121A day is coming when people will sing,
“I praise you, LORD! You were angry with me,
but now you comfort me and are angry no longer.
God is my saviour;
I will trust him and not be afraid.
The LORD gives me power and strength;
he is my saviour.
3As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty,
so God's people rejoice when he saves them.”
4A day is coming when people will sing,
“Give thanks to the LORD! Call for him to help you!
Tell all the nations what he has done!
Tell them how great he is!
5Sing to the LORD because of the great things he has done.
Let the whole world hear the news.
6Let everyone who lives in Zion shout and sing!
Israel's holy God is great,
and he lives among his people.”
This is a message about Babylon, which Isaiah son of Amoz received from God.
2On the top of a barren hill raise the battle flag! Shout to the soldiers and raise your arm as the signal for them to attack the gates of the proud city. 3The LORD has called out his proud and confident soldiers to fight a holy war and punish those he is angry with.
4Listen to the noise on the mountains — the sound of a great crowd of people, the sound of nations and kingdoms gathering. The LORD of Armies is preparing his troops for battle. 5They are coming from far-off countries at the ends of the earth. In his anger the LORD is coming to devastate the whole country.
Howl in pain! The day of the LORD is near, the day when the Almighty brings destruction. 7Everyone's hands will hang limp, and everyone's courage will fail. 8They will all be terrified and overcome with pain, like the pain of a woman in labour. They will look at each other in fear, and their faces will burn with shame. 9The day of the LORD is coming — that cruel day of his fierce anger and fury. The earth will be made a wilderness, and every sinner will be destroyed. 10
Every star and every constellation will stop shining, the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will give no light.
11The LORD says, “I will bring disaster on the earth and punish all wicked people for their sins. I will humble everyone who is proud and punish everyone who is arrogant and cruel. 12Those who survive will be scarcer than gold. 13I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place on that day when I, the LORD Almighty, show my anger.
14“The foreigners living in Babylon will run away to their own countries, scattering like deer escaping from hunters, like sheep without a shepherd. 15Anyone who is caught will be stabbed to death. 16While they look on helplessly, their babies will be battered to death, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be raped.”
17The LORD says, “I am stirring up the Medes13.17 Medes: People of a nation north-east of Babylonia, which became part of the Persian empire. to attack Babylon. They care nothing for silver and are not tempted by gold. 18With their bows and arrows they will kill the young men. They will show no mercy to babies and take no pity on children. 19
Babylonia is the most beautiful kingdom of all; it is the pride of its people. But I, the LORD, will overthrow Babylon as I did Sodom and Gomorrah! 20No one will ever live there again. No wandering Arab will ever pitch his tent there, and no shepherd will ever pasture his flock there. 21
It will be a place where desert animals live and where owls build their nests. Ostriches will live there, and wild goats will prance through the ruins. 22The towers and palaces will echo with the cries of hyenas and jackals. Babylon's time has come! Her days are almost over.”
141The LORD will once again be merciful to his people Israel and choose them as his own. He will let them live in their own land again, and foreigners will come and live there with them. 2Many nations will help the people of Israel to return to the land which the LORD gave them, and there the nations will serve Israel as slaves. Those who once captured Israel will now be captured by Israel, and the people of Israel will rule over those who once oppressed them.
3The LORD will give the people of Israel relief from their pain and suffering, and from the hard work they were forced to do. 4When he does this, they are to mock the king of Babylonia and say:
“The cruel king has fallen! He will never oppress anyone again! 5The LORD has ended the power of the evil rulers 6who angrily oppressed the peoples and never stopped persecuting the nations they had conquered. 7Now at last the whole world enjoys rest and peace, and everyone sings for joy. 8The cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon rejoice over the fallen king, because there is no one to cut them down, now that he is gone!
9“The world of the dead is getting ready to welcome the king of Babylonia. The ghosts of those who were powerful on earth are stirring about. The ghosts of kings are rising from their thrones. 10They all call out to him, ‘Now you are as weak as we are! You are one of us! 11You used to be honoured with the music of harps, but now here you are in the world of the dead. You lie on a bed of maggots and are covered with a blanket of worms.’
“King of Babylonia, bright morning star, you have fallen from heaven! In the past you conquered nations, but now you have been thrown to the ground. 13
You were determined to climb up to heaven and to place your throne above the highest stars. You thought you would sit like a king on that mountain in the north where the gods assemble. 14You said you would climb to the tops of the clouds and be like the Almighty. 15But instead, you have been brought down to the deepest part of the world of the dead.
16“The dead will stare and gape at you. They will ask, ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble? 17Is this the man who destroyed cities and turned the world into a desert? Is this the man who never freed his prisoners or let them go home?’ 18All the kings of the earth lie in their magnificent tombs, 19but you have no tomb, and your corpse is thrown out to rot. It is covered by the bodies of soldiers killed in battle, thrown with them into a rocky pit, and trampled down. 20Because you ruined your country and killed your own people, you will not be buried like other kings. None of your evil family will survive. 21Let the slaughter begin! The sons of this king will die because of their ancestors' sins. None of them will ever rule the earth or cover it with cities.”
22The LORD Almighty says, “I will attack Babylon and bring it to ruin. I will leave nothing — no children, no survivors at all. I, the LORD, have spoken. 23I will turn Babylon into a marsh, and owls will live there. I will sweep Babylon with a broom that will sweep everything away. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken.”
The LORD Almighty has sworn an oath: “What I have planned will happen. What I have determined to do will be done. 25I will destroy the Assyrians in my land of Israel and trample upon them on my mountains. I will free my people from the Assyrian yoke and from the burdens they have had to bear. 26This is my plan for the world, and my arm is stretched out to punish the nations.” 27The LORD Almighty is determined to do this; he has stretched out his arm to punish, and no one can stop him.
This is a message that was proclaimed in the year that King Ahaz died.
People of Philistia, the rod that beat you is broken, but you have no reason to be glad. When one snake dies, a worse one comes in its place. A snake's egg hatches a flying dragon. 30The LORD will be a shepherd to the poor of his people and will let them live in safety. But he will send a terrible famine on you Philistines, and it will not leave any of you alive.
31Howl and cry for help, all you Philistine cities! Be terrified, all of you! A cloud of dust is coming from the north — it is an army with no cowards in its ranks.
32How shall we answer the messengers that come to us from Philistia? We will tell them that the LORD has established Zion and that his suffering people will find safety there.