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Isaiah 13-38 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Proclamation against Babylon

13 The oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw.

On a bare hill raise a signal,
    cry aloud to them;
wave the hand for them to enter
    the gates of the nobles.
I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
    have summoned my warriors, my proudly exulting ones,
    to execute my anger.

Listen, a tumult on the mountains
    as of a great multitude!
Listen, an uproar of kingdoms,
    of nations gathering together!
The Lord of hosts is mustering
    an army for battle.
They come from a distant land,
    from the end of the heavens,
the Lord and the weapons of his indignation,
    to destroy the whole earth.

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
    it will come like destruction from the Almighty![a]
Therefore all hands will be feeble,
    and every human heart will melt,
    and they will be dismayed.
Pangs and agony will seize them;
    they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another;
    their faces will be aflame.
See, the day of the Lord comes,
    cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the earth a desolation,
    and to destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
    will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
    and the moon will not shed its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil,
    and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant,
    and lay low the insolence of tyrants.
12 I will make mortals more rare than fine gold,
    and humans than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
    and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
    in the day of his fierce anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle,
    or like sheep with no one to gather them,
all will turn to their own people,
    and all will flee to their own lands.
15 Whoever is found will be thrust through,
    and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces
    before their eyes;
their houses will be plundered,
    and their wives ravished.
17 See, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
    who have no regard for silver
    and do not delight in gold.
18 Their bows will slaughter the young men;
    they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
    their eyes will not pity children.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
    the splendor and pride of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
    when God overthrew them.
20 It will never be inhabited
    or lived in for all generations;
Arabs will not pitch their tents there,
    shepherds will not make their flocks lie down there.
21 But wild animals will lie down there,
    and its houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches will live,
    and there goat-demons will dance.
22 Hyenas will cry in its towers,
    and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand,
    and its days will not be prolonged.

Restoration of Judah

14 But the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land; and aliens will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the nations will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess the nations[b] as male and female slaves in the Lord’s land; they will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Downfall of the King of Babylon

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has ceased!
    How his insolence[c] has ceased!
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
    the scepter of rulers,
that struck down the peoples in wrath
    with unceasing blows,
that ruled the nations in anger
    with unrelenting persecution.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
    they break forth into singing.
The cypresses exult over you,
    the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
“Since you were laid low,
    no one comes to cut us down.”
Sheol beneath is stirred up
    to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
    all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
    all who were kings of the nations.
10 All of them will speak
    and say to you:
“You too have become as weak as we!
    You have become like us!”
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
    and the sound of your harps;
maggots are the bed beneath you,
    and worms are your covering.

12 How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
    you who laid the nations low!
13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
    on the heights of Zaphon;[d]
14 I will ascend to the tops of the clouds,
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to Sheol,
    to the depths of the Pit.
16 Those who see you will stare at you,
    and ponder over you:
“Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
    who shook kingdoms,
17 who made the world like a desert
    and overthrew its cities,
    who would not let his prisoners go home?”
18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    each in his own tomb;
19 but you are cast out, away from your grave,
    like loathsome carrion,[e]
clothed with the dead, those pierced by the sword,
    who go down to the stones of the Pit,
    like a corpse trampled underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
    because you have destroyed your land,
    you have killed your people.

May the descendants of evildoers
    nevermore be named!
21 Prepare slaughter for his sons
    because of the guilt of their father.[f]
Let them never rise to possess the earth
    or cover the face of the world with cities.

22 I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, offspring and posterity, says the Lord. 23 And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle concerning Assyria

24 The Lord of hosts has sworn:
As I have designed,
    so shall it be;
and as I have planned,
    so shall it come to pass:
25 I will break the Assyrian in my land,
    and on my mountains trample him under foot;
his yoke shall be removed from them,
    and his burden from their shoulders.
26 This is the plan that is planned
    concerning the whole earth;
and this is the hand that is stretched out
    over all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts has planned,
    and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
    and who will turn it back?

An Oracle concerning Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died this oracle came:

29 Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,
    that the rod that struck you is broken,
for from the root of the snake will come forth an adder,
    and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
30 The firstborn of the poor will graze,
    and the needy lie down in safety;
but I will make your root die of famine,
    and your remnant I[g] will kill.
31 Wail, O gate; cry, O city;
    melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
For smoke comes out of the north,
    and there is no straggler in its ranks.

32 What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
“The Lord has founded Zion,
    and the needy among his people
    will find refuge in her.”

An Oracle concerning Moab

15 An oracle concerning Moab.

Because Ar is laid waste in a night,
    Moab is undone;
because Kir is laid waste in a night,
    Moab is undone.
Dibon[h] has gone up to the temple,
    to the high places to weep;
over Nebo and over Medeba
    Moab wails.
On every head is baldness,
    every beard is shorn;
in the streets they bind on sackcloth;
    on the housetops and in the squares
    everyone wails and melts in tears.
Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
    their voices are heard as far as Jahaz;
therefore the loins of Moab quiver;[i]
    his soul trembles.
My heart cries out for Moab;
    his fugitives flee to Zoar,
    to Eglath-shelishiyah.
For at the ascent of Luhith
    they go up weeping;
on the road to Horonaim
    they raise a cry of destruction;
the waters of Nimrim
    are a desolation;
the grass is withered, the new growth fails,
    the verdure is no more.
Therefore the abundance they have gained
    and what they have laid up
they carry away
    over the Wadi of the Willows.
For a cry has gone
    around the land of Moab;
the wailing reaches to Eglaim,
    the wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
For the waters of Dibon[j] are full of blood;
    yet I will bring upon Dibon[k] even more—
a lion for those of Moab who escape,
    for the remnant of the land.
16 Send lambs
    to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, by way of the desert,
    to the mount of daughter Zion.
Like fluttering birds,
    like scattered nestlings,
so are the daughters of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.
“Give counsel,
    grant justice;
make your shade like night
    at the height of noon;
hide the outcasts,
    do not betray the fugitive;
let the outcasts of Moab
    settle among you;
be a refuge to them
    from the destroyer.”

When the oppressor is no more,
    and destruction has ceased,
and marauders have vanished from the land,
then a throne shall be established in steadfast love
    in the tent of David,
    and on it shall sit in faithfulness
a ruler who seeks justice
    and is swift to do what is right.

We have heard of the pride of Moab
    —how proud he is!—
of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
    his boasts are false.
Therefore let Moab wail,
    let everyone wail for Moab.
Mourn, utterly stricken,
    for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.

For the fields of Heshbon languish,
    and the vines of Sibmah,
whose clusters once made drunk
    the lords of the nations,
reached to Jazer
    and strayed to the desert;
their shoots once spread abroad
    and crossed over the sea.
Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
    for the vines of Sibmah;
I drench you with my tears,
    O Heshbon and Elealeh;
for the shout over your fruit harvest
    and your grain harvest has ceased.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away
    from the fruitful field;
and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
    no shouts are raised;
no treader treads out wine in the presses;
    the vintage-shout is hushed.[l]
11 Therefore my heart throbs like a harp for Moab,
    and my very soul for Kir-heres.

12 When Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself upon the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

13 This was the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord says, In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all its great multitude; and those who survive will be very few and feeble.

An Oracle concerning Damascus

17 An oracle concerning Damascus.

See, Damascus will cease to be a city,
    and will become a heap of ruins.
Her towns will be deserted forever;[m]
    they will be places for flocks,
    which will lie down, and no one will make them afraid.
The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from Damascus;
and the remnant of Aram will be
    like the glory of the children of Israel,
says the Lord of hosts.

On that day
    the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
    and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
And it shall be as when reapers gather standing grain
    and their arms harvest the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
Gleanings will be left in it,
    as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
    in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
    on the branches of a fruit tree,
says the Lord God of Israel.

On that day people will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel; they will not have regard for the altars, the work of their hands, and they will not look to what their own fingers have made, either the sacred poles[n] or the altars of incense.

On that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the Hivites and the Amorites,[o] which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
    and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and set out slips of an alien god,
11 though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,
    and make them blossom in the morning that you sow;
yet the harvest will flee away
    in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12 Ah, the thunder of many peoples,
    they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations,
    they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
    but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
    and whirling dust before the storm.
14 At evening time, lo, terror!
    Before morning, they are no more.
This is the fate of those who despoil us,
    and the lot of those who plunder us.

An Oracle concerning Ethiopia

18 Ah, land of whirring wings
    beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,[p]
sending ambassadors by the Nile
    in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
    to a nation tall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
    a nation mighty and conquering,
    whose land the rivers divide.

All you inhabitants of the world,
    you who live on the earth,
when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
    When a trumpet is blown, listen!
For thus the Lord said to me:
I will quietly look from my dwelling
    like clear heat in sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
For before the harvest, when the blossom is over
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning hooks,
    and the spreading branches he will hew away.
They shall all be left
    to the birds of prey of the mountains
    and to the animals of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
    and all the animals of the earth will winter on them.

At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from[q] a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle concerning Egypt

19 An oracle concerning Egypt.

See, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
    and comes to Egypt;
the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
    and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
    and they will fight, one against the other,
    neighbor against neighbor,
    city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
    and I will confound their plans;
they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead
    and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;
I will deliver the Egyptians
    into the hand of a hard master;
a fierce king will rule over them,
    says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts.

The waters of the Nile will be dried up,
    and the river will be parched and dry;
its canals will become foul,
    and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,
    reeds and rushes will rot away.
There will be bare places by the Nile,
    on the brink of the Nile;
and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up,
    be driven away, and be no more.
Those who fish will mourn;
    all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament,
    and those who spread nets on the water will languish.
The workers in flax will be in despair,
    and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale.
10 Its weavers will be dismayed,
    and all who work for wages will be grieved.

11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
    the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
    “I am one of the sages,
    a descendant of ancient kings”?
12 Where now are your sages?
    Let them tell you and make known
    what the Lord of hosts has planned against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
    and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of its tribes
    have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has poured into them[r]
    a spirit of confusion;
and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings
    as a drunkard staggers around in vomit.
15 Neither head nor tail, palm branch or reed,
    will be able to do anything for Egypt.

16 On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts raises against them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the Lord of hosts is planning against them.

Egypt, Assyria, and Israel Blessed

18 On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.

19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the center of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior, and will defend and deliver them. 21 The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.

23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.”

Isaiah Dramatizes the Conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia

20 In the year that the commander-in-chief, who was sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it— at that time the Lord had spoken to Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take your sandals off your feet,” and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia,[s] so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians[t] as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia[u] their hope and of Egypt their boast. In that day the inhabitants of this coastland will say, ‘See, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’”

Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia

21 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
    it comes from the desert,
    from a terrible land.
A stern vision is told to me;
    the betrayer betrays,
    and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, O Elam,
    lay siege, O Media;
all the sighing she has caused
    I bring to an end.
Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
    pangs have seized me,
    like the pangs of a woman in labor;
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear,
    I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
My mind reels, horror has appalled me;
    the twilight I longed for
    has been turned for me into trembling.
They prepare the table,
    they spread the rugs,
    they eat, they drink.
Rise up, commanders,
    oil the shield!
For thus the Lord said to me:
“Go, post a lookout,
    let him announce what he sees.
When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
    riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
    very diligently.”
Then the watcher[v] called out:
“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
    continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
    throughout the night.
Look, there they come, riders,
    horsemen in pairs!”
Then he responded,
    “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
and all the images of her gods
    lie shattered on the ground.”
10 O my threshed and winnowed one,
    what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
    the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11 The oracle concerning Dumah.

One is calling to me from Seir,
    “Sentinel, what of the night?
    Sentinel, what of the night?”
12 The sentinel says:
“Morning comes, and also the night.
    If you will inquire, inquire;
    come back again.”

13 The oracle concerning the desert plain.

In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge,
    O caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water to the thirsty,
    meet the fugitive with bread,
    O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
    from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
    and from the stress of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17 and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

A Warning of Destruction of Jerusalem

22 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.

What do you mean that you have gone up,
    all of you, to the housetops,
you that are full of shoutings,
    tumultuous city, exultant town?
Your slain are not slain by the sword,
    nor are they dead in battle.
Your rulers have all fled together;
    they were captured without the use of a bow.[w]
All of you who were found were captured,
    though they had fled far away.[x]
Therefore I said:
Look away from me,
    let me weep bitter tears;
do not try to comfort me
    for the destruction of my beloved people.

For the Lord God of hosts has a day
    of tumult and trampling and confusion
    in the valley of vision,
a battering down of walls
    and a cry for help to the mountains.
Elam bore the quiver
    with chariots and cavalry,[y]
    and Kir uncovered the shield.
Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
    and the cavalry took their stand at the gates.
He has taken away the covering of Judah.

On that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10 You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago.

12 In that day the Lord God of hosts
    called to weeping and mourning,
    to baldness and putting on sackcloth;
13 but instead there was joy and festivity,
    killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
    eating meat and drinking wine.
“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”
14 The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,
    says the Lord God of hosts.

Denunciation of Self-Seeking Officials

15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts: Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him: 16 What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock? 17 The Lord is about to hurl you away violently, my fellow. He will seize firm hold on you, 18 whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there your splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master’s house! 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post.

20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, 21 and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken.

An Oracle concerning Tyre

23 The oracle concerning Tyre.

Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for your fortress is destroyed.[z]
When they came in from Cyprus
    they learned of it.
Be still, O inhabitants of the coast,
    O merchants of Sidon,
your messengers crossed over the sea[aa]
    and were on the mighty waters;
your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
    the harvest of the Nile;
    you were the merchant of the nations.
Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
    the fortress of the sea, saying:
“I have neither labored nor given birth,
    I have neither reared young men
    nor brought up young women.”
When the report comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.
Cross over to Tarshish—
    wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
Is this your exultant city
    whose origin is from days of old,
whose feet carried her
    to settle far away?
Who has planned this
    against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants were princes,
    whose traders were the honored of the earth?
The Lord of hosts has planned it—
    to defile the pride of all glory,
    to shame all the honored of the earth.
10 Cross over to your own land,
    O ships of[ab] Tarshish;
    this is a harbor[ac] no more.
11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea,
    he has shaken the kingdoms;
the Lord has given command concerning Canaan
    to destroy its fortresses.
12 He said:
You will exult no longer,
    O oppressed virgin daughter Sidon;
rise, cross over to Cyprus—
    even there you will have no rest.

13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people; it was not Assyria. They destined Tyre for wild animals. They erected their siege towers, they tore down her palaces, they made her a ruin.[ad]

14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for your fortress is destroyed.

15 From that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute:

16 Take a harp,
    go about the city,
    you forgotten prostitute!
Make sweet melody,
    sing many songs,
    that you may be remembered.

17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her trade, and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be dedicated to the Lord; her profits[ae] will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who live in the presence of the Lord.

Impending Judgment on the Earth

24 Now the Lord is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate,
    and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
    as with the slave, so with his master;
    as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
    as with the lender, so with the borrower;
    as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled;
    for the Lord has spoken this word.

The earth dries up and withers,
    the world languishes and withers;
    the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted
    under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws,
    violated the statutes,
    broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
    and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
    and few people are left.
The wine dries up,
    the vine languishes,
    all the merry-hearted sigh.
The mirth of the timbrels is stilled,
    the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
    the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
No longer do they drink wine with singing;
    strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The city of chaos is broken down,
    every house is shut up so that no one can enter.
11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
    all joy has reached its eventide;
    the gladness of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city,
    the gates are battered into ruins.
13 For thus it shall be on the earth
    and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
    as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.

14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
    they shout from the west over the majesty of the Lord.
15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
    in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
    of glory to the Righteous One.
But I say, I pine away,
    I pine away. Woe is me!
For the treacherous deal treacherously,
    the treacherous deal very treacherously.

17 Terror, and the pit, and the snare
    are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
18 Whoever flees at the sound of the terror
    shall fall into the pit;
and whoever climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19 The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is torn asunder,
    the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth staggers like a drunkard,
    it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.

21 On that day the Lord will punish
    the host of heaven in heaven,
    and on earth the kings of the earth.
22 They will be gathered together
    like prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
    and after many days they will be punished.
23 Then the moon will be abashed,
    and the sun ashamed;
for the Lord of hosts will reign
    on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before his elders he will manifest his glory.

Praise for Deliverance from Oppression

25 O Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
    plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
    the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
    it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
    cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a refuge to the poor,
    a refuge to the needy in their distress,
    a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
    the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
    the song of the ruthless was stilled.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
    of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
    the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
    the sheet that is spread over all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
    and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
    Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
    This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.

The Moabites shall be trodden down in their place
    as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit.
11 Though they spread out their hands in the midst of it,
    as swimmers spread out their hands to swim,
    their pride will be laid low despite the struggle[af] of their hands.
12 The high fortifications of his walls will be brought down,
    laid low, cast to the ground, even to the dust.

Judah’s Song of Victory

26 On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
    he sets up victory
    like walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
    so that the righteous nation that keeps faith
    may enter in.
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—
    in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for in the Lord God[ag]
    you have an everlasting rock.
For he has brought low
    the inhabitants of the height;
    the lofty city he lays low.
He lays it low to the ground,
    casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
    the feet of the poor,
    the steps of the needy.

The way of the righteous is level;
    O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments,
    O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown
    are the soul’s desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
    my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
    the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 If favor is shown to the wicked,
    they do not learn righteousness;
in the land of uprightness they deal perversely
    and do not see the majesty of the Lord.
11 O Lord, your hand is lifted up,
    but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
    Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
12 O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
    for indeed, all that we have done, you have done for us.
13 O Lord our God,
    other lords besides you have ruled over us,
    but we acknowledge your name alone.
14 The dead do not live;
    shades do not rise—
because you have punished and destroyed them,
    and wiped out all memory of them.
15 But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
    you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
    you have enlarged all the borders of the land.

16 O Lord, in distress they sought you,
    they poured out a prayer[ah]
    when your chastening was on them.
17 Like a woman with child,
    who writhes and cries out in her pangs
    when she is near her time,
so were we because of you, O Lord;
18     we were with child, we writhed,
    but we gave birth only to wind.
We have won no victories on earth,
    and no one is born to inhabit the world.
19 Your dead shall live, their corpses[ai] shall rise.
    O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a radiant dew,
    and the earth will give birth to those long dead.[aj]

20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
    and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until the wrath is past.
21 For the Lord comes out from his place
    to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
    and will no longer cover its slain.

Israel’s Redemption

27 On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

On that day:
A pleasant vineyard, sing about it!
    I, the Lord, am its keeper;
    every moment I water it.
I guard it night and day
    so that no one can harm it;
    I have no wrath.
If it gives me thorns and briers,
    I will march to battle against it.
    I will burn it up.
Or else let it cling to me for protection,
    let it make peace with me,
    let it make peace with me.

In days to come[ak] Jacob shall take root,
    Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots,
    and fill the whole world with fruit.

Has he struck them down as he struck down those who struck them?
    Or have they been killed as their killers were killed?
By expulsion,[al] by exile you struggled against them;
    with his fierce blast he removed them in the day of the east wind.
Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be expiated,
    and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
when he makes all the stones of the altars
    like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
    no sacred poles[am] or incense altars will remain standing.
10 For the fortified city is solitary,
    a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
the calves graze there,
    there they lie down, and strip its branches.
11 When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
    women come and make a fire of them.
For this is a people without understanding;
    therefore he that made them will not have compassion on them,
    he that formed them will show them no favor.

12 On that day the Lord will thresh from the channel of the Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, O people of Israel. 13 And on that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

Judgment on Corrupt Rulers, Priests, and Prophets

28 Ah, the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim,
    and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of those bloated with rich food, of those overcome with wine!
See, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
    like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters;
    with his hand he will hurl them down to the earth.
Trampled under foot will be
    the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim.
And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of those bloated with rich food,
will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer;
    whoever sees it, eats it up
    as soon as it comes to hand.

In that day the Lord of hosts will be a garland of glory,
    and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people;
and a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment,
    and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

These also reel with wine
    and stagger with strong drink;
the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
    they are confused with wine,
    they stagger with strong drink;
they err in vision,
    they stumble in giving judgment.
All tables are covered with filthy vomit;
    no place is clean.

“Whom will he teach knowledge,
    and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
    those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little.”[an]

11 Truly, with stammering lip
    and with alien tongue
he will speak to this people,
12     to whom he has said,
“This is rest;
    give rest to the weary;
and this is repose”;
    yet they would not hear.
13 Therefore the word of the Lord will be to them,
    “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little;”[ao]
in order that they may go, and fall backward,
    and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
    it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
    a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
    “One who trusts will not panic.”
17 And I will make justice the line,
    and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
    and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through, it will take you;
    for morning by morning it will pass through,
    by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
    and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
    he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon
to do his deed—strange is his deed!—
    and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff,
    or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
    from the Lord God of hosts upon the whole land.

23 Listen, and hear my voice;
    Pay attention, and hear my speech.
24 Do those who plow for sowing plow continually?
    Do they continually open and harrow their ground?
25 When they have leveled its surface,
    do they not scatter dill, sow cummin,
and plant wheat in rows
    and barley in its proper place,
    and spelt as the border?
26 For they are well instructed;
    their God teaches them.

27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
    nor is a cart wheel rolled over cummin;
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
    and cummin with a rod.
28 Grain is crushed for bread,
    but one does not thresh it forever;
one drives the cart wheel and horses over it,
    but does not pulverize it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
    he is wonderful in counsel,
    and excellent in wisdom.

The Siege of Jerusalem

29 Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David encamped!
Add year to year;
    let the festivals run their round.
Yet I will distress Ariel,
    and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
    and Jerusalem[ap] shall be to me like an Ariel.[aq]
And like David[ar] I will encamp against you;
    I will besiege you with towers
    and raise siegeworks against you.
Then deep from the earth you shall speak,
    from low in the dust your words shall come;
your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
    and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

But the multitude of your foes[as] shall be like small dust,
    and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
    you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
    with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
    all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,
    shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating
    and wakes up still hungry,
or a thirsty person dreams of drinking
    and wakes up faint, still thirsty,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
    that fight against Mount Zion.

Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
    blind yourselves and be blind!
Be drunk, but not from wine;
    stagger, but not from strong drink!
10 For the Lord has poured out upon you
    a spirit of deep sleep;
he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
    and covered your heads, you seers.

11 The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot read.”

13 The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
14 so I will again do
    amazing things with this people,
    shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
    and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

15 Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,
    whose deeds are in the dark,
    and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
16 You turn things upside down!
    Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made say of its maker,
    “He did not make me”;
or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
    “He has no understanding”?

Hope for the Future

17 Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
    become a fruitful field,
    and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
18 On that day the deaf shall hear
    the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
    the eyes of the blind shall see.
19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
    and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the tyrant shall be no more,
    and the scoffer shall cease to be;
    all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—
21 those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
    who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
    and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
    no longer shall his face grow pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
    the work of my hands, in his midst,
    they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
    and those who grumble will accept instruction.

The Futility of Reliance on Egypt

30 Oh, rebellious children, says the Lord,
who carry out a plan, but not mine;
who make an alliance, but against my will,
    adding sin to sin;
who set out to go down to Egypt
    without asking for my counsel,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh,
    and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt;
Therefore the protection of Pharaoh shall become your shame,
    and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt your humiliation.
For though his officials are at Zoan
    and his envoys reach Hanes,
everyone comes to shame
    through a people that cannot profit them,
that brings neither help nor profit,
    but shame and disgrace.

An oracle concerning the animals of the Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and distress,
    of lioness and roaring[at] lion,
    of viper and flying serpent,
they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
    and their treasures on the humps of camels,
    to a people that cannot profit them.
For Egypt’s help is worthless and empty,
    therefore I have called her,
    “Rahab who sits still.”[au]

A Rebellious People

Go now, write it before them on a tablet,
    and inscribe it in a book,
so that it may be for the time to come
    as a witness forever.
For they are a rebellious people,
    faithless children,
children who will not hear
    the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, “Do not see”;
    and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
    prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
    let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
Because you reject this word,
    and put your trust in oppression and deceit,
    and rely on them;
13 therefore this iniquity shall become for you
    like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
    whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
    that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a sherd is found
    for taking fire from the hearth,
    or dipping water out of the cistern.

15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
In returning and rest you shall be saved;
    in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
But you refused 16 and said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”—
    therefore you shall flee!
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”—
    therefore your pursuers shall be swift!
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
    at the threat of five you shall flee,
until you are left
    like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
    like a signal on a hill.

God’s Promise to Zion

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
    blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, “Away with you!”

23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24 and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Judgment on Assyria

27 See, the name of the Lord comes from far away,
    burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;[av]
his lips are full of indignation,
    and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
    that reaches up to the neck—
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
    and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads them astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and tempest and hailstones. 31 The Assyrian will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the staff of punishment that the Lord lays upon him will be to the sound of timbrels and lyres; battling with brandished arm he will fight with him. 33 For his burning place[aw] has long been prepared; truly it is made ready for the king,[ax] its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Alliance with Egypt Is Futile

31 Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help
    and who rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
    and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
    or consult the Lord!
Yet he too is wise and brings disaster;
    he does not call back his words,
but will rise against the house of the evildoers,
    and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are human, and not God;
    their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall,
    and they will all perish together.

For thus the Lord said to me,
As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey,
    and—when a band of shepherds is called out against it—
is not terrified by their shouting
    or daunted at their noise,
so the Lord of hosts will come down
    to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.
Like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts
    will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it,
    he will spare and rescue it.

Turn back to him whom you[ay] have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

“Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals;
    and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him;
he shall flee from the sword,
    and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
His rock shall pass away in terror,
    and his officers desert the standard in panic,”
says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion,
    and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Government with Justice Predicted

32 See, a king will reign in righteousness,
    and princes will rule with justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
    a covert from the tempest,
like streams of water in a dry place,
    like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who have sight will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who have hearing will listen.
The minds of the rash will have good judgment,
    and the tongues of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.
A fool will no longer be called noble,
    nor a villain said to be honorable.
For fools speak folly,
    and their minds plot iniquity:
to practice ungodliness,
    to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
    and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
The villainies of villains are evil;
    they devise wicked devices
to ruin the poor with lying words,
    even when the plea of the needy is right.
But those who are noble plan noble things,
    and by noble things they stand.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;
    you complacent daughters, listen to my speech.
10 In little more than a year
    you will shudder, you complacent ones;
for the vintage will fail,
    the fruit harvest will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease,
    shudder, you complacent ones;
strip, and make yourselves bare,
    and put sackcloth on your loins.
12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
    for the fruitful vine,
13 for the soil of my people
    growing up in thorns and briers;
yes, for all the joyous houses
    in the jubilant city.
14 For the palace will be forsaken,
    the populous city deserted;
the hill and the watchtower
    will become dens forever,
the joy of wild asses,
    a pasture for flocks;
15 until a spirit from on high is poured out on us,
    and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
    and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

The Peace of God’s Reign

16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
    and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
17 The effect of righteousness will be peace,
    and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
    in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19 The forest will disappear completely,[az]
    and the city will be utterly laid low.
20 Happy will you be who sow beside every stream,
    who let the ox and the donkey range freely.

A Prophecy of Deliverance from Foes

33 Ah, you destroyer,
    who yourself have not been destroyed;
you treacherous one,
    with whom no one has dealt treacherously!
When you have ceased to destroy,
    you will be destroyed;
and when you have stopped dealing treacherously,
    you will be dealt with treacherously.

O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
    Be our arm every morning,
    our salvation in the time of trouble.
At the sound of tumult, peoples fled;
    before your majesty, nations scattered.
Spoil was gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
    as locusts leap, they leaped[ba] upon it.
The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high;
    he filled Zion with justice and righteousness;
he will be the stability of your times,
    abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.[bb]

Listen! the valiant[bc] cry in the streets;
    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
    travelers have quit the road.
The treaty is broken,
    its oaths[bd] are despised,
    its obligation[be] is disregarded.
The land mourns and languishes;
    Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
Sharon is like a desert;
    and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.

10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord,
    “now I will lift myself up;
    now I will be exalted.
11 You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble;
    your breath is a fire that will consume you.
12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
    like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”

13 Hear, you who are far away, what I have done;
    and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
    trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
    Who among us can live with everlasting flames?”
15 Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly,
    who despise the gain of oppression,
who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it,
    who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed
    and shut their eyes from looking on evil,
16 they will live on the heights;
    their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;
    their food will be supplied, their water assured.

The Land of the Majestic King

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
    they will behold a land that stretches far away.
18 Your mind will muse on the terror:
    “Where is the one who counted?
    Where is the one who weighed the tribute?
    Where is the one who counted the towers?”
19 No longer will you see the insolent people,
    the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
    stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
20 Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!
    Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be pulled up,
    and none of whose ropes will be broken.
21 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us
    a place of broad rivers and streams,
where no galley with oars can go,
    nor stately ship can pass.
22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,
    the Lord is our king; he will save us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose;
    it cannot hold the mast firm in its place,
    or keep the sail spread out.

Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;
    even the lame will fall to plundering.
24 And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”;
    the people who live there will be forgiven their iniquity.

Judgment on the Nations

34 Draw near, O nations, to hear;
    O peoples, give heed!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
    the world, and all that comes from it.
For the Lord is enraged against all the nations,
    and furious against all their hordes;
    he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter.
Their slain shall be cast out,
    and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
    the mountains shall flow with their blood.
All the host of heaven shall rot away,
    and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall wither
    like a leaf withering on a vine,
    or fruit withering on a fig tree.

When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens,
    lo, it will descend upon Edom,
    upon the people I have doomed to judgment.
The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood,
    it is gorged with fat,
    with the blood of lambs and goats,
    with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
    a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen shall fall with them,
    and young steers with the mighty bulls.
Their land shall be soaked with blood,
    and their soil made rich with fat.

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
    a year of vindication by Zion’s cause.[bf]
And the streams of Edom[bg] shall be turned into pitch,
    and her soil into sulfur;
    her land shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
    its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
    no one shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 But the hawk[bh] and the hedgehog[bi] shall possess it;
    the owl[bj] and the raven shall live in it.
He shall stretch the line of confusion over it,
    and the plummet of chaos over[bk] its nobles.
12 They shall name it No Kingdom There,
    and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,
    nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
It shall be the haunt of jackals,
    an abode for ostriches.
14 Wildcats shall meet with hyenas,
    goat-demons shall call to each other;
there too Lilith shall repose,
    and find a place to rest.
15 There shall the owl nest
    and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow;
there too the buzzards shall gather,
    each one with its mate.
16 Seek and read from the book of the Lord:
    Not one of these shall be missing;
    none shall be without its mate.
For the mouth of the Lord has commanded,
    and his spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them,
    his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;
they shall possess it forever,
    from generation to generation they shall live in it.

The Return of the Redeemed to Zion

35 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
    “Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
    He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
    He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,[bl]
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,[bm]
    but it shall be for God’s people;[bn]
    no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain joy and gladness,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. The king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. He stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. And there came out to him Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder.

The Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you base this confidence of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? On whom do you now rely, that you have rebelled against me? See, you are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. But if you say to me, ‘We rely on the Lord our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the people sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Do not let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, The Lord will save us. Has any of the gods of the nations saved their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these countries have saved their countries out of my hand, that the Lord should save Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Hezekiah Consults Isaiah

37 When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God heard the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.”

When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. Now the king[bo] heard concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia,[bp] “He has set out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my predecessors destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods, but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

She despises you, she scorns you—
    virgin daughter Zion;
she tosses her head—behind your back,
    daughter Jerusalem.

23 “Whom have you mocked and reviled?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!
24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord,
    and you have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
    to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
    its choicest cypresses;
I came to its remotest height,
    its densest forest.
25 I dug wells
    and drank waters,
I dried up with the sole of my foot
    all the streams of Egypt.’

26 “Have you not heard
    that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
    what now I bring to pass,
that you should make fortified cities
    crash into heaps of ruins,
27 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
    are dismayed and confounded;
they have become like plants of the field
    and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
    blighted[bq] before it is grown.

28 “I know your rising up[br] and your sitting down,
    your going out and coming in,
    and your raging against me.
29 Because you have raged against me
    and your arrogance has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth;
I will turn you back on the way
    by which you came.

30 “And this shall be the sign for you: This year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; 32 for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

36 Then the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 37 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh. 38 As he was worshiping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon succeeded him.

Hezekiah’s Illness

38 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord: “Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.

“This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: See, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.[bs]

A writing of King Hezekiah of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10 I said: In the noontide of my days
    I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
    for the rest of my years.
11 I said, I shall not see the Lord
    in the land of the living;
I shall look upon mortals no more
    among the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
    like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
    he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;[bt]
13     I cry for help[bu] until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from day to night you bring me to an end.[bv]

14 Like a swallow or a crane[bw] I clamor,
    I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upward.
    O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!
15 But what can I say? For he has spoken to me,
    and he himself has done it.
All my sleep has fled[bx]
    because of the bitterness of my soul.

16 O Lord, by these things people live,
    and in all these is the life of my spirit.[by]
    Oh, restore me to health and make me live!

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 13:6 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Isaiah 14:2 Heb them
  3. Isaiah 14:4 Q Ms Compare Gk Syr Vg: Meaning of MT uncertain
  4. Isaiah 14:13 Or assembly in the far north
  5. Isaiah 14:19 Cn Compare Gk: Heb like a loathed branch
  6. Isaiah 14:21 Syr Compare Gk: Heb fathers
  7. Isaiah 14:30 Q Ms Vg: MT he
  8. Isaiah 15:2 Cn: Heb the house and Dibon
  9. Isaiah 15:4 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb the armed men of Moab cry aloud
  10. Isaiah 15:9 Q Ms Vg Compare Syr: MT Dimon
  11. Isaiah 15:9 Q Ms Vg Compare Syr: MT Dimon
  12. Isaiah 16:10 Gk: Heb I have hushed
  13. Isaiah 17:2 Cn Compare Gk: Heb the cities of Aroer are deserted
  14. Isaiah 17:8 Heb Asherim
  15. Isaiah 17:9 Cn Compare Gk: Heb places of the wood and the highest bough
  16. Isaiah 18:1 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  17. Isaiah 18:7 Q Ms Gk Vg: MT of
  18. Isaiah 19:14 Gk Compare Tg: Heb it
  19. Isaiah 20:3 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  20. Isaiah 20:4 Or Nubians; Heb Cushites
  21. Isaiah 20:5 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  22. Isaiah 21:8 Q Ms: MT a lion
  23. Isaiah 22:3 Or without their bows
  24. Isaiah 22:3 Gk Syr Vg: Heb fled from far away
  25. Isaiah 22:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  26. Isaiah 23:1 Cn Compare verse 14: Heb for it is destroyed, without houses
  27. Isaiah 23:2 Q Ms: MT crossing over the sea, they replenished you
  28. Isaiah 23:10 Cn Compare Gk: Heb like the Nile, daughter
  29. Isaiah 23:10 Cn: Heb restraint
  30. Isaiah 23:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  31. Isaiah 23:18 Heb it
  32. Isaiah 25:11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  33. Isaiah 26:4 Heb in Yah, the Lord
  34. Isaiah 26:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  35. Isaiah 26:19 Cn Compare Syr Tg: Heb my corpse
  36. Isaiah 26:19 Heb to the shades
  37. Isaiah 27:6 Heb Those to come
  38. Isaiah 27:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  39. Isaiah 27:9 Heb Asherim
  40. Isaiah 28:10 Meaning of Heb of this verse uncertain
  41. Isaiah 28:13 Meaning of Heb of this verse uncertain
  42. Isaiah 29:2 Heb she
  43. Isaiah 29:2 Probable meaning, altar hearth; compare Ezek 43.15
  44. Isaiah 29:3 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  45. Isaiah 29:5 Cn: Heb strangers
  46. Isaiah 30:6 Cn: Heb from them
  47. Isaiah 30:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  48. Isaiah 30:27 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  49. Isaiah 30:33 Or Topheth
  50. Isaiah 30:33 Or Molech
  51. Isaiah 31:6 Heb they
  52. Isaiah 32:19 Cn: Heb And it will hail when the forest comes down
  53. Isaiah 33:4 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  54. Isaiah 33:6 Heb his treasure; meaning of Heb uncertain
  55. Isaiah 33:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  56. Isaiah 33:8 Q Ms: MT cities
  57. Isaiah 33:8 Or everyone
  58. Isaiah 34:8 Or of recompense by Zion’s defender
  59. Isaiah 34:9 Heb her streams
  60. Isaiah 34:11 Identification uncertain
  61. Isaiah 34:11 Identification uncertain
  62. Isaiah 34:11 Identification uncertain
  63. Isaiah 34:11 Heb lacks over
  64. Isaiah 35:7 Cn: Heb in the haunt of jackals is her resting place
  65. Isaiah 35:8 Or pass it by
  66. Isaiah 35:8 Cn: Heb for them
  67. Isaiah 37:9 Heb he
  68. Isaiah 37:9 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  69. Isaiah 37:27 With 2 Kings 19.26: Heb field
  70. Isaiah 37:28 Q Ms Gk: MT lacks your rising up
  71. Isaiah 38:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  72. Isaiah 38:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  73. Isaiah 38:13 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  74. Isaiah 38:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  75. Isaiah 38:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  76. Isaiah 38:15 Cn Compare Syr: Heb I will walk slowly all my years
  77. Isaiah 38:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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