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Isaiah 1:1 - Isaiah 13:22 (New Living Translation)

Isaiah 1-13

These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.[a]

A Message for Rebellious Judah

Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth!
    This is what the Lord says:
“The children I raised and cared for
    have rebelled against me.
Even an ox knows its owner,
    and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—
but Israel doesn’t know its master.
    My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
Oh, what a sinful nation they are—
    loaded down with a burden of guilt.
They are evil people,
    corrupt children who have rejected the Lord.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel
    and turned their backs on him.

Why do you continue to invite punishment?
    Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured,
    and your heart is sick.
You are battered from head to foot—
    covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—
    without any soothing ointments or bandages.
Your country lies in ruins,
    and your towns are burned.
Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes
    and destroy everything they see.
Beautiful Jerusalem[b] stands abandoned
    like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard,
like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest,
    like a helpless city under siege.
If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    had not spared a few of us,[c]
we would have been wiped out like Sodom,
    destroyed like Gomorrah.

10 Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.”
    Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
11 “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?”
    says the Lord.
“I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of fattened cattle.
I get no pleasure from the blood
    of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to worship me,
    who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
13 Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
    the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
    and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
    I want no more of your pious meetings.
14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
    They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
    Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
    for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16 Wash yourselves and be clean!
    Get your sins out of my sight.
    Give up your evil ways.
17 Learn to do good.
    Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
    Defend the cause of orphans.
    Fight for the rights of widows.

18 “Come now, let’s settle this,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
    I will make them as white as wool.
19 If you will only obey me,
    you will have plenty to eat.
20 But if you turn away and refuse to listen,
    you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Unfaithful Jerusalem

21 See how Jerusalem, once so faithful,
    has become a prostitute.
Once the home of justice and righteousness,
    she is now filled with murderers.
22 Once like pure silver,
    you have become like worthless slag.
Once so pure,
    you are now like watered-down wine.
23 Your leaders are rebels,
    the companions of thieves.
All of them love bribes
    and demand payoffs,
but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans
    or fight for the rights of widows.

24 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    the Mighty One of Israel, says,
“I will take revenge on my enemies
    and pay back my foes!
25 I will raise my fist against you.
    I will melt you down and skim off your slag.
    I will remove all your impurities.
26 Then I will give you good judges again
    and wise counselors like you used to have.
Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice
    and the Faithful City.”

27 Zion will be restored by justice;
    those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed,
    and those who desert the Lord will be consumed.

29 You will be ashamed of your idol worship
    in groves of sacred oaks.
You will blush because you worshiped
    in gardens dedicated to idols.
30 You will be like a great tree with withered leaves,
    like a garden without water.
31 The strongest among you will disappear like straw;
    their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire.
They and their evil works will burn up together,
    and no one will be able to put out the fire.

The Lord’s Future Reign

This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
    will be the highest of all—
    the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
    and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
    and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
    his word will go out from Jerusalem.
The Lord will mediate between nations
    and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
    nor train for war anymore.

A Warning of Judgment

Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord!
For the Lord has rejected his people,
    the descendants of Jacob,
because they have filled their land with practices from the East
    and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do.
    They have made alliances with pagans.
Israel is full of silver and gold;
    there is no end to its treasures.
Their land is full of warhorses;
    there is no end to its chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
    the people worship things they have made
    with their own hands.
So now they will be humbled,
    and all will be brought low—
    do not forgive them.
10 Crawl into caves in the rocks.
    Hide in the dust
from the terror of the Lord
    and the glory of his majesty.
11 Human pride will be brought down,
    and human arrogance will be humbled.
Only the Lord will be exalted
    on that day of judgment.

12 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    has a day of reckoning.
He will punish the proud and mighty
    and bring down everything that is exalted.
13 He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon
    and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14 He will level all the high mountains
    and all the lofty hills.
15 He will break down every high tower
    and every fortified wall.
16 He will destroy all the great trading ships[d]
    and every magnificent vessel.
17 Human pride will be humbled,
    and human arrogance will be brought down.
Only the Lord will be exalted
    on that day of judgment.

18 Idols will completely disappear.
19 When the Lord rises to shake the earth,
    his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground.
They will hide in caves in the rocks
    from the terror of the Lord
    and the glory of his majesty.
20 On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols
    they made for themselves to worship.
They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21     while they crawl away into caverns
    and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs.
They will try to escape the terror of the Lord
    and the glory of his majesty
    as he rises to shake the earth.
22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans.
    They are as frail as breath.
    What good are they?

Judgment against Judah

The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    will take away from Jerusalem and Judah
everything they depend on:
    every bit of bread
    and every drop of water,
all their heroes and soldiers,
    judges and prophets,
    fortune-tellers and elders,
army officers and high officials,
    advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.

I will make boys their leaders,
    and toddlers their rulers.
People will oppress each other—
    man against man,
    neighbor against neighbor.
Young people will insult their elders,
    and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable.

In those days a man will say to his brother,
“Since you have a coat, you be our leader!
    Take charge of this heap of ruins!”
But he will reply,
    “No! I can’t help.
I don’t have any extra food or clothes.
    Don’t put me in charge!”

For Jerusalem will stumble,
    and Judah will fall,
because they speak out against the Lord and refuse to obey him.
    They provoke him to his face.
The very look on their faces gives them away.
    They display their sin like the people of Sodom
    and don’t even try to hide it.
They are doomed!
    They have brought destruction upon themselves.

10 Tell the godly that all will be well for them.
    They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned!
11 But the wicked are doomed,
    for they will get exactly what they deserve.

12 Childish leaders oppress my people,
    and women rule over them.
O my people, your leaders mislead you;
    they send you down the wrong road.

13 The Lord takes his place in court
    and presents his case against his people.[e]
14 The Lord comes forward to pronounce judgment
    on the elders and rulers of his people:
“You have ruined Israel, my vineyard.
    Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor.
15 How dare you crush my people,
    grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?”
    demands the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

A Warning to Jerusalem

16 The Lord says, “Beautiful Zion[f] is haughty:
craning her elegant neck,
    flirting with her eyes,
walking with dainty steps,
    tinkling her ankle bracelets.
17 So the Lord will send scabs on her head;
    the Lord will make beautiful Zion bald.”

18 On that day of judgment
    the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful:
ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces,
19     earrings, bracelets, and veils;
20 scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes,
    perfumes, and charms;
21 rings, jewels,
22     party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses;
23 mirrors, fine linen garments,
    head ornaments, and shawls.

24 Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink.
    She will wear a rope for a sash,
    and her elegant hair will fall out.
She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes.
    Shame will replace her beauty.[g]
25 The men of the city will be killed with the sword,
    and her warriors will die in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will weep and mourn.
    The city will be like a ravaged woman,
    huddled on the ground.

In that day so few men will be left that seven women will fight for each man, saying, “Let us all marry you! We will provide our own food and clothing. Only let us take your name so we won’t be mocked as old maids.”

A Promise of Restoration

But in that day, the branch[h] of the Lord
    will be beautiful and glorious;
the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory
    of all who survive in Israel.
All who remain in Zion
    will be a holy people—
those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem
    and are recorded among the living.
The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion[i]
    and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains
    with the hot breath of fiery judgment.
Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion
    and all who assemble there.
He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day
    and smoke and flaming fire at night,
    covering the glorious land.
It will be a shelter from daytime heat
    and a hiding place from storms and rain.

A Song about the Lord’s Vineyard

Now I will sing for the one I love
    a song about his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a rich and fertile hill.
He plowed the land, cleared its stones,
    and planted it with the best vines.
In the middle he built a watchtower
    and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks.
Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes,
    but the grapes that grew were bitter.

Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah,
    you judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could I have done for my vineyard
    that I have not already done?
When I expected sweet grapes,
    why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?

Now let me tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard:
I will tear down its hedges
    and let it be destroyed.
I will break down its walls
    and let the animals trample it.
I will make it a wild place
    where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed,
    a place overgrown with briers and thorns.
I will command the clouds
    to drop no rain on it.

The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
    The people of Judah are his pleasant garden.
He expected a crop of justice,
    but instead he found oppression.
He expected to find righteousness,
    but instead he heard cries of violence.

Judah’s Guilt and Judgment

What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field,
    until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land.
But I have heard the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    swear a solemn oath:
“Many houses will stand deserted;
    even beautiful mansions will be empty.
10 Ten acres[j] of vineyard will not produce even six gallons[k] of wine.
    Ten baskets of seed will yield only one basket[l] of grain.”

11 What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning
    looking for a drink of alcohol
and spend long evenings drinking wine
    to make themselves flaming drunk.
12 They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties—
    lyre and harp, tambourine and flute—
but they never think about the Lord
    or notice what he is doing.

13 So my people will go into exile far away
    because they do not know me.
Those who are great and honored will starve,
    and the common people will die of thirst.
14 The grave[m] is licking its lips in anticipation,
    opening its mouth wide.
The great and the lowly
    and all the drunken mob will be swallowed up.
15 Humanity will be destroyed, and people brought down;
    even the arrogant will lower their eyes in humiliation.
16 But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be exalted by his justice.
    The holiness of God will be displayed by his righteousness.
17 In that day lambs will find good pastures,
    and fattened sheep and young goats[n] will feed among the ruins.

18 What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them
    with ropes made of lies,
    who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!
19 They even mock God and say,
    “Hurry up and do something!
    We want to see what you can do.
Let the Holy One of Israel carry out his plan,
    for we want to know what it is.”

20 What sorrow for those who say
    that evil is good and good is evil,
that dark is light and light is dark,
    that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
21 What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes
    and think themselves so clever.
22 What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine
    and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.
23 They take bribes to let the wicked go free,
    and they punish the innocent.

24 Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble
    and dry grass shrivels in the flame,
so their roots will rot
    and their flowers wither.
For they have rejected the law of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies;
    they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 That is why the Lord’s anger burns against his people,
    and why he has raised his fist to crush them.
The mountains tremble,
    and the corpses of his people litter the streets like garbage.
But even then the Lord’s anger is not satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike!

26 He will send a signal to distant nations far away
    and whistle to those at the ends of the earth.
    They will come racing toward Jerusalem.
27 They will not get tired or stumble.
    They will not stop for rest or sleep.
Not a belt will be loose,
    not a sandal strap broken.
28 Their arrows will be sharp
    and their bows ready for battle.
Sparks will fly from their horses’ hooves,
    and the wheels of their chariots will spin like a whirlwind.
29 They will roar like lions,
    like the strongest of lions.
Growling, they will pounce on their victims and carry them off,
    and no one will be there to rescue them.
30 They will roar over their victims on that day of destruction
    like the roaring of the sea.
If someone looks across the land,
    only darkness and distress will be seen;
    even the light will be darkened by clouds.

Isaiah’s Cleansing and Call

It was in the year King Uzziah died[o] that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,

‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
    Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
10 Harden the hearts of these people.
    Plug their ears and shut their eyes.
That way, they will not see with their eyes,
    nor hear with their ears,
nor understand with their hearts
    and turn to me for healing.”[p]

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?”

And he replied,

“Until their towns are empty,
    their houses are deserted,
    and the whole country is a wasteland;
12 until the Lord has sent everyone away,
    and the entire land of Israel lies deserted.
13 If even a tenth—a remnant—survive,
    it will be invaded again and burned.
But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down,
    so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”

A Message for Ahaz

When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria[q] and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.

The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel[r] against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub[s] and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.[t] Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah. Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ But this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“This invasion will never happen;
    it will never take place;
for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus,
    and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin.
As for Israel, within sixty-five years
    it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
    and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
    I cannot make you stand firm.”

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.[u]

12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[v] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). 15 By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt[w] and honey. 16 For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.

17 “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”

18 In that day the Lord will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees. 19 They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places. 20 In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River[x]—the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people.[y]

21 In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left. 22 Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey. 23 In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver,[z] will become patches of briers and thorns. 24 The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife. 25 No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.

The Coming Assyrian Invasion

Then the Lord said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz.[aa] I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this.

Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before this child is old enough to say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama,’ the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”

Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to[ab] King Rezin and King Pekah.[ac] Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River[ad]—the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel.

“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified.
    Listen, all you distant lands.
Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
    Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
10 Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless.
    Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed.
    For God is with us![ae]

A Call to Trust the Lord

11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,

12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
    and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
    He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14     He will keep you safe.
But to Israel and Judah
    he will be a stone that makes people stumble,
    a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
    he will be a trap and a snare.
15 Many will stumble and fall,
    never to rise again.
    They will be snared and captured.”

16 Preserve the teaching of God;
    entrust his instructions to those who follow me.
17 I will wait for the Lord,
    who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob.
    I will put my hope in him.

18 I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion.

19 Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?

20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.

Hope in the Messiah

[af]Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

[ag]The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,[ah]
    a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
    and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest
    and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery
    and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
    just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior
    and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
    They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[ai] Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
    will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
    for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will make this happen!

The Lord’s Anger against Israel

The Lord has spoken out against Jacob;
    his judgment has fallen upon Israel.
And the people of Israel[aj] and Samaria,
    who spoke with such pride and arrogance,
    will soon know it.
10 They said, “We will replace the broken bricks of our ruins with finished stone,
    and replant the felled sycamore-fig trees with cedars.”

11 But the Lord will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel
    and stir up all their foes.
12 The Syrians[ak] from the east and the Philistines from the west
    will bare their fangs and devour Israel.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent.
    They will not seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
14 Therefore, in a single day the Lord will destroy both the head and the tail,
    the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
15 The leaders of Israel are the head,
    and the lying prophets are the tail.
16 For the leaders of the people have misled them.
    They have led them down the path of destruction.
17 That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men
    and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans.
For they are all wicked hypocrites,
    and they all speak foolishness.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

18 This wickedness is like a brushfire.
    It burns not only briers and thorns
but also sets the forests ablaze.
    Its burning sends up clouds of smoke.
19 The land will be blackened
    by the fury of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The people will be fuel for the fire,
    and no one will spare even his own brother.
20 They will attack their neighbor on the right
    but will still be hungry.
They will devour their neighbor on the left
    but will not be satisfied.
In the end they will even eat their own children.[al]
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim,
    Ephraim will feed on Manasseh,
    and both will devour Judah.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

10 What sorrow awaits the unjust judges
    and those who issue unfair laws.
They deprive the poor of justice
    and deny the rights of the needy among my people.
They prey on widows
    and take advantage of orphans.
What will you do when I punish you,
    when I send disaster upon you from a distant land?
To whom will you turn for help?
    Where will your treasures be safe?
You will stumble along as prisoners
    or lie among the dead.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

Judgment against Assyria

“What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger.
    I use it as a club to express my anger.
I am sending Assyria against a godless nation,
    against a people with whom I am angry.
Assyria will plunder them,
    trampling them like dirt beneath its feet.
But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool;
    his mind does not work that way.
His plan is simply to destroy,
    to cut down nation after nation.
He will say,
    ‘Each of my princes will soon be a king.
We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish.
    Hamath fell before us as Arpad did.
    And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus.
10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom
    whose gods were greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria.
11 So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods,
    just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.’”

12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant. 13 He boasts,

“By my own powerful arm I have done this.
    With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it.
I have broken down the defenses of nations
    and carried off their treasures.
    I have knocked down their kings like a bull.
14 I have robbed their nests of riches
    and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs.
No one can even flap a wing against me
    or utter a peep of protest.”

15 But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?
    Is the saw greater than the person who saws?
Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it?
    Can a wooden cane walk by itself?
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    will send a plague among Assyria’s proud troops,
    and a flaming fire will consume its glory.
17 The Lord, the Light of Israel, will be a fire;
    the Holy One will be a flame.
He will devour the thorns and briers with fire,
    burning up the enemy in a single night.
18 The Lord will consume Assyria’s glory
    like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land;
    it will waste away like sick people in a plague.
19 Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive—
    so few that a child could count them!

Hope for the Lord’s People

20 In that day the remnant left in Israel,
    the survivors in the house of Jacob,
will no longer depend on allies
    who seek to destroy them.
But they will faithfully trust the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return;[am]
    yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.
22 But though the people of Israel are as numerous
    as the sand of the seashore,
only a remnant of them will return.
    The Lord has rightly decided to destroy his people.
23 Yes, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    has already decided to destroy the entire land.[an]

24 So this is what the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, says: “O my people in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they oppress you with rod and club as the Egyptians did long ago. 25 In a little while my anger against you will end, and then my anger will rise up to destroy them.” 26 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will lash them with his whip, as he did when Gideon triumphed over the Midianites at the rock of Oreb, or when the Lord’s staff was raised to drown the Egyptian army in the sea.

27 In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people.
    He will break the yoke of slavery
    and lift it from their shoulders.[ao]

28 Look, the Assyrians are now at Aiath.
    They are passing through Migron
    and are storing their equipment at Micmash.
29 They are crossing the pass
    and are camping at Geba.
Fear strikes the town of Ramah.
    All the people of Gibeah, the hometown of Saul,
    are running for their lives.
30 Scream in terror,
    you people of Gallim!
Shout out a warning to Laishah.
    Oh, poor Anathoth!
31 There go the people of Madmenah, all fleeing.
    The citizens of Gebim are trying to hide.
32 The enemy stops at Nob for the rest of that day.
    He shakes his fist at beautiful Mount Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem.

33 But look! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria with great power!
He will cut down the proud.
    That lofty tree will be brought down.
34 He will cut down the forest trees with an ax.
    Lebanon will fall to the Mighty One.[ap]

A Branch from David’s Line

11 Out of the stump of David’s family[aq] will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
    He will not judge by appearance
    nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
    and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
    and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
    and truth like an undergarment.

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
    the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
    and a little child will lead them all.
The cow will graze near the bear.
    The cub and the calf will lie down together.
    The lion will eat hay like a cow.
The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
    Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
    for as the waters fill the sea,
    so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.

10 In that day the heir to David’s throne[ar]
    will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him,
    and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.[as]
11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time
    to bring back the remnant of his people—
those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt;
    in southern Egypt, Ethiopia,[at] and Elam;
    in Babylonia,[au] Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.
12 He will raise a flag among the nations
    and assemble the exiles of Israel.
He will gather the scattered people of Judah
    from the ends of the earth.

13 Then at last the jealousy between Israel[av] and Judah will end.
    They will not be rivals anymore.
14 They will join forces to swoop down on Philistia to the west.
    Together they will attack and plunder the nations to the east.
They will occupy the lands of Edom and Moab,
    and Ammon will obey them.
15 The Lord will make a dry path through the gulf of the Red Sea.[aw]
    He will wave his hand over the Euphrates River,[ax]
sending a mighty wind to divide it into seven streams
    so it can easily be crossed on foot.
16 He will make a highway for the remnant of his people,
    the remnant coming from Assyria,
just as he did for Israel long ago
    when they returned from Egypt.

Songs of Praise for Salvation

12 In that day you will sing:
    “I will praise you, O Lord!
You were angry with me, but not any more.
    Now you comfort me.
See, God has come to save me.
    I will trust in him and not be afraid.
The Lord God is my strength and my song;
    he has given me victory.”

With joy you will drink deeply
    from the fountain of salvation!
In that wonderful day you will sing:
    “Thank the Lord! Praise his name!
Tell the nations what he has done.
    Let them know how mighty he is!
Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.
    Make known his praise around the world.
Let all the people of Jerusalem[ay] shout his praise with joy!
    For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”

A Message about Babylon

13 Isaiah son of Amoz received this message concerning the destruction of Babylon:

“Raise a signal flag on a bare hilltop.
    Call up an army against Babylon.
Wave your hand to encourage them
    as they march into the palaces of the high and mighty.
I, the Lord, have dedicated these soldiers for this task.
    Yes, I have called mighty warriors to express my anger,
    and they will rejoice when I am exalted.”

Hear the noise on the mountains!
    Listen, as the vast armies march!
It is the noise and shouting of many nations.
    The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has called this army together.
They come from distant countries,
    from beyond the farthest horizons.
They are the Lord’s weapons to carry out his anger.
    With them he will destroy the whole land.

Scream in terror, for the day of the Lord has arrived—
    the time for the Almighty to destroy.
Every arm is paralyzed with fear.
    Every heart melts,
    and people are terrified.
Pangs of anguish grip them,
    like those of a woman in labor.
They look helplessly at one another,
    their faces aflame with fear.

For see, the day of the Lord is coming—
    the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger.
The land will be made desolate,
    and all the sinners destroyed with it.
10 The heavens will be black above them;
    the stars will give no light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
    and the moon will provide no light.

11 “I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil
    and the wicked for their sin.
I will crush the arrogance of the proud
    and humble the pride of the mighty.
12 I will make people scarcer than gold—
    more rare than the fine gold of Ophir.
13 For I will shake the heavens.
    The earth will move from its place
when the Lord of Heaven’s Armies displays his wrath
    in the day of his fierce anger.”

14 Everyone in Babylon will run about like a hunted gazelle,
    like sheep without a shepherd.
They will try to find their own people
    and flee to their own land.
15 Anyone who is captured will be cut down—
    run through with a sword.
16 Their little children will be dashed to death before their eyes.
    Their homes will be sacked, and their wives will be raped.

17 “Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon.
    They cannot be tempted by silver
    or bribed with gold.
18 The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows.
    They will have no mercy on helpless babies
    and will show no compassion for children.”

19 Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
    the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
    when God destroyed them.
20 Babylon will never be inhabited again.
    It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
    and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
21 Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
    and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
    and wild goats will go there to dance.
22 Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
    and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
    its time of destruction will soon arrive.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 These kings reigned from 792 to 686 B.c.
  2. 1:8 Hebrew The daughter of Zion.
  3. 1:9 Greek version reads a few of our children. Compare Rom 9:29.
  4. 2:16 Hebrew every ship of Tarshish.
  5. 3:13 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads against the peoples.
  6. 3:16 Or The women of Zion (with corresponding changes to plural forms through verse 24); Hebrew reads The daughters of Zion; also in 3:17.
  7. 3:24 As in Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text reads robes / because instead of beauty.
  8. 4:2 Or the Branch.
  9. 4:4 Or from the women of Zion; Hebrew reads from the daughters of Zion.
  10. 5:10a Hebrew A ten yoke, that is, the area of land plowed by ten teams of oxen in one day.
  11. 5:10b Hebrew a bath [21 liters].
  12. 5:10c Hebrew A homer [5 bushels or 220 liters] of seed will yield only an ephah [20 quarts or 22 liters].
  13. 5:14 Hebrew Sheol.
  14. 5:17 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads and strangers.
  15. 6:1 King Uzziah died in 740 B.c.
  16. 6:9-10 Greek version reads And he said, “Go and say to this people, / ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. / When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.’ / For the hearts of these people are hardened, / and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— / so their eyes cannot see, / and their ears cannot hear, / and their hearts cannot understand, / and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” Compare Matt 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; Acts 28:26-27.
  17. 7:1 Hebrew Aram; also in 7:2, 4, 5, 8.
  18. 7:2 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 7:5, 8, 9, 17.
  19. 7:3a Shear-jashub means “A remnant will return.”
  20. 7:3b Or bleached.
  21. 7:11 Hebrew as deep as Sheol.
  22. 7:14 Or young woman.
  23. 7:15 Or curds; also in 7:22.
  24. 7:20a Hebrew the river.
  25. 7:20b Hebrew shave off the head, the hair of the legs, and the beard.
  26. 7:23 Hebrew 1,000 [shekels] of silver, about 25 pounds or 11.4 kilograms in weight.
  27. 8:1 Maher-shalal-hash-baz means “Swift to plunder and quick to carry away.”
  28. 8:6a Or They are rejoicing because of.
  29. 8:6b Hebrew and the son of Remaliah.
  30. 8:7 Hebrew the river.
  31. 8:10 Hebrew Immanuel!
  32. 9:1 Verse 9:1 is numbered 8:23 in Hebrew text.
  33. 9:2a Verses 9:2-21 are numbered 9:1-20 in Hebrew text.
  34. 9:2b Greek version reads a land where death casts its shadow. Compare Matt 4:16.
  35. 9:6 Or Wonderful, Counselor.
  36. 9:9 Hebrew of Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
  37. 9:12 Hebrew Arameans.
  38. 9:20 Or eat their own arms.
  39. 10:21 Hebrew Shear-jashub; see 7:3; 8:18.
  40. 10:22-23 Greek version reads only a remnant of them will be saved. / For he will carry out his sentence quickly and with finality and righteousness; / for God will carry out his sentence upon all the world with finality. Compare Rom 9:27-28.
  41. 10:27 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads The yoke will be broken, / for you have grown so fat.
  42. 10:34 Or with an ax / as even the mighty trees of Lebanon fall.
  43. 11:1 Hebrew the stump of the line of Jesse. Jesse was King David’s father.
  44. 11:10a Hebrew the root of Jesse.
  45. 11:10b Greek version reads In that day the heir to David’s throne [literally the root of Jesse] will come, / and he will rule over the Gentiles. / They will place their hopes on him. Compare Rom 15:12.
  46. 11:11a Hebrew in Pathros, Cush.
  47. 11:11b Hebrew in Shinar.
  48. 11:13 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
  49. 11:15a Hebrew will destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt.
  50. 11:15b Hebrew the river.
  51. 12:6 Hebrew Zion.
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Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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