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

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Isaiah 23

1 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Tyre. Men in the ships of Tarshish, cry out! The city of Tyre is destroyed. Its houses and harbor are gone. That's the message you have received from the island of Cyprus.
2 People on the island of Tyre, be silent. Traders from the city of Sidon, be quiet. Those who sail on the Mediterranean Sea have made you rich.
3 Grain from Egypt came across the mighty waters. The harvest of the Nile River brought wealth to Tyre. It became the market place of the nations.
4 Sidon, be ashamed. Mighty Tyre out in the sea, be ashamed. The sea has spoken. It has said, "It's as if I had never felt labor pains or had children. It's as if I had never brought up sons or daughters. It's as if the city of Tyre had never existed.
5 The Egyptians will hear about what has happened to Tyre. They'll be very sad and troubled.
6 People of the island of Tyre, cry out! Go across the sea to Tarshish.
7 Just look at Tyre. It's no longer the old, old city that was known for its wild parties. It no longer sends its people out to settle in lands far away.
8 Tyre was a city that produced kings. Its traders were princes. They were honored all over the earth. So who planned to destroy such a city?
9 The LORD who rules over all planned to do it. He wanted to bring down all of its pride and glory. He wanted to put to shame those who were honored all over the earth.
10 People of Tarshish, spread out over your land like the waters of the Nile. There isn't anything to hold you back anymore.
11 The LORD has reached his powerful hand out over the sea. He has made its kingdoms tremble with fear. He has given a command concerning Phoenicia. He has ordered that its forts be destroyed.
12 He said, "No more wild parties for you! People of Sidon, you are now destroyed! "Leave your city. Go across the sea to Cyprus. Even there you will not find any rest."
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians. No one lives there anymore. The Assyrians have turned it into a place for desert creatures. They built their towers in order to attack it. They took everything out of its forts. They knocked all of its buildings down.
14 Men in the ships of Tarshish, cry out! Mighty Tyre is destroyed
15 A time is coming when people will forget about Tyre for 70 years. That's the length of a king's life. But at the end of those 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute that people sing about. They say,
16 "Forgotten prostitute, pick up a harp. Walk through the city. Play the harp well. Sing many songs. Then you will be remembered."
17 At the end of the 70 years, the LORD will punish Tyre. He will let it return to its way of life as a prostitute. It will earn its living with all of the kingdoms on the face of the earth.
18 But the money it earns will be set apart for the Lord. The money won't be stored up or kept for Tyre. Instead, it will go to those who live the way the LORD wants them to. It will pay for plenty of food and fine clothes for them.

Isaiah 24

1 The LORD is going to completely destroy everything on earth. He will twist its surface. He'll scatter those who live on it.
2 Priests and people alike will suffer. So will masters and their servants. And so will women and their female servants. Sellers and buyers alike will suffer. So will those who borrow and those who lend. And so will those who owe money and those who lend it.
3 The earth will be completely destroyed. Everything of value will be taken out of it. That's what the LORD has said.
4 The earth will dry up completely. The world will dry up and waste away. The most important people on earth will fade away.
5 The earth is polluted by its people. They haven't obeyed the laws of the Lord. They haven't done what he told them to do. They've broken the covenant that will last forever.
6 So the LORD will send a curse on the earth. Its people will pay for what they've done. They will be burned up. Very few of them will be left.
7 The vines and fresh wine will dry up completely. Those who used to have a good time will groan.
8 The happy sounds of tambourines will be gone. The noise of those who enjoy wild parties will stop. The joyful music of harps will become silent.
9 People will no longer sing as they drink wine. Beer will taste bitter to those who drink it.
10 Destroyed cities will lie empty. People will lock themselves inside their houses.
11 In the streets people will cry out for wine. All joy will turn into sadness. All happiness will be driven out of the earth.
12 All of the buildings will be knocked down. Every city gate will be smashed to pieces.
13 That's how it will be on the earth. And that's how it will be among the nations. It will be as when workers knock all but a few olives off the trees. It will be like a vine that has only a few grapes left after the harvest.
14 Those who are left alive will shout with joy. People from the west will praise the LORD because he is the King.
15 So give glory to him, you who live in the east. Honor the name of the Lord, you who are in the islands of the sea. He is the God of Israel.
16 From one end of the earth to the other we hear singing. People are saying, "Give glory to the One who always does what is right." But I said, "I feel very bad. I'm getting weaker and weaker. How terrible it is for me! People turn against one another. They can't be trusted. So they turn against each other."
17 People of the earth, terror, a pit and a trap are waiting for you.
18 Anyone who runs away from the terror will fall into the pit. Anyone who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the trap. The LORD will open the windows of the skies. He will flood the land. The foundations of the earth will shake.
19 The earth will be broken up. It will split open. It will be shaken to pieces.
20 The earth will be unsteady like someone who is drunk. It will sway like a tent in the wind. Its sin will weigh so heavily on it that it will fall. It will never get up again.
21 At that time the LORD will punish the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens above. He will also punish the kings on the earth below.
22 They will be brought together like prisoners in chains. They'll be locked up in prison. After many days the LORD will punish them.
23 The LORD who rules over all will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The elders of the city will be there. They will see his glory. His rule will be so glorious that the sun and moon will be too ashamed to shine.

Isaiah 25

1 LORD, you are my God. I will honor you. I will praise your name. You have been perfectly faithful. You have done wonderful things. You had planned them long ago.
2 You have turned cities into piles of trash. You have pulled down the high walls that were around them. You have destroyed our enemies' forts. They will never be rebuilt.
3 Powerful nations will honor you. Even sinful people from their cities will have respect for you.
4 Poor people have come to you for safety. You have kept needy people safe when they were in trouble. You have been a place to hide when storms came. You have been a shade from the heat of the sun. Evil people attack us. They are like a storm beating against a wall.
5 They are like the heat of the desert. You stopped the noisy shouts of our enemies. You kept them from winning the battle over us and singing about it. You are like the shadow of a cloud that cools the earth.
6 On Mount Zion the LORD who rules over all will prepare a feast for all of the nations. The best and richest foods and the finest aged wines will be served.
7 On that mountain the LORD will destroy the veil of sadness that covers all of the nations. He will destroy the gloom that is spread over everyone.
8 He will swallow up death forever. The LORD and King will wipe away the tears from everyone's face. He will remove the shame of his people from the whole earth. The LORD has spoken.
9 At that time they will say, "He is our God. We trusted in him, and he saved us. He is the Lord. We trusted in him. Let us be filled with joy because he saved us."
10 The LORD's powerful hand will keep Mount Zion safe. But he will walk all over Moab. Its people will be crushed, just as straw is crushed in animal waste.
11 They will try to swim their way out of it. They will spread their hands out in it, just as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim. But God will bring down Moab's pride. None of their skill will help them.
12 He will pull down their high, strong walls. He will bring them down to the ground. He'll bring them right down to the dust.

Isaiah 26

1 At that time a song will be sung in the land of Judah. It will say, "We have a strong city. God's saving power surrounds it like walls and towers.
2 Open its gates so that those who do what is right can enter. They are the people who remain faithful to God.
3 Lord, you will give perfect peace to anyone who commits himself to be faithful to you. That's because he trusts in you.
4 "Trust in the LORD forever. The LORD is the Rock. The LORD will keep us safe forever.
5 He brings down those who are proud. He pulls down cities that have high walls. They fall down flat on the ground. He throws them down to the dust.
6 The feet of those who were crushed stomp on them. Those who were helpless walk all over them."
7 Lord, you are honest and fair. You guide those who do what is right. You lead them on a straight path. You make their way smooth.
8 Lord, we are living the way your laws command us to live. We are waiting for you to act. Our hearts long for you to be true to your name. That's what you are known for.
9 My heart longs for you at night. My spirit longs for you in the morning. You will come and judge the earth. Then the people of the world will learn to do what is right.
10 Grace is shown to sinful people. But they still don't learn to do what is right. They keep on doing evil even in a land where others are honest and fair. They don't have any respect for the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, you have raised your hand high to punish them. But they don't even see it. Let them see how much you love your people. Then they will be put to shame. Let the fire you are saving for your enemies burn them up.
12 Lord, you give us peace. You are the one who has done everything we've accomplished.
13 Lord, you are our God. Other masters besides you have ruled over us. But your name is the only one we honor.
14 Those other masters are now dead. They will never live again. Their spirits won't rise from the dead. You punished them and destroyed them. You wiped out all memory of them.
15 Lord, you have made our nation grow. You have made it larger. You have gained glory for yourself. You have increased the size of our land.
16 Lord, when your people were suffering, they came to you. When you punished them, they could barely whisper a prayer.
17 Lord, you made us like a woman who is having a baby. She groans and cries out in pain.
18 We were pregnant. We groaned with pain. But nothing was born. We didn't bring your saving power to the earth. We didn't give life to the people of the world.
19 Israel, those among you who have died will live again. Their bodies will rise from the dead. You who lie in the grave, wake up and shout with joy. The dew of the morning gives life to the earth. So the earth will give up its dead people.
20 My people, go into your houses. Shut the doors behind you. Hide yourselves for a little while. Do it until the LORD's anger is over.
21 He is coming from the place where he lives. He will punish the people of the earth for their sins. The blood that has been spilled on the earth will be brought out into the open. The ground will no longer hide those who have been killed.

Isaiah 27

1 At that time the LORD will punish Leviathan with his sword. His great, powerful and deadly sword will punish the serpent that glides through the sea. He will kill that twisting sea monster.
2 At that time the LORD will sing about his fruitful vineyard. He will say,
3 "I am the Lord. I watch over my vineyard. I water it all the time. I guard it day and night. I do it so no one can harm it.
4 I am not angry with my vineyard. I wish thorns and bushes would come up in it. Then I would march out against them in battle. I would set all of them on fire.
5 So the enemies of my people had better come to me for safety. They should make peace with me. I will say it again. They should make peace with me."
6 In days to come, Jacob's people will put down roots like a vine. Israel will bud and bloom. They will fill the whole world with fruit.
7 The LORD struck down those who struck Israel down. But he hasn't punished Israel as much. The LORD killed those who killed many of his people. But he hasn't punished his people as much.
8 The LORD will use war to punish Israel. He will make them leave their land. With a strong blast of his anger he will drive them out. It will be as if the east wind were blowing.
9 The people of Jacob will have to pay for their sin. That must happen in order for their sin to be taken away. They will make all of the altar stones like chalk. They will crush them to pieces. No poles that had been used to worship the goddess Asherah will be left standing. No incense altars will be left either.
10 Cities that have high walls around them will become empty. They will be deserted settlements. They will be like a desert. Calves will eat and lie down in them. They will strip the branches of their trees bare.
11 When their twigs are dry, they will be broken off. Then women will come and make fires with them. The people of Jacob don't understand the Lord. So the One who made them won't be concerned about them. Their Creator won't show them his favor.
12 At that time the LORD will separate Israel from other people. He will gather the Israelites together. He will gather them one by one from the Euphrates River all the way to the Wadi of Egypt.
13 At that time a loud trumpet will be blown. Those who were dying in Assyria will come and worship the Lord. So will those who were taken away to Egypt. All of them will worship the LORD on his holy mountain in Jerusalem.