Isaiah 22-23 – New International Reader’s Version

22 Here is a prophecy against Jerusalem that the Lord gave me. Jerusalem is also known as the Valley of Vision.

People of Jerusalem, what’s the matter with you?
    Why have all of you gone up on the roofs of your houses?
Why is your town so full of noise?
    Why is your city so full of the sound of wild parties?
Those among you who died weren’t killed by swords.
    They didn’t die in battle.
All your leaders have run away.
    They’ve been captured without a single arrow being shot.
All you who were caught were taken away as prisoners.
    You ran off while your enemies were still far away.
So I said, “Leave me alone.
    Let me weep bitter tears.
Don’t try to comfort me.
    My people have been destroyed.”

The Lord who rules over all sent the noise of battle against you.
    The Lord brought disorder and terror
    to the Valley of Vision.
The walls of the city were knocked down.
    Cries for help were heard in the mountains.
Soldiers from Elam came armed with bows and arrows.
    They came with their chariots and horses.
    Soldiers from Kir got their shields ready.
Your rich valleys filled up with chariots.
    Horsemen took up their battle positions at your city gates.
    The Lord made Judah a place where it wasn’t safe to live anymore.

At that time, you depended
    on the weapons in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
You saw that the walls of the City of David
    were broken through in many places.
You stored up water
    in the Lower Pool.
You picked out the weaker buildings in Jerusalem.
    You tore them down and used their stones
    to strengthen the city walls against attack.
You built a pool between the two walls.
    You used it to save the water
    that was running down from the Old Pool.
But you didn’t look to the God who made it all possible.
    You didn’t pay any attention to the God
    who planned everything long ago.

The Lord who rules over all
    called out to you at that time.
The Lord told you to weep and cry.
    He told you to tear your hair out.
    And he told you to put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad.
Instead, you are enjoying yourselves at wild parties!
    You are killing cattle and sheep.
    You are eating their meat and drinking wine.
You are saying, “Let’s eat and drink,
    because tomorrow we’ll die.”

I heard the Lord who rules over all speaking. “Your sin can never be paid for as long as you live,” says the Lord.

The Lord who rules over all speaks. The Lord says,

“Go and speak to Shebna, the head servant.
    He is in charge of the palace. Tell him,
‘What are you doing here outside the city?
    Who allowed you to cut out a tomb for yourself here?
Who said you could carve out your grave on the hillside?
    Who allowed you to cut out your resting place in the rock?

“ ‘Watch out, you mighty man!
    The Lord is about to grab you.
    He is about to throw you away.
He will roll you up tightly like a ball.
    He will throw you into a very large country.
There you will die.
    And that’s where the chariots you were so proud of will be.
    Those chariots will then bring nothing but shame on your master’s family!
The Lord will remove you from your job.
    You will be brought down from your high position.

“ ‘At that time he will send for his servant Eliakim. He is the son of Hilkiah. The Lord will put your robe on Eliakim. He will tie your belt around him. He will hand your authority over to him. Eliakim will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. The Lord will give Eliakim the key of authority in David’s royal house. No one can shut what he opens. And no one can open what he shuts. The Lord will set him firmly in place like a peg driven into a wall. He will hold a position of honor in his family. The good name of his whole family will depend on him. They will be like bowls and jars hanging on a peg.

“ ‘But a new day is coming,’ ” announces the Lord who rules over all. “ ‘At that time the peg that was driven into the wall will give way. It will break off and fall down. And the heavy load hanging on it will also fall.’ ” The Lord has spoken.

23 Here is a prophecy against Tyre that the Lord gave me.

Men in the ships of Tarshish, cry out!
    The city of Tyre is destroyed.
    Its houses and harbor are gone.
That’s the message you have received
    from the island of Cyprus.

People on the island of Tyre, be silent.
    Traders from the city of Sidon, be quiet.
    Those who sail on the Mediterranean Sea have made you rich.
Grain from Egypt
    came across the mighty waters.
The harvest of the Nile River brought wealth to Tyre.
    It became the market place of the nations.

Sidon, be ashamed. Mighty Tyre out in the sea, be ashamed.
    The sea has spoken. It has said,
“It’s as if I had never felt labor pains or had children.
    It’s as if I had never brought up sons or daughters.
    It’s as if the city of Tyre had never existed.”
The Egyptians will hear about what has happened to Tyre.
    They’ll be very sad and troubled.

People of the island of Tyre, cry out!
    Go across the sea to Tarshish.
Just look at Tyre.
    It’s no longer the old, old city that was known for its wild parties.
It no longer sends its people out
    to make their homes in lands far away.
Tyre was a city that produced kings.
    Its traders were princes.
They were honored all over the earth.
    So who planned to destroy such a city?
The Lord who rules over all planned to do it.
    He wanted to bring down all its pride and glory.
    He wanted to shame those who were honored all over the earth.

People of Tarshish, farm your land
    as they do along the Nile River.
    That’s because you don’t have a harbor anymore.
The Lord has reached his powerful hand out over the sea.
    He has made its kingdoms tremble with fear.
He has given a command concerning Phoenicia.
    He has ordered that its forts be destroyed.
He said, “No more wild parties for you!
    People of Sidon, you are now destroyed!

“Leave your city. Go across the sea to Cyprus.
    Even there you will not find any rest.”
Look at the land of the Babylonians.
    No one lives there anymore.
The Assyrians have turned it
    into a place for desert creatures.
They built their towers in order to attack it.
    They took everything out of its forts.
    They knocked down all its buildings.

Men in the ships of Tarshish, cry out!
    Mighty Tyre is destroyed!

A time is coming when people will forget about Tyre for 70 years. That’s the length of a king’s life. But at the end of those 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute that people sing about. They say,

“Forgotten prostitute, pick up a harp.
    Walk through the city.
Play the harp well. Sing many songs.
    Then you will be remembered.”

At the end of the 70 years, the Lord will punish Tyre. He will let it return to its way of life as a prostitute. It will earn its living with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. But the money it earns will be set apart for the Lord. The money won’t be stored up or kept for Tyre. Instead, it will go to those who live the way the Lord wants them to. It will pay for plenty of food and fine clothes for them.

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