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Isaiah 31-33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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[a] 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,[b]
    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[c] 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.[d]

Listen! the valiant[e] 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[f] are despised,
    its obligation[g] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 31:6 Heb they
  2. Isaiah 32:19 Cn: Heb And it will hail when the forest comes down
  3. Isaiah 33:4 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Isaiah 33:6 Heb his treasure; meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Isaiah 33:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Isaiah 33:8 Q Ms: MT cities
  7. Isaiah 33:8 Or everyone
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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