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ESV — Isaiah 30-41

Do Not Go Down to Egypt

30  “Ah, nstubborn children,” declares the Lord,

o“who carry out a plan, but not mine,

and who make pan alliance,1 but not of my Spirit,

that they may add sin to sin;

qwho 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!

rTherefore 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 sZoan

and this envoys reach uHanes,

everyone comes to shame

through va people that cannot profit them,

that brings neither help nor profit,

but shame and disgrace.”

An woracle on xthe beasts of ythe Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,

from where come the lioness and the lion,

the adder and the zflying 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 ahelp is worthless and empty;

therefore I have called her

b“Rahab who sits still.”

A Rebellious People

And now, go, cwrite 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.2

dFor they are a rebellious people,

lying children,

children unwilling to hear

the instruction of the Lord;

10  ewho say to fthe seers, “Do not see,”

and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;

speak to us gsmooth 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 hoppression and perverseness

and rely on them,

13  therefore this iniquity shall be to you

ilike a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,

whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;

14  and its breaking is jlike 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 kreturning3 and lrest 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 mhorses”;

therefore you shall flee away;

and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;

therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

17  nA thousand shall flee at the threat of one;

at the threat of five you shall flee,

till you are left

like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,

like a signal on a hill.

The Lord Will Be Gracious

18  Therefore the Lord owaits to be gracious to you,

and therefore he pexalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

qblessed are all those who wait for him.

19 For a people shall dwell rin Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the sbread of adversity and the swater of affliction, tyet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 uAnd your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is vthe way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. wYou will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

23 xAnd he will give yrain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. zIn that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and athe oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And bon every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, cwhen the towers fall. 26 dMoreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when ethe Lord binds up fthe brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27  Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,

burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;4

his lips are full of fury,

and his tongue is like a devouring fire;

28  ghis breath is hlike an overflowing stream

that reaches up to the neck;

to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,

and to place on the jaws of the peoples ia bridle that leads astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, jas when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to kthe mountain of the Lord, to lthe Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord mwill cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger nand a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst oand storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, pwhen he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them qwill be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. rBattling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For sa burning place5 has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, tits pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; uthe breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt

31  Woe to vthose who go down to Egypt for help

and rely on horses,

who wtrust in chariots because they are many

and in horsemen because they are very strong,

but xdo not look to the Holy One of Israel

or consult the Lord!

And yyet he is wise and brings disaster;

zhe does not call back his words,

but awill arise against the house of the evildoers

and against the helpers of bthose who work iniquity.

The Egyptians are man, and not God,

and their horses care flesh, and not spirit.

When the Lord stretches out his hand,

the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,

and they will all perish together.

For thus the Lord said to me,

d“As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,

and when a band of shepherds is called out against him

he is not terrified by their shouting

or daunted at their noise,

eso the Lord of hosts will come down

to fight6 on Mount Zion and on its hill.

fLike birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts

will protect Jerusalem;

he will protect and deliver it;

he will spare and rescue it.”

gTurn to him from whom people7 have hdeeply revolted, O children of Israel. For in that day ieveryone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

j“And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man;

and a sword, not of man, shall devour him;

and he shall flee from the sword,

and his young men shall be kput to forced labor.

lHis rock shall pass away in terror,

and his officers desert the standard in panic,”

declares the Lord, whose mfire is in Zion,

and whose nfurnace is in Jerusalem.

A King Will Reign in Righteousness

32  Behold, oa king will reign in righteousness,

and princes will rule in justice.

pEach will be like a hiding place from the wind,

a shelter from the storm,

qlike streams of water in a dry place,

like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

rThen the eyes of those who see will not be closed,

and the ears of those who hear will give attention.

The heart of the hasty will understand and know,

sand the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.

tThe fool will no more be called noble,

nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.

For uthe fool speaks folly,

and his heart is busy with iniquity,

to practice ungodliness,

to utter error concerning the Lord,

vto leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,

and to deprive the thirsty of drink.

As for the scoundrel—whis devices are evil;

he plans wicked schemes

to ruin the poor with lying words,

even when the plea of the needy is right.

But he who is noble plans noble things,

and on noble things he stands.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

xRise up, you women ywho are at ease, hear my voice;

you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.

10  In little more than a year

you will shudder, you complacent women;

for the grape harvest fails,

the fruit harvest will not come.

11  Tremble, you women ywho are at ease,

shudder, you complacent ones;

zstrip, and make yourselves bare,

aand tie sackcloth around your waist.

12  bBeat your breasts for the pleasant fields,

for the fruitful vine,

13  cfor the soil of my people

growing up in thorns and briers,

dyes, for all the joyous houses

in the exultant city.

14  For the palace is forsaken,

the populous city deserted;

the hill and the watchtower

will become dens forever,

ea joy of wild donkeys,

a pasture of flocks;

15  until fthe Spirit is poured upon us from on high,

and gthe wilderness becomes a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

16  Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,

and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.

17  hAnd the effect of righteousness will be peace,

and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust8 forever.

18  My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,

in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

19  iAnd it will hail when the forest falls down,

jand the city will be utterly laid low.

20  kHappy are you who sow beside all waters,

who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

O Lord, Be Gracious to Us

33  lAh, you destroyer,

who yourself have not been destroyed,

you traitor,

whom none has betrayed!

When you have ceased to destroy,

you will be destroyed;

and when you have finished betraying,

they will betray you.

O Lord, be gracious to us; mwe wait for you.

Be our arm every morning,

our salvation in the time of trouble.

nAt the tumultuous noise peoples flee;

when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,

and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;

oas locusts leap, it is leapt upon.

pThe Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;

he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,

qand he will be the stability of your times,

abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;

the fear of the Lord is Zion's9 treasure.

Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;

rthe envoys of peace weep bitterly.

sThe highways lie waste;

the traveler ceases.

tCovenants are broken;

cities10 are despised;

there is no regard for man.

uThe land mourns and languishes;

Lebanon is confounded and withers away;

Sharon is like a desert,

and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.

10  v“Now I will arise,” says the Lord,

“now I will lift myself up;

now I will be exalted.

11  wYou conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble;

your breath is xa fire that will consume you.

12  And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,

xlike thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”

13  Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;

and you who are near, acknowledge my might.

14  The sinners in Zion are afraid;

trembling has seized the godless:

y“Who among us can dwell zwith the consuming fire?

Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”

15  aHe who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,

who despises the gain of oppressions,

who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,

who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed

band shuts his eyes from looking on evil,

16  he will dwell on the heights;

his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;

chis bread will be given him; his water will be sure.

17  dYour eyes will behold the king in his beauty;

ethey will see a land that stretches afar.

18  fYour heart will muse on the terror:

“Where is he who counted, where is ghe who weighed the tribute?

Where is hhe who counted the towers?”

19  iYou will see no more the insolent people,

the people jof an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,

stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.

20  Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!

kYour eyes will see Jerusalem,

an untroubled habitation, an limmovable tent,

whose stakes will never be plucked up,

nor will any of its cords be broken.

21  But there the Lord in majesty will be for us

a place of mbroad rivers and streams,

nwhere no galley with oars can go,

nor majestic ship can pass.

22  For the Lord is our ojudge; the Lord is our plawgiver;

the Lord is our qking; he will save us.

23  Your cords hang loose;

they cannot hold the mast firm in its place

or keep the sail spread out.

rThen prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;

even sthe lame will take the prey.

24  And no inhabitant will say, t“I am sick”;

uthe people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.

Judgment on the Nations

34  Draw near, vO nations, to hear,

and give attention, O peoples!

Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;

the world, and all that comes from it.

For the Lord is enraged against all the nations,

and furious against all their host;

he has wdevoted them to destruction,11 has given them over for slaughter.

Their slain shall be cast out,

and xthe stench of their corpses shall rise;

ythe mountains shall flow with their blood.

zAll the host of heaven shall rot away,

and the skies roll up like a scroll.

All their host shall fall,

as leaves fall from the vine,

like leaves falling from the fig tree.

For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;

behold, it descends for judgment upon aEdom,

upon the people bI have devoted to destruction.

The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood;

it is gorged with fat,

with the blood of lambs and goats,

with the fat of the kidneys of rams.

cFor the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,

a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

dWild oxen shall efall with them,

and fyoung steers with fthe mighty bulls.

Their land shall drink its fill of blood,

and their soil shall be gorged with fat.

gFor the Lord has a day of vengeance,

a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.

hAnd the streams of Edom12 shall be turned into pitch,

and her soil into sulfur;

her land shall become burning pitch.

10  Night and day iit shall not be quenched;

jits smoke shall go up forever.

kFrom generation to generation it shall lie waste;

none shall pass through it forever and ever.

11  lBut the hawk and the porcupine13 shall possess it,

the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.

mHe shall stretch the line of nconfusion14 over it,

and the plumb line of emptiness.

12  Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom,

and all its princes shall be nothing.

13  oThorns shall grow over its strongholds,

nettles and thistles in its fortresses.

It shall be the haunt of pjackals,

an abode for ostriches.15

14  qAnd wild animals shall meet with hyenas;

the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;

indeed, there the night bird16 settles

and finds for herself a resting place.

15  There the owl nests and lays

and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow;

indeed, there rthe hawks are gathered,

each one with her mate.

16  Seek and read from the book of the Lord:

Not one of these shall be missing;

none shall be without her mate.

For the mouth of the Lord has commanded,

and his Spirit has gathered them.

17  sHe has cast the lot for them;

his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;

they shall possess it forever;

from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.

The Ransomed Shall Return

35  tThe wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

uthe desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

it shall blossom abundantly

and rejoice with joy and singing.

vThe glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

the majesty of wCarmel and xSharon.

yThey shall see the glory of the Lord,

the majesty of our God.

zStrengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart,

“Be strong; fear not!

aBehold, your God

will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

He will come and save you.”

bThen the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

bthen shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

cFor waters break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

dthe burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of ejackals, where they lie down,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

fAnd a highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

gthe unclean shall not pass over it.

It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.17

No lion shall be there,

nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

but the redeemed shall walk there.

10  hAnd the ransomed of the Lord shall return

and come to Zion with singing;

ieverlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 jIn the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, kSennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. lAnd the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh18 from mLachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood nby the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. And there came out to him oEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and oShebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the pgreat king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? qBehold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he rwhose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse sa single captain among the least of my master's servants, when tyou trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? uThe Lord said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants vin Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: w‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me19 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until xI come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 yWhere are the gods of zHamath and zArpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? aHave they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 bWho among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 cThen Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah's Help

37 dAs soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet eIsaiah the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a fday of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; gchildren have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. hIt may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for ithe remnant that is left.’”

When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, jI will put a spirit in him, so that khe shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and lI will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against mLibnah, for he had heard that the king had left mLachish. Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of nCush,20 “He has set out to fight against you.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: o‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 pHave the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, qGozan, rHaran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 pWhere is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah's Prayer for Deliverance

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, senthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; tyou have made heaven and earth. 17 uIncline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear vall the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, wthe kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

Sennacherib's Fall

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

“‘She despises you, she scorns you—

xthe virgin daughter of Zion;

she wags her head behind you—

the daughter of Jerusalem.

23  “‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?

Against whom have you raised your voice

and lifted your eyes to the heights?

Against ythe Holy One of Israel!

24  By your servants you have mocked the Lord,

and you have said, zWith my many chariots

I have gone up the heights of the mountains,

to the far recesses of Lebanon,

ato cut down its tallest cedars,

its choicest cypresses,

to come to its remotest height,

its most fruitful forest.

25  I dug wells

and drank waters,

to dry up with the sole of my foot

all bthe streams cof Egypt.

26  d“‘Have you not heard

that I determined it long ago?

I planned from days of old

what now I bring to pass,

that you should make fortified cities

crash into heaps of ruins,

27  while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,

are dismayed and confounded,

and have become like plants of the field

and like tender grass,

like grass on the housetops,

blighted21 before it is grown.

28  “‘I know your sitting down

and your going out and coming in,

and your raging against me.

29  eBecause you have raged against me

and your complacency has come to my ears,

I will put my hook in your nose

and my bit in your mouth,

and fI will turn you back on the way

by which you came.’

30 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that. Then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah gshall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 hFor out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. iThe zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or jcast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 kFor I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for lthe sake of my servant David.”

36 mAnd the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at nNineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of oArarat, pEsarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Hezekiah's Sickness and Recovery

38 qIn those days Hezekiah became rsick and was at the point of death. And sIsaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.”22 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how tI have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add ufifteen years to your life.23 vI will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

“This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: wBehold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.24

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10  I said, xIn the middle25 of my days

I must depart;

I am consigned to the gates of Sheol

for the rest of my years.

11  I said, I shall not see the Lord,

the Lord yin the land of the living;

I shall look on man no more

among the inhabitants of the world.

12  My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me

zlike a shepherd's tent;

alike a weaver bI have rolled up my life;

che cuts me off from the loom;

dfrom day to night you bring me to an end;

13  eI calmed myself26 until morning;

like a lion fhe breaks all my bones;

from day to night you bring me to an end.

14  Like ga swallow or a crane I chirp;

hI moan like a dove.

iMy eyes are weary with looking upward.

O Lord, I am oppressed; jbe my pledge of safety!

15  What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,

and he himself has done it.

kI walk slowly all my years

because of the bitterness of my soul.

16  lO Lord, by these things men live,

and in all these is the life of my spirit.

Oh restore me to health and make me live!

17  mBehold, it was for my welfare

that I had great bitterness;

nbut in love you have delivered my life

from the pit of destruction,

nfor you have cast all my sins

behind your back.

18  oFor Sheol does not thank you;

death does not praise you;

those who go down to the pit do not hope

for your faithfulness.

19  The living, the living, he thanks you,

as I do this day;

pthe father makes known to the children

your faithfulness.

20  The Lord will save me,

and we will play my music on stringed instruments

all the days of our lives,

qat the house of the Lord.

21 rNow Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”

Envoys from Babylon

39 sAt that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, tsent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, uthe silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. vThere was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: wBehold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. xAnd some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, y“There will be peace and security in my days.”

Comfort for God's People

40  zComfort, comfort my people, says your God.

aSpeak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and cry to her

that bher warfare27 is ended,

that her iniquity is pardoned,

that she has received from the Lord's hand

double for all her sins.

cA voice cries:28

d“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

emake straight in the desert a highway for our God.

fEvery valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

gAnd the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

hfor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Word of God Stands Forever

A voice says, “Cry!”

And I said,29 “What shall I cry?”

iAll flesh is grass,

and all its beauty30 is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades

when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

surely the people are grass.

jThe grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

Go on up to a high mountain,

O Zion, kherald of good news;31

lift up your voice with strength,

O Jerusalem, herald of good news;32

lift it up, fear not;

say to the cities of Judah,

“Behold your God!”

10  lBehold, the Lord God comes with might,

and his arm rules for him;

mbehold, his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.

11  nHe will tend his flock like a shepherd;

ohe will gather the lambs in his arms;

phe will carry them in his bosom,

and gently lead those that are with young.

12  qWho has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

and marked off the heavens with a span,

enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure

and weighed the mountains in scales

and the hills in a balance?

13  rWho has measured33 the Spirit of the Lord,

or what man shows him his counsel?

14  Whom did he consult,

and who made him understand?

sWho taught him the path of justice,

and taught him knowledge,

and showed him the way of understanding?

15  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

and are accounted tas the dust on the scales;

behold, he takes up uthe coastlands like fine dust.

16  Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,

nor are vits beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17  wAll the nations are as nothing before him,

they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18  xTo whom then will you liken God,

yor what likeness compare with him?

19  yAn idol! A craftsman casts it,

and a goldsmith overlays it with gold

and casts for it silver chains.

20  zHe who is too impoverished for an offering

chooses wood34 that will not rot;

he seeks out a skillful craftsman

to set up an idol that will not move.

21  aDo you not know? Do you not hear?

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

and its inhabitants are blike grasshoppers;

cwho stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

23  dwho brings princes to nothing,

and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,

scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,

when he blows on them, and they wither,

eand the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25  fTo whom then will you compare me,

that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

26  Lift up your eyes on high and see:

who created these?

gHe who brings out their host by number,

calling them all by name,

by the greatness of his might,

and because he is strong in power

not one is missing.

27  Why do you say, O Jacob,

and speak, O Israel,

h“My way is hidden from the Lord,

iand my right is disregarded by my God”?

28  Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is jthe everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;

khis understanding is unsearchable.

29  He gives power to the faint,

and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30  Even youths shall faint and be weary,

and young men shall fall exhausted;

31  but lthey who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings mlike eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

they shall walk and not faint.

Fear Not, for I Am with You

41  nListen to me in silence, oO coastlands;

let the peoples renew their strength;

let them approach, then let them speak;

let us together draw near for judgment.

pWho stirred up one from the east

whom victory meets at every qstep?35

rHe gives up nations before him,

so that he tramples kings underfoot;

he makes them like dust with his sword,

slike driven stubble with his bow.

He pursues them and passes on safely,

by paths his feet have not trod.

tWho has performed and done this,

calling the generations from the beginning?

uI, the Lord, the first,

and with the last; I am he.

vThe coastlands have seen and are afraid;

the ends of the earth tremble;

they have drawn near and come.

Everyone helps his neighbor

and says to his brother, “Be strong!”

wThe craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,

and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,

saying of the soldering, “It is good”;

and they strengthen it with nails xso that it cannot be moved.

But you, Israel, ymy servant,

Jacob, zwhom I have chosen,

the offspring of Abraham, amy friend;

you whom I took from the ends of the earth,

and called bfrom its farthest corners,

saying to you, “You are ymy servant,

zI have chosen you and not cast you off”;

10  fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with cmy righteous right hand.

11  dBehold, all who are incensed against you

shall be put to shame and confounded;

those who strive against you

shall be as nothing and shall perish.

12  eYou shall seek those who contend with you,

but you shall not find them;

fthose who war against you

shall be as nothing at all.

13  For I, the Lord your God,

hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Fear not,

I am the one who helps you.”

14  Fear not, you gworm Jacob,

you men of Israel!

I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;

your hRedeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

15  iBehold, I make of you a threshing sledge,

new, sharp, and having teeth;

you shall thresh jthe mountains and crush them,

and you shall make the hills like chaff;

16  kyou shall winnow them, and lthe wind shall carry them away,

and the tempest shall scatter them.

mAnd you shall rejoice in the Lord;

in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

17  nWhen the poor and needy seek water,

and there is none,

and their tongue is parched with thirst,

I the Lord will answer them;

I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18  oI will open rivers on the bare heights,

and fountains in the midst of the valleys.

pI will make the wilderness a pool of water,

and the dry land springs of water.

19  qI will put in the wilderness the cedar,

the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.

I will set in the desert rthe cypress,

the plane and the pine together,

20  that they may see and know,

may consider and understand together,

that sthe hand of the Lord has done this,

the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21  Set forth your case, says the Lord;

bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.

22  Let them bring them, and ttell us

what is to happen.

Tell us the former things, what they are,

that we may consider them,

that we may know their outcome;

or declare to us the things to come.

23  tTell us what is to come hereafter,

that we may know that you are gods;

udo good, or do harm,

that we may be dismayed and terrified.36

24  Behold, vyou are nothing,

and your work is less than nothing;

an abomination is he who chooses you.

25  wI stirred up one from the north, and he has come,

xfrom the rising of the sun, yand he shall call upon my name;

he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,

as the potter treads clay.

26  zWho declared it from the beginning, that we might know,

and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”?

There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed,

none who heard your words.

27  aI was the first to say37 to Zion, “Behold, here they are!”

and bI give to Jerusalem a herald of good news.

28  cBut when I look, there is no one;

among these there is no counselor

who, when I ask, gives an answer.

29  dBehold, they are all a delusion;

their works are nothing;

their metal images are empty wind.

Footnotes

[1] 30:1 Hebrew who weave a web
[2] 30:8 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate, and Greek versions; Masoretic Text forever and ever
[3] 30:15 Or repentance
[4] 30:27 Hebrew in weight of uplifted clouds
[5] 30:33 Or For Topheth
[6] 31:4 The Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike
[7] 31:6 Hebrew they
[8] 32:17 Or security
[9] 33:6 Hebrew his
[10] 33:8 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll witnesses
[11] 34:2 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 5
[12] 34:9 Hebrew her streams
[13] 34:11 The identity of the animals rendered hawk and porcupine is uncertain
[14] 34:11 Hebrew formlessness
[15] 34:13 Or owls
[16] 34:14 Identity uncertain
[17] 35:8 Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it
[18] 36:2 Rabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer
[19] 36:16 Hebrew Make a blessing with me
[20] 37:9 Probably Nubia
[21] 37:27 Some Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts like a field
[22] 38:1 Or live; also verses 9, 21
[23] 38:5 Hebrew to your days
[24] 38:8 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
[25] 38:10 Or In the quiet
[26] 38:13 Or (with Targum) I cried for help
[27] 40:2 Or hardship
[28] 40:3 Or A voice of one crying
[29] 40:6 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says
[30] 40:6 Or all its constancy
[31] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion
[32] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
[33] 40:13 Or has directed
[34] 40:20 Or He chooses valuable wood
[35] 41:2 Or whom righteousness calls to follow?
[36] 41:23 Or that we may both be dismayed and see
[37] 41:27 Or Formerly I said