Day 94

Isaiah 13-20
The Judgment of Babylon
13 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
2    On a bare hill raise a signal;
cry aloud to them;
       wave the hand for them to enter
the gates of the nobles.
3    I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
my proudly exulting ones.
4    The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
as of a great multitude!
       The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
of nations gathering together!
       The Lord of hosts is mustering
a host for battle.
5    They come from a distant land,
from the end of the heavens,
       the Lord and the weapons of his indignation,
to destroy the whole land.
6    Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come!
7    Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every human heart will melt.
8    They will be dismayed:
pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
       They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.
9    Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
       to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
10    For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
       the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light.
11    I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
       I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
12    I will make people more rare than fine gold,
and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13    Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
       at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
in the day of his fierce anger.
14    And like a hunted gazelle,
or like sheep with none to gather them,
       each will turn to his own people,
and each will flee to his own land.
15    Whoever is found will be thrust through,
and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16    Their infants will be dashed in pieces
before their eyes;
       their houses will be plundered
and their wives ravished.
17    Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
who have no regard for silver
and do not delight in gold.
18    Their bows will slaughter the young men;
they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
their eyes will not pity children.
19    And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
       will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.
20    It will never be inhabited
or lived in for all generations;
       no Arab will pitch his tent there;
no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21    But wild animals will lie down there,
and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
       there ostriches will dwell,
and there wild goats will dance.
22    Hyenas will cry in its towers,
and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
       its time is close at hand
and its days will not be prolonged.
The Restoration of Jacob
14 For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. 2 And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.
Israel’s Remnant Taunts Babylon
When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
       “How the oppressor has ceased,
the insolent fury ceased!
5    The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
the scepter of rulers,
6    that struck the peoples in wrath
with unceasing blows,
       that ruled the nations in anger
with unrelenting persecution.
7    The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
they break forth into singing.
8    aThe cypresses rejoice at you,
the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
       ‘Since you were laid low,
no woodcutter comes up against us.’
9    Sheol beneath is stirred up
to meet you when you come;
       it rouses the shades to greet you,
all who were leaders of the earth;
       it raises from their thrones
all who were kings of the nations.
10    All of them will answer
and say to you:
       ‘You too have become as weak as we!
You have become like us!’
11    Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
the sound of your harps;
       maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
and worms are your covers.
12    “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
       How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
13    You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
       above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
       I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
14    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15    But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
16    Those who see you will stare at you
and ponder over you:
       ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
17    who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who did not let his prisoners go home?’
18    All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
each in his own tomb;
19    but you are cast out, away from your grave,
like a loathed branch,
       clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
who go down to the stones of the pit,
like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20    You will not be joined with them in burial,
because you have destroyed your land,
you have slain your people.
       “May the offspring of evildoers
nevermore be named!
21    Prepare slaughter for his sons
because of the guilt of their fathers,
       lest they rise and possess the earth,
and fill the face of the world with cities.”
22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the Lord. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord of hosts.
An Oracle Concerning Assyria
24    The Lord of hosts has sworn:
       “As I have planned,
so shall it be,
       and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,
25    that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
       and his yoke shall depart from them,
and his burden from their shoulder.”
26    This is the purpose that is purposed
concerning the whole earth,
       and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations.
27    For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
and who will annul it?
       His hand is stretched out,
and who will turn it back?
An Oracle Concerning Philistia
28 In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:
29    Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
that the rod that struck you is broken,
       for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder,
and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
30    And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
and the needy lie down in safety;
       but I will kill your root with famine,
and your remnant it will slay.
31    Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
       For smoke comes out of the north,
and there is no straggler in his ranks.
32    What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
       “The Lord has founded Zion,
and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”
An Oracle Concerning Moab
15 An oracle concerning Moab.
       Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night,
Moab is undone;
       because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,
Moab is undone.
2    He has gone up to the temple, and to Dibon,
to the high places to weep;
       over Nebo and over Medeba
Moab wails.
       On every head is baldness;
every beard is shorn;
3    in the streets they wear sackcloth;
on the housetops and in the squares
everyone wails and melts in tears.
4    Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
their voice is heard as far as Jahaz;
       therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
his soul trembles.
5    My heart cries out for Moab;
her fugitives flee to Zoar,
to Eglath-shelishiyah.
       For at the ascent of Luhith
they go up weeping;
       on the road to Horonaim
they raise a cry of destruction;
6    the waters of Nimrim
are a desolation;
       the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
the greenery is no more.
7    Therefore the abundance they have gained
and what they have laid up
       they carry away
over the Brook of the Willows.
8    For a cry has gone
around the land of Moab;
       her wailing reaches to Eglaim;
her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
9    For the waters of Dibon are full of blood;
for I will bring upon Dibon even more,
       a lion for those of Moab who escape,
for the remnant of the land.
16 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
       from Sela, by way of the desert,
to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
2    Like fleeing birds,
like a scattered nest,
       so are the daughters of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon.
3    “Give counsel;
grant justice;
       make your shade like night
at the height of noon;
       shelter the outcasts;
do not reveal the fugitive;
4    let the outcasts of Moab
sojourn among you;
       be a shelter to them
from the destroyer.
       When the oppressor is no more,
and destruction has ceased,
       and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
5    then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness
in the tent of David
       one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.”
6    We have heard of the pride of Moab—
how proud he is!—
       of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
in his idle boasting he is not right.
7    Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
let everyone wail.
       Mourn, utterly stricken,
for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.
8    For the fields of Heshbon languish,
and the vine of Sibmah;
       the lords of the nations
have struck down its branches,
       which reached to Jazer
and strayed to the desert;
       its shoots spread abroad
and passed over the sea.
9    Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
for the vine of Sibmah;
       I drench you with my tears,
O Heshbon and Elealeh;
       for over your summer fruit and your harvest
the shout has ceased.
10    And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field,
       and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
no cheers are raised;
       no treader treads out wine in the presses;
I have put an end to the shouting.
11    Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.
12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.
13 This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”
An Oracle Concerning Damascus
17 An oracle concerning Damascus.
       Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
and will become a heap of ruins.
2    The cities of Aroer are deserted;
they will be for flocks,
which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
3    The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
and the kingdom from Damascus;
       and the remnant of Syria will be
like the glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.
4    And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
5    And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
and his arm harvests the ears,
       and as when one gleans the ears of grain
in the Valley of Rephaim.
6    Gleanings will be left in it,
as when an olive tree is beaten—
       two or three berries
in the top of the highest bough,
       four or five
on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.
In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. 8 He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.
In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.
10    For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
       therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11    though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,
and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
       yet the harvest will flee away
in a day of grief and incurable pain.
12    Ah, the thunder of many peoples;
they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
       Ah, the roar of nations;
they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13    The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
       chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
and whirling dust before the storm.
14    At evening time, behold, terror!
Before morning, they are no more!
       This is the portion of those who loot us,
and the lot of those who plunder us.
An Oracle Concerning Cush
18 Ah, land of whirring wings
that is beyond the rivers of Cush,
2    which sends ambassadors by the sea,
in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
       Go, you swift messengers,
to a nation tall and smooth,
       to a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide.
3    All you inhabitants of the world,
you who dwell on the earth,
       when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
When a trumpet is blown, hear!
4    For thus the Lord said to me:
       “I will quietly look from my dwelling
like clear heat in sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5    For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
       he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
6    They shall all of them be left
to the birds of prey of the mountains
and to the beasts of the earth.
       And the birds of prey will summer on them,
and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.
At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts
       from a people tall and smooth,
from a people feared near and far,
       a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,
to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.
An Oracle Concerning Egypt
19 An oracle concerning Egypt.
       Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
       and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2    And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, each against another
and each against his neighbor,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3    and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
and I will confound their counsel;
       and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
and the mediums and the necromancers;
4    and I will give over the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master,
       and a fierce king will rule over them,
declares the Lord God of hosts.
5    And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will be dry and parched,
6    and its canals will become foul,
and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,
reeds and rushes will rot away.
7    There will be bare places by the Nile,
on the brink of the Nile,
       and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
will be driven away, and will be no more.
8    The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all who cast a hook in the Nile;
       and they will languish
who spread nets on the water.
9    The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
and the weavers of white cotton.
10    Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
and all who work for pay will be grieved.
11    The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
       How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the wise,
a son of ancient kings”?
12    Where then are your wise men?
Let them tell you
that they might know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13    The princes of Zoan have become fools,
and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
       those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
have made Egypt stagger.
14    The Lord has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
       and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15    And there will be nothing for Egypt
that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.
Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed
16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the Lord of hosts has purposed against them.
18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
A Sign Against Egypt and Cush
20 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it— 2 at that time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
Then the Lord said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush, 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. 5 Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. 6 And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’ ”[1]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Is 13:1–20:6.

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