Isaiah 31

The Siege of Jerusalem

29  Ah, Ariel, Ariel,

the city fwhere David encamped!

Add year to year;

let the feasts run their round.

Yet I will distress Ariel,

and there shall be moaning and lamentation,

and she shall be to me like an Ariel.1

gAnd I will encamp against you all around,

and will besiege you hwith towers

and I will raise siegeworks against you.

iAnd you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak,

and from the dust your speech will be bowed down;

your voice shall come from the ground like jthe voice of a ghost,

and from the dust your speech shall whisper.

But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like ksmall dust,

and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.

lAnd in an instant, suddenly,

myou will be visited by the Lord of hosts

with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,

with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.

And nthe multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,

all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her,

shall be olike a dream, a vision of the night.

pAs when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,

and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,

or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking,

and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched,

so shall the multitude of all the nations be

that fight against Mount Zion.

Astonish yourselves2 and be astonished;

blind yourselves and be blind!

Be drunk,3 but not with wine;

rstagger,4 but not with strong drink!

10  sFor the Lord has poured out upon you

a spirit of deep sleep,

and has closed your eyes (the prophets),

and covered your heads (the seers).

11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is tsealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, Read this, he says, I cannot, for it is sealed. 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, Read this, he says, I cannot read.

13  And the Lord said:

Because uthis people vdraw near with their mouth

and honor me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from me,

and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

14  therefore, behold, wI will again

do wonderful things with this people,

with wonder upon wonder;

and xthe wisdom of their wise men shall perish,

and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.

15  Ah, yyou who hide deep from the Lord your counsel,

whose deeds are zin the dark,

and who say, Who sees us? Who knows us?

16  aYou turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,

that the thing made should say of its maker,

He did not make me;

or the thing formed say of him who formed it,

He has no understanding?

17  Is it not yet a very little while

buntil Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?

18  In that day cthe deaf shall hear

dthe words of a book,

and out of their gloom and darkness

ethe eyes of the blind shall see.

19  fThe meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,

and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

20  For the ruthless shall come to nothing

and gthe scoffer cease,

and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off,

21  who by a word make a man out to be an offender,

and hlay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,

and with an empty plea iturn aside him who is in the right.

22 Therefore thus says the Lord, jwho redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

Jacob shall no more be ashamed,

no more shall his face grow pale.

23  For when he sees his children,

kthe work of my hands, in his midst,

they will sanctify my name;

lthey will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob

and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

24  And those mwho go astray in spirit will come to understanding,

and those who murmur will accept instruction.

Do Not Go Down to Egypt

30  Ah, nstubborn children, declares the Lord,

owho carry out a plan, but not mine,

and who make pan alliance,1 but not of my Spirit,

that they may add sin to sin;

qwho set out to go down to Egypt,

without asking for my direction,

to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh

and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!

rTherefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,

and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.

For though his officials are at sZoan

and this envoys reach uHanes,

everyone comes to shame

through va people that cannot profit them,

that brings neither help nor profit,

but shame and disgrace.

An woracle on xthe beasts of ythe Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,

from where come the lioness and the lion,

the adder and the zflying fiery serpent,

they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,

and their treasures on the humps of camels,

to a people that cannot profit them.

Egypt's ahelp is worthless and empty;

therefore I have called her

bRahab who sits still.

A Rebellious People

And now, go, cwrite it before them on a tablet

and inscribe it in a book,

that it may be for the time to come

as a witness forever.2

dFor they are a rebellious people,

lying children,

children unwilling to hear

the instruction of the Lord;

10  ewho say to fthe seers, Do not see,

and to the prophets, Do not prophesy to us what is right;

speak to us gsmooth things,

prophesy illusions,

11  leave the way, turn aside from the path,

let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.

12  Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,

Because you despise this word

and trust in hoppression and perverseness

and rely on them,

13  therefore this iniquity shall be to you

ilike a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse,

whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;

14  and its breaking is jlike that of a potter's vessel

that is smashed so ruthlessly

that among its fragments not a shard is found

with which to take fire from the hearth,

or to dip up water out of the cistern.

15  For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,

In kreturning3 and lrest you shall be saved;

in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,

No! We will flee upon mhorses;

therefore you shall flee away;

and, We will ride upon swift steeds;

therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

17  nA thousand shall flee at the threat of one;

at the threat of five you shall flee,

till you are left

like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,

like a signal on a hill.

The Lord Will Be Gracious

18  Therefore the Lord owaits to be gracious to you,

and therefore he pexalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

qblessed are all those who wait for him.

19 For a people shall dwell rin Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the sbread of adversity and the swater of affliction, tyet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 uAnd your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is vthe way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. wYou will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, Be gone!

23 xAnd he will give yrain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. zIn that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and athe oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And bon every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, cwhen the towers fall. 26 dMoreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when ethe Lord binds up fthe brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27  Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,

burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;4

his lips are full of fury,

and his tongue is like a devouring fire;

28  ghis breath is hlike an overflowing stream

that reaches up to the neck;

to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,

and to place on the jaws of the peoples ia bridle that leads astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, jas when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to kthe mountain of the Lord, to lthe Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord mwill cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger nand a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst oand storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, pwhen he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them qwill be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. rBattling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For sa burning place5 has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, tits pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; uthe breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt

31  Woe1 to vthose who go down to Egypt for help

and rely on horses,

who wtrust in chariots because they are many

and in horsemen because they are very strong,

but xdo not look to the Holy One of Israel

or consult the Lord!

And yyet he is wise and brings disaster;

zhe does not call back his words,

but awill arise against the house of the evildoers

and against the helpers of bthose who work iniquity.

The Egyptians are man, and not God,

and their horses care flesh, and not spirit.

When the Lord stretches out his hand,

the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,

and they will all perish together.

For thus the Lord said to me,

dAs a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,

and when a band of shepherds is called out against him

he is not terrified by their shouting

or daunted at their noise,

eso the Lord of hosts will come down

to fight2 on Mount Zion and on its hill.

fLike birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts

will protect Jerusalem;

he will protect and deliver it;

he will spare and rescue it.

gTurn to him from whom people3 have hdeeply revolted, O children of Israel. For in that day ieveryone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

jAnd the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man;

and a sword, not of man, shall devour him;

and he shall flee from the sword,

and his young men shall be kput to forced labor.

lHis rock shall pass away in terror,

and his officers desert the standard in panic,

declares the Lord, whose mfire is in Zion,

and whose nfurnace is in Jerusalem.

A King Will Reign in Righteousness

32  Behold, oa king will reign in righteousness,

and princes will rule in justice.

pEach will be like a hiding place from the wind,

a shelter from the storm,

qlike streams of water in a dry place,

like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

rThen the eyes of those who see will not be closed,

and the ears of those who hear will give attention.

The heart of the hasty will understand and know,

sand the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.

tThe fool will no more be called noble,

nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.

For uthe fool speaks folly,

and his heart is busy with iniquity,

to practice ungodliness,

to utter error concerning the Lord,

vto leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,

and to deprive the thirsty of drink.

As for the scoundrelwhis devices are evil;

he plans wicked schemes

to ruin the poor with lying words,

even when the plea of the needy is right.

But he who is noble plans noble things,

and on noble things he stands.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

xRise up, you women ywho are at ease, hear my voice;

you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.

10  In little more than a year

you will shudder, you complacent women;

for the grape harvest fails,

the fruit harvest will not come.

11  Tremble, you women ywho are at ease,

shudder, you complacent ones;

zstrip, and make yourselves bare,

aand tie sackcloth around your waist.

12  bBeat your breasts for the pleasant fields,

for the fruitful vine,

13  cfor the soil of my people

growing up in thorns and briers,

dyes, for all the joyous houses

in the exultant city.

14  For the palace is forsaken,

the populous city deserted;

the hill and the watchtower

will become dens forever,

ea joy of wild donkeys,

a pasture of flocks;

15  until fthe Spirit is poured upon us from on high,

and gthe wilderness becomes a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

16  Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,

and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.

17  hAnd the effect of righteousness will be peace,

and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust1 forever.

18  My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,

in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

19  iAnd it will hail when the forest falls down,

jand the city will be utterly laid low.

20  kHappy are you who sow beside all waters,

who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

O Lord, Be Gracious to Us

33  lAh, you destroyer,

who yourself have not been destroyed,

you traitor,

whom none has betrayed!

When you have ceased to destroy,

you will be destroyed;

and when you have finished betraying,

they will betray you.

O Lord, be gracious to us; mwe wait for you.

Be our arm every morning,

our salvation in the time of trouble.

nAt the tumultuous noise peoples flee;

when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,

and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;

oas locusts leap, it is leapt upon.

pThe Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;

he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,

qand he will be the stability of your times,

abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;

the fear of the Lord is Zion's1 treasure.

Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;

rthe envoys of peace weep bitterly.

sThe highways lie waste;

the traveler ceases.

tCovenants are broken;

cities2 are despised;

there is no regard for man.

uThe land mourns and languishes;

Lebanon is confounded and withers away;

Sharon is like a desert,

and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.

10  vNow I will arise, says the Lord,

now I will lift myself up;

now I will be exalted.

11  wYou conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble;

your breath is xa fire that will consume you.

12  And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,

xlike thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.

13  Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;

and you who are near, acknowledge my might.

14  The sinners in Zion are afraid;

trembling has seized the godless:

yWho among us can dwell zwith the consuming fire?

Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?

15  aHe who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,

who despises the gain of oppressions,

who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,

who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed

band shuts his eyes from looking on evil,

16  he will dwell on the heights;

his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;

chis bread will be given him; his water will be sure.

17  dYour eyes will behold the king in his beauty;

ethey will see a land that stretches afar.

18  fYour heart will muse on the terror:

Where is he who counted, where is ghe who weighed the tribute?

Where is hhe who counted the towers?

19  iYou will see no more the insolent people,

the people jof an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,

stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.

20  Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!

kYour eyes will see Jerusalem,

an untroubled habitation, an limmovable tent,

whose stakes will never be plucked up,

nor will any of its cords be broken.

21  But there the Lord in majesty will be for us

a place of mbroad rivers and streams,

nwhere no galley with oars can go,

nor majestic ship can pass.

22  For the Lord is our ojudge; the Lord is our plawgiver;

the Lord is our qking; he will save us.

23  Your cords hang loose;

they cannot hold the mast firm in its place

or keep the sail spread out.

rThen prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;

even sthe lame will take the prey.

24  And no inhabitant will say, tI am sick;

uthe people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.