The Bible – Old Testament
1 Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor, For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a husband, says the LORD.
Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes.
For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left; Your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall people the desolate cities.
Fear not, you shall not be put to shame; you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced. The shame of your youth you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
2 For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the LORD of hosts; Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, A wife married in youth and then cast off, says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; But with enduring love I take pity on you, says the LORD, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge the earth; So I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, My love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
3 O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled, I lay your pavements in carnelians, and your foundations in sapphires;
I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of carbuncles, and all your walls of precious stones.
All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.
In justice shall you be established, far from the fear of oppression, where destruction cannot come near you.
Should there be any attack, it shall not be of my making; whoever attacks you shall fall before you.
Lo, I have created the craftsman who blows on the burning coals and forges weapons as his work; It is I also who have created the destroyer to work havoc.
No weapon fashioned against you shall prevail; every tongue you shall prove false that launches an accusation against you. This is the lot of the servants of the LORD, their vindication from me, says the LORD.
1  Jerusalem, pictured as a wife who had been barren and deserted, now suddenly finds herself with innumerable children (the returning exiles); cf ⇒ Gal 4:27 for the application of this text to the Church, the New Zion.
2  Redeemer: cf note on ⇒ Isaiah 41:14.
3 [11-12] Cf Rev 21. Afflicted one: Jerusalem; carnelians: reddish quartz, hard and durable, carbuncles: another precious stone of red color.