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Isaiah 31; Isaiah 32; Isaiah 33; Isaiah 34; Isaiah 35 (New Living Translation)

1 Destruction is certain for those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their cavalry and chariots instead of looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 2 In his wisdom, the LORD will send great disaster; he will not change his mind. He will rise against those who are wicked, and he will crush their allies, too. 3 For these Egyptians are mere humans, not God! Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits! When the LORD clenches his fist against them, they will stumble and fall among those they are trying to help. They will all fall down and die together. 4 But the LORD has told me this: "When a lion, even a young one, kills a sheep, it pays no attention to the shepherd's shouts and noise. It just goes right on eating. In the same way, the LORD Almighty will come and fight on Mount Zion. He will not be frightened away! 5 The LORD Almighty will hover over Jerusalem as a bird hovers around its nest. He will defend and save the city; he will pass over it and rescue it." 6 Therefore, my people, though you are such wicked rebels, come and return to the LORD. 7 I know the glorious day will come when every one of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images that your sinful hands have made. 8 "The Assyrians will be destroyed, but not by the swords of men. The sword of God will strike them, and they will panic and flee. The strong young Assyrians will be taken away as captives. 9 Even their generals will quake with terror and flee when they see the battle flags," says the LORD, whose flame burns brightly in Jerusalem. 1 Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him. 2 He will shelter Israel from the storm and the wind. He will refresh her as a river in the desert and as the cool shadow of a large rock in a hot and weary land. 3 Then everyone who can see will be looking for God, and those who can hear will listen to his voice. 4 Even the hotheads among them will be full of sense and understanding. Those who stammer in uncertainty will speak out plainly. 5 In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes. Wealthy cheaters will not be respected as outstanding citizens. 6 Everyone will recognize ungodly fools for what they are. They spread lies about the LORD; they deprive the hungry of food and give no water to the thirsty. 7 The smooth tricks of evil people will be exposed, including all the lies they use to oppress the poor in the courts. 8 But good people will be generous to others and will be blessed for all they do. 9 Listen, you women who lie around in lazy ease. Listen to me, and I will tell you of your reward. 10 In a short time -- in just a little more than a year -- you careless ones will suddenly begin to care. For your fruit crop will fail, and the harvest will never take place. 11 Tremble, you women of ease; throw off your unconcern. Strip off your pretty clothes, and wear sackcloth in your grief. 12 Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms that will soon be gone, and for those fruitful vines of other years. 13 For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers. Your joyful homes and happy cities will be gone. 14 The palace and the city will be deserted, and busy towns will be empty. Herds of donkeys and goats will graze on the hills where the watchtowers are, 15 until at last the Spirit is poured down upon us from heaven. Then the wilderness will become a fertile field, and the fertile field will become a lush and fertile forest. 16 Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. 17 And this righteousness will bring peace. Quietness and confidence will fill the land forever. 18 My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest. 19 Even though the forest will be destroyed and the city torn down, 20 God will greatly bless his people. Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up. Their flocks and herds will graze in green pastures. 1 Destruction is certain for you Assyrians, who have destroyed everything around you but have never felt destruction yourselves. You expect others to respect their promises to you, while you betray your promises to them. Now you, too, will be betrayed and destroyed! 2 But LORD, be merciful to us, for we have waited for you. Be our strength each day and our salvation in times of trouble. 3 The enemy runs at the sound of your voice. When you stand up, the nations flee! 4 Just as locusts strip the fields and vines, so Jerusalem will strip the fallen army of Assyria! 5 Though the LORD is very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and righteousness. 6 In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. 7 But now your ambassadors weep in bitter disappointment, for Assyria has refused their petition for peace. 8 Your roads are deserted; no one travels them anymore. The Assyrians have broken their peace pact and care nothing for the promises they made before witnesses. They have no respect for anyone. 9 All the land of Israel is in trouble. Lebanon has been destroyed. The plain of Sharon is now a wilderness. Bashan and Carmel have been plundered. 10 But the LORD says: "I will stand up and show my power and might. 11 You Assyrians will gain nothing by all your efforts. Your own breath will turn to fire and kill you. 12 Your people will be burned up completely, like thorns cut down and tossed in a fire. 13 Listen to what I have done, you nations far away! And you that are near, acknowledge my might!" 14 The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear. "Which one of us," they cry, "can live here in the presence of this all-consuming fire?" 15 The ones who can live here are those who are honest and fair, who reject making a profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong. 16 These are the ones who will dwell on high. The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress of safety. Food will be supplied to them, and they will have water in abundance. 17 Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor, and you will see a land that stretches into the distance. 18 You will think back to this time of terror when the Assyrian officers outside your walls counted your towers and estimated how much plunder they would get from your fallen city. 19 But soon they will all be gone. These fierce, violent people with a strange, unknown language will disappear. 20 Instead, you will see Zion as a place of worship and celebration. You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure. 21 The LORD will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross. 22 For the LORD is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. He will care for us and save us. 23 The enemies' sails hang loose on broken masts with useless tackle. Their treasure will be divided by the people of God. Even the lame will win their share! 24 The people of Israel will no longer say, "We are sick and helpless," for the LORD will forgive their sins. 1 Come here and listen, O nations of the earth. Let the world and everything in it hear my words. 2 For the LORD is enraged against the nations. His fury is against all their armies. He will completely destroy them, bringing about their slaughter. 3 Their dead will be left unburied, and the stench of rotting bodies will fill the land. The mountains will flow with their blood. 4 The heavens above will melt away and disappear like a rolled-up scroll. The stars will fall from the sky, just as withered leaves and fruit fall from a tree. 5 And when my sword has finished its work in the heavens, then watch. It will fall upon Edom, the nation I have completely destroyed. 6 The sword of the LORD is drenched with blood. It is covered with fat as though it had been used for killing lambs and goats and rams for a sacrifice. Yes, the LORD will offer a great sacrifice in the rich city of Bozrah. He will make a mighty slaughter in Edom. 7 The strongest will die -- veterans and young men, too. The land will be soaked with blood and the soil enriched with fat. 8 For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, the year when Edom will be paid back for all it did to Israel. 9 The streams of Edom will be filled with burning pitch, and the ground will be covered with fire. 10 This judgment on Edom will never end; the smoke of its burning will rise forever. The land will lie deserted from generation to generation. No one will live there anymore. 11 It will be haunted by the horned owl, the hawk, the screech owl, and the raven. For God will bring chaos and destruction to that land. 12 It will be called the Land of Nothing, and its princes soon will all be gone. 13 Thorns will overrun its palaces; nettles will grow in its forts. The ruins will become a haunt for jackals and a home for ostriches. 14 Wild animals of the desert will mingle there with hyenas, their howls filling the night. Wild goats will bleat at one another among the ruins, and night creatures will come there to rest. 15 There the owl will make her nest and lay her eggs. She will hatch her young and cover them with her wings. And the vultures will come, each one with its mate. 16 Search the book of the LORD, and see what he will do. He will not miss a single detail. Not one of these birds and animals will be missing, and none will lack a mate, for the LORD has promised this. His Spirit will make it all come true. 17 He has surveyed and divided the land and deeded it over to those creatures. They will possess it forever, from generation to generation. 1 Even the wilderness will rejoice in those days. The desert will blossom with flowers. 2 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel's pastures and the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God. 3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. 4 Say to those who are afraid, "Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you." 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. 6 The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert. 7 The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. 8 And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God's ways; fools will never walk there. 9 Lions will not lurk along its course, and there will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will follow it. 10 Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.
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