Isaiah 13; Isaiah 14; Isaiah 15; Isaiah 16; Isaiah 17

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Isaiah 13

1 Here is the vision about Babylonia that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw.
2 Lift up a banner on the top of a bare hill. Shout to the enemy soldiers. Wave for them to enter the gates that are used by the nobles of Babylon.
3 The LORD has set those soldiers apart to fight for him. He has sent for them to carry out his anger against Babylon. They will be happy when he wins the battle for them.
4 Listen! I hear a noise in the mountains. It sounds like a huge crowd. Listen! I hear a loud noise among the kingdoms. It sounds like nations gathering together. The LORD who rules over all is bringing an army together for war.
5 They come from lands far away. They come from the farthest places on earth. The LORD and those weapons of his anger are coming to destroy the whole country of Babylonia.
6 Cry out! The day of the LORD is near. The Mighty One is coming to destroy them.
7 Their hands won't be able to help them. Everyone's heart will melt away in fear.
8 The people will be filled with terror. Pain and suffering will grab hold of them. They will groan with pain like a woman having a baby. They'll look at one another in terror. Their faces will burn with shame.
9 The day of the LORD is coming. It will be a terrible day. The LORD's burning anger will blaze out. He will make the land dry and empty. He'll destroy the sinners in it.
10 All of the stars in the sky will stop giving their light. The sun will be darkened as soon as it rises. The moon will not shine.
11 The LORD will punish the world because it is so evil. He will punish evil people for their sins. He'll put an end to the bragging of those who are proud. He'll bring down the pride of those who don't show any pity.
12 He'll make men harder to find than pure gold. They will be harder to find than gold from Ophir.
13 He will make the heavens tremble. He'll shake the earth out of its place. The LORD who rules over all will show how angry he is. At that time his burning anger will blaze out.
14 Outsiders who live in Babylonia will scatter like antelope that are chased by a hunter. They are like sheep that don't have a shepherd. All of them will return to their own people. They will run back to their own countries.
15 Those who are captured will have spears stuck through them. Those who are caught will be killed with swords.
16 Their babies will be smashed to pieces right in front of their eyes. Their houses will be robbed. Their wives will be raped.
17 The LORD will stir up the Medes to attack the Babylonians. They aren't interested in getting silver. They don't delight in gold.
18 Instead, they will use their bows and arrows to strike the young men down. They won't even show any mercy to babies. They won't take pity on children.
19 The city of Babylon is the jewel of kingdoms. It is the glory and pride of the Babylonians. But God will destroy it just as he did Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 No one will ever live in Babylon again. No one will live there for all time to come. Arabs will never set up their tents there. Shepherds will never rest their flocks there.
21 But desert creatures will lie down there. Wild dogs will fill its houses. Owls will live there. Wild goats will jump around in it.
22 Hyenas will cry out in its forts. Wild dogs will bark in its beautiful palaces. The time for Babylon to be punished is near. Its days are numbered.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 14

1 The LORD will show tender love toward Jacob's people. Once again he will choose Israel. He'll settle them in their own land. Outsiders will join them. They and the people of Jacob will become one people.
2 Nations will help Israel return to their own land. People from other nations will belong to Israel. They will serve them as male and female servants in the LORD's land. The Israelites will make prisoners of those who had held them as prisoners. They will rule over those who had crushed them.
3 The LORD will put an end to Israel's suffering and trouble. They won't be slaves anymore.
4 They will make fun of the king of Babylonia. They will say, "See how the one who crushed others has fallen! See how his anger has come to an end!
5 The LORD has taken away the authority of evil people. He has broken the power of rulers.
6 When they became angry, they struck nations down. Their blows never stopped. In their anger they brought nations under their control. They attacked them again and again.
7 All of the lands now enjoy peace and rest. They break out into singing.
8 Even the pine trees are glad. The cedar trees of Lebanon are happy too. They say, 'Babylon, you have fallen. Now no one comes and cuts us down.'
9 "King of Babylonia, many people in the grave are really excited about meeting you when you go down there. The spirits of the dead get up to welcome you. At one time all of them were leaders in the world. They were kings over the nations. They get up from their thrones.
10 All of them call out to you. They say, 'You have become weak, just as we are. You have become like us.'
11 Your grand show of power has been brought down to the grave. The noise of your harps has come down here along with your power. Maggots are spread out under you. Worms cover you.
12 "King of Babylonia, you thought you were the bright morning star. But now you have fallen from heaven! You once brought nations down. But now you have been thrown down to the earth!
13 You said in your heart, 'I will go up to heaven. I'll raise my throne above the stars of God. I'll sit as king on the mountain where the gods meet. I'll set up my throne on the highest slopes of the sacred mountain.
14 I will rise above the tops of the clouds. I'll make myself like the Most High God.'
15 But now you have been brought down to the grave. You have been thrown into the deepest part of the pit.
16 "Those who see you stare at you. They think about what has happened to you. They say to themselves, 'Is this the man who shook the earth? Is he the one who made kingdoms tremble with fear?
17 Did he turn the world into a desert? Did he destroy its cities? Did he refuse to let his prisoners go home?'
18 "All of the kings of the nations are buried with honor. Each of them lies in his own tomb.
19 But you have been thrown out of your tomb. You are like a branch that is cut off and thrown away. You are covered with the bodies of those who have been killed with swords. You have been tossed into a stony pit along with them. You are like a dead body that people have walked on.
20 You won't be buried like other kings. That's because you have destroyed your land. You have killed your people. "The children of that evil man will be killed. None of them will be left to carry on the family name.
21 So prepare a place to kill his children. Kill them because of the sins of the rulers who lived before them. They must not rise to power. They must not rule over the world. They must not cover the earth with their cities."
22 "I will rise up against them," announces the LORD who rules over all. "I will destroy Babylon. It will not be remembered anymore. No one will be left alive there. I will destroy its people and their children after them," announces the Lord.
23 "I will turn it into a place where nothing but owls can live. I will turn it into a swamp. I will sweep through it like a broom and destroy everything," announces the LORD who rules over all.
24 The LORD who rules over all has taken an oath. He has said, "You can be sure that what I have planned will happen. What I have decided will take place.
25 I will crush the Assyrians in my land. On my mountains I will walk all over them. The yokes they put on my people will be removed. The heavy load they put on their shoulders will be taken away."
26 That's how the LORD carries out his plan all over the world. That's how he reaches out his powerful hand to punish all of the nations.
27 The LORD who rules over all has planned it. Who can stop him? He has reached out his powerful hand. Who can keep him from using it?
28 A message came to me from the LORD in the year King Ahaz died. The LORD said,
29 "The rod of Assyria has struck all of you Philistines. But do not be glad that it is broken. That rod is like a snake that will produce an even more poisonous snake. It will produce a darting, poisonous serpent.
30 Even the poorest people in Israel will have plenty to eat. Those who are in need will lie down in safety. But I will destroy your families. They will die of hunger. I will kill any of them who are still left alive.
31 "Cities of Philistia, cry out for help! Scream in pain! All of you Philistines, melt away in fear! An army is coming from the north in a cloud of dust. No one in its ranks is falling behind.
32 What answer should be given to the messengers from that nation? Tell them, 'The LORD has made Zion secure. His suffering people will find safety there.' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 15

1 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Moab. The city of Ar in Moab is destroyed. It happened in a single night. Kir in Moab is also destroyed. It happened in a single night.
2 The people of Dibon go up to their temple to worship. They go to their high places to sob. The people of Moab cry over the cities of Nebo and Medeba. All of their heads are shaved. All of their beards have been cut off.
3 In the streets they wear black clothes. On their roofs and in the market places all of them are crying. They fall down flat with their faces toward the ground. And they sob.
4 The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out. Their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz. So the fighting men of Moab cry out. Their hearts are weak.
5 My heart cries out over Moab. Some who run away get as far as Zoar. Others run all the way to Eglath Shelishiyah. Others go up the road to Luhith. They are sobbing as they go. Still others travel the road to Horonaim. They sing a song of sadness because their town is being destroyed.
6 The waters at Nimrim are dried up. And so is the grass. The plants have died. Nothing green is left.
7 The people are trying to escape through the Valley of the Poplar Trees. They are carrying with them the wealth they have collected and stored up.
8 Their loud cries echo along the border of Moab. They reach as far as Eglaim. Their songs of sadness reach all the way to Beer Elim.
9 The waters of the city of Dimon are full of blood. But the LORD will bring even more trouble on Dimon. He will bring lions against those who run away from Moab. They will also attack those who remain in the land.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 16

1 People of Moab, send lambs as a gift to the ruler of Judah. Send them from Sela. Send them across the desert. Send them to Mount Zion in the city of Jerusalem.
2 The women of Moab are at the places where people go across the Arnon River. They are like birds that flap their wings when they are pushed from their nest.
3 The Moabites say to the rulers of Judah, "Give us advice. Make a decision. Cover us with your shadow. Make it like night even at noon. Hide those of us who are running away. Don't turn them over to their enemies.
4 Let those who have run away from Moab stay with you. Keep them safe from those who are trying to destroy them." Those who crush others will be destroyed. The killing will stop. The attackers will disappear from the earth.
5 A man from the royal house of David will sit on Judah's throne. He will rule with faithful love. When he judges he will do what is fair. He will be quick to do what is right.
6 We have heard all about Moab's pride. We have heard how very proud they are. They think they are so much better than others. They brag about themselves. But all of their bragging is nothing but empty words.
7 So the people of Moab cry out. All of them cry over their country. Sing a song of sadness. Sob over the men of Kir Hareseth.
8 The vineyards of Heshbon dry up. So do the vines of Sibmah. The rulers of the nations have walked all over its finest vines. Those vines once reached as far as Jazer. They spread out toward the desert. Their new growth went all the way to the Dead Sea.
9 Jazer sobs over the vines of Sibmah. And so do I. Heshbon and Elealeh, I soak you with my tears! There isn't any ripe fruit for people to shout about. There isn't any harvest to make them happy.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards. No one sings or shouts in the vineyards. No one stomps on grapes at the winepresses. That's because the LORD has put an end to the shouting.
11 My heart sobs over Moab like a song of sadness played on a harp. Deep down inside me I sob over Kir Hareseth.
12 Moab's people go to their high place to pray. But all they do is wear themselves out. Their god Chemosh can't help them at all.
13 That's the message the LORD has already spoken about Moab.
14 But now he says, "In exactly three years, people will look down on Moab's glory. Now Moab has many people. But by that time only a few of them will be left alive. And even they will be weak."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 17

1 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Damascus. He said, "Damascus will not be a city anymore. Instead, all of its buildings will be knocked down.
2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted. They will be left to the flocks that lie down there. No one will make them afraid.
3 Ephraim's people will no longer have cities with high walls around them. Royal power will disappear from Damascus. Those who are left alive in Aram will be like the glory of the people of Israel," announces the LORD who rules over all.
4 "In days to come, the glory of Jacob's people will fade. Their strength will get weaker and weaker.
5 It will be as when a worker cuts and gathers grain in the Valley of Rephaim. He gathers up stalks with his arms. Only a few heads of grain are left.
6 In the same way, only a few people will be left alive. It will be as when workers knock olives off the trees. Only two or three olives are left on the highest branches. Four or five at most are left on the limbs that produce fruit," announces the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 In days to come, men will look to their Maker for help. They will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8 They won't trust in the altars they made with their own hands. They won't pay any attention to the poles they used to worship the goddess Asherah. And they won't depend on the incense altars they made with their own fingers.
9 At that time the strong cities in Israel will be deserted. They will be as they were when the Israelites drove the Canaanites out of them. They will be like places that are taken over by bushes and weeds. The whole land will become dry and empty.
10 Israel, you have forgotten God, who saves you. You have not remembered the Rock, who keeps you safe. You might set out the finest plants. You might plant vines from other lands.
11 The plants might start to grow on the day you set them out. The vines might begin to bud on the morning you plant them. But even if they do, there won't be any harvest. Instead, there will be sickness and pain that won't go away.
12 How terrible it looks for us! Many nations are marching against us. The noise of their armies is like the sound of the ocean. They are making a lot of noise. It sounds like huge waves crashing on the shore.
13 It sounds like the roar of rushing waters. But when the LORD speaks out against them, they run far away. The wind blows them away like straw on the hills. A strong wind drives them along like tumbleweeds.
14 In the evening, the nations terrify us. But before morning comes, they are gone. That's what happens to those who steal our goods. That's what happens to those who take what belongs to us.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.