At that time Mer'odach-bal'adan the son of Bal'adan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezeki'ah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.
And Hezeki'ah welcomed them; and he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezeki'ah did not show them.
Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezeki'ah, and said to him, "What did these men say? And whence did they come to you?" Hezeki'ah said, "They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon."
He said, "What have they seen in your house?" Hezeki'ah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them."
Then Isaiah said to Hezeki'ah, "Hear the word of the LORD of hosts:
Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the LORD.
And some of your own sons, who are born to you, shall be taken away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."
Then said Hezeki'ah to Isaiah, "The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good." For he thought, "There will be peace and security in my days."
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
A voice says, "Cry!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people is grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as his counselor has instructed him?
Whom did he consult for his enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?
The idol! a workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains.
He who is impoverished chooses for an offering wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skilful craftsman to set up an image that will not move.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
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 like a tent to dwell in;
who brings princes to nought, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hid from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving;
and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison,
that I may make it clear, as I ought to speak.
Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one.
Tych'icus will tell you all about my affairs; he is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.
I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts,
and with him Ones'imus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of yourselves. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
Aristar'chus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions--if he comes to you, receive him),
and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
Ep'aphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always remembering you earnestly in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in La-odice'a and in Hi-erap'olis.
Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.
Give my greetings to the brethren at La-odice'a, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the La-odice'ans; and see that you read also the letter from La-odice'a.
And say to Archip'pus, "See that you fulfil the ministry which you have received in the Lord."
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my fetters. Grace be with you.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)