The Word Made Fresh
1For Zion’s sake I will not be quiet,
and for the sake of Jerusalem, I shall not rest
until her righteousness shines like the rising sun
and her rescue like a burning torch.
2The nations will see how you are acknowledged.
All the kings will see your glory
and you will be called by a new name
given to you from the mouth of the LORD God.
3You will be beautiful in the presence of the LORD,
like a royal crown in your God’s hand.
4No longer will you be called “Deserted,”
and no longer will your land be called “Desolate.”
Instead, you will be called “My Joy Is in Her,”
and your land will be called “Married,”
for the LORD takes delight in you
and your land will indeed be married.
5As a young man marries a young woman,
so will the One who made you marry you.
As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
6I have posted guards on your walls, Jerusalem.
I have posted sentinels who will not be silent day and night.
7You who call on the LORD must not rest
nor will God rest until Jerusalem is restored
and is made famous around the world.
8The LORD’s right hand and mighty arm
will see that your grain will never again be given to your enemies.
Foreigners shall not drink the wine you worked for.
9Those who gather it will enjoy it and praise the LORD,
and they shall drink it in my sacred courts.
10Go on through the gates and prepare the way for the people.
Build up the road. Clear away the stones
and raise a banner over the people.
11The LORD has announced it to the whole world.
Tell the LORD’s daughter Zion,
“See, your rescue comes, and the LORD will repay you.”
12And they will be called “The Holy People, Redeemed by the LORD.
And you will be known as “The One Sought After,”
and “The City Not Deserted.”
1-5: The restoration and laudation of Jerusalem continues with a symbolic renaming. The nations now think of Jerusalem as Forsaken (Hebrew “Azubah”) and Desolate (“Shemamah”), but because of what God will do for them they will come to be known as My Delight Is in Her (“Hephzibah”). The land itself will be called Married (“Beulah”), symbolically linking God and his people in a new covenant that is very like the covenant of marriage.
6-9: Divine guardians overlook the city from its walls. The oppression the people have known that required them to labor for foreign powers will be removed, and they will enjoy the labor of their own hands for their own benefit.
10-12: A picture is drawn of the road being repaired that leads into the city, allowing the exiles to return rejoicing. The renaming is completed with the exiles being called “The Holy People,” and “The Redeemed of the LORD,” and the remnant population of the city being called “The one sought after,” and “the city not deserted.”
We who have faith are God’s sons and daughters. God has sought us and claimed us and will be with and for us all our lives.