Isaiah 34-36 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Nations Will Be Judged
34 Everyone of every nation,
Trouble for Edom
5 After the sword of the Lord
6 The sword of the Lord
8 The Lord has chosen
The End of Edom
12 Edom will be called
16 In The Book of the Lord[f]
God’s Splendor Will Be Seen
35 Thirsty deserts will be glad;
God Changes Everything
3 Here is a message for all
5 The blind will see,
God’s Sacred Highway
8 A good road will be there,
10 The people the Lord has rescued
The Assyrians Surround Jerusalem
36 Hezekiah had been king of Judah for fourteen years when King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded the country and captured every walled city 2 except Jerusalem. The Assyrian king ordered his army commander to leave the city of Lachish and to take a large army to Jerusalem.
The commander went there and stood on the road near the cloth makers' shops along the canal from the upper pool. 3 Three of the king’s highest officials came out of Jerusalem to meet him. One of them was Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, who was the prime minister. The other two were Shebna, assistant to the prime minister, and Joah son of Asaph, keeper of the government records.
4 The Assyrian commander told them:
I have a message for Hezekiah from the great king of Assyria. Ask Hezekiah why he feels so sure of himself. 5 Does he think he can plan and win a war with nothing but words? Who is going to help him, now that he has turned against the king of Assyria? 6 Is he depending on Egypt and its king? That’s the same as leaning on a broken stick, and it will go right through his hand.
7 Is Hezekiah now depending on the Lord, your God? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down all except one of the Lord’s altars and places of worship?[i] Didn’t he tell the people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship at that one place?
8 The king of Assyria wants to make a bet with you people! He will give you two thousand horses, if you have enough troops to ride them. 9 How could you even defeat our lowest ranking officer, when you have to depend on Egypt for chariots and cavalry? 10 Don’t forget that it was the Lord who sent me here with orders to destroy your nation!
11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said, “Sir, we don’t want the people listening from the city wall to understand what you are saying. So please speak to us in Aramaic instead of Hebrew.”
12 The Assyrian army commander answered, “My king sent me to speak to everyone, not just to you leaders. These people will soon have to eat their own body waste and drink their own urine! And so will the three of you!”
13 Then, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, he shouted out in Hebrew:
Listen to what the great king of Assyria says! 14 Don’t be fooled by Hezekiah. He can’t save you. 15 Don’t trust him when he tells you that the Lord will protect you from the king of Assyria. 16 Stop listening to Hezekiah. Pay attention to my king. Surrender to him. He will let you keep your own vineyards, fig trees, and cisterns 17 for a while. Then he will come and take you away to a country just like yours, where you can plant vineyards and raise your own grain.
18 Hezekiah claims the Lord will save you. But don’t be fooled by him. Were any other gods able to defend their land against the king of Assyria? 19 What happened to the gods of Hamath, Arpad, and Sepharvaim? Were the gods of Samaria able to protect their land against the Assyrian forces? 20 None of these gods kept their people safe from the king of Assyria. Do you think the Lord, your God, can do any better?
21-22 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah had been warned by King Hezekiah not to answer the Assyrian commander. So they tore their clothes in sorrow and reported to Hezekiah everything the commander had said.
Colossians 2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
2 I want you to know what a struggle I am going through for you, for God’s people at Laodicea, and for all of those followers who have never met me. 2 I do it to encourage them. Then as their hearts are joined together in love, they will be wonderfully blessed with complete understanding. And they will truly know Christ. Not only is he the key to God’s mystery, 3 but all wisdom and knowledge are hidden away in him. 4 I tell you these things to keep you from being fooled by fancy talk. 5 Even though I am not with you, I keep thinking about you. I am glad to know that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.
Christ Brings Real Life
6 You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. 7 Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.
8 Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world[a] and not from Christ.
9 God lives fully in Christ. 10 And you are fully grown because you belong to Christ, who is over every power and authority. 11 Christ has also taken away your selfish desires, just as circumcision removes flesh from the body. 12 And when you were baptized, it was the same as being buried with Christ. Then you were raised to life because you had faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from death. 13 You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God’s people. But God let Christ make you[b] alive, when he forgave all our sins.
14 God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross. 15 There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory.
16 Don’t let anyone tell you what you must eat or drink. Don’t let them say that you must celebrate the New Moon festival, the Sabbath, or any other festival. 17 These things are only a shadow of what was to come. But Christ is real!
18 Don’t be cheated by people who make a show of acting humble and who worship angels.[c] They brag about seeing visions. But it is all nonsense, because their minds are filled with selfish desires. 19 They are no longer part of Christ, who is the head of the whole body. Christ gives the body its strength, and he uses its joints and muscles to hold it together, as it grows by the power of God.
Christ Brings New Life
20 You died with Christ. Now the forces of the universe[d] don’t have any power over you. Why do you live as if you had to obey such rules as, 21 “Don’t handle this. Don’t taste that. Don’t touch this.”? 22 After these things are used, they are no longer good for anything. So why be bothered with the rules that humans have made up? 23 Obeying these rules may seem to be the smart thing to do. They appear to make you love God more and to be very humble and to have control over your body. But they don’t really have any power over our desires.
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