Isaiah 23; Isaiah 24; Isaiah 25; Isaiah 26; Isaiah 27

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Isaiah 23

1 This is a message about Tyre. Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! Your home port of Tyre has been destroyed; its houses and its harbor are in ruins. As your ships return from Cyprus, you learn the news.
2 Wail, you merchants of Sidon! You sent agents
3 across the sea to buy and sell the grain that grew in Egypt and to do business with all the nations.
4 City of Sidon, you are disgraced! The sea and the great ocean depths disown you and say, "I never had any children. I never raised sons or daughters.
5 Even the Egyptians will be shocked and dismayed when they learn that Tyre has been destroyed.
6 Howl with grief, you people of Phoenicia! Try to escape to Spain!
7 Can this be the joyful city of Tyre, founded so long ago? Is this the city that sent settlers across the sea to establish colonies?
8 Who was it that planned to bring all this on Tyre, that imperial city, whose merchant princes were the most honored men on earth?
9 The Lord Almighty planned it. He planned it in order to put an end to their pride in what they had done and to humiliate their honored ones.
10 Go and farm the land, you people in the colonies in Spain! There is no one to protect you any more.
11 The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea and overthrown kingdoms. He has commanded that the Phoenician centers of commerce be destroyed.
12 City of Sidon, your happiness has ended, and your people are oppressed. Even if they escape to Cyprus, they will still not be safe.
13 (It was the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, who let the wild animals overrun Tyre. It was the Babylonians who put up siege towers, tore down the fortifications of Tyre, and left the city in ruins. )
14 Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! The city you relied on has been destroyed
15 A time is coming when Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of a king. When those years are over, Tyre will be like the prostitute in the song:
16 Take your harp, go round the town, you poor forgotten whore! Play and sing your songs again to bring men back once more.
17 When the seventy years are over, the Lord will let Tyre go back to her old trade, and she will hire herself out to all the kingdoms of the world.
18 The money she earns by commerce will be dedicated to the Lord. She will not store it away, but those who worship the Lord will use her money to buy the food and the clothing they need.
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Isaiah 24

1 The Lord is going to devastate the earth and leave it desolate. He will twist the earth's surface and scatter its people.
2 Everyone will meet the same fate - the priests and the people, slaves and masters, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, rich and poor.
3 The earth will lie shattered and ruined. The Lord has spoken and it will be done.
4 The earth dries up and withers; the whole world grows weak; both earth and sky decay.
5 The people have defiled the earth by breaking God's laws and by violating the covenant he made to last forever.
6 So God has pronounced a curse on the earth. Its people are paying for what they have done. Fewer and fewer remain alive.
7 The grapevines wither, and wine is becoming scarce. Everyone who was once happy is now sad,
8 and the joyful music of their harps and drums has ceased.
9 There is no more happy singing over wine; no one enjoys its taste any more.
10 In the city everything is in chaos, and people lock themselves in their houses for safety.
11 People shout in the streets because there is no more wine. Happiness is gone forever; it has been banished from the land.
12 The city is in ruins, and its gates have been broken down.
13 This is what will happen in every nation all over the world. It will be like the end of harvest, when the olives have been beaten off every tree and the last grapes picked from the vines.
14 Those who survive will sing for joy. Those in the West will tell how great the Lord is,
15 and those in the East will praise him. The people who live along the sea will praise the Lord, the God of Israel.
16 From the most distant parts of the world we will hear songs in praise of Israel, the righteous nation. But there is no hope for me! I am wasting away! Traitors continue to betray, and their treachery grows worse and worse.
17 Listen to me, everyone! There are terrors, pits, and traps waiting for you.
18 Anyone who tries to escape from the terror will fall in a pit, and anyone who escapes from the pit will be caught in a trap. Torrents of rain will pour from the sky, and earth's foundations will shake.
19 The earth will crack and shatter and split open.
20 The earth itself will stagger like a drunk, sway like a hut in a storm. The world is weighed down by its sins; it will collapse and never rise again.
21 A time is coming when the Lord will punish the powers above and the rulers of the earth.
22 God will crowd kings together like prisoners in a pit. He will shut them in prison until the time of their punishment comes.
23 The moon will grow dark, and the sun will no longer shine, for the Lord Almighty will be king. He will rule in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, and the leaders of the people will see his glory.
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Isaiah 25

1 Lord, you are my God; I will honor you and praise your name. You have done amazing things; you have faithfully carried out the plans you made long ago.
2 You have turned cities into ruins and destroyed their fortifications. The palaces which our enemies built are gone forever.
3 The people of powerful nations will praise you; you will be feared in the cities of cruel nations.
4 The poor and the helpless have fled to you and have been safe in times of trouble. You give them shelter from storms and shade from the burning heat. Cruel enemies attack like a winter storm,
5 like drought in a dry land. But you, Lord, have silenced our enemies; you silence the shouts of cruel people, as a cloud cools a hot day.
6 Here on Mount Zion the Lord Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world - a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine.
7 Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations.
8 The Sovereign Lord will destroy death forever! He will wipe away the tears from everyone's eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered throughout the world. The Lord himself has spoken.
9 When it happens, everyone will say, "He is our God! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the Lord! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has saved us."
10 The Lord will protect Mount Zion, but the people of Moab will be trampled down the way straw is trampled in manure.
11 They will reach out their hands as if they were trying to swim, but God will humiliate them, and their hands will sink helplessly.
12 He will destroy the fortresses of Moab with their high walls and bring them tumbling down into the dust.
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Isaiah 26

1 A day is coming when the people will sing this song in the land of Judah: Our city is strong! God himself defends its walls!
2 Open the city gates and let the faithful nation enter, the nation whose people do what is right.
3 You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.
4 Trust in the Lord forever; he will always protect us.
5 He has humbled those who were proud; he destroyed the strong city they lived in, and sent its walls crashing into the dust.
6 Those who were oppressed walk over it now and trample it under their feet.
7 Lord, you make the path smooth for good people; the road they travel is level.
8 We follow your will and put our hope in you; you are all that we desire.
9 At night I long for you with all my heart; when you judge the earth and its people, they will all learn what justice is.
10 Even though you are kind to the wicked, they never learn to do what is right. Even here in a land of righteous people they still do wrong; they refuse to recognize your greatness.
11 Your enemies do not know that you will punish them. Lord, put them to shame and let them suffer; let them suffer the punishment you have prepared. Show them how much you love your people.
12 You will give us prosperity, Lord; everything that we achieve is the result of what you do.
13 Lord our God, we have been ruled by others, but you alone are our Lord.
14 Now they are dead and will not live again; their ghosts will not rise, for you have punished them and destroyed them. No one remembers them any more.
15 Lord, you have made our nation grow, enlarging its territory on every side; and this has brought you honor.
16 You punished your people, Lord, and in anguish they prayed to you.
17 You, Lord, have made us cry out, as a woman in labor cries out in pain.
18 We were in pain and agony, but we gave birth to nothing. We have won no victory for our land; we have accomplished nothing.
19 Those of our people who have died will live again! Their bodies will come back to life. All those sleeping in their graves will wake up and sing for joy. As the sparkling dew refreshes the earth, so the Lord will revive those who have long been dead.
20 Go into your houses, my people, and shut the door behind you. Hide yourselves for a little while until God's anger is over.
21 The Lord is coming from his heavenly dwelling place to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The murders that were secretly committed on the earth will be revealed, and the ground will no longer hide those who have been killed.
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Isaiah 27

1 On that day the Lord will use his powerful and deadly sword to punish Leviathan, that wriggling, twisting dragon, and to kill the monster that lives in the sea.
2 On that day the Lord will say of his pleasant vineyard,
3 "I watch over it and water it continually. I guard it night and day so that no one will harm it.
4 I am no longer angry with the vineyard. If there were thorns and briers to fight against, I would burn them up completely.
5 But if the enemies of my people want my protection, let them make peace with me. Yes, let them make peace with me."
6 In the days to come the people of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, will take root like a tree, and they will blossom and bud. The earth will be covered with the fruit they produce.
7 Israel has not been punished by the Lord as severely as its enemies nor lost as many people.
8 The Lord punished his people by sending them into exile. He took them away with a cruel wind from the east.
9 But Israel's sins will be forgiven only when the stones of pagan altars are ground up like chalk, and no more incense altars or symbols of the goddess Asherah are left.
10 The fortified city lies in ruins. It is deserted like an empty wilderness. It has become a pasture for cattle, where they can rest and graze.
11 The branches of the trees are withered and broken, and women gather them for firewood. Because the people have understood nothing, God their Creator will not pity them or show them any mercy.
12 On that day, from the Euphrates to the Egyptian border, the Lord will gather his people one by one, as threshing separates the wheat from the chaff.
13 When that day comes, a trumpet will be blown to call back from Assyria and Egypt all the Israelites who are in exile there. They will come and worship the Lord in Jerusalem, on his sacred hill.
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.