1 I let myself be consulted by people who weren't even asking me questions; I let myself be found by people who weren't even looking for me. To a nation that wasn't even calling for me, I said, “I'm here, I'm here!” 2 I spread out my hands all day long, pleading with a stubborn people who follow bad ways, doing whatever they choose. 3 These people are always making me angry, because they present sacrifices to idols in their sacred gardens, and offer incense on pagan altars made of brick. 4 They spend the night among the graves and in caves, eating pork and cooking other unclean meats. 5 They tell others, “Keep your distance! Don't come close to me as I'm too holy to be touched by you!” These people are like smoke in my nostrils, a stink burning all day long!
6 Look—it's all written down right in front of me! I'm not going to keep quiet. I'm going to pay them back by throwing their punishment into their laps. 7 I'm going to pay you back for both your own sins and the sins of your forefathers, says the Lord, because they burned incense on the mountains and ridiculed me on the hills. I'm going to measure into their laps full payment for what they've done.
8 This is what the Lord says: It's like when there's a bit of juice left in a bunch of grapes and people say, “Don't get rid of it all; there's still some good in it,” I'll do the same for my servants—I won't destroy them all. 9 I will make sure Jacob has descendants, and people from Judah who can take ownership of my mountain. My chosen ones, my servants, will own the land and live there. 10 Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to rest, for my people who follow me.
11 But those of you who desert the Lord and forget about my holy mountain, who prepare feasts for the god of good luck,* “The god of good luck”: literally, “Gad,” a pagan god of good fortune. The name Baal-Gad occurs in Joshua 11:17 and Joshua 12:7, meaning “Lord Gad.” who fill jugs of mixed wine for the god of destiny,† “The god of destiny”: literally, “Meni,” a pagan god of fate. It is thought that the name comes from the Semitic word “to apportion,” meaning that this god determined the fates of human beings. 12 I will make sure your destiny is to be killed by the sword. All of you will bow down to be slaughtered, because I called out to you but you didn't answer; I spoke to you, but you didn't listen. Instead you did what's evil in my sight, choosing to do what I hate.
13 So this is what the Lord says, My servants will eat, but you will go hungry. My servants will drink, but you will go thirsty. My servants will celebrate, but you will feel ashamed. 14 Listen! My servants will shout because they're so happy inside, but you will cry out in deepest pain, howling because your spirit is broken. 15 Your name will only be used as a curse by my chosen ones, for the Lord God will kill you and give his servants another name. 16 Whoever asks a blessing or takes an oath in the land will do so by the one true God, for I have forgotten the troubles of the past—I don't look on them anymore.
17 Look! I'm going to create new heavens and a new earth. The former things won't be remembered—they won't cross anyone's mind! 18 Be glad, and be happy forever and ever in what I'm going to create, for I will make Jerusalem a delightful place, and its people a real joy. 19 I will be so happy over Jerusalem; I will celebrate among my people. The sound of weeping and cries for help won't ever be heard there again.
20 No babies will die after just a few days, and no adults will die without having lived a long life.‡ But see 25:8. Those who reach a hundred will be thought of as just a child, and anyone who doesn't reach a hundred will be seen as being under a curse. 21 They will build houses and live in them; they will eat the fruit of the vineyards they themselves planted. 22 No longer will they build houses for others to live in; no longer will they plant for others to eat. For my people will live as long as trees do; my chosen ones will live long enough to enjoy all they've worked for. 23 They won't work for nothing, and they won't have children destined for disaster. For they are people living under the blessing of the Lord, and their children will be too. 24 I will reply even before they ask me. While they are still speaking, I will answer them! 25 The wolf and the lamb will eat together. The lion will eat straw like the ox. The snakes will eat dust. Nothing will cause any harm or damage anywhere on my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord in the same way that water fills the sea.§ See 11:9.
†65:11 “The god of destiny”: literally, “Meni,” a pagan god of fate. It is thought that the name comes from the Semitic word “to apportion,” meaning that this god determined the fates of human beings.