September 5 – Isaiah 21 thru 23 from the Old Testament

Isaiah 21 thru 23 – The Lord Will Judge Babylon

21:1 Here is a message about the Desert by the Sea:

Like strong winds blowing in the south,

one invades from the desert,

from a land that is feared.

21:2 I have received a distressing message:

“The deceiver deceives,

the destroyer destroys.

Attack, you Elamites!

Lay siege, you Medes!

I will put an end to all the groaning!”

21:3 For this reason my stomach churns;

cramps overwhelm me

like the contractions of a woman in labor.

I am disturbed by what I hear,

horrified by what I see.

21:4 My heart palpitates,

I shake in fear;

the twilight I desired

has brought me terror.

21:5 Arrange the table,

lay out the carpet,

eat and drink!

Get up, you officers,

smear oil on the shields!

21:6 For this is what the sovereign master has told me:

“Go, post a guard!

He must report what he sees.

21:7 When he sees chariots,

teams of horses,

riders on donkeys,

riders on camels,

he must be alert,

very alert.”

21:8 Then the guard cries out:

“On the watchtower, O sovereign master,

I stand all day long;

at my post

I am stationed every night.

21:9 Look what’s coming!

A charioteer,

a team of horses.”

When questioned, he replies,

“Babylon has fallen, fallen!

All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”

21:10 O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor,

what I have heard

from the Lord who commands armies,

the God of Israel,

I have reported to you.

Bad News for Seir

21:11 Here is a message about Dumah:

Someone calls to me from Seir,

“Watchman, what is left of the night?

Watchman, what is left of the night?”

21:12 The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but then night.

If you want to ask, ask;

come back again.”

The Lord Will Judge Arabia

21:13 Here is a message about Arabia:

In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night,

you Dedanite caravans.

21:14 Bring out some water for the thirsty.

You who live in the land of Tema,

bring some food for the fugitives.

21:15 For they flee from the swords –

from the drawn sword

and from the battle-ready bow

and from the severity of the battle.

21:16 For this is what the sovereign master has told me: “Within exactly one year all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end.

21:17 Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.” Indeed, the Lord God of Israel has spoken.

The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem

22:1 Here is a message about the Valley of Vision:

What is the reason

that all of you go up to the rooftops?

22:2 The noisy city is full of raucous sounds;

the town is filled with revelry.

Your slain were not cut down by the sword;

they did not die in battle.

22:3 All your leaders ran away together –

they fled to a distant place;

all your refugees were captured together –

they were captured without a single arrow being shot.

22:4 So I say:

“Don’t look at me!

I am weeping bitterly.

Don’t try to console me

concerning the destruction of my defenseless people.”

22:5 For the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies,

has planned a day of panic, defeat, and confusion.

In the Valley of Vision people shout

and cry out to the hill.

22:6 The Elamites picked up the quiver,

and came with chariots and horsemen;

the men of Kir prepared the shield.

22:7 Your very best valleys were full of chariots;

horsemen confidently took their positions at the gate.

22:8 They removed the defenses of Judah.

At that time you looked

for the weapons in the House of the Forest.

22:9 You saw the many breaks

in the walls of the city of David;

you stored up water in the lower pool.

22:10 You counted the houses in Jerusalem,

and demolished houses so you could have material to reinforce the wall.

22:11 You made a reservoir between the two walls

for the water of the old pool –

but you did not trust in the one who made it;

you did not depend on the one who formed it long ago!

22:12 At that time the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, called for weeping and mourning,

for shaved heads and sackcloth.

22:13 But look, there is outright celebration!

You say, “Kill the ox and slaughter the sheep,

eat meat and drink wine.

Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

22:14 The Lord who commands armies told me this: “Certainly this sin will not be forgiven as long as you live,” says the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies.

22:15 This is what the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, says:

“Go visit this administrator, Shebna, who supervises the palace, and tell him:

22:16 ‘What right do you have to be here? What relatives do you have buried here?

Why do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here?

He chisels out his burial site in an elevated place,

he carves out his tomb on a cliff.

22:17 Look, the Lord will throw you far away, you mere man!

He will wrap you up tightly.

22:18 He will wind you up tightly into a ball

and throw you into a wide, open land.

There you will die,

and there with you will be your impressive chariots,

which bring disgrace to the house of your master.

22:19 I will remove you from your office;

you will be thrown down from your position.

22:20 “At that time I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 22:21 I will put your robe on him, tie your belt around him, and transfer your authority to him. He will become a protector of the residents of Jerusalem and of the people of Judah. 22:22 I will place the key to the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens the door, no one can close it; when he closes the door, no one can open it. 22:23 I will fasten him like a peg into a solid place; he will bring honor and respect to his father’s family. 22:24 His father’s family will gain increasing prominence because of him, including the offspring and the offshoots. All the small containers, including the bowls and all the jars will hang from this peg.’

22:25 “At that time,” says the Lord who commands armies, “the peg fastened into a solid place will come loose. It will be cut off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.” Indeed, the Lord has spoken.

The Lord Will Judge Tyre

23:1 Here is a message about Tyre:

Wail, you large ships,

for the port is too devastated to enter!

From the land of Cyprus this news is announced to them.

23:2 Lament, you residents of the coast,

you merchants of Sidon who travel over the sea,

whose agents sail over 23:3 the deep waters!

Grain from the Shihor region,

crops grown near the Nile she receives;

she is the trade center of the nations.

23:4 Be ashamed, O Sidon,

for the sea says this, O fortress of the sea:

“I have not gone into labor

or given birth;

I have not raised young men

or brought up young women.”

23:5 When the news reaches Egypt,

they will be shaken by what has happened to Tyre.

23:6 Travel to Tarshish!

Wail, you residents of the coast!

23:7 Is this really your boisterous city

whose origins are in the distant past,

and whose feet led her to a distant land to reside?

23:8 Who planned this for royal Tyre,

whose merchants are princes,

whose traders are the dignitaries of the earth?

23:9 The Lord who commands armies planned it –

to dishonor the pride that comes from all her beauty,

to humiliate all the dignitaries of the earth.

23:10 Daughter Tarshish, travel back to your land, as one crosses the Nile;

there is no longer any marketplace in Tyre.

23:11 The Lord stretched out his hand over the sea,

he shook kingdoms;

he gave the order

to destroy Canaan’s fortresses.

23:12 He said,

“You will no longer celebrate,

oppressed virgin daughter Sidon!

Get up, travel to Cyprus,

but you will find no relief there.”

23:13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans,

these people who have lost their identity!

The Assyrians have made it a home for wild animals.

They erected their siege towers,

demolished its fortresses,

and turned it into a heap of ruins.

23:14 Wail, you large ships,

for your fortress is destroyed!

23:15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the typical life span of a king. At the end of seventy years Tyre will try to attract attention again, like the prostitute in the popular song:

23:16 “Take the harp,

go through the city,

forgotten prostitute!

Play it well,

play lots of songs,

so you’ll be noticed!”

23:17 At the end of seventy years the Lord will revive Tyre. She will start making money again by selling her services to all the earth’s kingdoms. 23:18 Her profits and earnings will be set apart for the Lord. They will not be stored up or accumulated, for her profits will be given to those who live in the Lord’s presence and will be used to purchase large quantities of food and beautiful clothes.

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