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Put on your strength, Zion;
Put on your glorious garments,
Jerusalem, holy city.
Never again shall the uncircumcised
or the unclean enter you.
2Arise, shake off the dust,
sit enthroned, Jerusalem;
Loose the bonds from your neck,
captive daughter Zion!
3For thus says the LORD:
For nothing you were sold,
without money you shall be redeemed.
4For thus says the Lord GOD:
To Egypt long ago my people went down,
to sojourn there;
Assyria, too, oppressed them for nought.
5But now, what am I to do here?
—oracle of the LORD.
My people have been taken away for nothing;
their rulers mock, oracle of the LORD;
constantly, every day, my name is reviled.
6Therefore my people shall know my name
on that day, that it is I who speaks: Here I am!
7How beautiful upon the mountains*
are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”a
8Listen! Your sentinels raise a cry,
together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
the LORD’s return to Zion.b
9Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD has comforted his people,
has redeemed Jerusalem.
10The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth can see
the salvation of our God.
11Depart, depart, go out from there,
touch nothing unclean!
Out from there!* Purify yourselves,
you who carry the vessels of the LORD.
12But not in hurried flight will you go out,
nor leave in headlong haste,
For the LORD goes before you,
and your rear guard is the God of Israel.c
13See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
14Even as many were amazed at him—
so marred were his features,
beyond that of mortals
his appearance, beyond that of human beings—d
15So shall he startle many nations,
kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.e
* [52:13–53:12] The last of the “servant of the Lord” oracles (see note on 42:1–4). Taken together, these oracles depict a figure of one called by God for a vocation to Israel and the nations (42:4; 49:5–6); the servant’s exaltation both opens and closes the passage (52:13; 53:12). The servant responded in fidelity but has suffered opposition (50:4–6). In this fourth oracle the servant is characterized as “a man of suffering” (53:3) and appears to be unjustly put to death (53:8–9). Those who have witnessed his career somehow recognize that he is innocent, has undergone suffering for their sins (53:4–6), and his death is referred to as a reparation offering (see note on 53:10–11). The servant is described in ways that identify him with Israel (which is frequently referred to as “servant” in the context of Second Isaiah—e.g., 41:8, 9; 44:2, 21; 43:4) and is designated as “Israel” in 49:3; yet Israel outside the “servant of the Lord” oracles is not presented as sinless, but rather in exile because of sin (40:2; 42:21–25) and even as servant as deaf and blind (42:18–19). The servant is thus both identified with Israel and distinguished from it. As with the previous servant poems, this chapter helped the followers of Jesus to interpret his suffering, death, and resurrection; see especially the passion narratives.
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