Add parallel Print Page Options

Don’t Trust the Power of Egypt

31 You are in for trouble
    if you go to Egypt for help,
or if you depend on
an army of chariots
    or a powerful cavalry.
Instead you should depend on
and trust
the holy Lord God
    of Israel.
The Lord isn’t stupid!
He does what he promises,
    and he can bring doom.
If you are cruel yourself,
or help those who are evil,
    you will be destroyed.

The Egyptians are mere humans.
    They aren’t God.
Their horses are made of flesh;
    they can’t live forever.
When the Lord shows his power,
he will destroy the Egyptians
    and all who depend on them.
Together they will fall.

The Lord All-Powerful
    said to me,
“I will roar and attack
    like a fearless lion
not frightened by the shouts
of shepherds
trying to protect
    their sheep.
That’s how I will come down
    and fight on Mount Zion.
I, the Lord All-Powerful,
    will protect Jerusalem
like a mother bird circling
    over her nest.”

Come Back to the Lord

People of Israel, come back!
You have completely turned
    from the Lord.
The time is coming
    when you will throw away
your idols of silver and gold,
    made by your sinful hands.

The Assyrians will be killed,
but not by the swords
    of humans.
Their young men will try
    to escape,
but they will be captured
    and forced into slavery.
Their fortress[a] will fall
    when terror strikes;
their army officers
will be frightened
    and run from the battle.
This is what the Lord has said,
the Lord whose fiery furnace
    is built on Mount Zion.

Justice Will Rule

32 A king and his leaders
    will rule with justice.
They will be a place of safety
    from stormy winds,
a stream in the desert,
and a rock that gives shade
    from the heat of the sun.
Then everyone who has eyes
    will open them and see,
and those who have ears
    will pay attention.
All who are impatient
    will take time to think;
everyone who stutters
    will talk clearly.

Fools will no longer
    be highly respected,
and crooks won’t be given
    positions of honor.
Fools talk foolishness.
They always make plans
    to do sinful things,
    to lie about the Lord,
    to let the hungry starve,
and to keep water
from those
    who are thirsty.
Cruel people tell lies—
they do evil things,
    and make cruel plans
to destroy the poor and needy,
even when they beg
    for justice.
But helpful people
can always be trusted
    to make helpful plans.

Punishment for the Women of Jerusalem

Listen to what I say,
you women
who are carefree
    and careless!
10 You may not have worries now,
    but in about a year,
the grape harvest will fail,
    and you will tremble.

11 Shake and shudder,
    you women without a care!
Strip off your clothes—
    put on sackcloth.
12 Slap your breasts in sorrow
    because of what happened
to the fruitful fields
    and vineyards,
13 and to the happy homes
    in Jerusalem.
The land of my people
    is covered with thorns.

14 The palace will be deserted,
    the crowded city empty.
Fortresses and towers
    will forever become
playgrounds for wild donkeys
    and pastures for sheep.

God’s Spirit Makes the Difference

15 When the Spirit is given to us
    from heaven,
deserts will become orchards
    thick as fertile forests.
16 Honesty and justice
    will prosper there,
17 and justice will produce
    lasting peace and security.

18 You, the Lord’s people,
will live in peace,
    calm and secure,
19 even if hailstones
flatten
    forests and cities.
20 You will have God’s blessing,
as you plant your crops
    beside streams,
while your donkeys and cattle
    roam freely about.

Jerusalem Will Be Safe

33 You defeated my people.

    Now you’re in for trouble!
You’ve never been destroyed,
    but you will be destroyed;
you’ve never been betrayed,
    but you will be betrayed.
When you have finished
    destroying and betraying,
you will be destroyed
    and betrayed in return.

Please, Lord, be kind to us!
    We depend on you.
Make us strong each morning,
and come to save us
    when we are in trouble.
Nations scatter when you roar
    and show your greatness.[b]
We attack our enemies
    like swarms of locusts;[c]
we take everything
    that belongs to them.[d]

You, Lord, are above all others,
    and you live in the heavens.
You have brought justice
    and fairness to Jerusalem;
you are the foundation
    on which we stand today.
You always save us and give
    true wisdom and knowledge.
Nothing means more to us[e]
    than obeying you.

The Lord Will Do Something

Listen! Our bravest soldiers
are running through the streets,
    screaming for help.[f]
Our messengers hoped for peace,
    but came home crying.
No one travels anymore;
    every road is empty.
Treaties are broken,
and no respect is shown
    to any who keep promises.[g]
Fields are dry and barren;
Mount Lebanon wilts
    with shame.
Sharon Valley is a desert;
the forests of Bashan and Carmel
    have lost their leaves.

10 But the Lord says,
“Now I will do something
    and be greatly praised.
11 Your deeds are straw
that will be set on fire
    by your very own breath.
12 You will be burned to ashes
    like thorns in a fire.
13 Everyone, both far and near,
come look at what I have done.
    See my mighty power!”

Punishment and Rewards

14 Those terrible sinners
on Mount Zion tremble
    as they ask in fear,
“How can we possibly live
where a raging fire
    never stops burning?”

15 But there will be rewards
for those who live right
    and tell the truth,
for those who refuse
    to take money by force
    or accept bribes,
for all who hate murder
    and violent crimes.
16 They will live in a fortress
    high on a rocky cliff,
where they will have food
    and plenty of water.

The Lord Is Our King

17 With your own eyes
you will see the glorious King;
    you will see his kingdom
    reaching far and wide.
18 Then you will ask yourself,
    “Where are those officials
who terrified us and forced us
    to pay such heavy taxes?”
19 You will never again have to see
    the proud people who spoke
a strange and foreign language
    you could not understand.

20 Look to Mount Zion
where we celebrate
    our religious festivals.
You will see Jerusalem,
    secure as a tent with pegs
that cannot be pulled up
and fastened with ropes
    that can never be broken.
21 Our wonderful Lord
    will be with us!
There will be deep rivers
and wide streams
    safe from enemy ships.[h]

The Lord Is Our Judge

22 The Lord is our judge
    and our ruler;
the Lord is our king
    and will keep us safe.
23 But your nation[i] is a ship
    with its rigging loose,
its mast shaky,
    and its sail not spread.

Someday even you that are lame
will take everything you want
    from your enemies.
24 The Lord will forgive your sins,
and none of you will say,
    “I feel sick.”

The Nations Will Be Judged

34 Everyone of every nation,
    the entire earth,
and all of its creatures,
    come here and listen!
The Lord is terribly angry
    with the nations;
he has condemned them
    to be slaughtered.
Their dead bodies will be left
    to rot and stink;
their blood will flow
    down the mountains.
Each star[j] will disappear—
the sky will roll up
    like a scroll.[k]
Everything in the sky
    will dry up and wilt
like leaves on a vine
    or fruit on a tree.

Trouble for Edom

After the sword of the Lord
has done what it wants
    to the skies above,[l]
it will come down on Edom,
the nation that the Lord
    has doomed for destruction.

The sword of the Lord
is covered with blood
    from lambs and goats,
together with fat
    from kidneys of rams.
This is because the Lord
    will slaughter many people
and make a sacrifice of them
    in the city of Bozrah
and everywhere else
    in Edom.
Edom’s leaders are wild oxen.
They are powerful bulls,
    but they will die
    with the others.
Their country will be soaked
    with their blood,
and its soil made fertile
    with their fat.

The Lord has chosen
    the year and the day,
when he will take revenge
    and come to Zion’s defense.
Edom’s streams will turn into tar
    and its soil into sulfur—
then the whole country
    will go up in flames.
10 It will burn night and day
    and never stop smoking.
Edom will be a desert,
    generation after generation;
no one will ever travel
    through that land.
11 Owls, hawks, and wild animals[m]
    will make it their home.
God will leave it in ruins,
    merely a pile of rocks.

The End of Edom

12 Edom will be called
    “Kingdom of Nothing.”
Its rulers will also be nothing.
13 Its palaces and fortresses
    will be covered with thorns;
only wolves and ostriches
    will make their home there.
14 Wildcats and hyenas
    will hunt together,
demons will scream to demons,
and creatures of the night
    will live among the ruins.
15 Owls will nest there
to raise their young
    among its shadows,[n]
while families of buzzards
    circle around.

16 In The Book of the Lord[o]
you can search
and find
    where it is written,
“The Lord brought together
    all of his creatures
by the power of his Spirit.
    Not one is missing.”
17 The Lord has decided
    where they each should live;
they will be there forever,
    generation after generation.

God’s Splendor Will Be Seen

35 Thirsty deserts will be glad;
barren lands will celebrate
    and blossom with flowers.
Deserts will bloom everywhere
    and sing joyful songs.
They will be as majestic
    as Mount Lebanon,
as glorious as Mount Carmel
    or Sharon Valley.
Everyone will see
the wonderful splendor
    of the Lord our God.

God Changes Everything

Here is a message for all
who are weak,
trembling,
    and worried:
“Cheer up! Don’t be afraid.
Your God is coming
    to punish your enemies.
God will take revenge on them
    and rescue you.”

The blind will see,
and the ears of the deaf
    will be healed.
Those who were lame
    will leap around like deer;
tongues once silent
    will begin to shout.
Water will rush
    through the desert.
Scorching sand
    will turn into a lake,
and thirsty ground
    will flow with fountains.
Grass will grow in wetlands,
where packs of wild dogs
    once made their home.[p]

God’s Sacred Highway

A good road will be there,
and it will be named
    “God’s Sacred Highway.”
It will be for God’s people;
no one unfit to worship God
    will walk on that road.
And no fools can travel
    on that highway.[q]
No lions or other wild animals
    will come near that road;
only those the Lord has saved
    will travel there.

10 The people the Lord has rescued
will come back singing
    as they enter Zion.
Happiness will be a crown
    they will always wear.
They will celebrate and shout
because all sorrows
and worries
    will be gone far away.

Footnotes

  1. 31.9 fortress: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which may refer to the Assyrian god or king, or to their army.
  2. 33.3 greatness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
  3. 33.4 locusts: Insects like grasshoppers that travel in swarms and cause great damage to crops.
  4. 33.4 them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
  5. 33.6 Nothing. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 33.7 Listen. . . help: Or “The Lord heard our shouts and will come to help us.”
  7. 33.8 to any. . . promises: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the Standard Hebrew Text “to those in the cities.”
  8. 33.21 safe. . . ships: This probably means that Jerusalem will have a lot of water, without the danger of attacks from enemy ships.
  9. 33.23 your nation: Possibly Judah or Assyria.
  10. 34.4 star: Stars were worshiped as gods.
  11. 34.4 scroll: A roll of paper or specially prepared leather used for writing on.
  12. 34.5 has done. . . above: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “appears in the skies above.”
  13. 34.11 Owls. . . animals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. 34.15 Owls. . . shadows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  15. 34.16 The Book of the Lord: The book that Isaiah refers to is unknown.
  16. 35.7 where. . . home: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  17. 35.8 And. . . highway: Or “And not even a fool can miss that highway.”