Isaiah Chapter 33 to 36 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions

Evil Causes Only More Evil

33 Look, you people make war and steal things from people, and those people never stole anything from you. You turn against people, and those people never turned against you. So when you stop stealing, other people will begin stealing from you. When you stop turning against people, other people will start turning against you. {Then the people will say,} 2“Lord, be kind to us. We have waited for your help. Lord, give us strength every morning. Save us when we are in trouble. 3Your powerful voice scares people, and they run away from you. Your greatness causes the nations to run away.” 4You people stole things in war. Those things will be taken from you. Many, many people will come and take your wealth. It will be like the times when locusts* come and eat all your crops. 5The Lord is very great. He lives in a very high place. The Lord fills Zion* with fairness and goodness. 6Jerusalem, you are rich—you are rich with wisdom and knowledge of God. You are rich with salvation. You respect the Lord and that makes you rich. So you can know that you will continue. 7But listen! The messengers* are crying outside. The messengers that bring peace are crying very hard. 8The roads are destroyed. No one is walking in the streets. People have broken the agreements they made. People refuse to believe the proof from witnesses.* No one respects other people. 9The land is sick and dying. Lebanon* is dying and Sharon Valley* is dry and empty. Bashan* and Carmel* once grew beautiful plants—but now those plants have stopped growing. 10The Lord says, “Now, I will stand and show my greatness. Now, I will become important to the people. 11You people have done useless things. Those things are like hay and straw. They are worth nothing! Your spirit* will be like a fire and burn you. 12People will be burned until their bones become lime.* The people will burn quickly like thorns and dry bushes. 13“You people in faraway lands, hear about the things I have done. You people that are near me, learn about my power.” 14The sinners in Zion* are afraid. The people that do wrong things shake with fear. They say, “Can any of us live through this fire that destroys? Who can live near this fire that burns forever?”* 15Good, honest people that refuse to hurt others for money—{they will live through that fire}. Those people refuse to take bribes. They refuse to listen to plans to murder other people. They refuse to look at plans for doing bad things. 16Those people will live safely in high places. They will be protected in high rock fortresses. Those people will always have food and water. 17Your eyes will see the King (God) in his beauty. You will see the great land. 18–19You will think about the troubles you had in the past. You will think, “Where are those people from other countries? Those people spoke languages we could not understand. Where are those officials and tax collectors from other lands? Where are the spies that counted our defense towers? {They are all gone!}”

God Will Protect Jerusalem

20Look at Zion*, the city of our religious holidays. Look at Jerusalem—that beautiful place of rest. Jerusalem is like a tent that will never be moved. The pegs that hold her in place will never be pulled up. Her ropes will never be broken. 21–23Why? Because the Powerful Lord is there. That land is a place with streams and wide rivers. But there will be no enemy boats or powerful ships on those rivers. You men that work on those boats can quit your work with the ropes. You can’t make the mast* strong enough. You will not be able to open your sails. {Why?} Because the Lord is our judge.* The Lord makes our laws. The Lord is our king. He saves us. So the Lord will give us much wealth. Even crippled people will win great wealth in war. 24No person living there will say, “I am sick.” The people living there are people whose sins are forgiven.

locusts Insects like grasshoppers. Locusts can destroy a large crop very quickly. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. messengers This word also means “angels.” witnesses Literally, “cities.” The Hebrew word is like the word meaning “witnesses.” Lebanon A country north of Israel. It was famous for its great cedar and pine trees. Sharon Valley The low land along the coast of Palestine. Bashan An area northeast of Israel. Carmel A hill in north Israel very good for growing plants. This name means “God’s vineyard.” spirit Or, “Spirit.” lime A white powder that is often used to make mortar or cement. It can be made by burning bones, shells, or limestone. fire that … burns forever This might mean God, the Fire (Light) of Israel. mast The pole that holds the sail on a sailboat. judge In Israel judges were leaders that judged, led, and protected the people.

God Will Punish His Enemies

34 All you nations, come near and listen! All you people should listen closely. The earth and all the people on the earth should listen to these things. 2The Lord is angry at all the nations and their armies. The Lord will destroy them all. He will cause them all to be killed. 3Their bodies will be thrown outside. The stink will rise from the bodies, and the blood will flow down the mountains. 4The skies will be rolled shut like a scroll.* And the stars will die and fall like leaves from a vine or a fig tree. All the stars* in the sky will melt away. 5The Lord says, “This will happen when my sword in the sky is covered with blood.” Look! The Lord’s sword will cut through Edom.* The Lord judged those people guilty, and they must die.* 6Why? Because the Lord decided there should be a time for killing in Bozrah* and in Edom. 7So the rams, the cattle, and the strong bulls will be killed. The land will be filled with their blood. The dirt will be covered with their fat. 8{Those things will happen} because the Lord has chosen a time for punishment. The Lord has chosen a year when people must pay for the wrong things they did to Zion.* 9Edom’s rivers will be like hot tar.* Edom’s ground will be like burning sulfur.* 10The fires will burn day and night—no person will stop the fire. The smoke will rise from Edom forever. That land will be destroyed forever and ever. No people will ever travel through that land again. 11Birds and small animals will own that land. Owls and ravens will live there. That land will be called “Empty Desert.”* 12The freemen* and leaders will all be gone. And there will be nothing left for them to rule. 13Thorns and wild bushes will grow in all the beautiful homes there. Wild dogs and owls will live in those homes. Wild animals will make their homes there. Big birds will live in the grasses that grow there. 14Wild cats will live there with hyenas.* And wild goats* will call to their friends. Night animals* will look there and find a place to rest. 15Snakes will make their homes there. Snakes will lay their eggs there. The eggs will open, and small snakes will crawl from those dark places. Birds that eat dead things will gather like women visiting their friends. 16Look at the Lord’s scroll.* Read what is written there. Nothing is missing. It is written in that scroll that those animals will be together. God said he will gather them together. So God’s Spirit will gather them together. 17God decided what he should do with them. Then God chose a place for them. God drew a line and showed them their land. So the animals will own that land forever. They will live there year after year.

rolled shut like a scroll This is like a person closing a book when he has finished reading it. stars Literally, “the armies of the skies.” Edom A country east of Judah. guilty, and they must die The Hebrew means the people belonged completely to God, and if he does not get them, they must die. Bozrah A city in Edom. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. tar A very thick oil that must be heated to become liquid. sulfur A yellow chemical that looks like rock or dirt. Sulfur burns with a hot flame, and it gives a bad odor when it burns. Empty Desert Literally, “They will measure this city with the measuring string called ‘emptiness’ and stone weights called ‘nothingness.’” These words described the empty earth in Genesis 1:2. freemen Important citizens of a town or country. These people came from ‘good families’ and had never been slaves. hyenas A kind of wild dog that often eats the meat of dead animals that other animals killed. wild goats This Hebrew word means “goat, or goat-demon.” Night animals Or, “Lilith, the night demon.” This name is like the Hebrew word for night. scroll A long roll of leather or papyrus (paper) used for writing books, letters, and legal documents.

God Will Comfort His People

35 The dry desert will become very happy. The desert will be glad and will grow like a flower. 2The desert will be full of growing flowers and will begin to show its happiness. It will seem like the desert is dancing with joy. The desert will be beautiful like the forest of Lebanon,* the hill of Carmel,* and Sharon Valley.* This will happen because all people will see the Glory of the Lord.* People will see the beauty of our God. 3Make the weak arms strong again. Make the weak knees strong. 4People are afraid and confused. Say to those people, “Be strong! Don’t be afraid!” Look, your God will come and punish your enemies. He will come and give you your reward. The Lord will save you. 5Then the blind people will be able to see again. Their eyes will be opened. Then the deaf people will be able to hear. Their ears will be opened. 6Crippled people will dance like deer. And the people that can’t talk now will use their voices to sing happy songs. This will happen when springs of water begin flowing in the desert. Springs will flow in the dry land. 7Now people see mirages* {that look like water}. But at that time there will be real pools of water. There will be wells in the dry land. Water will flow from the ground. Tall water plants will grow where wild animals once ruled. 8At that time, there will be a road there. This highway will be called “The Holy Road.” Evil people will not be allowed to walk on that road. No fools* will go to that road. Only good people will walk on that road. 9There will be no dangers on that road. There will be no lions on that road to hurt people. There will be no dangerous animals on that road. That road will be for the people God saves. 10God will make his people free! And those people will come back to him. The people will be happy when they come into Zion.* The people will be happy forever. Their happiness will be like a crown on their heads. Their gladness and joy will fill them completely. Sorrow and sadness will be gone far, far away.

Lebanon A country north of Israel. It was famous for its great cedar and pine trees. Carmel A hill in north Israel very good for growing plants. This name means “God’s vineyard.” Sharon Valley The low land along the coast of Palestine. Glory of the Lord One of the forms God used when he appeared to people. It was like a bright shining light. See Ex. 40:34–36. mirages In the desert, heat rising from the ground looks like water from far away. This is a mirage. fools Here this means people that do not follow God and his wise teachings. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem.  

The Assyrians Invade Judah

36 During Hezekiah’s* 14th year as king, Sennacherib* king of Assyria went to fight against all the strong cities of Judah. Sennacherib defeated those cities. 2Sennacherib sent his commander with a large army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The commander and his army left Lachish and went to Jerusalem. They stopped near the aqueduct* by the Upper Pool. (The Upper Pool is on the road to Laundryman’s Field.) 3Three men from Jerusalem went out to talk with the commander. These men were Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Joah son of Asaph, and Shebna. Eliakim was the palace manager. Joah was the record keeper. And Shebna was the royal secretary. 4The commander told them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in to help you? 5I tell you if you are trusting in power and smart plans for battle—then that is useless. Those are nothing but empty words. Now I ask you, who do you trust so much that you are willing to rebel against me? 6Are you depending on Egypt to help you? Egypt is like a broken stick. If you lean on it for support, it will only hurt you and make a hole in your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, can’t be trusted by any of the people that depend on him for help. 7But maybe you will say, “We are trusting in the Lord our God to help us.” But I know that Hezekiah destroyed the altars* and high places* where people worshiped the Lord. And Hezekiah told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship only at this one altar here in Jerusalem.” 8If you still want to fight, my master, the king of Assyria will make this agreement with you. I promise that I will give you 2,000 horses if you can find enough men to ride those horses into battle. 9But even then you will not be able to defeat even one of my master’s lowest ranking officers! So why do you continue to depend on Egypt’s chariots* and horse soldiers! 10Now, do you think I came to this country to destroy it without the Lord’s help! No! The Lord said to me, “Go up against this country and destroy it!” 11Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah, said to the commander, “Please, speak to us in the Aramaic. We understand that language. Don’t speak to us in the language of Judah. If you use our language, the people on the city walls will understand you.” 12But the commander said, “My master did not send me to speak only to you and your master. My master sent me to also speak to the people that are sitting on the wall! Those people will not have enough food or water either; they too will eat their own waste and drink their own urine just like you.*” 13Then the commander shouted loudly in the Jewish language, 14“Hear this message from the great king, the king of Assyria: Don’t let Hezekiah fool you! He can’t save you from my power! 15Don’t believe Hezekiah when he says, ‘Trust in the Lord! The Lord will save us. The Lord will not let the king of Assyria defeat the city.’ 16Don’t listen to those words from Hezekiah. Listen to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria says, “We should make an agreement. You people should come out of the city to me. Then every person will be free to go home. Every person will be free to eat grapes from his own vine. And every person will be free to eat the figs from his own fig tree. Every person will be free to drink water from his own well. 17You can do this until I come and take each of you to a country like your own. In that new country you will have good grain and new wine, bread and fields of grapes.” 18Don’t let Hezekiah make trouble for you. He says, “The Lord will save us.” But I ask you, did any of the gods of other nations save their country from the king of Assyria? No! 19Where are the gods of Hamath* and Arpad?* {They are defeated!} Where are the gods of Sepharvaim?* {They are defeated!} Did they save Samaria* from my power? No! 20Did any of the gods in the other countries save their land from me? No! Can the Lord save Jerusalem from me? No!” 21But the people in Jerusalem were very quiet. They did not say a word to the commander because King Hezekiah had given them a command. He said, “Don’t say anything to him.” 22Then the palace manager (Eliakim son of Hilkiah), the royal secretary (Shebna), and the record keeper* (Joah son of Asaph) went to Hezekiah. Their clothes were torn {they were upset}. They told Hezekiah all the things that the Assyrian commander had said.  

Hezekiah A king of Judah. He ruled about 727–687 B.C. Sennacherib A king of Assyria. He was king about 706–681 B.C. aqueduct A ditch or pipe that carries water from one place to another. altars Stone tables used for burning sacrifices as gifts to God. to show high places Places for worshiping God or false gods. These places were usually on the hills and mountains. chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. Those people … like you The Assyrian army planned to surround Jerusalem and not let people bring any food or water into the city. He thought the people would become hungry enough to eat their own waste. Hamath A city in the country of Aram (Syria). Arpad A city in the country of Aram (Syria). Sepharvaim A city in the country of Aram (Syria). Samaria The capital city of north Israel. record keeper A person that wrote about the things the king did.

Other Versions