Isaïe (NAB) 27

Israel's Redemption

27 1 On that day, The LORD will punish with his sword that is cruel, great, and strong, Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the coiled serpent; and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.
On that day-- The pleasant vineyard, sing about it!3 I, the LORD, am its keeper, I water it every moment; Lest anyone harm it, night and day I guard it.4 I am not angry, but if I were to find briers and thorns, In battle I should march against them; I should burn them all.5 Or shall he cling to me for refuge? He must make peace with me; peace shall he make with me!
In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall sprout and blossom, covering all the world with fruit.7 Is he to be smitten as his smiter was smitten? or slain as his slayer was slain? 8 Expunging and expelling, I should strive against them, carrying them off with my cruel wind in time of storm.9 This, then, shall be the expiation of Jacob's guilt, this the whole fruit of the removal of his sin: He shall pulverize all the stones of the altars like pieces of chalk; no sacred poles or incense altars shall stand.10 For the fortified city shall be desolate, an abandoned pasture, a forsaken wilderness, where calves shall browse and lie. Its boughs shall be destroyed, 11 its branches shall wither and be broken off, and women shall come to build a fire with them. This is not an understanding people; therefore their maker shall not spare them, nor shall he who formed them have mercy on them.12 On that day, The LORD shall beat out the grain between the Euphrates and the Wadi of Egypt, and you shall be gleaned one by one, O sons of Israel. 13 On that day, A great trumpet shall blow, and the lost in the land of Assyria and the outcasts in the land of Egypt Shall come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.

Judgment on Corrupt Rulers, Priests, and Prophets

28 1 Woe to the majestic garland of the drunkard Ephraim, To the fading blooms of his glorious beauty, on the head of him who is stupefied with wine. 2 Behold, the LORD has a strong one and a mighty, who, like a downpour of hail, a destructive storm, Like a flood of water, great and overflowing, levels to the ground with violence; 3 With feet that will trample the majestic garland of the drunkard Ephraim.4 The fading blooms of his glorious beauty on the head of the fertile valley Will be like an early fig before summer: when a man sees it, he picks and swallows it at once.5 On that day the LORD of hosts will be a glorious crown And a brilliant diadem to the remnant of his people,6 A spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, And strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
But these also stagger from wine and stumble from strong drink: Priest and prophet stagger from strong drink, overpowered by wine; Led astray by strong drink, staggering in their visions, tottering when giving judgment.8 Yes, all the tables are covered with filthy vomit, with no place left clean.9 "To whom would he impart knowledge? To whom would he convey the message? To those just weaned from milk, those taken from the breast? 10 For he says, 'Command on command, command on command, rule on rule, rule on rule, here a little, there a little!'"11 Yes, with stammering lips and in a strange language he will speak to this people 12 to whom he said: This is the resting place, give rest to the weary; Here is repose-- but they would not listen.13 So for them the word of the LORD shall be: "Command on command, command on command, Rule on rule, rule on rule, here a little, there a little!" So that when they walk, they stumble backward, broken, ensnared, and captured.
Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, you arrogant, who rule this people in Jerusalem:15 Because you say, "We have made a covenant with death, and with the nether world we have made a pact; When the overwhelming scourge passes, it will not reach us; For we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have found a hiding place,"-- 16 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD: See, I am laying a stone in Zion, a stone that has been tested, A precious cornerstone as a sure foundation; he who puts his faith in it shall not be shaken. 17 I will make of right a measuring line, of justice a level.-- Hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters shall flood the hiding place.18 Your covenant with death shall be canceled and your pact with the nether world shall not stand. When the overwhelming scourge passes, you shall be trampled down by it.19 Whenever it passes, it shall take you; morning after morning it shall pass, By day and by night; terror alone shall convey the message.20 For the bed shall be too short to stretch out in, and the cover too narrow to wrap in.21 For the LORD shall rise up as on Mount Perazim, bestir himself as in the Valley of Gibeon, To carry out his work, his singular work, to perform his deed, his strange deed. 22 Now, be arrogant no more lest your bonds be tightened, For I have heard from the Lord, the GOD of hosts, the destruction decreed for the whole earth.
Give ear and hear my voice, pay attention and listen to what I say: 24 Is the plowman forever plowing, always loosening and harrowing his land for planting?25 When he has leveled the surface, does he not scatter gith and sow cumin, Put in wheat and barley, with spelt as its border? 26 He has learned this rule, instructed by his God.27 Gith is not threshed with a sledge, nor does a cartwheel roll over cumin. But gith is beaten out with a staff, and cumin crushed for food with a rod.28 No, he does not thresh it unendingly, nor does he crush it with his noisy cartwheels and horses.29 This too comes from the LORD of hosts; wonderful is his counsel and great his wisdom.

The Siege of Jerusalem

29 1 Woe to Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year, let the feasts come round. 2 But I will bring distress upon Ariel, with mourning and grief. You shall be to me like Ariel,3 I will encamp like David against you; I will encircle you with outposts and set up siege works against you.4 Prostrate you shall speak from the earth, and from the base dust your words shall come. Your voice shall be like a ghost's from the earth, and your words like chirping from the dust. 5 The horde of your arrogant shall be like fine dust, the horde of the tyrants like flying chaff. Then suddenly, in an instant,6 you shall be visited by the LORD of hosts, With thunder, earthquake, and great noise, whirlwind, storm, and the flame of consuming fire.7 Then like a dream, a vision in the night, Shall be the horde of all the nations who war against Ariel with all the earthworks of her besiegers. 8 As when a hungry man dreams he is eating and awakens with an empty stomach, Or when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking and awakens faint and dry, So shall the horde of all the nations be, who make war against Zion.
Be irresolute, stupefied; blind yourselves and stay blind! Be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from strong drink! 10 For the LORD has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has shut your eyes (the prophets) and covered your heads (the seers).11 For you the revelation of all this has become like the words of a sealed scroll. When it is handed to one who can read, with the request, "Read this," he replies, "I cannot; it is sealed."12 When it is handed to one who cannot read, with the request, "Read this," he replies, "I cannot read."
The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And their reverence for me has become routine observance of the precepts of men,14 Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion: The wisdom of its wise men shall perish and the understanding of its prudent men be hid.
Woe to those who would hide their plans too deep for the LORD! Who work in the dark, saying, "Who sees us, or who knows us?"16 Your perversity is as though the potter were taken to be the clay: As though what is made should say of its maker, "He made me not!" Or the vessel should say of the potter, "He does not understand."

Hope for the Future

17 But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! 18 On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.19 The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.20 For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,21 those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim.22 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. 23 When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel.24 Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

The Futility of Reliance on Egypt

30 1 Woe to the rebellious children, says the LORD, Who carry out plans that are not mine, who weave webs that are not inspired by me, adding sin upon sin.2 They go down to Egypt, but my counsel they do not seek. They find their strength in Pharaoh's protection and take refuge in Egypt's shadow;3 Pharaoh's protection shall be your shame, and refuge in Egypt's shadow your disgrace.4 When their princes are at Zoan and their messengers reach Hanes,5 All shall be ashamed of a people that gain them nothing, Neither help nor benefit, but only shame and reproach.6 (Oracle on the Beasts of the Negeb) Through the distressed and troubled land of the lioness and roaring lion, of the viper and flying saraph, They carry their riches on the backs of asses and their treasures on the humps of camels To a people good for nothing, 7 to Egypt whose help is futile and vain. Therefore I call her "Rahab quelled."

A Rebellious People

8 Now come, write it on a tablet they can keep, inscribe it in a record; That it may be in future days an eternal witness: 9 This is a rebellious people, deceitful children, Children who refuse to obey the law of the LORD.10 They say to the seers, "Have no visions"; to the prophets, "Do not descry for us what is right; speak flatteries to us, conjure up illusions.11 Out of the way! Out of our path! Let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel."12 Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel: Because you reject this word, And put your trust in what is crooked and devious, and depend on it,13 This guilt of yours shall be like a descending rift Bulging out in a high wall whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant.14 It crashes like a potter's jar smashed beyond rescue, And among its fragments cannot be found a sherd to scoop fire from the hearth or dip water from the cistern.15 For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies. But this you did not wish.16 "No," you said, "Upon horses we will flee."-- Very well, flee! "Upon swift steeds we will ride."-- Not so swift as your pursuers.17 A thousand shall tremble at the threat of one; if five threaten you, you shall flee, Until you are left like a flagstaff on the mountaintop, like a flag on the hill.

God's Promise to Zion

18 Yet the LORD is waiting to show you favor, and he rises to pity you; For the LORD is a God of justice: blessed are all who wait for him!19 O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you.20 The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, 21 While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: "This is the way; walk in it," when you would turn to the right or to the left.22 And you shall consider unclean your silver-plated idols and your gold-covered images; You shall throw them away like filthy rags to which you say, "Begone!"23 He will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground, And the wheat that the soil produces will be rich and abundant. On that day your cattle will graze in spacious meadows;24 The oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with shovel and pitchfork.25 Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water. On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall,26 The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows.

Judgment on Assyria

27 See the name of the LORD coming from afar in burning wrath, with lowering clouds! His lips are filled with fury, his tongue is like a consuming fire; 28 His breath, like a flood in a ravine that reaches suddenly to the neck, Will winnow the nations with a destructive winnowing, and with repeated winnowings will he battle against them (and a bridle on the jaws of the peoples to send them astray).29 You will sing as on a night when a feast is observed, And be merry of heart, as one marching along with a flute Toward the mountain of the LORD, toward the Rock of Israel, accompanied by the timbrels and lyres.30 The LORD will make his glorious voice heard, and let it be seen how his arm descends In raging fury and flame of consuming fire, in driving storm and hail.31 When the LORD speaks, Assyria will be shattered, as he strikes with the rod;32 While at every sweep of the rod which the LORD will bring down on him in punishment,33 For the pyre has long been ready, prepared for the king; Broad and deep it is piled with dry grass and wood in abundance, And the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulphur, will set it afire.

Alliance with Egypt Is Futile

31 1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who depend upon horses; Who put their trust in chariots because of their number, and in horsemen because of their combined power, But look not to the Holy One of Israel nor seek the LORD!2 Yet he too is wise and will bring disaster; he will not turn from what he has threatened to do. He will rise up against the house of the wicked and against those who help evildoers.3 The Egyptians are men, not God, their horses are flesh, not spirit; When the LORD stretches forth his hand, the helper shall stumble, the one helped shall fall, and both of them shall perish together.
Thus says the LORD to me: As a lion or a lion cub growling over its prey, With a band of shepherds assembled against it, Is neither frightened by their shouts nor disturbed by their noise, So shall the LORD of hosts come down to wage war upon the mountain and hill of Zion.5 Like hovering birds, so the LORD of hosts shall shield Jerusalem, To protect and deliver, to spare and rescue it.6 Return, O children of Israel, to him whom you have utterly deserted.7 On that day each one of you shall spurn his sinful idols of silver and gold, which he made with his hands.8 Assyria shall fall by a sword not wielded by man, no mortal sword shall devour him; He shall flee before the sword, and his young men shall be impressed as laborers.9 He shall rush past his crag in panic, and his princes shall flee in terror from his standard, Says the LORD who has a fire in Zion and a furnace in Jerusalem.

Government with Justice Predicted

32 1 See, a king will reign justly and princes will rule rightly.2 Each of them will be a shelter from the wind, a retreat from the rain. They will be like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a great rock in a parched land.3 The eyes of those who see will not be closed; the ears of those who hear will be attentive.4 The flighty will become wise and capable, and the stutterers will speak fluently and clearly.5 No more will the fool be called noble, nor the trickster be considered honorable.
For the fool speaks foolishly, planning evil in his heart: How to do wickedness, to speak perversely against the LORD, To let the hungry go empty and the thirsty be without drink.7 And the trickster uses wicked trickery, planning crimes: How to ruin the poor with lies, and the needy when they plead their case.8 But the noble man plans noble things, and by noble things he stands.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

9 O complacent ladies, rise up and hear my voice, overconfident women, give heed to my words.10 In a little more than a year you overconfident ones will be shaken; The vintage will fail, there will be no harvest.11 Tremble, you who are complacent! Shudder, you who are overconfident! Strip yourselves bare, with only a loincloth to cover you.12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, the fruitful vine,13 And the soil of my people, overgrown with thorns and briers; For all the joyful houses, the wanton city.14 Yes, the castle will be forsaken, the noisy city deserted;
Until the spirit from on high is poured out on us. Then will the desert become an orchard and the orchard be regarded as a forest.

The Peace of God's Reign

16 Right will dwell in the desert and justice abide in the orchard.17 Justice will bring about peace; right will produce calm and security.18 My people will live in peaceful country, in secure dwellings and quiet resting places.19 Down it comes, as trees come down in the forest! The city will be utterly laid low. Hill and tower will become wasteland forever for wild asses to frolic in, and flocks to pasture,20 Happy are you who sow beside every stream, and let the ox and the ass go freely!

A Prophecy of Deliverance from Foes

33 1 Woe, O destroyer never destroyed, O traitor never betrayed! When you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; when wearied with betraying, you will be betrayed.2 O LORD, have pity on us, for you we wait. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of trouble!3 At the roaring sound, peoples flee; when you rise in your majesty, nations are scattered.4 Men gather spoil as caterpillars are gathered up; they rush upon it like the onrush of locusts.5 The LORD is exalted, enthroned on high; he fills Zion with right and justice.6 That which makes her seasons lasting, the riches that save her, are wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is her treasure.
See, the men of Ariel cry out in the streets, the messengers of Shalem weep bitterly. 8 The highways are desolate, travelers have quit the paths, Covenants are broken, their terms are spurned; yet no man gives it a thought.9 The country languishes in mourning, Lebanon withers with shame; Sharon is like the steppe, Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare. 10 Now will I rise up, says the LORD, now will I be exalted, now be lifted up.11 You conceive dry grass, bring forth stubble; my spirit shall consume you like fire.12 The peoples shall be as in a limekiln, like brushwood cut down for burning in the fire.13 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my might.14 On Zion sinners are in dread, trembling grips the impious: "Who of us can live with the consuming fire? who of us can live with the everlasting flames?"15 He who practices virtue and speaks honestly, who spurns what is gained by oppression, Brushing his hands free of contact with a bribe, stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed, closing his eyes lest he look on evil-- 16 He shall dwell on the heights, his stronghold shall be the rocky fastness, his food and drink in steady supply.

The Land of the Majestic King

17 Your eyes will see a king in his splendor, they will look upon a vast land. 18 Your mind will dwell on the terror: "Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?"19 To the people of alien tongue you will look no more, the people of obscure speech, stammering in a language not understood.20 Look to Zion, the city of our festivals; let your eyes see Jerusalem as a quiet abode, a tent not to be struck, Whose pegs will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes severed.21 In a place of rivers and wide streams on which no boat is rowed, where no majestic ship passes, 22 Indeed the LORD will be there with us, majestic; yes, the LORD our judge, the LORD our lawgiver, the LORD our king, he it is who will save us.23 The rigging hangs slack; it cannot hold the mast in place, nor keep the sail spread out. Then the blind will divide great spoils and the lame will carry off the loot.24 No one who dwells there will say, "I am sick"; the people who live there will be forgiven their guilt.

Judgment on the Nations

34 1 Come near, O nations, and hear; be attentive, O peoples! Let the earth and what fills it listen, the world and all it produces.2 The LORD is angry with all the nations and is wrathful against all their host; he has doomed them and given them over to slaughter.3 Their slain shall be cast out, their corpses shall send up a stench; The mountains shall run with their blood,4 and all the hills shall rot; The heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll, and all their host shall wither away, As the leaf wilts on the vine, or as the fig withers on the tree.5 When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, lo, it shall come down in judgment upon Edom, a people I have doomed.6 The LORD has a sword filled with blood, greasy with fat, With the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of rams' kidneys; For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom.7 Wild oxen shall be struck down with fatlings, and bullocks with bulls; Their land shall be soaked with blood, and their earth greasy with fat.8 For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of requital by Zion's defender.9 Edom's streams shall be changed into pitch and her earth into sulphur, and her land shall become burning pitch;10 Night and day it shall not be quenched, its smoke shall rise forever. From generation to generation she shall lie waste, never again shall anyone pass through her.11 But the desert owl and hoot owl shall possess her, the screech owl and raven shall dwell in her. The LORD will measure her with line and plummet to be an empty waste for satyrs to dwell in. 12 Her nobles shall be no more, nor shall kings be proclaimed there; all her princes are gone.13 Her castles shall be overgrown with thorns, her fortresses with thistles and briers. She shall become an abode for jackals and a haunt for ostriches.14 Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts, satyrs shall call to one another; There shall the lilith repose, and find for herself a place to rest. 15 There the hoot owl shall nest and lay eggs, hatch them out and gather them in her shadow; There shall the kites assemble, none shall be missing its mate.16 Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there. 17 It is he who casts the lot for them, and with his hands he marks off their shares of her; They shall possess her forever, and dwell there from generation to generation.

The Return of the Redeemed to Zion

35 1 The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. 2 They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.3 Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak,4 Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you.5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared;6 Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe.7 The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.8 A highway will be there, called the holy way; No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it.9 No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk.10 Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

36 1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went on an expedition against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
From Lachish the king of Assyria sent his commander with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. When he stopped at the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller's field,3 there came out to him the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, and Shebna the scribe, and the herald Joah, son of Asaph.4 The commander said to them, "Tell King Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, 'On what do you base this confidence of yours?5 Do you think mere words substitute for strategy and might in war? On whom, then, do you rely, that you rebel against me?6 This Egypt, the staff on which you rely, is in fact a broken reed which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it. That is what Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is to all who rely on him.7 But if you say to me: "We rely on the LORD, our God," is not he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, commanding Judah and Jerusalem to worship before this altar?' 8 "Now, make a wager with my lord the king of Assyria: 'I will give you two thousand horses, if you can put riders on them.'9 How then can you repulse even one of the least servants of my lord? And yet you rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen!10 'Was it without the LORD'S will that I have come up to destroy this land? The LORD said to me, "Go up and destroy that land!"'"11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the commander, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic; we understand it. Do not speak to us in Judean within earshot of the people who are on the wall." 12 But the commander replied, "Was it to you and your master that my lord sent me to speak these words? Was it not rather to the men sitting on the wall, who, with you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?"13 Then the commander stepped forward and cried out in a loud voice in Judean, "Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.14 Thus says the king: 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, since he cannot deliver you.15 Let not Hezekiah induce you to rely on the LORD, saying, "The LORD will surely save us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria."'16 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says: 'Make peace with me and surrender! Then each of you will eat of his own vine and of his own fig tree, and drink the water of his own cistern,17 until I come to take you to a land like your own, a land of grain and wine, of bread and vineyards.18 Do not let Hezekiah seduce you by saying, "The LORD will save us." Has any of the gods of the nations ever rescued his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Where are the gods of Samaria? Have they saved Samaria from my hand?20 Which of all the gods of these lands ever rescued his land from my hand? Will the LORD then save Jerusalem from my hand?'"21 But they remained silent and did not answer him one word, for the king had ordered them not to answer him.22 Then the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, Shebna the scribe, and the herald Joah, son of Asaph, came to Hezekiah with their garments torn, and reported to him what the commander had said.

Hezekiah Consults Isaiah

37 1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his garments, wrapped himself in sackcloth, and went into the temple of the LORD.2 He sent Eliakim, the master of the palace, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, wrapped in sackcloth, to tell the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz:3 "Thus says Hezekiah: 'This is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace. Children are at the point of birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 Perhaps the LORD, your God, will hear the words of the commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, sent to taunt the living God, and will rebuke him for the words which the LORD, your God, has heard. Send up a prayer for the remnant that is here.'"5 When the servants of King Hezekiah had come to Isaiah,6 he said to them: "Tell this to your master: 'Thus says the LORD: Do not be frightened by the words you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.7 I am about to put in him such a spirit that, when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own land, and there I will cause him to fall by the sword.'"8 When the commander returned to Lachish and heard that the king of Assyria had left there, he found him besieging Libnah.9 The king of Assyria heard a report that Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, had come out to fight against him. Again he sent envoys to Hezekiah with this message: "Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah: 10 'Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by saying that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.11 You yourself have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: They doomed them! Will you, then, be saved?12 Did the gods of the nations whom my fathers destroyed save them? Gozen, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar?13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, or a king of the cities of Sepharvaim, Hena or Ivvah?'"

Hezekiah's Prayer

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the temple of the LORD, and spreading it out before him,15 he prayed to the LORD:16 "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth. 17 Incline your ear, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD and see! Hear all the words of the letter that Sennacherib sent to taunt the living God.18 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands,19 and cast their gods into the fire; they destroyed them because they were not gods but the work of human hands, wood and stone.20 Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, alone are God."
Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: In answer to your prayer for help against Sennacherib, king of Assyria,22 this is the word the LORD has spoken concerning him: She despises you, laughs you to scorn, the virgin daughter Zion; Behind you she wags her head, daughter Jerusalem.23 Whom have you insulted and blasphemed, against whom have you raised your voice And lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel!24 Through your servants you have insulted the Lord: You said, "With my many chariots I climbed the mountain heights, the recesses of Lebanon; I cut down its lofty cedars, its choice cypresses; I reached the remotest heights, its forest park.25 I dug wells and drank water in foreign lands; I dried up with the soles of my feet all the rivers of Egypt.26 Have you not heard? Long ago I prepared it, From days of old I planned it, now I have brought it to pass: That you should reduce fortified cities into heaps of ruins,27 While their inhabitants, shorn of power, are dismayed and ashamed, Becoming like the plants of the field, like the green growth, like the scorched grass on the housetops.28 I am aware whether you stand or sit; I know whether you come or go, and also your rage against me.29 Because of your rage against me and your fury which has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and make you return the way you came.30 This shall be a sign for you: this year you shall eat the aftergrowth, next year, what grows of itself; But in the third year, sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit! 31 The remaining survivors of the house of Judah shall again strike root below and bear fruit above.32 For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant, and from Mount Zion, survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.33 Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not reach this city, nor shoot an arrow at it, nor come before it with a shield, nor cast up siegeworks against it.34 He shall return by the same way he came, without entering the city, says the LORD.35 I will shield and save this city for my own sake, and for the sake of my servant David.

Sennacherib's Defeat and Death

36 The angel of the LORD went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning, there they were, all the corpses of the dead. 37 So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp and went back home to Nineveh.38 When he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer slew him with the sword and fled into the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon reigned in his stead.

Hezekiah's Illness

Isaïe (NAB) 27