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Isaiah 30-31New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Futility of Reliance on Egypt

30 Oh, rebellious children, says the Lord,
who carry out a plan, but not mine;
who make an alliance, but against my will,
    adding sin to sin;
who set out to go down to Egypt
    without asking for my counsel,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh,
    and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt;
Therefore the protection of Pharaoh shall become your shame,
    and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt your humiliation.
For though his officials are at Zoan
    and his envoys reach Hanes,
everyone comes to shame
    through a people that cannot profit them,
that brings neither help nor profit,
    but shame and disgrace.

An oracle concerning the animals of the Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and distress,
    of lioness and roaring[a] lion,
    of viper and flying serpent,
they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
    and their treasures on the humps of camels,
    to a people that cannot profit them.
For Egypt’s help is worthless and empty,
    therefore I have called her,
    “Rahab who sits still.”[b]

A Rebellious People

Go now, write it before them on a tablet,
    and inscribe it in a book,
so that it may be for the time to come
    as a witness forever.
For they are a rebellious people,
    faithless children,
children who will not hear
    the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, “Do not see”;
    and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
    prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
    let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
Because you reject this word,
    and put your trust in oppression and deceit,
    and rely on them;
13 therefore this iniquity shall become for you
    like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
    whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
    that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a sherd is found
    for taking fire from the hearth,
    or dipping water out of the cistern.

15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
In returning and rest you shall be saved;
    in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
But you refused 16 and said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”—
    therefore you shall flee!
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”—
    therefore your pursuers shall be swift!
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
    at the threat of five you shall flee,
until you are left
    like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
    like a signal on a hill.

God’s Promise to Zion

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
    blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, “Away with you!”

23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24 and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Judgment on Assyria

27 See, the name of the Lord comes from far away,
    burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;[c]
his lips are full of indignation,
    and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
    that reaches up to the neck—
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
    and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads them astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and tempest and hailstones. 31 The Assyrian will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the staff of punishment that the Lord lays upon him will be to the sound of timbrels and lyres; battling with brandished arm he will fight with him. 33 For his burning place[d] has long been prepared; truly it is made ready for the king,[e] its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Alliance with Egypt Is Futile

31 Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help
    and who rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
    and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
    or consult the Lord!
Yet he too is wise and brings disaster;
    he does not call back his words,
but will rise against the house of the evildoers,
    and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are human, and not God;
    their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall,
    and they will all perish together.

For thus the Lord said to me,
As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey,
    and—when a band of shepherds is called out against it—
is not terrified by their shouting
    or daunted at their noise,
so the Lord of hosts will come down
    to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.
Like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts
    will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it,
    he will spare and rescue it.

Turn back to him whom you[f] have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

“Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals;
    and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him;
he shall flee from the sword,
    and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
His rock shall pass away in terror,
    and his officers desert the standard in panic,”
says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion,
    and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 30:6 Cn: Heb from them
  2. Isaiah 30:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Isaiah 30:27 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Isaiah 30:33 Or Topheth
  5. Isaiah 30:33 Or Molech
  6. Isaiah 31:6 Heb they
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Philippians 4New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

Exhortations

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion,[b] help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice[c] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.[d] Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved,[e] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about[f] these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Acknowledgment of the Philippians’ Gift

10 I rejoice[g] in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it.[h] 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings and Benediction

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The friends[i] who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor’s household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.[j]

Footnotes:

  1. Philippians 4:1 Gk my brothers
  2. Philippians 4:3 Or loyal Syzygus
  3. Philippians 4:4 Or Farewell
  4. Philippians 4:4 Or Farewell
  5. Philippians 4:8 Gk brothers
  6. Philippians 4:8 Gk take account of
  7. Philippians 4:10 Gk I rejoiced
  8. Philippians 4:10 Gk lacks to show it
  9. Philippians 4:21 Gk brothers
  10. Philippians 4:23 Other ancient authorities add Amen
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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