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God Judges His Enemies

34 Come close to me, you nations, and listen!

    Pay attention to me, you peoples!
    Let all the world hear me,
    the earth and all that springs from it.
For Yahweh has turned his anger toward the nations
    and his fury against all their armies.
    He has doomed them to destruction
    and will annihilate them all.
Their slain will be cast out,
    the stench of their corpses will rise,
    and the mountains will stream with their blood.
The heavenly powers[a] will fade away to nothing,[b]
    and the heavens will be rolled up like a scroll.
    All their mighty host will wither
    as leaves fall from a withered vine
    or fruit from a withering fig tree.[c]
The Lord says:
    “Indeed, my judgment-sword has appeared in the heavens,[d]
    and when it has drunk its fill,
    you will see it descend on the people of Edom,
    those whom I have doomed to judgment.”
Lord Yahweh has a judgment-sword dripping with blood.
    It is smeared with fat,
    dripping with the blood of lambs and goats,
    and covered with the fat of ram’s kidneys.
    Lord Yahweh has a sacrifice in Bozrah[e]
    and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Cattle and young bulls will also be slain;[f]
    their land will be drenched[g] with blood
    and the dust soaked with fat.
For Lord Yahweh has a day of vengeance,
    a year of vindication for Zion’s cause.
Edom’s streams will be turned to pitch and its soil to sulfur;
    her land will become blazing pitch.
10 Night and day it will never be extinguished;
    its smoke will go up forever and ever.
    Through the endless ages it will lie desolate;
    no one will pass through it forever.
11 Nothing but desert hawks and wild animals[h] will live there;
    owls and ravens will find a home there.
    The Lord will stretch out over it a measuring line of chaos
    and the plumb line of emptiness.
12 It will be named No Kingdom There,
    and all its rulers and princes will come to nothing.[i]
13 Its palaces will be overgrown with thorns,
    its fortresses[j] with thistles and briars.
    It will become a haunt for demons[k] and an abode for owls.[l]
14 Wild beasts will mingle with wolves
    and goat-demons[m] will howl to one another.
    There too the night-demon[n] will settle in and find her rest.
15 There the arrow-snake will build her nest, lay her eggs,
    and hatch her brood in the shadows.
    There too the vultures will gather[o] to breed.
16 Seek for Yahweh’s book and read it carefully.
    You will learn that none of these prophecies will fail;
    none will lack a fulfillment as its companion.
    For the Lord has issued his decree.
    It is his Spirit that has gathered them.
17 He is the one who apportioned it to them by lot,
    whose hand measured the share of each.[p]
    They will possess it for all time
    and dwell there throughout the ages.


  1. Isaiah 34:4 Or “The host of heaven,” which can refer to demonic powers. See 2 Kings 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; Eph. 6:10-18.
  2. Isaiah 34:4 The Dead Sea scroll 1QIsaa adds “And the valleys will be split open.”
  3. Isaiah 34:4 See Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:13-14.
  4. Isaiah 34:5 As translated from the Dead Sea scroll 1QIsaa. The Hebrew is “My sword is drenched in the heavens.”
  5. Isaiah 34:6 Bozrah (modern Busaira) was the capital of Edom. See Isa. 63:1-6; Jer. 49:13; Amos 1:12. Bozrah means “sheepfold.” The sacrifice the Lord offered in the sheepfold can point to the supreme sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
  6. Isaiah 34:7 This is likely aurochs, an extinct species of wild cattle.
  7. Isaiah 34:7 Or “drunk.”
  8. Isaiah 34:11 The exact meaning of the animals listed here is uncertain. Some translations include hedgehogs, pelicans, porcupines, hawks, and several types of owls.
  9. Isaiah 34:12 See 1 Cor. 2:8; Eph. 6:12.
  10. Isaiah 34:13 See 2 Cor. 10:3-6.
  11. Isaiah 34:13 Or “dragons,” or “jackals.”
  12. Isaiah 34:13 The Hebrew word for “owls” is uncertain.
  13. Isaiah 34:14 Or “satyrs.”
  14. Isaiah 34:14 Or “Lilith,” a female goddess known as the sexually perverse “night-demon.” The Dead Sea scroll 4Q510-511 lists Lilith among a list of demonic monsters.
  15. Isaiah 34:15 See Matt. 24:28.
  16. Isaiah 34:17 See Eph. 4:7, 11.