Isaiah Chapter 27 to 29 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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27 At that time, the Lord will judge Leviathan,* the crooked snake. The Lord will use his great sword, his hard and powerful sword, to punish Leviathan, the coiled snake. The Lord will kill the large creature in the sea.* 2At that time, people will sing about the pleasant vineyard.* 3“I, the Lord, will care for that garden. I will water the garden at the right time. I will guard that garden day and night. No one will hurt that garden. 4I am not angry. But if there is war and someone builds a wall of thorn bushes,* then I will march to it and burn it. 5But if any person comes to me for safety and wants to make peace with me, then let him come, and make peace with me. 6People will come {to me}. Those people will help Jacob {to be strong} like a plant with good roots. Those people will cause Israel to grow like a plant beginning to bloom. Then the land will be filled with {the children of Israel} like fruit from plants.”

God Will Send Israel Away

7{How will the Lord punish his people? In the past} enemies hurt the people. Will the Lord hurt them that same way? {In the past} many people were killed. Will the Lord do the same thing and kill many people?* 8The Lord will settle his argument with Israel by sending her far away. The Lord will speak harshly to Israel. His words will burn like the hot desert wind. 9How will Jacob’s guilt be forgiven? What will happen so his sins can be taken away? {These things will happen}: The rocks of the altar will be crushed to dust; the statues* and altars* for worshiping false gods will all be destroyed. 10At that time, the great city will be empty—it will be like a desert. All the people will be gone—they will run away. That city will be like an open pasture. Young cattle will eat grass there. The cattle will eat leaves from the branches of the vines. 11The vines will become dry. And the branches will break off. Women will use those branches for firewood. The people refuse to understand. So God, their Maker, will not comfort them. Their Maker will not be kind to them. 12At that time, the Lord will begin separating his people from others. He will begin at the Euphrates River.* The Lord will gather all his people from the Euphrates River to the River of Egypt.* You people of Israel will be gathered together one by one. 13Many of my people are now lost in Assyria.* Some of my people have run away to Egypt. But at that time, a great trumpet will be blown. And all those people will come back to Jerusalem. Those people will bow down before the Lord on that holy mountain.

Leviathan The Dragon, or giant snake. Some ancient stories say the Dragon was an enemy of God. large creature in the sea This is probably Rahab. Some ancient stories tell of Rahab fighting with God. vineyard A garden for growing grapes. a wall of thorn bushes Literally, “thorns and thistles.” Farmers planted walls of thorn bushes around vineyards to protect them from animals. See Isa. 5:5. How … people Or, “Israel was not hurt as badly as the enemy who tried to hurt it. Not as many of its people were killed as were those who tried to kill them.” statues Idols, statues of false gods that people worshiped. altar(s) A stone table used for burning sacrifices as gifts to God. separating his people … Euphrates River Literally, “He will begin threshing at the stream of the river.” This Hebrew word for stream is like the word meaning “head of grain.” Euphrates River to the River of Egypt These are the borders of the land God promised to give to Israel. Assyria This was a powerful nation northeast of Israel.

Warnings to North Israel

28 Look at Samaria! The drunk people of Ephraim are proud of that city. That city sits on a hill with a rich valley around it. The people of Samaria think their city is a beautiful crown of flowers. But they are drunk with wine. And this “Beautiful Crown” is just a dying plant. 2Look, my Master has a person that is strong and brave. That person will come into the country like a storm of hail and rain. He will come like a storm into the country. He will be like a powerful river of water flooding the country. He will throw that crown (Samaria) down to the ground. 3The drunk people of Ephraim are proud of their “Beautiful Crown.” But that city will be walked on. 4That city sits on a hill with a rich valley around it. And that “Beautiful Crown of Flowers” is just a dying plant. That city will be like the first figs of summer. When a person sees one of those figs, he quickly picks it and eats it. 5At that time, the Lord All-Powerful will become the “Beautiful Crown.” He will be the “Wonderful Crown of Flowers” for his people that are left. 6Then the Lord will give wisdom to the judges that rule his people. The Lord will give strength to the people in battles at the city gates. 7But now those leaders are drunk. The priests and prophets are all drunk with wine and beer. They stumble and fall down. The prophets are drunk when they see their dreams. The judges are drunk when they make their decisions. 8Every table is covered with vomit. There is not a clean place anywhere.

God Wants to Help His People

9The Lord is trying to teach a lesson to the people. The Lord is trying to make the people understand his teachings. But the people are like little babies. They are like babies that were at their mother’s breast only a very short time ago. 10{So the Lord speaks to them like they are babies}: Saw lasaw saw lasaw Qaw laqaw qaw laqaw Ze’er sham ze’er sham.* 11The Lord will use this strange way of talking and he will use other languages to speak to these people. 12In the past God spoke to those people, and he said, “Here is a resting place. This is the peaceful place. Let the tired people come and rest. This is the place of peace.” But the people did not want to listen to God. 13So the words from God were like a foreign language:* Saw lasaw saw lasaw. Qaw laqaw qaw laqaw. Ze’er sham ze’er sham.”* The people did like they wanted to do. So the people fell back and were defeated. The people were trapped and captured.

No One Escapes God’s Judgment

14You leaders in Jerusalem should listen to the Lord’s message. But now you refuse to listen to him. 15You people say, “We have made an agreement with death. We have a contract with Sheol—{the place of death}. So we will not be punished. Punishment will pass us without hurting us. We will hide behind our tricks and lies.” 16Because of those things, the Lord my Master says, “I will put a rock—a cornerstone—in the ground in Zion.* This will be a very precious stone.* Everything will be built on this very important rock. Any person that trusts {in that rock} will not be disappointed. 17“{People use} a measuring line with a weight {to show a wall is straight. In the same way}, I will use justice and goodness {to show what is right}. “You evil people are trying to hide behind your lies and tricks. But {you will be punished. It will be like} a storm or a flood is coming to destroy your hiding places. 18Your agreement with death will be erased. Your contract with Sheol* will not help you. “Some person will come and punish you. He will make you like the dirt he walks on. 19That person will come and take you away. Your punishment will be terrible. Your punishment will come early in the morning, and it will continue late into the night. 20“Then you will understand this story: A man tried to sleep on a bed that was too short for him. And he had a blanket that was not wide enough to cover him. {The bed and blanket were useless, and so were your agreements}.” 21The Lord will fight like he did at Mount Perazim. The Lord will be angry like he was in Gibeon Valley.* Then the Lord will do the things he must do. The Lord will do some strange things. But he will finish his work. His work is a stranger’s job. 22Now, you must not fight against those things. If you do, the ropes around you will become tighter. The words I heard will not change. Those words came from the Lord All-Powerful, the ruler of all the earth. And those things will be done.

The Lord Punishes Fairly

23Listen closely to the message I am telling you. 24Does a farmer plow his field all the time? No! Does he work the soil all the time? No! 25A farmer prepares the ground, and then he plants the seed. A farmer plants different kinds of seeds different ways. A farmer scatters dill seeds. A farmer throws cummin seeds on the ground. And a farmer plants wheat in rows. A farmer plants barley in its special place, and he plants spelt* seeds at the edge of his field. 26Our God is using this to teach you a lesson. {This example} shows us that God is fair when he punishes his people. 27Does a farmer use large boards with sharp teeth to crush dill seeds? No! Does a farmer use a wagon to crush cummin seeds? No! A farmer uses a small stick to break the hulls from these seeds of grain. 28When a woman makes bread, she works and presses the dough with her hands, but she does not do this forever. The Lord punishes his people in the same way. He will scare them with the wagon wheel, but he will not crush them completely. He will not allow many horses* to trample (walk on) them. 29This lesson comes from the Lord All- Powerful. The Lord gives wonderful advice. God is truly wise.

Saw lasaw … ze’er sham This is probably a Hebrew song to teach little children how to write. It sounds like baby talk or a foreign language, but it can also be translated, “A command here, a command there. A rule here, a rule there. A lesson here, a lesson there.” foreign language Or, “gibberish” or “baby talk.” Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. very precious stone This also means a stone has been tested and shown that it has no cracks. Sheol This is the place where all people go when they die. Usually this means the grave, but it can mean the place where our spirits go. Mount Perazim … Gibeon Valley See 1 Chron. 14:8–17. spelt A type of grain. horses This word also means “horse soldiers.”

God’s Love for Jerusalem

29 {God says,} “Look at Ariel!* Ariel, the city where David camped. Her holidays have continued year after year. 2I have punished Ariel. That city has been filled with sadness and crying. But she has always been my Ariel. 3“I have put armies all around you, Ariel. I raised war towers against you. 4You were {defeated and} pulled to the ground. Now, I hear your voice rising from the ground like the voice of a ghost. Your words come like a quiet voice from the dirt.” 5There are many strangers there—like very small pieces of dust. There are many cruel people—like chaff* blowing in the wind. 6The Lord All-Powerful punished you with earthquakes, thunder, and loud noises. There were storms, strong winds, and fire that burned and destroyed. 7Many, many nations fought against Ariel.* It has been like a terrible dream in the night. Armies have surrounded Ariel and punished her. 8But it will also be like a dream to those armies. They will not get what they want. It will be like a hungry man dreaming about food. When the man wakes up, he is still hungry. It will be like a thirsty man dreaming about water. When the man wakes up, he is still thirsty. The same thing is true about all the nations fighting against Zion.* Those nations will not get the things that they want. 9Be surprised and amazed! You will become drunk—but not from wine. Look and be amazed! You will stumble and fall—but not from beer. 10The Lord will make you sleepy. The Lord will close your eyes. (The prophets are your eyes.) The Lord will cover your heads. (The prophets are your heads.) 11{I tell you these things will happen, but you don’t understand me. My words} are like the words in a book that is closed and sealed.* You can give the book to a person that can read, and tell that person to read the book. But that person will say, “I can’t read the book. It is closed and I can’t open it.” 12Or you can give the book to a person that can’t read, and tell that person to read the book. That person will say, “I can’t read the book because I don’t know how to read.” 13My Master says, “These people say they love me. They show honor to me with words from their mouths. But their hearts are far from me. The honor they show me is nothing but human rules they have memorized. 14So I will continue to amaze these people by doing powerful and amazing things. Their wise men will lose their wisdom. Their wise men will not be able to understand.” 15Those people try to hide things from the Lord. They think the Lord will not understand. Those people do their evil things in darkness. Those people tell themselves. “No person can see us. No person will know who we are.” 16You are confused. You think the clay is equal to the potter.* You think that something made can tell the person that made it, “You did not make me!” This is like a pot telling its maker, “You don’t understand.”

A Better Time Is Coming

17This is the truth: After a short time, Lebanon will have rich soil like Mount Carmel.* And Mount Carmel will be like a thick forest. 18The deaf will hear the words in the book. The blind will see through the darkness and fog. 19The Lord will make the poor people happy. The poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20This will happen when the mean and cruel people are finished. It will happen when those people that enjoy doing bad things are gone. 21(Those people lie about good people. They try to trap people in court. They try to destroy innocent people.) 22So the Lord speaks to Jacob’s family. (This is the Lord that made Abraham free.) The Lord says, “Now Jacob (the people of Israel) will not be embarrassed and ashamed. 23He will see all his children, and he will say my name is holy. I made these children with my hands. And these children will say that the Holy One (God) of Jacob is very special. These children will respect the God of Israel. 24Many of these people did not understand, so they did wrong things. These people did not understand, but they will learn their lesson.”  

Ariel A name for the altar at the temple in Jerusalem. This name means “hearth” or “fireplace.” chaff The seed coverings and stems separated from the seeds of plants like wheat or barley. Farmers saved the seeds and let the wind blow the useless chaff away. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. sealed A piece of clay or wax was put on the closed book to show the book should not be opened. potter A worker that makes things from clay. Mount Carmel A hill in north Israel very good for growing plants. This name means “God’s vineyard.”

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