Isaiah 36-41 World English Bible

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The Invasion of Sennacherib

36 1  Now it happened in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all of the fortified cities of Judah, and captured them. 2  The king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a large army. He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller’s field highway. 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  Rabshakeh said to them, “Now tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, “What confidence is this in which you trust? 5  I say that your counsel and strength for the war are only vain words. Now in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6  Behold, you trust in the staff of this bruised reed, even in Egypt, which if a man leans on it, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 7  But if you tell me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our God,’ isn’t that 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, please make a pledge to 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 turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10  Have I come up now without Yahweh against this land to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, “Go up against this land, and destroy it.”’”

11  Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and don’t speak to us in the Jews’ language 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, who will eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?” 13  Then Rabshakeh stood, and called out with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14  Thus says the king, ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you; for he will not be able to deliver you. 15  Don’t let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will surely deliver us. This city won’t be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’ 16  Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and each of you eat from his vine, and each one from his fig tree, and each one of you drink 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 lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, “Yahweh will deliver us.” Have any of the gods of the nations delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19  Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 20  Who are they among all the gods of these countries that have delivered their country out of my hand, that Yahweh should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” 21  But they remained silent, and said nothing in reply, for the king’s commandment was, “Don’t 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  It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into Yahweh’s house. 2  He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and 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 trouble, and of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring forth. 4  It may be Yahweh your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’” 5  So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6  Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “Don’t be afraid 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 and he will hear news, and will return to his own land. I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’”

8  So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 9  He heard news concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10  “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem won’t 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, by destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12  Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Telassar? 13  Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?’” 14  Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to Yahweh’s house, and spread it before Yahweh. 15  Hezekiah prayed to Yahweh, saying, 16  “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, who is enthroned among the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17  Turn your ear, Yahweh, and hear. Open your eyes, Yahweh, and behold. Hear all of the words of Sennacherib, who has sent to defy the living God. 18  Truly, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the countries and their land, 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 have destroyed them. 20  Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are Yahweh, even you only.”

21  Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22  this is the word which Yahweh has spoken concerning him. The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you. 23  Whom have you defied and blasphemed? Against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. 24  By your servants, have you defied the Lord, and have said, “With the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon. I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice fir trees. I will enter into its farthest height, the forest of its fruitful field. 25  I have dug and drunk water, and with the sole of my feet I will dry up all the rivers of Egypt.” 26  Have you not heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it in ancient times? Now I have brought it to pass, that it should be yours to destroy fortified cities, turning them into ruinous heaps. 27  Therefore their inhabitants had little power. They were dismayed and confounded. They were like the grass of the field, and like the green herb, like the grass on the housetops, and like a field before its crop has grown. 28  But I know your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your raging against me. 29  Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance has come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came. 30  This shall be the sign to you. You will eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs from the same; and in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31  The remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah will again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 32  For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go forth, and survivors will escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.’ 33  Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He will not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither will he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. 34  By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come to this city,’ says Yahweh. 35  ‘For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.’” 36  The angel of Yahweh went out and struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the camp of the Assyrians. When men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37  So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, went away, returned to Nineveh, and stayed there. 38  It happened, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons struck him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.

Hezekiah's Sickness

38 1  In those days was Hezekiah sick and near death. Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him, and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Set your house in order, for you will die, and not live.’” 2  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to Yahweh, 3  and said, “Remember now, Yahweh, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight.” Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4  Then the word of Yahweh came to Isaiah, saying, 5  “Go, and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. 6  I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city. 7  This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do this thing that he has spoken. 8  Behold, I will cause the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down on the sundial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the sundial on which it had gone down.”’”

9  The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and had recovered of his sickness. 10  

I said, “In the middle of my life I go into the gates of Sheol.
I am deprived of the residue of my years.” 11  I said, “I won’t see Yah,
Yah in the land of the living.
I will see man no more with the inhabitants of the world. 12  My dwelling is removed,
and is carried away from me like a shepherd’s tent.
I have rolled up, like a weaver, my life.
He will cut me off from the loom.
From day even to night you will make an end of me. 13  I waited patiently until morning.
He breaks all my bones like a lion.
From day even to night you will make an end of me. 14  I chattered like a swallow or a crane.
I moaned like a dove.
My eyes weaken looking upward.
Lord, I am oppressed.
Be my security.” 15  What will I say?
He has both spoken to me, and himself has done it.
I will walk carefully all my years because of the anguish of my soul. 16  Lord, men live by these things;
and my spirit finds life in all of them:
you restore me, and cause me to live. 17  Behold, for peace I had great anguish,
but you have in love for my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption;
for you have cast all my sins behind your back. 18  For Sheol can’t praise you.
Death can’t celebrate you.
Those who go down into the pit can’t hope for your truth. 19  The living, the living, he shall praise you, as I do this day.
The father shall make known your truth to the children. 20  Yahweh will save me.
Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of Yahweh. 21  Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover.” 22  Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I will go up to the house of Yahweh?”

Hezekiah Receives Envoys from Babylon

39 1  At that time, Merodach Baladan the 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 with them, and showed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn’t show them. 3  Then Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah, and asked him, “What did these men say? Where did they come from to you?”

Hezekiah said, “They have come from a country far from me, even from Babylon.” 4  Then he asked, “What have they seen in your house?”

Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

5  Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of Yahweh of Armies: 6  ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says Yahweh. 7  ‘They will take away your sons who will issue from you, whom you shall father, and they will be eunuchs in the king of Babylon’s palace.’” 8  Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “Yahweh’s word which you have spoken is good.” He said moreover, “For there will be peace and truth in my days.”

The LORD's Comforting Words to Zion

40 1  “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. 2  “Speak comfortably to Jerusalem; and call out to her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received of Yahweh’s hand double for all her sins.”

3  

The voice of one who calls out,
“Prepare the way of Yahweh in the wilderness!
Make a level highway in the desert for our God. 4  Every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The uneven shall be made level,
and the rough places a plain. 5  The glory of Yahweh shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together;
for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.” 6  The voice of one saying, “Cry!”
One said, “What shall I cry?”
“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory is like the flower of the field. 7  The grass withers,
the flower fades,
because Yahweh’s breath blows on it.
Surely the people are like grass. 8  The grass withers,
the flower fades;
but the word of our God stands forever.”

9  You who tell good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
You who tell good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength.
Lift it up. Don’t be afraid.
Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold, your God!” 10  Behold, the Lord Yahweh will come as a mighty one,
and his arm will rule for him.
Behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him. 11  He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will gather the lambs in his arm,
and carry them in his bosom.
He will gently lead those who have their young.

Israel's Incomparable God

12  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
and marked off the sky with his span,
and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales,
and the hills in a balance? 13  Who has directed the Spirit of Yahweh,
or has taught him as his counselor? 14  Who did he take counsel with,
and who instructed him,
and taught him in the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding? 15  Behold, the nations are like a drop in a bucket,
and are regarded as a speck of dust on a balance.
Behold, he lifts up the islands like a very little thing. 16  Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
nor its animals sufficient for a burnt offering. 17  All the nations are like nothing before him.
They are regarded by him as less than nothing, and vanity.

18  To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare to him? 19  A workman has cast an image,
and the goldsmith overlays it with gold,
and casts silver chains for it. 20  He who is too impoverished for such an offering chooses a tree that will not rot.
He seeks a skillful workman to set up an engraved image for him that will not be moved. 21  Haven’t you known?
Haven’t you heard, yet?
Haven’t you been told from the beginning?
Haven’t you 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  who brings princes to nothing;
who makes the judges of the earth like meaningless. 24  They are planted scarcely.
They are sown scarcely.
Their stock has scarcely taken root in the ground.
He merely blows on them, and they wither,
and the whirlwind takes them away as stubble. 25  “To whom then will you liken me?
Who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26  Lift up your eyes on high,
and see who has created these,
who brings out their army by number.
He calls them all by name.
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power,
Not one is lacking.

27  Why do you say, Jacob,
and speak, Israel,
“My way is hidden from Yahweh,
and the justice due me is disregarded by my God?” 28  Haven’t you known?
Haven’t you heard?
The everlasting God, Yahweh,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint.
He isn’t weary.
His understanding is unsearchable. 29  He gives power to the weak.
He increases the strength of him who has no might. 30  Even the youths faint and get weary,
and the young men utterly fall; 31  But those who wait for Yahweh will renew their strength.
They will mount up with wings like eagles.
They will run, and not be weary.
They will walk, and not faint.

God's Assurance to Israel

41 1  “Keep silent before me, islands,
and let the peoples renew their strength.
Let them come near,
then let them speak.
Let’s meet together for judgment. 2  Who has raised up one from the east?
Whom called him to his foot in righteousness?
He hands over nations to him,
and makes him rule over kings.
He gives them like the dust to his sword,
like the driven stubble to his bow. 3  He pursues them,
and passes by safely,
Even by a way that he had not gone with his feet. 4  Who has worked and done it,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, Yahweh, the first, and with the last, I am he.” 5  The islands have seen, and fear.
The ends of the earth tremble.
They approach, and come. 6  Everyone helps his neighbor.
They say to their brothers, “Be strong!” 7  So the carpenter encourages the goldsmith.
He who smoothes with the hammer encourages him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good;”
and he fastens it with nails, that it might not totter. 8  “But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
the seed of Abraham my friend, 9  You whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth,
and called from its corners,
and said to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you away;’

10  Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you.
Yes, I will help you.
Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. 11  Behold, all those who are incensed against you will be disappointed and confounded.
Those who strive with you will be like nothing, and shall perish. 12  You will seek them, and won’t find them,
even those who contend with you.
Those who war against you will be as nothing,
as a non-existent thing. 13  For I, Yahweh your God, will hold your right hand,
saying to you, ‘Don’t be afraid.
I will help you.’ 14  Don’t be afraid, you worm Jacob,
and you men of Israel.
I will help you,” says Yahweh,
“and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15  Behold, I have made you into a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth.
You will thresh the mountains,
and beat them small,
and will make the hills like chaff. 16  You will winnow them,
and the wind will carry them away,
and the whirlwind will scatter them.
You will rejoice in Yahweh.
You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17  The poor and needy seek water, and there is none.
Their tongue fails for thirst.
I, Yahweh, will answer them.
I, the God of Israel, 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 springs of water. 19  I will put cedar, acacia, myrtle, and oil trees in the wilderness.
I will set fir trees, pine, and box trees together in the desert; 20  that they may see, know, consider, and understand together,
that the hand of Yahweh has done this,
and the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The LORD's Challenge to False Gods

21  Produce your cause,” says Yahweh.
“Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob. 22  “Let them announce, and declare to us what shall happen.
Declare the former things, what they are,
that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them;
or show us things to come. 23  Declare the things that are to come hereafter,
that we may know that you are gods.
Yes, do good, or do evil,
that we may be dismayed,
and see it together. 24  Behold, you are of nothing,
and your work is of nothing.
He who chooses you is an abomination. 25  “I have raised up one from the north, and he has come;
from the rising of the sun, one who calls on my name;
and he shall come on rulers as on mortar,
and as the potter treads clay. 26  Who has declared it from the beginning, that we may know?
And before, that we may say, ‘He is right?’
Surely, there is no one who declares.
Surely, there is no one who shows.
Surely, there is no one who hears your words. 27  I am the first to say to Zion, ‘Behold, look at them;’
and I will give one who brings good news to Jerusalem. 28  When I look, there is no man;
even among them there is no counselor who, when I ask of them, can answer a word. 29  Behold, all of them, their works are vanity and nothing.
Their molten images are wind and confusion.

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