December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- The just man perishes, but no one takes it to heart; Devout men are swept away, with no one giving it a thought. Though he is taken away from the presence of evil, the just man
- enters into peace; There is rest on his couch for the sincere, straightforward man.
- But you, draw near, you sons of a sorceress, adulterous, wanton race!
- Of whom do you make sport, at whom do you open wide your mouth, and put out your tongue? Are you not rebellious children, a worthless race;
- You who are in heat among the terebinths, under every green tree; You who immolate children in the wadies, behind the crevices in the cliffs?
- 1 Among the smooth stones of the wadi is your portion, these are your lot; To these you poured out libations, and brought offerings. Should I decide not to punish these things?
- Upon a high and lofty mountain you made your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
- Behind the door and the doorpost you placed your indecent symbol. Deserting me, you spread out your high, wide bed; And of those whose embraces you love you carved the symbol and gazed upon it
- 2 While you approached the king with scented oil, and multiplied your perfumes; While you sent your ambassadors far away, down even to the nether world.
- Though worn out by your many misdeeds, you never said, "It is hopeless"; New strength you found, and so you did not weaken.
- Of whom were you afraid? Whom did you fear, that you became false And did not remember me or give me any thought? Was I to remain silent and unseeing, so that you would not have me to fear?
- 3 I will expose your justice and your works;
- 4 They shall not help you when you cry out, nor save you in your distress. All these the wind shall carry off, the breeze shall bear away; But he who takes refuge in me shall inherit the land, and possess my holy mountain.
- Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove the stumbling blocks from my people's path.
- For thus says he who is high and exalted, living eternally, whose name is the Holy One: On high I dwell, and in holiness, and with the crushed and dejected in spirit, To revive the spirits of the dejected, to revive the hearts of the crushed.
- I will not accuse forever, nor always be angry; For their spirits would faint before me, the souls that I have made.
- Because of their wicked avarice I was angry, and struck them, hiding myself in wrath, as they went their own rebellious way.
- I saw their ways, but I will heal them and lead them; I will give full comfort to them and to those who mourn for them,
- I, the Creator, who gave them life. Peace, peace to the far and the near, says the LORD; and I will heal them.
- But the wicked are like the tossing sea which cannot be calmed, And its waters cast up mud and filth.
- No peace for the wicked! says my God.
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1  Smooth stones: the Hebrew word for this expression has the same consonants as the word for "portion"; instead of making the Lord their portion (cf Psalm 16:5), the people adored slabs of stone which they took from the streambeds in valleys and set up as idols; cf Jeremiah 3:9. Therefore, it is implied, they will be swept away as by a sudden torrent of waters carrying them down the rocky-bottomed gorge to destruction and death without burial.
2  The king: the pagan god Moloch. Ambassadors: children sent to him through a sacrificial death.
3  Justice: here used ironically.
4  All these: the wicked mentioned in 57:3-10.
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