1 THUS SAYS the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother's divorce with which I put her away, O Israel? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away.
2 Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink because there is no water, and they die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with [the] blackness [of murky storm clouds], and I make sackcloth [of mourning] their covering.
4 [The Servant of God says] The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].
5 The Lord God has opened My ear, and I have not been rebellious or turned backward.
6 I gave My back to the smiters and My cheeks to those who plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting. [Matt. 26:67; 27:30; John 19:1.]
7 For the Lord God helps Me; therefore have I not been ashamed or confounded. Therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. [Luke 9:51; Isa. 52:13; 53:10-12.]
8 He is near Who declares Me in the right. Who will contend with Me? Let us stand forth together! Who is My adversary? Let him come near to Me. [Rom. 8:33-35; I Tim. 3:16.]
9 Behold, the Lord God will help Me; who is he who will condemn Me? Behold, they all will wax old and be worn out as a garment; the moth will eat them up. [Heb. 1:11, 12.]
10 Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.
11 Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fires [and work out your own plans of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts, and firebrands that you set aflame!–walk by the light of your self-made fire and of the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if you will]! But this shall you have from My hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment. [Isa. 66:24.]