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Judgment on the Nations

34 Come near, nations, to hear;
    and peoples, listen attentively!
Let the earth hear, and that which fills it;
    the world and all its offspring.
For the anger of Yahweh is against all the nations,
    and his wrath is against all their armies;
he has put them under a ban,
    he has given them up for slaughter.
And their slain shall be cast out;
    as for[a] their corpses, their stench shall go up.
And the mountains shall melt with[b] their blood,
    and all the host of heaven shall rot.
And the skies shall roll up like a scroll,
    and all their host shall wither
like the withering of a leaf from a vine,
    or[c] like the withering from a fig tree.

When my sword is drenched in the heavens,

look! It will descend upon Edom,
    and upon the people of my ban, for judgment.

Yahweh has a sword;[d]

it is full of blood.
    It is covered with[e] fat,
with[f] the blood of lambs and goats,
    with[g] the fat of the kidneys of rams,
for Yahweh has a sacrifice[h] in Bozrah
    and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
And wild oxen shall go down with them,
    and steers with strong bulls.
And their land shall be drenched with[i] blood,
    and their soil shall be fattened with[j] fat.
For Yahweh has a day of vengeance,[k]
    a year of retribution for the strife of Zion.
And its streams shall be changed to pitch and its soil to sulfur,
    and its land shall become like burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
    its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall be in ruins;
    forever and ever there will be no one who passes through her.
11 But[l] the large bird and the hedgehog shall take possession of it,
    and the owl and the raven shall live in it.
And he shall stretch the measuring line of confusion out over it,
    and the plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles—but no kingdom is there—shall call,
    and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 And thorns shall go up her citadel fortress,
    weeds[m] and thistle plants[n] in her fortresses;
and it shall be the settlement of jackals,
    green grass for the daughters of an ostrich.
14 And desert creatures shall meet with hyenas,
    and a goat-demon shall call to his neighbor;
surely there Lilith[o] shall repose,
    and she shall find a resting place for herself.
15 There the owl shall nest and lay
    and hatch and care for her chicks in her shadow;
surely there the birds of prey shall be gathered,
    each one with her mate.

16 Seek from the book of Yahweh and read;[p]

none of these shall be missing;
    none shall miss her mate.
For my[q] mouth is the one that[r] has commanded,
    and his spirit is the one that[s] has gathered them.
17 And he is the one that[t] has cast the lot for them,
    and his hand has apportioned it to them with the measuring line;
they shall take possession of it forever,
    they shall live in it from generation to generation.[u]


  1. Isaiah 34:3 Or “and”
  2. Isaiah 34:3 Or “from”
  3. Isaiah 34:4 Or “and”
  4. Isaiah 34:6 Literally “A sword for Yahweh”
  5. Isaiah 34:6 Or “from”
  6. Isaiah 34:6 Or “from”
  7. Isaiah 34:6 Or “from”
  8. Isaiah 34:6 Literally “a sacrifice for Yahweh”
  9. Isaiah 34:7 Or “from”
  10. Isaiah 34:7 Or “from”
  11. Isaiah 34:8 Literally “a day of vengeance for Yahweh”
  12. Isaiah 34:11 Or “And”
  13. Isaiah 34:13 Hebrew “weed”
  14. Isaiah 34:13 Hebrew “thistle plant”
  15. Isaiah 34:14 Hebrew transliteration; possibly a proper name for a Mesopotamian night-demon
  16. Isaiah 34:16 Literally “call”
  17. Isaiah 34:16 The Dead Sea Scroll has “his”
  18. Isaiah 34:16 Literally “he”
  19. Isaiah 34:16 Literally “he”
  20. Isaiah 34:17 Literally “he”
  21. Isaiah 34:17 Literally “to generation and generation”