54 The Lord says, “Sing, Jerusalem.
You are like a woman who never gave birth to children.
Start singing and shout for joy.
You never felt the pain of giving birth.
But you will have more children
than the woman who has a husband.
Make your tent bigger.
Stretch it out and make it wider.
Do not hold back.
Make the ropes longer.
Make its stakes stronger.
Do this because you will begin growing very much.
Your children will take over other nations.
And they will again live in cities that once were destroyed.
“Don’t be afraid because you will not be ashamed.
Don’t be embarrassed because you will not be disgraced.
You will forget the shame you felt earlier.
You will not remember the shame you felt when you lost your husband.
This is because the God who made you is like your husband.
His name is the Lord of heaven’s armies.
The Holy One of Israel is the one who saves you.
He is called the God of all the earth.
You were like a woman whose husband left her.
And you were very sad.
You were like a wife who married young
and then her husband left her.
But the Lord called you to be his,”
says your God.
God says, “I left you, but only for a short time.
But with great kindness I will bring you back again.
I became very angry
and hid from you for a short time.
But I will show you mercy with kindness forever,”
says the Lord your close relative who saves you.
The Lord says, “This is like the time of Noah.
I promised then
that I would never flood the world again.
In the same way, I promise
I will not be angry with you or punish you again.
The mountains may disappear,
and the hills may come to an end.
But my love will never disappear.
My promise of peace will not come to an end,”
says the Lord who shows mercy to you.
“You poor city. Storms have hurt you,
and you have not been comforted.
But I will rebuild you using turquoise stones.
I will build your foundations with sapphires.
I will use rubies to build your walls.
I will use shining jewels for the gates.
I will build all your outer walls from precious jewels.
All your children will be taught by the Lord.
And they will have much peace.
I will build you using fairness.
You will be safe from those who would hurt you.
So you will have nothing to fear.
Nothing will come to make you afraid.
I will not send anyone to attack you.
And you will defeat those who do attack you.
“See, I made the blacksmith.
He fans the fire to make it hotter.
And he makes the kind of tool he wants.
In the same way I have made the destroyer to destroy.
So no weapon that is used against you will defeat you.
You will show that those who speak against you are wrong.
These are the good things my servants receive.
Their victory comes from me,” says the Lord.
55 The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty,
come and drink.
Those of you who do not have money,
come, buy and eat!
Come buy wine and milk.
You don’t need money; it will cost you nothing.
Why spend your money on something that is not real food?
Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you?
Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the food that satisfies your soul.
Come to me and listen.
Listen to me so you may live.
I will make an agreement with you that will last forever.
I will give you the blessings I promised to David.
I made David a witness of my power for all nations.
I made him a ruler and commander of many nations.
You will call for nations that you don’t yet know.
And these nations will run to you.
This will happen because of the Lord your God.
The Holy One of Israel honors you.”
So you should look for the Lord before it is too late.
You should call to him while he is near.
Evil people should stop being evil.
They should stop thinking bad thoughts.
They should return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them.
They should come to our God, because he will freely forgive them.
The Lord says, “Your thoughts are not like my thoughts.
Your ways are not like my ways.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways.
And my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.
Rain and snow fall from the sky.
They don’t return without watering the ground.
They cause the plants to sprout and grow.
And the plants make seeds for the farmer.
And from these seeds people have bread to eat.
The words I say do the same thing.
They will not return to me empty.
They make the things happen that I want to happen.
They succeed in doing what I send them to do.
“So you will go out with joy.
You will be led out in peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song before you.
All the trees in the fields will clap their hands.
Large cypress trees will grow where thornbushes were.
Myrtle trees will grow where weeds were.
These things will be a reminder of the Lord’s promise.
And this reminder will never be destroyed.”