Isaiah Chapter 20 to 23 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Assyria Will Defeat Egypt and Ethiopia

20 Sargon* was the king of Assyria.* Sargon sent Tarton* to Ashdod to fight against that city. Tarton went there and captured the city. 2At that time, the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. The Lord said, “Go, take the cloth of sadness off your waist. Take your shoes off your feet.” Isaiah obeyed the Lord. And Isaiah walked around without clothes and without shoes. 3Then the Lord said, “Isaiah has walked around without clothes and without shoes for three years. This is a sign for Egypt and Ethiopia. 4The king of Assyria* will defeat Egypt and Ethiopia. Assyria will take prisoners and lead them away from their countries. The old people and young people will be led without clothes and without shoes. They will be completely naked. The people from Egypt will be shamed. 5People looked to Ethiopia for help. Those people will be broken. People were amazed by Egypt’s glory. Those people will be shamed.” 6Those people living near the sea will say, “We trusted those countries to help us. We ran to them so they would rescue us from the king of Assyria.* But look at them. Those countries have been captured, so how will we be able to escape?”

Sargon A king of Assyria. He was king about 721–705 B.C. Assyria This was a powerful nation northeast of Israel. Tarton An Assyrian military commander.

God’s Message to Babylon

21 The sad message about the Desert of the Sea:* Something is coming from the desert. It is coming like wind blowing from the Negev.* It is coming from a terrible country. 2I have seen something very terrible that will happen. I see traitors* turning against you. I see people taking your wealth. Elam, go and fight against the people! Media, put your armies around the city and defeat it! I will end all the evil things in that city. 3I saw those terrible things, and now I am scared. My stomach hurts because of my fear. That pain is like the pain of giving birth. The things I hear make me very afraid. The things I see make me shake with fear. 4I am worried and I am shaking from fear. My pleasant evening has become a night of fear. 5{The people think everything is fine. The people are saying,} “Prepare the table! Eat and Drink!” {At the same time the soldiers are saying,} “Post the guard! Officers, get up and polish your shields!” 6My Master said to me, “Go find a man to guard this city. He must report whatever he sees. 7If the guard sees rows of horse soldiers, donkeys, or camels, the guard should listen carefully—very carefully.” 8{Then one day, the guard called out the warning,} “Lion!” {The guard said,} “My Master, every day I have been in the watchtower* watching. Every night I have been standing and guarding, but ... 9Look! They are coming! I see rows of men and horse soldiers.” {Then a messenger} said, “Babylon {has been defeated.} Babylon has fallen to the ground. All the statues of her false gods have been thrown to the ground and have broken to pieces.” 10{Isaiah said,} “My people, I have told you everything that I heard from the Lord All- Powerful, the God of Israel. You will be crushed like grain on a threshing floor.*

God’s Message to Edom

11The sad message about Dumah.* Someone called me from Seir (Edom). He said, “Guard, how much of the night is left? How much longer will it be night!” 12The guard answered, “Morning is coming, But then night will come again. If you have something to ask, then come back* and ask.”

God’ Message to Arabia

13The sad message about Arabia. A caravan* from Dedan spent the night near some trees in Arabian desert. 14They gave water to some thirsty travelers. The people of Tema gave food to some people that were traveling. 15Those people were running from swords that were ready to kill. They were running from bows that were ready to shoot. They were running from a hard battle. 16The Lord, my Master, told me those things would happen. The Lord said, “In one year, (the way a hired helper counts time) all Kedar’s* glory will be gone. 17At that time, only a few of the archers,* the great soldiers of Kedar, will be left alive.” The Lord, the God of Israel, told me those things.

Desert of the Sea Probably Babylon. Negev The desert area south of Judah. traitors People that turn against their country, friends, or family and do bad things to them. watchtower A tall building where guards stood and watched to see if anyone was coming near their city. threshing floor A place where grain is walked on to remove the hulls from the grain. Dumah Edom. This Hebrew word means “silence” or “destruction.” come back This can also mean “change your heart, repent.” caravan A group of traders and their animals that carry wealth from one place to another. Kedar’s A country east of Israel. archers Soldiers that use bows and arrows in war.

God’s Message to Jerusalem

22 The sad message about the Valley of Vision:* What is wrong with you people? Why are you hiding on your housetops? 2{In the past,} this city was a very busy city. This city was very noisy—and very happy. {But now, things have changed.} Your people have been killed—but not with swords. The people died—but not while fighting. 3All of your leaders ran away together. But they have all been captured—and without bows. All the leaders ran far away together. But they have been captured. 4So I say, “Don’t look at me! Let me cry! Don’t rush to comfort me about the destruction of Jerusalem.” 5The Lord has chosen a special day. On that day there will be riots and confusion. People will trample (walk on) each other in the Valley of Vision.* The city walls will be pulled down. The people in the valley will be shouting at the people in the city on the mountain. 6The horse soldiers from Elam will take their bags of arrows and ride to battle. The people from Kir will make noise with their shields. 7The armies will meet in your special valley. The valley will be filled with chariots.* Horse soldiers will be put in front of the city gates. 8At that time, the people of Judah will want to use the weapons they keep at the Forest Palace.* The enemy will pull down the walls protecting Judah. 9–11The walls of the City of David will begin to crack, and you will see those cracks. So, you will count the houses, and you will use stones from the houses to fix the walls. You will make a place between the double walls for saving water from the old stream, and you will save the water. You will do all this to protect yourselves. But you will not trust the God who made all these things. You will not see the One (God) who made all these things long ago. 12So, my Master, the Lord All-Powerful, will tell the people to cry and be sad {for their dead friends}. People will shave their heads and wear clothes of sadness. 13But look! The people are happy now. The people are rejoicing. {The people are saying}: Kill the cattle and the sheep. We will celebrate. Eat your food and drink the wine. Eat and drink because tomorrow we die. 14The Lord All-Powerful said these things to me and I heard it with my ears: “You are guilty of doing wrong things. And I promise, you will die before this guilt is forgiven.” My Master, the Lord All-Powerful said those things.

God’s Message to Shebna

15My Master, the Lord All-Powerful, told me these things: “Go to that servant Shebna. That servant is the palace manager. 16{Ask that servant,} ‘What are you doing here? Is any person from your family buried here? Why are you making a grave here?’” {Isaiah said,} “Look at this man! He is making his grave in a high place. This man is cutting into rock to make his grave. 17–18“Man, the Lord will crush you. The Lord will roll you into {a small} ball and throw you far away into the open arms of another country. And there you will die.” {The Lord said,} “You are very proud of your chariots.* But in that faraway land your new ruler will have better chariots. And your chariots will not look important in his palace. 19I will force you out of your important job here. Your new leader will take you away from your important job. 20At that time, I will call for my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21I will take your robe and put it on that servant. I will give him your scepter.* I will give him the important job you have. That servant will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah’s family. 22“I will put the key to David’s house around that man’s neck. If he opens a door, that door will stay opened. No person will be able to close it. If he closes a door, that door will stay closed. No person will be able to open it. That servant will be like a very honored chair in his father’s house. 23I will make him strong like a nail that is hammered into a very strong board. 24All the honored and important things of his father’s house will hang on him. All the adults and little children will depend on him. Those people will be like small dishes and large water bottles hanging on him. 25“At that time, the nail (Shebna) that is now hammered into a very strong board will become weak and it will break. That nail will fall to the ground and all the things hanging on that nail will be destroyed. Then everything I said in this message will happen.” (Those things will happen because the Lord said them.)

Valley of Vision This probably means one of the valleys near Jerusalem.  Valley of Vision This probably means the valley near Jerusalem. chariots Small wagons used for war. Forest Palace Or, Beth HaYaar, a city built by Solomon for storing his weapons and wealth. scepter A special stick. Kings and leaders carried scepters to show they were rulers.

God’s Message To Lebanon

23 The sad message about Tyre: You ships from Tarshish,* be sad! Your harbor has been destroyed. (The people on these ships were told this news while on their way from the land of Kittim.)* 2You people living near the sea should stop and be sad. Tyre was the “Merchant* of Sidon.” That city by the sea sent businessmen across the seas, and those men filled you with riches. 3Those men traveled the seas looking for grain. Those men from Tyre bought the grain that grows near the Nile River, and they sold the grain to other nations. 4Sidon, you should be very sad. Why? Because now the Sea, and the Fort of the Sea* say: I have no children. I have not felt the pain of birth. I have not given birth to children. I have not raised young men and women. 5Egypt will hear the news about Tyre. This news will make Egypt hurt with sorrow. 6You ships should return to Tarshish.* You people living near the sea should be sad. 7In the past, you enjoyed the city of Tyre. That city has been growing since the beginning. People from that city have traveled far away to live. 8The city of Tyre has produced many leaders. Businessmen from that city are like princes. The people that buy and sell things are honored everywhere. So who made plans against Tyre? 9It was the Lord All-Powerful. He decided to make them not important. 10You ships from Tarshish should go back to your country. Cross the sea like it is a small river. No person will stop you now. 11The Lord has stretched his arm over the sea. The Lord is gathering kingdoms to fight against Tyre. The Lord commands Canaan* to destroy {Tyre}, her place of safety. 12The Lord says, “Virgin Daughter of Sidon,* you will be destroyed. You will not rejoice any more.” {But the people of Tyre say,} “Cyprus* will help us!” But if you cross the sea to Cyprus, you will not find a place to rest. 13{So the people of Tyre say,} “The people of Babylon will help us!” But look at the land of the Chaldeans!* Babylon is not a country now. Assyria* attacked Babylon and built war towers around it. The soldiers took everything from the beautiful houses. Assyria made Babylon a place for wild animals. They changed Babylon into a place of ruins. 14So, be sad, you ships from Tarshish.* Your place of safety (Tyre) will be destroyed. 15People will forget about Tyre for 70 years. (That is, about the length of a certain king’s rule.) After 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute* in this song: 16Oh woman that men forgot, take your harp and walk through the city. Play your song well. Sing your song often. Then maybe people will remember you. 17After 70 years, the Lord will review Tyre’s case, and he will give her a decision. Tyre will again have trade. Tyre will be like a prostitute* for all the nations on earth. 18But Tyre will not keep the money she earns. Tyre’s profit from her trade will be saved for the Lord. Tyre will give that profit to the people that serve the Lord. So the Lord’s servants will eat until they are full, and they will wear nice clothes.  

ships from Tarshish This is probably a special type of cargo ship. Kittim This could be the island of Cyprus or the island of Crete. Merchant A businessman who buys and sells things for a living. Fort of the Sea Another name for the city Tyre. Tarshish A city far away from Israel, probably in Spain. Tarshish was famous for its large ships that sailed the Mediterranean Sea. Canaan The land where the Canaanite people lived. This includes part of Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Virgin Daughter of Sidon The city Sidon. Cyprus Literally, “Kittim.” This could also mean “Crete.” Chaldeans The people of the land of Babylon. Assyria This was a powerful nation northeast of Israel. prostitute A woman that sells her body for sex. Sometimes this also means a person that stops following God.

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