“There is no safety—said Hashem—for the wicked.” ISAIAH 48:22 (The Israel Bible™)
There are many well-known songs inspired by Israel and the Bible, including Cage the Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” a wildly popular song that made it to the Billboard Hot 100, reached number 3 on the Alternative Songs chart and number 8 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song’s title and catchy verse is paraphrased based on Isaiah 48:22, in which Yeshayahu concludes a triumphant account of the future journey out of Babylon and the return to Israel saying, “There is no safety—said Hashem—for the wicked.” Most commentators suggest that this is a continuation of the above contrast between Israel and Babylon; while Israel is redeemed, the wicked Babylon will find no peace. A second popular song inspired by Israel and the Bible is Johnny Cash’s “He Turned the Water into Wine,” written during a tour Cash did in Israel with his wife, June Carter, in 1968. He said that the sound of a church’s cistern and everything he felt being in Israel inspired him in this song and his career. In a third song by Jewish artist Leonard Cohen from 1969, “Story of Isaac,” there is a clear theme of the story of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah, from the perspective of Isaac (as opposed to his “Highway 61 Revisited,” which addresses the subject from Abraham’s perspective). References to the Hebrew Bible are common in Cohen’s songs, such as the modern-day standard “Hallelujah,” from his 1984 album Various Positions.