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Isaiah 61:1-7

Announce Freedom to All Captives

1-7The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.

He sent me to preach good news to the poor,

heal the heartbroken,

Announce freedom to all captives,

pardon all prisoners.

God sent me to announce the year of his grace—

a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies—

and to comfort all who mourn,

To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,

give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,

Messages of joy instead of news of doom,

a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.

Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"

planted by God to display his glory.

They'll rebuild the old ruins,

raise a new city out of the wreckage.

They'll start over on the ruined cities,

take the rubble left behind and make it new.

You'll hire outsiders to herd your flocks

and foreigners to work your fields,

But you'll have the title "Priests of God,"

honored as ministers of our God.

You'll feast on the bounty of nations,

you'll bask in their glory.

Because you got a double dose of trouble

and more than your share of contempt,

Your inheritance in the land will be doubled

and your joy go on forever.

8-9"Because I, God, love fair dealing

and hate thievery and crime,

I'll pay your wages on time and in full,

and establish my eternal covenant with you.

Your descendants will become well-known all over.

Your children in foreign countries

Will be recognized at once

as the people I have blessed."