The Judgment of God
Woe (judgment is coming) to you, O destroyer,
You who were not destroyed,
And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him.
As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed;
As soon as you stop dealing treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.
O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited [expectantly] for You.
Be the arm of Your servants every morning [that is, their strength and their defense],
Our salvation also in the time of trouble.
At the sound of the tumult, the peoples flee;
At the lifting up of Yourself nations scatter.
Your spoil [of Israel’s foe] is gathered [by the people of Jerusalem] as the caterpillar gathers;
As locusts swarming so people swarm on it.
The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
And He will be the security and stability of your times,
A treasure of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the Lord is your treasure.
Now look, their brave men shout outside;
The ambassadors [seeking a treaty] of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted, the traveler has ceased [to appear].
The enemy has broken the covenant, he has rejected the [a]cities,
He has no regard for [any] man.
The land mourns and dries out,
Lebanon is shamed and [its lush foliage] withers;
[b]Sharon is like a desert plain,
And [c]Bashan and [Mount] Carmel shake off their leaves.
“Now I will arise,” says the Lord.
“Now I will be exalted; now I will be lifted up.
“You have conceived dried grass, you will give birth to stubble;
My breath is a fire that will consume you.
“The peoples will be burned to lime,
Like thorns cut down which are burned in the fire.
“You who are far away, hear what I have done;
And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
The sinners in Zion are terrified;
Trembling has seized the godless.
[They cry] “Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
Who among us can live with everlasting burning?”
He who walks righteously and speaks with integrity,
Who rejects gain from fraud and from oppression,
Who shakes his hand free from the taking of bribes,
Who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes to avoid looking upon evil;
He will dwell on the heights,
His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks,
His bread will be given him;
His water will be permanent.
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see a far-distant land.
Your mind will meditate on the terror [asking]:
“Where is he who counts?
Where is he who weighs [the tribute]?
Where is he who counts the towers?”
You will no longer see the fierce and insolent people,
A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends,
Of a strange and stammering tongue which no one understands.
Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts and observances;
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a undisturbed settlement,
A tent which will not be taken down;
Not one of its stakes will ever be pulled up,
Nor any of its ropes be severed.
But there the mighty and magnificent Lord will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
Where no oar-driven boat will go,
And on which no mighty and stately ship will pass.
For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Ruler,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us.
Your ship’s ropes (tackle) hang loose;
They cannot hold the base of their mast firmly,
Nor spread out the sail.
Then an abundance of spoil and plunder will be divided;
Even the lame will take the plunder.
And no inhabitant [of Zion] will say, “I am sick”;
The people who dwell there will be forgiven their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing].
- Isaiah 33:8 The DSS read witnesses.
- Isaiah 33:9 The fertile pasture region south of Mt. Carmel.
- Isaiah 33:9 The fertile plateau east of the Jordan River.
God’s Wrath against Nations
Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples!
Let the earth and all that is in it hear, and the world and all that comes forth from it.
For the Lord is angry at all the nations,
And His wrath is against all their armies;
He has [a]utterly doomed them,
He has given them over to slaughter.
So their slain will be thrown out,
And the stench of their corpses will rise,
And the mountains will flow with their blood.
All the host of heaven will be dissolved,
And the skies will be rolled up like a scroll;
All their hosts [the stars and the planets] will also wither away
As a leaf withers from the vine,
And as a fig withers from the fig tree.
For My sword is satiated [with blood] in heaven;
Indeed, it will come down for judgment on Edom
And on the people whom I have doomed for destruction.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood [from sacrifices],
It drips with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah (Edom’s capital city)
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen will also fall with them
And the young bulls with the strong bulls;
And their land will be soaked with blood,
And their dust made greasy with fat.
For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
A year of retribution for the cause of Zion.
The streams [of Edom] will be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone,
And its land will become burning pitch.
The burning will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will lie in ruins;
No one will ever again pass through it.
But the pelican and the porcupine will take possession of it;
The owl and the raven will dwell in it.
And He will stretch over it (Edom) the measuring line of desolation
And the plumb line of emptiness.
Its nobles—there is no one there
Whom they may proclaim king—
And all its princes will be nothing.
Thorns will come up in its fortified palaces,
Nettles and brambles in its fortified cities;
It will be a haunt for jackals,
An abode for ostriches.
The creatures of the desert will encounter jackals
And the [b]hairy goat will call to its kind;
Indeed, [c]Lilith (night demon) will settle there
And find herself a place of rest.
There the arrow snake will make her nest and lay her eggs,
And hatch them and gather her young under her protection;
Indeed, the birds of prey will be gathered there [to breed],
Every one with its own kind.
Seek from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these [creatures] will be missing;
None will lack its mate.
For His mouth has commanded,
And His Spirit has gathered them.
The Lord has cast the lot for them,
And His hand has divided and apportioned [d]Edom to the wild beasts by measuring-line.
They will possess it forever;
From generation to generation they will dwell in it.
- Isaiah 34:2 Lit put them under the ban.
- Isaiah 34:14 Or demon satyr.
- Isaiah 34:14 Thought by some to be a female demon associated with the night.
- Isaiah 34:17 Lit it to them.
Zion’s Joyful Future
The wilderness and the dry land will be glad;
The Arabah (desert) will shout in exultation and blossom
Like the [a]autumn crocus.
It will blossom abundantly
And rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
The majesty of [Mount] Carmel and [the plain] of Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
The majesty and splendor of our God.
Encourage the exhausted, and make staggering knees firm.
Say to those with an anxious and panic-stricken heart,
“Be strong, fear not!
Indeed, your God will come with vengeance [for the ungodly];
The retribution of God will come,
But He will save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the desert.
And the burning sand (mirage) will become a pool [of water]
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
In the haunt of jackals, [b]where they lay resting,
Grass becomes reeds and [c]rushes.
A highway will be there, and a roadway;
And it will be called the Holy Way.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for those who walk on the way [the redeemed];
And fools will not wander on it.
No lion will be there,
Nor will any predatory animal come up on it;
They will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come to Zion with shouts of jubilation,
And everlasting joy will be upon their heads;
They will find joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.