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Isaiah 31; Isaiah 32; Isaiah 33; Isaiah 34; Isaiah 35

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Isaiah 31

1 How terrible it will be for those who go down to Egypt for help! How terrible for those who depend on horses! They trust in how many chariots they have. They trust in how strong their horsemen are. But they don't look to the Holy One of Israel. They don't ask the LORD for his help.
2 He too is wise. He can bring horrible trouble. He does what he says he'll do. He'll rise up against everyone who does what is evil. He'll fight against those who help them.
3 The men of Egypt are only human. They aren't God. Their horses are only flesh and blood. They aren't spirits. The LORD will reach out his powerful hand to punish everyone. The Egyptians provide help. But they will be tripped up. The people of Judah receive the help. But they will fall down. All of them will be destroyed.
4 The LORD says to me, "A powerful lion stands over its food and growls. A lot of shepherds can be brought together to drive it away. But the lion is not frightened by their shouts. It is not upset by the noise they make. In the same way, I will come down from heaven. I will fight on Mount Zion and on its hills. Nothing will drive me away. I am the LORD who rules over all.
5 Like a bird hovering over its nest, I will guard Jerusalem. I will keep it safe. I will pass over it and save it. I am the LORD who rules over all."
6 People of Israel, return to the Lord. He's the one you have so strongly opposed.
7 The time will come when every one of you will turn your backs on your gods of silver and gold. You sinned when you made them with your own hands.
8 The LORD says, "The Assyrians will be killed with swords. But it will not be men who use them. The swords that kill them will not be used by human beings. The Assyrians will run away from those swords. But their young men will be caught and forced to work hard.
9 Their hiding places will be destroyed when terror strikes them. When their commanders see their enemy's battle flags, they will be filled with panic," announces the Lord. His fire blazes out from Mount Zion. His furnace burns in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 32

1 A king will come who will do what is right. His officials will govern fairly.
2 Each man will be like a place to get out of the wind. He will be like a place to hide from storms. He'll be like streams of water flowing in the desert. He'll be like the shadow of a huge rock in a dry and thirsty land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see won't be closed anymore. The ears of those who hear will listen to the truth.
4 The minds of thoughtless people will know and understand. Tongues that stutter will speak clearly.
5 Foolish people won't be considered noble anymore. Those who are worthless won't be highly respected.
6 A foolish person says foolish things. His mind is full of evil thoughts. He doesn't do what is right. He tells lies about the Lord. He doesn't give hungry people any food. He doesn't let thirsty people have any water.
7 The one who is worthless uses sinful methods. He makes evil plans against poor people. He destroys them with his lies. He does it even when those people are right.
8 But the man who is noble makes noble plans. And by doing noble things he succeeds.
9 You women who are so contented, pay attention to me. You who feel so secure, listen to what I have to say.
10 You feel secure now. But in a little over a year you will tremble with fear. The grape harvest will fail. There won't be any fruit.
11 So tremble, you contented women. Tremble with fear, you who feel so secure. Take your fine clothes off. Put black clothes on.
12 Beat your chests to show how sad you are. The pleasant fields have been destroyed. The fruitful vines have dried up.
13 My people's land is overgrown with thorns and bushes. Sob over all of the houses that were once filled with joy. Cry over this city that used to be full of wild parties.
14 The royal palace will be left empty. The noisy city will be deserted. The fort and lookout tower will become a dry and empty desert forever. Donkeys will enjoy being there. Flocks will eat there.
15 That will continue until the Holy Spirit is poured out on us from heaven. Then the desert will be turned into rich farm lands. The rich farm lands will seem like a forest.
16 In the desert and the rich farm lands people will do what is right. And they will treat one another fairly.
17 Doing what is right will bring peace and rest. When my people do that, they will stay calm and trust in the LORD forever.
18 They will live in a peaceful land. Their homes will be secure. They will enjoy peace and quiet.
19 Hail might strip the forests bare. Cities might be completely destroyed.
20 But how blessed you people will be! You will plant your seeds by every stream. You will let your cattle and donkeys wander anywhere they want to.

Isaiah 33

1 How terrible it will be for you, you who destroy others! Assyria, you haven't been destroyed yet. How terrible for you, you who turn against others! Others haven't turned against you yet. When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed. When you stop turning against others, others will turn against you.
2 Lord, show us your favor. We long for you to help us. Make us strong every morning. Save us when we're in trouble.
3 When the nations hear you thunder, they run away. When you rise up against them, they scatter.
4 Nations, what you have taken in battle is destroyed. It's as if young locusts had eaten it up. Like large numbers of locusts, people rush to get it.
5 The LORD is honored. He lives in heaven. He will fill Zion's people with what is fair and right.
6 He will be the firm foundation for their entire lives. He will give them all of the wisdom, knowledge and saving power they will ever need. Respect for the LORD is the key to that treasure.
7 Look! Judah's brave men cry out loud in the streets. The messengers who were sent to bring peace sob bitter tears.
8 The wide roads are deserted. No one travels on them. Our peace treaty with Assyria is broken. Those who witnessed it are looked down on. No one is respected.
9 The land is filled with sadness and wastes away. Lebanon is full of shame and dries up. The rich land of Sharon is like the Arabah Desert. The trees of Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.
10 "Now I will take action," says the Lord. "Now I will be honored. Now I will be respected.
11 Assyria, your plans and actions are like straw. Your anger is a fire that will destroy you.
12 The nations will be burned to ashes. They will be like bushes that are cut down and set on fire.
13 "You nations far away, listen to what I have done! My people who are near, recognize how powerful I am!
14 The sinners in Zion are terrified. They tremble with fear. They say, 'Who of us can live through the LORD's destroying fire? Who of us can live through the fire that burns forever?'
15 A person must do what is right. He must be honest and tell the truth. He must not get rich by cheating others. His hands must not receive money from those who want special favors. He must not let his ears listen to plans to commit murder. He must close his eyes to even thinking about doing what is evil.
16 A person like that will be kept safe. It will be as if he were living on high mountains. It will be as if he were living in a mountain fort. He will have all of the food he needs. And he will never run out of water."
17 People of Judah, you will see the king in all of his glory and majesty. You will view his kingdom spreading far and wide.
18 You will think about what used to terrify you. You will say to yourself, "Where is that chief officer of Assyria? Where is the one who forced us to send gifts to his king? Where is the officer in charge of the towers that were used when we were attacked?"
19 You won't see those proud people anymore. They spoke a strange language. None of us could understand it.
20 Just look at Zion! It's the city where we celebrate our regular feasts. Turn your eyes toward Jerusalem. It will be a peaceful place to live in. It will be like a tent that will never be moved. Its stakes will never be pulled up. None of its ropes will be broken.
21 There the LORD will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of wide rivers and streams. No boat with oars will travel on them. No mighty ship will sail on them.
22 That's because the LORD is our judge. The LORD gives us our law. The LORD is our king. He will save us.
23 The ropes on your ship hang loose. The mast isn't very secure. The sail isn't spread out. But the LORD will strike the Assyrians down. Then a large amount of goods will be taken from them and divided up. Even people who are disabled will carry off what was taken.
24 No one living in Zion will ever say again, "I'm sick." And the sins of those who live there will be forgiven.

Isaiah 34

1 Nations, come near and listen to me! Pay attention to what I'm about to say. Let the earth and everything in it listen. Let the world and everything that comes out of it pay attention.
2 The LORD is angry with all of the nations. His anger burns against all of their armies. He will totally destroy them. He will have them killed.
3 Those who are killed won't be buried. Their dead bodies will be thrown on the ground. They will give off a very bad smell. Their blood will cover the mountains.
4 All of the stars in the heavens will vanish. The sky will be rolled up like a scroll. All of the stars in the sky will fall like dried-up leaves from a vine. They will drop like wrinkled figs from a fig tree.
5 The sword of the LORD will finish its deadly work in the sky. Then it will come down to strike Edom. He will totally destroy that nation.
6 His sword will be red with blood. It will be covered with fat. The blood will flow like the blood of lambs and goats being sacrificed. The fat will be like the fat taken from the kidneys of rams. That's because the LORD will offer a sacrifice in the city of Bozrah. He will kill many people in Edom.
7 The people and their leaders will be killed like wild oxen and young bulls. Their land will be wet with their blood. The dust will be covered with their fat.
8 That's because the LORD has set aside a day to pay Edom back. He has set aside a year to pay them back for what they did to the city of Zion.
9 The streams of Edom will be turned into tar. Its dust will be turned into blazing sulfur. Its land will become burning tar.
10 The fire will keep burning night and day. It can't be put out. Its smoke will go up forever. Edom will lie empty for all time to come. No one will ever travel through it again.
11 The desert owl and screech owl will make it their home. The great owl and the raven will build their nests there. God will use his measuring line to show how completely Edom will be destroyed. He will use his plumb line to show how empty Edom will become.
12 Edom's nobles won't have anything left there that can be called a kingdom. All of its princes will vanish.
13 Thorns will cover its forts. Bushes and weeds will cover its safest places. It will become a home for wild dogs. It will become a place where owls live.
14 Desert creatures will meet with hyenas. Wild goats will call out to each other. Night creatures will also sleep there. They will find places where they can rest.
15 Owls will make their nests and lay their eggs there. And they will hatch them. They will take care of their little ones under the shadow of their wings. Male and female falcons will also gather there.
16 Look in the scroll of the Lord. There you will read that none of those animals will be missing. Male and female alike will be there. The LORD himself has commanded it. And his Spirit will gather them together.
17 The LORD will decide what part of the land goes to each animal. Then he will give each one its share. It will belong to them forever. And they will live there for all time to come.

Isaiah 35

1 The desert and the dry ground will be glad. The dry places will be full of joy. Flowers will grow there. Like the first crocus in the spring,
2 the desert will bloom with flowers. It will be very glad and shout with joy. The glorious beauty of Lebanon will be given to it. It will be as beautiful as the rich lands of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the glory of the Lord. They will see the beauty of our God.
3 Strengthen the hands of those who are weak. Help those whose knees give way.
4 Say to those whose hearts are afraid, "Be strong. Do not fear. Your God will come. He will pay your enemies back. He will come to save you."
5 Then the eyes of those who are blind will be opened. The ears of those who can't hear will be unplugged.
6 Those who can't walk will leap like a deer. And those who can't speak will shout with joy. Water will pour out in dry places. Streams will flow in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool of water. The thirsty ground will become bubbling springs. In the places where wild dogs once lay down, tall grass and papyrus will grow.
8 A wide road will go through the land. It will be called The Way of Holiness. Only those who are pure and clean can travel on it. Only those who lead a holy life can use it. Evil and foolish people can't walk on it.
9 No lions will use it. No wild animals will be on it. None of them will be there. Only people who have been set free will walk on it.
10 Those the LORD has saved will return to their land. They will sing as they enter the city of Zion. Joy that lasts forever will be like beautiful crowns on their heads. They will be filled with gladness and joy. Sorrow and sighing will be gone.