Isaiah Chapter 38 (Bible Marathon Day 403)

Isaiah 38New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 38

Sickness and Recovery of Hezekiah. [a]In those days,[b] when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord:

“Ah, Lord, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was good in your sight!” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: Go, tell Hezekiah:[c] Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Now I will add fifteen years to your life. I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will be a shield to this city.

This will be the sign for you from the Lord that the Lord will carry out the word he has spoken: See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz[d] go back the ten steps it has advanced. So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.

Hezekiah’s Hymn of Thanksgiving. The song of Hezekiah, king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness:

10 In the noontime of life[e] I said,
    I must depart!
To the gates of Sheol I have been consigned
    for the rest of my years.
11 I said, I shall see the Lord[f] no more
    in the land of the living.
Nor look on any mortals
    among those who dwell in the world.
12 My dwelling, like a shepherd’s tent,
    is struck down and borne away from me;
You have folded up my life, like a weaver
    who severs me from the last thread.[g]
From morning to night you make an end of me;
13     I cry out even until the dawn.
Like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from morning to night you make an end of me.
14 Like a swallow I chirp;
    I moan like a dove.
My eyes grow weary looking heavenward:
    Lord, I am overwhelmed; go security for me!
15 [h]What am I to say or tell him?
    He is the one who has done it!
All my sleep has fled,
    because of the bitterness of my soul.
16 Those live whom the Lord protects;
    yours is the life of my spirit.
You have given me health and restored my life!
17     Peace in place of bitterness!
You have preserved my life
    from the pit of destruction;
Behind your back
    you cast all my sins.[i]
18 [j]For it is not Sheol that gives you thanks,
    nor death that praises you;
Neither do those who go down into the pit
    await your kindness.
19 The living, the living give you thanks,
    as I do today.
Parents declare to their children,
    O God, your faithfulness.
20 The Lord is there to save us.
    We shall play our music
In the house of the Lord
    all the days of our life.

21 [k]Then Isaiah said, “Bring a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil for his recovery.” 22 Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”

Footnotes:

  1. 38:1–39:8 The events of this section—sickness and recovery of Hezekiah, embassy of Merodach-baladan—anticipate the rise of Babylon (chaps. 40–66). They occurred prior to the events of 36:1–37:38, which point back to Assyria (1:1–35:10).
  2. 38:1 In those days: before the siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C.
  3. 38:5 Since Hezekiah died in 687 B.C., his sickness may have occurred in 702 B.C., that is, fifteen years before.
  4. 38:8 Stairway to the terrace of Ahaz: this interpretation is based on a reading of the Hebrew text revised according to the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah; cf. 2 Kgs 23:12. Many translate the phrase as “steps of Ahaz” and understand this as referring to a sundial.
  5. 38:10 In the noontime of life: long before the end of a full span of life; cf. Ps 55:24;102:25.
  6. 38:11 See the Lord: go to the Temple and take part in its service.
  7. 38:12 These two metaphors emphasize the suddenness and finality of death.
  8. 38:15–16 The Hebrew text is very problematic and its meaning uncertain.
  9. 38:17 Behind your back you cast all my sins: figurative language to express the divine forgiveness of sins, as if God no longer saw or cared about them.
  10. 38:18–19 See note on Ps 6:6.
  11. 38:21–22 These verses are clearly out of place. Logically they should come after v. 6, as they do in the parallel account in 2 Kgs 20, but the two accounts are not identical, and it appears that the version in Isaiah is abbreviated from that in Kings. If that is so, Is 38:21–22 would be a secondary addition from Kings, inserted by a later reader who thought the account incomplete.

Isaiah Chapter 37 (Bible Marathon Day 403)

Isaiah 37New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 37

[a]When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his garments, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. He sent Eliakim, the master of the palace, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to tell the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz,

“Thus says Hezekiah:
A day of distress and rebuke,
    a day of disgrace is this day!
Children are due to come forth,
    but the strength to give birth is lacking.[b]

Perhaps the Lord, your God, will hear the words of the commander, whom his lord, the king of Assyria, sent to taunt the living God, and will rebuke him for the words which the Lord, your God, has heard. So lift up a prayer for the remnant that is here.”

When the servants of King Hezekiah had come to Isaiah, he said to them: “Tell this to your lord: Thus says the Lord: Do not be frightened by the words you have heard, by which the deputies of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

I am putting in him such a spirit
    that when he hears a report
    he will return to his land.
    I will make him fall by the sword in his land.”

When the commander, on his return, heard that the king of Assyria had withdrawn from Lachish, he found him besieging Libnah. The king of Assyria heard a report: “Tirhakah,[c] king of Ethiopia, has come out to fight against you.” Again he sent messengers to Hezekiah to say:10 “Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah: Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by saying, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ 11 You, certainly, have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands: they put them under the ban! And are you to be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations whom my fathers destroyed deliver them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, or a king of the cities Sepharvaim, Hena or Ivvah?”

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the house of the Lord, and spreading it out before the Lord, 15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:

16 Lord of hosts, God of Israel,
    enthroned on the cherubim!
You alone are God
    over all the kingdoms of the earth.
It is you who made
    the heavens and the earth.[d]
17 Incline your ear, Lord, and listen!
    open your eyes, Lord, and see!
Hear all the words Sennacherib has sent
    to taunt the living God.
18 Truly, O Lord,
    the kings of Assyria have laid waste
    the nations and their lands.
19 They gave their gods to the fire
    —they were not gods at all,
    but the work of human hands—
Wood and stone, they destroyed them.
20 Therefore, Lord, our God,
    save us from this man’s power,
That all the kingdoms of the earth may know
    that you alone, Lord, are God.”

21 [e]Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you have prayed concerning Sennacherib, king of Assyria: I have listened! 22 This is the word the Lordhas spoken concerning him:

She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
    the virgin daughter Zion;
Behind you she wags her head,
    daughter Jerusalem.
23 Whom have you insulted and blasphemed,
    at whom have you raised your voice
And lifted up your eyes on high?
    At the Holy One of Israel!
24 Through the mouths of your messengers
    you have insulted the Lord when you said:
‘With my many chariots I went up
    to the tops of the peaks,
    to the recesses of Lebanon,
To cut down its lofty cedars,
    its choice cypresses;
I reached the farthest shelter,
    the forest ranges.
25 I myself dug wells
    and drank foreign water;
Drying up all the rivers of Egypt
    beneath the soles of my feet.’
26 Have you not heard?
    A long time ago I prepared it,
    from days of old I planned it,
Now I have brought it about:
    You are here to reduce
    fortified cities to heaps of ruins,
27 Their people powerless,
    dismayed and distraught,
They are plants of the field,
    green growth,
    thatch on the rooftops,
Grain scorched by the east wind.
28 I know when you stand or sit,
    when you come or go,
    and how you rage against me.
29 Because you rage against me
    and your smugness has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth,
And make you leave by the way you came.
30 This shall be a sign[f] for you:
This year you shall eat the aftergrowth,
    next year, what grows of itself;
But in the third year, sow and reap,
    plant vineyards and eat their fruit!
31 The remaining survivors of the house of Judah
    shall again strike root below
    and bear fruit above.
32 For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant,
    and from Mount Zion, survivors.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.

33 Therefore, thus says the Lord about the king of Assyria:

He shall not come as far as this city,
    nor shoot there an arrow,
    nor confront it with a shield,
Nor cast up a siege-work against it.
34 By the way he came he shall leave,
    never coming as far as this city,
    oracle of the Lord.
35 I will shield and save this city
    for my own sake and the sake of David my servant.”

36 Then the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning, there they were, all those corpses, dead![g] 37 So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp, departed, returned home, and stayed in Nineveh.

38 When he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and fled into the land of Ararat.[h] His son Esarhaddon reigned in his place.

Footnotes:

  1. 37:1–35 There appear to be parallel accounts of Hezekiah’s appeal and the response received (vv. 1–7 and vv. 14–35): in each, Hezekiah goes to the Temple, refers to the Assyrian boasts (found in 36:15–20; 37:10–14), and receives a favorable response from Isaiah.
  2. 37:3 A proverbial expression. In the Bible the pangs of childbirth often typify extreme anguish; cf. 13:8; Jer 6:24; Mi 4:9–10. In this instance there is reference to the desperate situation of Hezekiah from which he would scarcely be able to free himself.
  3. 37:9 Tirhakah: may have been general of the Egyptian army in 701 B.C.; later he became pharaoh, one of the Ethiopian dynasty of Egyptian kings (ca. 690–664 B.C.). Many consider that this account in Isaiah combines features of two originally distinct sieges of Jerusalem by Sennacherib.
  4. 37:16 In contrast to the empty boasting of the Assyrians, Hezekiah proclaims the Lord as “God over all the kingdoms of the earth.”
  5. 37:21–37 The reversal of Isaiah’s attitude toward Hezekiah’s revolt (see note on 36:1) and a wonderful deliverance after Hezekiah had already submitted and paid tribute raise questions difficult to answer. See note on 22:1–14. Some have postulated that chaps. 36–37 combine accounts of two different Assyrian invasions.
  6. 37:30 A sign: sets a time limit. After two years the normal conditions of life will be resumed. See the similar use of time limits as signs in 7:15–16; 8:4; 16:14; and 21:16.You: Hezekiah.
  7. 37:36 The destruction of Sennacherib’s army is also recorded by Herodotus, a Greek historian of the fifth century B.C. It was possibly owing to a plague, which the author interprets as God’s activity.
  8. 37:38 The violent death of Sennacherib (681 B.C.) is also mentioned in non-biblical sources. It occurred twenty years after his invasion of Judah. Ararat: the land of Urartu in the mountains north of Assyria.

Isaiah Chapter 36 (Bible Marathon Day 402)

Isaiah 36New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

G. Historical Appendix[a]

Chapter 36

Invasion of Sennacherib. In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.[b] From Lachish the king of Assyria sent his commander with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. When he stopped at the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller’s field, there came out to him the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, and Shebna the scribe, and the chancellor, Joah, son of Asaph.The commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you base this trust of yours? Do you think mere words substitute for strategy and might in war? In whom, then, do you place your trust, that you rebel against me? Do you trust in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it? That is what Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is to all who trust in him. Or do you say to me: It is in the Lord, our God, we trust? Is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed,[c]commanding Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Worship before this altar’?

“Now, make a wager with my lord, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put riders on them. How then can you turn back even a captain, one of the least servants of my lord, trusting, as you do, in Egypt for chariots and horses? 10 Did I come up to destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself said to me, Go up and destroy that land!”

11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic; we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within earshot of the people who are on the wall.”[d]

12 But the commander replied, “Was it to your lord and to you that my lord sent me to speak these words? Was it not rather to those sitting on the wall, who, with you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” 13 Then the commander stepped forward and cried out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot rescue you. 15 And do not let Hezekiah induce you to trust in the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us, and this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’16 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria:

Make peace with me
    and surrender to me!
Eat, each of you, from your vine,
    each from your own fig tree.
Drink water, each from your own well,
17     until I arrive and take you
    to a land like your own,
A land of grain and wine,
    a land of bread and vineyards.

18 Do not let Hezekiah seduce you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us.’ Has any of the gods of the nations rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Where are the gods of Samaria? Have they saved Samaria from my power? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands ever rescued their land from my power, that the Lord should save Jerusalem from my power?” 21 But they remained silent and did not answer at all, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”

22 Then the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, Shebna the scribe, and the chancellor Joah, son of Asaph, came to Hezekiah with their garments torn, and reported to him the words of the commander.

Footnotes:

  1. 36:1–39:8 Except for 38:9–20 (Hezekiah’s prayer of thanksgiving), this historical appendix describing the siege, etc., is paralleled in 2 Kgs 18:13–20:19, which, however, has certain details proper to itself. The events are also reflected in the cuneiform inscriptions of Sennacherib.
  2. 36:1 The occasion for this Assyrian attack was Hezekiah’s attempt to reject Judah’s status as vassal to Assyria, relying on help from Egypt, a course of action condemned by Isaiah (see notes on 28:15, 18; 28:16; 29:7–8; 30:1–17; etc.). 2 Kgs 19:14–16 reports that Hezekiah surrendered to the Assyrians and paid the tribute imposed on him—a report omitted in the Isaiah text.
  3. 36:7 The Assyrians assert that Hezekiah’s removal of the high places and altars (unofficial sanctuaries) was taken by the Lord as an insult. They declare to Jerusalem’s emissaries that the city therefore no longer has a right to the Lord’s protection and that they are the ones who truly carry out his will (cf. v. 10).
  4. 36:11 The emissaries of King Hezekiah ask that the conversation be carried on in Aramaic, not in Hebrew, for they fear the effect of the Assyrian claims upon the morale of the people.

Isaiah Chapter 35 (Bible Marathon Day 402)

Isaiah 35New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 35

Israel’s Deliverance[a]

The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
    the Arabah will rejoice and bloom;
Like the crocus it shall bloom abundantly,
    and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.
Strengthen hands that are feeble,
    make firm knees that are weak,
Say to the fearful of heart:
    Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
    he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
    he comes to save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall see,
    and the ears of the deaf be opened;
Then the lame shall leap like a stag,
    and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the Arabah.
The burning sands will become pools,
    and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals crouch
    will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
    called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
    but it will be for his people;
    no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray on it.
No lion shall be there,
    nor any beast of prey approach,
    nor be found.
    But there the redeemed shall walk,
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
    and enter Zion singing,
    crowned with everlasting joy;
They meet with joy and gladness,
    sorrow and mourning flee away.

Footnotes:

  1. 35:1–10 This chapter contains a number of themes similar to those in Deutero-Isaiah (chaps. 40–55), for example, the blossoming of the wilderness (vv. 1–2; cf. 41:18–19), which is now well-irrigated (v. 7; cf. 43:19–20); sight to the blind (vv. 5–6; cf. 42:7, 16); a highway in the wilderness (v. 8; cf. 41:3); and the return of the redeemed/ransomed to Zion (vv. 9–10; cf. 51:11). Nevertheless, it forms a unit with chap. 34 (see note on 34:1–35:10) and reflects, along with that chapter, themes found in chaps. 1–33.

Isaiah Chapter 34 (Bible Marathon Day 401)

Isaiah 34New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

F. The Lord, Zion’s Avenger[a]

Chapter 34

Judgment upon Edom

Come near, nations, and listen;
    be attentive, you peoples!
Let the earth and what fills it listen,
    the world and all it produces.
The Lord is angry with all the nations,
    enraged against all their host;
He has placed them under the ban,
    given them up to slaughter.
Their slain shall be cast out,
    their corpses shall send up a stench;
    the mountains shall run with their blood,
All the host of heaven shall rot;
    the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll.
All their host shall wither away,
    as the leaf wilts on the vine,
    or as the fig withers on the tree.
When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens,
    it shall come down upon Edom for judgment,
    upon a people under my ban.
The Lord has a sword sated with blood,
    greasy with fat,
With the blood of lambs and goats,
    with the fat of rams’ kidneys;
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
    a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen shall be struck down with fatlings,
    and bullocks with bulls;
Their land shall be soaked with blood,
    and their soil greasy with fat.
[b]For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
    a year of requital for the cause of Zion.
Edom’s streams shall be changed into pitch,
    its soil into sulfur,
    and its land shall become burning pitch;
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched,
    its smoke shall rise forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste,
    never again shall anyone pass through it.
11 But the desert owl and hoot owl shall possess it,
    the screech owl and raven shall dwell in it.
The Lord will stretch over it the measuring line of chaos,
    the plumb line of confusion.[c]
12 Its nobles shall be no more,
    nor shall kings be proclaimed there;
    all its princes are gone.
13 Its castles shall be overgrown with thorns,
    its fortresses with thistles and briers.
It shall become an abode for jackals,
    a haunt for ostriches.
14 Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts,
    satyrs[d] shall call to one another;
There shall the lilith repose,
    and find for herself a place to rest.
15 There the hoot owl shall nest and lay eggs,
    hatch them out and gather them in her shadow;
There shall the kites assemble,
    each with its mate.
16 Search through the book of the Lord[e] and read:
    not one of these shall be lacking,
For the mouth of the Lord has ordered it,
    and his spirit gathers them there.
17 It is he who casts the lot for them;
    his hand measures off[f] their portions;
They shall possess it forever,
    and dwell in it from generation to generation.

Footnotes:

  1. 34:1–35:10 These two chapters form a small collection which looks forward to the vindication of Zion, first by defeat of its enemies (chap. 34), then by its restoration (chap. 35). They are generally judged to be later than the time of Isaiah (eighth century), perhaps during the Babylonian exile or thereafter; they are strongly influenced by Deutero-Isaiah (sixth century). In places they reflect themes from other parts of the Isaian collection.
  2. 34:8–17 The extreme hostility against Edom in this passage is reflected in a number of other prophetic texts from the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. (cf. e.g., 63:1–6; Jer 49:7–22; Ez 25:12–14). The animus was probably prompted by Edomite infiltration of the southern territories of Judah, especially after the Babylonian conquest of Judah.
  3. 34:11 Chaos…confusion: tohu…bohu in Hebrew, the terms used to describe the primeval chaos in Gn 1:2.
  4. 34:14 Satyrs: see note on 13:21. The lilith: a female demon thought to roam about the desert.
  5. 34:16 Book of the Lord: a list of God’s creatures; cf. Ex 32:32–33; Ps 69:29, “the book of the living”; Ps 139:16, “your book.”
  6. 34:17 Casts the lot…measures off: an ironic reference to how land might be distributed to new possessors (cf. Jos 14–21; Mi 2:5).

Isaiah Chapter 33 (Bible Marathon Day 401)

Isaiah 33New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 33

Overthrow of Assyria[a]

Ah! You destroyer never destroyed,
    betrayer never betrayed!
When you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed;
    when you have stopped betraying, you will be betrayed.
Lord, be gracious to us; for you we wait.
    Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of trouble!
At the roaring sound, peoples flee;
    when you rise in your majesty, nations are scattered.
Spoil is gathered up as caterpillars gather,
    an onrush like the rush of locusts.
The Lord is exalted, enthroned on high;
    he fills Zion with right and justice.
That which makes her seasons certain,
    her wealth, salvation, wisdom, and knowledge,
    is the fear of the Lord, her treasure.
See, the men of Ariel cry out in the streets,
    the messengers of Shalem[b] weep bitterly.
The highways are desolate,
    travelers have quit the paths,
Covenants are broken, witnesses spurned;
    yet no one gives it a thought.
The country languishes in mourning,
    Lebanon withers with shame;
Sharon[c] is like the Arabah,
    Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.
10 Now I will rise up, says the Lord,
    now exalt myself,
    now lift myself up.
11 You conceive dry grass, bring forth stubble;
    my spirit shall consume you like fire.
12 The peoples shall be burned to lime,
    thorns cut down to burn in fire.
13 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
    you who are near, acknowledge my might.
14 In Zion sinners are in dread,
    trembling grips the impious:
“Who of us can live with consuming fire?
    who of us can live with everlasting flames?”
15 Whoever walks righteously and speaks honestly,
    who spurns what is gained by oppression,
Who waves off contact with a bribe,
    who stops his ears so as not to hear of bloodshed,
    who closes his eyes so as not to look on evil—
16 That one shall dwell on the heights,
    with fortresses of rock for stronghold,
    food and drink in steady supply.
17 Your eyes will see a king[d] in his splendor,
    they will look upon a vast land.
18 Your mind will dwell on the terror:
    “Where is the one who counted, where the one who weighed?
    Where the one who counted the towers?”
19 You shall no longer see a defiant people,
    a people of speech too obscure to comprehend,
    stammering in a tongue not understood.
20 Look to Zion, the city of our festivals;
    your eyes shall see Jerusalem
    as a quiet abode, a tent not to be struck,
Whose pegs will never be pulled up,
    nor any of its ropes severed.
21 Indeed the Lord in majesty will be there for us
    a place of rivers and wide streams
    on which no galley may go,
    where no majestic ship[e] may pass.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
    the Lord is our lawgiver,
    the Lord is our king;
    he it is who will save us.
23 The rigging hangs slack;
    it cannot hold the mast in place,
    nor keep the sail spread out.
Then the blind will divide great spoils
    and the lame will carry off the loot.
24 No one who dwells there will say, “I am sick”;
    the people who live there will be forgiven their guilt.

Footnotes:

  1. 33:1–24 After an introductory address to Assyria (v. 1), there follows a prayer on behalf of Jerusalem which recalls what God had done in the past (vv. 2–6) and a description of the present situation (vv. 7–9). In response, the Lord announces a judgment on Assyria (vv. 10–12) that will lead to the purification of Jerusalem’s inhabitants (vv. 13–16). The text ends with an idealized portrait of the redeemed Jerusalem of the future (vv. 17–24).
  2. 33:7 Ariel…Shalem: Jerusalem; cf. 29:1; Gn 14:18; Ps 76:3. There is a play on words between “Shalem,” the city name, and shalom, Heb. for “peace.”
  3. 33:9 Sharon: the fertile plain near the Mediterranean.
  4. 33:17 King: either the ideal Davidic king or God; cf. v. 22.
  5. 33:21–23 Galley…majestic ship: of a foreign oppressor. Though the broad streams of the future Jerusalem will make it accessible by boat, no foreign invader will succeed in a naval attack on the city, for the Lord will protect it, the enemy fleet will be disabled, and even the weakest inhabitants will gather much plunder from the defeated enemy.

Isaiah Chapter 32 (Bible Marathon Day 400)

Isaiah 32New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 32

The Kingdom of Justice

See, a king will reign justly
    and princes will rule rightly.
Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind,
    a refuge from the rain.
They will be like streams of water in a dry country,
    like the shade of a great rock in a parched land.
The eyes of those who see will not be closed;
    the ears of those who hear will be attentive.
The hasty of heart shall take thought to know,
    and tongues of stutterers shall speak readily and clearly.
No more will the fool be called noble,
    nor the deceiver be considered honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
    his heart plans evil:
Godless actions,
    perverse speech against the Lord,
Letting the hungry go empty
    and the thirsty without drink.
The deceits of the deceiver are evil,
    he plans devious schemes:
To ruin the poor with lies,
    and the needy when they plead their case.
But the noble plan noble deeds,
    and in noble deeds they persist.

The Women of Jerusalem

You women so complacent, rise up and hear my voice,
    daughters so confident, give heed to my words.
10 In a little more than a year
    your confidence will be shaken;
For the vintage will fail,
    no fruit harvest will come in.
11 Tremble, you who are so complacent!
    Shudder, you who are so confident!
Strip yourselves bare,
    with only a loincloth for cover.
12 Beat your breasts
    for the pleasant fields,
    for the fruitful vine;
13 For the soil of my people,
    overgrown with thorns and briers;
For all the joyful houses,
    the exultant city.
14 The castle[a] will be forsaken,
    the noisy city deserted;
Citadel and tower will become wasteland forever,
    the joy of wild donkeys, the pasture of flocks;
15 [b]Until the spirit from on high
    is poured out on us.
And the wilderness becomes a garden land
    and the garden land seems as common as forest.
16 Then judgment will dwell in the wilderness
    and justice abide in the garden land.
17 The work of justice will be peace;
    the effect of justice, calm and security forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful country,
    in secure dwellings and quiet resting places.
19 And the forest will come down completely,
    the city will be utterly laid low.[c]
20 Happy are you who sow beside every stream,
    and let the ox and the donkey go freely!

Footnotes:

  1. 32:14 The castle: the fortified royal palace in Jerusalem. Citadel: Ophel, the fortified hill, with its stronghold called “the great projecting tower” (Neh 3:27).
  2. 32:15–18, 20 Extraordinary peace and prosperity will come to Israel under just rulers.
  3. 32:19 Probably from a different context, perhaps after v. 14a.