Isaiah 31-33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Help Not in Egypt but in God
31 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!
2 Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster
And does not retract His words,
But will arise against the house of evildoers
And against the help of the workers of iniquity.
3 Now the Egyptians are men and not God,
And their horses are flesh and not spirit;
So the Lord will stretch out His hand,
And he who helps will stumble
And he who is helped will fall,
And all of them will come to an end together.
4 For thus says the Lord to me,
“As the lion or the young lion growls over his prey,
Against which a band of shepherds is called out,
And he will not be terrified at their voice nor disturbed at their noise,
So will the Lord of hosts come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill.”
5 Like flying birds so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem.
He will protect and deliver it;
He will pass over and rescue it.
6 Return to Him from whom you have deeply defected, O sons of Israel. 7 For in that day every man will cast away his silver idols and his gold idols, which your sinful hands have made for you as a sin.
8 And the Assyrian will fall by a sword not of man,
And a sword not of man will devour him.
So he will not escape the sword,
And his young men will become forced laborers.
9 “His rock will pass away because of panic,
And his princes will be terrified at the standard,”
Declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
The Glorious Future
32 Behold, a king will reign righteously
And princes will rule justly.
2 Each will be like a refuge from the wind
And a shelter from the storm,
Like streams of water in a dry country,
Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded,
And the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The mind of the hasty will discern the truth,
And the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly.
5 No longer will the fool be called noble,
Or the rogue be spoken of as generous.
6 For a fool speaks nonsense,
And his heart inclines toward wickedness:
To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the Lord,
To keep the hungry person unsatisfied
And to withhold drink from the thirsty.
7 As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;
He devises wicked schemes
To destroy the afflicted with slander,
Even though the needy one speaks what is right.
8 But the noble man devises noble plans;
And by noble plans he stands.
9 Rise up, you women who are at ease,
And hear my voice;
Give ear to my word,
You complacent daughters.
10 Within a year and a few days
You will be troubled, O complacent daughters;
For the vintage is ended,
And the fruit gathering will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease;
Be troubled, you complacent daughters;
Strip, undress and put sackcloth on your waist,
12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine,
13 For the land of my people in which thorns and briars shall come up;
Yea, for all the joyful houses and for the jubilant city.
14 Because the palace has been abandoned, the populated city forsaken.
Hill and watch-tower have become caves forever,
A delight for wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks;
15 Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fertile field,
And the fertile field is considered as a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness
And righteousness will abide in the fertile field.
17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.
18 Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;
19 And it will hail when the forest comes down,
And the city will be utterly laid low.
20 How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters,
Who let out freely the ox and the donkey.
The Judgment of God
33 Woe to you, O destroyer,
While you were not destroyed;
And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him.
As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed;
As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.
2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You.
Be their strength every morning,
Our salvation also in the time of distress.
3 At the sound of the tumult peoples flee;
At the lifting up of Yourself nations disperse.
4 Your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
As locusts rushing about men rush about on it.
5 The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the Lord is his treasure.
7 Behold, their brave men cry in the streets,
The ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways are desolate, the traveler has ceased,
He has broken the covenant, he has despised the cities,
He has no regard for man.
9 The land mourns and pines away,
Lebanon is shamed and withers;
Sharon is like a desert plain,
And Bashan and Carmel lose their foliage.
10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord,
“Now I will be exalted, now I will be lifted up.
11 “You have conceived chaff, you will give birth to stubble;
My breath will consume you like a fire.
12 “The peoples will be burned to lime,
Like cut thorns which are burned in the fire.
13 “You who are far away, hear what I have done;
And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
14 Sinners in Zion are terrified;
Trembling has seized the godless.
“Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
Who among us can live with continual burning?”
15 He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;
16 He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.
17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far-distant land.
18 Your heart will meditate on terror:
“Where is he who counts?
Where is he who weighs?
Where is he who counts the towers?”
19 You will no longer see a fierce people,
A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends,
Of a stammering tongue which no one understands.
20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts;
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an undisturbed habitation,
A tent which will not be folded;
Its stakes will never be pulled up,
Nor any of its cords be torn apart.
21 But there the majestic One, the Lord, will be for us
A place of rivers and wide canals
On which no boat with oars will go,
And on which no mighty ship will pass—
22 For the Lord is our judge,
The Lord is our lawgiver,
The Lord is our king;
He will save us—
23 Your tackle hangs slack;
It cannot hold the base of its mast firmly,
Nor spread out the sail.
Then the prey of an abundant spoil will be divided;
The lame will take the plunder.
24 And no resident will say, “I am sick”;
The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.
Isaiah 31-33 New International Version (NIV)
Woe to Those Who Rely on Egypt
31 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.
2 Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;
he does not take back his words.
He will rise up against that wicked nation,
against those who help evildoers.
3 But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;
their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
those who help will stumble,
those who are helped will fall;
all will perish together.
4 This is what the Lord says to me:
“As a lion growls,
a great lion over its prey—
and though a whole band of shepherds
is called together against it,
it is not frightened by their shouts
or disturbed by their clamor—
so the Lord Almighty will come down
to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
5 Like birds hovering overhead,
the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”
6 Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against. 7 For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.
8 “Assyria will fall by no human sword;
a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.
They will flee before the sword
and their young men will be put to forced labor.
9 Their stronghold will fall because of terror;
at the sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,”
declares the Lord,
whose fire is in Zion,
whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
The Kingdom of Righteousness
32 See, a king will reign in righteousness
and rulers will rule with justice.
2 Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The fearful heart will know and understand,
and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
5 No longer will the fool be called noble
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
6 For fools speak folly,
their hearts are bent on evil:
They practice ungodliness
and spread error concerning the Lord;
the hungry they leave empty
and from the thirsty they withhold water.
7 Scoundrels use wicked methods,
they make up evil schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just.
8 But the noble make noble plans,
and by noble deeds they stand.
The Women of Jerusalem
9 You women who are so complacent,
rise up and listen to me;
you daughters who feel secure,
hear what I have to say!
10 In little more than a year
you who feel secure will tremble;
the grape harvest will fail,
and the harvest of fruit will not come.
11 Tremble, you complacent women;
shudder, you daughters who feel secure!
Strip off your fine clothes
and wrap yourselves in rags.
12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vines
13 and for the land of my people,
a land overgrown with thorns and briers—
yes, mourn for all houses of merriment
and for this city of revelry.
14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
Distress and Help
33 Woe to you, destroyer,
you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer,
you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying,
you will be destroyed;
when you stop betraying,
you will be betrayed.
2 Lord, be gracious to us;
we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress.
3 At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;
when you rise up, the nations scatter.
4 Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.
5 The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
6 He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
7 Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways are deserted,
no travelers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
its witnesses are despised,
no one is respected.
9 The land dries up and wastes away,
Lebanon is ashamed and withers;
Sharon is like the Arabah,
and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.
10 “Now will I arise,” says the Lord.
“Now will I be exalted;
now will I be lifted up.
11 You conceive chaff,
you give birth to straw;
your breath is a fire that consumes you.
12 The peoples will be burned to ashes;
like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze.”
13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;
you who are near, acknowledge my power!
14 The sinners in Zion are terrified;
trembling grips the godless:
“Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”
15 Those who walk righteously
and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—
16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,
whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
Their bread will be supplied,
and water will not fail them.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
and view a land that stretches afar.
18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:
“Where is that chief officer?
Where is the one who took the revenue?
Where is the officer in charge of the towers?”
19 You will see those arrogant people no more,
people whose speech is obscure,
whose language is strange and incomprehensible.
20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals;
your eyes will see Jerusalem,
a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;
its stakes will never be pulled up,
nor any of its ropes broken.
21 There the Lord will be our Mighty One.
It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.
No galley with oars will ride them,
no mighty ship will sail them.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
it is he who will save us.
23 Your rigging hangs loose:
The mast is not held secure,
the sail is not spread.
Then an abundance of spoils will be divided
and even the lame will carry off plunder.
24 No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”;
and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.