Isaiah 20-36 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Sign of Nakedness
20 In the year that the Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, 2 at that time Adonai spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz saying, “Go, remove the sackcloth from your loins and your sandals from your feet.” So he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 Then Adonai said: “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years, as a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, 4 so will the king of Assyria lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to Egypt’s shame. 5 So they will be dismayed and ashamed, because they hoped in Ethiopia and boasted in Egypt. 6 Then the inhabitants of the coastland will say in that day, ‘Look, such is our hope—there we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! Now, how will we escape?’”
Watchman, Pay Attention!
21 The burden of the desert by the sea:
As windstorms sweep over the South,
so it comes from the desert,
a terrifying land.
2 A harsh vision has been shown to me:
“The traitor betrays, and the plunderer plunders.
Go up, Elam! Besiege, Media!
I have put an end to all her groaning.”
3 Therefore my body is filled with pain.
Pangs have taken hold of me like the pangs of a woman in labor.
I am bewildered by what I hear,
terrified by what I see.
4 My heart is bewildered,
terror overwhelms me.
The twilight I longed for
has been turned into trembling.
5 Set the table, spread out the cloth!
“Rise up, you princes, oil the shield!”
6 For Adonai has said to me.
“Go, post a watchman—
let him declare what he sees!
7 When he sees a chariot
with a pair of horsemen,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels,
let him pay attention—
very close attention!”
8 Then he cried out like a lion:
“Upon the watch tower, Adonai, I stand continually in the daytime,
and stay at my post every night.
9 Look! Here comes a chariot of men,
with a pair of horsemen.”
Then one answered and said,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon!
All the images of her gods
are broken on the ground.”
10 O my people, crushed on the threshing floor,
what I heard from Adonai Tzva’ot, God of Israel,
I have declared to you.
11 The burden of Dumah:
One calls to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman said,
“Morning comes, yet also it is night.”
If you would inquire, inquire.
Come back again.”
13 The burden of Arabia:
In the desert brush of Arabia you will stay for the night,
you caravans of Dedanites.
14 To him who is thirsty bring water,
inhabitants of the land of Tema,
meet the fugitive with food.
15 For they fled from swords,
from drawn sword,
from bent bow
and distress of war.
16 For thus Adonai said to me, “Within a year (as with the years of a hired worker), all the glory of Kedar will cease, 17 and the remainder of the number of the archers, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few. For Adonai God of Israel has spoken.”
Vision of Jerusalem’s Catastrophe
22 The burden of the Valley of Vision:
What is the matter with you now?
For you have gone up to the rooftops.
2 You were full of noise,
a boisterous city, an exultant town?
Your dead were not slain with the sword,
nor dead in battle.
3 All your rulers have fled together,
then captured without a bow.
All who were caught were taken into exile together,
though they had fled far off.
4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me!
Let me weep bitterly—
don’t try to comfort me
about the ruin of the daughter of my people.”
5 For my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot has a day
of panic, trampling and confusion—
in the Valley of Vision—
of tearing down a wall,
a catastrophe on the mountain.
6 Elam took up the quiver,
with chariots of men and horsemen,
and Kir uncovered the shield.
7 So it will come to pass that your choicest valleys will be full of chariots and horsemen posted at the gate. 8 So He will expose Judah’s defense, and in that day you will look for the armor in the Forest House. 9 Then you will see the breaches in the walls of the city of David—for they will be many—though you collect the water of the lower pool. 10 Though you counted the houses of Jerusalem, you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You even made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool—but you did not look to the Maker, or consider the One who planned it long before.
12 Now in that day, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot
will call for weeping and wailing,
for baldness and putting on sackcloth.
13 But instead, there is joy and gladness,
slaughtering cattle and killing sheep,
meat and drinking wine!
“Let’s eat and drink,
for tomorrow we will die!”
14 But Adonai-Tzva’ot revealed in my ears:
“Surely this sin will not be atoned for until you die,”
says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot.
15 Thus says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot: “Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house: 16 ‘What are you doing here, and who are you to be here, that you cut out a grave for yourself, carving out a tomb on the height, chiseling a crypt for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, strong man, Adonai is about to hurl you headlong, and seize you firmly. 18 He will roll you up tightly and toss you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be the shame of your Master’s house. 19 I will remove you from your post, and pull you down from your station.
20 “In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21 I will clothe him in your robe and fasten your sash on him. I will give your authority into his hands, so he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder—what he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, and no one can open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a firm place, and he will be a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24 They will hang all the glory of his father’s house on him—offspring and posterity, all the small vessels, from bowls to all the jars.
25 “In that day,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “the peg that was fastened in a firm place will give way, break away and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off.” For Adonai has spoken.
Shaking Tyre and Sidon
Wail, ships of Tarshish!
For Tyre is destroyed.
There is no house and no harbor.
From the land of Cyprus,
it was revealed to them.
2 Be still, inhabitants of the coastland,
you merchants of Sidon,
your messengers crossing the sea.
3 On many waters the grain of Shihor,
the harvest of the Nile was her revenue
and a marketplace of nations.
4 Be ashamed, O Sidon.
For the sea has spoken,
the stronghold of the sea, saying,
“I have not writhed or given birth.
I have not reared young men or brought up maidens.”
5 When the report reaches Egypt,
they will be in anguish at the report about Tyre.
6 Cross over to Tarshish.
Wail, you inhabitants of the island!
7 Is this your jubilant city?
Whose antiquity is from long ago,
whose feet have taken her
to settle in far off lands?
8 Who planned this against Tyre,
the crowning city,
whose merchants were princes,
whose traders were the honored of earth?
9 Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned it,
to defile the pride of all glory,
to shame all the honored of earth.
10 Overflow through your land like the Nile,
O daughter of Tarshish!
There is no restraint any more.
11 His hand has stretched out over the sea,
He has shaken the kingdoms.
Adonai has given a commandment concerning Canaan,
to destroy its strongholds.
12 He said, “You will exult no more.”
O crushed virgin daughter of Sidon.
Arise, cross over to Cyprus—
even there you will have no rest.
13 Look, the land of the Chaldeans—
this is the people who no longer exist.
Assyria set it up for desert animals.
They set up their siege towers;
they stripped its palaces;
they made it a ruin.
14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
For your stronghold is destroyed.
15 Then it will come about in that day that Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, like the days of one king. At the end of 70 years it will happen to Tyre just as in the song of the prostitute:
16 “Take a harp, stroll about the city,
Skillfully play many songs,
so you may be remembered.”
17 Then it will come about after the end of 70 years that Adonai will take note of Tyre. She will return to her trade and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her wages will be set apart to Adonai. They will not be stored up or hoarded. For her profit will be for those who dwell in the presence of Adonai, as ample food and as fine clothing.
Curse of Empty Land
24 Behold, Adonai makes the land empty
and makes it waste,
twists its face,
and scatters its inhabitants.
2 So it shall be:
as with the people, so with the kohen,
as with a servant, so with his master,
as with a maid, so with her mistress,
as with a buyer, so with the seller,
as with a lender, so with the borrower,
as with a creditor, so with the debtor.
3 The land will be utterly emptied,
and totally plundered.
For Adonai has spoken this word.
4 The land faints and fades away,
The world wilts and fades away,
The exalted people of the earth wilt.
5 The land is polluted by its inhabitants,
for they have transgressed Torah,
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse will devour the land.
Those dwelling there are found guilty.
Therefore the inhabitants of the land will be burned up,
so the people remaining are few.
7 The new wine fails, the vine wilts,
all the merry-hearted sigh.
8 The glee of tambourines stops,
the noise of revelers ends,
the joy of the harp ceases.
9 They no longer drink wine with song.
Liquor is bitter to those drinking it.
10 The shattered city is in chaos.
Every house is shut up, none may enter.
11 In the streets is an outcry for wine;
all joy becomes dark as evening;
the mirth of the land is banished.
12 The city is left in ruins;
the gate is battered down.
Last Days’ Judgments
13 So will it be in the earth and among the nations,
as when shaking an olive tree,
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.
14 They will raise their voices,
They will sing for joy, of the majesty of Adonai
they shout from the sea.
15 ‘Therefore glorify Adonai in the east,
the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel,
in the isles of the sea.
16 From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:
“Glory to the righteous!”
But I say, “I waste away, I waste away!
Oy to me! Traitors betray!
With treachery traitors betray!”
17 Panic, pit and trap are upon you,
O inhabitant of the earth.
18 And it shall come to pass:
whoever flees from the sound of panic
will fall in the pit,
and whoever climbs up out of the pit
will be caught in the trap.
For the windows of heaven are opened
and the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth is broken apart,
the earth is split open,
the earth is shaken utterly.
20 The earth reels to and fro like a drunk,
and sways like a hut.
its transgression is so heavy upon it
that it will fall and never rise again.
21 It will come about in that day,
Adonai will punish the host of heaven on high,
and the kings of the earth on the earth.
22 They will be gathered together,
like prisoners in the Pit,
and will be shut up in the prison,
and after many days be punished.
23 Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed,
for Adonai-Tzva’ot will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before His elders, gloriously.
Last Days’ Deliverance
25 Adonai, You are my God, I will exalt You,
I will praise Your Name,
for You have done wonderful things,
plans of old with steadfast faithfulness.
2 For You have made a city into a heap,
a fortified city into a ruin,
a foreigner’s palace a city no more—
never to be rebuilt.
3 Therefore a strong people will honor You.
Cities of ruthless nations will fear You.
4 For You have been a stronghold for the poor,
a stronghold for the needy in distress,
a refuge from the rainstorm,
a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
is like a storm against the wall.
5 Like heat in a dry place,
You subdue the roar of foreigners.
Like heat in the shade of a cloud,
the song of tyrants is brought low.
6 On this mountain, Adonai-Tzva’ot
will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples—
a banquet of aged wine—
of rich food, of choice marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 On this mountain He will swallow up
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the veil spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever.
my Lord Adonai will wipe away tears from every face.
He will remove His people’s reproach from all the earth.
For Adonai has spoken.
9 It will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God,
We waited for Him—He will save us.
This is Adonai—we waited for Him.
We will rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”
10 For the hand of Adonai will rest on this mountain.
Moab will be trampled under Him,
as straw is trampled in a manure pile.
11 When he spreads his hands in it
as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim,
his pride will be brought down low
together with the trickery of his hands.
12 He will level your high-fortified walls,
lay them low,
and cast them down to the ground,
down to dust.
Trust the Rock of Ages
26 In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city.
He appoints salvation
as its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates!
Let the righteous nation enter—
one that keeps faith.
3 You keep in perfect peace
one whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in Adonai forever,
for the LORD Adonai is a Rock of ages.
5 For He humbles those dwelling on high,
leveling the lofty city,
leveling it to the ground,
bringing it down to the dust.
6 Feet will trample it down,
feet of the afflicted,
the footsteps of the poor.
7 The way of the righteous is straight.
Upright One, You make smooth the path of the righteous.
8 Yes, in the way of Your judgments,
Adonai, we have waited for You.
Your Name and Your remembrance
is the desire of our soul.
9 My soul longs for You at night,
yes, my spirit within me seeks You.
For when Your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 Though grace is shown to the wicked,
he does not learn righteousness.
Even in a land of uprightness he will act wrongly,
not perceiving the majesty of Adonai.
11 Adonai, Your hand is lifted up,
yet they do not see it;
They will see Your zeal for the people and be put to shame.
Yes, fire will devour Your enemies.
Your Dead Will Live!
12 Adonai, You will establish shalom for us,
for all our works You have done for us.
13 Adonai Eloheinu, other lords beside You have had dominion over us,
but we remember Your Name alone.
14 The dead do not live—
dead souls do not rise.
Thus You punished and destroyed them
and wiped out all memory of them.
15 You have increased the nation, Adonai,
You have increased the nation.
You are glorified as You have expanded
all the borders of the land.
16 Adonai, they sought You in distress,
they poured out a whispered prayer
when Your discipline was upon them.
17 As a pregnant woman about to give birth
writhes and cries out in her pain,
so we were before You, Adonai.
18 We have been with child,
we have been in pain,
yet we gave birth to wind.
We are accomplishing no deliverance for the earth,
nor are inhabitants of the world coming to life.
19 Yet it will be:
“Your dead will live!
My corpses will rise!
Awake and shout for joy,
you who dwell in the dust!
Your dew is like the dew of the dawn.
The land of dead souls will come to life!
20 Go, my people, enter your rooms,
and shut your doors behind you.
Hide for a little while,
until the wrath is past.
21 For behold, Adonai is coming out from His place
to punish inhabitants of the earth for iniquity.
The earth will disclose her bloodshed,
no longer covering up her slain.
Leviathan the Dragon
27 In that day Adonai will punish
Leviathan the fleeing serpent
with His fierce, great, strong sword,
Leviathan the twisted serpent!
He will slay the dragon in the sea.
Second Song of the Vineyard
2 “In that day sing to her,
‘A vineyard of delight!’
3 I, Adonai, watch over it,
I water it every moment.
I guard it day and night,
so that no one may harm it.
4 It is not that I have wrath.
Who would give me thorns and thistles?
Into battle I would march against them!
I would burn them up altogether!
5 Rather let them rely on My strength.
Let them make peace with Me—
make peace with Me.”
Israel Will Blossom Again
6 In days to come Jacob will take root,
Israel will blossom and bud
and fill the face of the world with fruit.
7 Did He strike Israel
as He struck those who struck them?
Or were they slain
as their slayers were slain?
8 You contended with her by banishing her,
by driving her away.
With His fierce wind He expelled them
on the day of the east wind.
9 So by this will Jacob’s sin be atoned
and this the full price to remove his sin:
When he makes all the altar stones
like shattered chalk stones,
so that the Asherah poles and incense
rise no more.
10 The fortified city is a lonely habitation,
forlorn and forsaken like the desert.
There the calf will graze,
there lie down
and consume its branches.
11 When the boughs are withered,
they will be broken off.
Women come and set them on fire,
for it is a people of no understanding.
Therefore their Maker will show them no mercy—
He who formed them will give them no grace.
12 It will come about in that day,
Adonai will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt,
and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael.
13 It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
A Cornerstone of Zion
28 Oy, the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks!
Its glorious beauty is a fading flower,
which is at the head of the fertile valleys
of those overcome with wine!
2 Behold, Adonai is strong and mighty,
like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest,
like a downpour of overflowing water,
He hurls it down to earth with His hand.
3 The proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks
will be trampled underfoot.
4 The glorious beauty is a fading flower
which is at the head of the fertile valley,
like a first-ripe fig before summer—
whoever sees it, swallows it up while it is still in his palm.
5 In that day Adonai-Tzva’ot
will be a crown of glory,
a diadem of beauty
to the remnant of His people,
6 a spirit of judgment for him
who sits on the judgment seat,
and strength for those
turning back the battle at the gate.
7 But these also reel from wine
and stagger from strong drink
—the kohen and the prophet reel from strong drink—
are confused because of wine,
they stagger because of strong drink,
they are muddled in vision,
they stumble in judgment.
8 Since all the tables are full of the filth of vomit,
no place is left.
9 To whom will He teach knowledge?
To whom will He explain the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
10 For it must be ‘precept upon precept,
precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.’
11 For through stammering lips and a foreign tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said,
“Here is rest, give rest to the weary,
here is repose”—but they would not listen.
13 So the word of Adonai is to them
‘precept on precept, precept on precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.’
So they walk, and fall backward,
and are broken, trapped, and captured.
14 Therefore hear the word of Adonai, you scoffers,
who rule this people who are in Jerusalem:
15 “Because you have said,
‘We cut a covenant with death,
we made a pact with Sheol,
so when the overflowing scourge passes through,
it won’t come for us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
and hid ourselves in falsehood’—
16 Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim:
‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a tested stone,
a costly cornerstone, a firm foundation—
whoever trusts will not flee in haste.
17 But I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line.
Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and water will overflow the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death is annulled,
and your pact with Sheol will not stand.
An overflowing scourge will pass through
and you will be its trampling place.
19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you—
morning by morning, by day and by night passing through.
It will be sheer terror
to understand the message.’”
20 For too short is the bed to stretch on,
too narrow the blanket to wrap up in.
21 For Adonai will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will quake with awe as at the valley of Gibeon,
to do His deed, His strange deed,
and to work His work, His extraordinary work.
22 So now, stop your scoffing,
lest your shackles be strengthened!
For I have heard from Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot
of destruction determined upon the whole land.
23 Give ear and hear my voice!
Pay attention and hear my words.
24 Does a plowman plow all day to sow the seed?
Does he continually break open
and harrow his ground?
25 No! When he has leveled its surface,
he scatters dill and sows cumin,
plants wheat in rows,
places barley, and rye on its border.
26 For his God teaches him judgment,
27 For dill is not threshed with a sledge,
nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin.
Rather, dill is beaten out with a staff,
and cumin with a rod.
28 Bread grain is crushed, but not endlessly.
Rumbling cart wheels and horses over it
would only crush it to powder.
29 This also comes from Adonai-Tzva’ot:
Wonderful is His counsel, great is His wisdom.
Night Vision of Ariel
29 Oy, Ariel, Ariel! City where David camped.
Year to year again—festivals in a cycle.
2 But I will distress Ariel.
There will be lamenting and moaning—
then will she be like Ariel to Me?
3 I will encamp against you all around,
I will set up siege-works against you
and will raise up ramps against you.
4 You will be brought low, you will speak from the ground.
From the dust where you are prostrate your speech will come.
Your voice will be like a ghost out of the ground,
and your speech will whisper out of the dust.
5 Yet the multitude of your foes will become like fine dust,
and the multitude of the terrifying like chaff that passes away.
It will happen in an instant, suddenly.
6 You will be visited by Adonai-Tzva’ot
with thunder, earthquake, huge noise,
whirlwind and storm-wind, and the flame of a consuming fire.
7 It will be like a dream, a night vision:
the multitude of all the nations warring against Ariel,
yes, all warring against her,
the ramparts around her and her besiegers.
8 It will be like a hungry man dreaming and behold, he is eating,
but awakes with his hunger unsatisfied,
or like a thirsty man dreaming and behold, he is drinking,
but awakes faint, his soul thirsting.
So it will be with the multitude of all the nations
warring against Mount Zion.
9 Wait, and be astounded!
Blind yourselves, and be blind!
Drunk, but not with wine,
Stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For Adonai has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep,
and has shut your eyes—the prophets,
and covered your heads—the seers.
11 So this entire vision is for you like the words of a sealed scroll, which they give to one who knows books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” 12 Then the scroll is given to one who does not know books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I don’t know books.”
13 So Adonai says,
“Since these people draw near with their mouths
and honor Me with their lips,
yet their hearts are far from Me,
and their fear of Me is a mitzvah taught by men.
14 Therefore, behold, once more I will do a marvelous work among this people—
a marvel and a wonder—
so the wisdom of their wise will perish,
and the discernment of their discerning will be concealed.”
15 Oy, those who go to great depths
to hide their plans from Adonai!
Their works are in the dark.
They say, “Who sees us?
Who knows us?”
16 Your perversity!
Should the potter be regarded the same as the clay?
Should the thing made say to its maker,
“You did not make me”?
Or the thing formed say of its former,
“You have no understanding?”
17 Will it not be just a very little while
before Lebanon turns into a garden,
and a garden will seem like a forest?
18 In that day the deaf will hear words of a book,
and out of gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The meek will add to their joy in Adonai,
and the needy of humanity will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the ruthless will come to an end
and the scorner will be finished,
and all watching to do evil cut off.
21 Those who make a man out to be guilty with a word,
and trap him who reproves at the gate,
and deny justice with meaninglessness.
22 Therefore, thus says Adonai, Redeemer of Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
“Jacob will no longer be ashamed,
no longer will 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 stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding,
and those who murmur will learn instruction.”
No Help In Egypt
30 “Oy, the rebellious children”
—it is a declaration of Adonai—
“Who carry out a plan, but not Mine,
and make an alliance, but not of My Ruach,
so they may add sin to sin,
2 who go down to Egypt,
but did not consult Me,
to take refuge in Pharaoh’s stronghold,
to seek shelter in Egypt’s shadow.
3 Therefore Pharaoh’s stronghold will become your shame,
and the shelter in Egypt’s shadow will become your disgrace.
4 For though their princes are at Zoan
and their ambassadors reach Hanes,
5 they will all be ashamed of a people
who cannot profit them.
They are neither help nor profit,
but shame and disgrace.”
6 The burden concerning the beasts of the Negev:
Through a land of trouble and anguish,
in which are lioness and lion,
viper and flying serpent,
they are carrying their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
their treasures on camel humps,
to a people who cannot profit them.
7 Egypt’s help is futile and pointless.
Therefore I have called her
“Rahab who just sits.”
Witness Against False Prophets
8 Now go, write it on a tablet for them
and inscribe it in a scroll,
so that it may be as a witness
for the last day, forever.
9 For this is a rebellious people, lying children,
children unwilling to obey the Torah of Adonai.
10 They say to the seers,
“Do not see,”
and to the prophets,
“Do not prophesy to us what is right.
Speak to us smooth words.
11 Get out of the way!
Turn away from the path!
Let’s hear no more about
the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
“Because you despise this word,
and trust in oppression
and rely on perversity,
13 therefore this sin will be to you
like a crack bulging in a high wall, about to fall—
its collapse comes suddenly,
in an instant!
14 Its collapse is like smashing a clay jar,
so ruthlessly shattered
that a shard will not be found among the pieces
to take fire from the hearth
or scoop water from the cistern.”
Longing to Be Gracious
15 For thus says Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Israel:
“By repentance and rest you are saved,
in quietness and trust is your strength—
but you were not willing.”
16 But you said, “No, we will flee on horses!”
Therefore you will flee.
And, “We will ride on swift horses!”
Therefore your pursuers will be swift.
17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one,
at the threat of five you will flee,
until you are left
like a flag on the top of a mountain,
and like a banner on a hill.
18 Therefore Adonai is longing to be gracious to you.
Thus He will be exalted, so He may have mercy on you.
For Adonai is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him.
19 For the people of Zion who are dwelling in Jerusalem will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears you, He will answer. 20 Though Adonai gives you the bread of adversity and the water of oppression, your teachers will no longer be hidden, but your eyes will see your teachers. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you saying:
“This is the way, walk in it.
When you turn to the right, or when you turn to the left.”
22 You will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your metal images covered with gold. You will throw them away like a menstrual cloth. You will say, “Be gone!”
23 Then He will give you rain for your seed, which you will sow in the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in wide-open pasture. 24 The oxen and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and pitchfork.
25 There will be, on every high mountain and on every lofty hill,
streams running with water—
on a day of the great slaughter,
when the towers fall.
26 Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter—
like the light of seven days—
in the day Adonai binds up the brokenness of His people,
and heals the wounds He inflicted.
27 Look, Adonai’s Name comes from afar,
burning with His anger, in thick rising smoke,
His lips full of indignation,
His tongue like a consuming fire,
28 His Ruach like an overflowing torrent
rising up to the neck,
to sift the nations with the sieve of the worthless,
to put in the jaws of the peoples
a bridle that leads away.
29 You will have songs
as in the night when you keep a holy festival,
and gladness of heart
like one walking with the flute
to go to the mountain of Adonai,
to the Rock of Israel.
30 Adonai will make His glorious voice heard,
and reveal His arm descending
with fierce fury in a consuming fire,
in cloudburst, rainstorm and hailstones.
31 For at the voice of Adonai, Assyria will be terrified—
when He strikes with the rod.
32 Every stroke of His punishing rod
that Adonai brings down on him
—with tambourines and harps,
and battles brandishing His arm—
He will fight against them.
33 For Topheth has long been ready,
prepared for the king,
its fire pit made deep and wide,
a pyre of fire with plenty of wood.
The breath of Adonai,
like a torrent of brimstone,
sets it aflame.
Egypt’s Horses Will Stumble
31 Oy, those going down to Egypt for help.
They are relying on horses,
trusting in chariots since they are many,
and in horsemen since they are very mighty,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
nor seek Adonai!
2 Yet He is also wise.
He brings disaster, and does not take back His words.
He rises against the house of evildoers,
against help for workers of iniquity.
3 Now Egyptians are men and not God,
and their horses are flesh, not spirit.
When Adonai stretches out His hand,
both he who helps will stumble
and he who is helped will fall,
and both will perish together.
A Lion Protects Zion
4 For thus says Adonai to me:
“As a lion or a young lion
growls over its prey,
though a company of shepherds
is called out against him
—their voice does not disturb him,
nor does their noise upset him—
so Adonai-Tzva’ot will come down
to fight on Mount Zion, on its hill.
5 Like hovering birds,
so Adonai-Tzva’ot will protect Jerusalem.
By protecting, He will deliver.
By passing over, He will save.”
6 Return to the One from whom rebellion is so deep, Bnei-Yisrael.
7 For in that day everyone will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which you made for yourselves with your hands of sin.
8 “Then Assyria will fall, not by a sword of man,
so a sword not of man will devour him
and he will flee from the sword.
His young men will be put to forced labor.
9 His rock will pass away because of fear.
His princes will be afraid of the banner”
—it is a declaration of Adonai—
His fire is in Zion,
and His furnace is in Jerusalem.
Reign in Righteousness
32 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness
and princes will rule in justice.
2 Each will be like a refuge from the wind
and a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a massive rock in a weary land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will pay attention.
4 The heart of the hasty will understand knowledge,
and the tongue of stammerers will speak fluently, clearly.
5 No longer will a fool be called noble,
or a scoundrel said to be a gentleman.
6 For the fool speaks foolishness
and his heart works wickedness,
to practice ungodliness,
and speak error about Adonai,
to deprive the hungry of food
and withhold drink from the thirsty.
7 The scoundrel’s methods are evil—
he makes up wicked schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just.
8 But the noble devises noble plans,
and for noble causes he stands.
9 Rise up, you women at ease,
And hear my voice.
You complacent daughters,
give ear to my words.
10 Within a year and a few days
you will shudder, complacent ones.
For the grape harvest will fail
and the gathering will not come.
11 Tremble, you women at ease!
Shudder, you complacent ones!
Strip and make yourselves bare,
and put sackcloth on your waist.
12 Beat your breasts lamenting for pleasant fields,
or fruitful vine,
13 for the land of my people,
where thorns and briars come up,
for all the joyful houses
of the jubilant city.
14 For the palace will be abandoned;
the bustling city will be deserted;
the citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
a delight of wild donkeys,
a pasture for flocks,
15 until the Ruach is poured out on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a garden,
and a garden seems like a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the garden.
17 The result of righteousness will be shalom
and the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in a peaceful place,
in secure dwellings,
quiet resting places.
19 Then hail will flatten the forest;
and the city will be utterly laid low.
20 Blessed are you, sowing by all waters,
letting the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
Ambassadors of Peace Weep Bitterly
33 Oy, you destroyer, never destroyed,
you traitor, never betrayed!
When you have stopped destroying,
you will be destroyed;
and when you finish betraying,
they will betray you.
2 Adonai, be gracious to us!
We long for You.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of trouble.
3 From the noise of tumult people will flee;
When You lift Yourself up, the nations will be scattered.
4 Your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
like a swarm of locusts, they are rushing over it.
5 Adonai is exalted, for He dwells on high!
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
6 It will be your time of faithfulness,
a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge—
the fear of Adonai is His treasure.
7 Behold, heroes cry outside.
Ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
8 Highways are desolate;
travel has ceased;
covenant is broken;
cities are despised;
there is no regard for humanity.
9 The land mourns and languishes;
Lebanon is shamed and withers;
Sharon is like a wilderness;
Bashan and Carmel are shaken bare.
Our Eternal Judge Arises
10 “Now I will arise,” says Adonai.
“Now I will be exalted.
Now I will lift Myself up.
11 You conceive chaff,
you will give birth to stubble.
My breath is a fire that will consume you.
12 Then peoples will be burned as lime,
like thorns cut down, burned in the fire.
13 Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done,
and you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
14 Sinners in Zion are afraid.
Trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can live with the consuming fire?”
“Who among us can live with everlasting burnings?”
15 One who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly,
who refuses unjust gain by extortion,
who shakes his hands free of bribes,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil.
16 He will dwell on the heights—
his refuge will be an impregnable cliff.
His bread will be provided,
his water assured.
17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty.
They will gaze at a far-distant land.
18 Your heart will meditate on terror:
“Where is the counter?”
“Where is the weigher?”
“Where is the counter of towers?”
19 You will no longer see the fierce people,
the people of speech too obscure to comprehend,
with a stammering tongue no one understands.
20 Look upon Zion, city of our Festivals.
Your eyes will see Jerusalem as a quiet home,
a tent that will never be folded,
Its stakes never pulled up,
its cords never broken.
21 For there the majestic One, Adonai, will be for us—
a place of rivers and wide canals,
on which no boat with oars will go,
nor any mighty ship will travel by.
22 For Adonai is our Judge,
Adonai is our Lawgiver,
Adonai is our King—
He will save us!
23 Your cords hang slack,
not holding the mast in place firmly,
nor spreading out the sail.
Then abundant spoil will be divided—
even the lame will carry off plunder.
24 No inhabitant will say, “I am sick.”
The people dwelling there will be forgiven their iniquity.
34 Draw near, O nations, to hear,
and listen, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all it contains,
the world, and all its offspring!
2 For Adonai is enraged at all the nations,
and furious at all their armies.
He will utterly destroy them.
He will give them over to slaughter.
3 So their slain will be thrown out,
and the stench of their corpses will rise,
and the hills will be drenched with their blood.
4 Then all the host of heaven will dissolve,
and the skies will be rolled up like a scroll—
so all their array will wither away,
like a leaf drooping from a vine,
like a fig shriveling from a fig tree.
Seek the Scroll and Read
5 For My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.
See, it will come down upon Edom,
upon the people I have devoted to judgment.
6 The sword of Adonai is filled with blood, gorged with fat—
the blood of lambs and goats,
the fat of kidneys of rams.
For Adonai has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 Wild oxen will go down with them,
bull calves with mighty steers.
So their land will be soaked with blood
and their dust greasy with fat.
8 For Adonai has a day of vengeance,
a year of recompense for the hostility against Zion.
9 Its streams will be turned into pitch,
its dust into brimstone,
and its land will become burning tar.
10 It will not be quenched night or day.
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will lay waste—
forever and ever none will pass through it.
11 But pelican and porcupine will have it,
owl and raven will dwell in it.
He will stretch a line of chaos over it
and stones of desolation.
12 As for its nobles, there are none there to call it a kingdom,
and all its princes will come to nothing.
13 Thorns will come up in its palaces,
nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
It will be a haunt of jackals,
an abode for ostriches.
14 Wildcats will meet with wolves,
the goat-demon will cry to its kind—
yes, the night monster will settle there
and find itself a resting place.
15 A tree snake will nest and lay eggs there,
hatch and gather them under its shadow.
Surely, hawks are gathered there,
each one with her mate.
16 Seek from the scroll of Adonai, and read!
Not one of them will be missing;
none will lack its mate.
For His mouth commanded it,
and His Ruach gathered them.
17 He cast the lot for them,
and His hand divided it out to them with the line.
They will possess it forever,
and dwell in it from generation to generation.
Highway in the Wilderness
35 The wilderness and dry land will be glad.
The desert will rejoice and blossom like a lily.
2 It will blossom profusely,
will rejoice with joy and singing,
will be given the glory of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of Adonai,
the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the limp hands,
make firm the wobbly knees.
4 Say to those with anxious heart,
“Be strong, have no fear!”
Behold, your God!
Vengeance is coming!
God’s recompense—it is coming!
Then He will save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute will sing.
For water will burst forth in the desert
and streams in the wilderness.
7 The parched land will become a pool,
the thirsty ground springs of water.
In the haunt of jackals, where they rest,
grass will become reeds and rushes.
8 A highway will be there—a roadway.
It will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it.
It is for the one who walks the way.
Fools will not go astray.
9 No lion will be there.
No ravenous beast will go up on it.
They will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there.
10 The ransomed of Adonai will return
and come to Zion with singing,
with everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Sennacherib Dares Jerusalem
36 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2 The king of Assyria sent the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a massive army. The Rab-shakeh stood by the aqueduct of the upper pool in the highway of the washer’s field. 3 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came out to him.
4 So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 5 I say your strategy and strength for war are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 6 Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him.
7 “‘But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar’?
8 “So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses—if you could put riders of your own on them. 9 So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen.
10 “Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”
11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh: “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.”
12 But the Rab-shakeh said: “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Hasn’t he sent me to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own waste and drink their own urine with you?”
13 Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 Thus says the king: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you! 15 Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying, “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’
16 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his 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 “Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, when did they deliver Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
21 But they were silent, and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.”
22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.