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Isaiah 36; Isaiah 37; Isaiah 38; Isaiah 39; Isaiah 40; Isaiah 41 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

1 In Hezekiah's fourteenth year as king, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2 Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. He stood at the channel for the Upper Pool on the road to Laundryman's Field. 3 Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace and was the son of Hilkiah, Shebna the scribe, and Joah, who was the royal historian and the son of Asaph, went out to the field commander. 4 He said to them, "Tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: What makes you so confident? 5 You give useless advice about getting ready for war. Whom, then, do you trust for support in your rebellion against me? 6 Look! When you trust Egypt, you're trusting a broken stick for a staff. If you lean on it, it stabs your hand and goes through it. This is what Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) is like for everyone who trusts him. 7 Suppose you tell me, "We're trusting the LORD our God." He's the god whose places of worship and altars Hezekiah got rid of. Hezekiah told Judah and Jerusalem, "Worship at this altar."' 8 "Now, make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I'll give you 2,000 horses if you can put riders on them. 9 How can you defeat my master's lowest-ranking officers when you trust Egypt for chariots and horses? 10 "Have I come to destroy this country without the LORD on my side? The LORD said to me, 'Attack this country, and destroy it.'" 11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the field commander, "Speak to us in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don't speak to us in the Judean language as long as there are people on the wall listening." 12 But the field commander asked, "Did my master send me to tell these things only to you and your master? Didn't he send me to the men sitting on the wall who will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine with you?" 13 Then the field commander stood and shouted loudly in the Judean language, "Listen to the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 This is what the king says: Don't let Hezekiah deceive you. He can't rescue you. 15 Don't let Hezekiah get you to trust the LORD by saying, 'The LORD will certainly rescue us, and this city will not be put under the control of the king of Assyria.' 16 Don't listen to Hezekiah, because this is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me! Come out, and give yourselves up to me! Everyone will eat from his own grapevine and fig tree and drink from his own cistern. 17 Then I will come and take you away to a country like your own. It's a country with grain and new wine, a country with bread and vineyards. 18 Don't let Hezekiah mislead you by saying to you, 'The LORD will rescue us.' Did any of the gods of the nations rescue their countries from the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Did they rescue Samaria from my control? 20 Did the gods of these countries rescue them from my control? Could the LORD then rescue Jerusalem from my control?" 21 They were silent and didn't say anything to him because the king commanded them not to answer him. 22 Then Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace and was son of Hilkiah, Shebna the scribe, and Joah, who was the royal historian and the son of Asaph, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn in grief. They told him the message from the field commander. 1 When King Hezekiah heard the message, he tore his clothes in grief, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the LORD's temple. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and the leaders of the priests, clothed in sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, "This is what Hezekiah says: Today is a day filled with misery, punishment, and disgrace. We are like a woman who is about to give birth but doesn't have the strength to do it. 4 The LORD your God may have heard the words of the field commander. His master, the king of Assyria, sent him to defy the living God. The LORD your God may punish him because of the message that the LORD your God heard. Pray for the few people who are left." 5 So King Hezekiah's men went to Isaiah. 6 Isaiah answered them, "Say this to your master, 'This is what the LORD says: Don't be afraid of the message that you heard when the Assyrian king's assistants slandered me. 7 I'm going to put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own country. I'll have him assassinated in his own country.'" 8 The field commander returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah. He had heard that the king left Lachish. 9 Now, Sennacherib heard that King Tirhakah of Sudan was coming to fight him. When he heard this, he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 "Tell King Hezekiah of Judah, 'Don't let the god whom you trust deceive you by saying that Jerusalem will not be put under the control of the king of Assyria. 11 You heard what the kings of Assyria did to all countries, how they totally destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations which my ancestors destroyed rescue Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the cities of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?'" 14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, and went to the LORD's temple. He spread it out in front of the LORD 15 and prayed to the LORD, 16 "LORD of Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned over the angels. You alone are God of the kingdoms of the world. You made heaven and earth. 17 Turn your ear toward me, LORD, and listen. Open your eyes, LORD, and see. Listen to the entire message that Sennacherib sent to defy the living God. 18 It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have leveled every country. 19 They have thrown the gods from these countries into fires because these gods aren't real gods. They're only wooden and stone statues made by human hands. So the Assyrians have destroyed them. 20 Now, LORD our God, rescue us from Assyria's control so that all the kingdoms on earth will know that you alone are the LORD." 21 Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent a message to Hezekiah, "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: You prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 22 This is the message that the LORD speaks to him, 'My dear people in Zion despise you and laugh at you. My people in Jerusalem shake their heads behind your back. 23 Whom are you defying and slandering? Against whom are you shouting? Who are you looking at so arrogantly? It is the Holy One of Israel! 24 Through your servants you defy the Lord and say, "With my many chariots I'll ride up the high mountains, up the slopes of Lebanon. I'll cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypresses. I'll come to its most distant heights and its most fertile forests. 25 I'll dig wells and drink water. I'll dry up all the streams of Egypt with the trampling of my feet." 26 "'Haven't you heard? I did this long ago. I planned it in the distant past. Now I make it happen so that you will turn fortified cities into piles of rubble. 27 Those who live in these cities are weak, discouraged, and ashamed. They will be like plants in the field, like fresh, green grass on the roofs, dried up by the east wind. 28 I know when you [get up] and sit down, when you go out and come in, and how you rage against me. 29 Since you rage against me and your boasting has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bridle in your mouth. I will make you go back the way you came. 30 "'And this will be a sign for you, Hezekiah: You will eat what grows by itself this year, and the next year you will eat what comes up by itself. But in the third year you will plant and harvest, plant vineyards, and eat what is produced. 31 Those few people from the nation of Judah who escape will again take root and produce crops. 32 Those few people will go out from Jerusalem, and those who escape will go out from Mount Zion. The LORD of Armies is determined to do this.' 33 "This is what the LORD says about the king of Assyria: He will never come into this city, shoot an arrow here, hold a shield in front of it, or put up dirt ramps to attack it. 34 He will go back the way he came, and he won't come into this city," declares the LORD of Armies. 35 "I will shield this city to rescue it for my sake and for the sake of my servant David." 36 The LORD's angel went out and killed 185,000 [soldiers] in the Assyrian camp. When the Judeans got up early in the morning, they saw all the corpses. 37 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left. He went home to Nineveh and stayed there. 38 While he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, assassinated him and escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded him as king. 1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was about to die. The prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Give final instructions to your household, because you're about to die. You won't get well." 2 Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed to the LORD. 3 "Please, LORD, remember how I've lived faithfully and sincerely in your presence. I've done what you consider right." And he cried bitterly. 4 Then the LORD spoke his word to Isaiah, 5 "Go and say to Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: I've heard your prayer. I've seen your tears. I'm going to give you 15 more years to live. 6 I'll rescue you and defend this city from the control of the king of Assyria.'" [38:21] Then Isaiah said, "Take a fig cake, and place it over the boil so that the king will get well." [38:22] Hezekiah asked, "What is the sign that I'll go to the LORD's temple?" 7 [Isaiah said,] "This is your sign from the LORD that he will do what he promises. 8 The sun made a shadow that went down the stairway of Ahaz's upper palace. I'm going to make the shadow go back ten steps." So the sun on the stairway went back up the ten steps it had gone down. 9 King Hezekiah of Judah wrote this after he was sick and became well again: 10 I thought that in the prime of my life I would go down to the gates of Sheol and be robbed of the rest of my life. 11 I thought that I wouldn't see the LORD in this world. Even with all the people in the world, I thought I would never see another person. 12 My life was over. You rolled it up like a shepherd's tent. You rolled up my life like a weaver. You cut me off from the loom. You ended my life in one day. 13 I cried out until morning as if a lion had crushed all my bones. You ended my life in one day. 14 I chirped like swallows and cranes. I cooed like doves. My eyes were tired from looking up to heaven. I've suffered miserably, O Lord! Please help me! 15 What can I say now that he has spoken to me? He has done this. I will be careful the rest of my life because of my bitter experience. 16 Lord, people live in spite of such things, and I have the will to live in spite of them. You give me health and keep me alive. 17 Now my bitter experience turns into peace. You have saved me and kept me from the rotting pit. You have thrown all my sins behind you. 18 Sheol doesn't thank you! Death doesn't praise you! Those who go down to the pit cannot expect you to be faithful. 19 Those who are living praise you as I do today. Fathers make your faithfulness known to their children. 20 The LORD is going to rescue me, so let us play stringed instruments. We live our lives in the LORD's temple. 21 22 1 At that time Baladan's son, King Merodach Baladan of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah. He had heard that Hezekiah had been sick and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was so happy with them that he showed the messengers his warehouse: the silver, gold, balsam, fine olive oil, his entire armory, and everything in his treasury. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and every corner of his kingdom. 3 Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked, "What did these men say? And where did they come from?" Hezekiah answered, "They came to me from the distant country of Babylon." 4 Isaiah asked, "What did they see in your palace?" Hezekiah answered, "They saw everything in my palace, and I showed them everything in my treasury." 5 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD of Armies! 6 The LORD says, 'The days are going to come when everything in your palace, everything your ancestors have stored up to this day, will be taken away to Babylon. Nothing will be left. 7 Some of your own descendants will be taken away. They will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'" 8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The LORD's word that you have spoken is good." He added, "Just let there be peace and security as long as I live." 1 "Comfort my people! Comfort them!" says your God. 2 "Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and announce to it that its time of hard labor is over and its wrongs have been paid for. It has received from the LORD double for all its sins." 3 A voice cries out in the desert: "Clear a way for the LORD. Make a straight highway in the wilderness for our God. 4 Every valley will be raised. Every mountain and hill will be lowered. Steep places will be made level. Rough places will be made smooth. 5 Then the LORD's glory will be revealed and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken." 6 A voice called, "Call out!" I asked, "What should I call out?" "Call out: All people are like grass, and all their beauty is like a flower in the field. 7 Grass dries up, and flowers wither when the LORD's breath blows on them. Yes, people are like grass. 8 Grass dries up, and flowers wither, but the word of our God will last forever." 9 Go up a high mountain, Zion. Tell the good news! Call out with a loud voice, Jerusalem. Tell the good news! Raise your voice without fear. Tell the cities of Judah: "Here is your God!" 10 The Almighty LORD is coming with power to rule with authority. His reward is with him, and the people he has won arrive ahead of him. 11 Like a shepherd he takes care of his flock. He gathers the lambs in his arms. He carries them in his arms. He gently helps the sheep and their lambs. 12 Who has measured the water of the sea with the palm of his hand or measured the sky with the length of his hand? Who has held the dust of the earth in a bushel basket or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills on a balance? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD or instructed him as his adviser? 14 Whom did he consult? Who gave him understanding? Who taught him the right way? Who taught him knowledge? Who informed him about the way to understanding? 15 The nations are like a drop in a bucket and are considered to be like dust on a scale. The weight of the islands is like fine dust. 16 All the trees in Lebanon are not enough to burn an offering. Its wild animals are not enough for a single burnt offering. 17 All the nations amount to nothing in his presence. He considers them less than nothing and worthless. 18 To whom, then, can you compare God? To what statue can you compare him? 19 Craftsmen make idols. Goldsmiths cover them with gold. Silversmiths make silver chains for them. 20 The poorest people choose wood that will not rot and search out skillful craftsmen to set up idols that will not fall over. 21 Don't you know? Haven't you heard? Haven't you been told from the beginning? Don't you understand the foundations of the earth? 22 God is enthroned above the earth, and those who live on it are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the sky like a canopy and spreads it out like a tent to live in. 23 He makes rulers unimportant and makes earthly judges worth nothing. 24 They have hardly been planted. They have hardly been sown. They have hardly taken root in the ground. Then he blows on them and they wither, and a windstorm sweeps them away like straw. 25 "To whom, then, can you compare me? Who is my equal?" asks the Holy One. 26 Look at the sky and see. Who created these things? Who brings out the stars one by one? 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 Jacob, why do you complain? Israel, why do you say, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my rights are ignored by my God"? 28 Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The eternal God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn't grow tired or become weary. His understanding is beyond reach. 29 He gives strength to those who grow tired and increases the strength of those who are weak. 30 Even young people grow tired and become weary, and young men will stumble and fall. 31 Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won't become weary. They will walk and won't grow tired. 1 "Be silent and listen to me, you coastlands. Let the people gain new strength. Let them come near and speak. Let us come together for judgment. 2 "Who has raised up from the east someone to whom the LORD gives victory with every step he takes? Nations are handed over to him. He defeats kings. With his sword he turns them into dust. With his bow he turns them into straw blown by the wind. 3 He chases them, marching by safely on a path his feet have never traveled before. 4 Who has accomplished this? Who has determined the course of history from the beginning? I, the LORD, was there first, and I will be there to the end. I am the one!" 5 The coastlands have seen him and are afraid. The ends of the earth tremble. They have come near and gathered together. 6 People help their neighbors and say to their relatives, "Be brave!" 7 Craftsmen encourage goldsmiths. Metalsmiths encourage blacksmiths who work at their anvils. They say that their soldering is good. And they fasten things with nails so they won't move. 8 "But you are my servant Israel, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendant of Abraham, my dear friend. 9 I have taken you from the ends of the earth and called you from its most distant places. I said to you, 'You are my servant. I've chosen you; I haven't rejected you.' 10 Don't be afraid, because I am with you. Don't be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand. 11 "Everyone who is angry with you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who oppose you will be reduced to nothing and disappear. 12 You will search for your enemies, but you will not find them. Those who are at war with you will be reduced to nothing and no longer exist. 13 I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand and say to you, 'Don't be afraid; I will help you.' 14 Don't be afraid, Jacob, you worm. You people of Israel, I will help you," declares the LORD, your Defender, the Holy One of Israel. 15 "I am going to make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp, double-edged teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them to dust. You will turn the hills into straw. 16 You will winnow them. The wind will carry them away. The windstorm will scatter them. But you will find joy in the LORD and praise the Holy One of Israel. 17 "The poor and needy are looking for water, but there is none. Their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them. 18 I will make rivers flow on bare hilltops. I will make springs flow through valleys. I will turn deserts into lakes. I will turn dry land into springs. 19 I will plant cedar, acacia, myrtle, and wild olive trees in the desert. I will place cedar, fir, and cypress trees together in the wilderness. 20 People will see and know. Together they will consider and understand that the LORD's power has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 "Present your case," says the LORD. "Bring forward your best arguments," says Jacob's king. 22 "Bring [your idols] so they can tell us what's going to happen. Explain past events that your idols told you about so that we may consider them and know what their outcome will be. Tell us about future events. 23 Tell us what's going to happen so that we may know that you are gods. Yes, do something, good or evil, to intimidate us and make us afraid. 24 You are nothing! You can't do anything! Whoever chooses you is disgusting. 25 "I have raised up someone from the north, and he has come. He will call on my name from the east. He will attack rulers as if they were mud, as if he were treading on clay like a potter. 26 Who revealed this from the beginning so that we could know it? Who revealed this from the past so that we could say that he was right? No one revealed it. No one announced it. No one heard your words. 27 I was the first to tell Zion, 'Look, here they are.' I gave Jerusalem a messenger with the good news. 28 When I look, there is no one. There is no one to advise them. When I ask them a question, will they give an answer? 29 All of them are nothing. They can't do anything. Their statues are nothing but air."
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