Isaiah 36; Isaiah 37; Isaiah 38; Isaiah 39; Isaiah 40; Isaiah 41

1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria advanced against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2 Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. The Assyrian stood near the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller's Field. 3 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph, the record keeper, came out to him. 4 The Rabshakeh said to them, "Tell Hezekiah: The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: 'What are you basing your confidence on? 5 I say that your plans and military preparedness are mere words. Now who are you trusting in that you have rebelled against me? 6 Look, you are trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which will enter and pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 7 Suppose you say to me: We trust in the Lord our God. Isn't He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem: You are to 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 then can you repel [the attack of even] the weakest of my master's officers, and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 Have I attacked this land to destroy it without the Lord's [approval]? The Lord said to me, 'Attack this land and destroy it.' " 11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand [it]; don't speak to us in Hebrew within earshot of the people who are on the wall." 12 But the Rabshakeh replied, "Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men who sit on the wall, [who are destined] with you to eat their excrement and drink their urine?" 13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly in Hebrew: Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 The king says: "Don't let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot deliver you. 15 Don't let Hezekiah persuade you to trust the Lord, saying, 'The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.' " 16 Don't listen to Hezekiah. For the king of Assyria says: "Make peace with me and surrender to me; then every one of you will eat from his own vine and his own fig tree and drink water from his own cistern 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 [Beware] that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, 'The Lord will deliver us.' Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 20 Who of all the gods of these lands [ever] delivered his land from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem?" 21 But they were silent and did not answer him at all, for the king's command was, "Don't answer him." 22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph, the record keeper, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and they reported to him the words of the Rabshakeh.
1 When King Hezekiah heard [their report], he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the house of the Lord. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and the older priests, wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, "Hezekiah says: 'Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, [as] when children come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master, the king of Assyria, sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke [him for] the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.' " 5 When King Hezekiah's servants came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, "Say this to your master, 'The Lord says: Don't be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria's attendants have blasphemed Me with. 7 Look! I am putting a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.' " 8 When the Rabshakeh heard that the king had left Lachish, he returned and discovered that the king of Assyria was fighting against Libnah. 9 The king had heard this about Tirhakah, king of Cush: "He has set out to fight against you." So when he heard this, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 "Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: 'Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by saying that Jerusalem won't be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries; they destroyed them completely. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them-Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?'" 14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord's house and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 "Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God-You alone-of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 17 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see; hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 18 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands 19 and have thrown their gods into the fire; for they were not gods but made by human hands-wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 20 Now, Lord our God, save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord-You alone." 21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent [a message] to Hezekiah: "The Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Because you prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him: The young woman, Daughter Zion, despises you and scorns you: Daughter Jerusalem shakes [her] head behind your back. 23 Who is it you have mocked and blasphemed? Who have you raised [your] voice against and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24 You have mocked the Lord through your servants. You have said: With my many chariots I have gone up to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars, its choice cypress trees. I came to its remotest heights, its densest forest. 25 I dug [wells] and drank water. I dried up all the streams of Egypt with the soles of my feet. 26 Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. I have now brought it to pass, and you have crushed fortified cities into piles of rubble. 27 Their inhabitants have become powerless, dismayed, and ashamed. They are plants of the field, tender grass, grass on the rooftops, blasted by the east wind. 28 But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 29 Because your raging against Me and your arrogance has reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came. 30 " 'This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 31 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.' 33 " 'Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or build up an assault ramp against it. 34 He will go back on the road that he came and he will not enter this city. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 35 I will defend this city and rescue it, because of Me and because of My servant David.' " 36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the [next] morning-there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned [home] and lived in Nineveh. 38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.
1 In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, "This is what the Lord says: 'Put your affairs in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.' " 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. 3 He said, "Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 "Go and tell Hezekiah that this is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I am going to add 15 years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city. 7 This is the sign to you from the Lord that the Lord will do what He has promised: 8 I am going to make the sun's shadow that goes down on Ahaz's stairway return by 10 steps." So the sun's shadow went back the 10 steps it had descended. 9 A poem by Hezekiah king of Judah after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness: 10 I said: In the prime of my life I must go to the gates of Sheol; I am deprived of the rest of my years. 11 I said: I will never see the Lord, the Lord in the land of the living; I will not look on humanity any longer with the inhabitants of what is passing away. 12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me like a shepherd's tent. I have rolled up my life like a weaver; He cuts me off from the loom. You make an end of me from day until night. 13 I thought until the morning: He will break all my bones like a lion; You make an end of me day and night. 14 I chirp like a swallow [or] a crane; I moan like a dove. My eyes grow weak looking upward. Lord, I am oppressed; support me. 15 What can I say? He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it. I walk along slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul, 16 Lord, because of these [promises] people live, and in all of them is the life of my spirit as well; You have restored me to health and let me live. 17 Indeed, it was for [my own] welfare that I had such great bitterness; but Your love [has delivered] me from the Pit of destruction, for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back. 18 For Sheol cannot thank You; Death cannot praise You. Those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. 19 The living, only the living can thank You, as I do today; a father will make Your faithfulness known to children. 20 The Lord will save me; we will play stringed instruments all the days of our lives at the house of the Lord. 21 Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a lump of figs and apply it to his infected skin, so that he may recover." 22 And Hezekiah had asked, "What is the sign that I will go up to the Lord's temple?"
1 At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them his treasure house-the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil-and all his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, "What did these men say? The men who came to you-where were they from?" Hezekiah replied, "They came to me from a distant country, from Babylon." 4 And he asked, "What have they seen in your palace?" Hezekiah answered, "They have seen everything in my palace. There isn't anything in my storehouses that I didn't show them." 5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord of Hosts: 6 'The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,' says the Lord. 7 'Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.'" 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good." For he thought: There will be peace and security during my lifetime.
1 "Comfort, comfort My people," says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and announce to her that her time of servitude is over, her iniquity has been pardoned, and she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. 4 Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanity will see [it] together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 6 A voice was saying, "Cry out!" Another said, "What should I cry out?" "All humanity is grass, and all its goodness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flowers fade when the breath of the Lord blows on them; indeed, the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever." 9 Zion, herald of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, herald of good news, raise your voice loudly. Raise it, do not be afraid! Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10 See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him. 11 He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries [them] in the fold of His [garment]. He gently leads those that are nursing. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span [of his hand]? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in scales? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who gave Him His counsel? 14 Who did He consult with? Who gave Him understanding and taught Him the paths of justice? Who taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding? 15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are considered as a speck of dust on the scales; He lifts up the islands like fine dust. 16 Lebanon is not enough for fuel, or its animals enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are considered by Him as nothingness and emptiness. 18 Who will you compare God with? What likeness will you compare Him to? 19 To an idol?-[something that] a smelter casts, and a metalworker plates with gold and makes silver welds [for it]? 20 To one who shapes a pedestal, choosing wood that does not rot? He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not fall over. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not considered the foundations of the earth? 22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He reduces princes to nothing and makes the judges of the earth to be irrational. 24 They are barely planted, barely sown, their stem hardly takes root in the ground when He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble. 25 "Who will you compare Me to, or who is My equal?" asks the Holy One. 26 Look up and see: who created these? He brings out the starry host by number; He calls all of them by name. Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Jacob, why do you say, and Israel, why do you assert: "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my claim is ignored by my God"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. 29 He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. 30 Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31 but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.
1 "Be silent before Me, islands! And let peoples renew their strength. Let them approach, then let them testify; let us come together for the trial. 2 Who has stirred him up from the east? He calls righteousness to his feet. The Lord hands nations over to him, and he subdues kings. He makes [them] like dust [with] his sword, like wind-driven stubble [with] his bow. 3 He pursues them, going on safely, hardly touching the path with his feet. 4 Who has performed and done [this], calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last-I am He." 5 The islands see and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and arrive. 6 Each one helps the other, and says to another, "Take courage!" 7 The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who flattens with the hammer [supports] the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good." He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over. 8 But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, My friend- 9 I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are My servant; I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand. 11 Be sure that all who are enraged against you will be ashamed and disgraced; those who contend with you will become as nothing and will perish. 12 You will look for those who contend with you, but you will not find them. Those who war against you will become absolutely nothing. 13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. 14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel: I will help you- the Lord's declaration. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 See, I will make you into a sharp threshing board, new, with many teeth. You will thresh mountains and pulverize [them], and make hills like chaff. 16 You will winnow them and a wind will carry them away, and a gale will scatter them. But you will rejoice in the Lord; you will boast in the Holy One of Israel. 17 The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, do not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the barren heights, and springs in the middle of the plains. I will turn the desert into a pool of water and dry land into springs of water. 19 I will plant cedars in the desert, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees. I will put cypress trees in the desert, elms and box trees together, 20 so that all may see and know, consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 "Submit your case," says the Lord. "Present your arguments," says Jacob's King. 22 "Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on it and know the outcome. Or tell us the future. 23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do [something] good or bad, then we will be in awe and perceive. 24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable. 25 "I have raised up one from the north, and he has come, one from the east who invokes My name. He will march over rulers as if they were mud, like a potter who treads the clay. 26 Who told about this from the beginning, so that we might know, and from times past, so that we might say: He is right? No one announced it, no one told it, no one heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion: Look! Here they are! and I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem. 28 When I look, there is no one; there is no counselor among them; when I ask them, they have nothing to say. 29 Look, all of them are a delusion; their works are nonexistent; their images are wind and emptiness.
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