Isaiah 31-35 New Revised Standard Version

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The Egyptians Are Men, Not God

31 1  Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help and who rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! 2  Yet he too is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will rise against the house of the evildoers, and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. 3  The Egyptians are human, and not God; their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall, and they will all perish together. 4  For thus the Lord said to me, As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey, and-when a band of shepherds is called out against it- is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the Lord of hosts will come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill. 5  Like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it, he will spare and rescue it.

6  Turn back to him whom you have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. 7  For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you. 8  "Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals; and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him; he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be put to forced labor. 9  His rock shall pass away in terror, and his officers desert the standard in panic," says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

The Righteous King

32 1  See, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. 2  Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. 3  Then the eyes of those who have sight will not be closed, and the ears of those who have hearing will listen. 4  The minds of the rash will have good judgment, and the tongues of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly. 5  A fool will no longer be called noble, nor a villain said to be honorable. 6  For fools speak folly, and their minds plot iniquity: to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. 7  The villainies of villains are evil; they devise wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. 8  But those who are noble plan noble things, and by noble things they stand.

Women of Jerusalem Warned

9  Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, listen to my speech. 10  In little more than a year you will shudder, you complacent ones; for the vintage will fail, the fruit harvest will not come. 11  Tremble, you women who are at ease, shudder, you complacent ones; strip, and make yourselves bare, and put sackcloth on your loins. 12  Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine, 13  for the soil of my people growing up in thorns and briers; yes, for all the joyous houses in the jubilant city. 14  For the palace will be forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, the joy of wild asses, a pasture for flocks; 15  until a spirit from on high is poured out on us, and the 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  The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. 18  My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. 19  The forest will disappear completely, and the city will be utterly laid low. 20  Happy will you be who sow beside every stream, who let the ox and the donkey range freely.

The LORD Will Bring Salvation

33 1  Ah, you destroyer, who yourself have not been destroyed; you treacherous one, with whom no one has dealt treacherously! When you have ceased to destroy, you will be destroyed; and when you have stopped dealing treacherously, you will be dealt with treacherously. 2  O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. 3  At the sound of tumult, peoples fled; before your majesty, nations scattered. 4  Spoil was gathered as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap, they leaped upon it. 5  The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high; he filled Zion with justice and righteousness; 6  he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure. 7  Listen! the valiant cry in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly. 8  The highways are deserted, travelers have quit the road. The treaty is broken, its oaths are despised, its obligation is disregarded. 9  The land mourns and languishes; Lebanon is confounded and withers away; Sharon is like a desert; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves. 10  "Now I will arise," says the Lord, "now I will lift myself up; now I will be exalted. 11  You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble; your breath is a fire that will consume you. 12  And the peoples will be as if burned to lime, like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire."

13  Hear, you who are far away, what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge my might. 14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: "Who among us can live with the devouring fire? Who among us can live with everlasting flames?" 15  Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly, who despise the gain of oppression, who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it, who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed and shut their eyes from looking on evil, 16  they will live on the heights; their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks; their food will be supplied, their water assured. 17  Your eyes will see the king in his beauty; they will behold a land that stretches far away. 18  Your mind will muse on the terror: "Where is the one who counted? Where is the one who weighed the tribute? Where is the one who counted the towers?" 19  No longer will you see the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend, stammering in a language that you cannot understand. 20  Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals! Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, an immovable tent, whose stakes will never be pulled up, and none of whose ropes will be broken. 21  But there the Lord in majesty will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, nor stately ship can pass. 22  For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us. 23  Your rigging hangs loose; it cannot hold the mast firm in its place, or keep the sail spread out. Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided; even the lame will fall to plundering. 24  And no inhabitant will say, "I am sick"; the people who live there will be forgiven their iniquity.

The LORD's Wrath upon the Nations

34 1  Draw near, O nations, to hear; O peoples, give heed! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. 2  For the Lord is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their hordes; he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter. 3  Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. 4  All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall wither like a leaf withering on a vine, or fruit withering on a fig tree. 5  When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, lo, it will descend upon Edom, upon the people I have doomed to judgment. 6  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. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7  Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall be soaked with blood, and their soil made rich with fat. 8  For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of vindication by Zion's cause.

9  And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch. 10  Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; no one shall pass through it forever and ever. 11  But the hawk and the hedgehog shall possess it; the owl and the raven shall live in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plummet of chaos over its nobles. 12  They shall name it No Kingdom There, and all its princes shall be nothing. 13  Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches. 14  Wildcats shall meet with hyenas, goat-demons shall call to each other; there too Lilith shall repose, and find a place to rest. 15  There shall the owl nest and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow; there too the buzzards shall gather, each one with its mate. 16  Seek and read from the book of the Lord: Not one of these shall be missing; none shall be without its mate. For the mouth of the Lord has commanded, and his spirit has gathered them. 17  He 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 live in it.

The Glorious Future of Zion

35 1  The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2  it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. 3  Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4  Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you."

5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6  then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7  the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8  A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. 9  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  And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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