Isaiah 33 (New International Reader's Version)

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The LORD Will Judge Assyria

1 How terrible it will be for you, you who destroy others! Assyria, you haven't been destroyed yet. How terrible for you, you who turn against others! Others haven't turned against you yet. When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed. When you stop turning against others, others will turn against you. 2 Lord, show us your favor. We long for you to help us. Make us strong every morning. Save us when we're in trouble. 3 When the nations hear you thunder, they run away. When you rise up against them, they scatter. 4 Nations, what you have taken in battle is destroyed. It's as if young locusts had eaten it up. Like large numbers of locusts, people rush to get it. 5 The LORD is honored. He lives in heaven. He will fill Zion's people with what is fair and right. 6 He will be the firm foundation for their entire lives. He will give them all of the wisdom, knowledge and saving power they will ever need. Respect for the LORD is the key to that treasure. 7 Look! Judah's brave men cry out loud in the streets. The messengers who were sent to bring peace sob bitter tears. 8 The wide roads are deserted. No one travels on them. Our peace treaty with Assyria is broken. Those who witnessed it are looked down on. No one is respected. 9 The land is filled with sadness and wastes away. Lebanon is full of shame and dries up. The rich land of Sharon is like the Arabah Desert. The trees of Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves. 10 "Now I will take action," says the Lord. "Now I will be honored. Now I will be respected. 11 Assyria, your plans and actions are like straw. Your anger is a fire that will destroy you. 12 The nations will be burned to ashes. They will be like bushes that are cut down and set on fire. 13 "You nations far away, listen to what I have done! My people who are near, recognize how powerful I am! 14 The sinners in Zion are terrified. They tremble with fear. They say, 'Who of us can live through the LORD's destroying fire? Who of us can live through the fire that burns forever?' 15 A person must do what is right. He must be honest and tell the truth. He must not get rich by cheating others. His hands must not receive money from those who want special favors. He must not let his ears listen to plans to commit murder. He must close his eyes to even thinking about doing what is evil. 16 A person like that will be kept safe. It will be as if he were living on high mountains. It will be as if he were living in a mountain fort. He will have all of the food he needs. And he will never run out of water." 17 People of Judah, you will see the king in all of his glory and majesty. You will view his kingdom spreading far and wide. 18 You will think about what used to terrify you. You will say to yourself, "Where is that chief officer of Assyria? Where is the one who forced us to send gifts to his king? Where is the officer in charge of the towers that were used when we were attacked?" 19 You won't see those proud people anymore. They spoke a strange language. None of us could understand it. 20 Just look at Zion! It's the city where we celebrate our regular feasts. Turn your eyes toward Jerusalem. It will be a peaceful place to live in. It will be like a tent that will never be moved. Its stakes will never be pulled up. None of its ropes will be broken. 21 There the LORD will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of wide rivers and streams. No boat with oars will travel on them. No mighty ship will sail on them. 22 That's because the LORD is our judge. The LORD gives us our law. The LORD is our king. He will save us. 23 The ropes on your ship hang loose. The mast isn't very secure. The sail isn't spread out. But the LORD will strike the Assyrians down. Then a large amount of goods will be taken from them and divided up. Even people who are disabled will carry off what was taken. 24 No one living in Zion will ever say again, "I'm sick." And the sins of those who live there will be forgiven.
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