Isaiah Chapter 30 to 32 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Israel Should Trust God, Not Egypt

30 The Lord said, “Look at these children. They don’t obey me. They make plans, but they don’t ask me to help them. They make agreements with other nations, but my Spirit does not want those agreements. These people are adding more and more sins to themselves. 2These children are going down to Egypt for help, but they did not ask me if that was the right thing to do. They hope they will be saved by the Pharaoh.* They want Egypt to protect them. 3“But I tell you, hiding in Egypt will not help you. Egypt will not be able to protect you. 4Your leaders have gone to Zoan* and your ambassadors have gone to Hanes.* 5But they will be disappointed. They are depending on a nation that can’t help them. Egypt is useless—Egypt will give no help. Egypt will cause only shame and embarrassment.”

God’s Message to Judah

6The sad message about the animals in the Negev:* The Negev is a dangerous place. This land is full of lions, and adders,* and fast snakes.* {But some people are traveling through the Negev—they are going to Egypt.} Those people have put their wealth on the backs of donkeys. Those people have put their treasure on the backs of camels. {This means that} the people are depending on a nation that cannot help. 7That useless nation is Egypt. Egypt’s help will be worth nothing. So I call Egypt the “Do-Nothing Dragon.” 8Now write this on a sign so all people can see it. And write this in a book. Write these things for the last days. This will be far, far in the future: 9These people are like children that refuse to obey {their parents}. They lie and refuse to listen to the Lord’s teachings. 10They tell the prophets, “Don’t see dreams* about things we should do! Don’t tell us the truth! Say nice things to us and make us feel good! See only good things for us! 11Stop seeing things that will really happen! Get out of our way! Stop telling us about the Holy One of Israel.”

Judah’s Help Comes Only from God

12The Holy One (God) of Israel says, “You people have refused to accept this message from the Lord. You people want to depend on fighting and lies to help you. 13You are guilty of these things so you are like a tall wall with cracks in it. That wall will fall and break into small pieces. 14You will be like a large clay jar that breaks and becomes many, many small pieces. Those pieces are useless. You can’t use those pieces to get a hot coal from the fire or to get water from a pool in the ground.” 15The Lord my Master, the Holy One of Israel, says, “If you come back to me you will be saved. The only strength you have will come if you trust me. But you must be calm.” But you don’t want to do that! 16You say, “No, we need horses to run away on!” That is true—you will run away on horses. But the enemy will chase you. And the enemy will be faster than your horses. 17One enemy will make threats and a thousand of your men will run away. Five enemies will make threats and all of you will run from them. The only thing that will be left of your army will be a flagpole on a hill. 18The Lord wants to show his mercy to you. The Lord is waiting. The Lord wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord God is fair, and every person that waits for the Lord’s help will be blessed (happy). 19The Lord’s people will live in Jerusalem on Mount Zion.* You people will not continue crying. The Lord will hear your crying and he will comfort you. The Lord will hear you, and he will help you.

God Will Help His People

20{In the past,} my Master (God) gave you sorrow and hurt—it was like the bread and water you ate every day. But God is your teacher, and he will not continue to hide from you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. 21Then, if you do wrong and go (live) the wrong way (to the right or to the left), you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. You should go this way!” 22You have statues covered with silver and gold. Those false gods have made you dirty (sinful). But you will stop serving those false gods. You will throw away those gods like waste and dirty rags.* 23At that time, the Lord will send rain for you. You will plant seeds in the ground, and the ground will grow food for you. You will have a very large harvest. You will have plenty of food in the fields for your animals. There will be large fields for your sheep. 24Your cattle and donkeys will have all the food they need. There will be very much food. You will have to use shovels and pitchforks* to spread all the food* for your animals to eat. 25Every mountain and hill will have streams filled with water. These things will happen after many people are killed and the towers are pulled down. 26At that time, the light from the moon will be bright like the sun. The light from the sun will be seven times brighter than now. The light from the sun in one day will be like a full week. These things will happen when the Lord bandages his broken people and heals the hurts from their beatings. 27Look! The Lord’s Name is coming from far away. His anger is like a fire with thick clouds of smoke. The Lord’s mouth is filled with anger, and his tongue is like a burning fire. 28The Lord’s breath (Spirit) is like a great river—rising until it reaches the throat. The Lord will judge the nations. It will be like he shakes them through the ‘Strainer of Destruction.’ The Lord will control them. It will be like a bit* that controls an animal is in the mouths of the people. 29{At that time, you will sing happy songs. That time} will be like the nights when you begin a holiday. You are very happy while walking to the Lord’s mountain. You are happy while listening to the flute on the way to worship {the Lord,} the Rock* of Israel. 30The Lord will cause all people to hear his great voice. The Lord will cause all people to see his powerful arm come down with anger. That arm will be like a great fire that burns everything. The Lord’s power will be like a great storm with much rain and hail. 31Assyria* will be afraid when he hears the Lord’s voice. The Lord will beat Assyria with a stick. 32The Lord will beat Assyria, and it will be like playing music on drums and harps.* The Lord will defeat Assyria with his great arm (power). 33Topheth* has been made ready for a long time. It is ready for the king.* It was made very deep and wide. There is a very big pile of wood and fire there. And the Lord’s breath (Spirit) will come like a stream of burning sulfur and burn it.

Pharaoh A title for the kings of Egypt. Zoan A city in the country Egypt. Hanes A city in the country Egypt. Negev The desert area south of Judah. adders Very poisonous snakes. fast snakes Literally, “flying snakes.” dreams Or “visions.” Special kinds of dreams God used to speak to his prophets. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. You will throw away … dirty rags This also means “You will throw away those gods like menstrual clothes. You will say, ‘Go away!’” pitchforks Tools for throwing or spreading hay. food This was special food that had been allowed to ferment. This made the meat of the animal tender and good. bit A piece of metal in a horse’s mouth used to make the horse go the right way. Rock A name for God. It shows he is like a strong place of safety. Assyria This was a powerful nation northeast of Israel. harps Musical instruments with several strings. Topheth Gehenna; the Valley of Hinnom. In this valley people killed their children to honor the false god, “Molech.” king This is like the name of the false god, “Molech.”

Israel Should Depend on God’s Power

31 Look at the people going down to Egypt for help. The people ask for horses. They think horses will save them. The people hope the chariots* and horse soldiers from Egypt will protect them. The people think they are safe because that army is very big. The people don’t trust the Holy One of Israel (God). The people don’t ask the Lord for help. 2But, it is the Lord who is wise. And it is the Lord who will bring trouble against them. The people will not be able to change the Lord’s command. The Lord will rise and fight against the evil people (Judah). And the Lord will fight against the people (Egypt) that try to help them. 3The people of Egypt are only human—not God. The horses from Egypt are only animals—not spirit. The Lord will stretch out his arm and the helper (Egypt) will be defeated. And the people that wanted help (Judah) will fall. All those people will be destroyed together. 4The Lord told me: “When a lion or a lion’s cub catches an animal to eat, the lion stands over the dead animal and roars. At that time nothing can scare that great lion. If men come and yell at the lion, the lion will not be afraid. The men can make much noise, but the lion will not run away.” In the same way, the Lord All-Powerful will come down to Mount Zion.* The Lord will fight on that hill. 5The Lord All-Powerful will defend* Jerusalem—like birds flying over their nests. The Lord will save her. The Lord will “pass over” and save Jerusalem. 6You children of Israel turned against God. You should come back to God. 7Then people would stop worshiping the gold and silver idols you made. You truly sinned when you made those idols. 8It is true that Assyria* will be defeated with a sword. But that sword will not be a man’s sword. Assyria will be destroyed. But that destruction will not come from a man’s sword. Assyria will run away from God’s sword. But the young men will be caught and made slaves. 9Their place of safety will be destroyed. Their leaders will be defeated and leave their flag. The Lord said all those things. The Lord’s fireplace (altar) is on Zion.* The Lord’s oven (altar) is in Jerusalem.

chariots Small wagons used for war. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. defend Literally, “fight on” or “fight against.” Assyria This was a powerful nation northeast of Israel.

Leaders Should Be Good and Fair

32 Listen to the things I say! A king should rule in a way that brings goodness. Leaders should make fair decisions when they lead the people. 2{If this would happen}, then the king* would be like a place to hide from the wind and rain. It would be like having streams of water in a dry land. It would be like a cool shadow from a large rock in a hot land. 3People would turn to the king for help, and people would truly listen to the things he says. 4People that are now confused would be able to understand. People that can’t speak clearly now would be able to speak clearly and quickly. 5Foolish people would not be called great men. People would not respect men that make secret plans. 6A foolish person* says foolish things, and in his heart (mind), plans evil things to do. A foolish person wants to do things that are wrong. A foolish person says bad things about the Lord. A foolish person does not let hungry people eat food. A foolish person does not let thirsty people drink water. 7That foolish person uses evil like a tool. He plans ways to take everything from poor people. That foolish person tells lies about the poor people. And his lies keep the poor people from being judged fairly. 8But a good leader plans good things to do. And those good things make him a good leader.

Hard Times Are Coming

9Some of you women are calm now. You feel safe. But you should stand and listen to the words I say. 10You women feel safe now, but after one year you will be troubled. {Why?} Because you will not gather grapes next year—there will be no grapes to gather. 11Women, you are calm now, but you should be afraid! Women, you feel safe now, but you should be worried! Take off your nice clothes and put on your clothes of sadness. Wrap those clothes around your waist. 12Put those clothes of sadness over your sorrow filled breasts. Cry because your fields are empty. Your vineyards* once gave grapes—but now they are empty. 13Cry for the land of my people. Cry because only thorns and weeds will grow there. Cry for the city and for all the houses that were once filled with joy. 14People will leave the capital city. The palace and towers will be left empty. People will not live in houses—they will live in caves. Wild donkeys and sheep will live in the city—animals will go there to eat grass. 15–16This will continue until God gives us his Spirit from above. Now there is no goodness in the land—it is like a desert. {But in the future,} that desert will be like the land of Carmel* —fair judgment will live there. And Carmel will be like a green forest—goodness will live there. 17That goodness will bring peace and safety forever. 18My people will live in the beautiful field of peace. My people will live in tents of safety. They will live in calm and peaceful places. 19But before these things happen, the forest must fall. That city must be defeated. 20Some of you people plant seeds near every stream of water. You let your cattle and donkeys walk around and eat freely. You people will be very happy.

king Literally, “man.” foolish person A person that does not follow God and his wise teachings. vineyards Gardens for growing grapes. Carmel A hill in north Israel very good for growing plants. This name means, “God’s vineyard.” 

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