Isa 13-23

Proclamation against Babylon 1The oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw. 2On a bare hill raise a signal, cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles.3I myself have commanded my consecrated ones, have summoned my warriors, my proudly exulting ones, to execute my anger. 4Listen, a tumult on the mountains as of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! The Lord of hosts is mustering an army for battle.5They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the Lord and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole earth. 6Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty!7Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt,8and they will be dismayed. Pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.9See, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy its sinners from it.10For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.11I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the insolence of tyrants.12I will make mortals more rare than fine gold, and humans than the gold of Ophir.13Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.14Like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with no one to gather them, all will turn to their own people, and all will flee to their own lands.15Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.16Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered, and their wives ravished.17See, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold.18Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children.19And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.20It will never be inhabited or lived in for all generations; Arabs will not pitch their tents there, shepherds will not make their flocks lie down there.21But wild animals will lie down there, and its houses will be full of howling creatures; there ostriches will live, and there goat-demons will dance.22Hyenas will cry in its towers, and jackals in the pleasant palaces; its time is close at hand, and its days will not be prolonged.Chapter 14Restoration of Judah 1But the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land; and aliens will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.2And the nations will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess the nations as male and female slaves in the Lord's land; they will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.Downfall of the King of Babylon 3When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,4you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has ceased! How his insolence has ceased!5The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers,6that struck down the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution.7The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.8The cypresses exult over you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, “Since you were laid low, no one comes to cut us down.”9Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations.10All of them will speak and say to you: “You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!”11Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your harps; maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering. 12How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!13You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon;14I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.”15But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit.16Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,17who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who would not let his prisoners go home?”18All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb;19but you are cast out, away from your grave, like loathsome carrion, clothed with the dead, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the Pit, like a corpse trampled underfoot.20You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have killed your people. May the descendants of evildoers nevermore be named!21Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the guilt of their father. Let them never rise to possess the earth or cover the face of the world with cities. 22I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, offspring and posterity, says the Lord.23And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the Lord of hosts. An Oracle concerning Assyria 24The Lord of hosts has sworn: As I have designed, so shall it be; and as I have planned, so shall it come to pass:25I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him under foot; his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden from their shoulders.26This is the plan that is planned concerning the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.27For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? An Oracle concerning Philistia 28In the year that King Ahaz died this oracle came: 29Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken, for from the root of the snake will come forth an adder, and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.30The firstborn of the poor will graze, and the needy lie down in safety; but I will make your root die of famine, and your remnant I will kill.31Wail, O gate; cry, O city; melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you! For smoke comes out of the north, and there is no straggler in its ranks. 32What will one answer the messengers of the nation? “The Lord has founded Zion, and the needy among his people will find refuge in her.” Chapter 15An Oracle concerning Moab 1An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone.2Dibon has gone up to the temple, to the high places to weep; over Nebo and over Medeba Moab wails. On every head is baldness, every beard is shorn;3in the streets they bind on sackcloth; on the housetops and in the squares everyone wails and melts in tears.4Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, their voices are heard as far as Jahaz; therefore the loins of Moab quiver; his soul trembles.5My heart cries out for Moab; his fugitives flee to Zoar, to Eglath-shelishiyah. For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping; on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of destruction;6the waters of Nimrim are a desolation; the grass is withered, the new growth fails, the verdure is no more.7Therefore the abundance they have gained and what they have laid up they carry away over the Wadi of the Willows.8For a cry has gone around the land of Moab; the wailing reaches to Eglaim, the wailing reaches to Beer-elim.9For the waters of Dibon are full of blood; yet I will bring upon Dibon even more— a lion for those of Moab who escape, for the remnant of the land.Chapter 161Send lambs to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of daughter Zion.2Like fluttering birds, like scattered nestlings, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.3“Give counsel, grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive;4let the outcasts of Moab settle among you; be a refuge to them from the destroyer.” When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and marauders have vanished from the land,5then a throne shall be established in steadfast love in the tent of David, and on it shall sit in faithfulness a ruler who seeks justice and is swift to do what is right. 6We have heard of the pride of Moab —how proud he is!— of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence; his boasts are false.7Therefore let Moab wail, let everyone wail for Moab. Mourn, utterly stricken, for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth. 8For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vines of Sibmah, whose clusters once made drunk the lords of the nations, reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert; their shoots once spread abroad and crossed over the sea.9Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vines of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for the shout over your fruit harvest and your grain harvest has ceased.10Joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field; and in the vineyards no songs are sung, no shouts are raised; no treader treads out wine in the presses; the vintage-shout is hushed.11Therefore my heart throbs like a harp for Moab, and my very soul for Kir-heres.12When Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself upon the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.13This was the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past.14But now the Lord says, In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all its great multitude; and those who survive will be very few and feeble. Chapter 17An Oracle concerning Damascus 1An oracle concerning Damascus. See, Damascus will cease to be a city, and will become a heap of ruins.2Her towns will be deserted forever; they will be places for flocks, which will lie down, and no one will make them afraid.3The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the children of Israel, says the Lord of hosts. 4On that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.5And it shall be as when reapers gather standing grain and their arms harvest the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.6Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten— two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, says the Lord God of Israel. 7On that day people will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel;8they will not have regard for the altars, the work of their hands, and they will not look to what their own fingers have made, either the sacred poles or the altars of incense.9On that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the Hivites and the Amorites, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation. 10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and set out slips of an alien god,11though you make them grow on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow; yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain. 12Ah, the thunder of many peoples, they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations, they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!13The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.14At evening time, lo, terror! Before morning, they are no more. This is the fate of those who despoil us, and the lot of those who plunder us. Chapter 18An Oracle concerning Ethiopia 1Ah, land of whirring wings beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,2sending ambassadors by the Nile in vessels of papyrus on the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide. 3All you inhabitants of the world, you who live on the earth, when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown, listen!4For thus the Lord said to me: I will quietly look from my dwelling like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.5For before the harvest, when the blossom is over and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning hooks, and the spreading branches he will hew away.6They shall all be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the animals of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the animals of the earth will winter on them. 7At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts. Chapter 19An Oracle concerning Egypt 1An oracle concerning Egypt. See, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.2I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, one against the other, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom;3the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their plans; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;4I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master; a fierce king will rule over them, says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts. 5The waters of the Nile will be dried up, and the river will be parched and dry;6its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away.7There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile; and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up, be driven away, and be no more.8Those who fish will mourn; all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament, and those who spread nets on the water will languish.9The workers in flax will be in despair, and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale.10Its weavers will be dismayed, and all who work for wages will be grieved. 11The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the sages, a descendant of ancient kings”?12Where now are your sages? Let them tell you and make known what the Lord of hosts has planned against Egypt.13The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of its tribes have led Egypt astray.14The Lord has poured into them a spirit of confusion; and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings as a drunkard staggers around in vomit.15Neither head nor tail, palm branch or reed, will be able to do anything for Egypt. 16On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts raises against them.17And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the Lord of hosts is planning against them.Egypt, Assyria, and Israel Blessed 18On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.19On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the center of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border.20It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior, and will defend and deliver them.21The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.22The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.23On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.24On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,25whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.” Chapter 20Isaiah Dramatizes the Conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia 1In the year that the commander-in-chief, who was sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it—2at that time the Lord had spoken to Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take your sandals off your feet,” and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot.3Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia,4so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.5And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia their hope and of Egypt their boast.6In that day the inhabitants of this coastland will say, ‘See, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’ ” Chapter 21Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia 1The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on, it comes from the desert, from a terrible land.2A stern vision is told to me; the betrayer betrays, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, O Elam, lay siege, O Media; all the sighing she has caused I bring to an end.3Therefore my loins are filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labor; I am bowed down so that I cannot hear, I am dismayed so that I cannot see.4My mind reels, horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling.5They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Rise up, commanders, oil the shield!6For thus the Lord said to me: “Go, post a lookout, let him announce what he sees.7When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him listen diligently, very diligently.”8Then the watcher called out: “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed throughout the night.9Look, there they come, riders, horsemen in pairs!” Then he responded, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of her gods lie shattered on the ground.”10O my threshed and winnowed one, what I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you. 11The oracle concerning Dumah. One is calling to me from Seir, “Sentinel, what of the night? Sentinel, what of the night?”12The sentinel says: “Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again.” 13The oracle concerning the desert plain. In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge, O caravans of Dedanites.14Bring water to the thirsty, meet the fugitive with bread, O inhabitants of the land of Tema.15For they have fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the stress of battle.16For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end;17and the remaining bows of Kedar's warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken. Chapter 22A Warning of Destruction of Jerusalem 1The oracle concerning the valley of vision. What do you mean that you have gone up, all of you, to the housetops,2you that are full of shoutings, tumultuous city, exultant town? Your slain are not slain by the sword, nor are they dead in battle.3Your rulers have all fled together; they were captured without the use of a bow. All of you who were found were captured, though they had fled far away.4Therefore I said: Look away from me, let me weep bitter tears; do not try to comfort me for the destruction of my beloved people. 5For the Lord GOD of hosts has a day of tumult and trampling and confusion in the valley of vision, a battering down of walls and a cry for help to the mountains.6Elam bore the quiver with chariots and cavalry, and Kir uncovered the shield.7Your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the cavalry took their stand at the gates.8He has taken away the covering of Judah. On that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest,9and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool.10You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall.11You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago. 12In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called to weeping and mourning, to baldness and putting on sackcloth;13but instead there was joy and festivity, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating meat and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”14The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die, says the Lord GOD of hosts.Denunciation of Self-Seeking Officials 15Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him:16What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock?17The Lord is about to hurl you away violently, my fellow. He will seize firm hold on you,18whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there your splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master's house!19I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post.20On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah,21and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.22I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.23I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house.24And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons.25On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken. Chapter 23An Oracle concerning Tyre 1The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your fortress is destroyed. When they came in from Cyprus they learned of it.2Be still, O inhabitants of the coast, O merchants of Sidon, your messengers crossed over the sea3and were on the mighty waters; your revenue was the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile; you were the merchant of the nations.4Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken, the fortress of the sea, saying: “I have neither labored nor given birth, I have neither reared young men nor brought up young women.”5When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.6Cross over to Tarshish— wail, O inhabitants of the coast!7Is this your exultant city whose origin is from days of old, whose feet carried her to settle far away?8Who has planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth?9The Lord of hosts has planned it— to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of the earth.10Cross over to your own land, O ships of Tarshish; this is a harbor no more.11He has stretched out his hand over the sea, he has shaken the kingdoms; the Lord has given command concerning Canaan to destroy its fortresses.12He said: You will exult no longer, O oppressed virgin daughter Sidon; rise, cross over to Cyprus— even there you will have no rest. 13Look at the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people; it was not Assyria. They destined Tyre for wild animals. They erected their siege towers, they tore down her palaces, they made her a ruin.14Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your fortress is destroyed.15From that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute:16Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten prostitute! Make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.17At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her trade, and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth.18Her merchandise and her wages will be dedicated to the Lord; her profits will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who live in the presence of the Lord.