Isaiah 36-41 New American Standard Bible

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The Invasion of Sennacherib

36 1  Now in the fourteenth e year of King Hezekiah , Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 2  And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a large army . And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway of the fuller's field . 3  Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah , who was over the household , and Shebna the scribe , and Joah the son of Asaph , the recorder , came out to him. 4  Then Rabshakeh said to them, "Say now to Hezekiah , 'Thus says the great king , the king of Assyria , "What is this confidence that you have ? 5  "I say , 'Your counsel and strength for the war are only empty words .' Now on whom do you rely , that you have rebelled against me? 6  "Behold , you rely on the staff of this crushed reed , even on Egypt , on which if a man leans , it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. 7  "But if you say to me, 'We trust in the Lord our God ,' is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem , 'You shall worship before this altar '? 8  "Now therefore, come make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria , and I will give you two thousand horses , if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 9  "How then can you repulse e one official of the least of my master's servants and rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen ? 10  "Have I now come up without the Lord'S approval against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, 'Go up against this land and destroy it.' ""'

11  Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh , "Speak now to your servants in Aramaic , for we understand it; and do not speak with us in Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall ." 12  But Rabshakeh said , "Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words , and not to the men who sit on the wall , doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?" 13  Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in Judean and said , "Hear the words of the great king , the king of Assyria . 14  "Thus says the king , 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; 15  nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord , 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 me and come out to me, and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern , 17  until I come and take you away to a land like your own land , a land of grain and new wine , a land of bread and vineyards . 18  'Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying , " The Lord will deliver us." Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria ? 19  'Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad ? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim ? And when have they delivered Samaria from my hand ? 20  'Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their land from my hand , that the Lord would deliver Jerusalem from my hand ?' " 21  But they were silent and answered him not a word ; for the king's commandment was, "Do not answer him." 22  Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah , who was over the household , and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph , the recorder , came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh .

Judah Delivered from Sennacherib

37 1  And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes , covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord . 2  Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests , covered with sackcloth , to Isaiah the prophet , the son of Amoz . 3  They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah , 'This day is a day of distress , rebuke and rejection ; for children have come to birth , and there is no strength to deliver . 4  'Perhaps the Lord your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh , whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God , and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard . Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left .' " 5  So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah . 6  Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master , 'Thus says the Lord , " Do not be afraid because e of the words that you have heard , with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7  "Behold , I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land . And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land .""'

8  Then Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah , for he had heard that the king had left Lachish . 9  When he heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Cush , "He has come out to fight against you," and when he heard it he sent messengers to Hezekiah , saying , 10  "Thus you shall say to Hezekiah king of Judah , ' Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying , "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 the lands , destroying them completely . So will you be spared ? 12  'Did the gods of those nations which my fathers have destroyed deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar ? 13  'Where is the king of Hamath , the king of Arpad , the king of the city of Sepharvaim , and of Hena and Ivvah ?' " 14  Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord . 15  Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying , 16  "O Lord of hosts , the God of Israel , who is enthroned above the cherubim , You are the God , You alone , of all the kingdoms of the earth . You have made heaven and earth . 17  " Incline Your ear , O Lord , and hear ; open Your eyes , O Lord , and see ; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib , who sent them to reproach the living God . 18  "Truly , O Lord , the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands , 19  and have cast their gods into the fire , for they were not gods but the work of men's hands , wood and stone . So they have destroyed them. 20  "Now , O Lord our God , deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone , Lord , are God ."

21  Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah , saying , "Thus says the Lord , the God of Israel , 'Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria , 22  this is the word that the Lord has spoken against him: "She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion ; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem ! 23  "Whom have you reproached and blasphemed ? And against whom have you raised your voice And haughtily lifted up your eyes ? Against the Holy One of Israel ! 24  "Through your servants you have reproached the Lord , And you have said , 'With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains , To the remotest parts of Lebanon ; And I cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses . And I will go to its highest peak , its thickest forest . 25  'I dug wells and drank waters , And with the sole of my feet I dried up All the rivers of Egypt .' 26  " Have you not heard ? Long ago I did it, From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass , That you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps . 27  "Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength , They were dismayed and put to shame ; They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb , As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up. 28  "But I know your sitting down And your going out and your coming in And your raging against Me. 29  "Because of your raging against Me And because your arrogance has come up to My ears , Therefore I will put My hook in your nose And My bridle in your lips , And I will turn you back by the way which you came . 30  "Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow , reap , plant vineyards and eat their fruit . 31  "The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward . 32  "For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors . The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this ."' 33  "Therefore , thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria , 'He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there ; and he will not come before it with a shield , or throw up a siege ramp against it. 34  ' By the way that he came , by the same he will return , and he will not come to this city ,' declares the Lord . 35  'For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake .' " 36  Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 e e e in the camp of the Assyrians ; and when men arose early in the morning , behold , all of these were dead e . 37  So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh . 38  It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god , that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword ; and they escaped into the land of Ararat . And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place .

Hezekiah's Sickness

38 1  In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill . And Isaiah 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 and not live .' " 2  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord , 3  and said , " Remember now , O Lord , I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart , and have done what is good in Your sight ." And Hezekiah wept bitterly . 4  Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah , saying , 5  "Go and say to Hezekiah , 'Thus says the Lord , the God of your father David , "I have heard your prayer , I have seen your tears ; behold , I will add fifteen e years to your life . 6  "I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria ; and I will defend this city ."' 7  "This shall be the sign to you from the Lord , that the Lord will do this thing that He has spoken : 8  "Behold , I will cause the shadow on the stairway , which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz , to go back ten steps ." So the sun's shadow went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down .

9  A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery : 10  I said , " In the middle of my life I am to enter the gates of Sheol ; I am to be deprived of the rest of my years ." 11  I said , "I will not see the Lord , The Lord in the land of the living ; I will look on man no more among the inhabitants of the world . 12  "Like a shepherd's tent my dwelling is pulled up and removed from me; As a weaver I rolled up my life . He cuts me off from the loom ; From day until night You make an end of me. 13  "I composed my soul until morning . Like a lion -so He breaks all my bones , From day until night You make an end of me. 14  " Like a swallow , like a crane , so I twitter ; I moan like a dove ; My eyes look wistfully to the heights ; O Lord , I am oppressed , be my security . 15  " What shall I say ? For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it; I will wander about all my years because of the bitterness of my soul . 16  "O Lord , by these things men live , And in all these is the life of my spirit ; O restore me to health and let me live ! 17  "Lo , for my own welfare I had great bitterness ; It is You who has kept my soul from the pit of nothingness , For You have cast all my sins behind Your back . 18  "For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness . 19  "It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today ; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness . 20  "The Lord will surely save me; So we will play my songs on stringed instruments All the days of our life at the house of the Lord ." 21  Now Isaiah had said , "Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil , that he may recover ." 22  Then Hezekiah had said , "What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord ?"

Hezekiah Receives Envoys from Babylon

39 1  At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan , king of Babylon , sent letters and a present to Hezekiah , for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered . 2  Hezekiah was pleased e , and showed them all his treasure house , the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and his whole armory e and all that was found in his treasuries . There was nothing e in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 3  Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, "What did these men say , and from where have they come to you?" And Hezekiah said , "They have come to me from a far country , from Babylon ." 4  He said , "What have they seen in your house ?" So Hezekiah answered , "They have seen all that is in my house ; there is nothing e among my treasuries that I have not shown them."

5  Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah , "Hear the word of the Lord of hosts , 6  'Behold , the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon ; nothing e will be left ,' says the Lord . 7  'And some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will beget , will be taken away, and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon .' " 8  Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah , "The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good ." For he thought , "For there will be peace and truth in my days ."

The LORD's Comforting Words to Zion

40 1  " Comfort , O comfort My people ," says your God . 2  " Speak kindly to Jerusalem ; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended , That her iniquity has been removed , That she has received of the Lord'S hand Double for all her sins ."

3  A voice is calling , " Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness ; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God . 4  "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low ; And let the rough ground become a plain , And the rugged terrain a broad valley ; 5  Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed , And all flesh will see it together ; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken ." 6  A voice says , "Call out." Then he answered , "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass , and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field . 7  The grass withers , the flower fades , When the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass . 8  The grass withers , the flower fades , But the word of our God stands forever .

9  Get yourself up on a high mountain , O Zion , bearer of good news , Lift up your voice mightily , O Jerusalem , bearer of good news ; Lift it up, do not fear . Say to the cities of Judah , " Here is your God !" 10  Behold , the Lord GOD will come with might , With His arm ruling for Him. Behold , His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. 11  Like a shepherd He will tend His flock , In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom ; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Israel's Incomparable God

12  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand , And marked off the heavens by the span , And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure , And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales ? 13  Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord , Or as His counselor e has informed Him? 14  With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding ? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding ? 15  Behold , the nations are like a drop from a bucket , And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales ; Behold , He lifts up the islands like fine dust . 16  Even Lebanon is not enough to burn , Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering . 17  All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless .

18  To whom then will you liken God ? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? 19  As for the idol , a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold , And a silversmith fashions chains of silver . 20  He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot ; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter . 21  Do you not know ? Have you not heard ? Has it not been declared to 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 like grasshoppers , Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23  He it is who reduces rulers to nothing , Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless . 24  Scarcely e have they been planted , Scarcely e have they been sown , Scarcely e has their stock taken root in the earth , But He merely blows on them, and they wither , And the storm carries them away like stubble . 25  " To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal ?" says the Holy One . 26  Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number , He calls them all by name ; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power , Not one of them is missing .

27  Why do you say , O Jacob , and assert , O Israel , "My way is hidden from the Lord , And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God "? 28  Do you not know ? Have you not heard ? The Everlasting God , the Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired . His understanding is inscrutable e . 29  He gives strength to the weary , And to him who lacks might He increases power . 30  Though youths grow weary and tired , And vigorous young men stumble badly , 31  Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength ; They will mount up with wings like eagles , They will run and not get tired , They will walk and not become weary .

God's Assurance to Israel

41 1  " Coastlands , listen to Me in silence , And let the peoples gain new strength ; Let them come forward , then let them speak ; Let us come together for judgment . 2  " Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet ? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings . He makes them like dust with his sword , As the wind-driven chaff with his bow . 3  "He pursues them, passing on in safety , By a way he had not been traversing with his feet . 4  " Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning ? ' I, the Lord , am the first , and with the last . I am He.' " 5  The coastlands have seen and are afraid ; The ends of the earth tremble ; They have drawn near and have come . 6  Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother , "Be strong !" 7  So the craftsman encourages the smelter , And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil , Saying of the soldering , "It is good "; And he fastens it with nails , So that it will not totter . 8  "But you, Israel , My servant , Jacob whom I have chosen , Descendant of Abraham My friend , 9  You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth , And called from its remotest parts And said to you, 'You are My servant , I have chosen you and not rejected you.

10  'Do not fear , for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God . I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand .' 11  "Behold , all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored ; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish . 12  " You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent . 13  "For I am the Lord your God , who upholds your right hand , Who says to you, ' Do not fear , I will help you.' 14  "Do not fear , you worm Jacob , you men of Israel ; I will help you," declares the Lord , "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel . 15  "Behold , I have made you a new , sharp threshing sledge with double edges ; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff . 16  "You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord , You will glory in the Holy One of Israel . 17  "The afflicted and needy are seeking water , but there is none , And their tongue is parched with thirst ; I, the Lord , will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18  "I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys ; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water . 19  "I will put the cedar in the wilderness , The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree ; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress , 20  That they may see and recognize , And consider and gain insight as well , That the hand of the Lord has done this , And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The LORD's Challenge to False Gods

21  "Present your case ," the Lord says . "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says . 22  Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place ; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome . Or announce to us what is coming ; 23  Declare the things that are going to come afterward , That we may know that you are gods ; Indeed , do good or evil , that we may anxiously look about us and fear together . 24  Behold , you are of no account , And your work amounts to nothing ; He who chooses you is an abomination . 25  "I have aroused one from the north , and he has come ; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name ; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar , Even as the potter treads clay ." 26  Who has declared this from the beginning , that we might know ? Or from former times , that we may say , "He is right !"? Surely there was no one who declared , Surely there was no one who proclaimed , Surely there was no one who heard your words . 27  " Formerly I said to Zion , 'Behold , here they are.' And to Jerusalem , 'I will give a messenger of good news .' 28  "But when I look , there is no one , And there is no counselor among them Who, if I ask , can give an answer . 29  "Behold , all of them are false ; Their works are worthless , Their molten images are wind and emptiness .

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