Nobody asks for a *judge to be fair. Nobody says things that are honest.

·           People give reasons that mean nothing. People say things that are not true.

·           People *conceive trouble and they give birth to bad (things).

This is like a picture of when people have an idea to do bad things. And then they do them.

v5 It is like when a snake causes young snakes to come out of the snake’s eggs. And they are always making *spiders’ *webs. People that eat the eggs (of spiders) will die. And when they break (a snake’s egg) a worse snake will come out.

v6 They cannot use (*spiders’) *webs (to make) clothes. They cannot cover themselves with the things that they make from them. The things that they do are bad. And they use their hands to hurt people.

v7 Their feet hurry (them) to do bad things. They rush to pour out the blood of people who have not done anything bad. Their thoughts are bad thoughts. They break and destroy things. They do that everywhere that they go.

v8 They do not know the way to *peace. Their paths are never honest. Their roads turn away (from what is good). Nobody that walks on them will have peace.

v9 So, (God’s) rules are far away from us! So, *righteousness does not reach us! We look for light, but everything is dark. (We look) for a little bit of light, but we see only dark shadows.

v10 Like *blind people, we touch the wall (to find our way). We find our way (when we touch things), like men without eyes. At midday, we fall down. (We are) like (people that are in) bad light. We are like dead people among strong people.

v11 We all make angry noises, like *bears (make). And we make sad noises, like *doves make. We look for (people to obey God’s) rules, but we do not find any. (We look) for people to help us, but they are far away.

v12 (This is) because we have done many (wrong) things. You, (God) think that they are wrong. And our *sins speak against us. The things that we have done wrong are always with us. And we know about our sins.

v13 We have not obeyed the *LORD. And we have not tried to do what he wanted us to do. We have turned away from our God. We have spoken about being cruel to people. And we have spoken about fights against (God). We have thought about things in our minds that were not true. Then we have said those things.

v14 So, (it is like) we have sent away (God’s) rules. And *righteousness (is like a person who) is standing a long way away. Things that are true have fallen down in the streets. We will not let people be honest.

v15 (People) cannot find what is true anywhere. Also, good people become (people that bad people) try to kill.

And the *LORD looked (at his people). And it did not make him happy that (people did) not obey his rules.

v16 He saw that there was nobody to do anything (about it). And he thought that this was bad. So his own arm made his people safe. And (with) his own *righteousness he made himself strong.

v17 He put on *righteousness to cover his body. And (he put on) what makes people safe to cover his head. He put on (these things as) clothes to fight against his enemies. And he wanted so much (to fight his enemies) that these (clothes) were like a coat all round him!

v18 He will pay again to people what they should have.

·           He will be angry with the people that fight against him.

·           (There will be) a fair *punishment for his enemies.

·           (He will) pay a fair price to the islands.

v19 People will be afraid of the name of the *LORD in the west. And from where the sun rises (in the east) they will see his *glory. (They will say that) it is very good. (This is) because he will rush along like a river. The Spirit of the LORD will push him along.

v20 ‘The *Redeemer will come to *Zion. (He will come) to the people of *Jacob who are sorry because of their *sins’, says the *LORD.

v21 ‘Now I myself have this *covenant with them’, says the *LORD. ‘My Spirit is with you and I have put my words into your mouth. They will not go from your mouth. (They will not go) from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their children. This will be (true), now and for always’, says the LORD.

Chapter 60

The first Song of the *Messiah

v1 Stand up and shine! (Do this) because your light has come! And the *glory of the *LORD has risen over you.

The word ‘light’ here is a name for God’s *Messiah. See John 9:5.

v2 Look, because a dark cloud covers the earth. It is very dark over the people. But the *LORD will rise up above you and (the world will) see his *glory over you.

v3 Then, people will come to your light from foreign countries. Also, kings will come to the bright light that is beginning to shine over you.

v4 Open your eyes and look all round you. Everybody is coming together and they are coming to you. Your sons will come from far away and (you will) carry your daughters in your arms.

v5 Then you will look and you will shine! And you will feel like your heart is jumping. And (it will) feel bigger (inside you). (This will happen) because they will bring valuable things from across the seas to you. The valuable (things) from other countries will come to you.

v6 Groups of *camels will be in your country. Young camels (will come from) Midian and from Ephah. And everybody from Sheba will come. They will carry gold and *incense. Also, they will talk about how great that the *LORD is.

v7 (People) will bring to you all the farm animals from Kedar. They will offer the male sheep from Nebaioth to you. I (God’s *Messiah,) will accept them when people offer them (to me) on my *altar. So, I will make my great *temple beautiful.

v8 These are the people that fly along (quickly) like clouds. They come like birds to their homes.

v9 (They do this) because the islands are looking for me to come. The ships from Tarshish are at the front (of the people that are coming). They bring your sons from far away. And they bring *silver and gold. They will come to (the place where) the name of *LORD your God (is important). (He is) the *Holy (God) of Israel. (They do this) because he has made you beautiful.

v10 And the sons of strangers will build your walls again. Also, their kings will be your servants. I hit you when I was angry. But I will be kind to you now that I am not angry (with you).

v11 Your gates will always be open. (People) will never close them, during the day or during the night. Then, people can bring in (to you) valuable things from other countries. Their kings will come with them.

v12 (Somebody will) destroy the country or the *kingdom that will not be your servant. (That country) will really destroy itself completely.

v13 The *glory of Lebanon will come to you. (Its glory is its) *pine trees, *fir trees and *cypress trees. They will make my *temple beautiful. And I will put my glory where my feet touch the earth.

v14 The people that were cruel to you will come (to you). They will bend in front of you. And everybody that did not like you will come (to you). (They will) bend on their knees at your feet. And they will call you, ‘The City of the *LORD. (You are) *Zion. (You) belong to the *Holy (God) of Israel.’

v15 People have kept away from you and they have not liked you. Now, everybody will always think that you are great. Nobody may travel through you, but everybody will (always) be happy because of you.

v16 And you will drink the milk of other countries and the breasts of queens will feed you. Then you will know that I, the *LORD, have made you safe. And I am your *Redeemer. I am the very strong (God) of Jacob.

v17 I will bring you gold, (I will not bring you) *bronze. And (I will bring you) *silver. (I will not bring you) iron. And you will not have wood, (but you will have) bronze. And (I will bring you) iron; (I will not bring you) stones. And I will make *peace your ruler and *righteousness will rule over you.

v18 You will not hear in your country (the noise that) cruel people make. Nobody will break or destroy anything inside the edges of your country. And you will call your walls ‘A Safe Place’ and (you will call) your gates ‘*Praise’.

v19 The sun will not give you light in the day again, neither will the moon shine brightly on you. But (instead) the *LORD will always be your light and your God will be your *glory.

v20 Your sun will never go down again and your moon will never *disappear. (This is) because the *LORD will always be your light. Then your sad days will end.

v21 Then all your people will be *righteous and they will always have the land. They will be like a small plant that I have planted. (They will be) the work that my hands have made. (They will) show that I am beautiful.

v22 The least (person) will become a thousand (1000) people and the smallest (person) will become a strong country. I am the *LORD. When it happens, I will do it quickly.

The 2nd and 3rd Songs of the *Messiah (chapters 61-62)

Chapter 61

The second Song of the *Messiah

v1 The Spirit of the *Lord, (who is) *LORD, (is) upon me. (This is) because the LORD has *anointed me to tell good news to poor people. He has sent me to make people happy again. (These are the people that trouble) has caused to be very sad. (He has sent me) to tell the people in a prison that they are free. And (he sent me) to tell the people in a prison that they can come out of the dark places.

Verse 1 is about people who are very sad. They are sad because of what has happened to them. He will help them to feel better.

v2 (He has sent me) to say (this. Now is) the year when the *LORD will be kind. Also, the day when God will *punish people (is near). (He has sent me) to make everybody who is very sad happy again. (They are so sad) that it causes them to weep.

v3 (He has sent me) to do (these things). (I will do them) on behalf of all those people in *Zion whose *spirits are hurting:

·           (They will have) flowers on them; (they will not have) ashes (on them).

·           (They will have on them *olive) oil that will make them happy. Then, they will not weep.

·           No longer will their spirits have no hope. *Praise will be like a coat for them, instead.

People will say that they are like large trees of *righteousness. They will be (like trees) that the *LORD has planted. They will show to people that the LORD is beautiful.

v4 They will build again what (enemies) broke into pieces long ago. And they will make places new again (that enemies) destroyed long ago. They will mend the cities that (somebody) destroyed. (Someone) destroyed (the cities) when their grandparents were alive!

In verses 4-9, Isaiah uses the words ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘you’ and ‘your’. They all mean ‘those people in *Zion’, (verse 3).

v5 *Foreigners will come and they will be *shepherds to your animals. People from foreign countries will work in your fields and in your *vineyards.

v6 And (people) will call you ‘*priests of the *LORD’. Your name will be ‘servants of our God’. You will have valuable things from every country. And you will tell everybody about how rich they (have made you).

v7 You will not be ashamed, (because you will be) twice as (happy) instead. And (things will not) disappoint (them). They will sing aloud about what (the *LORD has) given (to them). So, they will have twice as much (as they had) in their land. And they will always be very happy.

v8 (This is) because I, the *LORD, love *justice. I do not like people that take things for themselves. (I am speaking about the things) that they offer on my *altar. And I will give a gift to them, because I will always be kind to them. I will make a *covenant with them that will never end.

v9 And every country will know their seed. People from every country will know their children. Everybody that sees them will agree to this. They are the seed that the *LORD has *blessed.

‘seed’ is a special word for God’s people here.

The third Song of the *Messiah

v10 I have great pleasure in the *LORD. My *spirit is very happy in my God. He has put the clothes on to me that make me safe. He has dressed me in the clothes of *righteousness. (I am) like a man at his marriage, with a special hat like a *priest’s. And (I am) like a woman at her marriage whose valuable stones make her beautiful.

v11 So the *Lord, (who is) *LORD, will cause *righteousness and *praise to appear to every country. It will be like the ground that causes the young plant to come up. And (it will be like) a garden that causes seeds to grow.

Chapter 62

v1 I will not be quiet, on behalf of *Zion. On behalf of Jerusalem, I will not stay quiet. (I will be like this) until her *righteousness shines out like the dawn. She will be so safe that it burns like the brightest *torch.

v2 Then, the people in every country will see your *righteousness and every king (will see) your *glory. And they will call you by a new name. The mouth of the *LORD will give it to you.

v3 And you will be like a beautiful *crown in the *LORD’s hand. In the hand of your God (you will be like) what a king wears on his head.

v4 They will not call you ‘Alone’ again. The name of your country will not be ‘Empty, Sandy Place’. But they will call you ‘*Hephzibah’ and they will call your country ‘*Beulah’.

v5 As a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you. As a man at his marriage is happy with his new wife, so your God will be happy with you.

Verse 5 ‘your sons’ here means the people that live in Jerusalem.

v6 I have put people on your walls, Jerusalem, to keep them safe. They will not be quiet, during all the day and during all the night. Those (people) that remember the *LORD do not rest.

v7 And do not let (the *LORD) rest, until he has built Jerusalem again. He will make (Jerusalem the place) that all the people in the world *praise. (Do not let him rest) until he does that.

v8 The *LORD has promised (these things). (He will do them) with his right hand and with his strong arm.

·           ‘I will never give your *grain to your enemies for food again.

·           And never again will *foreigners drink the new *wine that you have worked carefully to make.’

Some Christians believe that ‘right hand’ is a name for God’s *Holy Spirit in Isaiah’s book.

And some Christians believe that, in Isaiah’s book, ‘strong arm’ is a name for Jesus, the *Messiah.

v9 ‘But the people who pick it will eat it. Then they will *praise the *LORD. And those (people) who pick the *grapes will drink (the *wine). They will do it in the yards that are round about my *temple.’

v10 Pass through, pass through the gates. Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the road on higher ground. Remove the stones. Lift up a sign for the people (from foreign countries).

v11 Look! The *LORD has said this to the parts of the earth that are far away. ‘Say to the *Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem), “Look! The (*Messiah that will) make you safe is coming! Look! His gifts are with him! He is bringing with him what he will give back (to you).” ’

v12 Their name will the *Holy People. (They are the people) whom the *LORD has *redeemed. And people will call you (by these names): ‘(Whom somebody) Looked For’ (and) ‘The City that Nobody Keeps Away From’.

The 4th Song of the *Messiah and Isaiah’s *Prayer (chapters 63-64)

Chapter 63

The fourth Song of the *Messiah

v1 Someone is coming from Edom and from Bozrah. A bright colour makes his clothes (red). It is someone that is wearing beautiful clothes. He marches on his way and he is very strong. (He says), ‘I am speaking (to you). I am *righteous. I am strong enough to save you.’

v2 Why are your clothes red? They are like (the clothes) of somebody that has worked in a *winepress.

v3 ‘I have worked in the *winepress alone. From (all) the countries, nobody was with me. I walked on them because I was angry. And I put them under my feet because I was angry. Their blood went all over my clothes and I made all my clothes (red).

v4 (I did this) because I was thinking about (a certain) day. (On that day) I would *punish people. Also, the year when I would *redeem people had come.’

Verse 4 ‘I was thinking about’. In the *Hebrew Bible this is ‘it was in my heart’. The *Jews believed that people thought in their hearts.

v5 ‘I had looked, but there was nobody to help (me). And I was not happy, because nobody helped (me). So my own arm did the work to save them. And I was so angry that it helped me.

v6 I walked on (all) the countries, because I was angry. I was so angry that I caused them (to seem) like drunks. Then, I poured their blood on to the ground.’

Isaiah’s *Prayer

v7 I will tell (people) that the *LORD is kind. (I will talk about) how people *praise the LORD. (This is) because of all that the LORD has done on our behalf. He has done many good things on behalf of the house of Israel. (He did this) because of his great love on their behalf. And (he did this) (because) he was very kind (to them).

‘The house of Israel’ means the *Jewish people.

v8 And he said, ‘Surely, they are my people. (They are) sons who will always follow me.’ So he became the person that saved them.

v9 When they were in trouble, he was in their trouble with them. And the *angel, that was there with him, saved them. And in his love and in his *mercy he *redeemed them. Also, he lifted them up and he carried them. (He did this) as he had done it in past years.

v10 But they did not obey him and they made his *Holy Spirit angry. So, he turned against them and he became their enemy. He fought against them.

v11 Then he remembered past years. (He remembered) Moses and his people. (They said,) ‘(We need) the Person that brought them up out of the sea, with the leaders of his people. (We need the Person) that put his *Holy Spirit on him.

v12 His arm shone while he went at Moses’ right hand. (We need that Person.) (We need the Person) who caused the waters (of the River Jordan) to become separate. (Because of that,) he caused his name always to be famous.’

v13 ‘(We need the Person) who led them through the deep (places in the sea). As a horse (runs) in flat country, so they did not fall.

Verses 8-13 ‘He’ and ‘him’ and ‘the Person’ in these verses mean the *LORD God.

v14 The (*Holy) Spirit of the *LORD gave them rest, like cows and sheep that go down to their fields. This is how he was the guide of your people. And you made for yourself a famous name!’

v15 Look down from your *holy and beautiful house in *heaven and see (us). You want (to do what you have promised to us). And you are strong. And you love (us) and you want to be kind to us. But you are not doing anything on our behalf!

v16 But you are our father, even if Abraham does not know us. (You are our father) even if Israel does not recognise us. You, *LORD, are our father. Your name is our *Redeemer, from days long ago.

v17 *LORD, we do not know why you let us go away from your ways. (You let us make) our hearts so hard, so that we do not love you. (We do not know why you let us do that.) Come back to us, on behalf of your servants. (We are) the families that belong to you!

To have hard hearts means that they cannot love anyone.

v18 Your *holy people will have (their own land) only for a short time. Our enemies will walk all over your holy place.

v19 For a long time, we are like people that you have not ruled. (People) did not call us by your name!

Chapter 64

v1 Oh, I wanted you to break open the skies and I wanted you to come down! Then the mountains would have moved in front of you.

v2 (It would have been) like a fire that burns up bits of wood. And (it would have been) like a fire that boils water. (These things would have happened) when you came down. And you would have caused your enemies to know your name. The countries would have moved away in front of you.

v3 (You did things) that made us afraid. (And it would have happened) while you did those things. They were things that we did not think would happen. (It would have happened) while you came down. And the mountains would have moved in front of you.

v4 And, for a long time, nobody has heard of, or thought about, a God like you. Nobody has seen (a God like you). He does things on behalf of those (people) that wait for him.

v5 You help the people that are happy. (You help them) to do what is right. They (are the people that) remember your ways. But you are angry because, for a long time, we have *sinned against your rules. So, we do not know if (anyone) can save us.

v6 We have all become like someone who is not clean. And all the good things that we do are like very dirty bits of cloth. We all become dry, like a leaf. And, like a wind, our *sins sweep us away.

v7 And nobody shouts your name or tries to pray to you. (This is) because you have hidden your face from us. And you have caused us slowly to become weak, because our *sins are so strong.

v8 But *LORD, you are still our father. We are like the *clay. And you are like the person that makes the pots. Your hand made all of us.

v9 Do not be too angry with us, *LORD. And do not always remember our *sins. But help us again, because we are your people.

v10 Your *holy cities will become empty, sandy places. *Zion will be an empty, sandy place and Jerusalem will be full of dirt.

v11 Our *ancestors *praised you in our *holy and beautiful *temple. (But soon,) fire will burn it. (An enemy will) destroy everything that is valuable to us.

v12 After all this, *LORD, we hope that you will not still do nothing. We hope that you will not continue to be quiet. We hope that you will not continue to *punish us.

The New Jerusalem (chapters 65-66)

Chapter 65

v1 ‘I spoke to people who did not ask for me. People who did not look for me found me. I said, “Here I (am), here I (am)!” (I said it) to a country that was not called by my name.

v2 All day long I hold my hands out to people who will not listen (to me). They continue to walk (live) in ways that are not good. They still do what their thoughts (want them to do).’

Verse 2 ‘hold my hands out’ This is what the *Jews did when they asked someone to do something.

v3 ‘They are people that continue to make me angry. (They do it) in front of me! They offer gifts in (their) gardens (to false gods). They burn them on stones.

v4 They sit among the *graves and they watch all night in secret places. They eat meat from pigs. And (they eat) dishes of soup (that they made) from *unclean meat.

v5 They are people that say, “Keep away from me, and do not come near me. I am too *holy for you!” These people are like smoke in my nose! (They are like smoke) from a fire that burns all day.

v6 Look! The words are (in a book) in front of me. I will not stay quiet, but I will *punish them completely. I will pay them back completely, like someone who puts things into their hands.

v7 (I will pay back) both your *sins and the sins of your *ancestors’, says the *LORD. ‘(I will do this) because they burned gifts (to false gods) on the mountains. And they said bad things about me on the hills. And, firstly, I will measure to them the right *punishment for what they have done.’

Verses 6 and 7 ‘pay back’ This means ‘give to them what their *sin has brought to them’. It is another way to say ‘*punish them’.

v8 This is what the *LORD says. ‘Sometimes people find *juice in a group of *grapes. Then men say, “Do not destroy it, because there is something good in it.” I will do something like this on behalf of my servants. I will not kill them all.

v9 I will cause there still to be seed in Jacob’s family. There will be people in Judah to live on my mountains. The people that I have chosen will live on them. And my servants will live there.’

‘seed’ is a special word for God’s people here.

v10 ‘And Sharon will become a field for groups (of sheep). Also, groups (of cows) will rest in the Valley of Achor. (They will be places) for my people who are looking for me.

v11 (This will happen) to you (people) who go away from the *LORD. And (it will happen to you people) that forget my *holy mountain. Also, (it will happen to people) who put food on a table for (the false god called) *Luck. And (it will happen to people) who fill dishes of *wine for *Fate.’

‘*holy mountain’ here means Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

v12 ‘Your “*luck” will be that a *sword (will kill you). And you will all bend down for death. I spoke (to you), but you did not answer. I spoke, but you did not listen. You did bad things in front of me, where I could see them. And you chose (to do things) that did not make me happy.’

v13 So the *LORD (who is) Master says this. ‘Look! My servants will eat (food), but you will be hungry. Look! My servants will (have something to) drink, but you will have nothing to drink. Look! My servants will be very happy, but you will be ashamed.

v14 Look! My servants will sing because they feel so happy. But you will cry because there is so much pain in your minds. You will weep because your *spirits are so sad.

v15 And you will leave your name as a *curse to the people that I have chosen. And the *LORD (who is) Master will kill (all of) you. But he will give to his servants another name.

v16 Whoever asks for a *blessing in the country will do it by the *God of Truth. Whoever makes a promise in the country will do it by the God of Truth. (This is because God) will forget troubles in past years. Really, (something) will hide them from my eyes.’

v17 ‘Listen, because I will *create new *heavens and a new earth. And (people) will not remember how things were. They will not even (be ideas that) come to their minds.

v18 But rather, be happy! And always, (yes), always be very happy about what I will *create! (Do this), for these reasons:

·           The Jerusalem that I will create will be a pleasure (to me).

·           The people that live there will make (me) very happy.

v19 Then, I will be very happy with Jerusalem and I will have great pleasure in my people. Nobody will hear the sound of (people) crying (in Jerusalem). People will not weep there again.

v20 Never again will there be (in Jerusalem) a baby that only lives for a few days. (Nor will there be) an old man that does not live a long life. But a man that dies 100 (years old), people will call a young man. And a man may not live to be 100 (years old). But then people will think that someone has said a *curse about him.

v21 People (in Jerusalem) will build houses and they will live in them. They will plant *vineyards and they will eat the fruit from them.

v22 They will not build houses for other people to live in. They will not plant things for other people to eat (the fruit). (This is) because the days of my people will be as many as the days of a tree. The people that I have chosen will enjoy things. (They will enjoy) what their hands have made for a long time.

v23 They will not work without result. Neither will they have children that will have bad times. (This is) because they are the seed. (They are the seed) that the *LORD will *bless. (He will bless) them and their *descendants with them.

v24 Before they pray (to me), I will answer (them). While they are still speaking, I will hear (them).

v25 The *wolf and the young sheep will eat together. And the *lion will eat dry grass like the cow. But the food of the snake will be dirt. They will neither hurt nor kill (anything) on all my *holy mountain’, says the *LORD.

Verse 23 The word for ‘seed’ usually means ‘children’. But here it is a special word for God’s people.

Verse 25 ‘*holy mountain’ here may mean Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

Chapter 66

v1 This is what the *LORD is saying. ‘*Heaven is my high seat. And the earth is the place where I will put my feet. I do not know where you could build a house for me. You could not make a place where I will rest.’

The word for ‘high seat’ is the chair that a king would sit on.

v2 ‘My hand has made all these things. That is how they happened’, says the *LORD. ‘I think that this kind of person is valuable. He will be *humble and he will have a *lowly *spirit. And he will be afraid when he hears my word.

v3 Some people kill a male cow for me. Some people kill a man. Some people offer me a young sheep. Some people break a dog’s neck. Some people offer *grain. Some people offer pig’s blood. Some people (burn) *incense to remember (me). Some people *worship false gods. Some people have chosen their own ways. Their *spirits have pleasure in bad things.

v4 So I will choose to *punish them a lot. And I will send to them the things that will make them very afraid. (This is) because nobody answered when I spoke. And when I spoke, nobody listened. They did bad things (even while) I watched them! And they chose (to do) things that did not make me happy.’

In verse 3, some people do good things, and some people do bad things.

Good things

Bad things

Kill a male cow for me.

Kill a man.

Offer me a young sheep.

Break a dog’s neck.

Offer *grain.

Offer pig’s blood.

(Burn) *incense to remember (me).

*Worship false gods.

v5 Listen to the *LORD’s message, you people that were afraid of his words. ‘Your (bad) brothers did not like you. They do not let you belong (to the people of Judah). They do this because of my name. They said (to you), “Give *praise to the LORD. Then we will see that you are happy.” But (your brothers) will be ashamed.’

The word ‘brothers’ here might really mean other *Jews.

v6 ‘A voice (comes like) a loud noise from the city! A voice (comes) from the *temple. The voice (is) the *LORD’s (voice). He is giving to his enemies all that they should have.’

v7 ‘Before she has *labour, she has a baby. Before the pains come to her, a son is born!

v8 Nobody has ever heard of such a thing. Nobody has ever seen things like this. A country cannot be born in one day. Nor can a country have birth in a moment. But as soon as *Zion has *labour, her children are born!

Zion is not the name of a woman here. It is the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use it to mean all Jerusalem. The idea about a woman who has a baby is like a picture here.

v9 When I bring (someone) to the moment of birth, then the baby is born.’ This is what the *LORD is saying. ‘I do not close up the mother’s body before the baby is born’, says your God.

v10 ‘Be happy with (the people in) Jerusalem and be very happy for Jerusalem. (Do this), everybody that loves Jerusalem. Be very happy with Jerusalem, everybody that cries for Jerusalem.

v11 (Jerusalem) will be like a mother to you. And she will give to you all that you need. Her breasts will cause you to feel happier. You will drink a lot (of her milk). And you will be very happy with the *glory that pours (like a stream of water) from her.’

v12 (This will happen) because the *LORD says, ‘Look! I will give *peace to (Jerusalem) like a river. And (I will cause) the valuable things from every country to pour in like a stream (of water). Jerusalem will be like a mother to you and she will carry you by her side. And you will (be like a baby that) sits on its (mother’s) knees.

v13 I will cause you to feel happier as a mother causes her child to feel happier. (You felt sad because an enemy destroyed Jerusalem.) I will cause you to feel happier about Jerusalem (now).’

v14 And when you see (this), you will feel very happy! And your bones will grow easily, like grass. The *LORD will cause his servants to know that his hand (is good). But he will show his enemies that he is very angry.

Verses 11-14 The words that we have translated ‘cause you to feel happier’ in these verses mean ‘to make people strong again, so that they can live with their troubles’.

v15 Look! The *LORD will come with fire and his *chariots will be like a strong wind. He will come down (from *heaven) because he is very angry. He will speak against them with words of fire.

v16 And so the *LORD will be the *judge of all people with fire and with his *sword. Then the LORD will kill many people.

v17 ‘Some people are servants of their gods. And some people make themselves very clean for their gods. They go into the gardens. They follow the people who eat the meat from pigs and *rats and other dirty things. They will all come to their deaths together’, says the *LORD.

v18 ‘And I will come and I will bring together the people from all countries. And I will bring together the people who speak all languages. (I will do this because) of what they have done and (because of) their thoughts. And they will come and they will see my *glory.

v19 And I will put a sign among them. And I will send some of those people that run away (from me) to other countries. (They will go to):

·           Tarshish (in Spain)

·           the people in Libya

·           the people in Lydia, who are famous because they shoot *arrows (so well)

·           Tubal

·           Greece

·           far away islands that have not heard of my name and have not seen my *glory.

These people will tell other countries about my glory.

v20 And they will bring all your brothers to my *holy mountain in Jerusalem. (They will bring them) from all the countries to offer (them) to the *LORD. (They will come) on horses, in *chariots and in trucks. (They will come) on mules (animals like small horses) and on *camels’, says the LORD. ‘They will bring them as the *Jews bring *grain. (This is what) they offer to the LORD in the *temple. (The grain is in) the special dishes that they use to *worship me. v21 And I will choose some of them to be *priests. And I will choose some of them to be servants of God (like my servants) from Levi’s family’, says the *LORD.

Verse 20 The word ‘brothers’ here really means other *Jews.

v22 ‘The new *heavens and the new earth that I will make will always be there’, says the *LORD. ‘Also, your name and (the names of) your seed will stay there.’

‘seed’ is a special word for God’s people here.

v23 ‘Everybody will come and they will bend down on their knees in front of me’, says the *LORD. ‘(They will come) from one New Moon to the next (New Moon) and from one *Sabbath to another.

v24 And they will go out (of the New Jerusalem). And they will look at the dead bodies of the people that did not obey me. Their *worm will not die and their fire will not go out. And everybody will see how dirty that they are.’

Word List

adulteress ~ a woman who has sex with a man that is not her husband.

altar ~ a special table on which people offer gifts to God (or to their false god).

ancestors ~ fathers and grandfathers and people years ago that they were born to.

angels ~ servants of God that live with him in his home called Heaven.

anointed ~ poured oil on (from a plant called the olive). The *Jews did this to show that God had chosen someone. The *Hebrew word is the one that we get our word ‘*messiah’ from.

arrows ~ sticks with sharp points. Bows shoot them.

bare ~ with no clothes on.

bear ~ a dangerous wild animal.

Beulah ~ a *Hebrew word for ‘married’.

bless ~ be very good to you, so that you have many children, animals and fruits.

blessing ~ words that ask for something good to happen to someone. The opposite of a *curse.

blind ~ not able to see.

breath ~ the air that goes into and comes out of our mouths.

bronze ~ a strong, yellow metal.

camel ~ an animal that people use to carry heavy weights.

chains ~ metal lines and rings that tie people up.

chariot ~ soldiers rode in chariots. Horses pulled them.

clay ~ material from the earth. People use it to make pots.

conceive ~ when the result of sex is a baby. In Isaiah 59:4, 5, the egg is a result of this sex. The snakes are like a picture of bad things that people do.

covenant ~ when people agree something together; when God and a person or people agree to a special thing.

create ~ make out of nothing except your own power. Only God can really create.

crown ~ a special hat that a king wears.

curse ~ words that ask for something bad to happen.

cypress ~ a very beautiful tree.

Daughter of Zion ~ the people that live in the city called Jerusalem. (Zion is the name of the hill in Jerusalem.)

descendants ~ people in your family who are born after you.

disappear ~ the opposite of appear.

dove ~ a bird that makes a sad noise like ‘coo’.

eunuch ~ man with no sex part.

exile ~ people that an enemy takes to another country are ‘in exile’. They are away from home. We also call these people ‘exiles’.

fast ~ not to eat food, when people pray.

Fate ~ your fate is what will happen to you; we think that it is the name of a false god in Isaiah 65:11.

feast ~ a special meal with a lot of good food and drink.

fir ~ a tree that does not change much in winter.

foreigner ~ a person from a foreign country.

glory ~ something that a great person has. It nearly causes them to shine! God’s glory is difficult to describe. God’s glory is something that shines very, very much. It is too bright to look at. But it also describes what God does. What he does is great. God will not give any of his glory to *idols, because they have not done anything, (Isaiah 41:29).

God of Truth ~ God who always says what is true.

grain ~ fruit of a plant like grass, that people make bread from.

grapes ~ fruit that people use to make a drink with alcohol in it.

grave ~ hole in the ground where they bury dead people.

greed ~ greed causes you to want more than you really need.

heaven ~ God’s home; but ‘heavens’ can mean the skies.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke.

Hephzibah ~ a *Hebrew word for ‘beautiful’.

holy ~ very, very good; only God is really holy; this makes him separate from people; or, holy means something that is used in *religion.

humble ~ humble people do not think that they are important.

idol ~ false god. People usually make them with metal or stone or wood.

incense ~ something that makes a special, nice smell when people burn it.

Jacob ~ sometimes in Isaiah’s book it means the *Jewish people, who were *descendants of Jacob.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that is a *Jew’s.

judge ~ to say whether something is right or wrong or fair; or the person who does that.

juice ~ a drink from the *grapes.

justice ~ what is right and fair.

kingdom ~ a country that a king or a queen rules over.

labour ~ (here) the pain when a woman has a baby.

lion ~ a large and dangerous wild animal.

LORD ~ LORD is a special name of God. In the *Hebrew language it is YAHWEH. It may mean ‘always alive’. So LORD is a sign that the *Hebrew word is YAHWEH.

Lord ~ lord means master; Lord is a name for God. It is not the same as *LORD.

lowly ~ another word for humble; lowly or humble people do not think that they are very important.

luck ~ when good things happen when really there is no reason for them to happen. In Isaiah 65:11, Luck is the name of a false god.

magic ~ when bad *spirits give you help.

mercy ~ when you are kind when you do not have to be kind.

Messiah ~ a messiah has oil ‘poured on’ them. Messiah is the *Hebrew word for ‘poured on’. It happened to *Jewish kings and *priests when they started their work. The *Jews hoped for a special messiah. Christians believe that Jesus is that special Messiah.

olive ~ a fruit that gives oil. People cook with this oil.

oppressed ~ you are oppressed when people are cruel to you.

peace ~ when there is no trouble or war.

perfume ~ something that has a beautiful smell.

pine ~ a beautiful tree that does not lose its leaves in winter.

praise ~ to tell someone that they are very good; or words that say that somebody is great, good or important.

prayer ~ the words that we say when we pray.

priest ~ a special servant of God in his house (the *temple) in Jerusalem.

punish ~ hurt somebody because they have done something wrong.

punishment ~ what happens to us when somebody *punishes us.

redeem ~ pay to make someone in your family safe.

rat ~  a small animal that can make people very ill.

Redeemer ~ God. He *redeems when he saves people. He does it because they are part of his family.

religion ~ how people *worship their God or their false god.

righteous ~ very, very good. Only God is really righteous. He is called ‘The Righteous One’.

righteousness ~ is what people have who always obey God’s rules. They are very, very good.

Sabbath ~ the seventh day of the week, our Saturday.

sacrifice ~ something that people give to God; sometimes they kill and burn an animal.

Sheol ~ a place under the ground. A place where dead people went.

shepherd ~ a sheep farmer. God often sees his people as sheep that need a shepherd.

silver ~ a valuable metal.

sin ~ what we do when we do not obey God; or, we sin when we do not obey God.

spider ~ like an insect, but with 8 legs. Spiders make *webs.

spirit ~ the part of a person that is alive, which we cannot see; it can speak to other spirits; there are spirits that we cannot see; they can be good or bad.

sword ~ a long knife that soldiers used to kill people.

temple ~ like a large church. The Temple in Jerusalem was the House of God.

tongue ~ the thing in our mouths that tastes things and it makes us able to speak.

torch ~ a piece of burning wood that people use to give light.

trumpet ~ you use your mouth to make music with a trumpet.

truth ~ what is true.

unclean ~ not clean. This means meat that they should not eat.

vine ~ a plant which climbs. Its fruits are called grapes. People use grapes to make *wine.

vineyard ~ a field where people grow *vines. *Grapes grow on vines. People make *wine from grapes.

watchmen ~ people that watch for enemies and dangers.

web ~ what a *spider makes to catch its food in. It is too weak to make clothes from, in Isaiah 59:6.

wine ~ a drink that people make from *grapes. It contains alcohol.

winepress ~ where people start to make *wine from *grapes. They walk on the grapes, so that their clothes become red like the grapes. Here, the winepress is a like a picture of the work of the *Messiah.

wolf ~ dangerous wild animal a bit like a dog.

worm ~ a small animal about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long. It lives under the ground.

worship ~ tell someone that they are very great; and tell them that you love them.

yoke ~ something that holds two animals together; it goes on their shoulders; but sometimes in Isaiah’s book, it means something that makes people not free.

Zion ~ the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use it to mean all Jerusalem.

Book List

John R. Kohlenberger III ~ The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament ~ Zondervan, 1987

Sir Lancelot Brenton ~ The Septuagint with Apocrypha ~ Hendrickson, 1995

B. Davidson ~ Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon ~ Bagster, 1959

G. Abbott-Smith ~ Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament ~ T. & T. Clark, 1936

The Comparative Study Bible, NIV, NASB, AB, KJV ~ Zondervan

Various English Translations of the Bible, apart from those above, including:

The English Version for the Deaf ~ Baker, 1992

The Promise ~ Nelson, 1995

The New English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1970

The Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1957

The Revised Authorised Version ~ Bagster

The Living Bible ~ Tyndale, 1971

The Revised English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1989

The New Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1989

The New Living Translation ~ Tyndale, 1997

The Good News Bible ~ Collins, 1978

The Jerusalem Bible ~ Darton, Longman & Todd, 1968

The Four Prophets ~ J. B. Phillips ~ Bles, 1963

A Handbook on Isaiah ~ UBS Handbooks Helps for Translators Series (Draft Copy)


©1997-2007, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

September 2007

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info