O Lord, Be Gracious to Us
33 lAh, you destroyer,
who yourself have not been destroyed,
whom none has betrayed!
When you have ceased to destroy,
you will be destroyed;
and when you have finished betraying,
they will betray you.
2 O Lord, be gracious to us; mwe wait for you.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble.
3 nAt the tumultuous noise peoples flee;
when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,
4 and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
oas locusts leap, it is leapt upon.
5 pThe Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
6 qand he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion’s1 treasure.
7 Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;
rthe envoys of peace weep bitterly.
8 sThe highways lie waste;
the traveler ceases.
tCovenants are broken;
cities2 are despised;
there is no regard for man.
9 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 v“Now 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:
y“Who 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, t“I am sick”;
uthe people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.
Judgment on the Nations
34 Draw near, vO nations, to hear,
and give attention, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
the world, and all that comes from it.
2 For the Lord is enraged against all the nations,
and furious against all their host;
he has wdevoted them to destruction,1 has given them over for slaughter.
3 Their slain shall be cast out,
and xthe stench of their corpses shall rise;
ythe mountains shall flow with their blood.
4 zAll the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall fall,
as leaves fall from the vine,
like leaves falling from the fig tree.
5 For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
behold, it descends for judgment upon aEdom,
upon the people bI have devoted to destruction.
6 The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood;
it is gorged with fat,
with the blood of lambs and goats,
with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
cFor the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 dWild oxen shall efall with them,
and fyoung steers with fthe mighty bulls.
Their land shall drink its fill of blood,
and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
8 gFor the Lord has a day of vengeance,
a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
9 hAnd the streams of Edom2 shall be turned into pitch,
and her soil into sulfur;
her land shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day iit shall not be quenched;
jits smoke shall go up forever.
kFrom generation to generation it shall lie waste;
none shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 lBut the hawk and the porcupine3 shall possess it,
the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
mHe shall stretch the line of nconfusion4 over it,
and the plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom,
and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 oThorns shall grow over its strongholds,
nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
It shall be the haunt of pjackals,
an abode for ostriches.5
14 qAnd wild animals shall meet with hyenas;
the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;
indeed, there the night bird6 settles
and finds for herself a resting place.
15 There the owl nests and lays
and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow;
indeed, there rthe hawks are gathered,
each one with her mate.
16 Seek and read from the book of the Lord:
Not one of these shall be missing;
none shall be without her mate.
For the mouth of the Lord has commanded,
and his Spirit has gathered them.
17 sHe has cast the lot for them;
his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;
they shall possess it forever;
from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.
The Ransomed Shall Return
35 tThe wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
uthe desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2 it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
vThe glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of wCarmel and xSharon.
yThey shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
3 zStrengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
aBehold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
5 bThen the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 bthen shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
cFor waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7 dthe burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of ejackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8 fAnd a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
gthe unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.1
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 hAnd the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
ieverlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Sennacherib Invades Judah
36 jIn the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, kSennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 lAnd the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh1 from mLachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood nby the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. 3 And there came out to him oEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and oShebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.
4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the pgreat king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 qBehold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 7 But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he rwhose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? 8 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 9 How then can you repulse sa single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when tyou trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? uThe Lord said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’”
11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants vin Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”
13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: w‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me2 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until xI come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 yWhere are the gods of zHamath and zArpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? aHave they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 bWho among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”
21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 cThen Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Help
37 dAs soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet eIsaiah the son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a fday of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; gchildren have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 hIt may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for ithe remnant that is left.’”
5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, jI will put a spirit in him, so that khe shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and lI will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”
8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against mLibnah, for he had heard that the king had left mLachish. 9 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of nCush,1 “He has set out to fight against you.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: o‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 pHave the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, qGozan, rHaran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 pWhere is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’”
Hezekiah’s Prayer for Deliverance
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, senthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; tyou have made heaven and earth. 17 uIncline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear vall the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, wthe kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:
“‘She despises you, she scorns you—
xthe virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you—
the daughter of Jerusalem.
23 “‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes to the heights?
Against ythe Holy One of Israel!
24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, zWith my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon,
ato cut down its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses,
to come to its remotest height,
its most fruitful forest.
25 I dug wells
and drank waters,
to dry up with the sole of my foot
26 d“‘Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should make fortified cities
crash into heaps of ruins,
27 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted2 before it is grown.
28 “‘I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
29 eBecause you have raged against me
and your complacency has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and fI will turn you back on the way
by which you came.’
30 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that. Then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah gshall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 hFor out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. iThe zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or jcast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 kFor I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for lthe sake of my servant David.”
36 mAnd the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at nNineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of oArarat, pEsarhaddon his son reigned in his place.