Judgment Against the Nations

34 Come near, you nations, and listen;(A)
    pay attention, you peoples!(B)
Let the earth(C) hear, and all that is in it,
    the world, and all that comes out of it!(D)
The Lord is angry with all nations;
    his wrath(E) is on all their armies.
He will totally destroy[a](F) them,
    he will give them over to slaughter.(G)
Their slain(H) will be thrown out,
    their dead bodies(I) will stink;(J)
    the mountains will be soaked with their blood.(K)
All the stars in the sky will be dissolved(L)
    and the heavens rolled up(M) like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall(N)
    like withered(O) leaves from the vine,
    like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

My sword(P) has drunk its fill in the heavens;
    see, it descends in judgment on Edom,(Q)
    the people I have totally destroyed.(R)
The sword(S) of the Lord is bathed in blood,
    it is covered with fat—
the blood of lambs and goats,
    fat from the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice(T) in Bozrah(U)
    and a great slaughter(V) in the land of Edom.
And the wild oxen(W) will fall with them,
    the bull calves and the great bulls.(X)
Their land will be drenched with blood,(Y)
    and the dust will be soaked with fat.

For the Lord has a day(Z) of vengeance,(AA)
    a year of retribution,(AB) to uphold Zion’s cause.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
    her dust into burning sulfur;(AC)
    her land will become blazing pitch!
10 It will not be quenched(AD) night or day;
    its smoke will rise forever.(AE)
From generation to generation(AF) it will lie desolate;(AG)
    no one will ever pass through it again.
11 The desert owl[b](AH) and screech owl[c] will possess it;
    the great owl[d] and the raven(AI) will nest there.
God will stretch out over Edom(AJ)
    the measuring line of chaos(AK)
    and the plumb line(AL) of desolation.
12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,
    all her princes(AM) will vanish(AN) away.
13 Thorns(AO) will overrun her citadels,
    nettles and brambles her strongholds.(AP)
She will become a haunt for jackals,(AQ)
    a home for owls.(AR)
14 Desert creatures(AS) will meet with hyenas,(AT)
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures(AU) will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest.
15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
    she will hatch them, and care for her young
    under the shadow of her wings;(AV)
there also the falcons(AW) will gather,
    each with its mate.

16 Look in the scroll(AX) of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,(AY)
    not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth(AZ) that has given the order,(BA)
    and his Spirit will gather them together.
17 He allots their portions;(BB)
    his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it forever
    and dwell there from generation to generation.(BC)

Joy of the Redeemed

35 The desert(BD) and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.(BE)
Like the crocus,(BF) it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.(BG)
The glory of Lebanon(BH) will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel(BI) and Sharon;(BJ)
they will see the glory(BK) of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.(BL)

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees(BM) that give way;
say(BN) to those with fearful hearts,(BO)
    “Be strong, do not fear;(BP)
your God will come,(BQ)
    he will come with vengeance;(BR)
with divine retribution
    he will come to save(BS) you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened(BT)
    and the ears of the deaf(BU) unstopped.
Then will the lame(BV) leap like a deer,(BW)
    and the mute tongue(BX) shout for joy.(BY)
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams(BZ) in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground(CA) bubbling springs.(CB)
In the haunts where jackals(CC) once lay,
    grass and reeds(CD) and papyrus will grow.

And a highway(CE) will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;(CF)
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean(CG) will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion(CH) will be there,
    nor any ravenous beast;(CI)
    they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed(CJ) will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued(CK) will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;(CL)
    everlasting joy(CM) will crown their heads.
Gladness(CN) and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.(CO)

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem(CP)

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s(CQ) reign, Sennacherib(CR) king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.(CS) Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from Lachish(CT) to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. When the commander stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field,(CU) Eliakim(CV) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator,(CW) Shebna(CX) the secretary,(CY) and Joah(CZ) son of Asaph the recorder(DA) went out to him.

The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel(DB) against me? Look, I know you are depending(DC) on Egypt,(DD) that splintered reed(DE) of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. But if you say to me, “We are depending(DF) on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed,(DG) saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”?(DH)

“‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses(DI)—if you can put riders on them! How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt(DJ) for chariots(DK) and horsemen[e]?(DL) 10 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself told(DM) me to march against this country and destroy it.’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah(DN) said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,(DO) since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

12 But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?(DP)

13 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew,(DQ) “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!(DR) 14 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive(DS) you. He cannot deliver you! 15 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver(DT) us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’(DU)

16 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree(DV) and drink water from your own cistern,(DW) 17 until I come and take you to a land like your own(DX)—a land of grain and new wine,(DY) a land of bread and vineyards.

18 “Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?(DZ) Where are the gods of Sepharvaim?(EA) Have they rescued Samaria(EB) from my hand? 20 Who of all the gods(EC) of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”(ED)

21 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”(EE)

22 Then Eliakim(EF) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and Joah son of Asaph the recorder(EG) went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn,(EH) and told him what the field commander had said.

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold(EI)

37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes(EJ) and put on sackcloth(EK) and went into the temple(EL) of the Lord. He sent Eliakim(EM) the palace administrator, Shebna(EN) the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.(EO) They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress(EP) and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth(EQ) and there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule(ER) the living God,(ES) and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard.(ET) Therefore pray(EU) for the remnant(EV) that still survives.”

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid(EW) of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed(EX) me. Listen! When he hears a certain report,(EY) I will make him want(EZ) to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down(FA) with the sword.’”

When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,(FB) he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.(FC)

Now Sennacherib(FD) received a report(FE) that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[f](FF) was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive(FG) you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’(FH) 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?(FI) 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors(FJ) deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran,(FK) Rezeph and the people of Eden(FL) who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad?(FM) Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim,(FN) Hena and Ivvah?”(FO)

Hezekiah’s Prayer(FP)

14 Hezekiah received the letter(FQ) from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple(FR) of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed(FS) to the Lord: 16 Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned(FT) between the cherubim,(FU) you alone are God(FV) over all the kingdoms(FW) of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.(FX) 17 Give ear, Lord, and hear;(FY) open your eyes, Lord, and see;(FZ) listen to all the words Sennacherib(GA) has sent to ridicule(GB) the living God.(GC)

18 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands.(GD) 19 They have thrown their gods into the fire(GE) and destroyed them,(GF) for they were not gods(GG) but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.(GH) 20 Now, Lord our God, deliver(GI) us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth(GJ) may know that you, Lord, are the only God.[g](GK)

Sennacherib’s Fall(GL)

21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz(GM) sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

“Virgin Daughter(GN) Zion(GO)
    despises and mocks you.
Daughter Jerusalem
    tosses her head(GP) as you flee.
23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?(GQ)
    Against whom have you raised your voice(GR)
and lifted your eyes in pride?(GS)
    Against the Holy One(GT) of Israel!
24 By your messengers
    you have ridiculed the Lord.
And you have said,
    ‘With my many chariots(GU)
I have ascended the heights of the mountains,
    the utmost heights(GV) of Lebanon.(GW)
I have cut down its tallest cedars,
    the choicest of its junipers.(GX)
I have reached its remotest heights,
    the finest of its forests.
25 I have dug wells in foreign lands[h]
    and drunk the water there.
With the soles of my feet
    I have dried up(GY) all the streams of Egypt.(GZ)

26 “Have you not heard?
    Long ago I ordained(HA) it.
In days of old I planned(HB) it;
    now I have brought it to pass,
that you have turned fortified cities
    into piles of stone.(HC)
27 Their people, drained of power,
    are dismayed and put to shame.
They are like plants in the field,
    like tender green shoots,
like grass(HD) sprouting on the roof,(HE)
    scorched[i] before it grows up.

28 “But I know where you are
    and when you come and go(HF)
    and how you rage(HG) against me.
29 Because you rage against me
    and because your insolence(HH) has reached my ears,
I will put my hook(HI) in your nose(HJ)
    and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you return
    by the way you came.(HK)

30 “This will be the sign(HL) for you, Hezekiah:

“This year(HM) you will eat what grows by itself,
    and the second year what springs from that.
But in the third year(HN) sow and reap,
    plant vineyards(HO) and eat their fruit.(HP)
31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah
    will take root(HQ) below and bear fruit(HR) above.
32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,(HS)
    and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.(HT)
The zeal(HU) of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

33 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“He will not enter this city(HV)
    or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
    or build a siege ramp(HW) against it.
34 By the way that he came he will return;(HX)
    he will not enter this city,”
declares the Lord.
35 “I will defend(HY) this city and save it,
    for my sake(HZ) and for the sake of David(IA) my servant!”

36 Then the angel(IB) of the Lord went out and put to death(IC) a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian(ID) camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib(IE) king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh(IF) and stayed there.

38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple(IG) of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat.(IH) And Esarhaddon(II) his son succeeded him as king.(IJ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 34:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 5.
  2. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  3. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  4. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  5. Isaiah 36:9 Or charioteers
  6. Isaiah 37:9 That is, the upper Nile region
  7. Isaiah 37:20 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also 2 Kings 19:19); Masoretic Text you alone are the Lord
  8. Isaiah 37:25 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also 2 Kings 19:24); Masoretic Text does not have in foreign lands.
  9. Isaiah 37:27 Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls and some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Kings 19:26); most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text roof / and terraced fields

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