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The Lord Will Punish the Earth

24 The Lord is going to devastate the earth and leave it desolate. He will twist the earth's surface and scatter its people. Everyone will meet the same fate—the priests and the people, slaves and masters, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, rich and poor. The earth will lie shattered and ruined. The Lord has spoken and it will be done.

The earth dries up and withers; the whole world grows weak; both earth and sky decay. The people have defiled the earth by breaking God's laws and by violating the covenant he made to last forever. So God has pronounced a curse on the earth. Its people are paying for what they have done. Fewer and fewer remain alive. The grapevines wither, and wine is becoming scarce. Everyone who was once happy is now sad, and the joyful music of their harps and drums has ceased. There is no more happy singing over wine; no one enjoys its taste any more. 10 In the city everything is in chaos, and people lock themselves in their houses for safety. 11 People shout in the streets because there is no more wine. Happiness is gone forever; it has been banished from the land. 12 The city is in ruins, and its gates have been broken down. 13 This is what will happen in every nation all over the world. It will be like the end of harvest, when the olives have been beaten off every tree and the last grapes picked from the vines.

14 Those who survive will sing for joy. Those in the West will tell how great the Lord is, 15 and those in the East will praise him. The people who live along the sea will praise the Lord, the God of Israel. 16 From the most distant parts of the world we will hear songs in praise of Israel, the righteous nation.

But there is no hope for me! I am wasting away! Traitors continue to betray, and their treachery grows worse and worse. 17 Listen to me, everyone! There are terrors, pits, and traps waiting for you. 18 Anyone who tries to escape from the terror will fall in a pit, and anyone who escapes from the pit will be caught in a trap. Torrents of rain will pour from the sky, and earth's foundations will shake. 19 The earth will crack and shatter and split open. 20 The earth itself will stagger like a drunk, sway like a hut in a storm. The world is weighed down by its sins; it will collapse and never rise again.

21 A time is coming when the Lord will punish the powers above and the rulers of the earth. 22 God will crowd kings together like prisoners in a pit. He will shut them in prison until the time of their punishment comes. 23 The moon will grow dark, and the sun will no longer shine, for the Lord Almighty will be king. He will rule in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, and the leaders of the people will see his glory.

A Hymn of Praise

25 Lord, you are my God;
    I will honor you and praise your name.
You have done amazing things;
    you have faithfully carried out
    the plans you made long ago.
You have turned cities into ruins
    and destroyed their fortifications.
The palaces which our enemies built
    are gone forever.
The people of powerful nations will praise you;
    you will be feared in the cities of cruel nations.
The poor and the helpless have fled to you
    and have been safe in times of trouble.
You give them shelter from storms
    and shade from the burning heat.
Cruel enemies attack like a winter storm,[a]
    like drought in a dry land.
But you, Lord, have silenced our enemies;
    you silence the shouts of cruel people,
    as a cloud cools a hot day.

God Prepares a Banquet

Here on Mount Zion the Lord Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world—a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine. Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations. (A)The Sovereign Lord will destroy death forever! He will wipe away the tears from everyone's eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered throughout the world. The Lord himself has spoken.

When it happens, everyone will say, “He is our God! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the Lord! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has saved us.”

God Will Punish Moab

10 (B)The Lord will protect Mount Zion, but the people of Moab will be trampled down the way straw is trampled in manure. 11 They will reach out their hands as if they were trying to swim, but God will humiliate them, and their hands will sink helplessly. 12 He will destroy the fortresses of Moab with their high walls and bring them tumbling down into the dust.

God Will Give His People Victory

26 A day is coming when the people will sing this song in the land of Judah:

Our city is strong!
God himself defends its walls!
Open the city gates
    and let the faithful nation enter,
    the nation whose people do what is right.
You, Lord, give perfect peace
    to those who keep their purpose firm
    and put their trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever;
    he will always protect us.
He has humbled those who were proud;
    he destroyed the strong city they lived in,
    and sent its walls crashing into the dust.
Those who were oppressed walk over it now
    and trample it under their feet.

Lord, you make the path smooth for good people;
    the road they travel is level.
We follow your will and put our hope in you;
    you are all that we desire.
At night I long for you with all my heart;
    when you judge the earth and its people,
    they will all learn what justice is.
10 Even though you are kind to the wicked,
    they never learn to do what is right.
Even here in a land of righteous people
    they still do wrong;
    they refuse to recognize your greatness.
11 (C)Your enemies do not know that you will punish them.
Lord, put them to shame and let them suffer;
    let them suffer the punishment you have prepared.
Show them how much you love your people.

12 You will give us prosperity, Lord;
    everything that we achieve
    is the result of what you do.[b]
13 Lord our God, we have been ruled by others,
    but you alone are our Lord.
14 Now they are dead and will not live again;
    their ghosts will not rise,
    for you have punished them and destroyed them.
No one remembers them any more.
15 Lord, you have made our nation grow,
    enlarging its territory on every side;
    and this has brought you honor.
16 You punished your people, Lord,
    and in anguish they prayed to you.[c]
17 You, Lord, have made us cry out,
    as a woman in labor cries out in pain.
18 We were in pain and agony,
    but we gave birth to nothing.
We have won no victory for our land;
    we have accomplished nothing.[d]

19 Those of our people who have died will live again!
Their bodies will come back to life.
All those sleeping in their graves
    will wake up and sing for joy.
As the sparkling dew refreshes the earth,
    so the Lord will revive those who have long been dead.

Judgment and Restoration

20 Go into your houses, my people, and shut the door behind you. Hide yourselves for a little while until God's anger is over. 21 The Lord is coming from his heavenly dwelling place to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The murders that were secretly committed on the earth will be revealed, and the ground will no longer hide those who have been killed.

27 (D)On that day the Lord will use his powerful and deadly sword to punish Leviathan, that wriggling, twisting dragon, and to kill the monster[e] that lives in the sea.

On that day the Lord will say of his pleasant vineyard, “I watch over it and water it continually. I guard it night and day so that no one will harm it. I am no longer angry with the vineyard. If there were thorns and briers to fight against, I would burn them up completely. But if the enemies of my people want my protection, let them make peace with me. Yes, let them make peace with me.”

In the days to come the people of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, will take root like a tree, and they will blossom and bud. The earth will be covered with the fruit they produce.

Israel has not been punished by the Lord as severely as its enemies nor lost as many people. The Lord punished his people by sending them into exile. He took them away with a cruel wind from the east.[f] But Israel's sins will be forgiven only when the stones of pagan altars are ground up like chalk, and no more incense altars or symbols of the goddess Asherah are left.

10 The fortified city lies in ruins. It is deserted like an empty wilderness. It has become a pasture for cattle, where they can rest and graze. 11 The branches of the trees are withered and broken, and women gather them for firewood. Because the people have understood nothing, God their Creator will not pity them or show them any mercy.

12 On that day, from the Euphrates to the Egyptian border, the Lord will gather his people one by one, as threshing separates the wheat from the chaff.

13 When that day comes, a trumpet will be blown to call back from Assyria and Egypt all the Israelites who are in exile there. They will come and worship the Lord in Jerusalem, on his sacred hill.[g]


  1. Isaiah 25:4 Probable text winter storm; Hebrew storm against a wall.
  2. Isaiah 26:12 everything that … do; or you treat us according to what we do.
  3. Isaiah 26:16 Verse 16 in Hebrew is unclear.
  4. Isaiah 26:18 We have won … nothing; Hebrew unclear.
  5. Isaiah 27:1 Legendary monsters which were symbols of the nations oppressing Israel.
  6. Isaiah 27:8 Verse 8 in Hebrew is unclear.
  7. Isaiah 27:13 See 2.3.

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[a] 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[b]
    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[c]
    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[d] 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.[e]

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[f] 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,[g] 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[h] 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.


  1. Isaiah 25:11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Isaiah 26:4 Heb in Yah, the Lord
  3. Isaiah 26:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Isaiah 26:19 Cn Compare Syr Tg: Heb my corpse
  5. Isaiah 26:19 Heb to the shades
  6. Isaiah 27:6 Heb Those to come
  7. Isaiah 27:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Isaiah 27:9 Heb Asherim

24 Look! Adonai is stripping
and destroying the land,
turning it upside down
and scattering its inhabitants —
cohen and commoner, slave and master,
maid and mistress, buyer and seller,
lender and borrower, creditor and debtor.
The land will be completely stripped,
completely plundered,
for Adonai has spoken this word.
The land fades and withers,
the world wilts and withers,
the exalted of the land languish.
The land lies defiled under its inhabitants;
because they have transgressed the teachings,
changed the law
and broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse is devouring the land,
and its inhabitants are punished for their guilt.
It is why those living there waste away,
and the people left are few.
The new wine fails, the vines wilt,
all the revelers sigh,
the happy sound of tambourines ceases,
the shouts of merrymakers are stilled,
the joy of the lyre ends.
They no longer sing as they drink their wine,
strong liquor tastes bitter to those drinking it.
10 The city of chaos is shattered,
every house closed up; no one can enter.
11 In the streets they are crying over the wine;
all joy has faded, cheer has left the land.
12 In the city, only desolation,
its gates are battered beyond repair.

13 Around the earth, among the peoples,
it will be as when beating an olive tree,
as when gleaning the grapes at the end of the harvest.
14 They lift their voices, singing for joy,
shouting from the west to honor Adonai.
15 So in the east, honor Adonai ;
in the coastlands, honor the name of Adonai,
the God of Isra’el.
16 From the farthest part of the earth
we have heard them sing,
“Glory to the Righteous One!”

But, I say, I’m wasting away,
I am wasting away!
Woe to me! Traitors betray!
Oh, how the traitors betray and betray!
17 Terror, pit and trap are upon you,
you who are living on earth.
18 He who flees at the sound of terror
will fall into the pit.
He who climbs up out of the pit
will be caught in the trap.
For the windows above have been opened,
and the earth’s foundations shake.
19 The earth cracks and breaks open,
the earth crumbles to pieces,
the earth trembles and totters.
20 The earth staggers to and fro like a drunk,
sways back and forth like a watchman’s shelter;
its transgression weighs heavy upon it;
it will fall and not rise again.
21 When that day comes, Adonai will punish
the armies of the high heaven on high,
and the kings of the earth here on earth.
22 They will be assembled like prisoners in a dungeon
and shut up in prison to be punished many years.
23 Then the moon will be confused and the sun ashamed,
for Adonai-Tzva’ot will rule on Mount Tziyon
and in Yerushalayim,
with his glory manifest to the rulers of his people.

25 Adonai, you are my God.

I exalt you, I praise your name.
For you have accomplished marvels,
[fulfilled] ancient plans faithfully and truly.

For you have made a city a heap of stones,
turned a fortified city into rubble,
made the foreigners’ fortress
a city that will never be rebuilt.
Therefore mighty peoples glorify you,
the city of ruthless nations fears you.
For you have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in distress,
shelter from the storm,
shade from the heat —
for the blast from the ruthless
was like a storm that could destroy a wall.
Like desert heat, you subdue
the foreigners’ uproar;
like heat subdued by a cloud’s shadow,
the song of the ruthless dies away.

On this mountain Adonai-Tzva’ot
will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food and superb wines,
delicious, rich food and superb, elegant wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil which covers the face of all peoples,
the veil enshrouding all the nations.
He will swallow up death forever.
Adonai Elohim will wipe away
the tears from every face,
and he will remove from all the earth
the disgrace his people suffer.
For Adonai has spoken.

On that day they will say,
“See! This is our God!
We waited for him to save us.
This is Adonai ; we put our hope in him.
We are full of joy, so glad he saved us!”
10 For on this mountain
the hand of Adonai will rest.

But Mo’av will be trampled down where they are,
like straw trampled into a pile of manure.
11 They will spread out their hands in Mo’av,
like a swimmer using his hands to tread water;
but their pride will be humbled and sunk,
no matter how clever the strokes of their hands.
12 Your high, fortified walls he will level,
strike to the ground, lay in the dust.

26 On that day this song will be sung
in the land of Y’hudah:
“We have a strong city!
He has built walls and ramparts for our safety.
Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter,
a nation that keeps faith!
“A person whose desire rests on you
you preserve in perfect peace,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in Adonai forever,
because in Yah Adonai,
is a Rock of Ages.”

For he has humbled those in high places,
levelling the lofty city,
levelling it to the ground,
laying it in the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the feet of the poor,
by the footsteps of the needy.

The way of the righteous is level;
Righteous One, you smooth the path for the righteous.
Following the way of your judgments,
we put our hope in you.
The desire of all our soul
is to remember you and your name.
My soul desires you at night,
my spirit in me seeks you at dawn;
for when your judgments are here on earth,
the people in the world learn what righteousness is.
10 Even if pity is shown to the wicked,
he still doesn’t learn what righteousness is.
In a land of uprightness he will still act wrongly
and fail to see the majesty of Adonai.
11 Adonai, you raised your hand,
but they still didn’t see.
Yet with shame they will see your zeal for the people.
Yes, fire will destroy your enemies.
12 Adonai, you will grant us peace;
because all we have done, you have done for us.
13 Adonai our God, other lords
besides you have ruled us,
but only you do we invoke
by name.
14 The dead will not live again,
the ghosts will not rise again;
for you punished and destroyed them,
wiped out all memory of them.
15 You enlarged the nation, Adonai,
you enlarged the nation;
and thus you glorified yourself;
you extended all the frontiers of the country.
16 Adonai, when they were troubled,
they sought you.
When you chastened them,
they poured out a silent prayer.
17 As a pregnant woman about to give birth
cries out and writhes in her labor pains,
so we have been at your presence, Adonai
18 we have been pregnant and been in pain.
But we, as it were, have given birth to wind;
we have not brought salvation to the land,
and those inhabiting the world have not come to life.
19 Your dead will live, my corpses will rise;
awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust;
for your dew is like the morning dew,
and the earth will bring the ghosts to life.

20 Come, my people, enter your rooms,
and shut your doors behind you.
Hide yourselves for a little while
until the wrath is past.
21 For see! Adonai emerges from his place
to punish those on earth for their sin.
Then the earth will reveal the blood shed on it
and no longer conceal its slain.

27 On that day Adonai,
with his great, strong, relentless sword,
will punish Livyatan the fleeing serpent,
the twisting serpent Livyatan;
he will slay the sea monster.

On that day, a pleasant vineyard —
sing about it!

“I, Adonai, guard it.
Moment to moment I water it.
So that no harm will come to it,
I guard it night and day.
I have no anger in me.
If it gives me briars and thorns,
then, as in war, I will trample it down
and burn it up at once;
unless it takes hold of my strength,
in order to make peace with me,
yes, to make peace with me.”

The time is coming when Ya‘akov will take root;
Isra’el will bud and flower,
and fill the whole world with a harvest.
[Adonai] will not strike Isra’el,
as he did others who struck Isra’el;
he will not kill them,
as he did the others.
Your controversy with her is fully resolved
by sending her [into exile].
He removes her with a rough gust of wind
on a day when it’s blowing from the east.
So the iniquity of Ya‘akov is atoned for by this,
and removing his sin produces this result:
he chops up all the altar stones like chalk —
sacred poles and sun-pillars stand no more.
10 For the fortified city is alone,
abandoned and deserted, like the desert.
Calves graze and lie down there,
stripping its branches bare.
11 When its harvest dries up, it is broken off;
women come and set it on fire.
For this is a people without understanding.
Therefore he who made them will not pity them,
he who formed them will show them no mercy.

12 On that day Adonai will beat out the grain
between the Euphrates River and the Vadi of Egypt;
and you will be gathered, one by one,
people of Isra’el!

13 On that day a great shofar will sound.
Those lost in the land of Ashur will come,
also those scattered through the land of Egypt;
and they will worship Adonai
on the holy mountain in Yerushalayim.

The Landscape Will Be a Moonscape

24 1-3 Danger ahead! God’s about to ravish the earth
    and leave it in ruins,
Rip everything out by the roots
    and send everyone scurrying:
        priests and laypeople alike,
        owners and workers alike,
        celebrities and nobodies alike,
        buyers and sellers alike,
        bankers and beggars alike,
        the haves and have-nots alike.
The landscape will be a moonscape,
    totally wasted.
And why? Because God says so.
    He’s issued the orders.

The earth turns gaunt and gray,
    the world silent and sad,
    sky and land lifeless, colorless.

Earth Polluted by Its Very Own People

5-13 Earth is polluted by its very own people,
    who have broken its laws,
Disrupted its order,
    violated the sacred and eternal covenant.
Therefore a curse, like a cancer,
    ravages the earth.
Its people pay the price of their sacrilege.
    They dwindle away, dying out one by one.
No more wine, no more vineyards,
    no more songs or singers.
The laughter of castanets is gone,
    the shouts of celebrants, gone,
    the laughter of fiddles, gone.
No more parties with toasts of champagne.
    Serious drinkers gag on their drinks.
The chaotic cities are unlivable. Anarchy reigns.
    Every house is boarded up, condemned.
People riot in the streets for wine,
    but the good times are gone forever—
    no more joy for this old world.
The city is dead and deserted,
    bulldozed into piles of rubble.
That’s the way it will be on this earth.
    This is the fate of all nations:
An olive tree shaken clean of its olives,
    a grapevine picked clean of its grapes.

14-16 But there are some who will break into glad song.
    Out of the west they’ll shout of God’s majesty.
Yes, from the east God’s glory will ascend.
    Every island of the sea
Will broadcast God’s fame,
    the fame of the God of Israel.
From the four winds and the seven seas we hear the singing:
    “All praise to the Righteous One!”

16-20 But I said, “That’s all well and good for somebody,
    but all I can see is doom, doom, and more doom.”
All of them at one another’s throats,
    yes, all of them at one another’s throats.
Terror and pits and booby traps
    are everywhere, whoever you are.
If you run from the terror,
    you’ll fall into the pit.
If you climb out of the pit,
    you’ll get caught in the trap.
Chaos pours out of the skies.
    The foundations of earth are crumbling.
Earth is smashed to pieces,
    earth is ripped to shreds,
    earth is wobbling out of control,
Earth staggers like a drunk,
    sways like a shack in a high wind.
Its piled-up sins are too much for it.
    It collapses and won’t get up again.

21-23 That’s when God will call on the carpet
    rebel powers in the skies and
Rebel kings on earth.
    They’ll be rounded up like prisoners in a jail,
Corralled and locked up in a jail,
    and then sentenced and put to hard labor.
Shamefaced moon will cower, humiliated,
    red-faced sun will skulk, disgraced,
Because God-of-the-Angel-Armies will take over,
    ruling from Mount Zion and Jerusalem,
Splendid and glorious
    before all his leaders.

God’s Hand Rests on This Mountain

25 1-5 God, you are my God.
    I celebrate you. I praise you.
You’ve done your share of miracle-wonders,
    well-thought-out plans, solid and sure.
Here you’ve reduced the city to rubble,
    the strong city to a pile of stones.
The enemy Big City is a non-city,
    never to be a city again.
Superpowers will see it and honor you,
    brutal oppressors bow in worshipful reverence.
They’ll see that you take care of the poor,
    that you take care of poor people in trouble,
Provide a warm, dry place in bad weather,
    provide a cool place when it’s hot.
Brutal oppressors are like a winter blizzard
    and vicious foreigners like high noon in the desert.
But you, shelter from the storm and shade from the sun,
    shut the mouths of the big-mouthed bullies.

6-8 But here on this mountain, God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will throw a feast for all the people of the world,
A feast of the finest foods, a feast with vintage wines,
    a feast of seven courses, a feast lavish with gourmet desserts.
And here on this mountain, God will banish
    the pall of doom hanging over all peoples,
The shadow of doom darkening all nations.
    Yes, he’ll banish death forever.
And God will wipe the tears from every face.
    He’ll remove every sign of disgrace
From his people, wherever they are.
    Yes! God says so!

9-10 Also at that time, people will say,
    “Look at what’s happened! This is our God!
We waited for him and he showed up and saved us!
    This God, the one we waited for!
Let’s celebrate, sing the joys of his salvation.
    God’s hand rests on this mountain!”

10-12 As for the Moabites, they’ll be treated like refuse,
    waste shoveled into a cesspool.
Thrash away as they will,
    like swimmers trying to stay afloat,
They’ll sink in the sewage.
    Their pride will pull them under.
Their famous fortifications will crumble to nothing,
    those mighty walls reduced to dust.

Stretch the Borders of Life

26 1-6 At that time, this song
    will be sung in the country of Judah:
We have a strong city, Salvation City,
    built and fortified with salvation.
Throw wide the gates
    so good and true people can enter.
People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
    because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Those who lived high and mighty
    he knocked off their high horse.
He used the city built on the hill
    as fill for the marshes.
All the exploited and outcast peoples
    build their lives on the reclaimed land.

7-10 The path of right-living people is level.
    The Leveler evens the road for the right-living.
We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger
    in the path sign-posted with your decisions.
Who you are and what you’ve done
    are all we’ll ever want.
Through the night my soul longs for you.
    Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you.
When your decisions are on public display,
    everyone learns how to live right.
If the wicked are shown grace,
    they don’t seem to get it.
In the land of right living, they persist in wrong living,
    blind to the splendor of God.

11-15 You hold your hand up high, God,
    but they don’t see it.
Open their eyes to what you do,
    to see your zealous love for your people.
Shame them. Light a fire under them.
    Get the attention of these enemies of yours.
God, order a peaceful and whole life for us
    because everything we’ve done, you’ve done for us.
O God, our God, we’ve had other masters rule us,
    but you’re the only Master we’ve ever known.
The dead don’t talk,
    ghosts don’t walk,
Because you’ve said, “Enough—that’s all for you,”
    and wiped them off the books.
But the living you make larger than life.
    The more life you give, the more glory you display,
    and stretch the borders to accommodate more living!

16-18 O God, they begged you for help when they were in trouble,
    when your discipline was so heavy
    they could barely whisper a prayer.
Like a woman having a baby,
    writhing in distress, screaming her pain
    as the baby is being born,
That’s how we were because of you, O God.
    We were pregnant full-term.
We writhed in labor but bore no baby.
    We gave birth to wind.
Nothing came of our labor.
    We produced nothing living.
    We couldn’t save the world.

19 But friends, your dead will live,
    your corpses will get to their feet.
All you dead and buried,
    wake up! Sing!
Your dew is morning dew
    catching the first rays of sun,
The earth bursting with life,
    giving birth to the dead.

20-21 Come, my people, go home
    and shut yourselves in.
Go into seclusion for a while
    until the punishing wrath is past,
Because God is sure to come from his place
    to punish the wrong of the people on earth.
Earth itself will point out the bloodstains;
    it will show where the murdered have been hidden away.

Selected Grain by Grain

27 At that time God will unsheathe his sword,
    his merciless, massive, mighty sword.
He’ll punish the serpent Leviathan as it flees,
    the serpent Leviathan thrashing in flight.
He’ll kill that old dragon
    that lives in the sea.

2-5 “At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear.
    There’s something to sing about!
I, God, tend it.
    I keep it well-watered.
I keep careful watch over it
    so that no one can damage it.
I’m not angry. I care.
    Even if it gives me thistles and thornbushes,
I’ll just pull them out
    and burn them up.
Let that vine cling to me for safety,
    let it find a good and whole life with me,
    let it hold on for a good and whole life.”

The days are coming when Jacob
    shall put down roots,
Israel blossom and grow fresh branches,
    and fill the world with its fruit.

7-11 Has God knocked them to the ground
    as he knocked down those who hit them? Oh, no.
Were they killed
    as their killers were killed? Again, no.
He was hard on them all right. The exile was a harsh sentence.
    He blew them away on a fierce blast of wind.
But the good news is that through this experience
    Jacob’s guilt was taken away.
    The evidence that his sin is removed will be this:
He will tear down the alien altars,
    take them apart stone by stone,
And then crush the stones into gravel
    and clean out all the sex-and-religion shrines.
For there’s nothing left of that pretentious grandeur.
    Nobody lives there anymore. It’s unlivable.
But animals do just fine,
    browsing and bedding down.
And it’s not a bad place to get firewood.
    Dry twigs and dead branches are plentiful.
It’s the leavings of a people with no sense of God.
    So, the God who made them
Will have nothing to do with them.
    He who formed them will turn his back on them.

12-13 At that time God will thresh
    from the River Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt,
And you, people of Israel,
    will be selected grain by grain.
At that same time a great trumpet will be blown,
    calling home the exiles from Assyria,
Welcoming home the refugees from Egypt
    to come and worship God on the holy mountain, Jerusalem.