Isaiah 22-24 (Listen)
An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem
The oracle concerning the valley of vision.
What do you mean that you have gone up,
all of you, to the housetops,
you who are full of shoutings,
tumultuous city, exultant town?
Your slain are not slain with the sword
or dead in battle.
All your leaders have fled together;
without the bow they were captured.
All of you who were found were captured,
though they had fled far away.
Therefore I said:
“Look away from me;
let me weep bitter tears;
do not labor to comfort me
concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
For the Lord God of hosts has a day
of tumult and trampling and confusion
in the valley of vision,
a battering down of walls
and a shouting to the mountains.
And Elam bore the quiver
with chariots and horsemen,
and Kir uncovered the shield.
Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
He has taken away the covering of Judah.
In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.
In that day the Lord God of hosts
called for weeping and mourning,
for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
and behold, joy and gladness,
killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
eating flesh and drinking wine.
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
“Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
says the Lord God of hosts.
Thus says the Lord God of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? Behold, the Lord will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.”
An Oracle Concerning Tyre and Sidon
The oracle concerning Tyre.
Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor!
From the land of Cyprus
it is revealed to them.
Be still, O inhabitants of the coast;
the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.
And on many waters
your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
the harvest of the Nile;
you were the merchant of the nations.
Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
the stronghold of the sea, saying:
“I have neither labored nor given birth,
I have neither reared young men
nor brought up young women.”
When the report comes to Egypt,
they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.
Cross over to Tarshish;
wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
Is this your exultant city
whose origin is from days of old,
whose feet carried her
to settle far away?
Who has purposed this
against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants were princes,
whose traders were the honored of the earth?
The Lord of hosts has purposed it,
to defile the pompous pride of all glory,
to dishonor all the honored of the earth.
Cross over your land like the Nile,
O daughter of Tarshish;
there is no restraint anymore.
He has stretched out his hand over the sea;
he has shaken the kingdoms;
the Lord has given command concerning Canaan
to destroy its strongholds.
And he said:
“You will no more exult,
O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon;
arise, cross over to Cyprus,
even there you will have no rest.”
Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not; Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin.
Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
for your stronghold is laid waste.
In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:
“Take a harp;
go about the city,
O forgotten prostitute!
Make sweet melody;
sing many songs,
that you may be remembered.”
At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the Lord. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the Lord.
Judgment on the Whole Earth
Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate,
and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
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.
The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
for the Lord has spoken this word.
The earth mourns and withers;
the world languishes and withers;
the highest people of the earth languish.
The earth lies defiled
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left.
The wine mourns,
the vine languishes,
all the merry-hearted sigh.
The mirth of the tambourines is stilled,
the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
No more do they drink wine with singing;
strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
The wasted city is broken down;
every house is shut up so that none can enter.
There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
all joy has grown dark;
the gladness of the earth is banished.
Desolation is left in the city;
the gates are battered into ruins.
For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.
They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west.
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
of glory to the Righteous One.
But I say, “I waste away,
I waste away. Woe is me!
For the traitors have betrayed,
with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
Terror and the pit and the snare
are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
He who flees at the sound of the terror
shall fall into the pit,
and he who 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.
The earth is utterly broken,
the earth is split apart,
the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man;
it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
and it falls, and will not rise again.
On that day the Lord will punish
the host of heaven, in heaven,
and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
They will be gathered together
as prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
and after many days they will be punished.
Then the moon will be confounded
and the sun ashamed,
for the Lord of hosts reigns
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and his glory will be before his elders.