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The Book of the Prophet Esai

(Part Eight)


The Sixty third Chapter
     What is he this, that comes from Edom, with stained red clothes of Bosra: (which is so costly cloth) and comes in so nimbly with all his strength: I am he that teaches righteousness, and am of power to help. Wherefore then is your clothing red, and your raiment like his that treads the winepress? I have trodden the press myself alone, and of all people, there was not one with me. Thus have I trodden down mine enemies in my wrath, and set my feet upon them in my indignation: And their blood sprang upon my clothes, and so have I stained all my raiment. For that day of vengeance that I have taken in hand, and the year of my deliverance is come. I looked about me, and there was no man to show me any help, I fell down, and no man held me up. I trodden down the people in my wrath, and bathed them in my displeasure: In so much that I have shed their blood upon the earth.
     I will declare the goodness of the Lord, you and the praise of the Lord for all that he has given us, for the great good that he has done for Israel: which he has given them of his own favor, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he has said: These no doubt shall be my people, and no shrinking children, and so he was their Saviour. In their troubles he forsook them not, but the angel that went forth from his presence delivered them: Of very love and kindness that he had unto them, redeemed he them: He has born them, and carried them up even, since the world began. But after they provoked him to wrath and vexed his holy mind, he was their enemy, and fought against them himself. Yet remembered he the old time of Moses and his people: How he had brought them from the water of the sea, as a shepherd does with his sheep: how he had given his holy spirit among them: how he had led Moses by the right hand with his glorious arm: how he had divided the water before them (whereby he got himself an everlasting name) how he led them in the deep, as an horse is led in the plain, that they should not stumble. The spirit of the Lord led them as a tame beast goes in the field.
     Thus (O' God) have you led your people, to make yourself a glorious name withal. Look down then from heaven, and behold the dwelling place of your Sanctuary and your glory. How is it, that your jealousy, your strength, the multitude of your mercies and your loving kindness, will not be entreated us. Yet are you our father: For Abraham knows us not, neither is Israel acquainted with us. But you Lord are our father and redeemer, and your name is everlasting. O' Lord wherefore have you led us out of your way? Wherefore have you hardened our hearts, that we fear you not ? Be at one with us again, for your servants sake that are the generation of your heritage. your people has had but little of your Sanctuary in possession, for our enemies have taken it in: And we are be come even as we were from the beginning: but you are not their Lord, for they have not called upon your name.

The Sixty fourth Chapter
     Oh that you would cleave the heaven in sunder, and come down: that the mountains might melt away at your presence, like as at an hot fire that the malicious might boil, as the water does upon the fire: Whereby your name might be known among your enemies, and that the Gentiles might tremble before you. That you might come down with your wondrous works, then should the hills melt away at your presence. For since the beginning of the world there was none (except you O' God) that heard or perceived, neither has any seen what you do for them, that put their trust in you.
     You help him that does right with cheerfulness, and them that think upon your ways. But lo, you are angry, for we offend, and have been ever in sin, and there is not one whole. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as the clothes stained with the flours of a woman: we fall every each one as a leaf, for our sins carry us away like the wind. There is no man that calls upon your name, that stands up to take hold of you. Therefore hide you your face from us and consume us, because of our sins.
     But now O' Lord, you father of ours: we are the clay, and you are our potter, and we all are the work of your hands. Be not too sore displeased (O' Lord) and keep not our offenses too long in your remembrance, but consider that we all are your people. The cities of your Sanctuary lay waste, Sion is a wilderness, and Jerusalem a desert. Our holy house which is our beauty, where our fathers praised you, is burnt up: yes all our commodities and pleasures are wasted away. Will you not be entreated (Lord) for all this? Will you hold your peace, and scourge us so sore?

The Sixty fifth Chapter
     They shall seek me, that hitherto have not asked for me, they shall find me, that hitherto have not sought me. Then shall I say immediately to the people that never called upon my name: I am here, I am here. For thus long have I ever holden out my hands to an unfaithful people, that go not in the right way, but after their own imaginations: To a people that is ever defying me to my face. They make their oblations in gardens, and their smoke upon altars of brick, they lurk among the graves, and lie in the dens all night. They eat swine flesh, and unclean broth in their vessels. If you come near them, they say: touch me not, for I am holier than you.
     All these men when I am angry, shall be turned to smoke and fire, that shall burn for ever. Behold, it is written before my face, and shall not be forgotten, but recompensed. I shall reward it them into their bosom: I mean your misdeeds, and the misdeeds of your fathers together (says the Lord) which have made their smokes upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their old deeds into their bosom again.
     Moreover thus says the Lord: like as when one would gather holy grapes, men say unto him: break it not off for it is holy: even so will I do also for my servants sakes, that I will not destroy them all. But I will take a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah one, to take possession of my hill. My chosen shall possess these things, and my servants shall dwell there. Saron shall be a sheepfold, and the valley of Achor shall give the stalling for the cattle of my people, that fear me. But as for you, you are they, that have forsake the Lord, and forgotten my holy hill. You have set up an altar to fortune, and given rich drink offerings unto treasure. Therefore will I number you with the sword, that you shall be destroyed all together. For when I called, no man gave me answer: when I spoke, you hearkened not unto me, but did wickedness before mine eyes, and chose the thing that pleased me not.
     Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall have hunger. Behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall suffer thirst. Behold, my servants shall be merry, but you shall be confounded. Behold, my servants shall rejoice for very quietness of heart: But you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and complain for vexation of mind. Your name shall not be sworn by among my chosen, for God the Lord shall slay you, and call his servants by another name. Whoso rejoices upon the earth, shall rejoice in the true God: And whoso swears upon the earth, shall swear in the true God. For the old enmity shall be forgotten, and taken away out of my sight. For lo, I shall make a new heaven, and a new earth. And as for the old, they shall never be thought upon, nor kept in mind: but men shall be glad and evermore rejoice, for the things, that I shall do.
     For why? Behold, I shall make a joyful Jerusalem, yes I myself will rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with my people: And the voice of weeping and wailing shall not be heard in her from that place forth. There shall never be child nor old man, that have not their full days. But when the child comes to an hundred years old, it shall die. And if he that is an hundred years of age do wrong, he shall be cursed. They shall build houses, and dwell in them: they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another possess: they shall not plant, and another eat: But the life of my people shall be like a tree, and so shall the work of their hands.
     My chosen shall live long, they shall not labor in vain, nor beget with trouble: for they are the high blessed of the Lord, and their fruits with them. And it shall be, that or ever they call, I shall answer them. While they are yet but thinking how to speak, I shall hear them. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat hay like the bullock. But earth shall be the serpents meat. There shall no man hurt nor slay another, in all my holy hill, says the Lord.

The Sixty sixth Chapter
     Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my feet, and the earth is my footstool. Where shall now that house stand that you build unto me? And where shall be the place, that I will dwell in ? As for these things, my hand has made them all, and they are all created, says the Lord. Which of them shall I then regard? Even him that is of a lowly troubled spirit, and stands in awe of my works. For who so slays an ox for me, does me so great dishonor, as he that kills a man. He that kills a sheep for me, chokes a dog. He that brings me meat offerings, offers swines blood: Who so makes me a memorial of incense, praises the thing that is unright. Yet take they such ways in hand, and their soul delights in these abominations.
     Therefore will I also have pleasure in laughing them to scorn, and the thing that they fear, will I bring upon them. For when I called no man gave answer: when I spoke, they would not hear: But did wickedness before mine eyes, and chose the things that displeases me. Hear the word of God all ye, that fear the thing which he speaks. Your brethren that hate you, and cast you out for my names sake, say: Let the Lord magnify himself, that we may see your gladness: and yet they shall be confounded.
     For as touching the city and the temple, I hear the voice of the Lord, that will reward, and recompense his enemies: like as when a wife brings forth a man child, or ever she suffer the pain of the birth and anguish of the travail. Who ever heard or saw such things ? does the ground bare in one day? or are the people born all at once, as Sion bears her sons? For thus says the Lord: Am I he that makes other to beare, and beare not myself? Am not I he that bears, and makes barren? says your God. Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her. Be joyful with her, all you that mourned for her. For you shall suck comfort out of her breasts, and be satisfied. you shall taste, and have delight in the plenteousness of her power. For thus says the Lord: behold, I will let peace into her, like a water flood, and the might of the Heathen like a flowing stream. Then shall you suck, you shall be born upon her sides, and be joyful upon her knees. For like as a child is comforted of his mother, so shall I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb.
     Thus shall the hand of the Lord be known among his servants, and his indignation among his enemies. For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and his chariot shall be like a whirlwind, that he may recompense his vengeance in his wrath and indignation with flame of fire. For the Lord shall judge all flesh with the fire and with his sword, and there shall be a great number slain of the Lord. Such as have made themselves holy and clean in gardens, and those that have eaten swines flesh, mice, and other abominations, shall be taken away together, says the Lord. For I will come to gather all people and tongues with their works and imaginations: these shall come, and see my glory. Unto them shall I give a token, and send certain of them (that be delivered) among the Gentiles: into Celicia, Atrica (Africa?) and Lidia (where men can handle bows) into Italye (Italy) also and Greek land.
     The isles far off, that have not heard speak of me, and have not seen my glory, shall preach my praise among the Gentiles and shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord, out of all the people upon horses, chariots and horse litters, upon Mules and carts to Jerusalem my holy hill (says the Lord) like as the children of Israel bring the offering in clean vessels, to the house of the Lord.
     And I shall take out certain of them for to be priests and levites, says the Lord. For like as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make, shall be fast established by me: (says the Lord) So shall your seed and your name continue and there shall be a new Moon for the other, and a new Sabbath for the other, and all flesh shall come to worship before me (says the Lord) And they shall go forth and look upon the *carions (dead bodies) of them that have transgressed against me. For their worms shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and all flesh shall abhor them.

The end of the book of the Prophet Esai


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