The Glorious Future of Zion
35 1 The waste land and the dry places will be glad; the lowland will have joy and be full of flowers. 2 It will be flowering like the rose; it will be full of delight and songs; the glory of Lebanon will be given to it; the pride of Carmel and Sharon: they will see the glory of the Lord, the power of our God. 3 Make strong the feeble hands, give support to the shaking knees. 4 Say to those who are full of fear, Be strong and take heart: see, your God will give punishment; the reward of God will come; he himself will come to be your saviour.
5 Then the eyes of the blind will see, and the ears which are stopped will be open. 6 Then will the feeble-footed be jumping like a roe, and the voice which was stopped will be loud in song: for in the waste land streams will be bursting out, and waters in the dry places. 7 And the burning sand will become a pool, and the dry earth springs of waters: the fields where the sheep take their food will become wet land, and water-plants will take the place of grass. 8 And a highway will be there; its name will be, The Holy Way; the unclean and the sinner may not go over it, and those who go on it will not be turned out of the way by the foolish. 9 No lion will be there, or any cruel beast; they will not be seen there; but those for whom the Lord has given a price, 10 Even those whom he has made free, will come back again; they will come with songs to Zion; on their heads will be eternal joy; delight and joy will be theirs, and sorrow and sounds of grief will be gone for ever.
The Invasion of Sennacherib
36 1 And it came about in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the walled towns of Judah and took them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a strong force, and he took up his position by the stream of the higher pool, by the highway of the washerman's 3 And there came out to him Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder. 4 And the Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, These are the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: In what are you placing your hope? 5 You say you have a design and strength for war, but these are only words: now to whom are you looking for support, that you have gone against my authority? 6 See, you are basing your hope on that broken rod of Egypt, which will go into a man's hand if he makes use of it for a support; for so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all who put their faith in him. 7 And if you say to me, Our hope is in the Lord our God; is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and Jerusalem that worship may only be given before this altar? 8 And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. 9 How then may you put to shame the least of my master's servants? and you have put your hope in Egypt for war-carriages and horsemen: 10 And have I now come to send destruction on this land without the Lord's authority? It was the Lord himself who said to me, Go up against this land and make it waste.
11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, Please make use of the Aramaean language in talking to your servants, for we are used to it, and do not make use of the Jews' language in the hearing of the people on the wall. 12 But the Rab-shakeh said, Is it to your master or to you that my master has sent me to say these words? has he not sent me to the men seated on the wall? for they are the people who will be short of food with you when the town is shut in. 13 Then the Rab-shakeh got up and said with a loud voice in the Jews' language, Give ear to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: 14 This is what the king says: Do not be tricked by Hezekiah, for there is no salvation for you in him. 15 And do not let Hezekiah make you put your faith in the Lord, saying, The Lord will certainly keep us safe, and this town will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 16 Do not give ear to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says, Make peace with me, and come out to me; and everyone will be free to take the fruit of his vine and of his fig-tree, and the water of his spring; 17 Till I come and take you away to a land like yours, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vine-gardens. 18 Give no attention to Hezekiah when he says to you, The Lord will keep us safe. Has any one of the gods of the nations kept his land from falling into the hands of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? where are the gods of Samaria? and have they kept Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these countries have kept their country from falling into my hand, to give cause for the thought that the Lord will keep Jerusalem from falling into my hand? 21 But they kept quiet and gave him no answer: for the king's order was, Give him no answer. 22 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothing parted as a sign of grief, and gave him an account of what the Rab-shakeh had said.