The Bible – Old Testament
1 Thus says the LORD: Where is the bill of divorce with which I dismissed your mother? Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? It was for your sins that you were sold, for your crimes that your mother was dismissed.
2 Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called? Is my hand too short to ransom? Have I not the strength to deliver? Lo, with my rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; Their fish rot for lack of water, and die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens in mourning, and make sackcloth their vesture.
3 The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear;
4 And I have not rebelled, have not turned back.
5 I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong? Lo, they will all wear out like cloth, the moth will eat them up.
6 Who among you fears the LORD, heeds his servant’s voice, And walks in darkness without any light, Trusting in the name of the LORD and relying on his God?
All of you kindle flames and carry about you fiery darts; Walk by the light of your own fire and by the flares you have burnt! This is your fate from my hand: you shall lie down in a place of pain.
1  Responding to the people’s complaint of utter abandonment by God, the prophet shows that their sins were responsible for their banishment. Since there was no bill of divorce, the bond between the Lord and his people still exists and he will ultimately save them.
2  Israel’s faith in God is weak; she does not answer his call, nor believe in his promises of deliverance.
4  The Servant does not refuse the divine vocation.
5  He willingly submits to insults and beatings. Plucked my beard: a grave insult.
6 [10-11] Instead of trusting in the Lord and his Servant, the people rely on their own devices, to their own destruction.