31 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who go down to Egypt for help, Who rely on horses And trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek and consult the Lord! 2 Yet He is also wise and will bring disaster, And does not retract His words, But will arise against the house of evildoers And against the helpers of those who do evil. 3 Now the Egyptians are men and not God, And their horses are flesh and not spirit; And the Lord will stretch out His hand, And he (Egypt) who helps will stumble, And he (Judah) who is helped will fall, And all of them will perish together.
4 For so the Lord says to me,
“As the lion or the young lion growls over his prey, And though a large group of shepherds is called out against him He will not be terrified at their voice nor cringe at their noise, So the Lord of hosts will come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill.” 5 Like flying birds, so will the Lord of hosts protect Jerusalem; He will protect and save it, He will pass over and rescue it.
6 Return to Him from whom you have so deeply defected, O sons of Israel. 7 For in that day every man will reject and throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold [in disgust], which your own hands have sinfully made for you.
8 Then the Assyrian will fall by a sword not of man, And a sword not of man will devour him. And he will flee from the sword [of God], And his young men will become forced labor. 9 “His rock [his stronghold] will pass away because of panic, And his princes will be terrified at the [sight of the battle] standard,” Declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
The Glorious Future
32 Behold, a [a]King will reign in righteousness, And princes will rule with justice. 2 Each [one of them] will be like a hiding place from the wind And a shelter from the storm, Like streams of water in a dry land, Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched and weary land [to those who turn to them]. 3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded, And the ears of those who hear will listen attentively. 4 The heart (mind) of those who act impulsively will discern the truth, And the tongue of the stammerers will hurry to speak clearly. 5 The fool (the good-for-nothing) will no longer be called noble, Nor the rogue said to be generous. 6 For the fool speaks nonsense, And his heart (mind) plans wickedness: To practice ungodliness and to speak error concerning the Lord, To keep the craving of the hungry unsatisfied And to deprive the thirsty of drink. 7 As for the rogue, his weapons are evil; He conceives wicked plans To ruin the poor with lies, Even when the plea of the needy one is just and right. 8 But the noble man conceives noble and magnificent things; And he stands by what is noble and magnificent.
9 Rise up, you women who are carefree, And hear my voice, You confident and unsuspecting daughters! Listen to what I am saying. 10 In little more than a year You will tremble [with anxiety], you unsuspecting and complacent women; For the vintage has ended, And the harvest will not come. 11 Tremble, you women who are carefree; Tremble with fear, you complacent ones! Strip, undress and wear sackcloth on your waist [in grief], 12 Beat your breasts [in mourning] for the beautiful fields, for the fruitful vine, 13 For the land of my people growing over with thorns and briars— Yes, [mourn] for all the houses of joy in the joyous city. 14 For the palace has been abandoned, the populated city deserted; The hill [of the city] and the watchtower have become caves [for wild animals] forever, A delight for wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks, 15 Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fertile field, And the fertile field is valued as a forest. 16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness will live in the fertile field. 17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, And the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. 18 Then my people will live in a peaceful surrounding, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places. 19 But it will hail, when the forest comes down, And the [capital] city will fall in utter humiliation. 20 Blessed (happy, fortunate) are you who cast your seed upon all waters [[b]when the river overflows its banks and irrigates the land], You who allow the ox and the donkey to roam freely.
The Judgment of God
33 Woe (judgment is coming) to you, O destroyer, You who were not destroyed, And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him. As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; As soon as you stop dealing treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you. 2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited [expectantly] for You. Be the arm of Your servants every morning [that is, their strength and their defense], Our salvation also in the time of trouble. 3 At the sound of the tumult, the peoples flee; At the lifting up of Yourself nations scatter. 4 Your spoil [of Israel’s foe] is gathered [by the people of Jerusalem] as the caterpillar gathers; As locusts swarming so people swarm on it. 5 The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. 6 And He will be the security and stability of your times, A treasure of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is your treasure. 7 Now look, their brave men shout outside; The ambassadors [seeking a treaty] of peace weep bitterly. 8 The highways are deserted, the traveler has ceased [to appear]. The enemy has broken the covenant, he has rejected the [c]cities, He has no regard for [any] man. 9 The land mourns and dries out, Lebanon is shamed and [its lush foliage] withers; [d]Sharon is like a desert plain, And [e]Bashan and [Mount] Carmel shake off their leaves. 10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord. “Now I will be exalted; now I will be lifted up. 11 “You have conceived dried grass, you will give birth to stubble; My breath is a fire that will consume you. 12 “The peoples will be burned to lime, Like thorns cut down which are burned in the fire.
13 “You who are far away, hear what I have done; And you who are near, acknowledge My might.” 14 The sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. [They cry] “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with everlasting burning?” 15 He who walks righteously and speaks with integrity, Who rejects gain from fraud and from oppression, Who shakes his hand free from the taking of bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed And shuts his eyes to avoid looking upon evil; 16 He will dwell on the heights, His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks, His bread will be given him; His water will be permanent.
17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see a far-distant land. 18 Your mind will meditate on the terror [asking]: “Where is he who counts? Where is he who weighs [the tribute]? Where is he who counts the towers?” 19 You will no longer see the fierce and insolent people, A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends, Of a strange and stammering tongue which no one understands. 20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts and observances; Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a undisturbed settlement, A tent which will not be taken down; Not one of its stakes will ever be pulled up, Nor any of its ropes be severed. 21 But there the mighty and magnificent Lord will be for us A place of broad rivers and streams, Where no oar-driven boat will go, And on which no mighty and stately ship will pass. 22 For the Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our Ruler, The Lord is our King; He will save us. 23 Your ship’s ropes (tackle) hang loose; They cannot hold the base of their mast firmly, Nor spread out the sail. Then an abundance of spoil and plunder will be divided; Even the lame will take the plunder. 24 And no inhabitant [of Zion] will say, “I am sick”; The people who dwell there will be forgiven their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing].
God’s Wrath against Nations
34 Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples! Let the earth and all that is in it hear, and the world and all that comes forth from it. 2 For the Lord is angry at all the nations, And His wrath is against all their armies; He has [f]utterly doomed them, He has given them over to slaughter. 3 So their slain will be thrown out, And the stench of their corpses will rise, And the mountains will flow with their blood. 4 All the host of heaven will be dissolved, And the skies will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts [the stars and the planets] will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, And as a fig withers from the fig tree. 5 For My sword is satiated [with blood] in heaven; Indeed, it will come down for judgment on Edom And on the people whom I have doomed for destruction. 6 The sword of the Lord is filled with blood [from sacrifices], It drips with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah (Edom’s capital city) And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7 Wild oxen will also fall with them And the young bulls with the strong bulls; And their land will be soaked with blood, And their dust made greasy with fat. 8 For the Lord has a day of vengeance, A year of retribution for the cause of Zion. 9 The streams [of Edom] will be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone, And its land will become burning pitch. 10 The burning will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will lie in ruins; No one will ever again pass through it. 11 But the pelican and the porcupine will take possession of it; The owl and the raven will dwell in it. And He will stretch over it (Edom) the measuring line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness. 12 Its nobles—there is no one there Whom they may proclaim king— And all its princes will be nothing. 13 Thorns will come up in its fortified palaces, Nettles and brambles in its fortified cities; It will be a haunt for jackals, An abode for ostriches. 14 The creatures of the desert will encounter jackals And the [g]hairy goat will call to its kind; Indeed, [h]Lilith (night demon) will settle there And find herself a place of rest. 15 There the arrow snake will make her nest and lay her eggs, And hatch them and gather her young under her protection; Indeed, the birds of prey will be gathered there [to breed], Every one with its own kind.
16 Seek from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these [creatures] will be missing; None will lack its mate. For His mouth has commanded, And His Spirit has gathered them. 17 The Lord has cast the lot for them, And His hand has divided and apportioned [i]Edom to the wild beasts by measuring-line. They will possess it forever; From generation to generation they will dwell in it.
Zion’s Joyful Future
35 The wilderness and the dry land will be glad; The Arabah (desert) will shout in exultation and blossom Like the [j]autumn crocus. 2 It will blossom abundantly And rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, The majesty of [Mount] Carmel and [the plain] of Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty and splendor of our God. 3 Encourage the exhausted, and make staggering knees firm. 4 Say to those with an anxious and panic-stricken heart, “Be strong, fear not! Indeed, your God will come with vengeance [for the ungodly]; The retribution of God will come, But He will save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the desert. 7 And the burning sand (mirage) will become a pool [of water] And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, [k]where they lay resting, Grass becomes reeds and [l]rushes. 8 A highway will be there, and a roadway; And it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for those who walk on the way [the redeemed]; And fools will not wander on it. 9 No lion will be there, Nor will any predatory animal come up on it; They will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there. 10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return And come to Zion with shouts of jubilation, And everlasting joy will be upon their heads; They will find joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 32:1The Messianic age is again in view (Is 9:7; 11:4; 16:5; 33:17).
Isaiah 32:20This verse is challenging to interpret; the ancient rabbis allegorized it, interpreting the sowing as acts of charity and the waters as the Torah.
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