Walking in darkness (Isaiah 50:4-4:11)

Graham JohnGraham John, September 8, 2019
Part of the Ebenezer Sermons 2019 series, preached at a Sunday Evening service
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Isaiah 4–30:16 (Listen)

4:1 And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

5:1   Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
  My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
  He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
  he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
  and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.
  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men of Judah,
  judge between me and my vineyard.
  What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
  When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?
  And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
  I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;
  I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
  I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
  I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.
  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
    is the house of Israel,
  and the men of Judah
    are his pleasant planting;
  and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;
  for righteousness,
    but behold, an outcry!

  Woe to those who join house to house,
    who add field to field,
  until there is no more room,
    and you are made to dwell alone
    in the midst of the land.
  The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
  “Surely many houses shall be desolate,
    large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
10   For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
    and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”
11   Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
    that they may run after strong drink,
  who tarry late into the evening
    as wine inflames them!
12   They have lyre and harp,
    tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
  but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
    or see the work of his hands.
13   Therefore my people go into exile
    for lack of knowledge;
  their honored men go hungry,
    and their multitude is parched with thirst.
14   Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
    and opened its mouth beyond measure,
  and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down,
    her revelers and he who exults in her.
15   Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
    and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.
16   But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice,
    and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
17   Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,
    and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.
18   Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
19   who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
  let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
20   Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
  who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
  who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
21   Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
22   Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23   who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!
24   Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
  so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
  for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25   Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
    and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
    and the mountains quaked;
  and their corpses were as refuse
    in the midst of the streets.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
26   He will raise a signal for nations far away,
    and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
  and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
27   None is weary, none stumbles,
    none slumbers or sleeps,
  not a waistband is loose,
    not a sandal strap broken;
28   their arrows are sharp,
    all their bows bent,
  their horses' hoofs seem like flint,
    and their wheels like the whirlwind.
29   Their roaring is like a lion,
    like young lions they roar;
  they growl and seize their prey;
    they carry it off, and none can rescue.
30   They will growl over it on that day,
    like the growling of the sea.
  And if one looks to the land,
    behold, darkness and distress;
  and the light is darkened by its clouds.

6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
  the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

  “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
  keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10   Make the heart of this people dull,
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;
  lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
  and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”
11   Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
  And he said:
  “Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant,
  and houses without people,
    and the land is a desolate waste,
12   and the LORD removes people far away,
    and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13   And though a tenth remain in it,
    it will be burned again,
  like a terebinth or an oak,
    whose stump remains
    when it is felled.”
  The holy seed is its stump.

7:1 In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

And the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” thus says the Lord GOD:

  “‘It shall not stand,
    and it shall not come to pass.
  For the head of Syria is Damascus,
    and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
  And within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.
  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
  If you are not firm in faith,
    you will not be firm at all.’”

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”

18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.

20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

8:1 Then the LORD said to me, “Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters, ‘Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.’ And I will get reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me.”

And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

The LORD spoke to me again: “Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

  Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered;
    give ear, all you far countries;
  strap on your armor and be shattered;
    strap on your armor and be shattered.
10   Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
    speak a word, but it will not stand,
    for God is with us.

11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”

16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

9:1  But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

   The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
  those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.
  You have multiplied the nation;
    you have increased its joy;
  they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
  For the yoke of his burden,
    and the staff for his shoulder,
    the rod of his oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
  For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.
  For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
  and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
  on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
  with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

  The Lord has sent a word against Jacob,
    and it will fall on Israel;
  and all the people will know,
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
    who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:
10   “The bricks have fallen,
    but we will build with dressed stones;
  the sycamores have been cut down,
    but we will put cedars in their place.”
11   But the LORD raises the adversaries of Rezin against him,
    and stirs up his enemies.
12   The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west
    devour Israel with open mouth.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
13   The people did not turn to him who struck them,
    nor inquire of the LORD of hosts.
14   So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail,
    palm branch and reed in one day—
15   the elder and honored man is the head,
    and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
16   for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,
    and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.
17   Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men,
    and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows;
  for everyone is godless and an evildoer,
    and every mouth speaks folly.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
18   For wickedness burns like a fire;
    it consumes briers and thorns;
  it kindles the thickets of the forest,
    and they roll upward in a column of smoke.
19   Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts
    the land is scorched,
  and the people are like fuel for the fire;
    no one spares another.
20   They slice meat on the right, but are still hungry,
    and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied;
  each devours the flesh of his own arm,
21   Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim devours Manasseh;
    together they are against Judah.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
10:1   Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
    and the writers who keep writing oppression,
  to turn aside the needy from justice
    and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
  that widows may be their spoil,
    and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
  What will you do on the day of punishment,
    in the ruin that will come from afar?
  To whom will you flee for help,
    and where will you leave your wealth?
  Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners
    or fall among the slain.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.

  Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger;
    the staff in their hands is my fury!
  Against a godless nation I send him,
    and against the people of my wrath I command him,
  to take spoil and seize plunder,
    and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
  But he does not so intend,
    and his heart does not so think;
  but it is in his heart to destroy,
    and to cut off nations not a few;
  for he says:
  “Are not my commanders all kings?
  Is not Calno like Carchemish?
    Is not Hamath like Arpad?
    Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10   As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
    whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11   shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
    as I have done to Samaria and her images?”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13 For he says:

  “By the strength of my hand I have done it,
    and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
  I remove the boundaries of peoples,
    and plunder their treasures;
    like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14   My hand has found like a nest
    the wealth of the peoples;
  and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
    so I have gathered all the earth;
  and there was none that moved a wing
    or opened the mouth or chirped.”
15   Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
    or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
  As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
    or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16   Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts
    will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
  and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
    like the burning of fire.
17   The light of Israel will become a fire,
    and his Holy One a flame,
  and it will burn and devour
    his thorns and briers in one day.
18   The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
    the LORD will destroy, both soul and body,
    and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19   The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
    that a child can write them down.

20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”

28   He has come to Aiath;
  he has passed through Migron;
    at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29   they have crossed over the pass;
    at Geba they lodge for the night;
  Ramah trembles;
    Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30   Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim!
    Give attention, O Laishah!
    O poor Anathoth!
31   Madmenah is in flight;
    the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32   This very day he will halt at Nob;
    he will shake his fist
    at the mount of the daughter of Zion,
    the hill of Jerusalem.
33   Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts
    will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
  the great in height will be hewn down,
    and the lofty will be brought low.
34   He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
    and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

11:1   There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
  And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
  And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
  He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
  and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
  Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
  The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
  and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
  The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
  The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
  They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
  for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

12   He will raise a signal for the nations
    and will assemble the banished of Israel,
  and gather the dispersed of Judah
    from the four corners of the earth.
13   The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart,
    and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
  Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
    and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14   But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west,
    and together they shall plunder the people of the east.
  They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab,
    and the Ammonites shall obey them.
15   And the LORD will utterly destroy
    the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
  and will wave his hand over the River
    with his scorching breath,
  and strike it into seven channels,
    and he will lead people across in sandals.
16   And there will be a highway from Assyria
    for the remnant that remains of his people,
  as there was for Israel
    when they came up from the land of Egypt.

12:1   You will say in that day:
  “I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
    for though you were angry with me,
  your anger turned away,
    that you might comfort me.
  “Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
  for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

  “Give thanks to the LORD,
    call upon his name,
  make known his deeds among the peoples,
    proclaim that his name is exalted.
  “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
    let this be made known in all the earth.
  Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

13:1 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

  On a bare hill raise a signal;
    cry aloud to them;
  wave the hand for them to enter
    the gates of the nobles.
  I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
    and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
    my proudly exulting ones.
  The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
    as of a great multitude!
  The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
    of nations gathering together!
  The LORD of hosts is mustering
    a host for battle.
  They come from a distant land,
    from the end of the heavens,
  the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
    to destroy the whole land.
  Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
    as destruction from the Almighty it will come!
  Therefore all hands will be feeble,
    and every human heart will melt.
  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.
  Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
    cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
  to make the land a desolation
    and to destroy its sinners from it.
10   For 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.
11   I will punish the world for its evil,
    and the wicked for their iniquity;
  I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
    and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
12   I will make people more rare than fine gold,
    and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13   Therefore 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.
14   And like a hunted gazelle,
    or like sheep with none to gather them,
  each will turn to his own people,
    and each will flee to his own land.
15   Whoever is found will be thrust through,
    and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16   Their infants will be dashed in pieces
    before their eyes;
  their houses will be plundered
    and their wives ravished.
17   Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
    who have no regard for silver
    and do not delight in gold.
18   Their bows will slaughter the young men;
    they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
    their eyes will not pity children.
19   And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
    the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
  will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
    when God overthrew them.
20   It will never be inhabited
    or lived in for all generations;
  no Arab will pitch his tent there;
    no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21   But wild animals will lie down there,
    and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
  there ostriches will dwell,
    and there wild goats will dance.
22   Hyenas will cry in its towers,
    and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
  its time is close at hand
    and its days will not be prolonged.

14:1 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD's land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

  “How the oppressor has ceased,
    the insolent fury ceased!
  The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
    the scepter of rulers,
  that struck the peoples in wrath
    with unceasing blows,
  that ruled the nations in anger
    with unrelenting persecution.
  The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
    they break forth into singing.
  The cypresses rejoice at you,
    the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
  ‘Since you were laid low,
    no woodcutter comes up against us.’
  Sheol 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.
10   All of them will answer
    and say to you:
  ‘You too have become as weak as we!
    You have become like us!’
11   Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
    the sound of your harps;
  maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
    and worms are your covers.
12   “How 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!
13   You said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
  above the stars of God
    I will set my throne on high;
  I will sit on the mount of assembly
    in the far reaches of the north;
14   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’
15   But you are brought down to Sheol,
    to the far reaches of the pit.
16   Those who see you will stare at you
    and ponder over you:
  ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
    who shook kingdoms,
17   who made the world like a desert
    and overthrew its cities,
    who did not let his prisoners go home?’
18   All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    each in his own tomb;
19   but you are cast out, away from your grave,
    like a loathed branch,
  clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
    who go down to the stones of the pit,
    like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20   You will not be joined with them in burial,
    because you have destroyed your land,
    you have slain your people.
  “May the offspring of evildoers
    nevermore be named!
21   Prepare slaughter for his sons
    because of the guilt of their fathers,
  lest they rise and possess the earth,
    and fill the face of the world with cities.”

22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the LORD. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts.

24   The LORD of hosts has sworn:
  “As I have planned,
    so shall it be,
  and as I have purposed,
    so shall it stand,
25   that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
    and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
  and his yoke shall depart from them,
    and his burden from their shoulder.”
26   This is the purpose that is purposed
    concerning the whole earth,
  and this is the hand that is stretched out
    over all the nations.
27   For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
    and who will annul it?
  His hand is stretched out,
    and who will turn it back?

28 In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:

29   Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
    that the rod that struck you is broken,
  for from the serpent's root will come forth an adder,
    and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
30   And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
    and the needy lie down in safety;
  but I will kill your root with famine,
    and your remnant it will slay.
31   Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
    melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
  For smoke comes out of the north,
    and there is no straggler in his ranks.
32   What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
  “The LORD has founded Zion,
    and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

15:1 An oracle concerning Moab.

  Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night,
    Moab is undone;
  because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,
    Moab is undone.
  He has gone up to the temple, and to Dibon,
    to the high places to weep;
  over Nebo and over Medeba
    Moab wails.
  On every head is baldness;
    every beard is shorn;
  in the streets they wear sackcloth;
    on the housetops and in the squares
    everyone wails and melts in tears.
  Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
    their voice is heard as far as Jahaz;
  therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
    his soul trembles.
  My heart cries out for Moab;
    her 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;
  the waters of Nimrim
    are a desolation;
  the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
    the greenery is no more.
  Therefore the abundance they have gained
    and what they have laid up
  they carry away
    over the Brook of the Willows.
  For a cry has gone
    around the land of Moab;
  her wailing reaches to Eglaim;
    her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
  For the waters of Dibon are full of blood;
    for I will bring upon Dibon even more,
  a lion for those of Moab who escape,
    for the remnant of the land.
16:1   Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
  from Sela, by way of the desert,
    to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
  Like fleeing birds,
    like a scattered nest,
  so are the daughters of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.
  “Give counsel;
    grant justice;
  make your shade like night
    at the height of noon;
  shelter the outcasts;
    do not reveal the fugitive;
  let the outcasts of Moab
    sojourn among you;
  be a shelter to them
    from the destroyer.
  When the oppressor is no more,
    and destruction has ceased,
  and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
  then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
    and on it will sit in faithfulness
    in the tent of David
  one who judges and seeks justice
    and is swift to do righteousness.”
  We have heard of the pride of Moab—
    how proud he is!—
  of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
    in his idle boasting he is not right.
  Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
    let everyone wail.
  Mourn, utterly stricken,
    for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.
  For the fields of Heshbon languish,
    and the vine of Sibmah;
  the lords of the nations
    have struck down its branches,
  which reached to Jazer
    and strayed to the desert;
  its shoots spread abroad
    and passed over the sea.
  Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
    for the vine of Sibmah;
  I drench you with my tears,
    O Heshbon and Elealeh;
  for over your summer fruit and your harvest
    the shout has ceased.
10   And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field,
  and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
    no cheers are raised;
  no treader treads out wine in the presses;
    I have put an end to the shouting.
11   Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
    and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

13 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

17:1 An oracle concerning Damascus.

  Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
    and will become a heap of ruins.
  The cities of Aroer are deserted;
    they will be for flocks,
    which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
  The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from Damascus;
  and the remnant of Syria will be
    like the glory of the children of Israel,
      declares the LORD of hosts.
  And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
    and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
  And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
    and his arm harvests the ears,
  and as when one gleans the ears of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
  Gleanings 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,
      declares the LORD God of Israel.

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.

In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10   For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
  therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11   though 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.
12   Ah, 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!
13   The 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.
14   At evening time, behold, terror!
    Before morning, they are no more!
  This is the portion of those who loot us,
    and the lot of those who plunder us.

18:1   Ah, land of whirring wings
    that is beyond the rivers of Cush,
  which sends ambassadors by the sea,
    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.
  All you inhabitants of the world,
    you who dwell on the earth,
  when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
    When a trumpet is blown, hear!
  For 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.”
  For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
  he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
    and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
  They shall all of them be left
    to the birds of prey of the mountains
    and to the beasts of the earth.
  And the birds of prey will summer on them,
    and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

At that time tribute 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.

19:1 An oracle concerning Egypt.

  Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud
    and comes to Egypt;
  and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
    and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
  And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
    and they will fight, each against another
    and each against his neighbor,
    city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
  and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
    and I will confound their counsel;
  and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
    and the mediums and the necromancers;
  and I will give over the Egyptians
    into the hand of a hard master,
  and a fierce king will rule over them,
    declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
  And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
    and the river will be dry and parched,
  and its canals will become foul,
    and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up,
    reeds and rushes will rot away.
  There will be bare places by the Nile,
    on the brink of the Nile,
  and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
    will be driven away, and will be no more.
  The fishermen will mourn and lament,
    all who cast a hook in the Nile;
  and they will languish
    who spread nets on the water.
  The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
    and the weavers of white cotton.
10   Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
    and all who work for pay will be grieved.
11   The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
    the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
  How can you say to Pharaoh,
    “I am a son of the wise,
    a son of ancient kings”?
12   Where then are your wise men?
    Let them tell you
    that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13   The princes of Zoan have become fools,
    and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
  those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
    have made Egypt stagger.
14   The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
  and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
    as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15   And there will be nothing for Egypt
    that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.

18 In 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 Destruction.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It 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 defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

20:1 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’”

21:1 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

  As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
    it comes from the wilderness,
    from a terrible land.
  A stern vision is told to me;
    the traitor betrays,
    and the destroyer destroys.
  Go up, O Elam;
    lay siege, O Media;
  all the sighing she has caused
    I bring to an end.
  Therefore 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.
  My heart staggers; horror has appalled me;
    the twilight I longed for
    has been turned for me into trembling.
  They prepare the table,
    they spread the rugs,
    they eat, they drink.
  Arise, O princes;
    oil the shield!
  For thus the Lord said to me:
  “Go, set a watchman;
    let him announce what he sees.
  When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
    riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
  let him listen diligently,
    very diligently.”
  Then he who saw cried out:
  “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
    continually by day,
  and at my post I am stationed
    whole nights.
  And behold, here come riders,
    horsemen in pairs!”
  And he answered,
    “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
  and all the carved images of her gods
    he has shattered to the ground.”
10   O my threshed and winnowed one,
    what I have heard from the LORD of hosts,
    the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11 The oracle concerning Dumah.

  One is calling to me from Seir,
    “Watchman, what time of the night?
    Watchman, what time of the night?”
12   The watchman says:
  “Morning comes, and also the night.
    If you will inquire, inquire;
    come back again.”

13 The oracle concerning Arabia.

  In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge,
    O caravans of Dedanites.
14   To the thirsty bring water;
    meet the fugitive with bread,
    O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15   For they have fled from the swords,
    from the drawn sword,
  from the bent bow,
    and from the press of battle.

16 For 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. 17 And the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.”

22:1 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.

  What do you mean that you have gone up,
    all of you, to the housetops,
  you who are full of shoutings,
    tumultuous city, exultant town?
  Your slain are not slain with the sword
    or dead in battle.
  All your leaders have fled together;
    without the bow they were captured.
  All of you who were found were captured,
    though they had fled far away.
  Therefore I said:
  “Look away from me;
    let me weep bitter tears;
  do not labor to comfort me
    concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
  For 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 shouting to the mountains.
  And Elam bore the quiver
    with chariots and horsemen,
    and Kir uncovered the shield.
  Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
    and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
  He has taken away the covering of Judah.

In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, 10 and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You 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 see him who planned it long ago.

12   In that day the Lord GOD of hosts
    called for weeping and mourning,
    for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
13   and behold, joy and gladness,
    killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
    eating flesh and drinking wine.
  “Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”
14   The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
  “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
    says the Lord GOD of hosts.

15 Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16 What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you 18 and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. 20 In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23 And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”

23:1 The oracle concerning Tyre.

  Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor!
  From the land of Cyprus
    it is revealed to them.
  Be still, O inhabitants of the coast;
    the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.
  And on many waters
  your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
    the harvest of the Nile;
    you were the merchant of the nations.
  Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
    the stronghold of the sea, saying:
  “I have neither labored nor given birth,
    I have neither reared young men
    nor brought up young women.”
  When the report comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.
  Cross over to Tarshish;
    wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
  Is this your exultant city
    whose origin is from days of old,
  whose feet carried her
    to settle far away?
  Who has purposed this
    against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
  whose merchants were princes,
    whose traders were the honored of the earth?
  The LORD of hosts has purposed it,
    to defile the pompous pride of all glory,
    to dishonor all the honored of the earth.
10   Cross over your land like the Nile,
    O daughter of Tarshish;
    there is no restraint anymore.
11   He has stretched out his hand over the sea;
    he has shaken the kingdoms;
  the LORD has given command concerning Canaan
    to destroy its strongholds.
12   And he said:
  “You will no more exult,
    O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon;
  arise, cross over to Cyprus,
    even there you will have no rest.”

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not; Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin.

14   Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for your stronghold is laid waste.

15 In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

16   “Take a harp;
    go about the city,
    O forgotten prostitute!
  Make sweet melody;
    sing many songs,
    that you may be remembered.”

17 At the end of seventy years, the LORD will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the LORD. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the LORD.

24:1   Behold, the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate,
    and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
  And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
    as with the slave, so with his master;
    as with the maid, so with her mistress;
  as with the buyer, so with the seller;
    as with the lender, so with the borrower;
    as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
  The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
    for the LORD has spoken this word.
  The earth mourns and withers;
    the world languishes and withers;
    the highest people of the earth languish.
  The earth lies defiled
    under its inhabitants;
  for they have transgressed the laws,
    violated the statutes,
    broken the everlasting covenant.
  Therefore a curse devours the earth,
    and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
  therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
    and few men are left.
  The wine mourns,
    the vine languishes,
    all the merry-hearted sigh.
  The mirth of the tambourines is stilled,
    the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
    the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
  No more do they drink wine with singing;
    strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10   The wasted city is broken down;
    every house is shut up so that none can enter.
11   There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
    all joy has grown dark;
    the gladness of the earth is banished.
12   Desolation is left in the city;
    the gates are battered into ruins.
13   For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
    among the nations,
  as when an olive tree is beaten,
    as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.
14   They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
    over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.
15   Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD;
    in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
16   From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
    of glory to the Righteous One.
  But I say, “I waste away,
    I waste away. Woe is me!
  For the traitors have betrayed,
    with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
17   Terror and the pit and the snare
    are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
18   He who flees at the sound of the terror
    shall fall into the pit,
  and he who climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
  For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19   The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
20   The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
  its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.
21   On that day the LORD will punish
    the host of heaven, in heaven,
    and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
22   They will be gathered together
    as prisoners in a pit;
  they will be shut up in a prison,
    and after many days they will be punished.
23   Then the moon will be confounded
    and the sun ashamed,
  for the LORD of hosts reigns
    on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
  and his glory will be before his elders.

25:1   O LORD, you are my God;
    I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
  for you have done wonderful things,
    plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
  For you have made the city a heap,
    the fortified city a ruin;
  the foreigners' palace is a city no more;
    it will never be rebuilt.
  Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
    cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
  For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
    a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
    a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
  for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
    like heat in a dry place.
  You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
    as heat by the shade of a cloud,
    so the song of the ruthless is put down.
  On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
    of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
  And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    the veil that is spread over all nations.
    He will swallow up death forever;
  and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
    and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the LORD has spoken.
  It will be said on that day,
    “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
    This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
10   For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain,
    and Moab shall be trampled down in his place,
    as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.
11   And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it
    as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,
    but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.
12   And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down,
    lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

  “We have a strong city;
    he sets up salvation
    as walls and bulwarks.
  Open the gates,
    that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
  You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
  Trust in the LORD forever,
    for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
  For he has humbled
    the inhabitants of the height,
    the lofty city.
  He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
    casts it to the dust.
  The foot tramples it,
    the feet of the poor,
    the steps of the needy.”
  The path of the righteous is level;
    you make level the way of the righteous.
  In the path of your judgments,
    O LORD, we wait for you;
  your name and remembrance
    are the desire of our soul.
  My soul yearns for you in the night;
    my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
  For when your judgments are in the earth,
    the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10   If favor is shown to the wicked,
    he does not learn righteousness;
  in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly
    and does not see the majesty of the LORD.
11   O LORD, your hand is lifted up,
    but they do not see it.
  Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
    Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
12   O LORD, you will ordain peace for us,
    for you have indeed done for us all our works.
13   O LORD our God,
    other lords besides you have ruled over us,
    but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
14   They are dead, they will not live;
    they are shades, they will not arise;
  to that end you have visited them with destruction
    and wiped out all remembrance of them.
15   But you have increased the nation, O LORD,
    you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
    you have enlarged all the borders of the land.
16   O LORD, in distress they sought you;
    they poured out a whispered prayer
    when your discipline was upon them.
17   Like a pregnant woman
    who writhes and cries out in her pangs
    when she is near to giving birth,
  so were we because of you, O LORD;
18     we were pregnant, we writhed,
    but we have given birth to wind.
  We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,
    and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
19   Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
    You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
  For your dew is a dew of light,
    and the earth will give birth to the dead.
20   Come, my people, enter your chambers,
    and shut your doors behind you;
  hide yourselves for a little while
    until the fury has passed by.
21   For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place
    to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
  and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
    and will no more cover its slain.

27:1 In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

  In that day,
  “A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!
    I, the LORD, am its keeper;
    every moment I water it.
    Lest anyone punish it,
  I keep it night and day;
    I have no wrath.
  Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
    I would march against them,
    I would burn them up together.
  Or let them lay hold of my protection,
    let them make peace with me,
    let them make peace with me.”
  In days to come Jacob shall take root,
    Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
    and fill the whole world with fruit.
  Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them?
    Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain?
  Measure by measure, by exile you contended with them;
    he removed them with his fierce breath in the day of the east wind.
  Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for,
    and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
  when he makes all the stones of the altars
    like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
    no Asherim or incense altars will remain standing.
10   For the fortified city is solitary,
    a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
  there the calf grazes;
    there it lies down and strips its branches.
11   When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
    women come and make a fire of them.
  For this is a people without discernment;
    therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them;
    he who formed them will show them no favor.

12 In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the LORD will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

28:1   Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
    and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
  Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
    like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
  like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
    he casts down to the earth with his hand.
  The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
    will be trodden underfoot;
  and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley,
  will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer:
    when someone sees it, he swallows it
    as soon as it is in his hand.
  In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory,
    and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
  and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
    and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
  These also reel with wine
    and stagger with strong drink;
  the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
    they are swallowed by wine,
    they stagger with strong drink,
  they reel in vision,
    they stumble in giving judgment.
  For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
    with no space left.
  “To whom will he teach knowledge,
    and to whom will he explain the message?
  Those who are weaned from the milk,
    those taken from the breast?
10   For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little.”
11   For by people of strange lips
    and with a foreign tongue
  the LORD will speak to this people,
12     to whom he has said,
  “This is rest;
    give rest to the weary;
  and this is repose”;
    yet they would not hear.
13   And the word of the LORD will be to them
  precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little,
  that they may go, and fall backward,
    and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14   Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers,
    who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15   Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement,
  when the overwhelming whip passes through
    it will not come to us,
  for we have made lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16   therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
  “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
    a stone, a tested stone,
  a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17   And I will make justice the line,
    and righteousness the plumb line;
  and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
    and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18   Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
  when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19   As often as it passes through it will take you;
    for morning by morning it will pass through,
    by day and by night;
  and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20   For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
    and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21   For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
    as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
  to do his deed—strange is his deed!
    and to work his work—alien is his work!
22   Now therefore do not scoff,
    lest your bonds be made strong;
  for I have heard a decree of destruction
    from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.
23   Give ear, and hear my voice;
    give attention, and hear my speech.
24   Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
    Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25   When he has leveled its surface,
    does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
  and put in wheat in rows
    and barley in its proper place,
    and emmer as the border?
26   For he is rightly instructed;
    his God teaches him.
27   Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
    nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
  but dill is beaten out with a stick,
    and cumin with a rod.
28   Does one crush grain for bread?
    No, he does not thresh it forever;
  when he drives his cart wheel over it
    with his horses, he does not crush it.
29   This also comes from the LORD of hosts;
    he is wonderful in counsel
    and excellent in wisdom.

29:1   Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David encamped!
  Add year to year;
    let the feasts run their round.
  Yet I will distress Ariel,
    and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
    and she shall be to me like an Ariel.
  And I will encamp against you all around,
    and will besiege you with towers
    and I will raise siegeworks against you.
  And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak,
    and from the dust your speech will be bowed down;
  your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
    and from the dust your speech shall whisper.
  But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust,
    and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.
  And in an instant, suddenly,
    you will be visited by the LORD of hosts
  with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
    with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
    all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her,
    shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
  As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,
    and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,
  or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking,
    and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched,
  so shall the multitude of all the nations be
    that fight against Mount Zion.
  Astonish yourselves and be astonished;
    blind yourselves and be blind!
  Be drunk, but not with wine;
    stagger, but not with strong drink!
10   For the LORD has poured out upon you
    a spirit of deep sleep,
  and has closed your eyes (the prophets),
    and covered your heads (the seers).

11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”

13   And the Lord said:
  “Because this people draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
  and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
14   therefore, behold, I will again
    do wonderful things with this people,
    with wonder upon wonder;
  and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
    and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”
15   Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel,
    whose deeds are in the dark,
    and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
16   You turn things upside down!
  Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,
  that the thing made should say of its maker,
    “He did not make me”;
  or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
    “He has no understanding”?
17   Is it not yet a very little while
    until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
    and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?
18   In that day the deaf shall hear
    the words of a book,
  and out of their gloom and darkness
    the eyes of the blind shall see.
19   The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
    and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20   For the ruthless shall come to nothing
    and the scoffer cease,
    and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off,
21   who by a word make a man out to be an offender,
    and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
    and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.

22 Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

  “Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
    no more shall his face grow pale.
23   For when he sees his children,
    the work of my hands, in his midst,
    they will sanctify my name;
  they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24   And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding,
    and those who murmur will accept instruction.”

30:1   “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD,
  “who carry out a plan, but not mine,
  and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
    that they may add sin to sin;
  who set out to go down to Egypt,
    without asking for my direction,
  to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
    and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
  Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
    and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
  For though his officials are at Zoan
    and his envoys reach Hanes,
  everyone comes to shame
    through a people that cannot profit them,
  that brings neither help nor profit,
    but shame and disgrace.”

An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.

  Through a land of trouble and anguish,
    from where come the lioness and the lion,
    the adder and the flying fiery serpent,
  they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
    and their treasures on the humps of camels,
    to a people that cannot profit them.
  Egypt's help is worthless and empty;
    therefore I have called her
    “Rahab who sits still.”

  And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
    and inscribe it in a book,
  that it may be for the time to come
    as a witness forever.
  For they are a rebellious people,
    lying children,
  children unwilling to hear
    the instruction of the LORD;
10   who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
    and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
  speak to us smooth things,
    prophesy illusions,
11   leave the way, turn aside from the path,
    let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
12   Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
  “Because you despise this word
    and trust in oppression and perverseness
    and rely on them,
13   therefore this iniquity shall be to you
    like a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse,
    whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
14   and its breaking is like that of a potter's vessel
    that is smashed so ruthlessly
  that among its fragments not a shard is found
    with which to take fire from the hearth,
    or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
15   For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,
  “In returning and rest you shall be saved;
    in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
  But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,
  “No! We will flee upon horses”;
    therefore you shall flee away;
  and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
    therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

(ESV)

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