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Isaiah 31-35

Woe to Those Who Rely on Egypt

31 Woe(A) to those who go down to Egypt(B) for help,
    who rely on horses,(C)
who trust in the multitude of their chariots(D)
    and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One(E) of Israel,
    or seek help from the Lord.(F)
Yet he too is wise(G) and can bring disaster;(H)
    he does not take back his words.(I)
He will rise up against that wicked nation,(J)
    against those who help evildoers.
But the Egyptians(K) are mere mortals and not God;(L)
    their horses(M) are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,(N)
    those who help will stumble,
    those who are helped(O) will fall;
    all will perish together.(P)

This is what the Lord says to me:

“As a lion(Q) growls,
    a great lion over its prey—
and though a whole band of shepherds(R)
    is called together against it,
it is not frightened by their shouts
    or disturbed by their clamor(S)
so the Lord Almighty will come down(T)
    to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
Like birds hovering(U) overhead,
    the Lord Almighty will shield(V) Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver(W) it,
    he will ‘pass over’(X) it and will rescue it.”

Return,(Y) you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted(Z) against. For in that day(AA) every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold(AB) your sinful hands have made.(AC)

“Assyria(AD) will fall by no human sword;
    a sword, not of mortals, will devour(AE) them.
They will flee before the sword
    and their young men will be put to forced labor.(AF)
Their stronghold(AG) will fall because of terror;
    at the sight of the battle standard(AH) their commanders will panic,(AI)
declares the Lord,
    whose fire(AJ) is in Zion,
    whose furnace(AK) is in Jerusalem.

The Kingdom of Righteousness

32 See, a king(AL) will reign in righteousness
    and rulers will rule with justice.(AM)
Each one will be like a shelter(AN) from the wind
    and a refuge from the storm,(AO)
like streams of water(AP) in the desert(AQ)
    and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,(AR)
    and the ears(AS) of those who hear will listen.
The fearful heart will know and understand,(AT)
    and the stammering tongue(AU) will be fluent and clear.
No longer will the fool(AV) be called noble
    nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
For fools speak folly,(AW)
    their hearts are bent on evil:(AX)
They practice ungodliness(AY)
    and spread error(AZ) concerning the Lord;
the hungry they leave empty(BA)
    and from the thirsty they withhold water.
Scoundrels use wicked methods,(BB)
    they make up evil schemes(BC)
to destroy the poor with lies,
    even when the plea of the needy(BD) is just.(BE)
But the noble make noble plans,
    and by noble deeds(BF) they stand.(BG)

The Women of Jerusalem

You women(BH) who are so complacent,
    rise up and listen(BI) to me;
you daughters who feel secure,(BJ)
    hear what I have to say!
10 In little more than a year(BK)
    you who feel secure will tremble;
the grape harvest will fail,(BL)
    and the harvest of fruit will not come.
11 Tremble,(BM) you complacent women;
    shudder, you daughters who feel secure!(BN)
Strip off your fine clothes(BO)
    and wrap yourselves in rags.(BP)
12 Beat your breasts(BQ) for the pleasant fields,
    for the fruitful vines(BR)
13 and for the land of my people,
    a land overgrown with thorns and briers(BS)
yes, mourn(BT) for all houses of merriment
    and for this city of revelry.(BU)
14 The fortress(BV) will be abandoned,
    the noisy city deserted;(BW)
citadel and watchtower(BX) will become a wasteland forever,
    the delight of donkeys,(BY) a pasture for flocks,(BZ)
15 till the Spirit(CA) is poured on us from on high,
    and the desert becomes a fertile field,(CB)
    and the fertile field seems like a forest.(CC)
16 The Lord’s justice(CD) will dwell in the desert,(CE)
    his righteousness(CF) live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness(CG) will be peace;(CH)
    its effect will be quietness and confidence(CI) forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful(CJ) dwelling places,
    in secure homes,(CK)
    in undisturbed places of rest.(CL)
19 Though hail(CM) flattens the forest(CN)
    and the city is leveled(CO) completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
    sowing(CP) your seed by every stream,(CQ)
    and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.(CR)

Distress and Help

33 Woe(CS) to you, destroyer,
    you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer,
    you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying,
    you will be destroyed;(CT)
when you stop betraying,
    you will be betrayed.(CU)

Lord, be gracious(CV) to us;
    we long for you.
Be our strength(CW) every morning,
    our salvation(CX) in time of distress.(CY)
At the uproar of your army,(CZ) the peoples flee;(DA)
    when you rise up,(DB) the nations scatter.
Your plunder,(DC) O nations, is harvested(DD) as by young locusts;(DE)
    like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted,(DF) for he dwells on high;(DG)
    he will fill Zion with his justice(DH) and righteousness.(DI)
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
    a rich store of salvation(DJ) and wisdom and knowledge;
    the fear(DK) of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a](DL)

Look, their brave men(DM) cry aloud in the streets;
    the envoys(DN) of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
    no travelers(DO) are on the roads.(DP)
The treaty is broken,(DQ)
    its witnesses[b] are despised,
    no one is respected.
The land dries up(DR) and wastes away,
    Lebanon(DS) is ashamed and withers;(DT)
Sharon(DU) is like the Arabah,
    and Bashan(DV) and Carmel(DW) drop their leaves.

10 “Now will I arise,(DX)” says the Lord.
    “Now will I be exalted;(DY)
    now will I be lifted up.
11 You conceive(DZ) chaff,
    you give birth(EA) to straw;
    your breath is a fire(EB) that consumes you.
12 The peoples will be burned to ashes;(EC)
    like cut thornbushes(ED) they will be set ablaze.(EE)

13 You who are far away,(EF) hear(EG) what I have done;
    you who are near, acknowledge my power!
14 The sinners(EH) in Zion are terrified;
    trembling(EI) grips the godless:
“Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?(EJ)
    Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”
15 Those who walk righteously(EK)
    and speak what is right,(EL)
who reject gain from extortion(EM)
    and keep their hands from accepting bribes,(EN)
who stop their ears against plots of murder
    and shut their eyes(EO) against contemplating evil—
16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,(EP)
    whose refuge(EQ) will be the mountain fortress.(ER)
Their bread will be supplied,
    and water will not fail(ES) them.

17 Your eyes will see the king(ET) in his beauty(EU)
    and view a land that stretches afar.(EV)
18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:(EW)
    “Where is that chief officer?
Where is the one who took the revenue?
    Where is the officer in charge of the towers?(EX)
19 You will see those arrogant people(EY) no more,
    people whose speech is obscure,
    whose language is strange and incomprehensible.(EZ)

20 Look on Zion,(FA) the city of our festivals;
    your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a peaceful abode,(FB) a tent(FC) that will not be moved;(FD)
its stakes will never be pulled up,
    nor any of its ropes broken.
21 There the Lord will be our Mighty(FE) One.
    It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.(FF)
No galley with oars will ride them,
    no mighty ship(FG) will sail them.
22 For the Lord is our judge,(FH)
    the Lord is our lawgiver,(FI)
the Lord is our king;(FJ)
    it is he who will save(FK) us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose:
    The mast is not held secure,
    the sail is not spread.
Then an abundance of spoils will be divided
    and even the lame(FL) will carry off plunder.(FM)
24 No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”;(FN)
    and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.(FO)

Judgment Against the Nations

34 Come near, you nations, and listen;(FP)
    pay attention, you peoples!(FQ)
Let the earth(FR) hear, and all that is in it,
    the world, and all that comes out of it!(FS)
The Lord is angry with all nations;
    his wrath(FT) is on all their armies.
He will totally destroy[c](FU) them,
    he will give them over to slaughter.(FV)
Their slain(FW) will be thrown out,
    their dead bodies(FX) will stink;(FY)
    the mountains will be soaked with their blood.(FZ)
All the stars in the sky will be dissolved(GA)
    and the heavens rolled up(GB) like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall(GC)
    like withered(GD) leaves from the vine,
    like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

My sword(GE) has drunk its fill in the heavens;
    see, it descends in judgment on Edom,(GF)
    the people I have totally destroyed.(GG)
The sword(GH) of the Lord is bathed in blood,
    it is covered with fat—
the blood of lambs and goats,
    fat from the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice(GI) in Bozrah(GJ)
    and a great slaughter(GK) in the land of Edom.
And the wild oxen(GL) will fall with them,
    the bull calves and the great bulls.(GM)
Their land will be drenched with blood,(GN)
    and the dust will be soaked with fat.

For the Lord has a day(GO) of vengeance,(GP)
    a year of retribution,(GQ) to uphold Zion’s cause.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
    her dust into burning sulfur;(GR)
    her land will become blazing pitch!
10 It will not be quenched(GS) night or day;
    its smoke will rise forever.(GT)
From generation to generation(GU) it will lie desolate;(GV)
    no one will ever pass through it again.
11 The desert owl[d](GW) and screech owl[e] will possess it;
    the great owl[f] and the raven(GX) will nest there.
God will stretch out over Edom(GY)
    the measuring line of chaos(GZ)
    and the plumb line(HA) of desolation.
12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,
    all her princes(HB) will vanish(HC) away.
13 Thorns(HD) will overrun her citadels,
    nettles and brambles her strongholds.(HE)
She will become a haunt for jackals,(HF)
    a home for owls.(HG)
14 Desert creatures(HH) will meet with hyenas,(HI)
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures(HJ) will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest.
15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
    she will hatch them, and care for her young
    under the shadow of her wings;(HK)
there also the falcons(HL) will gather,
    each with its mate.

16 Look in the scroll(HM) of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,(HN)
    not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth(HO) that has given the order,(HP)
    and his Spirit will gather them together.
17 He allots their portions;(HQ)
    his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it forever
    and dwell there from generation to generation.(HR)

Joy of the Redeemed

35 The desert(HS) and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.(HT)
Like the crocus,(HU) it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.(HV)
The glory of Lebanon(HW) will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel(HX) and Sharon;(HY)
they will see the glory(HZ) of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.(IA)

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees(IB) that give way;
say(IC) to those with fearful hearts,(ID)
    “Be strong, do not fear;(IE)
your God will come,(IF)
    he will come with vengeance;(IG)
with divine retribution
    he will come to save(IH) you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened(II)
    and the ears of the deaf(IJ) unstopped.
Then will the lame(IK) leap like a deer,(IL)
    and the mute tongue(IM) shout for joy.(IN)
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams(IO) in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground(IP) bubbling springs.(IQ)
In the haunts where jackals(IR) once lay,
    grass and reeds(IS) and papyrus will grow.

And a highway(IT) will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;(IU)
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean(IV) will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion(IW) will be there,
    nor any ravenous beast;(IX)
    they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed(IY) will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued(IZ) will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;(JA)
    everlasting joy(JB) will crown their heads.
Gladness(JC) and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.(JD)

New International Version (NIV)

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