34 Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples!
Let the earth and all that is in it hear, and the world and all that comes forth from it.
For the Lord is angry at all the nations,
And His wrath is against all their armies;
He has [a]utterly doomed them,
He has given them over to slaughter.
So their slain will be thrown out,
And the stench of their corpses will rise,
And the mountains will flow with their blood.
All the host of heaven will be dissolved,
And the skies will be rolled up like a scroll;
All their hosts [the stars and the planets] will also wither away
As a leaf withers from the vine,
And as a fig withers from the fig tree.
For My sword is satiated [with blood] in heaven;
Indeed, it will come down for judgment on Edom
And on the people whom I have doomed for destruction.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood [from sacrifices],
It drips with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah (Edom’s capital city)
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen will also fall with them
And the young bulls with the strong bulls;
And their land will be soaked with blood,
And their dust made greasy with fat.
For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
A year of retribution for the cause of Zion.
The streams [of Edom] will be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone,
And its land will become burning pitch.
The burning will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will lie in ruins;
No one will ever again pass through it.
But the pelican and the porcupine will take possession of it;
The owl and the raven will dwell in it.
And He will stretch over it (Edom) the measuring line of desolation
And the plumb line of emptiness.
Its nobles—there is no one there
Whom they may proclaim king—
And all its princes will be nothing.
Thorns will come up in its fortified palaces,
Nettles and brambles in its fortified cities;
It will be a haunt for jackals,
An abode for ostriches.
The creatures of the desert will encounter jackals
And the [b]hairy goat will call to its kind;
Indeed, [c]Lilith (night demon) will settle there
And find herself a place of rest.
There the arrow snake will make her nest and lay her eggs,
And hatch them and gather her young under her protection;
Indeed, the birds of prey will be gathered there [to breed],
Every one with its own kind.
16 Seek from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these [creatures] will be missing;
None will lack its mate.
For His mouth has commanded,
And His Spirit has gathered them.
The Lord has cast the lot for them,
And His hand has divided and apportioned [d]Edom to the wild beasts by measuring-line.
They will possess it forever;
From generation to generation they will dwell in it.
35 The wilderness and the dry land will be glad;
The Arabah (desert) will shout in exultation and blossom
Like the [e]autumn crocus.
It will blossom abundantly
And rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
The majesty of [Mount] Carmel and [the plain] of Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
The majesty and splendor of our God.
Encourage the exhausted, and make staggering knees firm.
Say to those with an anxious and panic-stricken heart,
“Be strong, fear not!
Indeed, your God will come with vengeance [for the ungodly];
The retribution of God will come,
But He will save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the desert.
And the burning sand (mirage) will become a pool [of water]
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
In the haunt of jackals, [f]where they lay resting,
Grass becomes reeds and [g]rushes.
A highway will be there, and a roadway;
And it will be called the Holy Way.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for those who walk on the way [the redeemed];
And fools will not wander on it.
No lion will be there,
Nor will any predatory animal come up on it;
They will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come to Zion with shouts of jubilation,
And everlasting joy will be upon their heads;
They will find joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
36 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and conquered them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh [his military commander] from Lachish [the Judean fortress commanding the road from Egypt] to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a large army. And he stood by the canal of the Upper Pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 3 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the [royal] household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recording historian, came out to [meet] him.
4 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says, “What is [the reason for] this confidence that you have? 5 I say, ‘Your plan and strength for the war are only [h]empty words.’ Now in whom do you trust and on whom do you rely, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Listen carefully, you rely on the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. 7 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in and rely on the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? 8 So now, exchange pledges with my master the king of Assyria and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to put riders on them. 9 How then can you repulse [the attack of] a single [i]commander of the least of my master’s servants, and rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have now come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”
11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please, speak to your servants in Aramaic, because we understand it; and do not speak to us in Judean (Hebrew) in the hearing of the people who are [stationed] on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words only to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”
13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Judean (Hebrew): “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 This is what the king says, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you; 15 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will most certainly rescue us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Make peace with me and come out to me, and each one of you will eat from his own vine and each from his own fig tree and each [one of you] drink from the water of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, “The Lord will rescue us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations [ever] rescued his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad [in Aram]? Where are the gods of [j]Sepharvaim? And when have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have rescued their land from my hand, that [you should think that] the Lord would rescue Jerusalem from my hand?’”
21 But they kept silent and did not say a word to him in reply, for King Hezekiah’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph, the recording historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn [in grief], and told him the words of the Rabshakeh [the Assyrian commander].
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those [believers] at [a]Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen me face to face. 2 [For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] [b]love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding [the joy of salvation], resulting in a true [and more intimate] knowledge of the [c]mystery of God, that is, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]. 4 I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments. 5 For even though I am absent [from you] in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, [d]delighted to see your good discipline [as you stand shoulder to shoulder and form a solid front] and to see the stability of your faith in Christ [your steadfast reliance on Him and your unwavering confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].
6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], 7 having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established [e]in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the [f]elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. 10 And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power]. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but by the [spiritual] circumcision of Christ in the stripping off of the body of the flesh [the sinful carnal nature], 12 having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God, [as displayed] when He raised Christ from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins, 14 having canceled out the [g]certificate of debt consisting of [h]legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through [i]the cross.
16 Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. 17 Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one defraud you of your prize [your freedom in Christ and your salvation] by insisting on mock humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about visions [he claims] he has seen [to justify his authority], puffed up [in conceit] by his unspiritual mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head [of the body, Jesus Christ], from whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by its joints and ligaments, grows with the growth [that can come only] from God.
20 If you have died with Christ to the [j]elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were still living in the world, do you submit to rules and regulations, such as, 21 “Do not handle [this], do not taste [that], do not [even] touch!”? 22 (these things all perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men. 23 These practices indeed have the appearance [that popularly passes as that] of wisdom in self-made religion and mock humility and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but are of no value against sinful indulgence [because they do not honor God].