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Isaiah 23-28

An Oracle concerning Tyre

23The oracle concerning Tyre.


Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
   for your fortress is destroyed.*
When they came in from Cyprus
   they learned of it.
2 Be still, O inhabitants of the coast,
   O merchants of Sidon;
your messengers crossed over the sea*
3   and were on the mighty waters;
your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
   the harvest of the Nile;
   you were the merchant of the nations.
4 Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
   the fortress of the sea, saying:
‘I have neither laboured nor given birth,
   I have neither reared young men
   nor brought up young women.’
5 When the report comes to Egypt,
   they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.
6 Cross over to Tarshish—
   wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
7 Is this your exultant city
   whose origin is from days of old,
whose feet carried her
   to settle far away?
8 Who has planned this
   against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants were princes,
   whose traders were the honoured ones of the earth?
9 The Lord of hosts has planned it—
   to defile the pride of all glory,
   to shame all the honoured ones of the earth.
10 Cross over to your own land,
   O ships of* Tarshish;
   this is a harbour* no more.
11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea,
   he has shaken the kingdoms;
the Lord has given command concerning Canaan
   to destroy its fortresses.
12 He said:
You will exult no longer,
   O oppressed virgin daughter Sidon;
rise, cross over to Cyprus—
   even there you will have no rest.

13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people; it was not Assyria. They destined Tyre for wild animals. They erected their siege-towers, they tore down her palaces, they made her a ruin.*
14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
   for your fortress is destroyed.
15From that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute:
16 Take a harp,
   go about the city,
   you forgotten prostitute!
Make sweet melody,
   sing many songs,
   that you may be remembered.
17At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her trade, and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18Her merchandise and her wages will be dedicated to the Lord; her profits* will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who live in the presence of the Lord.

Impending Judgement on the Earth

24Now the Lord is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate,
   and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
   as with the slave, so with his master;
   as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
   as with the lender, so with the borrower;
   as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
3 The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled;
   for the Lord has spoken this word.


4 The earth dries up and withers,
   the world languishes and withers;
   the heavens languish together with the earth.
5 The earth lies polluted
   under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws,
   violated the statutes,
   broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse devours the earth,
   and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
   and few people are left.
7 The wine dries up,
   the vine languishes,
   all the merry-hearted sigh.
8 The mirth of the timbrels is stilled,
   the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
   the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
9 No longer do they drink wine with singing;
   strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The city of chaos is broken down,
   every house is shut up so that no one can enter.
11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
   all joy has reached its eventide;
   the gladness of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city,
   the gates are battered into ruins.
13 For thus it shall be on the earth
   and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
   as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.


14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
   they shout from the west over the majesty of the Lord.
15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
   in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
   of glory to the Righteous One.
But I say, I pine away,
   I pine away. Woe is me!
For the treacherous deal treacherously,
   the treacherous deal very treacherously.


17 Terror, and the pit, and the snare
   are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
18 Whoever flees at the sound of the terror
   shall fall into the pit,
and whoever climbs out of the pit
   shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
   and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19 The earth is utterly broken,
   the earth is torn asunder,
   the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth staggers like a drunkard,
   it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
   and it falls, and will not rise again.


21 On that day the Lord will punish
   the host of heaven in heaven,
   and on earth the kings of the earth.
22 They will be gathered together
   like prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
   and after many days they will be punished.
23 Then the moon will be abashed,
   and the sun ashamed;
for the Lord of hosts will reign
   on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before his elders he will manifest his glory.

Praise for Deliverance from Oppression

25Lord, you are my God;
   I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
   plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
2 For you have made the city a heap,
   the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
   it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
   cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
4 For you have been a refuge to the poor,
   a refuge to the needy in their distress,
   a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
5   the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
   the song of the ruthless was stilled.


6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
   a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
   of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
7 And he will destroy on this mountain
   the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
   the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8 he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
   and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
   for the Lord has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
   Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
   This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
   let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.


The Moabites shall be trodden down in their place
   as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit.
11 Though they spread out their hands in the midst of it,
   as swimmers spread out their hands to swim,
   their pride will be laid low despite the struggle* of their hands.
12 The high fortifications of his walls will be brought down,
   laid low, cast to the ground, even to the dust.

Judah’s Song of Victory

26On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
   he sets up victory
   like walls and bulwarks.
2 Open the gates,
   so that the righteous nation that keeps faith
   may enter in.
3 Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—
   in peace because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the Lord for ever,
   for in the Lord God *
   you have an everlasting rock.
5 For he has brought low
   the inhabitants of the height;
   the lofty city he lays low.
He lays it low to the ground,
   casts it to the dust.
6 The foot tramples it,
   the feet of the poor,
   the steps of the needy.


7 The way of the righteous is level;
   O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous.
8 In the path of your judgements,
   O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown
   are the soul’s desire.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night,
   my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgements are in the earth,
   the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 If favour is shown to the wicked,
   they do not learn righteousness;
in the land of uprightness they deal perversely
   and do not see the majesty of the Lord.
11Lord, your hand is lifted up,
   but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
   Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
12Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
   for indeed, all that we have done, you have done for us.
13Lord our God,
   other lords besides you have ruled over us,
   but we acknowledge your name alone.
14 The dead do not live;
   shades do not rise—
because you have punished and destroyed them,
   and wiped out all memory of them.
15 But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
   you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
   you have enlarged all the borders of the land.


16Lord, in distress they sought you,
   they poured out a prayer*
   when your chastening was on them.
17 Like a woman with child,
   who writhes and cries out in her pangs
   when she is near her time,
so were we because of you, O Lord;
18   we were with child, we writhed,
   but we gave birth only to wind.
We have won no victories on earth,
   and no one is born to inhabit the world.
19 Your dead shall live, their corpses* shall rise.
   O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a radiant dew,
   and the earth will give birth to those long dead.*


20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
   and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
   until the wrath is past.
21 For the Lord comes out from his place
   to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
   and will no longer cover its slain.

Israel’s Redemption

27On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.


2 On that day:
A pleasant vineyard, sing about it!
3   I, the Lord, am its keeper;
   every moment I water it.
I guard it night and day
   so that no one can harm it;
4   I have no wrath.
If it gives me thorns and briers,
   I will march to battle against it.
   I will burn it up.
5 Or else let it cling to me for protection,
   let it make peace with me,
   let it make peace with me.


6 In days to come* Jacob shall take root,
   Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots,
   and fill the whole world with fruit.


7 Has he struck them down as he struck down those who struck them?
   Or have they been killed as their killers were killed?
8 By expulsion,* by exile you struggled against them;
   with his fierce blast he removed them on the day of the east wind.
9 Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be expiated,
   and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
when he makes all the stones of the altars
   like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
   no sacred poles* or incense altars will remain standing.
10 For the fortified city is solitary,
   a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
the calves graze there,
   there they lie down, and strip its branches.
11 When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
   women come and make a fire of them.
For this is a people without understanding;
   therefore he that made them will not have compassion on them,
   he that formed them will show them no favour.

12 On that day the Lord will thresh from the channel of the Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, O people of Israel. 13And on that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

Judgement on Corrupt Rulers, Priests, and Prophets

28Ah, the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim,
   and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
   which is on the head of those bloated with rich food, of those overcome with wine!
2 See, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
   like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters;
   with his hand he will hurl them down to the earth.
3 Trampled under foot will be
   the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim.
4 And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
   which is on the head of those bloated with rich food,
will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer;
   whoever sees it, eats it up
   as soon as it comes to hand.


5 On that day the Lord of hosts will be a garland of glory,
   and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people;
6 and a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgement,
   and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.


7 These also reel with wine
   and stagger with strong drink;
the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
   they are confused with wine,
   they stagger with strong drink;
they err in vision,
   they stumble in giving judgement.
8 All tables are covered with filthy vomit;
   no place is clean.


9 ‘Whom will he teach knowledge,
   and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
   those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
   line upon line, line upon line,
   here a little, there a little.’*


11 Truly, with stammering lip
   and with alien tongue
he will speak to this people,
12   to whom he has said,
‘This is rest;
   give rest to the weary;
and this is repose’;
   yet they would not hear.
13 Therefore the word of the Lord will be to them,
   ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
   line upon line, line upon line,
   here a little, there a little’;*
in order that they may go, and fall backwards,
   and be broken, and snared, and taken.


14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
   who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death,
   and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
   it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
   and in falsehood we have taken shelter’;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
   a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
   ‘One who trusts will not panic.’
17 And I will make justice the line,
   and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
   and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
   and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
   you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through, it will take you;
   for morning by morning it will pass through,
   by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
   and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
   he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon
to do his deed—strange is his deed!—
   and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff,
   or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
   from the Lord God of hosts upon the whole land.


23 Listen, and hear my voice;
   Pay attention, and hear my speech.
24 Do those who plough for sowing plough continually?
   Do they continually open and harrow their ground?
25 When they have levelled its surface,
   do they not scatter dill, sow cummin,
and plant wheat in rows
   and barley in its proper place,
   and spelt as the border?
26 For they are well instructed;
   their God teaches them.


27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing-sledge,
   nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin;
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
   and cummin with a rod.
28 Grain is crushed for bread,
   but one does not thresh it for ever;
one drives the cartwheel and horses over it,
   but does not pulverize it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
   he is wonderful in counsel,
   and excellent in wisdom.

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From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.4 22 April 2019.