Isaiah 8:21-22 Good News Translation (GNT)
A Time of Trouble
21 The people will wander through the land, discouraged and hungry. In their hunger and their anger they will curse their king and their God. They may look up to the sky 22 or stare at the ground, but they will see nothing but trouble and darkness, terrifying darkness into which they are being driven.
9 There will be no way for them to escape from this time of trouble.
The Future King
The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was once disgraced, but the future will bring honor to this region, from the Mediterranean eastward to the land on the other side of the Jordan, and even to Galilee itself, where the foreigners live.
2 The people who walked in darkness
The Lord Will Punish Israel
8 The Lord has pronounced judgment on the kingdom of Israel, on the descendants of Jacob. 9 All the people of Israel, everyone who lives in the city of Samaria, will know that he has done this. Now they are proud and arrogant. They say, 10 “The brick buildings have fallen down, but we will replace them with stone buildings. The beams of sycamore wood have been cut down, but we will replace them with the finest cedar.”
11 The Lord has stirred up their enemies[c] to attack them. 12 Syria on the east and Philistia on the west have opened their mouths to devour Israel. Yet even so the Lord's anger is not ended; his hand is still stretched out to punish.
13 The people of Israel have not repented; even though the Lord Almighty has punished them, they have not returned to him. 14 In a single day the Lord will punish Israel's leaders and its people; he will cut them off, head and tail. 15 The old and honorable men are the head—and the tail is the prophets whose teachings are lies! 16 Those who lead these people have misled them and totally confused them. 17 And so the Lord will not let any of the young men escape, and he will not show pity on any of the widows and orphans, because all the people are godless and wicked and everything they say is evil. Yet even so the Lord's anger will not be ended, but his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
18 The wickedness of the people burns like a fire that destroys thorn bushes and thistles. It burns like a forest fire that sends up columns of smoke. 19 Because the Lord Almighty is angry, his punishment burns like a fire throughout the land and destroys the people, and it is each of us for ourselves. 20 Everywhere in the country people snatch and eat any bit of food they can find, but their hunger is never satisfied. They even eat their own children! 21 The people of Manasseh and the people of Ephraim attack each other, and together they attack Judah. Yet even so the Lord's anger is not ended; his hand is still stretched out to punish.
10 You are doomed! You make unjust laws that oppress my people. 2 That is how you keep the poor from having their rights and from getting justice. That is how you take the property that belongs to widows and orphans. 3 What will you do when God punishes you? What will you do when he brings disaster on you from a distant country? Where will you run to find help? Where will you hide your wealth? 4 You will be killed in battle or dragged off as prisoners. Yet even so the Lord's anger will not be ended; his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
The Emperor of Assyria as the Instrument of God
5 The Lord said, “Assyria! I use Assyria like a club to punish those with whom I am angry. 6 I sent Assyria to attack a godless nation, people who have made me angry. I sent them to loot and steal and trample the people like dirt in the streets.”
7 But the Assyrian emperor has his own violent plans in mind. He is determined to destroy many nations. 8 He boasts, “Every one of my commanders is a king! 9 I conquered the cities of Calno and Carchemish, the cities of Hamath and Arpad. I conquered Samaria and Damascus. 10 I reached out to punish those kingdoms that worship idols, idols more numerous than those of Jerusalem and Samaria. 11 I have destroyed Samaria and all its idols, and I will do the same to Jerusalem and the images that are worshiped there.”
12 But the Lord says, “When I finish what I am doing on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, I will punish the emperor of Assyria for all his boasting and all his pride.”
13 The emperor of Assyria boasts, “I have done it all myself. I am strong and wise and clever. I wiped out the boundaries between nations and took the supplies they had stored. Like a bull I have trampled the people who live there. 14 The nations of the world were like a bird's nest, and I gathered their wealth as easily as gathering eggs. Not a wing fluttered to scare me off; no beak opened to scream at me!”
15 But the Lord says, “Can an ax claim to be greater than the one who uses it? Is a saw more important than the one who saws with it? A club doesn't lift up a person; a person lifts up a club.”
16 The Lord Almighty is going to send disease to punish those who are now well-fed. In their bodies there will be a fire that burns and burns. 17 God, the light of Israel, will become a fire. Israel's holy God will become a flame, which in a single day will burn up everything, even the thorns and thistles. 18 The rich forests and farmlands will be totally destroyed, in the same way that a fatal sickness destroys someone. 19 There will be so few trees left that even a child will be able to count them.
A Few Will Come Back
20 A time is coming when the people of Israel who have survived will not rely any more on the nation that almost destroyed them. They will truly put their trust in the Lord, Israel's holy God. 21 A few of the people of Israel will come back to their mighty God. 22 Even though now there are as many people of Israel as there are grains of sand by the sea, only a few will come back. Destruction is in store for the people, and it is fully deserved. 23 Yes, throughout the whole country the Sovereign Lord Almighty will bring destruction, as he said he would.
The Lord Will Punish Assyria
24 The Sovereign Lord Almighty says to his people who live in Zion, “Do not be afraid of the Assyrians, even though they oppress you as the Egyptians used to do. 25 In only a little while I will finish punishing you, and then I will destroy them. 26 I, the Lord Almighty, will beat them with my whip as I did the people of Midian at Oreb Rock. I will punish Assyria as I punished Egypt. 27 When that time comes, I will free you from the power of Assyria, and their yoke will no longer be a burden on your shoulders.”[d]
The Invader Attacks
28 The enemy army has captured the city of Ai![e] They have passed through Migron! They left their supplies at Michmash! 29 They have crossed the pass and are spending the night at Geba! The people in the town of Ramah are terrified, and the people in King Saul's hometown of Gibeah have run away. 30 Shout, people of Gallim! Listen, people of Laishah! Answer, people of Anathoth! 31 The people of Madmenah and Gebim are running for their lives. 32 Today the enemy are in the town of Nob, and there they are shaking their fists at Mount Zion, at the city of Jerusalem.
33 The Lord Almighty will bring them crashing down like branches cut off a tree. The proudest and highest of them will be cut down and humiliated. 34 The Lord will cut them down as trees in the heart of the forest are cut down with an ax, as even the finest trees of Lebanon fall!
The Peaceful Kingdom
11 The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David's descendants.
2 The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom
6 Wolves and sheep will live together in peace,
The Exiled People Will Return
10 A day is coming when the new king from the royal line of David will be a symbol to the nations. They will gather in his royal city and give him honor. 11 When that day comes, the Lord will once again use his power and bring back home those of his people who are left in Assyria and Egypt, in the lands of Pathros, Ethiopia,[g] Elam, Babylonia, and Hamath, and in the coastlands and on the islands of the sea. 12 The Lord will raise a signal flag to show the nations that he is gathering together again the scattered people of Israel and Judah and bringing them back from the four corners of the earth. 13 The kingdom of Israel will not be jealous of Judah any more, and Judah will not be the enemy of Israel. 14 Together they will attack the Philistines on the west and plunder the people who live to the east. They will conquer the people of Edom and Moab, and the people of Ammon will obey them. 15 The Lord will dry up the Gulf of Suez, and he will bring a hot wind to dry up the Euphrates, leaving only seven tiny streams, so that anyone can walk across. 16 There will be a highway out of Assyria for those of his people Israel who have survived there, just as there was for their ancestors when they left Egypt.
Hymn of Thanksgiving
12 A day is coming when people will sing,
“I praise you, Lord! You were angry with me,
4 A day is coming when people will sing,
“Give thanks to the Lord! Call for him to help you!
God Will Punish Babylon
13 This is a message about Babylon, which Isaiah son of Amoz received from God.
2 On the top of a barren hill raise the battle flag! Shout to the soldiers and raise your arm as the signal for them to attack the gates of the proud city. 3 The Lord has called out his proud and confident soldiers to fight a holy war and punish those he is angry with.
4 Listen to the noise on the mountains—the sound of a great crowd of people, the sound of nations and kingdoms gathering. The Lord of Armies is preparing his troops for battle. 5 They are coming from far-off countries at the ends of the earth. In his anger the Lord is coming to devastate the whole country.
6 Howl in pain! The day of the Lord is near, the day when the Almighty brings destruction. 7 Everyone's hands will hang limp, and everyone's courage will fail. 8 They will all be terrified and overcome with pain, like the pain of a woman in labor. They will look at each other in fear, and their faces will burn with shame. 9 The day of the Lord is coming—that cruel day of his fierce anger and fury. The earth will be made a wilderness, and every sinner will be destroyed. 10 Every star and every constellation will stop shining, the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will give no light.
11 The Lord says, “I will bring disaster on the earth and punish all wicked people for their sins. I will humble everyone who is proud and punish everyone who is arrogant and cruel. 12 Those who survive will be scarcer than gold. 13 I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place on that day when I, the Lord Almighty, show my anger.
14 “The foreigners living in Babylon will run away to their homelands, scattering like deer escaping from hunters, like sheep without a shepherd. 15 Anyone who is caught will be stabbed to death. 16 While they look on helplessly, their babies will be battered to death, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be raped.”
17 The Lord says, “I am stirring up the Medes[h] to attack Babylon. They care nothing for silver and are not tempted by gold. 18 With their bows and arrows they will kill the young men. They will show no mercy to babies and take no pity on children. 19 Babylonia is the most beautiful kingdom of all; it is the pride of its people. But I, the Lord, will overthrow Babylon as I did Sodom and Gomorrah! 20 No one will ever live there again. No wandering Arab will ever pitch a tent there, and no shepherd will ever pasture a flock there. 21 It will be a place where desert animals live and where owls build their nests. Ostriches will live there, and wild goats will prance through the ruins. 22 The towers and palaces will echo with the cries of hyenas and jackals. Babylon's time has come! Her days are almost over.”
The Return from Exile
14 The Lord will once again be merciful to his people Israel and choose them as his own. He will let them live in their own land again, and foreigners will come and live there with them. 2 Many nations will help the people of Israel return to the land which the Lord gave them, and there the nations will serve Israel as slaves. Those who once captured Israel will now be captured by Israel, and the people of Israel will rule over those who once oppressed them.
The King of Babylon in the World of the Dead
3 The Lord will give the people of Israel relief from their pain and suffering and from the hard work they were forced to do. 4 When he does this, they are to mock the king of Babylon and say:
“The cruel king has fallen! He will never oppress anyone again! 5 The Lord has ended the power of the evil rulers 6 who angrily oppressed the peoples and never stopped persecuting the nations they had conquered. 7 Now at last the whole world enjoys rest and peace, and everyone sings for joy. 8 The cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon rejoice over the fallen king, because there is no one to cut them down, now that he is gone!
9 “The world of the dead is getting ready to welcome the king of Babylon. The ghosts of those who were powerful on earth are stirring about. The ghosts of kings are rising from their thrones. 10 They all call out to him, ‘Now you are as weak as we are! You are one of us! 11 You used to be honored with the music of harps, but now here you are in the world of the dead. You lie on a bed of maggots and are covered with a blanket of worms.’”
12 King of Babylon, bright morning star, you have fallen from heaven! In the past you conquered nations, but now you have been thrown to the ground. 13 You were determined to climb up to heaven and to place your throne above the highest stars. You thought you would sit like a king on that mountain in the north where the gods assemble. 14 You said you would climb to the tops of the clouds and be like the Almighty. 15 But instead, you have been brought down to the deepest part of the world of the dead.
16 The dead will stare and gape at you. They will ask, “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble? 17 Is this the man who destroyed cities and turned the world into a desert? Is this the man who never freed his prisoners or let them go home?”
18 All the kings of the earth lie in their magnificent tombs, 19 but you have no tomb, and your corpse is thrown out to rot. It is covered by the bodies of soldiers killed in battle, thrown with them into a rocky pit, and trampled down. 20 Because you ruined your country and killed your own people, you will not be buried like other kings. None of your evil family will survive. 21 Let the slaughter begin! The sons of this king will die because of their ancestors' sins. None of them will ever rule the earth or cover it with cities.
God Will Destroy Babylon
22 The Lord Almighty says, “I will attack Babylon and bring it to ruin. I will leave nothing—no children, no survivors at all. I, the Lord, have spoken. 23 I will turn Babylon into a marsh, and owls will live there. I will sweep Babylon with a broom that will sweep everything away. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”
God Will Destroy the Assyrians
24 The Lord Almighty has sworn an oath: “What I have planned will happen. What I have determined to do will be done. 25 I will destroy the Assyrians in my land of Israel and trample them on my mountains. I will free my people from the Assyrian yoke and from the burdens they have had to bear. 26 This is my plan for the world, and my arm is stretched out to punish the nations.” 27 The Lord Almighty is determined to do this; he has stretched out his arm to punish, and no one can stop him.
God Will Destroy the Philistines
28 This is a message that was proclaimed in the year that King Ahaz died.
29 People of Philistia, the rod that beat you is broken, but you have no reason to be glad. When one snake dies, a worse one comes in its place. A snake's egg hatches a flying dragon. 30 The Lord will be a shepherd to the poor of his people and will let them live in safety. But he will send a terrible famine on you Philistines, and it will not leave any of you alive.
31 Howl and cry for help, all you Philistine cities! Be terrified, all of you! A cloud of dust is coming from the north—it is an army with no cowards in its ranks.
32 How shall we answer the messengers that come to us from Philistia? We will tell them that the Lord has established Zion and that his suffering people will find safety there.
God Will Destroy Moab
15 This is a message about Moab.
The cities of Ar and Kir are destroyed in a single night, and silence covers the land of Moab. 2 The people of Dibon[i] climb the hill to weep at the shrine. The people of Moab wail in grief over the cities of Nebo and Medeba; they have shaved their heads and their beards in grief. 3 The people in the streets are dressed in sackcloth; in the city squares and on the rooftops people mourn and cry. 4 The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, and their cry can be heard as far away as Jahaz. Even the soldiers tremble; their courage is gone. 5 My heart cries out for Moab! The people have fled to the town of Zoar, and to Eglath Shelishiyah. Some climb the road to Luhith, weeping as they go; some escape to Horonaim, grieving loudly. 6 Nimrim Brook is dry, the grass beside it has withered, and nothing green is left. 7 The people go across the Valley of Willows, trying to escape with all their possessions. 8 Everywhere at Moab's borders the sound of crying is heard. It is heard at the towns of Eglaim and Beerelim. 9 At the town of Dibon the river is red with blood, and God has something even worse in store for the people there. Yes, there will be a bloody slaughter of everyone left in Moab.
Moab's Hopeless Situation
16 From the city of Sela in the desert the people of Moab send a lamb as a present to the one who rules in Jerusalem. 2 They wait on the banks of the Arnon River and move aimlessly back and forth, like birds driven from their nest.
3 They say to the people of Judah, “Tell us what to do. Protect us like a tree that casts a cool shadow in the heat of noon, and let us rest in your shade. We are refugees; hide us where no one can find us. 4 Let us stay in your land. Protect us from those who want to destroy us.”
(Oppression and destruction will end, and those who are devastating the country will be gone. 5 Then one of David's descendants will be king, and he will rule the people with faithfulness and love. He will be quick to do what is right, and he will see that justice is done.)
6 The people of Judah say, “We have heard how proud the people of Moab are. We know that they are arrogant and conceited, but their boasts are empty.”
7 The people of Moab will weep because of the troubles they suffer. They will all weep when they remember the fine food they used to eat in the city of Kir Heres. They will be driven to despair. 8 The farms near Heshbon and the vineyards of Sibmah are destroyed—those vineyards whose wine used to make the rulers of the nations drunk. At one time the vines spread as far as the city of Jazer, and eastward into the desert, and westward to the other side of the Dead Sea. 9 Now I weep for Sibmah's vines as I weep for Jazer. My tears fall for Heshbon and Elealeh, because there is no harvest to make the people glad. 10 No one is happy now in the fertile fields. No one shouts or sings in the vineyards. No one tramples grapes to make wine; the shouts of joy are ended.[j] 11 I groan with sadness for Moab, with grief for Kir Heres. 12 The people of Moab wear themselves out going to their mountain shrines and to their temples to pray, but it will do them no good.
13 That is the message the Lord gave earlier about Moab. 14 And now the Lord says, “In exactly three years Moab's great wealth will disappear. Of its many people, only a few will survive, and they will be weak.”
God Will Punish Syria and Israel
17 The Lord said, “Damascus will not be a city any longer; it will be only a pile of ruins. 2 The cities of Syria will be deserted forever.[k] They will be a pasture for sheep and cattle, and no one will drive them away. 3 Israel will be defenseless, and Damascus will lose its independence. Those Syrians who survive will be in disgrace like the people of Israel. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”
4 The Lord said, “A day is coming when Israel's greatness will come to an end, and its wealth will be replaced by poverty. 5 Israel will be like a field where the grain has been cut and harvested, as desolate as a field in Rephaim Valley when it has been picked bare. 6 Only a few people will survive, and Israel will be like an olive tree from which all the olives have been picked except two or three at the very top, or a few that are left on the lower branches. I, the Lord God of Israel, have spoken.”
7 When that day comes, people will turn for help to their Creator, the holy God of Israel. 8 They will no longer rely on the altars they made with their own hands, or trust in their own handiwork—symbols of the goddess Asherah and altars for burning incense.
9 When that day comes, well-defended cities will be deserted and left in ruins like the cities that the Hivites and the Amorites[l] abandoned as they fled from the people of Israel.
10 Israel, you have forgotten the God who rescues you and protects you like a mighty rock. Instead, you plant sacred gardens[m] in order to worship a foreign god. 11 But even if they sprouted and blossomed the very morning you planted them, there would still be no harvest. There would be only trouble and incurable pain.
Enemy Nations Are Defeated
12 Powerful nations are in commotion with a sound like the roar of the sea, like the crashing of huge waves. 13 The nations advance like rushing waves, but God reprimands them and they retreat, driven away like dust on a mountainside, like straw in a whirlwind. 14 At evening they cause terror, but by morning they are gone. That is the fate of everyone who plunders our land.
God Will Punish Ethiopia
18 Beyond the rivers of Ethiopia[n] there is a land where the sound of wings is heard. 2 From that land ambassadors come down the Nile in boats made of reeds. Go back home, swift messengers! Take a message back to your land divided by rivers, to your strong and powerful nation, to your tall and smooth-skinned people, who are feared all over the world.
3 Listen, everyone who lives on earth! Look for a signal flag to be raised on the mountaintops! Listen for the blowing of the bugle! 4 The Lord said to me, “I will look down from heaven as quietly as the dew forms in the warm nights of harvest time, as serenely as the sun shines in the heat of the day. 5 Before the grapes are gathered, when the blossoms have all fallen and the grapes are ripening, the enemy will destroy the Ethiopians[o] as easily as a knife cuts branches from a vine. 6 The corpses of their soldiers will be left exposed to the birds and the wild animals. In summer the birds will feed on them, and in winter, the animals.”
7 A time is coming when the Lord Almighty will receive offerings from this land divided by rivers, this strong and powerful nation, this tall and smooth-skinned people, who are feared all over the world. They will come to Mount Zion, where the Lord Almighty is worshiped.
God Will Punish Egypt
19 This is a message about Egypt.
The Lord is coming to Egypt, riding swiftly on a cloud. The Egyptian idols tremble before him, and the people of Egypt lose their courage. 2 The Lord says, “I will stir up civil war in Egypt and turn brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor. Rival cities will fight each other, and rival kings will struggle for power. 3 I am going to frustrate the plans of the Egyptians and destroy their morale. They will ask their idols to help them, and they will go and consult mediums and ask the spirits of the dead for advice. 4 I will hand the Egyptians over to a tyrant, to a cruel king who will rule them. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”
5 The water will be low in the Nile, and the river will gradually dry up. 6 The channels of the river will stink as they slowly go dry. Reeds and rushes will wither, 7 and all the crops planted along the banks of the Nile will dry up and be blown away. 8 Everyone who earns a living by fishing in the Nile will groan and cry; their hooks and their nets will be useless. 9 Those who make linen cloth will be in despair; 10 weavers and skilled workers will be broken and depressed.
11 The leaders of the city of Zoan are fools! Egypt's wisest people give stupid advice! How do they dare to tell the king that they are successors to the ancient scholars and kings? 12 King of Egypt, where are those clever advisers of yours? Perhaps they can tell you what plans the Lord Almighty has for Egypt. 13 The leaders of Zoan and Memphis are fools. They were supposed to lead the nation, but they have misled it. 14 The Lord has made them give confusing advice. As a result, Egypt does everything wrong and staggers like a drunk slipping on his own vomit. 15 No one in Egypt, rich or poor, important or unknown, can offer help.
Egypt Will Worship the Lord
16 A time is coming when the people of Egypt will be as timid as women. They will tremble in terror when they see that the Lord Almighty has stretched out his hand to punish them. 17 The people of Egypt will be terrified of Judah every time they are reminded of the fate that the Lord Almighty has prepared for them.
18 When that time comes, the Hebrew language will be spoken in five Egyptian cities. The people there will take their oaths in the name of the Lord Almighty. One of the cities will be called, “City of the Sun.”
19 When that time comes, there will be an altar to the Lord in the land of Egypt and a stone pillar dedicated to him at the Egyptian border. 20 They will be symbols of the Lord Almighty's presence in Egypt. When the people there are oppressed and call out to the Lord for help, he will send someone to rescue them. 21 The Lord will reveal himself to the Egyptian people, and then they will acknowledge and worship him, and bring him sacrifices and offerings. They will make solemn promises to him and do what they promise. 22 The Lord will punish the Egyptians, but then he will heal them. They will turn to him, and he will hear their prayers and heal them.
23 When that time comes, there will be a highway between Egypt and Assyria. The people of these two countries will travel back and forth between them, and the two nations will worship together. 24 When that time comes, Israel will rank with Egypt and Assyria, and these three nations will be a blessing to all the world. 25 The Lord Almighty will bless them and say, “I will bless you, Egypt, my people; you, Assyria, whom I created; and you, Israel, my chosen people.”
The Sign of the Naked Prophet
20 Under the orders of Emperor Sargon of Assyria, the commander-in-chief of the Assyrian army attacked the Philistine city of Ashdod. 2 Three years earlier the Lord had told Isaiah son of Amoz to take off his sandals and the sackcloth he was wearing. He obeyed and went around naked and barefoot. 3 When Ashdod was captured, the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been going around naked and barefoot for three years. This is a sign of what will happen to Egypt and Ethiopia.[p] 4 The emperor of Assyria will lead away naked the prisoners he captures from those two countries. Young and old, they will walk barefoot and naked, with their buttocks exposed, bringing shame on Egypt. 5 Those who have put their trust in Ethiopia[q] and have boasted about Egypt will be disillusioned, their hopes shattered. 6 When that time comes, the people who live along the coast of Philistia will say, ‘Look at what has happened to the people we relied on to protect us from the emperor of Assyria! How will we ever survive?’”
A Vision of the Fall of Babylon
21 This is a message about Babylonia.
Like a whirlwind sweeping across the desert, disaster will come from a terrifying land. 2 I have seen a vision of cruel events, a vision of betrayal and destruction.
Army of Elam, attack! Army of Media, lay siege to the cities! God will put an end to the suffering which Babylon has caused.
3 What I saw and heard in the vision has filled me with terror and pain, pain like that of a woman in labor. 4 My head is spinning, and I am trembling with fear. I had been longing for evening to come, but it has brought me nothing but terror.
5 In the vision a banquet is ready; rugs are spread for the guests to sit on. They are eating and drinking. Suddenly the command rings out: “Officers! Prepare your shields!”
6 Then the Lord said to me, “Go and post a sentry, and tell him to report what he sees. 7 If he sees riders coming on horseback, two by two, and riders on donkeys and camels, he is to observe them carefully.”
8 The sentry calls out, “Sir, I have been standing guard at my post day and night.”
9 Suddenly, here they come! Riders on horseback, two by two. The sentry gives the news, “Babylon has fallen! All the idols they worshiped lie shattered on the ground.”
10 My people Israel, you have been threshed like wheat, but now I have announced to you the good news that I have heard from the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel.
A Message about Edom
11 This is a message about Edom.
Someone calls to me from Edom, “Sentry, how soon will the night be over? Tell me how soon it will end.”
12 I answer, “Morning is coming, but night will come again. If you want to ask again, come back and ask.”
A Message about Arabia
13 This is a message about Arabia.
People of Dedan, you whose caravans camp in the barren country of Arabia, 14 give water to the thirsty people who come to you. You people of the land of Tema, give food to the refugees. 15 People are fleeing to escape from swords that are ready to kill them, from bows that are ready to shoot, from all the dangers of war.
16 Then the Lord said to me, “In exactly one year the greatness of the tribes of Kedar will be at an end. 17 The archers are the bravest warriors of Kedar, but few of them will be left. I, the Lord God of Israel, have spoken.”
A Message about Jerusalem
22 This is a message about the Valley of Vision.
What is happening? Why are all the people of the city celebrating on the roofs of the houses? 2 The whole city is in an uproar, filled with noise and excitement.
Your people who died in this war did not die fighting. 3 All your leaders ran away and were captured before they shot a single arrow. 4 Now leave me alone to weep bitterly over all those of my people who have died. Don't try to comfort me. 5 This is a time of panic, defeat, and confusion in the Valley of Vision, and the Sovereign Lord Almighty has sent it on us. The walls of our city have been battered down, and cries for help have echoed among the hills.
6 The soldiers from the land of Elam came riding on horseback, armed with bows and arrows. Soldiers from the land of Kir had their shields ready. 7 The fertile valleys of Judah were filled with chariots; soldiers on horseback stood in front of Jerusalem's gates. 8 All of Judah's defenses crumbled.
When that happened, you brought weapons out of the arsenal. 9-10 You found the places where the walls of Jerusalem needed repair. You inspected all the houses in Jerusalem and tore some of them down to get stones to repair the city walls. In order to store water, 11 you built a reservoir inside the city to hold the water flowing down from the old pool. But you paid no attention to God, who planned all this long ago and who caused it to happen.
12 The Sovereign Lord Almighty was calling you then to weep and mourn, to shave your heads and wear sackcloth. 13 Instead, you laughed and celebrated. You killed sheep and cattle to eat, and you drank wine. You said, “We might as well eat and drink! Tomorrow we'll be dead.”
14 The Sovereign Lord Almighty himself spoke to me and said, “This evil will never be forgiven them as long as they live. I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty, have spoken.”
A Warning to Shebna
15 The Sovereign Lord Almighty told me to go to Shebna, the manager of the royal household, and say to him, 16 “Who do you think you are? What right do you have to carve a tomb for yourself out of the rocky hillside? 17 You may be important, but the Lord will pick you up and throw you away. 18 He will pick you up like a ball and throw you into a much larger country. You will die there beside the chariots you were so proud of. You are a disgrace to your master's household. 19 The Lord will remove you from office and bring you down from your high position.”
20 The Lord said to Shebna, “When that happens, I will send for my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21 I will put your official robe and belt on him and give him all the authority you have had. He will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.
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