"Present your case," the LORD says. "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says.
Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. read more.
Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. read more.
"Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. "Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not hold them back ' Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made." Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And the deaf, even though they have ears. All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, "It is true." "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And I am God. "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?" Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "For your sake I have sent to Babylon, And will bring them all down as fugitives, Even the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice. "I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King." Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters, Who brings forth the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick): "Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
"I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call on My name. "I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, A people who continually provoke Me to My face, Offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; read more.
Who sit among graves and spend the night in secret places; Who eat swine's flesh, And the broth of unclean meat is in their pots. "Who say, 'Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I am holier than you!' These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day. "Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom, Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together," says the LORD "Because they have burned incense on the mountains And scorned Me on the hills, Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom." Thus says the LORD, "As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, 'Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,' So I will act on behalf of My servants In order not to destroy all of them. "I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah; Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants will dwell there. "Sharon will be a pasture land for flocks, And the valley of Achor a resting place for herds, For My people who seek Me. "But you who forsake the LORD, Who forget My holy mountain, Who set a table for Fortune, And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, And all of you will bow down to the slaughter Because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke, but you did not hear. And you did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight." Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry Behold, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty Behold, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. "Behold, My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart, But you will cry out with a heavy heart, And you will wail with a broken spirit. "You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones, And the Lord GOD will slay you But My servants will be called by another name. "Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight!
God says, "If a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man, Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted? But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me," declares the LORD. "Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see; Where have you not been violated? By the roads you have sat for them Like an Arab in the desert, And you have polluted a land With your harlotry and with your wickedness. "Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no spring rain Yet you had a harlot's forehead; You refused to be ashamed. read more.
"Have you not just now called to Me, 'My Father, You are the friend of my youth? 'Will He be angry forever? Will He be indignant to the end?' Behold, you have spoken And have done evil things, And you have had your way." Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, "Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. "I thought, 'After she has done all these things she will return to Me'; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. "And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. "Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. "Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception," declares the LORD. And the LORD said to me, "Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. "Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD; 'I will not look upon you in anger For I am gracious,' declares the LORD; 'I will not be angry forever. 'Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,' declares the LORD. 'Return, O faithless sons,' declares the LORD; 'For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.' "Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.
"Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not right ' Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? "When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. "Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. read more.
"Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. "But the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right? "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. "Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."
"Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus you have spoken, saying, "Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?"' "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?' "And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, 'The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.' read more.
"When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. "But when I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. "None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live. "Yet your fellow citizens say, 'The way of the Lord is not right,' when it is their own way that is not right. "When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it. "But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them. "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways."
Hear now what the LORD is saying, "Arise, plead your case before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice. "Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the LORD, And you enduring foundations of the earth, Because the LORD has a case against His people; Even with Israel He will dispute. "My people, what have I done to you, And how have I wearied you? Answer Me. read more.
"Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam. "My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So that you might know the righteous acts of the LORD." With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? The voice of the LORD will call to the city-- And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: "Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time?
"From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts. "But you say, 'How shall we return?' "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! read more.
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the LORD of hosts. "All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says the LORD of hosts. "Your words have been arrogant against Me," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'What have we spoken against You?' "You have said, 'It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 'So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.'"