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Isaiah 28; Isaiah 29; Isaiah 30 (Good News Translation)

1 The kingdom of Israel is doomed! Its glory is fading like the crowns of flowers on the heads of its drunken leaders. Their proud heads are well perfumed, but there they lie, dead drunk. 2 The Lord has someone strong and powerful ready to attack them, someone who will come like a hailstorm, like a torrent of rain, like a rushing, overpowering flood, and will overwhelm the land. 3 The pride of those drunken leaders will be trampled underfoot. 4 The fading glory of those proud leaders will disappear like the first figs of the season, picked and eaten as soon as they are ripe. 5 A day is coming when the Lord Almighty will be like a glorious crown of flowers for his people who survive. 6 He will give a sense of justice to those who serve as judges, and courage to those who defend the city gates from attack. 7 Even the prophets and the priests are so drunk that they stagger. They have drunk so much wine and liquor that they stumble in confusion. The prophets are too drunk to understand the visions that God sends, and the priests are too drunk to decide the cases that are brought to them. 8 The tables where they sit are all covered with vomit, and not a clean spot is left. 9 They complain about me. They say, "Who does that man think he's teaching? Who needs his message? It's only good for babies that have just stopped nursing! 10 He is trying to teach us letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson." 11 If you won't listen to me, then God will use foreigners speaking some strange-sounding language to teach you a lesson. 12 He offered rest and comfort to all of you, but you refused to listen to him. 13 That is why the Lord is going to teach you letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson. Then you will stumble with every step you take. You will be wounded, trapped, and taken prisoner. 14 Now you arrogant leaders who rule here in Jerusalem over this people, listen to what the Lord is saying. 15 You boast that you have made a treaty with death and reached an agreement with the world of the dead. You are certain that disaster will spare you when it comes, because you depend on lies and deceit to keep you safe. 16 This, now, is what the Sovereign Lord says: "I am placing in Zion a foundation that is firm and strong. In it I am putting a solid cornerstone on which are written the words, "Faith that is firm is also patient.' 17 Justice will be the measuring line for the foundation, and honesty will be its plumb line." Hailstorms will sweep away all the lies you depend on, and floods will destroy your security. 18 The treaty you have made with death will be abolished, and your agreement with the world of the dead will be canceled. When disaster sweeps down, you will be overcome. 19 It will strike you again and again, morning after morning. You will have to bear it day and night. Each new message from God will bring new terror! 20 You will be like the person in the proverb, who tries to sleep in a bed too short to stretch out on, with a blanket too narrow to wrap himself in. 21 The Lord will fight as he did at Mount Perazim and in the valley of Gibeon, in order to do what he intends to do - strange as his actions may seem. He will complete his work, his mysterious work. 22 Don't laugh at the warning I am giving you! If you do, it will be even harder for you to escape. I have heard the Lord Almighty's decision to destroy the whole country. 23 Listen to what I am saying; pay attention to what I am telling you. 24 Farmers don't constantly plow their fields and keep getting them ready for planting. 25 Once they have prepared the soil, they plant the seeds of herbs such as dill and cumin. They plant rows of wheat and barley, and at the edges of their fields they plant other grain. 26 They know how to do their work, because God has taught them. 27 They never use a heavy club to beat out dill seeds or cumin seeds; instead they use light sticks of the proper size. 28 They do not ruin the wheat by threshing it endlessly, and they know how to thresh it by driving a cart over it without bruising the grains. 29 All this wisdom comes from the Lord Almighty. The plans God makes are wise, and they always succeed. 1 God's altar, Jerusalem itself, is doomed! The city where David camped is doomed! Let another year or two come and go, with its feasts and festivals, 2 and then God will bring disaster on the city that is called "God's altar." There will be weeping and wailing, and the whole city will be like an altar covered with blood. 3 God will attack the city, surround it, and besiege it. 4 Jerusalem will be like a ghost struggling to speak from under the ground, a muffled voice coming from the dust. 5 Jerusalem, all the foreigners who attack you will be blown away like dust, and their terrifying armies will fly away like straw. Suddenly and unexpectedly 6 the Lord Almighty will rescue you with violent thunderstorms and earthquakes. He will send windstorms and raging fire; 7 then all the armies of the nations attacking the city of God's altar, all their weapons and equipment - everything - will vanish like a dream, like something imagined in the night. 8 All the nations that assemble to attack Jerusalem will be like a starving person who dreams he is eating and wakes up hungry, or like someone dying of thirst who dreams he is drinking and wakes with a dry throat. 9 Go ahead and be stupid! Go ahead and be blind! Get drunk without any wine! Stagger without drinking a drop! 10 The Lord has made you drowsy, ready to fall into a deep sleep. The prophets should be the eyes of the people, but God has blindfolded them. 11 The meaning of every prophetic vision will be hidden from you; it will be like a sealed scroll. If you take it to someone who knows how to read and ask him to read it to you, he will say he can't because it is sealed. 12 If you give it to someone who can't read and ask him to read it to you, he will answer that he doesn't know how. 13 The Lord said, "These people claim to worship me, but their words are meaningless, and their hearts are somewhere else. Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized. 14 So I will startle them with one unexpected blow after another. Those who are wise will turn out to be fools, and all their cleverness will be useless." 15 Those who try to hide their plans from the Lord are doomed! They carry out their schemes in secret and think no one will see them or know what they are doing. 16 They turn everything upside down. Which is more important, the potter or the clay? Can something you have made say, "You didn't make me"? Or can it say, "You don't know what you are doing"? 17 As the saying goes, before long the dense forest will become farmland, and the farmland will go back to forest. 18 When that day comes, the deaf will be able to hear a book being read aloud, and the blind, who have been living in darkness, will open their eyes and see. 19 Poor and humble people will once again find the happiness which the Lord, the holy God of Israel, gives. 20 It will be the end of those who oppress others and show contempt for God. Every sinner will be destroyed. 21 God will destroy those who slander others, those who prevent the punishment of criminals, and those who tell lies to keep honest people from getting justice. 22 So now the Lord, the God of Israel, who rescued Abraham from trouble, says, "My people, you will not be disgraced any longer, and your faces will no longer be pale with shame. 23 When you see the children that I will give you, then you will acknowledge that I am the holy God of Israel. You will honor me and stand in awe of me. 24 Foolish people will learn to understand, and those who are always grumbling will be glad to be taught." 1 The Lord has spoken: "Those who rule Judah are doomed because they rebel against me. They follow plans that I did not make, and sign treaties against my will, piling one sin on another. 2 They go to Egypt for help without asking for my advice. They want Egypt to protect them, so they put their trust in Egypt's king. 3 But the king will be powerless to help them, and Egypt's protection will end in disaster. 4 Although their ambassadors have already arrived at the Egyptian cities of Zoan and Hanes, 5 the people of Judah will regret that they ever trusted that unreliable nation, a nation that fails them when they expect help." 6 This is God's message about the animals of the southern desert: "The ambassadors travel through dangerous country, where lions live and where there are poisonous snakes and flying dragons. They load their donkeys and camels with expensive gifts for a nation that cannot give them any help. 7 The help that Egypt gives is useless. So I have nicknamed Egypt, "The Harmless Dragon.' " 8 God told me to write down in a book what the people are like, so that there would be a permanent record of how evil they are. 9 They are always rebelling against God, always lying, always refusing to listen to the Lord's teachings. 10 They tell the prophets to keep quiet. They say, "Don't talk to us about what's right. Tell us what we want to hear. Let us keep our illusions. 11 Get out of our way and stop blocking our path. We don't want to hear about your holy God of Israel." 12 But this is what the holy God of Israel says: "You ignore what I tell you and rely on violence and deceit. 13 You are guilty. You are like a high wall with a crack running down it; suddenly you will collapse. 14 You will be shattered like a clay pot, so badly broken that there is no piece big enough to pick up hot coals with or to dip water from a cistern." 15 The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says to the people, "Come back and quietly trust in me. Then you will be strong and secure." But you refuse to do it. 16 Instead, you plan to escape from your enemies by riding fast horses. And you are right - escape is what you will have to do! You think your horses are fast enough, but those who pursue you will be faster! 17 A thousand of you will run away when you see one enemy soldier, and five soldiers will be enough to make you all run away. Nothing will be left of your army except a lonely flagpole on the top of a hill. 18 And yet the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you. He is ready to take pity on you because he always does what is right. Happy are those who put their trust in the Lord. 19 You people who live in Jerusalem will not weep any more. The Lord is compassionate, and when you cry to him for help, he will answer you. 20 The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him any more. 21 If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, "Here is the road. Follow it." 22 You will take your idols plated with silver and your idols covered with gold, and will throw them away like filth, shouting, "Out of my sight!" 23 Whenever you plant your crops, the Lord will send rain to make them grow and will give you a rich harvest, and your livestock will have plenty of pasture. 24 The oxen and donkeys that plow your fields will eat the finest and best fodder. 25 On the day when the forts of your enemies are captured and their people are killed, streams of water will flow from every mountain and every hill. 26 The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter than usual, like the light of seven days in one. This will all happen when the Lord bandages and heals the wounds he has given his people. 27 The Lord's power and glory can be seen in the distance. Fire and smoke show his anger. He speaks, and his words burn like fire. 28 He sends the wind in front of him like a flood that carries everything away. It sweeps nations to destruction and puts an end to their evil plans. 29 But you, God's people, will be happy and sing as you do on the night of a sacred festival. You will be as happy as those who walk to the music of flutes on their way to the Temple of the Lord, the defender of Israel. 30 The Lord will let everyone hear his majestic voice and feel the force of his anger. There will be flames, cloudbursts, hailstones, and torrents of rain. 31 The Assyrians will be terrified when they hear the Lord's voice and feel the force of his punishment. 32 As the Lord strikes them again and again, his people will keep time with the music of drums and harps. God himself will fight against the Assyrians. 33 Long ago a place was prepared where a huge fire will burn the emperor of Assyria. It is deep and wide, and piled high with wood. The Lord will breathe out a stream of flame to set it on fire.
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