Bible in Basic English

Idolatry condemned

    57:1     The upright man goes to his death, and no one gives a thought to it ; and god-fearing men are taken away, and no one is troubled by it ; for the upright man is taken away because of evil-doing, and goes into peace. 2 They are at rest in their last resting-places, every one going straight before him. 3 But come near, you sons of her who is wise in secret arts, the seed of her who is false to her husband, and of the loose woman. 4 Of whom do you make sport ? against whom is your mouth open wide and your tongue put out ? are you not uncontrolled children, a false seed, 5 You who are burning with evil desire among the oaks, under every green tree ; putting children to death in the valleys, under the cracks of the rocks ? 6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your heritage ; they, even they, are your part : even to them have you made a drink offering and a meal offering. Is it possible for such things to be overlooked by me ? 7 You have put your bed on a high mountain : there you went up to make your offering. 8 And on the back of the doors and on the pillars you have put your sign : for you have been false to me with another ; you have made your bed wide, and made an agreement with them ; you had a desire for their bed where you saw it 9 And you went to Melech with oil and much perfume, and you sent your representatives far off, and went as low as the underworld. 10 You were tired with your long journeys ; but you did not say, There is no hope : you got new strength, and so you were not feeble.
57:11 And of whom were you in fear, so that you were false, and did not keep me in mind, or give thought to it ? Have I not been quiet, keeping myself secret, and so you were not in fear of me ? 12 I will make clear what your righteousness is like and your works ; you will have no profit in them. 13 Your false gods will not keep you safe in answer to your cry ; but the wind will take them, they will be gone like a breath : but he who puts his hope in me will take the land, and will have my holy mountain as his heritage.
57:14 And I will say, Make it high, make it high, get ready the way, take the stones out of the way of my people. 15 For this is the word of him who is high and lifted up, whose resting-place is eternal, whose name is Holy : my resting-place is in the high and holy place, and with him who is crushed and poor in spirit, to give life to the spirit of the poor, and to make strong the heart of the crushed. 16 For I will not give punishment for ever, or be angry without end : for from me breath goes out ; and I it was who made the souls. 17 I was quickly angry with his evil ways, and sent punishment on him, veiling my face in wrath : and he went on, turning his heart from me. 18 I have seen his ways, and I will make him well : I will give him rest, comforting him and his people who are sad. 19 I will give the fruit of the lips : Peace, peace, to him who is near and to him who is far off, says the Lord ; and I will make him well. 20 But the evil-doers are like the troubled sea, for which there is no rest, and its waters send up earth and waste. 21 There is no peace, says my God, for the evil-doers.

Right observance of fasts

    58:1     Make a loud cry, do not be quiet, let your voice be sounding like a horn, and make clear to my people their evil doings, and to the family of Jacob their sins. 2 Though they make prayer to me every day, and take pleasure in the knowledge of my ways : like a nation which has done righteousness, and has not given up the rules of their God, they make requests to me for the right orders, it is their delight to come near to God. 3 They say, Why have we kept ourselves from food, and you do not see it? why have we kept ourselves from pleasure, and you take no note of it ? If, in the days when you keep from food, you take the chance to do your business, and get in your debts; 4 If keeping from food makes you quickly angry, ready for fighting and giving blows with evil hands ; your holy days are not such as to make your voice come to my ears on high. 5 Have I given orders for such a day as this ? a day for keeping yourselves from pleasure ? is it only a question of the bent head, of putting on haircloth, and being seated in the dust ? is this what seems to you a holy day, well-pleasing to the Lord ?
58:6 Is not this the holy day for which I have given orders : to let loose those who have wrongly been made prisoners, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the crushed go free, and every yoke be broken ? 7 Is it not to give your bread to those in need, and to let the poor who have no resting-place come into your house ? to put a robe on the unclothed one when you see him, and not to keep your eyes shut for fear of seeing his flesh ? 8 Then will light be shining on you like the morning, and your wounds will quickly be well : and your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will come after you. 9 Then at the sound of your voice, the Lord will give an answer ; at your cry he will say, Here am I.
If you take away from among you the yoke, the putting out of the finger of shame, and the evil word ; 10 And if you give your bread to those in need of it, so that the troubled one may have his desire ; then you will have light in the dark, and your night will be as the full light of the sun : 11 And the Lord will be your guide at all times ; in dry places he will give you water in full measure, and will make strong your bones ; and you will be like a watered garden, and like an ever-flowing spring. 12 And your sons will be building again the old waste places : you will make strong the bases of old generations : and you will be named, He who puts up the broken walls, and, He who makes ready the ways for use.
58:13 If you keep the Sabbath with care, not doing your business on my holy day ; and if the Sabbath seems to you a delight, and the new moon of the Lord a thing to be honoured ; and if you give respect to him by not doing your business, or going after your pleasure, or saying unholy words ; 14 Then the Lord will be your delight; and I will put you on the high places of the earth ; and I will give you the heritage of Jacob your father : for the mouth of the Lord has said it.

National wikedness

    59:1     Truly, the Lord's hand has not become short, so that he is unable to give salvation ; and his ear is not shut from hearing : 2 But your sins have come between you and your God, and by your evil doings his face has been veiled from you, so that he will give you no answer. 3 For your hands are unclean with blood, and your fingers with sin ; your lips have said false things, and your tongue gives out deceit. 4 No one puts forward an upright cause, or gives a true decision : their hope is in deceit, and their words are false ; they are with child with sin, and give birth to evil. 5 They give birth to snake's eggs, and make spider's threads : whoever takes their eggs for food comes to his death, and the egg which is crushed becomes a poison-snake. 6 Their twisted threads will not make clothing, and their works will give them nothing for covering themselves : their works are works of sin, and violent acts are in their hands. 7 Their feet go quickly to evil, and they take delight in the death of the upright ; their thoughts are thoughts of sin ; wasting and destruction are in their ways. 8 They have no knowledge of the way of peace, and there is no sense of what is right in their behaviour : they have made for themselves ways which are not straight ; whoever goes in them has no knowledge of peace. 9 For this cause our right is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us : we are looking for light, but there is only the dark ; for the shining of the sun, but our way is in the night. 10 We go on our way, like blind men feeling for the wall, even like those who have no eyes : we are running against things in daylight as if it was evening ; our place is in the dark like dead men. 11 We make noises of grief, like bears, and sad sounds like doves : we are looking for our right, but it is not there ; for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our evil doings are increased before you, and our sins give witness against us : for our evil doings are with us, and we have knowledge of our sins : 13 We have gone against the Lord, and been false to him, turning away from our God, our words have been uncontrolled, and in our hearts are thoughts of deceit. 14 And the right is turned back, and righteousness is far away : for good faith is not to be seen in the public places, and upright behaviour may not come into the town. 15 Yes, faith is gone ; and he whose heart is turned from evil comes into the power of the cruel:
and the Lord saw it, and he was angry that there was no one to take up their cause. 16 And he saw that there was no man, and was surprised that there was no one to take up their cause : so his arm gave salvation, and he made righteousness his support. 17 Yes, he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and salvation as a head-dress ; and he put on punishment as clothing, and wrath as a robe. 18 He will give them the right reward of their doings, wrath to his attackers, punishment to his haters, and even on the sea-lands he will send punishment. 19 So they will see the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the east : for he will come like a rushing stream, forced on by a wind of the Lord. 20 And as a saviour he will come to Zion, turning away sin from Jacob, says the Lord. 21 And as for me, this is my agreement with them, says the Lord : my spirit which is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, will not go away from your mouth, or from the mouth of your seed, or from the mouth of your seed's seed, says the Lord, from now and for ever.

Future glory of Zion

    60:1     Up ! let your face be bright, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is shining on you. 2 For truly, the earth will be dark, and the peoples veiled in blackest night ; but the Lord will be shining on you, and his glory will be seen among you. 3 And nations will come to your light, and kings to your bright dawn.
60:4 Let your eyes be lifted up, and see : they are all coming together to you : your sons will come from far, and your daughters taken with loving care. 5 Then you will see, and be bright with joy, and your heart will be shaking with increase of delight : for the produce of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you. 6 You will be full of camel-trains, even the young camels of Midian and Ephah ; all from Sheba will come, with gold and spices, giving word of the great acts of the Lord. 7 All the flocks of Kedar will come together to you, the sheep of Nebaioth will be ready for your need ; they will be pleasing offerings on my altar, and my house of prayer will be beautiful.
60:8 Who are these coming like a cloud, like a flight of doves to their windows ? 9 Vessels of the sea-lands are waiting for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, so that your sons may come from far, and their silver and gold with them, to the place of the name of the Lord your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he has made you beautiful.
60:10 And men from strange countries will be building up your walls, and their kings will be your servants : for in my wrath I sent punishment on you, but in my grace I have had mercy on you. 11 Your doors will be open at all times ; they will not be shut day or night ; so that men may come into you with the wealth of the nations, with their kings at their head. 12 For the nation or kingdom which will not be your servant will come to destruction ; such nations will be completely waste. 13 The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the sherbin-tree together, to make my holy place beautiful ; and the resting-place of my feet will be full of glory. 14 And the sons of those who were cruel to you will come before you with bent heads ; and those who made sport of you will go down on their faces at your feet ; and you will be named, The Town of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
60:15 And though you were turned away from, and hated, and had no helper, I will make you a pride for ever, a joy from generation to generation. 16 And you will take the milk of the nations, flowing from the breast of kings ; and you will see that I, the Lord, am your saviour, and he who takes up your cause, the Strong One of Jacob.
60:17 In place of brass, I will give gold, and for iron silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron : and I will make Peace your judge, and Righteousness your overseer. 18 Violent acts will no longer be seen in your land, wasting or destruction in your limits ; but your walls will be named, Salvation, and your doors Praise.
60:19 The sun will not be your light by day, and the moon will no longer be bright for you by night : but the Lord will be to you an eternal light, and your God your glory. 20 Your sun will never again go down, or your moon keep back her light : for the Lord will be your eternal light, and the days of your sorrow will be ended. 21 Your people will all be upright, the land will be their heritage for ever ; the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, to be for my glory. 22 The smallest of their families will become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation : I, the Lord, will make it come quickly in its time.

Zion reassured

    61:1     The spirit of the Lord is on me, because I am marked out by him to give good news to the poor ; he has sent me to make the broken-hearted well, to say that the prisoners will be made free, and that those in chains will see the light again ; 2 To give knowledge that the year of the Lord's good pleasure has come, and the day of punishment from our God ; to give comfort to all who are sad ; 3 To give them a fair head-dress in place of dust, the oil of joy in place of the clothing of grief, praise in place of sorrow ; so that they may be named trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and so that he may have glory. 4 And they will be building again the old broken walls, and will make new the old waste places, and will put up again the towns which have been waste for long generations.
61:5 And men from strange countries will be your herdsmen, and those who are not Israelites will be your ploughmen and vine-keepers. 6 But you will be named the priests of the Lord, the servants of our God : you will have the wealth of the nations for your food, and you will be clothed with their glory. 7 As they had twice as much grief, and marks of shame were their heritage, so in their land they will be rewarded twice over, and will have eternal joy.
61:8 For I, the Lord, take pleasure in upright judging ; I will not put up with the violent taking away of right ; and I will certainly give them their reward, and I will make an eternal agreement with them. 9 And their seed will be noted among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples : it will be clear to all who see them that they are the seed to which the Lord has given his blessing.
61:10 I will be full of joy in the Lord, my soul will be glad in my God ; for he has put on me the clothing of salvation, covering me with the robe of righteousness, as the husband puts on a fair head-dress, and the bride makes herself beautiful with jewels. 11 For as the earth puts out buds, and as the garden gives growth to the seeds which are planted in it, so the Lord will make righteousness and praise to be flowering before all the nations.

Go through the gates

    62:1     Because of Zion I will not keep quiet, and because of Jerusalem I will take no rest, till her righteousness goes out like the shining of the sun, and her salvation like a burning light. 2 And the nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory : and you will have a new name, given by the mouth of the Lord. 3 And you will be a fair crown in the hand of the Lord, and a king's head-dress in the hand of your God. 4 You will not now be named, She who is given up ; and your land will no longer be named, The waste land : but you will have the name, My pleasure is in her, and your land will be named, Married : for the Lord has pleasure in you, and your land will be married. 5 For as a young man takes a virgin for his wife, so will your maker be married to you : and as a husband has joy in his bride, so will the Lord your God be glad over you.
62:6 I have put watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem ; they will not keep quiet day or night : you who are the Lord's recorders, take no rest, 7 And give him no rest, till he puts Jerusalem in her place to be praised in the earth. 8 The Lord has taken an oath by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Truly, I will no longer give your grain to be food for your haters ; and men of strange countries will not take the wine for which your work has been done : 9 But those who have got in the grain will have it for their food, and will give praise to the Lord ; and those who have got in the grapes will take the wine of them in the open places of my holy house.
62:10 Go through, go through the doors; make ready the way of the people ; let the highway be lifted up ; let the stones be taken away ; let a flag be lifted up over the peoples. 11 The Lord has sent out word to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, See, your saviour comes ; those whom he has made free are with him, and those to whom he has given salvation go before him. 12 And they will be named, The holy people, Those whose cause has been taken up by the Lord : and you will be named, Desired, A town not given up.

<< Solomon     < previous   |   BBE   |   next >     Jeremaiah >>