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*"Isaiah is the only Old Testament book to prophecy the virgin birth of Christ. (Isa. 7:14)

*"Christ as Suffering Servant is foretold in Isaiah 52:13 & 53:12"

*"Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jatham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah."

Listen Download Introduction to Book of Isaiah
Listen Download Chapter 1 Judah, a sinful nation; a call to repentance; Judah on trial; purification of Jerusalem. Isa1: The LORD has spoken: I raised children but they have rebelled. Wash yourselves. I will smelt away your dross. Zion shall be redeemed.
Listen Download Chapter 2 The city of peace; the day of the Lord. Isa2: The mountain of the LORD will be established. On that day the pride of men will be humbled. They will flee the splendour of the LORD.
Listen Download Chapter 3 Judgement on Judah; Judah's leaders judged; judgement on the daughters of Zion; Jerusalem's woman judged. Isa3: The LORD will take away all support from Judah. Children will govern. You grind the faces of the poor. The women of Zion are proud.
Listen Download Chapter 4 Jerusalem's glorious future. Isa4: In that day the branch of the LORD will be glorious. Those who are left in Zion will be called holy. The LORD will create a shelter.
Listen Download Chapter 5 The parable of the vinyard; a parable of judgement; woes pronounced on the faithless; Judah's sin's denounced. Isa5: Why did my vineyard yield wild grapes? Woe to those who pursue drink, who call evil good. The anger of the LORD is against his people.
Listen Download Chapter 6 Isaiah's vision and commission. Isa6: I saw the LORD seated on high. A seraph brought a coal to my lips. The LORD said, "Who will go for us?" I said, "Here am I; send me!"
Listen Download Chapter 6A Isaiah the Virgin Birth.
Listen Download Chapter 7 Isaiah's message to Ahaz; the coming Assyrian invasion; the Immanuel prophecy; the prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. Isa7: Aram plotted with Ephraim. The LORD sent Isaiah to King Ahaz: Behold, a virgin shall bear a son. The LORD will use Assyria as a razor.
Listen Download Chapter 8 The Assyrian invasion; deliverance fore-shadowed; the Lord of hosts; the only refuge. Isa8: The floodwaters of Assyria will overflow the land. Many will fall and be snared. I will trust in the LORD. They will curse their gods.
Listen Download Chapter 9 The birth of the Prince of Peace; the hand raised against Israel. Isa9: A child is born to us. His government will increase forever. The LORD will raise the enemies of Israel. His anger has not turned away.
Listen Download Chapter 10 Assyria, the instrument of wrath; Assyria shall be broken; the remnant will return; a remnant to be saved; God will judge Assyria. Isa10: Woe to those who rob the poor of justice. Woe to Assyria, whose purpose is to destroy. The remnant of Israel will return to the LORD.
Listen Download Chapter 11 The righteous reign of the Branch of Jesse; reign of the Davidic King; Israel regathered. Isa11: A shoot will come up from Jesse. He will judge with righteousness. The wolf will live with the lamb. The Lord will gather his people.
Listen Download Chapter 12 Thanksgiving for God's mercies; a song of praise. Isa12: In that day you will say: I will praise you, O LORD! Your anger has turned away. Surely God is my salvation. Sing for joy, O Zion!
Listen Download Chapter 13 The doom of Babylon predicted; the medes to destroy Babylon. Isa13: The oracle concerning Babylon: Listen! The LORD is calling an army. I will punish the world for its evil. Babylon will be overthrown.
Listen Download Chapter 14 Israel to be preserved; the proverb against the king of Babylon; Assyria will be destroyed; the warning to Palestina. Isa14: The LORD will again choose Israel. How you are fallen, O Lucifer! You will be cast away like a trampled corpse. Wail, O Philistia!
Listen Download Chapter 15 The oracle concerning Moab. Isa15: An oracle concerning Moab: Ar of Moab is laid waste. In the streets they wear sackcloth. The waters of Dibon are full of blood.
Listen Download Chapter 16 The prophecy of Moab's ruin. Isa16: A throne will be established from the house of David. We have heard of the pride of Moab. Within three years Moab will be despised.
Listen Download Chapter 17 The oracle concerning Damascus; judgement against Israel; judgement against the nations.Isa17: An oracle concerning Damascus: Damascus will become ruins. Jacob will be brought low. You have forgotten the God of your salvation.
Listen Download Chapter 18 A prophecy concerning Ethiopia; the Lord's message to Cush. Isa18: Woe to the land of buzzing wings, beyond the rivers of Cush. The LORD will cut down the branches. Wild animals will feed on them.
Listen Download Chapter 19 The oracle concerning Egypt; Egypt will know the Lord. Isa19: An oracle concerning Egypt: I will hand the Egyptians over to a cruel master. When they cry out to the LORD, he will send a saviour.
Listen Download Chapter 20 Assyria to conquer Egypt and Ethiopia. Isa20: The LORD spoke through Isaiah: As Isaiah has gone stripped for three years, so Assyria will lead the Egyptians and Cushites captive.
Listen Download Chapter 21 The oracle concerning the desert of the sea; the oracle concerning Arabia. Isa21: The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea: I set a watchman. He said, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon!" The glory of Kedar will end.
Listen Download Chapter 22 An oracle against Jerusalem; the oracle concerning the valley of vision; the judgement on Shebna. Isa22: The oracle concerning the valley of vision: The LORD has taken away the covering of Judah. I will give to Eliakim the key of David.
Listen Download Chapter 23 The oracle concerning Tyre. Isa23: The oracle concerning Tyre: Wail, O ships, for Tyre is laid waste. The LORD has planned it. Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years.
Listen Download Chapter 24 The judgement upon the earth; the earth is judged. Isa24: Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste. Its people are held guilty. Fear and pit and snare await you. The LORD of hosts will reign.
Listen Download Chapter 25 The song of praise by the redeemed; salvation and judgement on that day. Isa25: O LORD, I will praise you. You have done marvellous things. The LORD will swallow up death forever. Moab will be trampled as straw.
Listen Download Chapter 26 A hymn of praise; the song of Judah; God's people vindicated. Isa26: A song will be sung in Judah: The LORD is the eternal Rock. Your hand is lifted high. We gave birth to wind, but your dead will rise.
Listen Download Chapter 27 The assurance of Israel's deliverance; Leviathan slain; the Lord's vinyard. Isa27: In that day the LORD will slay Leviathan. By exile the guilt of Jacob will be purged. Those who were perishing will worship the LORD.
Listen Download Chapter 28 Woe to Samaria; condemnation of Ephraim; Jerusalem warned; a deal with death; God's wonderful advice. Isa28: Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim! They will be snared. Behold, I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone. The LORD will do his alien work.
Listen Download Chapter 29 Woe to Jerusalem; Ariel and her enemies; the blindness of Israel; the redemtion of Israel. Isa29: Woe to Ariel, the city of David! But your enemies will be like dust. I will astound these people. No longer will Jacob be ashamed.
Listen Download Chapter 30 The futility of relying on Egypt; an appeal to turn to the Lord for help; the Lord's mercy to Israel; the destruction of Assyria foretold. Isa30: Woe to the stubborn children who seek help from Egypt! The LORD will wait to show mercy. The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria.
Listen Download Chapter 31 God, not Egypt, will defend Judah. Isa31: Woe to those who trust in chariots! As a lion roars, so the LORD will come down to fight for Mount Zion. Turn back to him, O Israel.
Listen Download Chapter 32 The coming reign of the righteous king; woman of Jerusalem warned. Isa32: Behold, a king will reign in righteousness. Tremble, you women of ease. The city will be deserted until the Spirit is poured upon us.
Listen Download Chapter 33 Salvation for those who trust God; the Lord rises up. Isa33: Woe to you, O destroyer! The fear of the LORD is Zion's treasure. "I will arise," says the LORD. You will see the king in his beauty.
Listen Download Chapter 34 The Lord's wrath upon the nations; the judgement of Edom. Isa34: The LORD is enraged against the nations. His sword is filled with blood. He has a day of vengeance for Zion. Edom shall lie waste.
Listen Download Chapter 35 Israel restored to Zion. Isa35: The desert shall rejoice and bloom. The eyes of the blind shall be opened. The ransomed of the LORD shall return to Zion with songs.
Listen Download Chapter 36 Sennacherib invades Judah; Sennacherib threatens Hezekiah. Isa36: The king of Assyria came against Judah. His commander said, "Do not listen to Hezekiah. Have any of the gods delivered their lands?"
Listen Download 36A Isaiah - Interlude. We have come to the second major division of the Book of Isaiah. This section is unlike that which precedes it and that which follows it. This section leaves the high plateau of prophecy and drops down to the record history.
Listen Download Chapter 37 Hezekiah asks Isaiah to pray; Sennacherib's letter; Hezekiah's prayer; God answers Hezekiah; Sennacherib's defeat and death. Isa37: Hezekiah prayed to the LORD. Isaiah said, "The king of Assyria will not enter the city." The angel of the LORD struck the Assyrians.
Listen Download Chapter 38 Hezekiah's sickness and healing. Isa38: Hezekiah became sick, so he prayed. The LORD said, "I will add fifteen years to your life." Hezekiah wrote, "The LORD will save me."
Listen Download Chapter 39 The Babylonian captivity foretold; Hezekiah's folly. Isa39: The king of Babylon sent envoys. Hezekiah showed them his treasure houses. Isaiah said, "All you have shall be carried to Babylon."
Listen Download Chapter 40 Comfort through trust in the Lord; the magesty of the Lord. Isa40: Comfort, comfort my people. A voice cries: Prepare the way of the LORD! He is the everlasting God. He gives strength to the weary.
Listen Download Chapter 41 The final restoration of Israel. Isa41: Let the nations meet for judgement. Do not fear, O Israel. I will help you. Idols are nothing. I will give a messenger of good news.
Listen Download Chapter 42 The Lord's servant; the servant comes to glorify the Lord; Israel's suffering is a result of sin; Israel's blindness and deafness. Isa42: Behold, my Servant! He will bring justice to the nations. Sing to the LORD a new song. Hear, you deaf! The LORD gave Israel as spoil.
Listen Download Chapter 43 The Lord the only Redeemer; restoration of Israel; God's deliverance of rebellious Israel. Isa43: But I am with you, O Jacob. I am the LORD. There is no other saviour. Behold, I will do a new thing! Yet you have not called upon me.
Listen Download Chapter 44 Spiritual blessing; The Spirit of God to be on Israel; the Lord the Redeemer of Israel; no God other than Yahweh; restoration of Israel through Cyrus. Isa44: I will pour my Spirit on your offspring. Who makes an idol? A carpenter prays to a block of wood. I am the LORD who made all things.
Listen Download Chapter 45 A charge to Cyrus; the Lord the Creator; God alone is Savior; an everlasting salvation for Israel; salvation will come only by the Lord. Isa45: The LORD says to Cyrus: For the sake of Jacob I have called you. I am the LORD. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth!
Listen Download Chapter 46 The power of the Lord and the weakness of idols; there is no one like God. Isa46: The idols of Bel and Nebo are burdens to be carried. O Jacob, I have made you and I will carry you. I am God and there is no other.
Listen Download Chapter 47 Judgement on Babylon; the fall of Babylon. Isa47: Sit in the dust, O daughter of Babylon. You showed no mercy. You trusted in sorcery. Evil shall fall upon you. No one shall save you.
Listen Download Chapter 48 Israel's unfaithfulness rebuked; Israel must leave Babylon. Isa48: Hear this, O Jacob: I have refined you for my own sake. I am the First and the Last. Thus says your Redeemer: Go out from Babylon!
Listen Download Chapter 49 The Servant brings salvation; Israel the Lord's servant; Israel will be restored to zion. Isa49: The LORD formed me in the womb to restore Jacob and to bring salvation. Can a mother forget her nursing baby? I will not forget Zion.
Listen Download Chapter 50 The suffering of the Lord's servant; the obedient servant. Isa50: Have I no power to deliver? The LORD has given me a learned tongue. I gave my back to those who beat me. He who justifies me is near.
Listen Download Chapter 51 The faithful are called to courage; the faithful are comforted. Isa51: Listen, the LORD will comfort Zion. Awake, O arm of the LORD! The ransomed shall return. You will drink the cup of my wrath no more.
Listen Download Chapter 52 The Lord will deliver Zion from captivity; the suffering of the Lord's servant; Christ as Suffering Servant is foretold (Isa. 52:13) Isa52: Awake, O Zion! How beautiful are those who bring good news. The LORD has redeemed Jerusalem. Behold, my Servant will be lifted up.
Listen Download Chapter 53 The Suffering Servant; Christ as the Suffering Servant. Isa53: He was despised and rejected. He was pierced for our transgressions. By his wounds we are healed. Out of anguish he will see light.
Listen Download Chapter 54 The Lord's everlasting love for Israel. Isa54: Sing, O barren woman! Your offspring will inherit the nations. Your Maker is your husband. No weapon formed against you will prosper.
Listen Download Chapter 55 A free offer of mercy to all; come to the Lord. Isa55: Come, all you who are thirsty. I will make an everlasting covenant. My word will not return void. The mountains will burst into song.
Listen Download Chapter 56 An appeal to keep God's judgements; a house of prayer for all; unrighteous leaders condemned. Isa56: Keep justice, for salvation is near. I will bring the outcasts of Israel to my house and gather still others. The watchmen are blind.
Listen Download Chapter 57 Condemnation of Israel's idoltary; pagan religion denounced; healing and peace. Isa57: The righteous find peace in death. As for you rebels, you make your bed wide. Let your idols save you! But I will not accuse forever.
Listen Download Chapter 58 A description of the true religion; the observance of the sabbath; true fasting. Isa58: You seek pleasure on your fast days. Is this not the fast I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice? Then your ruins will be rebuilt.
Listen Download Chapter 59 National corruption, consequent suffering; deliverance will be from the Lord. Isa59: Your sins have separated you from God. Justice is far from us. Truth is nowhere. So the LORD put on garments of salvation and fury.
Listen Download Chapter 60 The future glory of Zion. Isa60: Arise, shine, for your light has come! The nations will come to you. I will make you majestic forever. Your God will be your glory.
Listen Download Chapter 61 Good tidings of salvation to Zion; Messiah's jubilee. Isa61: The Spirit of the LORD is on me. He has sent me to proclaim freedom. My people will inherit a double portion. I delight in the LORD.
Listen Download Chapter 62 The restoration of Zion. Isa62: For Zion's sake I will not keep silent. You will be given a new name. Your God will rejoice over you. Raise a banner for the nations!
Listen Download Chapter 63 The day of vengence; the Lord's favor shown to Israel; rememberance of grace; Israel is prayer. Isa63: Why are your robes red? I have trampled the nations. Israel remembered who brought them through the sea. You, O LORD, are our father.
Listen Download Chapter 64 A prayer for help. Isa64: Oh that you would rend the heavens! You meet those who do right. We are all the work of your hand. Do not remember our sins forever.
Listen Download Chapter 65 The Lord's response; the rebellious will be punished; new heavens and a new earth; a new creation. Isa65: I held out my hands to an obstinate people. My servants will eat, but you will go hungry. I will create new heavens and a new earth.
Listen Download Chapter 66 Final judgement and joyous restoration; Zion's future hope. Isa66: Listen! The LORD is repaying his enemies. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be comforted. All flesh will worship before me, says the LORD.

Chapter summations:

Book of Isaiah Outlines by J.Vernon McGee PDF format <Link>

The Book of Isaiah - Summary

Isaiah was a prophet (holy man). God appointed Isaiah to warn the people in Judah. The people were evil. So, they should ask God to forgive them. Isaiah lived before Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Isaiah described the future of many countries (Isaiah chapters 13-24). But especially, he warned his own people in Judah and Israel (Isaiah chapters 28-31).

But this book also contains many happy words. Isaiah wrote about a child who would have no human father (Isaiah 7:14). This child would become king (Isaiah 9:6). He would rule fairly (Isaiah 32). And the people would be glad (Isaiah 35). So, God will comfort his people (Isaiah 40). This child would be God's servant (Isaiah 42). But people would not accept him. God's servant would die so that God will forgive us. Then, God's servant would live again (Isaiah 53). Everyone must trust him (Isaiah 55). God will forgive the people who confess their evil deeds to God (Isaiah 59). So, God himself will rescue his people (Isaiah 63).

We now know that Isaiah wrote these words about Jesus.

The Book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament section of the Bible.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

Isaiah wrote his book in the Hebrew language. Words in brackets, ( … ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.

A note on the book of Isaiah

There are 66 chapters in Isaiah’s book. The book is easier to understand if we put it into 5 parts. We have done this below. The word list explains the words prophet and messiah. The words king, servant and messiah do not always mean the same people in Isaiah’s book. This often confuses us in Isaiah’s book.

The five parts of Isaiah

PART 1: Chapters 1-5           Isaiah describes the people in the country called Judah and its capital city Jerusalem.

PART 2: Chapter 6                God makes Isaiah into a prophet.

PART 3: Chapters 7-37         God’s KING rules God’s people.

PART 4: Chapters 38-55       God’s SERVANT saves God’s people.

PART 5: Chapters 56-66       God’s *MESSIAH beats God’s enemies.

PART 1: Chapters 1-5 Isaiah describes the people that live in the country called Judah and its capital city Jerusalem

We can put PART 1 into 3 smaller parts. This makes it easier to understand.

            Isaiah 1:2-9                                         Isaiah   1:10-20                                    Isaiah   1:21-31

                                                                                    2:6-21                                                  2:22-4:1








Isaiah 2:1-5 and 4:2-6 are not about problems. They contain promises.

Chapter 5 is not about problems. It tells the people what God will do to them. Because they have not obeyed him, he will *punish them.

Chapter 1

v1 This is what Isaiah, the son of Amoz, *saw. He saw things about the country called Judah and the city called Jerusalem. It happened when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.

The problems of the country called Judah

v2 Hear (the *LORD, you) skies! And listen (to him, you) earth, because the *LORD, he has spoken! (He has said,) ‘I have helped (my) sons to grow. And I have loved them. But even they have fought against me!

v3 A cow knows its master. And a horse (knows) where its keeper feeds it. But Israel, they do not know (me). My people, they do not understand (me).’

v4 Oh! (You are a) country that does not obey me. (All your) people are (like people who are) carrying a heavy weight. (It is) the wrong things (that you have done). (You are a) family (of people) that is always doing bad things. (You are) sons that destroy (everything). They have left the *LORD. They think that the *Holy (God) of Israel is silly. They have become strangers. Their backs are towards (him).

v5 So, you continue to fight (against God). (The enemy) will only hurt you again. (Your) whole head is not well and (your) whole heart is ill.

v6 From the under part of the feet, even to the head, there is no health in you. (There are) places (where people have) hit (you). (There are) places that hurt. People have cut some places until they bleed. Nobody has cleaned those places. Nobody has tied a cloth round them. Nobody has put medicine on them.

v7 Your country is empty. Fire has burned your cities. Foreign people have taken everything from your fields. (They did it) in front of you. Strangers have destroyed (your country).

v8 The *Daughter of Zion, (Jerusalem,) remains like an empty hut in a *vineyard. (She is) like a hut in a field of fruit. (She is) like a city that an enemy is attacking.

v9 Unless the *LORD of Everything had left some people to continue living, we would have been like Sodom. We would have been like Gomorrah.

The problems of the *religion of the country called Judah


People that believe in God have a religion. We show it in two ways.

·        We meet in special buildings, like churches. There, we pray to God.

·        We obey our God always. It is important to do this when we are not in our special buildings.

v10 Hear what the *LORD says, (you) rulers of Sodom. Listen to our God. He is saying what you must do, (you) people in Gomorrah.

v11 ‘All your *sacrifices do not matter to me.’ (This is what) the *LORD is saying. ‘I have had enough (*sacrifices) that you have burned as gifts to me. (I have had enough) male sheep and the best bits of fat animals. (I have had enough) of the blood of male cows, goats and young sheep. They do not give me pleasure.

v12 (There are times) when you come to appear in front of me. But nobody asked you to do this. Do not walk heavily round my *temple.

v13 Do not bring gifts (to me) that mean nothing! I do not like your *incense. I do not like your new moons, (your) *sabbaths and (your) special meetings. These meetings are bad.

v14 I really do not like your new moon meetings and your *holy days. They have become like a heavy weight for me. I am tired because I have to carry them.

v15 I will hide my eyes from you, when you lift up your hands (to me). I will not listen (to you), even if you pray (to me) often. Your hands are full of blood.

v16 Wash yourselves (and) make yourselves clean! Take away the bad things that you are doing. Then I will not see them. Do not continue to do what is wrong.

v17 Learn to do what is right. Make *justice your purpose. Do not let masters be very cruel (to people). Do not let people hurt children who have no father. Say good things on behalf of women whose husbands are dead.

v18 Come, now’, the *LORD is saying. ‘We should talk about this together. Even if your *sins are as bright red, they shall be as white as snow. Even if they are as dark red, they shall be like *wool.

v19 Agree (with me). And obey (me). If you do (these things), you will eat the best food in the country.

v20 But (if you do not do these things), the *sword will kill you. (It will kill you) if you do not obey me. (It will kill you) if you continue to fight against me.’ This is what God himself has said.

The problems of the people that live in the country called Judah

v21 Oh! The City that Loved Me (as a wife) has become like a *prostitute! (The city was) full of *justice. Good people lived in her, but now there are people who murder (other people there).

v22 Your *silver has become dirt and you have mixed water with your best *wine.

v23 Your rulers are fighting against (God). And they are friends of robbers. They all accept things to help people (that they should not help). And (they all) hope for gifts like these. But they do not help children that have no father. (They do not help these children) when people hurt them. The women whose husbands are dead have problems. But (the problems) do not come to the (rulers).

v24 So the *Lord says this. (He is) the *LORD of Everything (and he is) the Powerful (God) of Israel. ‘Oh! I will get rest from my enemies. And I will *punish those people who fight against me.

v25 And I will turn my hand against you and I will wash away all your dirt with soap and brush. So I will remove everything that is not clean.

v26 And I will give back to you your *judges, as (you had them) a long time ago. And (I will give back to you) the people that say what you must do, as at the beginning. After this, you will be called The Good City, and The City that Loves Me.’

v27 (God) will use *justice to make *Zion free. (He will make things) right for the people that return (to him).

v28 But he will destroy people that *sin. (And he will destroy) those people that continue to fight (against him). The *LORD will kill everybody that goes away from him.

v29 Really, they will be ashamed of their special trees (called) oaks. You have found a lot of pleasure in them. The gardens that you have chosen will make you really ashamed.

v30 You will be like an oak tree whose leaves are dying. (You will be like) a garden without water.

v31 The strong man will become like something that burns easily. His work will be like something that causes things to burn. They will both burn together and nobody will put out the fire.

Chapter 2

v1 This is what Isaiah, the son of Amoz, ‘*saw’ about Judah and Jerusalem.

Words that cause us to hope in God

v2 This is what will happen in the last days. The mountain, where the house of the *LORD is, will always be there (in Jerusalem). It will be the most important mountain. It will be higher than the hills (round it). (People from) every country will come towards it.

v3 And people from many countries will come (to it). And they will say, ‘Come! We shall go to the mountain of the *LORD. We must go to the house of the God of *Jacob. Then he will teach us his ways, so that we can walk in his paths.’ So, the word (of God) will go out from Zion. The *LORD’s words will go out from Jerusalem.

v4 (God) will be the *judge between the *nations. He will say (who is right. And he will say) who is wrong. They will use hammers to change their *swords into parts of ploughs. And they will use their knives to *prune plants. *Nations will not attack other *nations with *swords, neither will they learn how to fight again.

v5 House of Jacob, come and we shall walk in the light of the *LORD.

House of Jacob means Israel’s people. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

The problems of *religion in Judah and Israel

v6 But you, (*LORD), have gone away from your people. They are the house (family) of Jacob. They are full (of *magic) from (countries in) the east. They are like the people called Philistines. They have people who use *magic to find out what will happen. Also, they join hands with foreign people.

v7 Their country is full of *silver and gold and they have many valuable things. Their country is full of horses and they have many *chariots.

v8 *Idols that are worth nothing fill their country. They get down on the ground in front of things that their hands have made. (They are things) that their own fingers have made.

v9 So, (the *LORD) makes people *humble and everyone becomes low! (*LORD), do not lift them up again!

v10 Go into (the holes in) the rocks and hide in the ground. (Hide) because you are afraid. (You are afraid) of (what) the *LORD (will do). And (hide from) his great power.

v11 (The *LORD) will stop the way that *proud people look at other people. And (he will make) very *proud people *humble. On that day, only the *LORD will be important.

v12 Yes! The *LORD of Everything will choose a day. Then, (in that day, the *LORD) will make *humble everyone that is *proud, very *proud and important.

v13-16 (The *LORD will be) against all these things:

·           the high, the really high *cedar trees in Lebanon

·           the *oak trees in Bashan

·           the very high mountains

·           the highest hills

·           tall buildings

·           strong walls

·           boats from Tarshish

·           beautiful ships.

v17 (The *LORD) will stop the way that *proud people look at other people. And he will make very *proud people *humble. On that day, only the *LORD will be important.

v18 And nobody will see any of the *idols again.

v19 And (people) will run to holes in the sides of the rocks and to holes in the ground. (They will run) because they are afraid of the *LORD. (They will run) from his great power. (They will run) when he comes to *punish the earth.

v20 In that day people will throw away their *silver *idols and their gold *idols. (They will throw them) to (animals) called *rats and *bats. They made (these *idols) so that they could *worship them.

v21 Then people will run to large holes in the rocks and to holes in (the sides of) mountains. (They will run) because they are afraid of the *LORD. And (they are afraid) of his great power, when he comes to *punish the earth.

v22 Do not ask human people (to help you). They get air through their noses! They are worth (nothing).

Chapter 3

The problems of the people in Judah and Israel

v1 I will show you what the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything (will do). He will remove from Jerusalem and Judah everything that helps them. (He will take away) everything that supplies their food and their water.

v2-3 (He will take away these people):

·           the strong man and the soldier

·           the *judge and the *prophet

·           the person who uses *magic to find out what will happen and the older (leader)

·           the captain of 50 (soldiers) and the very important man

·           the person that tells people what to do and the good worker

·           the person that uses *magic.

v4 ‘And I, (the *LORD), will make boys their leaders and children will rule over them.’

v5 The people will be cruel to each other. (It will be) man against man. (It will be) man against the person that lives near him. Young people will say bad things to older people. And bad people will say bad things to good people.

v6 Then a man will hold his brother strongly in the house of his father. (The man will say), ‘You have a coat. So, you can be our leader! Then you can rule over these buildings that (the enemy) destroyed!’

v7 On that day, (the brother) will refuse. He will say, ‘I cannot help! There is no food and no coat in my house. Do not make me a leader of people.’

v8 (This will happen because the leaders of) Jerusalem and Judah have started to fall. Then they have fallen down. Their words and the things that they do are against the *LORD. They have said bad things about his great *glory.

v9 Their faces show what they are really like. It is clear that they have *sinned, like the (people in) Sodom. They do not hide it. It is so sad! They have brought great trouble to themselves.

v10 Tell the very good people that things will be well for them. They will enjoy the results of the good things that they have done.

v11 The very bad person will be very sad. He will have great trouble. (Here is the reason.) What his hands have done (to other people) will happen to him.

v12 Children are cruel to my people and women rule over them. My people, your leaders have not ruled you well. They have led you away from the (right) paths.

v13 The *LORD stands up to tell (his enemies) that they have done wrong things. He stands as a *judge of (many) countries.

v14 The *LORD comes as *judge of those people who are in the government. (He comes as *judge) of the leaders. (He says that) they burned the *vineyard. Also, they kept what they took away from the poor people.

v15 The *LORD of Everything asks (them these questions):

·           ‘Why do you hit my people, so that they break into pieces?’ (which means, ‘Do not hit my people, so that they break into pieces.’)

·           ‘Why do you walk on the faces of the poor people?’ (which means, ‘Do not walk on the faces of the poor people.’)

v16 The *LORD says, ‘The *Daughters of Zion are very *proud. They lift up their necks when they walk. They glance to see (if the men are looking at them). They walk (so that men do look at them). The little bells on their ankles make a sound when they walk.

v17 So the *LORD will make places that hurt them on their heads. He will make their heads bald.’

v18-23 In that day the *Lord will take away the valuable stones that they wear on their ankles, heads, necks, ears, arms, fingers and noses. He will take away their beautiful clothes and belts, their *perfumes and *charms.

v24 There will be a bad smell instead of *perfume. There will be a *rope instead of a belt. They will not have lovely hair. They will be bald instead. Instead of good clothes (they will wear) cheap hairy cloth. They will not be beautiful. Instead, there will be only *shame.

v25 *Swords will kill your men. Your strong men will die in wars.

v26 And the gates (of Zion) will be (like) sad (people). And they will (be like people who) cry. Zion will (be like people who) sit on the ground. (And the city will be) empty.

Chapter 4

v1 In that day, 7 women will (find and) hold one man. They will say, ‘We will eat our own bread and we will wear our own clothes. But, let us call ourselves by your name. Take away our *shame.’

More good news

v2 In that day, the Branch of the *LORD will be something pretty and something that has *glory. And the fruit of the land will be as something *proud and something beautiful. (They will be) for Israel’s people that will become free. v3 Everyone that remains in *Zion will be called *holy. Also, (everyone) who stays in Jerusalem (will be called *holy). All their names will be on a list of people who are living in Jerusalem. v4 (This will happen) when the *Lord will wash away the dirt from the *Daughters of Zion. Also, (then) he will make Jerusalem clean from the marks left by blood. (He will do this) by a *spirit that will be a *judge and by a *spirit of fire. v5 (This is what) the *LORD will make over all the mountain called Zion. And (it will be over) all the people that come together there. (He will make) a lot of smoke during the day. And (he will make) a fire, which shines in the night. The *glory will be like a coat over everything. v6 It will be a place to hide from the heat in the day. And it will be a place to hide from storms and rain.

Chapter 5

God *punishes his people

The song of the *vineyard

v1 Now I will sing for the person that I love. (I will sing) a song of love about his *vineyard.

            ‘The person that I love has a *vineyard. It is on a hill where plants grow well.

v2        He dug (the ground) and he removed the stones. He planted the best *vines in it.

                        He built a place where he could watch (the *vineyard).

            He also made a place to store *grapes in it. Then he waited for (the *vineyard) to grow (good) *grapes.

                                    But it grew bad *grapes.’

v3 And now, (listen to me,) you people that live in Jerusalem. And (listen,) all you people that live in Judah. You decide who was wrong, me or my *vineyard.

v4 There was nothing else that I ought to have done for my *vineyard. I had done everything for it! I waited for (good) *grapes. (Tell me) why it gave bad *grapes!

v5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my *vineyard. I will take away its wall. Then (animals will come in and) eat (the *vines). I will knock down its wall and (the animals) will walk all over (the *vineyard).

v6 I will make the land so that nobody can use it. Nobody will *prune the *vines or dig the ground round them. So weeds and *thorns will grow there. I will say to the clouds, ‘Do not (drop) rain on it.’

v7 Now the *vineyard of the *LORD of Everything is like a picture of Israel. The plants (in it) that he likes are the people in Judah. The *LORD looked for *justice, but he saw only the opposite. (He wanted) people to be very good. But he only heard people that were crying for help.

The wrong things that the people in Jerusalem and Judah have done

v8 The people who build (one) house (next) to (another) house will be very sad. Also, they join (one) field to (another) field. (They do this) until there is no more room. Then you live alone on the land.

v9 I have heard the *LORD of Everything (promise this. He said this.) ‘I am sure that many houses will be empty. There will be large and beautiful houses that nobody lives in.

v10 Also, large parts of the *vineyard will give only a small amount (of *wine). Very large amounts of seed will cause only a few plants to grow.’

v11 The people that get up early in the morning will be very sad. (They do this) so that they can get a drink of alcohol. They go to bed late in the evening, so that *wine can cause them to become drunks.

v12 At their parties there is (music from) *lyre and *harp, *tambourine and *flute. (They enjoy) their *wine. But they think that God’s works have no value. They do not really like what he has made.

v13 So my people will go into *exile, because they do not understand (God). Their leaders will die because they do not have enough food. And very many people will not have anything to drink.

v14 So *Sheol will open its mouth very wide to eat more (people). The leaders and the people will go into it. (Death will take in) the crowds that make a lot of noise. Also, (it will take in) the people that have parties (in Jerusalem).

v15 So (the *LORD) will make people *humble. Then (God) will make everybody low! (He will) take away their *proud faces.

v16 But his *justice will make the *LORD of Everything great! The *Holy God will show that he is *holy because he is so very good.

v17 Then the sheep will eat grass as (they do in) their own fields. Young sheep will eat in the large houses (that the enemy) destroyed.

v18 The people who tie themselves to *sin with silly (pieces of) line will be very sad. (They pull) *sin as (a horse pulls) a *cart with *ropes.

v19 Those people who say, ‘(The *LORD) must hurry!’ will be very sad. (They say) ‘He must do his work quickly, so that we can see it. We want to hear the ideas of the *Holy (One) of Israel. We want them to happen! Then we will really know (that they are true)!’

v20 The people that call wrong things right and right things wrong will be very sad. They say that it is light when it is dark. And (they say) that it is dark when it is light. They say that *bitter things are sweet. And (they say) that sweet things are *bitter.

v21 Some people think that they are clever. Those people will be very sad. They think that they are clever.

v22 Some people think that they are great. Those people will be very sad. (They think this) because they drink much *wine. Also, some people are strong when they mix strong drink. (Those people will be very sad.)

v23 They do not *punish *guilty people, when (the guilty) people give them money. There is no *justice for people that are not guilty.

v24 So as (surely as) fire burns dry plants, parts of them will fall into pieces. And as fire burns away dry grass, their flowers will blow away like small pieces of dirt. (This will happen) because they refused to obey the *LORD of Everything. He said what they should do. (But they did not do it.) And they thought that the words of the *Holy One of Israel were silly.

v25 For this reason the *LORD became angry with his people. He *punished them, as if someone had hit them with his hand. And the mountains moved and (his people’s) dead bodies became like dirt in the streets. (The *LORD has done) all this but he is still angry with them. And his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

God will send a message to another *nation from far away to *punish His people

v26 (The *LORD) will send a message to *nations that are far away. And he will (blow on his) *whistle to (a *nation at) the ends of the earth. And look! Here (its army) comes, very quickly!

v27 Nobody is tired; nobody falls down. Nobody rests; nobody sleeps. Nobody has a belt that they have not fastened. And nobody has broken a part of a shoe.

v28 Their *arrows are sharp and their bows are ready to shoot. Their horses’ feet are (as hard) as stones. And the *wheels (on their *chariots go as fast) as a strong wind.

v29 They *roar like a *lion, they make a noise like a young *lion. They *roar while they catch an animal to eat. They carry it away and nobody can save it.

v30 On that day, (the enemy) will *roar over what they catch. Their *roar will be like the sea. And if anybody looks to the land they will see *darkness. And (they will see) people that are very much afraid. Also, clouds will hide the light (of the sun).

PART 2: Chapter 6 God makes Isaiah into a *prophet

Chapter 6

v1 (It happened) in the year when King Uzziah died. I saw my *Lord. He was sitting on a very high seat. The ends of his very long coat filled the *temple. v2 Above (the *Lord) were *seraphs. They were waiting to do what he wanted them to do. Each one had 6 *wings. Two (of the *wings) were covering their faces. Two of them were covering their feet. With two of them they were flying.

v3 One (*seraph) spoke to another. They said, ‘*Holy, *holy, *holy is the *LORD of Everything! The whole earth is full of his *glory.’

v4 When each (*seraph) spoke, the door-steps of the *temple moved. Also, the *temple was full of smoke.

v5 Then I said, ‘I am very sad, because I must not speak! I am a man with lips that are not clean. And I live among people with lips that are not clean. And with my own eyes I have seen the King, the *LORD of Everything!’

v6 Then one of the *seraphs flew towards me. In his hand was a (piece of) *coal that was burning. He had taken it from the *altar with a special tool.

v7 And he touched my mouth (with it). And he said, ‘Look! This has touched your lips and it has taken away your *guilt. It has covered your *sin.’

v8 Then I heard the voice of the *Lord. He said, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘I am here. Send me.’

v9 And (God said), ‘Go! And tell this to the people (in Judah):

·           “Always listen, but you will never understand!

·           Always look. But you will never see what it means!”

v10 Make the heart of these people fat. Close their ears and shut their eyes. If (you do not do this) they will see with their eyes. They will hear with their ears and they will understand with their hearts. (Then they will) turn and they will be well again.’

v11 Then I said, ‘For how long, *Lord, (must I do this)?’ And (this is what) he answered:

·           ‘(Do it) until (their enemy) destroys the cities. Then nobody will live there.

·           (Do it until) nobody lives in the houses.

·           (Do it until) they cannot use the land in any way.

·           v12 (Do it until) the *LORD removes people to far away (places).

·           And (do it until an enemy has) destroyed many places inside the country (called Israel).

v13 And even if one in every 10 (places or people) stay, an enemy will burn them again! (They will do it as they burn) trees called terebinths and oaks. But from what remains of such a tree, an *holy people will grow.’

PART 3: Chapters 7-37 God’s king rules God’s people

            We can put PART 3 into 6 smaller parts. This makes it easier to understand.

Chapters 7-12

Chapters 13-23

Chapters 24-27

Chapters 28-33

Chapters 34-35

Chapters 36-37


















Chapter 7

King Ahaz refuses to ask God for a message

v1 Ahaz became the king of Judah. He was the son of (King) Jotham. (Jotham was) the son of (King) Uzziah. (When Ahaz was king), Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the king of Israel, both attacked Jerusalem. But they did not win the fight. (Pekah was the) son of Remaliah. v2 (People that were in the government) told (this to Ahaz. He was from) the family of David. (They said,) ‘Syria and Ephraim have agreed (to attack you).’ Ahaz and his people (were afraid). Their hearts moved, as trees in the forest move in the wind.

v3 Then the *LORD said to Isaiah, ‘Go out and meet Ahaz. You and *Shear Jashub, your son, will meet him at the end of the water stream. That (stream) pours from the higher pool down to where people wash clothes.’ v4 (The *LORD said,) ‘Say (to Ahaz), “Be careful. And be very quiet. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid because Rezin and the people from Syria and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, are angry. They are trying to ‘start a fire’, but their ‘fire’ will soon finish. v5 (Do not be afraid) because (the king of) Syria and the son of Remaliah have made bad *plans against you. They have said, v6 ‘We must attack Judah. We will frighten (the people). We will destroy (their country) and it will become ours. We will make the son of Tabeal king there.’ v7 The *LORD, who is *Lord, says this. ‘It will not happen, it will never happen! v8 (It will not happen,) because the capital (city) of Syria is Damascus. Now the king of Damascus is Rezin. And 65 years from now Ephraim will not be (a country)! There will be no people (of Ephraim) there. v9 And the capital (city) of Ephraim is Samaria. And the king of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. And if you do not believe this, you will not be alive (either).’ ” ’

v10 And the *LORD spoke again (to Isaiah. ‘Say this) to Ahaz.(’) v11 He said, ‘Ask the *LORD your God for a message. Ask for it deep (in the earth) or high (in the sky).’ v12 But Ahaz said, ‘I will never ask (for a message) or ask the *LORD to do something.’ v13 And he (Isaiah) said, ‘Now listen, (Ahaz. You belong to the) family of David! You are making (your) people angry (with you). And you are making God angry with you too. v14 So the *Lord himself will give you a message. Look, the *virgin will become *pregnant. She will have a son and she will call his name *Immanu El. v15 (One day) he will know (the difference between) right things and wrong things. Then he will (be old enough) to eat butter and sugar. v16 But even before the child knows (the difference between) right things and wrong things, (Assyria) will destroy (Ephraim and Syria). The two kings that you are afraid of will be (in other countries themselves).

v17 The *LORD will bring the king of Assyria to you and to your people. (He will come) to the house of your father. It will be a special time. There have been no days like it since Ephraim became separate from Judah.’ v18 On that day the *LORD will tell the flies at the higher end of the river in Egypt that they must come. And he will tell the *bees in the country called Assyria that they must come. v19 And they will all come and they will land on (these places):

·           the valleys with high sides

·           the holes in the rocks

·           all the *thorn bushes

·           all the places where there is water.

v20 On that day the *Lord will use the king of Assyria. He will come from beyond the river. He will cut off the hair from your head, your legs and your beard.

v21 On that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two goats. v22 They will give a lot of milk, so he will have butter to eat. Everyone that remains in the country will eat butter and sugar. v23 On that day, in every place where there were 1000 *vines, there will be weeds and *thorns. (1000 *vines) are worth 1000 pieces of *silver. v24 A man will go there with a bow and *arrows. (He will do this) because there will be *brambles and *thorns on all the land. v25 Nobody will go to the hills because they are afraid of the *brambles and *thorns. (These are the hills where) people would dig to grow plants. Now cows go there and sheep run about.

Chapter 8

God will use Assyria to destroy Israel and Syria

v1 And the *LORD said to me, ‘Get something big to write on. Then write on it, with a tool that will write (words on stones. Write “This is) about *Maher Shalal Hash Baz.” v2 And I will ask (two) special people to come to me. They must say what is true. (One will be) Uriah the *priest and (the other will be) Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. They will be my special people. They must say what is true.’ v3 Then I went to the *prophetess. She became *pregnant and she had a son. And the *LORD said to me, ‘Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. v4 Before the child knows how to say “my father” or “my mother” (this will happen). The king of Assyria will carry away the valuable things from Damascus and from Samaria.’

v5 The *LORD spoke to me again. (He told me) that I must say,

v6 ‘This people has refused (to accept) the waters of *Shiloah, which move quietly. And (they have said that they) are very happy about Rezin and the son of Remaliah.

v7 So, see (what will happen). The *LORD will bring against them the waters of the River (Euphrates). (The waters will be) strong and powerful. (Really, the waters will be) the king of Assyria and his powerful (armies). (They will come) like a great river that rises. And it goes over its sides.

v8 Then it will pour quickly into Judah. It will rise over its sides and it will go over (the land). It will even reach the neck! His *wings will open out and cover all your country, *Immanu El.

v9 Join together (against your enemies), you people, but they will kill you all. Listen carefully, all you far countries. Get ready for war, but (your enemies) will kill your people. Get ready to fight, but (your enemies) will kill you.

v10 Make *plans together, but (the plans) will fail! Talk about what you will do. But it will not happen. (Your plans will fail) because Immanu El (God is with us)!’

v11 Now the *LORD spoke to me. (He said this) while his strong hand was upon me. He said that I must not to do what this people (the people in Judah) were doing. He said,

v12 ‘You must not think, “Everything that this people call a secret *plan is a secret plan.” Also, do not be afraid of what they are afraid of. And do not let it frighten you.

v13 Instead, be afraid of the *LORD of Everything! You should think of him as *holy. You should be afraid of him,

v14 because he, (the *LORD,) will be a safe place.

            But for both houses of Israel (he will become like) a stone that will make people angry. And (he will become like) a rock that will cause them to fall over. To the people in Jerusalem, (the *LORD) will become someone to catch and to hold them.

v15 Many people’s feet will hit something and they will fall. (The *LORD) will hurt them very badly. He will catch and hold them!’

v16 Tie up what I have said (in a *scroll). Fasten what I have taught to my *disciples. v17 And I will wait for the *LORD. He is hiding his face from the house of Jacob (Israel’s people). But I believe that he (the *LORD will do something). v18 Here am I and the children that the *LORD has given to me. We are messages, messages from the *LORD of Everything to (the people in) Israel. He lives on the mountain (called) Zion.

v19 And they will say to you, ‘Ask the *mediums and *wizards. They will tell you what you should do.’ (Mediums and wizards) make noises like birds or animals! People should ask their God what to do. People who are alive should not talk to dead people. v20 (Listen again) to what I have said. And (listen) to what I have taught you. (If you listen to) their words, then there will be no dawn! v21 Then they will go through the country and they will not be very happy. They will not have enough to eat. Because they do not have enough to eat, they will become angry. They will look up (to where God lives). Then they will say bad things about their king and about their God. v22 And they will look to the earth. But they will see that it is dark and (that people are) not very happy. In the dark, (people will be) very sad. It will push (people) into something even blacker.

Chapter 9

Good news for God’s people

v1 But there will be no dark places for the people that were not very happy. In past years, (God) let trouble happen to the people in the places called Zebulun and Naphtali. But in future years, he will send *glory to (these places):

·           the country by the sea

·           the land at the other side of the (River) Jordan

·           the part (of Israel) that people in other countries (call) Galilee.

v2 The people that walk in the dark will see a great light. The light will shine on those (people) that live on land full of dark shadows.

v3 You (*LORD) will make the country bigger. And you will make its people much happier. They will be happy with you as when people are happy at *harvest time. Soldiers are also happy, because of what they have won in war. And its people will be happy like them.

v4 (This is) because, as in the time of Midian, (you will kill our enemies). You will break (these things):

·           the *yoke (that carries) their heavy weights

·           the sticks (that they hit) our backs with

·           the *rod that hurts us.

v5 Then they will burn as material for the fire every boot that soldiers wore in war. And (they will burn) the clothes with blood on them.

v6 (They will do this) because a child is born for us. (God has) given us a son. And that son will always have authority (to rule the people). And (people) will call him by these names:

·           *Wonderful Friend

·           Great God

·           Father for Always

·           Leader who brings *Peace

v7 His authority will become greater. And the *peace that he will bring will never come to an end. He will be king over (the land) that David ruled. He will make it safe. He will make sure that it has *justice. And its people will be very good, now and always. The *LORD of Everything will cause this to happen, because he loves (his people).

God has *punished Israel and he will do it again

Note. Isaiah says this 4 times in 9:12, 17, 21 and 10:3.

v8 The *Lord sent a message against *Jacob and it came to Israel.

v9 And all the people (that live in) Ephraim and Samaria know about it. They *praise themselves (with these words).

v10 ‘(Our) *brick (houses) fell down. But we will build them again with stones that we have cut. They have knocked down (buildings that we made from) *sycamore trees. But we will build them again with *cedar (trees, which are better).’

v11 But the *LORD will make the enemies of Rezin stronger against him. Also, he will help those enemies.

v12 The people from Syria on the east and the people from Philistia on the west have opened their mouths. And they have eaten Israel. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

‘They have eaten Israel’ means ‘They have beaten the people in many places and now they rule those places.’

v13 But the people did not turn to him who hit them. Neither did they go to the *LORD of Everything.

v14 So in one day the *LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail. (He will also cut off) *palm branch and *reed.

v15 The head means the older men and the important people. The tail means the (false) *prophets. They teach what is not true.

v16 The leaders of this people lead them away from what is true. They confuse the people that they are leaders of.

v17 So the *Lord will not feel happy with their young men. And he will not be kind and help (children) without fathers. (He will not help) women whose husbands are dead. This is because nobody obeys God. (Everyone) does wrong things. What everyone says tells us this. They are fools. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

v18 The wrong things (that people do) burn like a fire. They eat up *briars and *thorns. They burn up the bushes in the forest. And they rise up (into the sky) like a lot of smoke.

v19 He is very angry, so the *LORD of Everything will burn the land. Also, the people will be like material for the fire. No man will be kind to his brother (another *Jew).

v20 They will take food on their right (side), but they will remain hungry. And they will eat what is on the *left (side), but it will not fill them. Everyone will eat the body of the person that lives near him.

v21 Ephraim will eat Manasseh and Manasseh will eat Ephraim. And both of them (will fight) against Judah. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

Chapter 10

v1 (Some) people make rules that are not fair.  (They also make) rules that are cruel to people. Those people will be very sad.

v2 (They do these things:)

·           (Some) people need many things. (Their rulers) do not let them get what is fair.

·           They take away what poor people should have.

·           They rob women whose husbands are dead of everything.

·           And they are cruel to children whose parents are dead.

v3 You can do nothing when God *punishes you. And (you can do nothing) in a storm that comes from far away. Nobody will help you and there will be nowhere to hide your valuable things.

v4 You can only go to be with the people that are in a prison. Or perhaps you will die with those (that the enemy) kills in war. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

Then God will *punish Assyria

v5 (The people) in Assyria (will be very sad). (I will use them) like a stick, because I am angry. They (will be like someone who hits Israel) with a heavy stick. (They will do that) because I am so very angry.

v6 I will send (the people from Assyria) against (Israel, because Israel) does not obey God. I will tell (them that they must attack Israel). I am angry with the people (in Israel). (The people from Assyria) will take what (the people in Israel) have. And they will rob them of their things. Then (the people from Assyria) will walk all over them, as (if Israel’s people were) dirt in the streets.

v7 But this is not what (Assyria’s people) are thinking. Their ideas are different. They want to beat as many countries as they can. (They want) to destroy them.

v8 (The king of Assyria) *boasts, ‘All the leaders of my armies are (like) kings!

v9 (The city that is called) Calno is like Carchemish. Hamath is like Arpad and Samaria is like Damascus.

v10 My hand took all these places and their *idols. They had more *idols than Jerusalem and Samaria.

v11 So I will do to Jerusalem and her *idols what I did to Samaria and her *idols.’

v12 The *Lord will finish all his work against the hill called Zion and Jerusalem. Then (he will say), ‘I will *punish the king of Assyria. He *boasts in his mind and there is *pride in his eyes.’

v13 (This is what the king of Assyria) says. ‘I have done this because I am so strong. Also, I am very clever. (So) I know (what to do). I have removed the *boundaries between countries. Also, I have taken their valuable things. Like a wild animal, I have attacked their people.

v14 My hand found the valuable things of (many) countries. (I did this) as one finds a (bird’s) home. I have got all the earth (as easily) as people take eggs from an empty bird’s home. And nobody moved a *wing or opened a mouth to make a noise.’

v15 (The *LORD says,) ‘The axe is not more powerful than the person that uses it. A tool is not more important than the person that uses it. (Also, it is silly) to think that a stick can move its user! Or (it is silly to think) that a thick stick can move a man!

v16 So the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will send an illness to (Assyria’s) fat soldiers. They will become thin! He will light a fire under their *pride. It will burn with a bright light.

v17 (The *LORD, who is) the Light of Israel, will become a fire. The *Holy One (of Israel) will become a bright fire. And it will burn and destroy (Assyria’s) *thorns and *briars in one day.

v18 (The *LORD) will completely destroy (Assyria’s) great forests and its good fields. Its people’s *spirit and body will become as nothing.

v19 Only a few forest trees will remain, so that even a child will be able to count them!

But God will help the people that continue to love him

v20 When that happens, (this will happen to) the *remnant of Israel. (They are) the people of *Jacob that are still alive.

·           They will not get help from (Assyria), which beat them.

·           Instead, they will get all their help from the *LORD, the *Holy One of Israel.

v21 A *remnant, a *remnant of Jacob, will return and get help from the Great God.

v22 Israel, only a *remnant (of you) will return. (This is) even when there are so many of you. (There are as many of you) as there are bits of sand on the sea shore.

v23 This will happen because the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will destroy the whole country. (He will destroy it), as he promised to do.’

v24 So, this is what the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything says. ‘My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the people from Assyria. They will be like someone who hits you with a stick. They will lift up a big stick against you like the people in Egypt did. v25 But soon I will not be angry with you. Instead, I will be angry (with the people from Assyria) and I will kill them. v26 And the *LORD of Everything will use a *whip against them. He will do this as when he killed Midian’s people at the Rock of Oreb. His stick will be over the sea, and he will lift it up. (He will lift it up) as he did in Egypt. v27 In that day the weight will come off your shoulder. (The *LORD) will destroy the *yoke on your neck.’

v28 (Assyria) will start from Rimmon and he will go to Aiath. He will pass through Migron. He will store his things at Michmash.

v29 They will pass (through the hills), and they will stay for a night at Geba. (The people in) Ramah will be afraid and (the people in) Gibeah of Saul will run away.

v30 People in Gallim, shout (for help)! Listen, (people in) Laish. Answer them, (people in) Anathoth.

v31 (The people in) Madmenah will run away. And those that live in Gebim will rush to a safe place.

v32 He will remain at Nob the day (that he arrives there). He will move his fist angrily towards the people who live in Zion and on the hill of Jerusalem.

v33 But look! The *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will cut off the branches with (his) *power which frightens (people). He will cut down the tallest trees. And he will cause those that are very high to lie low.

v34 He will cut down the trees in the forest with an axe. Also, (the great trees from) Lebanon will fall down.

Chapter 11

The good king, called the Branch, that God will send

v1 The part of the Tree of Jesse that remains will start to grow. Then a Branch will grow from the part of it that is under the ground.

v2 The Spirit of the *LORD will come on him. (It will be like this:)

·           a *spirit that knows what is right; and (a *spirit that) knows what things mean

·           a *spirit that tells people the (right) thing to do and that has authority

·           a *spirit that knows everything and that is afraid of the *LORD.

v3 To obey the *LORD will give pleasure (to the Branch). He will not decide about things (only) with what his eyes see. (He will not) decide (only) with what his ears hear.

v4 But what he decides about poor people will be with *justice. Also, he will decide about people who are not powerful. He will be fair. He will *punish bad people and his words will kill them.

v5 (He will wear) true *justice like a belt round him. (He will) also (wear) as clothes (the fact that he is) always there.

v6 *Wolves will live with young sheep (and will not eat them)! And *leopards will lie down with young goats! Young cows and *lions will feed together and young children will lead them!

v7 Cows and *bears will feed (together) and their young (animals) will lie down together. And *lions will eat dry grass like cows.

v8 And a small baby will play (safely) near the hole where a dangerous snake (lives). And a young child (will be safe) if he puts his hand on to the home of (another) dangerous snake.

v9 They will not hurt nor kill (each other) in all my *holy mountain. Then the earth shall be as full of facts about the *LORD as water fills the sea.

v10 In that day, the part (of the tree) of Jesse will be a like a sign to (all) peoples. Other countries will come to him. And the place where he lives will be *wonderful.

v11 And on that day, my *Lord will do something for the second time. He will save the *remnant of his people that are still (alive. He will take them) from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Elam, Shinar, Hamath and from countries by the sea.

v12 (The *Lord) will lift up a sign for these countries (to see). He will bring together the people from Israel (that Assyria) took away. He will bring back the *exiles of Judah from all over the earth.

v13 No longer will Ephraim not like (Judah) and Judah will not attack (Ephraim) any longer. Ephraim will no longer want what Judah has. Also, Judah will not cause trouble for Ephraim again.

v14 But together they will attack the low hills of Philistia to the west. They will beat the people to the east (of the River Jordan). They will fight against Edom and Moab, and the people in Ammon will obey them.

v15 The *LORD completely destroyed part of the Sea of Egypt. He will lift his hand over the River (Euphrates). Then he will send a hot wind that burns things. It will make (the river) into 7 streams, so that people can cross it with dry feet.

v16 And there will be a good road from Assyria for the *remnant. (They are the *LORD’s) people that remain. It will be (as good a road) as when Israel came up from the country called Egypt.

Chapter 12

Isaiah’s *psalm (or song to God)

v1 You will say in that day, ‘I *praise you, *LORD. You were angry with me, but now, you are not angry (with me). Now you are being kind to me.

v2 Listen! God has made me safe! I will continue to believe (in him). And I will not be afraid because the *LORD, the *LORD, has made me strong. He is the person that I am singing about. He has made me safe.

v3 You will get water happily from the wells. (This water) will make you safe.’

v4 And you will say in that day, ‘*Praise the *LORD! Shout (aloud) his name! Tell everybody what God has done. Cause them to remember that he is very great.

v5 Sing *psalms to the *LORD because he has done *wonderful things! Cause everyone in the world to know it!

v6 Everyone that lives in Zion, shout! And sing because you are so happy! The *Holy One of Israel is great and he is (living) with you.’

Chapter 13

God will destroy Babylon

v1 (These are) serious words (about) Babylon that Isaiah the son of Amoz ‘saw’.

The word ‘saw’ here means ‘understood’. He may also have ‘seen’ something that God showed to him.

v2 Lift up a sign on an empty hill. Shout aloud to them and lift a hand! Then they will go through the gates of the kings.

v3 I myself have sent my *holy ones. I have told them what they must do. Also, my brave soldiers (must say) that I am very angry. I have sent them. (They are) my *proud (soldiers). Nobody has ever beaten them.

Verse 3 ‘holy ones’ here may mean *angels. Or it may mean the soldiers that God will use.

v4 (Listen to) the sound of a very big crowd! (They are) people (that are) on the mountains! (Listen to) the sound of these people. They are shouting while they come together from many countries! The *LORD of Many (Armies) is preparing an army ready for war.

v5 People are coming from a country that is far away. (They are coming) from the ends of the skies. The *LORD (is coming) with arms, (because he is) angry. He will destroy the whole country (of Babylon).

v6 Weep, because the day of the *LORD is near. It will happen when *Shaddai destroys (your country).

v7 Everybody’s hands will become weak because of this. And every human heart will fail,

v8 and they will be very much afraid. They will hurt and they will be in much pain. They will be (afraid) like a woman that is having (a baby). They will look at each other and their faces will frighten each other.

v9 Look! The day of the *LORD will happen (soon!) (It will be) cruel. (The *LORD) will be angry. He will be like an angry fire! It will make the country (of Babylon) empty and it will kill (all the) *sinners in it.

v10 Yes! The stars in the skies, all of them, will give no light. When the sun appears (in the morning), it will still be dark. The moon will not shine.

v11 I will cause very bad things to happen to the world. And (I will *punish) bad people for their *sins. I will not let *proud people think that they are better (than anyone else). And I will beat strong people that hurt (weak people).

v12 I will make men harder to find than the best gold. And men and women will be more difficult to find than gold from Ophir.

v13 So I will cause the skies to move. The earth will move. And (people) will see how angry the *LORD of Many (Armies) is.

v14 And people will look at each other and they will run away to their own country. They will be like wild animals that run away from the hunter. Or (they will be) like sheep with nobody to lead them.

v15 (The foreign army) will (kill) with sharp knives anyone that tries to run away. And they will kill with the *sword anyone that they catch.

v16 They will break young children into pieces while (the children’s parents) watch. They will rob the people’s homes and they will have sex with their wives.

v17 Look, I will cause the Medes to come (to fight) against (Babylon). (The Medes) do not ask for *silver or gold.

v18 Their bows will kill the young men. They will not be kind to babies. And they will not seem sorry for the children.

v19 And Babylon will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them. (This will happen even if other) countries think, ‘Babylon is beautiful.’ The people in *Chaldea are *proud of (Babylon).

v20 People will never live there again. And none of its children will ever live there again. No Arab will put his *tent there. No farmers will cause their animals to lie down there.

v21 Only wild animals will lie down there. Its houses will be full of *owls that scream. And *ostriches will live there. Wild goats will dance about in it.

v22 *Hyenas will make a noise in its tall buildings and *jackals will live in its beautiful *palaces. (The Medes) will soon destroy it. It does not have many more days.

Chapter 14

A few words about Israel

v1 The *LORD will be sorry for *Jacob and he will choose Israel again. Then he will give them rest in their own country. Also, people from a foreign country will join themselves to the people of Jacob. They will really become united with them. v2 And the (foreign) people will take the people (of Israel) and bring them to their own country (Israel). Then the people of Israel will rule the foreign people in the *LORD’s country. They (the foreign people) will become male and female slaves. So the people that made (Israel) *prisoners, will be prisoners themselves! (Israel) will rule over the people that were cruel to them.

More about Babylon

v3 On that day, this will happen. The *LORD will give you rest from these things:

·           all your pain and illnesses

·           the cruel way that (your enemies) caused you to work.

v4 You will laugh at the king of Babylon. Then you will say (to him), ‘Now you cannot be cruel to us, nor can you attack us!

v5 The *LORD has destroyed the authority of bad people. He has removed the power of the rulers (of Babylon).

v6 (The rulers of Babylon) hit many people because they were angry with them. They never stopped hitting them. They were very angry, so they attacked (other) countries. They never stopped fighting them.

v7 (But now) there is no war in the whole world and it can rest. Everyone is singing (because they are so happy)!

v8 Even the *pine trees and the *cedar trees in Lebanon are happy. (They say this) to you, (king of Babylon): “Since (the *LORD) beat you, nobody has come to cut us down!”

v9 When you arrive there, you will get much interest from (the people in) *Sheol. People there will (come) to meet you! You will wake up the Rephaim, who were all leaders on the earth. (They will come) to say, “welcome” to you. All who were kings of the their countries will stand up from their seats.

v10 All of them will speak to you and say this. “Even you have become as weak as we (are)! You have become like us!”

v11 Your *pride will bring you down to *Sheol with the noise of your *harps. Under you will be a bed of *maggots and (over you) a blanket of *worms.’

More words about Babylon

Some Christians believe that these words are also about *Satan.

v12                              ‘Look at you! You have fallen from the skies!

                                                You shine. (You are called the) Son of the Dawn!

                        You made many countries low, but now you are low yourself!

v13                  You said in your mind, “I will go up into the *heavens.

                                    I will put my seat above the stars of God.

                        I will sit in the mountain in the far north with God’s leaders.

v14      I will rise above the tops of the clouds. I will be like the *Most High.”

v15                  But he has brought you down to *Sheol, to the deepest *Pit!’

More words about Babylon

v16 ‘Those (people) that see you will really look at you. They will think this about you. “This is the man that caused the earth to move. He caused countries to *shake.

v17 (This is the man) that made the world like a *desert. He destroyed its cities. He did not let his *prisoners go (back to their) homes.”

v18 All the kings of all the countries – yes! all of them – lie down in a good place. Each (king lies) in his own *grave.

v19 But you, they will throw you out without a *grave! You will be like a branch (that people throw) away. Or (you will be like) the clothes of a dead man that a *sword has cut. (You will be like) someone that fell on to the stones in a big hole. Or (you will be like) a dead body that people have kicked.

v20 They will not bury you with the other (kings of Babylon). Here are the reasons:

·           You have destroyed your country.

·           You have killed your (own) people.

Nobody will ever remember again this son of very bad people!

v21 Prepare a place where they will kill his children. (They will kill them) because their parents *sinned. Then his children will not rule the world or fill it with cities.’

v22 ‘I will fight against them’, says the *LORD of Many Armies. The *LORD of Many Armies also says, ‘I will remove the name of Babylon. (I will remove its) people that remain, their children and their children’s children.’ v23 The *LORD of Many Armies says this also: ‘I will make (Babylon) a place where *owls live. Also, (it will be a place) where there are pools of water. And I will take it away completely (like a man sweeps things away) with a brush.’

A few words about Assyria

v24 The *LORD of Many Armies has *made a serious promise. ‘It will happen as my *plan says. I will really do what I have decided to do. v25 I will kill the man from Assyria in my country. Also, I will put him under my feet on my mountains. Then, he will not be cruel to my people. Also, they will not have to carry his heavy weights again.’ v26 This is the plan that (he) made for the whole earth. And this is the hand that (he) lifted over all the *nations. v27 This is the plan of the *LORD of Many Armies. Nobody can change it. He has lifted up his hand. Nobody can change this.

A few words about Philistia

v28 In the year that King Ahaz died, (Isaiah) received this message:

v29 ‘Do not feel happy, you people in Philistia. (God) has broken the stick that hit you. But from that snake a more dangerous snake will come. And from that (snake) will come a snake that can fly!

v30 But poor people will feed their (animals) that were born first. And people that need (help) will sleep safely. Then I will cause your people (in Philistia) to die because there is no food. And I will kill the people that remain.

v31 Gate (of the city), cry! City (itself), scream! Move away, all you people in Philistia! (Do this) because smoke will come from the north. Everybody in (that) army will march quickly.’

Verse 31 The gate in a city was the place where important people met. So the word ‘gate’ may mean these important people here.

v32 ‘What shall we say to the people that bring messages from the government? Say that the *LORD has built Zion. And (say) that his poor people will be safe there.’

Chapter 15

Words about Moab

v1 (This is) a serious message (about) Moab.

            It is true! In one night (an enemy) destroyed Ar (and) Moab made no noise.

            It is true! In one night (an enemy) destroyed Kir in Moab (and Moab made) no noise.

v2 (The people in) Dibon have gone up to their *temple to weep. (They have gone up to) the high places. Moab is crying about Nebo and Medeba. Every head is bald and (they have) cut off every beard.

v3 They are wearing hairy cloth in the streets. On the roofs (of their houses) they are weeping. And in the open places (in their towns they are weeping). *Tears cover their faces.

v4 Then (the people in) Heshbon and Elealeh cried aloud. (People) as far away as Jahaz heard the sound! The soldiers of Moab cry aloud (because they are afraid). The minds (of Moab’s people) are afraid.

v5 Inside, I feel like a man who is crying aloud for Moab! Its people have run away as far as Zoar (and) Eglath Shelishijah.

            It is true! They weep while they climb up the hill to Luhith.

            It is true! On the road to Horonaim they shout aloud, ‘(An enemy) has destroyed (us)!’

‘Inside, I feel like a man who is crying aloud for Moab!’ Isaiah means that he feels very sad.

v6 It is true! It is not wet; it is dry in (the Valley of) Nimrim.

            It is true! The grass is dead. Nothing new is growing. (And) there is nothing (that is) green.

v7 So, they are carrying away over the Wadi Arabim whatever they found still (in the fields). And they are carrying away what they have saved.

The Wadi Arabim was a small river.

v8 It is true! The sounds (of people that ask for help) reach the edges of Moab. (People) as far as Eglaim heard (Moab’s) sad songs. (Moab’s) sad songs reached Beer Elim.

v9 It is true! Blood fills the waters of Dimon.

            It is true! More (bad) things will happen to Dimon. A *lion will wait for those that run away from Moab. And (it will wait) for those that remain (in the) country.

Chapter 16

More about Moab

v1 Send young sheep from the ruler of the country (to Jerusalem). Send them from Sela across the *desert to the mountain of the *Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem).

v2 The women from Moab (are crossing) the River Arnon. (They are) like birds that are learning to fly. (The mother bird) has pushed them out from their home.

v3 Tell us what we should do! Be fair about what you say! Cause your shadow (over us) to seem like it is night in the middle of the day! Hide the *refugees! Do not show (to their enemies) the people that have run away!

v4 Let the people from Moab who are running away stay with you. Hide them from (the enemy that is) killing them.

            It is true! People will not be cruel to those who are weak. People will not destroy things. People that fight will *disappear from the country.

v5 Someone from David’s family will build a *kingdom. The man that rules it will be fair and honest. He will be a fair *judge. He will decide rightly. And he will quickly cause (his people) to do what is right.

v6 We have heard about the *pride of Moab. (Moab was) very *proud. In its *pride, (Moab) thought that it was better (than other people). And Moab said things that were not kind (to them).

v7 So Moab weeps. All Moab weeps for itself. Sing a sad song. And cry for the cakes made with very dry grapes from Kir Hareseth!

v8 It is true! There are no (fruits) in the fields in Heshbon. And (there is nothing on) the *vine of Sibmah. The rulers of (other) countries have destroyed its branches. (The branches) reached to Jazer (in the north-west) and as far as the *desert (in the east). Its new branches grew and they crossed over (the Dead) Sea.

v9 Because of this, I weep for the *vine of Sibmah, as Jazer weeps. I put my tears all over you, Heshbon and Elealeh.

            It is true! The noise of war has fallen on your plants and on your fruit.

Verses 8 and 9 Isaiah seems to write about the vines in Sibmah like they were one big vine.

v10 Nobody is really happy in the fields. Nobody sings or shouts (because they are happy) in the *vineyards. Nobody jumps on the *grapes in the places where they make *wine. I have caused the noise to stop.

v11 So, I cry deep inside me for Moab. It is like the sad sound of a *harp. And I am hurting for Kir Hareseth.

v12 And when the people in Moab come to their high place, they will become very tired. When they come to pray at their *temple, nothing will happen.

v13 Those are the words that the *LORD has already spoken about Moab. v14 But now the *LORD says, ‘In three years, everybody will laugh at Moab. Count these years like (the years that) people pay a worker. Then (God) will make all Moab’s many *proud people *humble. And only a few of them will remain, a very small number.’

Chapter 17

Words about Damascus

v1 (This is a) serious message (about) Damascus. Look! (The enemy) broke the city called Damascus into a lot of stones.

v2 Nobody lives in the cities of Aroer. They have become (places) where groups (of animals) lie down. Nobody makes them afraid.

v3 There are no strong cities in Ephraim and no kings in Damascus. The few people that remain in Aram are as great as the people of Israel! (This is what) the *LORD of Many Armies is saying.

v4 On that day the *LORD removed the things that *Jacob was *proud of. His fat body became thin!

v5 And it was like when a farmer got all the *grain. He did it while it was still (in a field). With his arm he cut off the fruit from the plants. Then it was like when someone *gleans some of the grain in the Valley of Rephaim.

v6 There was not much in (Israel). It was like someone that hit an *olive tree. There were only two or three small olives on the highest branch. And (there were only) 4 or 5 fruits on the branches of a fruit tree. (This is what) the *LORD, the God of Israel, (is) saying.

v7 On a day (like) that, people should obey their *Maker. They should turn to the *Holy One of Israel.

v8 They should not think that the *altars (can help them). Their hands have made (these altars). They should not turn to what their fingers have made. These are (*images of the female god called) Asherah. And the altars (are where they burn) *incense.

v9 On that day, (Israel’s) strong cities became like empty cities. (They were like) those (other) empty forests and woods. People had left them when Israel (first attacked them). So (the cities) were empty groups of stones, v10 for these reasons. You forgot the God that made you safe. You did not remember the Rock that hid you (from danger). You planted gardens for a false god and you planted *vines for a foreign god.

Verse 10 ‘the Rock’ means God.

v11 So, there were no fruits. On the day that you planted them, you caused them to grow well. They had flowers on the morning that you planted them! But all this finished in a day that was very sad. And (there was) pain that nothing could take away.

v12 Oh, (listen)! (The people in) many countries are *roaring. They are making a noise like an angry sea! And (listen)! The (people in those) countries are roaring, they are roaring like great amounts of water!

v13 The (people in those) countries are *roaring; they are roaring like great amounts of water! But when (the *LORD) will shout at them, they will run far away. The wind will blow them away like dead bits of plants on the hills. Or it will blow them away like dirt that blows about before a storm.

v14 Look! In the evening everyone is very much afraid. And in the morning nobody is there! This is what will happen to anyone that takes things from us. (It will happen to anyone who) robs us.

Chapter 18

Words about Cush

v1 Oh! (There is) a country (where the) ships have *wings. It is near the rivers of Cush.

v2 It is sending messages by people in boats (that they) made from *papyrus. They sail on the top of the waters. Go, take a message quickly. (Go to) a country where (the people) are tall. And their skins are not hairy. (It is a country where everyone), both near and far, is afraid of its people. The country is very strong and rivers cut the land into parts.

There were two places called Cush 2700 years ago. One is near Ethiopia, the other near Iraq. Most Bible students think that here it is Ethiopia. We cannot be sure.

v3 Everybody that lives (in the) world and (on the) earth, (listen to this). You will see a sign on the tops of the mountains. You will hear the sound of a *trumpet.

v4 This (is what) the *LORD said to me. ‘I will watch quietly from my place. I will be as quiet as the heat that shines from the sun. (I will be as quiet as) the *mist that rises at *harvest time.’

v5 Then, before the *harvest, (the *LORD) will cut off the new parts of the plants. He will use a special knife. He will cut off the wide branches and take them away. (He will do this) after the flowers have gone. But (he will do it) before the fruit is ready to pick.

v6 (He) will leave them all for the birds that catch small animals in the mountains to eat. (He will leave them) to the wild animals on the land. The birds (will feed) on them all the summer. And the wild animals will (feed) on them all the winter.

v7 At that time (people) brought gifts to the *LORD of Many Armies. The people are tall and their skins are not hairy. Everyone both near and far is afraid of these people. The country is very strong, and rivers cut the land into parts. (They will come) to a place where the Name of the *LORD of Many Armies is. It is a mountain called Zion.

Chapter 19

Words about Egypt

v1 (This is a) serious message (about) Egypt.

Look! The *LORD will come to Egypt. He will ride on a cloud that will move quickly. The false gods of Egypt will be afraid when he comes. Also, the heart of Egypt will turn into water inside.

‘the heart of Egypt will turn into water inside’ means that all the people in Egypt will be very much afraid.

v2 ‘I will cause Egypt’s men (to fight) against Egypt’s men. A man will fight against his brother. A man will fight against the man that lives near him. A city (will fight) against a city and a *kingdom will fight against a *kingdom.

v3 (I will) pour out the *spirit of Egypt from inside it. And I will confuse their plans. (So) they will ask (for help from) their false gods. And (they will ask for help from) the *spirits of dead people, and from *mediums and from *wizards.

v4 And I will give Egypt into the power of a cruel master. And a powerful king will rule over them.’ (This is what) the *Lord, the *LORD of Many Armies says.

v5 And the waters of the sea will become dry. And the river will have no water and so it will become dry.

v6 And the *canals will have less (water) and they will have a bad smell. And the streams of Egypt will become dry. The *reeds and the other plants that grow by the river will die.

v7 (And) the plants at the side of the river (Nile) will die. And (the plants near) where the river goes into the sea (will die). Everything (that people) plant by the river will become dry. (The wind will) blow it away and (there will be) nothing there.

v8 And the fishers will be very sad. Then, everyone that throws a bent piece of metal and a line into the river will cry. Also, those people that put something on the water to catch fish will have nothing (to eat).

v9 The people that work with the *flax will not know what to do. The women that comb (the flax) will not be happy. Neither will the men that make it into cloth (be happy).

v10 This will destroy the *spirit of the workers (in Egypt). Everyone that works for money (will feel) sick inside them.

v11 The leaders of Zoan are really fools! The best people in Pharaoh’s government say that he must do silly things! You cannot say to Pharaoh, ‘I am a son of a man who knows nearly everything. (I am) a son of (someone who was) king a long time ago.’

v12 Where, then, (Pharaoh), are your clever men? (Or, Pharaoh, you have no clever men!) Cause them to tell you now what they know. They know what the *LORD of Many Armies will do against Egypt.

v13 The leaders in Zoan have made themselves into fools. The leaders of Noph have confused each other. The leaders of (these) groups (of people) have caused Egypt to choose wrongly.

v14 The *LORD has mixed into the people (of Egypt) something that confuses their *spirits. In everything that they do they choose wrongly.) They choose wrongly like a drunk that is being sick.

v15 There is nothing that anybody in Egypt can do. They may be like a head or like a tail, a branch on a *palm tree or a *reed. (There is nothing that they can do.)

v16 In that day the people in Egypt will be afraid, like women. They will be afraid when the *LORD of Many Armies uses his power against them. v17 The (name of the) country called Judah will frighten the people in Egypt very much. When people say (the name Judah), they will be afraid of the *LORD of Many Armies. They will be afraid of what he has decided to do against them.

v18 In that day 5 cities in the country called Egypt will speak the language of *Canaan. (The people in them) will promise to obey the *LORD of Many Armies. One of the towns will be called Sun City.

v19 In that day there will be an *altar to the *LORD in the middle of the country called Egypt. Also, (there will be) a tall stone to the *LORD at the edge (of Egypt). v20 Those (two things) will be like notices to tell (everyone in) the country called Egypt about the *LORD of Many Armies. (The people in Egypt) will pray to the *LORD because other people are cruel to them. Then, this is what he will do. He will send someone to make them safe. And he will send a *judge who will remove the danger from them. v21 And the *LORD will know the people in Egypt. And also, the people in Egypt will know the *LORD in that day. And they will *worship (the *LORD) and they will offer gifts to him. They will *make promises to the *LORD. And they will do what they have promised to do. v22 And (if) the *LORD should send to Egypt a *plague, he (really) will hurt them. But then he will make them well again. And then they will return to the *LORD. And he will answer their *prayers and he will make them well.

v23 In that day there will be a road from Egypt to Assyria. (People from) Assyria will go to Egypt and (people from) Egypt will go to Assyria. People from Egypt and Assyria will *worship together.

v24 In that day Israel will be the third (country) with Egypt and Assyria. Good things will happen in the middle of the country. v25 The *LORD of Many Armies will do good things for them. He will say, ‘I will do good things for my people Egypt, and Assyria, which I have made. And I will do good things for Israel that I have chosen.’

Chapter 20

Words about Egypt and Cush

v1 In the year (711 *B.C.) (the man called the) Tartan came to Ashdod. (This was) when Sargon, the king of Assyria, sent him. He fought against Ashdod and he destroyed it. v2 In that time the *LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz. (He) said, ‘Go and take the hairy clothes off your body and the shoes from your feet.’ And (Isaiah) did this. He walked about without clothes and without shoes. v3 And the *LORD said, ‘My servant Isaiah walked without clothes and without shoes for three years. It was a message and a *prophecy against Egypt and Cush. v4 This is what the king of Assyria (will do). He will take away (people) from Egypt as *prisoners. And (he will take people) from Cush as *exiles. Young people and old people will go. They will have no clothes or shoes. (People) will see their bottoms (where the backs of the legs and the body join). This will make the people in Egypt ashamed. v5 They will not be very happy and they will be ashamed. They had hoped that Cush (would help them). And they had said that Egypt (would help them also). v6 The people that live along this coast will say in that day, “Look! This happened to the people that we hoped (would help us). We went to them for help. (We did this) to get away from the king of Assyria. And now, we do not know how to get away (from him).” ’

Chapter 21

Words about Babylon

v1 (This is) a serious message about the *desert near the sea. It comes from the *desert. (It comes) from a frightening place. It is like a storm from the *Negev *desert.

Verse 1 Bible students do not know where this desert was. It was either south of Jerusalem, or south of Babylon. This translation believes that it was Babylon.

v2 I received a difficult message. The robber robs and the destroyer destroys. Elam, go up (to Babylon)! Media, attack (Babylon)! (The *LORD says,) ‘I will stop (Babylon) crying.’

v3 (All) this hurts me. Bad pains attack me. (They are) like the bad pains that a woman feels. (She feels them) when she has a baby. What I hear bends me over. And that is why I cannot listen. What I see frightens me. And that is why I cannot look.

v4 It confuses my mind. I am very much afraid. I wanted a quiet evening. But now that quiet evening has become (a time) when I am very much afraid.

v5 They prepare a special meal. They put down the carpets. They eat and drink. Officers, make your *shields ready!

v6 This is what the *Lord said to me. ‘Go! And cause somebody to stand and to watch (what will happen). (Ask) him to report what he sees.

v7 If he reports (one of these) then cause him to watch.

·           a rider

·           a pair of (men on) horses

·           a rider on a *donkey

·           a rider on a *camel.

And he must watch very well.’

v8 Then the man that watched shouted. (He said), ‘*Lord, I am standing every day on a building (from which I can see everything). I am standing at my place every night.

v9 And look! Someone is coming! (It is) a rider, (it is) a man with a pair of horses!’ (The man) reports and says this. ‘(An enemy) has destroyed Babylon! (The enemy) has destroyed it! All the *images of its people’s gods lie in pieces on the ground!’

v10 (Judah), they have hurt you. They have hurt you very much. (But) I have told you what I have heard from the *LORD of Everything. (He is) the God of Israel.

Words about Edom

v11 (This is) a serious message about Dumah. Someone is shouting to me from Seir. (They are asking,) ‘Keeper, how much more of the night (is there)? Keeper, how much more of the night (is there)?’

v12 The keeper said, ‘The morning will come, (but) so will the night. If you want to ask (again, then) come back. Come (and) ask!’

Words about Arabia

v13 (This is) a serious message about Arabia. *Caravans of people from Dedan, you will find a safe place (behind) the bushes in the *wild country.

v14 (There) you will give water to (people) who need a drink. People that live in Tema will give bread to the *refugees.

v15 (Do this) because they are running away from (all this):

·           *swords

·           swords (that are) ready to fight

·           bows (that soldiers have) bent

·           the dangerous *battle.

v16 This is what my *Lord has said to me. ‘In less than a year, all the important people in Kedar will have gone. A servant (that someone has) paid counts a year. Count the year like that. v17 Only a few of the men that use bows (from the) soldiers of the men from Kedar will remain. (This will happen) because the *LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.’

Chapter 22

Words about Jerusalem

Words about the city itself

v1 (This is) a serious message about the Valley (in Jerusalem that Isaiah ‘saw’) in a *vision. Something is the matter with you. You have all gone up on to the roofs of your houses!

The word ‘saw’ here means ‘understood’. He may also have ‘seen’ something that God showed to him.

v2 (Your) city is full of noise. And (it is full of people that are) rushing about. The town is having a party! The *sword did not kill the people that are dead. They did not die in a war.

v3 (The enemy) caught all your leaders that ran away. (The enemy) did not have to use one bow. Some of them ran a long way away, but (the enemy) caught them all!

v4 So I said, ‘Leave me alone! Let me cry the saddest *tears. Do not try to make me happy, because (the enemy will) kill many of my people.

v5 (This is) because my *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will have a day of noise. (It will be) in the Valley of *Vision (in Jerusalem). There will be feet that are running and (it will) confuse people. (The enemy) will destroy walls and people will shout (for help) to the hills.’

v6 (People will say), ‘(People from) Elam carried baskets of *arrows. (There were) men with *chariots and horses and (soldiers from) Kir lifted up (their) *shields.’

v7 So your best valleys will be full of *chariots and men on horses will attack (your city’s) gates.

v8 (The *LORD) will take away from Judah the place where its people hide themselves. So, in that day, you will look for arms in the House of the Forest (in Jerusalem).

v9 You will see that there are many holes in the walls of the City of David. Also, you will get water from the Lower Pool.

v10 Then you will count the houses in Jerusalem. And you will knock down the houses to make the walls (of Jerusalem) stronger.

v11 You may have built a place inside the walls (of Jerusalem) to put water from the Old Pool. But you have not looked to its *Maker. And you did not see the person that made plans for it long ago.

v12 And in that day my *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will ask for (people) to weep and to cry aloud. He will ask them to cut the hair off their heads. Also, they must wear hairy clothes.

v13 But look! (Everybody is) happy, they are very happy. They are killing cows and sheep. They will eat meat and drink. (They are saying,) ‘We will eat and drink, because tomorrow we will die.’

v14 But this is what the *LORD of Everything has told me. ‘(I will) certainly not excuse this *sin until you (all) die.’ (This is what) my *Lord, the *LORD of Everything said.

Words about one of the leaders in Jerusalem called Shebna

v15 This (is what) my *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, said. (He said,) ‘Stand up and go to this (man) Shebna. He has authority in (the king’s) house.

v16 (Say to him,) “You should not be here. (God did not say) that you (could be) here. You have cut (in the rock) here for yourself a *tomb. You have cut a tomb in the side of the hill. You have cut for yourself a place in the rock to put your dead body.

v17 Look! The *LORD will throw you; he will throw you (away, you) strong man! (First) he will hold on to you in his strong hand.

v18 (Then) he will make you like a ball; he will make you like a ball. (Then he will) throw you like a ball into a wide country. You will die there. (There) your great *chariots will make your master’s family ashamed.”

v19 I will remove you from your job. And he will throw you down from the place where you are an officer.’

Words about another leader, called Eliakim

v20 ‘And this is what will happen in that day. I will tell my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah that he must come.

v21 And I will put on him your (Shebna’s) special clothes and I will tie your special belt round him. And I will give him your authority. Then he (Eliakim) will become (like) a father to everyone that lives in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah.

v22 And I will put the key of the family of David on his shoulder. What he opens, nobody will close. What he closes, nobody will open.

v23 And I will fix him in place (like a) strong bent piece of metal. And he will make his father’s house famous.

v24 But the whole weight of his father’s family will hang on him (like that piece of metal). All his children and their children, like cups and bottles that contain things, (will hang on him).’ v25 (This is what) the *LORD of Everything says: ‘In that day the bent piece of metal that (they) fixed strongly, will not hold. (I will) cut it down and it will fall. And the weight on it will fall off because the *LORD has spoken (it).’

Chapter 23

Words about Tyre

v1 (This is) a serious message about Tyre.

Cry aloud, (you people in) the ships (that go) to Tarshish. (An enemy) has destroyed it. There is no house to come home to. They heard about this in the country called Cyprus.

v2 Weep, (you people) that live on the island. (Weep, you) *merchants of Sidon, that the sailors made rich.

v3 *Grain came from the River Nile on the great seas. The fruits from the River Nile brought money (to Phoenicia). So it became a market place for (many) countries.

v4 (You people that live in) Sidon, be ashamed. (Be ashamed,) because the sea has spoken. The power of the sea, (Tyre), has said, ‘I have not been *in labour. (Children) have not been born. I have not had sons nor been a parent to daughters.’

v5 When (the people in) Egypt receive the news, they will be in much pain at the report from Tyre.

v6 Cross over to Tarshish! Cry aloud, you people that live on the island.

v7 (This is) the city where you had many parties. It is old, very old. (Now) their feet have taken its people to live in countries that are far away.

v8 People do not know who made these plans against Tyre. (Tyre is the city that) gives *crowns (to people). Its *merchants are like kings. Its merchants are famous in (all) the world.

v9 The *LORD of Everything thought that he should do this. (He did not want) people to feel more important than they were. And (he wanted) to cause all the famous people in the world not to feel important. (That is why he did it.)

v10 Travel through your country, people in Tarshish, as (easily as the people in Egypt travel along) the River Nile. (Travel) because now, nobody will stop you.

v11 The *LORD has lifted his hand over the sea. He made *kingdoms afraid. He told (his armies) what they must do in Phoenicia. (They had to) destroy all (Phoenicia’s) strong buildings.

v12 Then he said, ‘Do not continue your parties. (The enemy) has destroyed you, you people that live in Sidon. Get up! Cross over to Cyprus. Even there you will not find rest for yourself.’

v13 Look at the country called Babylon! Its people are all dead! The (armies) from Assyria made it a place for wild animals (to live in). They (the men from Assyria) built small mountains (of earth that they climbed on) to attack it. They took everything away from its strong buildings and they destroyed (Babylon).

v14 Cry aloud, you ships of Tarshish. (Your enemy) has destroyed your strong port.

v15 At that time (people will) forget Tyre for 70 years. This is how long one king lives. At the end of 70 years something will happen to Tyre. It is like the song about the *prostitute.

v16      ‘*Prostitute that (people) have forgotten,

                        walk about the city with your *harp.

                                    Play it well. Sing many songs.

            Then (people) will remember you again.’

v17 At the end of 70 years the *LORD will be kind to Tyre. It will ‘become a *prostitute’ again! (This means that) its *merchants will go to all the *kingdoms of the world on the earth. v18 And this will happen: All the money that (Tyre) gets and all the *profit will go to the *LORD. (Tyre) will not hide it or store it. Rather, the *profit (will go) to the people that live near the *LORD. (They will have) plenty of food and good clothes.

About Isaiah chapters 24-27

Most English translations call the last book in the Bible, ‘Revelation’. Apocalypse is the Greek name of the book called Revelation. (Greek is a language.)  ‘Revelation’ means ‘things that somebody shows to us’. In the Book of Revelation, those things are about the end of the world. Some Bible students say that chapters 24-27 of Isaiah are also about the end of the world. They are sometimes called ‘little apocalypse’ because they are shorter than Revelation. What happened to ‘the country’ called Judah or Babylon will happen to the whole world. Bible students are not sure whether ‘the country’ means Judah or Babylon or somewhere else.

Chapter 24

Things that will happen to bad people

v1 Understand (this)! The *LORD will make the country empty and he will destroy it. He will destroy the ground. And he will move the people that live in it in all directions.

v2 It will be the same for (all these people):

·           the people and the *priest

·           the servant and his master

·           the girl that is a servant and her *mistress

·           the buyer and the seller

·           the lender and the *borrower

·           the person that has lent money and the person that has *borrowed money.

v3 (Enemies) will completely destroy the land. (They) will take everything from it. The *LORD says that (this will happen). (So it will happen.) v4 The land will be dry and it will die. The world will become weak and it will die. The important people in the country will become weak.

v5 The people that live in the country have made it dirty. (This happened) for these reasons:

·           They have not obeyed (God’s) rules.

·           They have changed (God’s) rules.

·           They have decided to forget (God’s) *covenant that will always be true.

v6 That is why a *curse is destroying the country. And the people that live in it are hurting. This is because they have done wrong things. (Something) burns the people that live in the country. Only a few of them remain.

v7 The *wine dries up and the *vine dies. The people that want to drink (the wine) are not happy.

v8 The happy sound of the *tambourine stops. The noise from parties has finished. The *harp does not make any happy music.

v9 People do not sing while they drink *wine. The beer does not taste nice to those that drink it.

v10 (Enemies) have destroyed the city (so that) it is without shape. (People) locked every house so that (the enemy) could not get in.

v11 People shout for *wine in the streets. Everybody that is happy becomes sad. Nobody in the country laughs.

v12 (Enemies) have destroyed the city. (They) knocked down the gates (of the city) and they destroyed them.

v13 This will happen through all the country and among (other) countries. They will be empty like an *olive tree that people hit. Or (they will be empty like a *vine) with a few *grapes (that people have) not picked.

The song of the few people that remain (verses 14-16a)

v14 These (are the people) that use their voices to shout aloud! From (the sea in) the west they say that the *LORD is great!

v15 So, in (the countries in) the east give *praise to the *LORD. (Give praise) to the *LORD God of Israel. (Give praise) from the islands in the sea.

v16a From every part of the country we hear songs that give *praise to the *Righteous One.

Isaiah’s sad song (verses 16b-23)

v16b But I said, ‘I have become thin and weak! I have become thin and weak! I am so sad! Bad people are doing bad things. Yes, the bad people are being really very bad!’

v17 People in the country, *terror, a big hole in the ground and a *trap will kill you!

v18 The person that runs away from the sound of *terror will fall into the big hole. A *trap will catch the person that climbs out of the big hole. (It will happen) because (someone has) opened the windows of the sky. Also, (they have) moved what is under the land.

v19 All this has completely broken the land. It has torn the land into pieces. It has moved the land very much.

v20 The earth walks like a man that is a drunk. It moves about like a *tent (in the wind). The wrong things that (the people in the country) have done feel heavy upon the country. So it will be like someone who falls down. And it will be like someone who never gets up again.

v21 On that day the *LORD will *punish (anything with) power in the skies above. And (he will punish) the kings on the land below.

v22 (The *LORD) will bring them together like *prisoners in a hole in the ground. He will lock them in a prison and after a long time he will *punish them.

v23 The white (light of the moon) will *disappear. And the heat (of the sun) will become cold. (This is) because the *LORD of Everything will be king on the hill called Zion. Then, his leaders in Jerusalem will see that he is very great.

Chapter 25

A song that gives *praise to God, because God killed the enemies

v1 *LORD, you are my God and I will give you *praise. I will say that you are very great. And I will give praise to your name, because you have done *wonderful things. You said long ago what you would do. And you have done it. (You were) honest and (your promises) were true.

v2 And you have broken the city into a hill (of stones). (You have) destroyed the strong city. The strong city that foreign people (live in) has gone. Nobody will build it again.

Verse 2 Bible students cannot be sure which city this is.

v3 So, a strong country will give you *praise. The city in a cruel country will be afraid of you.

v4 (This is) because you (*LORD) have made (your) poor people safe. (You have) made safe the people that needed (help) in their trouble. (You) hid them from the storm (and you were their) shade from the heat. The attack of the cruel people was like a storm that knocked against a wall.

v5 (And the storm was) like heat in a dry sandy place. You, (*LORD), stopped the noise of the *foreigners. The shade of a cloud makes less the heat (of the sun). In the same way, you took away the songs of the enemies. They thought that they had beaten us. (That is why they sang.)

v6 The *LORD of Everything will make a *feast for all people upon this mountain (in Jerusalem). It will be a feast of the very best meat, a feast with the very best *wine. (It will be a feast) of the very best meat that makes people strong. It will be a feast with the best wines.

v7 And on this mountain (the *LORD) will destroy the *shroud that covers all people. It is a shroud that is over every country

v8 He will destroy death for always. The *LORD, my master, will dry the faces of everyone that has *tears (in their eyes). People will not feel ashamed again, over all the earth. This is what the *LORD has promised to do.

In verses 7 and 8, the word that we have translated ‘destroy’ means ‘swallow’. It is what happens to food after we eat it with our mouths.

v9 On that day they will say, ‘Look! This is our God! We have waited for him to come and to make us safe. This is the *LORD! We have waited for him. So we shall be happy, very happy, because he has saved us.’

v10 The power of the *LORD will stay on this mountain. And he will walk on the people from Moab as people walk on dead grass and animal dirt.

v11 And (the people from Moab) will put their hands into it. (They will be) like someone that puts out (his hands) to swim. But they will go down deep in the water, even if they are able (to swim) with their hands.

v12 And (the *LORD) will knock down their high, strong walls. He will throw them down. He will make them low and he will turn them into small bits of dry dirt on the ground.

Chapter 26

Another song that gives *praise to God

v1 In that day, (people) will sing this song in the country called Judah.

We have a strong city. (The *LORD) made walls inside and outside (the city), to make us safe.

In verse 1, the *Hebrew word for ‘safe’ that Isaiah used was ‘jeshuah’. This is the Hebrew word that we translate ‘Jesus’!

v2 Open the gates (of the city), so that the *righteous people can come in. (The righteous people) are those people that continue to believe (the *LORD).

v3 You, (*LORD), will make safe the person whose mind is always thinking about you. (You will keep him) safe, because he believes you.

v4 Always, always believe the *LORD! (Do this) because the *LORD, the *LORD is a (like a) Rock. He will always be alive.

v5 He brings down low the people that live in high places, in a city on tall (hills). He makes it low. He brings it down to the ground. He throws it into the dirt.

v6 Feet will walk on it. The feet of the poor people and of the weak people (will walk over it).

v7 The path that *righteous people walk on is flat. You, (*LORD), make clear the way of righteous people.

v8 Yes, *LORD, we wait for you in the path that your rules (point us to). In our minds, we want (everybody to know) your name. And (we want everybody to know) that you are famous.

v9 My mind wants you in the night time and my *spirit wants you in the morning. The people in the world will learn what ‘*righteous’ means. (This will happen) when you are ruling in the country.

v10 Bad people will not learn, if nobody *punishes them. (They will not learn) what ‘*righteous’ means. In a country where people are honest, (bad people) will continue to do bad things. They do not obey the rules of the *LORD.

v11 *LORD, you have lifted up your hand (to hit them), but they do not see it. (But one day) they will see that you really love your people. Then, I pray that they will become ashamed. I pray that fire will burn up your enemies.

v12 *LORD, you will keep us safe. Really, all that we have done, you have done on our behalf.

v13 *LORD, our God, other *lords than you have ruled over us. But only to your name do we give *praise.

v14 Now (the other *lords) are dead. They are not alive. Their *spirits have gone and they will not rise up (again). You *punished them and you killed them. You have done it, so that we do not remember them.

v15 *LORD, you have made the country larger. You really have made the country larger. You have received *praise for yourself. You have made all the edges of the country bigger.

v16 *LORD, they came to you when they had trouble. They prayed quietly to you when you *punished them.

v17 *LORD, we were with you, like a woman who would soon have a baby. Just before she had her baby (we were like her). We could not keep still and we cried with the pain.

v18 We were going to have a baby. We could not keep still and we cried with the pain. But we *gave birth only to wind! We have not made the earth safe. We have not killed the people in the world.

v19 But your dead (people) will live (again). Their bodies will rise up (from the *grave). Wake up! Shout because you are so happy, you (people) that live in the ground! (Shout), because your *dew is like the dew of the morning. The earth will give birth to the dead (people) in it.

v20 My people, go into your rooms and shut the doors behind you. Hide yourselves for a short time, until (the *LORD) is not angry.

v21 Look, the *LORD is coming out of his house. He will *punish the people on the earth because they have not obeyed him. The earth will show (him) the blood (that people) poured out on it. It will not hide any longer the (dead) bodies (that people have) killed.

Chapter 27

v1 In that day the *LORD will *punish *Leviathan. (The *LORD will use) his *sword. (His sword is) great, powerful and strong. (Leviathan is) a snake that moves quickly (in the sea). (It is) a snake that puts itself (round things). He will kill that great animal in the sea.

God will *guard his people

v2 ‘In that day, sing about a field where *vines are growing. It is full of fruit!

v3 I, the *LORD, will *guard it. I will continue to put water on it. I will guard it night and day, so that nobody will destroy it.

v4 I am not angry. If there was a *thorn or a *briar (in my field of *vines), I would march against it in a war. I would make fire out of (the thorns and briars).

v5 Or (the field) should come to me. I will make it safe. It should not fight with me. It should rest with me.

v6 The days will come when *Jacob will grow (like a plant) in the ground. Israel will grow and make flowers. They will fill all the world with fruit.’

God has a purpose when he *punishes people

v7 (The *LORD) has hit (those enemies) that hit (his people). He has hit (his people) like that. (The *LORD) has killed (those enemies). He has killed (his people) like that.

v8 (*LORD) you fought (against your people). You sent them into *exile. He made them go with a cruel wind. It was like a day when the east wind blows.

v9 This, then, is how Jacob will be sorry because of his *sins. And this will be the result when (God) has taken away (Jacob’s) sin completely. (The *LORD) will break all the *altar stones to pieces like chalk stones. (He will) not leave the *Asherah poles or *incense altars standing.

v10 Then the strong city will be empty. Everybody that lived there will leave it. It will be like a dry sandy place. Nobody will go there. Young cows will eat the grass and they will lie down there. They will eat everything on the branches (of the trees).

v11 When their branches become dry, people will break them off (the trees). The women will come and make fires with them. (This will happen) because these people do not understand things. So, their *Maker will not help them. Also, their *Creator will not be kind to them.

v12 And in that day (this) will happen. The *LORD will pick (fruit) from the River (Euphrates) to the stream of Egypt. So (the *LORD) will fetch you one by one, (you) sons of Israel.

We think that ‘the stream of Egypt’ means the River Nile.

v13 And in that day (this) will happen. (Someone) will make a sound on a great *trumpet. And people that are dying in the country called Assyria will come. Also, people in *exile in the country called Egypt (will come). They will *worship the *LORD in the mountain at Jerusalem.

Chapter 28

A sad song about *Ephraim

v1 (There will be a) very sad (day in) *Ephraim! The leaders (of Ephraim) are very *proud, (but they) are drunks. (Ephraim is like) a beautiful flower, but it will die. It will not always be beautiful. (Ephraim) is at the top of a valley where there are good plants. But *wine causes (its people) to fall over.

v2 Look! The *Lord has (somebody who is) powerful and strong. He is like a storm of ice (from the skies) and (he is like) a wind that destroys (things). (He is) like a storm of rain with a great amount of water. He will throw (Ephraim) to the ground with (his) hands!

We think that ‘somebody’ and ‘he’ in this verse means the country called Assyria or its army.

v3 (His) feet will walk on the *proud leaders. These (leaders) are the drunks of Ephraim.

v4 And (Ephraim) will be like a (fruit called a) *fig. It is ready to eat when they pick it. When someone sees it, he will pick it. And he will eat it! (This Ephraim is like) a beautiful flower. But it will die, and it will not be beautiful. It is at the top of a valley. Good plants are there.

v5 In that day the *LORD of Everything will be a *wonderful leader. And (he will be) a beautiful ruler for his people that remain (in their country).

v6 (The *LORD) will help people to decide what is right. He will make the people strong who *guard their city.

v7 But *wine also causes most (people in Jerusalem) to fall down. And beer makes them into drunks. Beer causes *priest and *prophet to fall over. And wine confuses (their minds). Beer causes them to fall over. And when they see *visions they cannot understand them. They become silly when they decide what to do.

v8 They are sick over all their tables. And there is nowhere that is not dirty.

v9 (They say,) ‘He is teaching what he knows (to us)! He is explaining his message (to us)! (He thinks that we are babies!) (And he thinks that) we have just stopped drinking milk! (He thinks that) we have just come from (our mother’s) breast!

v10 (It sounds like,) “*Tsaw latsaw tsaw latsaw; qaw laqaw qaw laqaw; zeir sham, zeir sham.” ’

v11 So, with foreign lips and a strange language (God) spoke to this people.

v12 He said to (this people), ‘This (is your) place to rest. Let the tired (people) rest.’ And (he said), ‘This (is your) place to be quiet in.’ But they would not listen.

v13 So then, the *LORD’s message will sound to them like, ‘*Tsaw latsaw tsaw latsaw, qaw laqaw qaw laqaw, zeir sham, zeir sham.’ So they will go, but they will fall over. (An enemy) will hurt them, and he will catch them in a *trap.

v14 So, listen to the *LORD’s message. (Hear it), you people that laugh in a bad way (at me). And (obey it), you rulers of this people in Jerusalem.

v15 What you are really saying (is this). ‘We have made a *covenant with death and we have agreed with *Sheol. When the waters rise, they cannot touch us. (This is) because we believe in *lies. And what is not true will keep us safe.’

v16 So the *Lord, (who is) *LORD, says, ‘Look! It is I who has put a stone in *Zion. (People now know) that this is a good stone. (It is) a valuable stone, because (it makes) the corners (of buildings). (It is) a strong stone to build on. The person that believes (in the LORD) will never be sorry.

v17 If you do what is right and fair, I may be able to help you. (But if not), the rain of ice will carry away the *lies that you believe. And water will pour into your safe place.

v18 (I will) stop your *covenant with death. What you agree with *Sheol will not continue. When the water rises, it will pour over (you). (It will drown) you.

v19 Every time that it comes to you, it will carry you away. Certainly, every morning, any day and any night, it might pour over you. And, if you understand the message, then you will be very much afraid.’

v20 (You know what people say.) ‘The bed is so short that you cannot lie in it. The blanket is so narrow that you cannot put it round yourself.’

v21 But the *LORD will do something, like he did at *Mount Perazim. He will be very angry, as he was in the Valley of Gibeon. He will do something that is very strange. He will do something that is not usual.

v22 So, do not laugh in a bad way (at me). (If you do), your *chains will be even heavier. The *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, told me that (he has) decided to destroy all the land.

v23 Listen and hear my voice! Listen (to me). And hear what I am saying!

v24 When the farmer ploughs to plant (seeds), he does not plough every day. He does not always break his ground into small pieces.

v25 When he has made the ground flat, he plants *carraway and *cummin. He plants all the different *grain seeds in their own places (in his field).

v26 His God teaches him and (his God) tells him the right (thing) to do.

v27 (Farmers) do not remove *carraway (seeds) with a special machine. Nor do they get *cummin seeds like this. They hit carraway (seeds) and cummin (seeds) with a stick.

v28 (But they do use) a special machine to get (*grain) to make bread. But they do not do it for too long. (The farmer) does not drive the *wheels of the special machine over (the grain). And his horses do not walk on it.

v29 The *LORD of Everything causes them to know all this. What he tells them to do is *wonderful. And his *wisdom is great.

Chapter 29

A sad song about *Ariel

v1 (There will be a) very sad (day in) *Ariel. Ariel (is) the city that David attacked. Continue to have your usual *feasts every year.

v2 But I will bring trouble to *Ariel. And (Ariel) will not be happy. It will be very sad. And (Ariel) will be my ariel, (my fire place).

v3 And I will do (these things): (My army will) attack you. (They will be) in a circle round you. (I will) put an army against you on every side. (I will) build things against you to attack you.

v4 Then you will become *humble and you will speak from the ground. And, from low in the dirt, what you say will be difficult to hear. And your voice will come from the ground like (the voice of) the *spirit of a dead person. And from the dirt, you will speak very quietly.

v5 But your enemies will become like many small bits of dirt. And the crowds of cruel (soldiers) will be like dead bits of a plant in the wind. (This is) because, in a moment,

v6 the *LORD of Everything will visit you! (It will be like) *thunder, or when the ground moves. (It will be like) a very loud noise. (It will be like) a very strong wind and a great storm. And (it will be like) a fire that burns up everything.

v7 This will happen to all the many countries that attack *Ariel. (It will happen to) everyone that fights against it and its strongest building. (It will happen to) all (the soldiers) that are in a circle round it. They will be like a dream that people see in the night!

v8 It will be like a hungry man who dreams. (He dreams) that he is eating (something). But, look! He wakes up hungry! Or it will be like a *thirsty man. He dreams that he is drinking. But, look! He wakes up and look! He is still weak because he is still thirsty! This will happen to the many (soldiers) from all the countries that fight against the hill called Zion.

v9 (This will) hit you (so that you become) like fools. And you will not believe it! You will become *blind, so that you cannot see anything! You will become drunks, but not from *wine! You will fall over, but not (because you have drunk) beer!

v10 (But it is) because the *LORD has caused you to go into a *deep sleep. He has shut the eyes of your *prophets and he has covered the heads of your *seers.

v11 And all this *vision is for you. (It is) the words in a closed book. Give the book to someone that can read. And say (to them), ‘Read this, please.’ But he will answer, ‘I cannot (read it, because) someone shut it.’ v12 Or, give the book to someone that cannot read. Say, ‘Read it, please.’ But he will answer, ‘I do not know how to read.’

v13 The *Lord says, ‘These people pray to me with their mouths. And their lips say that I am important. But their hearts are far from me. And to *worship me they use rules that men have made.’

‘Their hearts are far from me’ means ‘they are not really thinking about me’.

v14 ‘So look! I will surprise these people again. (I will) surprise (them) again and again! (Some) people are able to use what they know rightly. But they will not be able to. The people with good minds will not be able to use them.’

v15 (There will be a) very sad (day) for those people who (do these things):

·           They really try to hide from the *LORD what they tell (to the king).

·           They work in dark places (where nobody can see them).

·           And they say, ‘Nobody knows us.’

·           (And they say,) ‘Nobody sees us.’

v16 You turn things the wrong way up! You confuse the person who makes pots with the *clay! The thing that somebody made cannot say to its maker, ‘You did not make me!’ The pot cannot say to the person who makes pots, ‘You do not know anything!’

v17 In a very short time, (the country called) Lebanon will become a garden of fruit trees. And Carmel will be like a forest.

v18 At that time, people who were not able to hear will hear someone read words from a book. And people who were not able to see will see. And they will not remain in shadows and in the dark.

v19 And the *LORD will make *humble people happy again. And the poor people will sing songs to the *Holy (God) of Israel, because they are so happy.

v20 (This is) because cruel people will go. People that laugh in a bad way (at God) will not appear anywhere. And (the *LORD) will kill everybody that is preparing to do bad things.

v21 These (bad) people (do these things):

·           They say that a man has done something wrong with (only) a word.

·           They set a *trap for the *judge at the city gate.

·           And they do not let a man who has done nothing wrong get a fair result.

v22 So this is what the *LORD says to the *house of Jacob. (He is the LORD) who saved Abraham. ‘Jacob will not be ashamed again. And his face will never lose colour (because he is afraid).

v23 They will see their children, which my hands made, among them. Then they will keep my name *holy. They will *praise the Holy (God) of Jacob and they will show great love for the God of Israel.

v24 Also, people whose minds are confused will understand (things). (Some) people always say that something is wrong. Then, they will be happy to learn (things).’

Chapter 30

A sad song for those who want to join with Egypt

v1 ‘(It is) a very sad (day) for children who do not obey (their father)’, says the *LORD. ‘They have decided what to do, but they did not ask me (about it). They have decided to agree (with Egypt), but without my Spirit’s (help). They have done more and more *sins as a result.

v2 They hurry to go down to Egypt. But they do not ask me what to do. They ask for Pharaoh’s help to make them safe. And they look for the shadow of Egypt to cover them.

v3 But Pharaoh’s help will make you ashamed. And you will not receive help in Egypt’s shadow.

v4 Their leaders have arrived in Zoan and their people with authority have gone to Hanes.

Zoan and Hanes are two places in Egypt.

v5 Everyone will be ashamed because the people (in Egypt) will not be able to help them. They will not bring any help to you. (They will) not really (bring to you) any help. (They will) only (make you) very much more ashamed.’

v6 (These are) sad (words) about the animals (that go through) the *Negev. It is a place where there is trouble and danger. (These wild animals live) there:

·           *lionesses and *lions that *roar

·           snakes and dangerous snakes that fly.

(Here the leaders of Judah) carry their valuable things on the backs of horses. And they carry their very valuable things on the backs of other animals. They do this on behalf of people that cannot help them!

v7 Egypt has no value. They will not send any help. So, I call (Egypt) ‘Rahab’ or ‘She shouts while she does not move’.

v8 Now go! Write it down on a piece of stone for them. Also, write it in a book. Then, in future days, it will always be there to read.

v9 These (people) are people that do not obey (the *LORD). They are his children and they disappoint (him). They are children that do not want to listen to the LORD’s words.

v10 They say to the *seers, ‘Do not see anything!’ And (they say) to the *prophets, ‘Do not tell us what is the right (thing to do). Tell us nice things. Say what is not true!

v11 Leave this path. Get off this road. Do not hold the *Holy (God) of Israel in front of us.’

v12 So, this is what the *Holy (God) of Israel says. You have not listened when my word told you about the danger. And you thought that it was right to be cruel to people. And you have believed in *lies.

v13 So this will happen. This *sin will be for you like a high wall that is not safe. It will bend over, and in a moment, it will fall down.

v14 He (the *LORD) will break it into pieces as (easily as someone breaks) a piece of pot. He will destroy it, and he will not feel kind about it. There will not be a (big) piece (of pot) among the bits. It cannot lift a stick that is burning from a fire. It cannot bring water from a pool.

v15 Now this is what the *Lord said, the *LORD (who is) the *Holy (God) of Israel: ‘You will be safe if you return (from Egypt) and rest. Be quiet and believe (in God). Then you will be strong. But you would not (listen).’

v16 But you said, ‘No! We will run away on horses.’ So you will run away. (You said) ‘We will ride away very quickly.’ So the people that run after you will move quickly.

v17 A thousand (1000) (of you will run away) from only one enemy. You will (all) run away from 5 of them! They will leave you like a sign on the top of the mountain, or like a *flag on a hill.

God is kind and fair

v18 So the *LORD will wait (before) he is kind to you. So, also, (one day) he will start to show you his great love (for you). (It is) because the LORD is a fair God. He will make everyone that waits for him very happy.

v19 Yes! You people of *Zion that live in Jerusalem, you will not weep again. (The *LORD) will be very kind to you when you shout for help. When he hears you, he will answer you. v20 (In the past) the *Lord has given you trouble as your bread and he has given you pain as your water. But then your Teacher will not hide himself from you. You will see him with your own eyes. v21 And your ears will hear a word near you, but behind you. When you turn to the right or to the left it will say, ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’ v22 And you will not use your *idols. You cut them from wood with a knife. Then you covered them with *silver. You will not use your idols that you made from metal. You covered them with gold. You will throw them away like dirty things. You will say to them, ‘Go!’

v23 He (the *LORD) will send rain for your seeds that you plant in the ground. And plenty of good food will come from the ground. In that day your cows will eat (grass) in wide fields. v24 And the cows and the horses that work (on) the ground will eat the best food for animals. (Farmers) will use a big farm fork and a spade to give it to them. v25 And on every tall mountain and on every high hill, water will pour down in streams. (This will happen) on the day when high buildings fall. And many people will die. v26 Also, the moon will shine as bright as the sun. And the light of the sun will be 7 times brighter. It will be like the light of 7 days (at the same time)! This will happen when the *LORD puts soft cloths on his people. He will put the cloths where (the LORD) hit them hard. And he will make them better where he hurt them.

v27 Look! The *LORD himself is coming from far away. There is fire in his nose and smoke like thick clouds (are all round him). His lips show that he is angry. His *tongue eats things like a fire (burns them).

v28 From his mouth (comes something) that is like a lot of water. It will reach up to (someone’s) neck. He moves (many) countries to make them separate and to destroy them. And he (will be like a man who) puts a *bit in (horses’) mouths, to lead them away.

v29 And you, (my people,) will sing! It will be like the night when there is a big party for everyone in your church. You will feel very happy inside you! It will be like when people go up to the *LORD’s (*temple). There will be music. (Another name for the LORD) is the Rock of Israel.

v30 Then the *LORD will cause people to hear his voice. (It will be) like the voice of a great king! He will cause (people) to see his arm when it comes down (to hit them). He will cause people to know that he is very, very angry. (He will be like) a fire that burns everything. (He will be like) a cloud that drops (much rain). (He will be like) a storm that makes a lot of noise. (He will drop like) bits of ice.

v31 The voice of the *LORD will completely destroy Assyria. He will knock them down with his stick to show to everybody that he is a king.

v32 He will hit them with his stick. He will use his stick to *punish them. It will sound like the music of *harps and *tambourines while the *LORD fights them in a war. (He will use) his arms to hit them.

v33 (The *LORD) has already made (the fire called) Topheth ready. He prepared it for the king (of Assyria). The hole in the ground for the fire is deep and wide. There is plenty of wood for the fire. The air from the LORD’s mouth will light the fire. (The air) is like a stream of *sulphur that is on fire.

Chapter 31

God’s help is better than help from Egypt

v1 (It will be) a sad (day) for those people that go down to Egypt. They want help and horses (from Egypt). They think that *chariots will help them. (This is) because there are very many (chariots in Egypt). And (they hope for help from) men that ride on horses. (This is) because these (men) are very strong. And they do not ask the *Holy (God) of Israel for help. And they do not ask *LORD to tell them what to do.

v2 But (the *LORD) knows the best thing to do. Also, he can kill people. He does not change what he says. And he will do something against the people that do bad things. (And he will do something against) those people that help people to do bad things.

v3 The men in Egypt are (only) men. They are not God. Their horses are animals, not *spirits. When the *LORD puts out his hand, the *helper will fall down. And the person that he *helps will fall down too. They will all come to an end together.

v4 This is what the *LORD said to me. ‘The *LORD of Everything will come down to fight on the mountain of *Zion and on its hill. He will make a noise like a *lion or a young lion. It makes noises over what it has caught. He will not be afraid of the group of sheep farmers when they come out against (the lion).’

Verse 4 When he says ‘sheep farmers’ here, he means the leaders of Israel.

v5 The *LORD of Everything will make Jerusalem safe. He will fly round it like a bird. He will make it safe, and he will make it free. He will pass over it and he will save it.

Verse 5 ‘pass over’. Isaiah uses the words of an important time for his people: the Passover.

At Passover, the *Jews remember one night when they were slaves in Egypt. God caused the people in Egypt to make the *Jews free. (See Exodus chapter 12.)

v6 People of Israel, turn (back) to him. You have caused him to feel very sick and ill. v7 (Turn back to him) because in that day everyone must throw away their gold and *silver *idols. Your hands made them for you, which was wrong.

v8 A *sword will kill the man from Assyria. A man will not do it. And a *sword, that is not held by a man, will kill him. And (he) will run from the sword. And it will cause his young men always to do difficult work.

Some Bible students think that ‘the man from Assyria’ means the army from Assyria.

v9 ‘The (king of Assyria), (who is like) their rock, will run away. (He will run away) because he is so afraid. And his (army) leaders will run away because they are all afraid of the war *flag.’ This is what the *LORD says. His fire is in *Zion and his *ariel is in Jerusalem.

Chapter 32

God promises that his people will have a good king

v1 A king will be a good *judge. And leaders will be fair judges. Think about those things.

Some Bible students think that the words in verse 1 mean, ‘A king should be a good *judge and leaders should be fair *judges.’

v2 Then each (ruler) will be like a place to hide from the wind. And he will be like someone who covers us from the storm. (He will be) like streams of water in a dry place. And he will be like the shadow of a big rock in very dry land.

v3-4 Now think (about these things):

·           The eyes of people that see will never shut.

·           And the ears of people that hear will really listen.

·           And people who are too quick to speak will wait to understand.

·           And the *tongues of people that speak with difficulty (now) will speak clearly (then).

v5 Then they will not again call a fool clever. They will not say that a *cheat is honest.

v6 What a fool says is silly and his mind thinks about bad (things):

·           He does things that do not obey God’s rules.

·           He says wrong things about the *LORD.

·           He does not give food to hungry people.

·           And he does not give *thirsty people a drink.

v7 The things that a *cheat does are bad. They cause people to believe what is not true. Also, his ideas are bad. (He decides) to hurt poor people. What he says about them is not true. And he gives false reasons, even when (the poor) people speak the *truth. (They are people) who need (help).

v8 But a good person wants (to do) good things. Also, he does the good things that he promised to do.

An enemy (Assyria) will attack you before your good king comes

v9 You women that have no problems, get ready. Listen to my voice. You ladies that feel so safe, hear my words (to you).

v10 In less than a year, you (women) that feel so safe will *worry. (You will worry) because the *grape *harvest will fail. The harvest of fruit will not happen.

v11 *Shake, you women that have no problems. Be afraid, (you ladies) that feel so safe. Take off (your clothes) so that you are wearing nothing. Then put a cloth about the tops of your legs.

v12 Hit your breasts for these (reasons). (There are no) good fields. The *vine has no fruit.

Verses 9-12 We think that ‘women’ and ‘ladies’ here is like a picture of towns and cities.

v13 The ground where our people work gives (only) *thorns (and) *briars. Also, (this is) because (there are no) happy homes in the happy city.

v14 It is a fact that (the king) will go from his beautiful house. The city where many people live will be empty. The hill (in Jerusalem) and the tall building, where people watch (for enemies), will always be homes for animals. (They will be) a happy place for wild horses (to live in), and fields where groups (of animals feed).

v15 (This will happen) until (God) pours his Spirit on us from above (the earth). Then, the wild places will become gardens and the gardens will become forests.

v16 Then (people) will decide fairly in the wild places. And (they will say) good things in the fields that contain plenty of fruit.

v17 And when people do good things, there will be no war. When people do good things there will be a quiet and safe life. It will continue for a long time.

v18 My people will live in a place where there is no war. Their homes will be safe and they will sleep without pain.

v19-20 Ice may knock down the trees in the forest. But, even then, people who plant seeds by the stream will be happy. (Even if a storm) completely destroys the city, they will let their cows and horses go to the fields freely.

Chapter 33

Another sad song

v1 It will be very sad for you, the country that destroys (other countries). But no (other country) has destroyed you, yet. (It will be sad for) you, the country that is not honest (with other countries). But no (other country) has not been honest with you yet. When you stop destroying (other countries, one of them) will destroy you. When you stop not being honest (with other countries,) they will not be honest with you.

v2 *LORD, be kind to us. We look to you for help. Make us strong every day. Save us when trouble happens.

v3 At the sound of a voice, people run away. When you go to war, (the people in other) countries run away.

v4 People get things together (after a war), as a *locust gets (food). As locusts rush (to their food), so people rush (to those things).

v5 The *LORD is more important (than anyone else). He lives high above (the earth). He will fill *Zion with fair answers to questions. And (everybody will do) what is right.

v6 He will make your lives safe and you will keep your money. Here are the valuable things that he gives (to you):

·           You will have the right answers for questions.

·           You will know everything (that you need to know).

·           You will be (properly) afraid of the *LORD.

v7 Look! The brave men (from Jerusalem) weep in the streets. Officers went (to Assyria). They asked for the war to stop. Now they cry very sad *tears.

v8 The important roads are empty and nobody travels on the smaller roads. (The enemy) stopped the *covenant. He does not like the cities and he does not love anyone.

v9 The land itself is very sad and it is becoming dry. Lebanon is ashamed and it is dying. Sharon is like a sandy place and the leaves in Bashan and Carmel are dying.

v10 The *LORD says, ‘Now will I stand up. Now I will lift myself up. Now I will raise myself up.

v11 You make dry grass and you call it straw. Your own *breath will destroy you as fire (burns up that dry grass).

v12 (It) will burn the bones of people to make *lime. They will burn as easily as *thorn bushes, (when people) cut them down.

v13 You people (that are) far away, listen. Listen to what I have done! And you people (that are) near, understand. Understand that I am very powerful.’

v14 The *sinners (that live) in *Zion are afraid. (Some) people are not clean (as God sees them). (They are also) afraid. (They ask this.) ‘Which of us can live with a fire that burns everything? Which of us can live with a fire that will never stop burning?’

v15 (The answer is) the person that (is like this):

·           He is very good and he speaks what is right.

·           He gets nothing when he is cruel to people.

·           His hands will not accept money to do wrong things.

·           He closes his ears against ideas to kill (people).

·           And he shuts his eyes, so that he does not think about bad (things).

v16 (That person) will be the person that lives on high places. That person’s safe place will be in the rocks. People like that will always have food and their drink will not stop.

v17 Your eyes will see that the king is beautiful. (Your eyes) will see a country that reaches to far away.

v18 Your mind will think about when were afraid. (You will say,) ‘The (enemy) officer who counted (things) has gone! (The man who) weighed (everything) has gone! (The man who) counted high buildings has gone!’

v19 You will never see those cruel people again. They speak words that are difficult to understand. Their language is strange. It is difficult to understand it.

v20 Look at *Zion. It is the city where we have our parties. Your eyes will see Jerusalem. It is a place where there is no war. It is (like) a *tent that people will never remove. They will never pull up its *pegs. They will never break any of its *ropes.

v21 It is there (in Jerusalem) that the *LORD will be our powerful (God). It will be (like) a place with wide rivers and streams. No boat that men push along will go on them. No great ship will sail on them.

v22 The *LORD is our *judge. The LORD gives us our rules. The LORD is our king. It is (the LORD) that will make us safe.

v23 The *ropes on your ship hang down. The wood that they hang from is not safe. They have not put the *sail up. Then people will have the many things (that they took from their enemies). And even people who cannot walk well will carry away something!

v24 Nobody that lives in *Zion will say, ‘I am ill.’ And (God will not) *punish people that live there again.

About Isaiah chapters 34 and 35

These chapters are a *poem at the ‘heart’ of Isaiah’s book. In English, the heart is where you feel sad or happy. Isaiah thought that these chapters were very important. So these chapters are at an important place in Isaiah’s book.

Isaiah 34:1-15 is a bad dream; in it, God *punishes Edom.

Isaiah 35:1-10 is a good dream; in it, God gives his people gifts.

Chapter 34

God *punishes the people in Edom

v1                    Come near (to me), you (people in all) countries, and listen (to me).

(All) you people, think about what I am saying to you.

            Hear (me, all) the earth, and everything that is in it.

                        (Listen, all the) world, and all that comes from it.

            v2                    Yes! The *LORD is (right to be) angry against every country.

            And (he is right to be) very angry against all their armies.

                        (The LORD) will destroy them.

                        He will send them to their deaths.

            v3                                Nobody will bury the dead bodies.

            The dead bodies will fill the air with a very bad smell.

Their blood will go down into the mountains.

            v4        And every army in the skies will be like water.

                        And the skies will close up like a book.

                        And all their armies will fall

                        like leaves that fall from a *vine.

                        (They will fall) like the fruit called figs from a fig tree.

            v5        When my *sword has done its work in the skies,

                        it will come down on Edom.

            (It will fall) on the people that I have decided to kill.

            v6                    The *LORD (is right) to use a *sword!

                                    (He will) put it into blood. (He will) cover it with meat.

                        It is the blood of young sheep and goats.

                        It is the meat from inside male sheep.

            Yes! The LORD (is right) to make a *sacrifice in Bozrah.

                        He will kill many people in the country called Edom.

Bozrah was an important town in Edom, to the east of Judah.

            v7                    And wild cows will fall with them.

                        Young male cows (will die) with old cows.

                        Blood will go into their land.

                        Meat will go into their earth.

            v8        Look! The *LORD (is right) to have a day when he will *punish (people).

                        It will be a year when (the LORD) helps *Zion.

                        (It will be a year) when he *punishes (*Zion’s enemies).

            v9                    The streams in sandy places (in Edom) will turn into *pitch.

                        Its ground will turn into *sulphur that is burning.

                        Its land will become pitch that is on fire.

            v10      Nobody will put out (the fire) in the day or in the night.

                        Smoke from (the fire) will rise up for a long time.

            (The land) will be empty from one century to the next century.

                        Nobody will ever pass through it again.

            v11                  But (these *owls) will be in it:

                        the sandy owl, the owl that screams and the great owl.

                        And the large black bird called a raven will build its home there.

                        And (the *LORD) will hold over it a line that measures.

                        (It will make it) without shape.

            (He will hold over it) a special line (that will make it) empty.

            v12      (Edom’s) leaders will have nothing there that they can call a *kingdom.

                        And all its officers will *vanish.

            v13                  And *thorn bushes will cover its beautiful houses.

                        Weeds and *briars (will cover) its *castles.

                        The country will be a home for *jackals. And *ostriches will live in it.

            v14                  Wild animals and *hyenas will come together.

                        And wild goats will make a noise to each other.

                        Also, the bad female *spirit called Lilith will rest there.

                                    And she will find for herself a place in which to stay.

            v15                  The *owl will build a home there.

            And she will keep her eggs there until they become baby birds.

            And she will keep them safe under the shadow (of her *wings).

                                    *Vultures will meet there too. Each has her *mate.

            v16                              Look in the *LORD’s book and read this!

                        ‘Not one of them will not be there.

                        Not one of them will be without her *mate.

            (This is) because (the LORD’s) mouth said that it must happen.

                        And his *breath will bring them together.

            v17      He (the *LORD) will give their places (to them).

                        And his hand will give (these things) to them with the line that measures.

                        They will have (that country) always.

            They will live in it from one century to the next century.’

Chapter 35

God gives gifts to his people

v1        The sandy place and the dry land will be happy.

            The wild places will feel happy and (flowers) will grow there.

            v2                    Flowers will appear quickly on the (plant that is called) crocus.

                        (The land) will be very happy.

                                    It will be so happy that it will shout (aloud)!

                        It will be as beautiful as Lebanon.

                        (It will) seem like places in Carmel and Sharon.

                                    (These places) will see that the *LORD is very great.

                        (They will see) that our God is very, very good.

            v3                    Make (your) weak hands strong.

                                    Make the knees that will not hold (you) up strong.

            v4                    Say to the people who are very much afraid,

                                    ‘Be strong! Do not be afraid! Your God will come.

            He will come to *punish (his enemies). He will punish them fairly.

                        He will come and he will save you.’

            v5                    Then (the *LORD will) open the eyes of people that are not able to see.

            And he will clear the ears of people that are not able to hear.

            v6        Then people that cannot walk will jump like *deer.

                        And people that cannot speak will shout.

                        (This is) because they are so happy.

                                    Yes! (God) will pour water into the wild, dry places.

            And (he will) pour streams (of water) into the sandy places.

            v7        Then the hot sand will become a pool (of water).

                                    And water will come up from the ground that is very dry.

                        In the places where *jackals had lived,

                                    *reeds and plants like that will grow instead of grass.

            v8                    And there will be a high road there, a way.

                        Its name will be ‘The *Holy Way’.

                        People that are not clean will not go on it.

                                    It will be for those (people) that walk in the Way.

                        Fools who are very bad people will not walk on it.

            v9                    No *lions will be there.

                        No dangerous wild animals will walk on it.

                        Nobody will find those (animals) there.

                        Only people (that the *LORD has) bought back (from death) will walk there.

            v10                  And the people that the *LORD has bought back (from death) will return.

                        And they will sing while they go into *Zion.

                        And they will never stop enjoying themselves. It will show on their faces.

                        Everywhere that they go they will be very, very happy.

Chapter 36

Assyria’s army arrives in Judah

v1 King Hezekiah had ruled (Judah) for nearly 14 years. Then, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked all the cities in Judah that had high, strong walls. He beat them and they became his. v2 And the king of Assyria sent the leader of his soldiers from Lachish. (He came) to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. This leader had a large army with him. He stopped at the water stream (that went) from the higher pool. It was on the road, near the place where people wash clothes.

v3 And these people came out to (meet) him:

·           Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah. (He was) the most important (servant) in the (king’s) beautiful house.

·           Shebna, the leader of the government.

·           Joah, the son of Asaph. He was (the king’s) writer.

v4-5 And the (soldiers') leader said to these men, ‘Now (please) say (this) to Hezekiah. This is what the Great King, the king of Assyria, says (to you):

·           “You should not believe (that God will help you)!

·           Words alone cannot tell you what to do!

·           And they cannot give you the power (that you need) for war!

·           I do not know anyone who will help you to fight against me!

v6 Look, (I know that) you are hoping for help from Egypt. (Egypt is like) a stick that people use. It helps them to walk. But it will break! If you push on it, it will go into your hand, like a sharp piece of *reed. That is what will happen to anybody that hopes for help from Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. v7 But you might say to me, ‘We are hoping that the *LORD our God will help us.’ (Then I will answer this.) He is the (God) whose *high places and *altars Hezekiah removed! (Hezekiah) said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You must *worship (God) only at this (one) altar.’ ” v8 And now’, (said Rav Shakeh, the leader,) ‘agree today with my master, (who is) the king of Assyria. And I will give you 2000 horses, if you can put (2000) riders on them! v9 You cannot refuse (what I offer. I am) the least important of my master’s officers. But you are (still) hoping that Egypt will send *chariots and riders on horses. v10 And (there is) something else. Surely I would not attack and destroy this country without help from the *LORD! The LORD told me, “March against this country and destroy it.” ’

v11 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah spoke to Rav Shakeh. (They said,) ‘Please, speak to your servants in (our) Aramaic language, because we do understand it. Do not speak to us in *Hebrew, or the people on the (city) wall may hear (you).’ v12 But Rav Shakeh said, ‘My master did not send me to say these things only to you and to your master. Also, he sent me to say them to the people that are sitting on the (city) wall. Like you, they will have to eat the material that their own body wastes. And they will have to drink the water that their own body wastes.’

v13 Then Rav Shakeh stood up. He shouted in a loud voice in *Hebrew. ‘Hear the words of the king. (They are what) the Great King of Assyria (is telling you). v14 This is what the king (of Assyria) says (to you). “Do not let Hezekiah tell you what is not true. Hezekiah cannot save you. v15 And do not let Hezekiah cause you to agree with him. (He wants you) to believe in the *LORD. He tells you that the LORD really will make you free (from Assyria). (He says that the LORD) will not give this city to the king of Assyria. v16 Do not hear (and obey) Hezekiah!” This is what the king of Assyria says (to you). “Do not have a war with me. Come out (of your city) to me. Then you will all eat (the *grapes) from your own *vines and (the *figs) from your own fig trees. And you will all drink the water from your own wells. v17 (Do this) until I come (to you). Then I will take you away to a country like your own country. (It is) a country where *grain and new *wine grow. (It is) a country (where they make) bread. And (it is a country) where *vineyards grow. v18 Do not (hear and obey) Hezekiah. He will (be like a man who) leads you the wrong (way). He says that the *LORD will save you. No other country’s god has saved his people from the power of the king of Assyria. v19 The gods of (the cities called) Hamath and Arpad (could not help them). The gods of (the city called) Sepharvaim (could not help them). None (of these gods) saved Samaria. v20 None of these gods has saved his own country from my power. Can the *LORD save Jerusalem from my power?” ’

v21 But the people were quiet and they did not answer him one word. (They did this) because King (Hezekiah) had said, ‘Do not answer him.’

v22 Then (these people) came to Hezekiah:

·           Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah. (He was) the most important (servant) in the (king’s) beautiful house.

·           Shebna, the leader of the government.

·           Joah, the son of Asaph. He was (the king’s) writer.

They tore their clothes. And they told the king all the words that Rav Shakeh (had said).

Chapter 37

Hezekiah sends a message to Isaiah

v1 When King Hezekiah heard (the report of his servants), he tore his clothes. Then he put on cheap hairy cloth and he went into the *temple. (It was the temple) of the *LORD (in Jerusalem). v2 And he sent Eliakim and Shebna and the leaders of the *priests to Isaiah the *prophet. (Isaiah) was the son of Amoz. (Eliakim was) the most important servant in the (king’s) house. (Shebna was) the leader of the (king’s) government. And (Eliakim, Shebna and the priests) all wore cheap hairy clothes. v3 And they told (Isaiah), ‘This is what Hezekiah says. “There are many problems at this time. And (Rav Shakeh’s) words make me ashamed. (The problems) are like a child that is ready to be born. But (its mother) is not strong enough for it to be born. v4 Perhaps the *LORD, (who is) your God, will do something about the words of Rav Shakeh. Rav Shakeh’s master is the king of Assyria. (The king) sent (Rav Shakeh) to laugh in a bad way at the God who is really alive. Maybe the LORD your God will tell (Rav Shakeh) that his words were wrong. (God) has heard them. So, pray for the people that remain (in Jerusalem).” ’ v5 So Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah. v6 Isaiah said to them, ‘Tell your master that the *LORD says this. “Do not be afraid of the words that you have heard. The servants of the king of Assyria are not important. They have said very bad things about me. v7 Listen (to me)! I will put a *spirit into (the king of Assyria). Then, he will hear a certain report. When (he hears it), he will return to his own country. And there, I will cause (someone) to kill him with a *sword.” ’

v8 Then, Rav Shakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish (city). So (Rav Shakeh) left Jerusalem and he found the king (of Assyria). The king was fighting against Libnah (city). v9 Now (the king of Assyria) heard (this report) about Tirhakah. (Tirhakah) was the king of Ethiopia. (The report) said, ‘He has come out (from Ethiopia) to fight against you.’ And when (the king of Assyria) heard this, he sent people (to Jerusalem) with a message. They had this message for (King) Hezekiah. v10 ‘Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah. Say, “You are hoping that your God will help you. But do not let him tell you what is not true. (Your God) says that the king of Assyria will not destroy Jerusalem. v11 But you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the (other) countries. They destroyed them completely. And (your God) will not save you. v12 The gods of (these other) countries did not save them. My *ancestors destroyed Gozan and Haran, Rezeph and the people of Eden (that lived) in Tel Assar. v13 The kings of Hamath and Arpad have gone. The king of the city called Sepharvaim has gone. And the kings of Hena and Ivvah have gone.” ’

v14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the people that brought the message. And he read it and then he went up to the *temple of the *LORD. He opened the letter in front of the LORD. v15 And Hezekiah prayed to the *LORD. He said, v16 ‘*LORD of Everything, (you are) the God of Israel. You sit on a seat between the very important *angels. Only you are the God of all the countries in the world. You have made the skies and the earth. v17 *LORD, turn your ears to me and hear (me). LORD, open your eyes and look (at this letter). Listen to all the words of Sennacherib. He sent them to laugh in a bad way at the God who really is alive. v18 It is true, *LORD, that the kings of Assyria have made empty places from many countries and their land. v19 They threw their gods into the fire. They destroyed them because they were not really gods. Human hands made them from wood and stone. v20 So now, our *LORD and our God, save us from the power of (the king of Assyria)! Then all the (people in all the) *kingdoms in the world will know that only you are the LORD.’

God answers Hezekiah

v21 Then Isaiah, (who was) the son of Amoz, sent a message to Hezekiah. ‘This is what the *LORD, (who is) the God of Israel, says. “You have prayed to me about Sennacherib, (who is) the king of Assyria.” So, v22 this is what the *LORD says about him.

“(The) *Virgin Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem),

she does not like you; she laughs at you.

(The) Daughter of Jerusalem,

she moves her head about after you.

v23                  Who is it about whom you have said bad things? They were not true!

Who is it that you have shouted at?

                        Who is it that you have looked at *proudly?

(The answer is) the *Holy (God) of Israel!

v24      You have used your servants to say bad things about the *Lord.

You have said, ‘With many of my *chariots

I have gone up very high mountains,

the highest (mountains) in Lebanon.

I have cut its tallest *cedars down

and I have cut down the best of its *pine trees.

I went to its highest places and to its best forests.

v25                  I dug wells and I drank (the) water (from them).

I made all the rivers in Egypt dry with the parts under my feet.’

v26                  Surely, you have heard (this)!

                        I decided what to do a long time ago!

I decided what to do in past (years)!

Now it has happened.

You have caused strong cities to become mountains of stones.

v27                  The people in them are not strong.

They are not happy. And they are confused.

They are like plants in a field.

(They are like) the new parts of young green plants.

(They are like) grass on the roof (of a house).

(The hot winds burn them) before they can grow.

v28                  I know (everything about you).

(I know) when you sit down.

And (I know) when you go out.

And (I know) when you come in.

And (I know) when you shout *proudly at me.

v29                  You have shouted *proudly at me

and you have said bad things about me.

So I will put my hook (a bent piece of metal) in your nose.

And I will put my *bit in your mouth.

And I will cause you to return home by the same way that you came.”

v30 And this will be a sign for you, (Hezekiah).

“This year, you will eat what grows from its own (seeds).

And in the second year, (you will eat) what grows from (the first year’s seeds).

But in the third year you will plant (seeds) and you will pick (plants for food).

And you will plant again the *vineyards and you will enjoy their fruit.

v31      And this will happen also to the people that remain in Judah.

(Like plants), they will put *roots down below (the ground) and they will grow fruit above (it).

v32                  (This will happen) because a *remnant will come out from Jerusalem.

And the people that remain will come out from the hill (called) Zion.

The great love that the *LORD of Everything has (for his people) will cause this to happen!”

v33 This is what the *LORD says about the king of Assyria.

“He will not come into this city,

and he will not shoot an *arrow here.

He will not stand in front of it with a *shield.

He will not build mountains of earth against it.

v34                  He will return (to Assyria) by the way that he came,

and he will not come into this city.”

                                    (This is) the promise of the *LORD.

v35      “So I will make this city safe and I will save it.

(I will do this to keep) my good name.

I promised my servant David (that I would do it). (That is why I will do it.)” ’

God destroys Assyria’s army

v36 Then an *angel of the *LORD went and he killed 185 000 men in the (army) from Assyria. When people got up in the morning, they saw all these dead bodies! v37 So Sennacherib, (who was) the king of Assyria, took his army away. He returned to (Assyria) and he stayed there in Nineveh. v38 He was *worshipping his god Nisroch in the house (of Nisroch). (Two of) his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with (their) *swords. Then, they ran away into the country called Ararat. (So) Esarhaddon, (who was another of) his sons, ruled instead of (Sennacherib).

Verse 38 This happened about 20 years after verse 37 happened.

PART 4: Chapters 38-55 God’s Servant saves God’s people

Hezekiah’s mistake and God’s promises (chapters 38-40)

Chapter 38

Hezekiah becomes ill

v1 At that time, Hezekiah was very ill. He nearly died. And Isaiah the *prophet, (who was) the son of Amoz, went to (Hezekiah). And (Isaiah) said to (Hezekiah), ‘This is what the *LORD says. “Make everything ready for your son, because you will die. You will not get better.” ’ v2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and he prayed to the *LORD. v3 And he said, ‘Please remember, LORD, that I have been your good servant. (I have) always obeyed to you. I have worked for you with all my power. You have seen that I did good things.’ And Hezekiah wept sad *tears. v4 Then the *LORD told Isaiah (again what) to say. v5 ‘Go and say this to Hezekiah. “This is what the *LORD says. (The LORD) is the God of your *ancestor David. I have heard what you prayed. I have seen your tears. So, I will let you be alive for 15 more years. v6 I will save you from the power of the king of Assyria. Also, I will keep this city safe, this city (Jerusalem).” ’ v7 And (Isaiah said), ‘This is a message to you from the *LORD. (It is a message) that the LORD will do what he has promised (to do). v8 You can see the shadow of the sun when it falls on the stairs. (They are the stairs) that (King) Ahaz built. I will cause the shadow to go back ten steps (on these stairs).’ And the shadow did go back ten steps!

v9 (This is) a *poem that Hezekiah the king of Judah wrote. He wrote it after he got better from his illness.

            v10      I said, ‘I hope that I will not really go through the gates of *Sheol during the best days of my life.

            I hope that (death) will not take from me my other years.’

            v11      I said, ‘I will not see the *LORD (again).

            (I will not) live on this earth and (see) the LORD.

            I will never see these people (again).

            I will never be with the people that are living in this world.

            v12      (The *LORD) has knocked down my house and he has taken it from me.

            (He did it) as (easily as someone packs away) the *tent of a sheep farmer.

            (He has) caused my life to come to an end.

            It is like when someone finishes making a carpet. He rolls it up.

            It is like when someone has made some cloth.

            He cuts it away from the machine that he uses to make the cloth.

            (In a) day and (in a) night God brought me to my end.

            v13      I waited quietly until the dawn.

            Then, like a *lion (does), (God) broke all my bones.

            (In a) day and (in a) night God brought me to my end.

            v14      I cried like a small bird, (perhaps) a *thrush.

            I made a sad noise like a *dove makes.

            My eyes became weak (while I looked) to the skies.

            *Lord, save me from my trouble!

            v15      I do not know what I can say. (The *LORD) has spoken to me

            and (the LORD) has done (all this to me).

            I will live quietly, because I felt so sad (inside me).

            v16      *Lord, by these things, (people) have life.

            By all these things, my *spirit has life.

            You gave me back my health and you have let me live.

            v17      Really, it was good for me to have such trouble.

            Your love did not let the *Pit kill me,

            because you threw all my *sins behind your back.

            v18      (People that are in) *Sheol cannot thank you.

            Dead (people) cannot sing and *praise you.

            People that go down to the *Pit cannot enjoy your love.

            v19      People that are alive and not dead can thank you.

            I am doing it today.

            A father tells his children about your love.

            v20      The *LORD will save me (from death).

            Then we will sing in the *temple of the LORD every day of our lives.

            (We will sing with the music of) *stringed instruments.’

v21 Now Isaiah said (this earlier). ‘Make a hot cake of *figs and put it on the bad place on (Hezekiah’s) skin. Then he will get better.’ v22 And Hezekiah had asked, ‘What will show me that I will be able to go up to the *temple of the *LORD?’

Chapter 39

Hezekiah’s mistake

v1 When this happened, Merodach-Baladan was the king of Babylon. He was the son of Baladan. (Merodach-Baladan) sent Hezekiah letters and a gift. He had heard that (Hezekiah) was ill. But (now he heard) that Hezekiah was better. v2 Hezekiah was happy to meet the officers that (the king of Babylon) had sent. (Hezekiah) showed to them the places where he stored (his valuable things). He showed them what was there. (He showed them) *silver and gold, *spices and very good oil. (He showed them) all his arms and everything else that was valuable. There was nothing in his beautiful house or in his whole country that Hezekiah did not show them. v3 Then Isaiah the *prophet went to King Hezekiah and (Isaiah) said to him, ‘What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?’ Then Hezekiah said, ‘They came to me from the far country called Babylon.’ v4 And (Isaiah) asked, ‘What did they see in your house?’ So Hezekiah said, ‘They saw everything (that is) in my house. There is nothing among my valuable things that I did not show to them.’ v5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear what the *LORD of Everything says to you.

v6 “This is what will certainly happen. (Soldiers from Babylon) will take everything (that is) in your beautiful house to Babylon. They will take everything that your *ancestors have stored here until now. They will leave nothing (here)”, says the *LORD.

v7 “And some of your own sons, your grandsons (and their sons, too), will go to Babylon. (Soldiers from Babylon) will cause them to go there. And they will become *eunuchs in the beautiful house of the king of Babylon.” ’ v8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The words that you said from the *LORD are good.’ But what he really thought was, ‘There will be no war. And it will be safe while I am alive.’

Chapter 40

God’s promises

v1 ‘Say kind words to my people. Say kind words (to them)’, says your God.

v2 ‘Speak to the minds of the people in Jerusalem and tell this to them:

·           (Your) life as soldiers in a war has finished.

·           (God has) excused (your) *sins.

·           And the *LORD’s hand has *punished you twice for all (your) sins.’

v3 A voice is shouting, ‘Prepare a road for the *LORD in the sandy places. Make a straight road on higher ground for our God in the *Arabah.

v4 (God’s servants will) raise up (the lower parts of) every valley. And (they will) make every mountain and hill lower. The ground that nobody has dug will become like a garden. And (they will make) the hilly places flat.

v5 Then, (people will) see the *glory of the *LORD. Everybody that lives on the earth will see it together. These are words that the LORD himself has spoken.’

v6 A voice is saying, ‘Shout (something) aloud!’ But I say, ‘What shall I shout?’ (The voice answered), ‘Everybody is like grass and all their *glory is like a flower in the field.

v7 Grass will die and a flower will fall (to the ground). (This will happen) because the *LORD’s *breath will blow on them. Surely, everybody (is like) grass.

v8 Grass will die and a flower will fall (to the ground). But a word that our God (speaks) will be true for all time.

v9 You, (the servant that is) bringing good news to *Zion, go up on to a high mountain. You, (the servant that is) bringing good news to Jerusalem, shout loudly with your voice. (Shout) aloud, and do not be afraid. Say to the towns in Judah, “Here is your God!”

v10 Look! Your master, the *LORD, is coming with power. And his arm will rule (the people) for him. Look (again)! He (is bringing) his gifts with him. And he will pay something (to his people).’

Verse 10 ‘his arm will rule’ may mean ‘he will rule by his power’. But ‘the arm of the LORD’ means something special in Isaiah’s book. See Isaiah 53:1. Many Bible students say that it is a special name for Christ.

v11 ‘He will love his sheep like a *shepherd does. He will carry the young sheep in his arms. And he will hold them near to his heart. He will carefully lead (the sheep) that have young (sheep).’

A shepherd is a sheep farmer. He is a like a picture of somebody that is careful for his people. God often sees his people as sheep that need a shepherd.

v12 (He is the God) who has (done these things):

·           (He) measured (all) the waters (in the sea) in (one of) his hand(s).

·           (He saw that) the skies were as wide as (one of) his hands.

·           (He) put (all) the dirt of the earth into a bucket.

·           (He) weighed the mountains on the *scales.

·           (He weighed) the hills in a *balance.

v13-14 (There is nobody) who has (done these things).

·           (Nobody) understood the mind of the *LORD.

·           (Nobody,) as his *helper, told him what to do.

·           (Nobody) told (God) what to do when the LORD asked him.

·           (Nobody) taught him the proper way to do things.

·           (Nobody) taught him what things to know about.

·           (Nobody) showed him the way to understand things.

v15 Surely, the countries are like a small quantity (of water) in a bucket. They are like a small bits of dirt on the *scales. (The *LORD) weighs the islands like small bits of dirt.

v16 (A tree from) Lebanon is not enough to make a fire for his *altar. Neither are its animals enough to burn on the altars (to make God happy).

v17 All the countries in the world are like nothing in front of (the *LORD). He thinks about them like they had no value. (They seem) less than nothing.

v18      You cannot find anyone else that is like God.

            You cannot say that he is like any false god.

v19 An able man makes a false god. An able worker covers it with gold. He also makes something from *silver for it.

v20 Some people are too poor to give a gift like that. They choose a wood that will not soon fall into pieces. They will look for an able man that will make a false god (from the wood). (But that false god) cannot move.

v21 (Think about the things in verses 22-24.)

·           You should know (these things).

·           You should have heard (these things).

·           (Somebody) should have told (them) to you from the beginning.

·           You should have understood (them) since (God) made the earth.

v22 (God) sits on a special seat where the earth and the sky meet. And the people (on the earth seem) like small insects (to him). He hangs out the skies like a curtain. And he makes them like a *tent (that he can) live in.

v23 He is the (God) that makes kings into nothing. He takes away (the power) from world leaders, so that they have none.

v24 (Those leaders are like plants.) As soon as (somebody) plants them, (God) will blow on them. And as soon as (somebody) puts them into the ground, they will die. As soon as they put *roots down, a strong wind will blow them away like dead plants.

v25 The *Holy (God) says (these things):

·           ‘You cannot say that I am like anybody.

·           Nobody is as good as (or better than) I am.’

v26 Turn your eyes up and look at the skies. (He is the God) who *created them. (God) made the very large number (of stars) and he gave each one of them a name. He did not forget to give a name to any of them, because of (his) great power. (God) is very, very strong.

v27 You people of Jacob (*Jewish people) say, ‘The *LORD has forgotten what I am doing.’ And you people of Israel say, ‘My God is not fair to me.’ But you should not say those things.

v28 You surely know this. You surely have listened to it! The *LORD is the God that will always be alive. He is the *Creator of (even) the parts of the earth that are very far away. He will never become tired or lose his *strength. Nobody will ever understand his mind.

v29 He makes tired people strong and he gives more *strength to weak people.

v30 Even young people get tired and they lose their *strength. And young men will fall over (something) and they will fall (to the ground).

v31 But people who hope (for help from) the *LORD will get back (their) *strength. They will fly high on *wings like (large birds called) eagles. They will run and they will not become tired. They will walk and they will not fall over.

Chapter 41

God is the *Judge of the World

v1 ‘You islands, be quiet when you come to me. And everybody must become strong again. They must move towards the front (of the *court) and they must speak. We must meet together so that (I, the *LORD) can be your *judge.

v2 (The *LORD) will awake a man in the east (as from sleep). The good (God) will ask the man to follow (the LORD).

·           (The LORD) will give (many) countries to him.

·           (The LORD) will cause kings to go down on their knees in front of him.

·           (The LORD) will make (people) into dead bodies with that man’s *sword.

·           (The LORD) will make) them like dry dead bits of plants. That man’s bow will blow them away.

v3 He (the *LORD’s servant) will run after them, but he himself will move on safely. He will go on a path (very quickly). His feet (will almost not touch the ground) while he travels.

v4 (I am the God) who will do this. And I will cause it to happen’, (says the *LORD). ‘(I am the God) who told you about everything from the beginning. I, the LORD, am the first (person). But I am he (who will be) with people at the end.’

v5 The (people on the) islands heard this and they were afraid. It frightened the people at the far places of the earth very much. They came near (to each other). They met together.

v6 Each (country) helped the other (country). Each person said to his brother, ‘Be strong!’

v7 The careful worker let the worker who makes things out of gold hope. The man with a hammer said to the man with the large bit of iron, ‘What you have put together is good.’ Then he made (the *idol) safe with bits of iron so that it could not fall over.

v8 ‘But you, Israel, are my servant. Jacob, I have chosen you. You are the *descendants of my friend Abraham.’

Verse 8 ‘Jacob’ means the people in Israel and Judah, who were *descendants of Jacob. The *Hebrew word for descendants means ‘seed’. This means descendants who believe God. They love him and they obey him.

v9 ‘I brought you from the ends of the earth. I brought you from its far corners. I have said, “You are my servant. I have chosen you. I have not refused to say that you are mine.

v10 So do not be afraid, because I am with you. Do not be sad, because I am your God. I will make you strong and I will help you. Really, I will hold you with my right hand. (It is strong and) it wins wars.”

v11 Everybody that is angry with you will surely be ashamed. They will lose their good name. Those that fight you will become like nothing. And they will die.

v12 Even if you look for your enemies, you will not find them. The people that fight against you will *disappear.

v13 (This will happen) because I am the *LORD. (I am) your God. I will hold on to your right hand. And I will say to you, “Do not be afraid. I will help you.”

v14 Do not be afraid, you *worm Jacob, you (people of) little Israel. I myself will help you.’ This is what the *LORD says. He is your *Redeemer. (He is the) *Holy (God) of Israel.

Jacob here means the *Jews, who were *descendants of Jacob.

v15 ‘Look! I will cause you to become like a machine that *threshes. It will be new and sharp, with many sharp metal points that are like teeth. You will thresh the mountains and you will break the hills. They will become (like) *chaff.

v16 You will make them into separate (small pieces). Then the wind will pick them up and a strong wind will blow them away. But you will be happy with the *LORD. You will (have some of the) *glory of the *Holy (God) of Israel.

v17 Poor people and people who need (water) look for water. But there is none. Their mouths are dry because they need a drink. I, the *LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not forget them.

v18 I will make rivers on hills where nothing grows. And (I will make) wells of water in the valleys. I will make pools of water in the sandy places. And (I will make) wells where the ground is dry.

v19 I will put these kinds of trees into the sandy places: cedar, acacia, myrtle and olive. And I will put together into the *Arabah these kinds of trees: pine, fir and cypress.

v20 Then people will see this. They will know that the hand of the *LORD has done it. They will think about it. And they will understand that the *Holy (God) of Israel has *created it.’

Verse 19 These trees are not usually together in the same place.

v21 The *LORD says, ‘Tell me the reasons (for your thoughts).’ *Jacob’s king says, ‘Say what you believe.

v22 Bring (your *idols) into (*court). Cause them to tell us what will happen (in future years). Tell us about past things. Then we can think about them. And we will know what happened. Or tell us about events that will happen.

v23 Tell us what will happen in future years. Then we will know that (your *idols) are gods. Do something good or bad that will make us sad and afraid at the same time.

v24 But your (*idols) are less than nothing. And the things that you have made are really worth nothing. Anybody that chooses you is really very bad!’

v25 ‘I will awake somebody from the north. And he will come from (the direction of) the sun when it rises. He will tell my name to people (by what he does). He will walk on the rulers (of the people) like they were *mortar. And like a person who makes pots, he will make shapes with the *clay.

v26 Tell me who told (this) to you from the beginning. Then we would know (what would happen). Or (tell me who told this to you. They told it to you) before it happened. Then we could say, “He was right.”

v27 Remember, I (God) was the first (person) to tell this to *Zion. “Look, they are here!” I gave to Jerusalem somebody that brought good news.

v28 I looked, but there is nobody (among the people). There is nobody to teach them what to do. There is nobody to answer (the questions that) I ask them.

v29 Look! All (the *idols) are false. What they do comes to nothing. Their idols are only like wind and they confuse people.’


Here is the shape of chapter 41.



Verse 1 God, as the *judge, tells the people in all the countries in the world that they must come to his *court.


Verses 2-4 God, as an important person in the *court, asks the question, ‘Who decides what happens in the world?’



Verses 5-7 The countries

of the world say that they

will believe in their false gods.


Verses 8-20 God, both as master and as *redeemer, promises to help his people.



Verses 21-24 God, as an important person in the *court, says that the *idols cannot explain anything.



Verses 25-29 God, as *judge, will send someone from the north to rule many countries.



Chapter 42

The First Servant Song

The Song: God speaks about his servant

v1 ‘Look at my servant, to whom I will give a lot of help. I chose him and he gives pleasure to my Spirit. I will put my Spirit on him and he will be a fair *judge for every country.

v2 He will not talk loudly, nor scream. And he will not shout with a loud voice in the streets.

v3 He will not break a *reed that somebody has bent. And he will not put out a fire that has almost stopped burning. He will always be kind (to his people) and he will be a fair *judge.

v4 Nothing will cause him to make a mistake. Also, he will always be brave, until there is *justice (everywhere) on the earth. The islands will hope for what he has promised (to happen).’

Verse 4 We think that the word ‘islands’ here means countries near to Judah.

God speaks to his servant

v5 God (is) the *LORD. This is what he says. (He is the God) who *created the skies. He hung them up (like a curtain). He made the shape of the whole earth. (He made) everything that grows in it. He gives (air) to its people so that they can *breathe. And he causes everybody to live that walks on (the earth).

v6 (He says), ‘I (am) the *LORD. I have asked you (to work for) *Righteousness. I will hold your hand. I will keep you safe. And I will cause you to be a *Covenant for the people. (You will be like) a light for the countries that are not *Jewish.

v7 (You will) cause *blind eyes to see. You will make the *prisoners free from (their) prison. And you will make free those people who sit in a dark prison, deep in the ground.

v8 I am the *LORD. That is my name. I will not give my *glory to anybody else. (I will) not let people *praise *idols. (They should praise) me.

v9 Everything (that I promised) in past years has happened. Now I will tell you about new things. Before they happen, I will talk about them to you.’

Words from Isaiah

v10 Sing a new song to the *LORD, you people that go down to the sea. And everything that is in (the sea), (sing a new song). *Praise him from the far places of the earth, you islands and everybody that lives in them.

Verse 10 We think that the word ‘islands’ here means countries near to Judah.

v11 (The people in) the sandy places and in the towns near them should use their voices (to *praise God). The places (where the people) of Kedar live should be very happy. The people in Sela should sing because they are so happy. They should shout from the tops of their mountains.

v12 They should give *glory to the *LORD and they should *praise him in the islands.

v13 The *LORD will march out like a strong man. He will awake like a soldier who is ready (to fight). He will shout the war song loudly. And then he will beat his enemies.

God speaks again

v14 ‘I have been quiet for a long time. I have held myself back and I have done nothing. I am like a woman that is having a baby. I cry. I try to *breathe. And I breathe out with difficulty, all at the same time.

v15 I will make the mountains and hills into empty places. And I will make all the plants (that grow) there dry. I will make rivers into islands and I will make all the pools dry.

v16 I will lead *blind people by ways that they did not know. I will be their guide along paths that are new to them. I will make the dark places in front of them into light places. And I will make the *rough places flat. These are the things that I will do. I will not leave (my people by themselves).

v17 I will turn back (people) that believe in *idols. And (people that) say to idols, “You are our gods” will be ashamed.

v18 Listen (to me), you (people) who are not able to hear! You *blind (people), look and see!

v19 Who is *blind? (Only) my servant (Israel is blind). Who is not able to hear? The man with the message that I send. (He is not able to hear.) Of all people, the person that believes me is really blind! Of all people, the servant of the *LORD is really blind!

v20 You have seen many things, but you have not thought about them. He (Israel) has opened his ears (to listen), but he hears nothing.’

More words from Isaiah

v21 It gave pleasure to the *LORD to make his great and fair rules. (He did this) because he was *righteous.

v22 But (an enemy) has robbed this people and he has taken things from them. (The enemy) has caught them all in holes in the ground or he has hidden them in prisons. (The enemy) took this people and nobody has saved them. They themselves are what the robber took. And nobody said, ‘Send them back.’

v23 Not many among you will listen to this! Not many (of you) will think about it in the future!

v24 Who gave Jacob (for the enemy) to rob? Who gave Israel’s people to those who robbed them? (The answer is) that it was the *LORD. We have *sinned against him. They would not walk in his ways. Also, they did not obey his rules.

Verse 24 Jacob here means God’s people, who were *descendants of Jacob.

v25 So (the *LORD) was very, very angry with them. (He caused) a very, very bad war. (He was so angry that) it was like a fire round them. But they did not understand (what he was doing). (The war) killed their people. But they did not know what it meant.

About the Servant of the *LORD

          Many Bible students, perhaps hundreds, have written about ‘the servant of the *LORD’. The words come in other places in the *Old Testament, but it comes most importantly in Isaiah chapters 41-55. The word LORD, with 4 capital letters, translates the *Hebrew word YHWH. Some people pronounce it JEHOVAH. Nobody is sure what YHWH means. It may mean the same as God’s name in Exodus 3:14: ‘I AM THAT WHICH I AM’ or ‘I AM BECAUSE I AM’. It tells us that God is always alive!

          There are 4 parts of Isaiah that Bible students call ‘Servant Songs’. They are Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9 and 52:13-53:12. In Acts 8:30-35, we can read part of the story of a man from Ethiopia. Philip heard him read from the 4th Servant Song. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The man did not understand, so Philip explained it to him. The question the man asked was this. ‘Is the *prophet (Isaiah) speaking about himself, or about somebody else?’ Philip’s answer was, ‘Somebody else, Jesus’. Also, Matthew tells us that Isaiah wrote about Jesus in the first Servant Song, Matthew 12:14-21.

          But the servant in Isaiah chapters 41-55 (not only the 4 Servant Songs) is not always Jesus. Also, *Jewish Bible students do not have the same answers as Christians. Lastly, the servant in some places in Isaiah chapters 41-55 is one person (or group of persons). But in other places it is somebody else. Here are some of the answers that Bible students have given.

          1) Usually, *Jewish Bible students say that the servant is nearly always the country called Israel.

          Christians agree that in some places, like Isaiah 41:18-20, Israel is called the servant of the *LORD. Even in Babylon, after God has *punished Israel, Israel continues to be God’s servant, as in Isaiah 43:21.

          2) In Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 the servant is King Cyrus of Persia. Isaiah 44:28 calls him the *LORD’s ‘shepherd’. And 45:1 says that the LORD has ‘anointed’ him. A shepherd is a sheep farmer. He is a like a picture of somebody that is careful for his people. ‘Anointed’ means ‘someone poured oil on him’. Oil in the Bible often means God’s *Holy Spirit. This gives the anointed person something to do and it gives him the authority and power to do it. The kings that lived after Cyrus are also God’s servants, Darius and Artaxerxes.

          3) But Jesus is also a shepherd (John 10:11) and God has anointed him with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16).

          And Christians believe that Isaiah 53 can only be about Jesus. Also, it is true that Isaiah 42:1 may be about both Israel and the kings of Persia. But it is mostly about Jesus.

          So, when we read the words ‘the servant of *YHWH’, they can mean several things:

·        the country called Israel

·        the *prophet Isaiah

·        the rulers of Persia

·        Jesus Christ.

          ‘Christ’ is the Greek word for ‘*anointed’. Greek is a language. For Christians, the servant of *YHWH is JESUS THE ANOINTED! He is doing what Israel, Isaiah and Cyrus did 2700 years ago.

God *redeems Israel (chapters 43-45)

Chapter 43

v1 But now, this is what the *LORD says. He (is the LORD) who *created you, *Jacob. And he (is the God) who gave shape to you, Israel. (He says this.) ‘Do not be afraid, because I have *redeemed you. I have called you by (your) name. You are mine.

v2 I will be with you, when you go through (dangerous) waters. (And when you go through) rivers they will not carry you away. When you walk through fire it will not burn you. And the fire will not make a fire out of you.

v3 I will save you, because I, the *LORD, am your God. (I am) the *Holy (God) of Israel. I gave Egypt to *ransom you and I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

v4 I think that you are valuable and very good. Because of this, and because I love you, (I will do this). I will take men for you and I will take people for your life.

v5 Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will bring your child(ren) from the east and I will fetch you from the west.

v6 I will say to (people in) the north, “Give them back!” And I will say to (people in) the south, “Do not stop them from coming back.” Bring my sons from far (places) and my daughters from the ends of the earth.

v7 (Bring) everyone who is called by my name. I *created them. I gave them a shape and yes, I made them for my *glory.

v8 Lead out those (people) with eyes who are *blind. (Lead out) those (people) with ears who cannot hear.

v9 Bring every country together. And bring together all the people. Perhaps some of them said that this would happen. And (perhaps some of them) told us about what happened a long time ago. (If they did,) they should bring their *witnesses. (They could) *prove that they were right. Then other people will hear it and they will say, “It is true.”

v10 You are my *witnesses’, says the *LORD. ‘You are my servant whom I have chosen. (I chose you) so that you may know (me). Also, (I wanted you to) believe that I am (God). And (I wanted you) to understand (that I am God). That is why (I chose you). Before me, nobody made a god. And there will not be (a God) after me.

v11 I, only I, am the *LORD. And, without me, there is nobody to save (you).

v12 It was I, and not a foreign god among you, that showed (this to you). And I saved (you) and I told (this to you). You are my *witnesses that I am God’, says the *LORD.

v13 ‘Yes! From a long time ago, I am (God). Nobody can save himself from my power. When I do something, nobody can change it.’

v14 This is what the *LORD says. (The LORD) is your *redeemer (and he is) the Holy (God) of Israel. (He says), ‘I will send (an army) to Babylon because of you, (Israel). And I will make all the people from Babylon into *prisoners. (They will be) in their ships. They think that they are very good.

v15 I am the *LORD (who is) your Holy (God). (I am) Israel’s *Creator and your King.’

v16-17 This is what the *LORD says. (He is the LORD who did these things:)

·           He made a road through the sea.

·           (He made) a path through the great waters.

·           He drew *chariots and (their) horses, the army and (its) leaders, out (into the sea).

·           (He caused them) to lie there so that they would never get up again. He put them out and he blew them out, like a light.

v18 (The *LORD says,) ‘Forget what happened a long time ago. Do not think about that.

v19 Look! I will do something that is new! Now it appears quickly. Surely, you can see it. I am making a road in the sandy places. And (I am making) streams in the wild places.

v20 The wild animals, *jackals and *owls, give me *praise. (They do this) because I give them water in the sandy places and streams in the wild places. (I want) my people that I have chosen to be able to drink. (That is why I do this.)

v21 (They are) the people that I made for myself. (I did it) so that they could *praise me aloud.

v22 You did not pray to me, *Jacob. You have not worked for me, Israel.

v23 (It was) not to me that you brought sheep. (You did not) burn them to offer them to me. What you put at one side did not give me *praise. I have not caused you to carry heavy *grain to offer to me. I have not made you tired because I demanded *incense (from you).

v24 You did not bring (the plant called) calamus, which had a nice smell, for me. You did not give large amounts of meat from the animals that you burned to me. Instead, you caused me to carry your *sins like a heavy weight. And you have made me tired every time that you did not obey me.

v25 I, (but yes,) I am he who sweeps away your *sins. (I do it) to keep my good name. I will not remember that you have not obeyed me.

v26 Remember with me (what happened a long time ago). We should talk about it together. You think that you have not sinned. Tell me why you think that.

v27 Your first *ancestor did not obey me. And the people that spoke (to me) on behalf of you *sinned against me.

v28 So I made your *holy leaders ashamed. Then I destroyed everything in *Jacob (that I did not like). (Also, people) laughed in a bad way at Israel.

Chapter 44

v1 But now listen (and obey me), my servant *Jacob. (Listen to me) Israel, whom I have chosen.’

v2 This is what the *LORD says. He (is the LORD) who made you. He gave you a shape when you were still inside your mother. And he will help you. (He says), ‘Do not be afraid, *Jacob my servant and *Jeshurun, whom I chose.

v3 (Do not be afraid) for these reasons:

·           I will pour water on to land that is very dry.

·           I will pour streams (of water) on to dry ground.

·           I will pour out my Spirit on to your children.

·           I will do good things for your children’s children.

v4 They will grow up like grass in a field. (They will grow) like tall trees by streams of water.

v5 One (of them) will say, “I (belong) to the *LORD.” And another (person) will call (himself) by the name *Jacob. Then another (person) will write on his hand, “(I belong to) the LORD”, and he will call (himself) Israel.’

v6 This is what the *LORD says. (He is) the King and *Redeemer of Israel and (he is) the LORD of Everything. (He says,) ‘I am the first (God) and I am the last (God). There is no God without me.

v7 Is there (any God) like me? (If there is), he should say so. He must say it. And he should tell me (this):

·           What has happened since I made my people a long (time) ago?

·           What will happen in future years?

Yes! He should say what will happen!

v8 Do not move and do not be afraid. I told you this long ago. And I said that it would happen. You are my *witnesses. Is there any God without me? No! There is no (other) Rock. I do not know about any (other God).’

Verse 8 ‘Rock’ is a name for God.

v9 Everybody that makes an *idol (is) of no value. And the things that they have pleasure in will bring no help. Their *witnesses cannot see (anything). Also, they will be ashamed, because they know nothing. v10 Everybody who has made the shape of a god has made (only) an *idol. It will not help them. v11 Really, everybody like them will be ashamed. People who make (these things) are only human. They should all come and they should stand together (by their *idols). They will be very much afraid. Also, they will quickly understand what fools they are.

v12 A man that works with iron (takes) a tool. He holds (the iron) in the fire (with the tool). Then he uses a hammer. He gives (the iron) a shape. He has made (an *idol) with his strong arms. But (then) he becomes hungry and he is not strong. He drinks no water and he feels weak. v13 A man that works with wood measures (it) with a *ruler. Then he draws a shape with a pencil. He uses one tool to give (the wood) its first shape. He uses another tool to make the shape better. Then he causes its shape to seem like a man. (He has made) a beautiful human (shape). It will remain in a house. v14 (A man went) to cut down *cedar trees for himself. He had taken *cypress and *oak (trees). And he had let them grow for himself, among the trees in the forest. He had planted a *pine tree and the rain had caused it to grow. v15 It is (wood) for (the) man to burn. So he takes some of it and he makes himself warm. Yes, and now he lights a fire and he bakes bread. And then he makes a god and he *worships it. He makes an *idol and he goes down on his knees in front of it. v16 Half (of the wood) he burnt in the fire. He made his meal with (that) half. He cooked his meat. And he ate as much as he wanted. He also made himself warm and he said, ‘Good! I am warm. I can see the fire.’ v17 From the other half he makes a god. (It is) his *idol. He goes on his knees in front of it and he *worships it. And he prays to it and he says, ‘Save me, because you are my god.’

v18 These people know nothing. They understand nothing. (This is) because something is covering their eyes. So, they cannot see (anything). Their minds cannot understand (anything). v19 Nobody really thinks about it. Nobody knows about it, or understands it. (Nobody) says, ‘I burnt half of it in the fire. I even baked bread with the wood from it. I cooked meat and I ate (it). (Perhaps) I will make something to *worship from what is still there. (Perhaps) I will go down on my knees in front of a piece of wood.’ v20 It is like he is eating ashes. His mind has made a mistake. And it leads him away (from what is true). He cannot save himself. He does not understand that the thing in his right hand is a false (god).

v21 ‘*Jacob, remember these things, because you, Israel, are my servant. I caused you (to be) my servant. Israel, I will not forget you.

v22 I have swept away your *sins like (the wind sweeps away) a cloud. The wrong things that you have done (have *disappeared) like clouds in the morning. Return to me, because I have *redeemed you.’

v23 Skies above (us), sing because you are so happy. (Sing), because the *LORD has done this! Earth beneath (us), shout as loudly (as you can). You mountains, start to sing. (Do the same), you forests and all your trees! (Do this), because the LORD has *redeemed *Jacob. He has shown his *glory in Israel.

v24 This is what the *LORD says. He is your *Redeemer. He gave you a shape (when you were still) inside your mother. ‘I am the LORD, who has made everything. I alone hung out the skies (like a curtain). I made the earth by myself.

v25 I will destroy the messages of the false *prophets. Some people try to say what will happen in future years. I will cause them to seem like fools. Some people think that they are clever. They think that they know everything. But I will change that. (What they know) will mean nothing. My servants say what I will do. My prophets say what will happen. I will do (all those things).

v26 I say about Jerusalem, “People will live there (again).” (I say) about the towns in Judah, “(People) will build them.” (And I say) about the (places that the enemy) destroyed, “I will build them again.”

v27 I said to the watery deep (sea), “Be dry! And I made your streams dry.”

v28 I say about Cyrus, “He is (like) my shepherd (sheep farmer). And he will do everything that gives me pleasure.” (Cyrus) will say about Jerusalem, “Build it again!” And (he will say) about the *temple, “Lay out the stones to build it on.” ’

Chapter 45

v1 The *LORD will say this to Cyrus, whom he has *anointed. I will hold his right hand. Then he will beat the countries where he goes. He will take their (war) arms from kings. He will open doors in front of him, so that the gates will not be closed. (He will say,)

v2 ‘I will go in front of you and I will make the mountains flat. I will break down *bronze gates and I will cut through iron *bars.

v3 Also, I will give to you the valuable things (that people hide) in dark places. (I will give to you) the valuable things that they store secretly. Then you will know that I am the *LORD. (I am) the God of Israel who will cause you to come. He will call you by (your) name.

v4 I will cause you to come. I have called you by (your) name, because of my servant Jacob and because of Israel. I have chosen you (Israel). And I will give you a good name, even if you will not recognise me.

v5 I am the *LORD and there is no other (LORD). There is no God without me. I will make you strong, even if you will not recognise me.

v6 Then, from east to west, people will know this. There is no (God) without me.

In *Hebrew, the word ‘east’ is ‘where the sun rises’. And the word ‘west’ is ‘where the sun goes down’.

v7 I made the light and I *created the dark. I cause (people) to do well and I create trouble. I (am) the *LORD. I do all these things.’

v8 I will ask the skies to send down good things. They will come down like rain. And I will prepare the earth to receive my power to save. That power will become great, like a plant that is growing. And good things will grow with it. I, (who am) the Lord, will cause this to happen.

v9 Bad (things will happen) to people who quarrel with their *Maker. (They are like) bits of pot (that are lying) among other bits of pot on the ground. The *clay does not say to the person who makes the pots, ‘What are you making?’ And the things that you make (do not say), ‘He has no hands.’

v10 Bad (things will happen) to people who say to their fathers, ‘What have you been father to?’ Or (bad things will happen to people) that say to their mothers, ‘What have you *given birth to?’

v11 The *LORD says this about things that will happen in the future. (The LORD is) the *Holy (God) of Israel and he is its Maker. (He says this:)

‘You should not ask me questions about my children.

You should not tell me what to do with what my hands have made.

v12 It is I who made the earth. Then I *created the people on it. (It was) I who, with my own hands, hung up the skies (like a curtain). I put all (the stars) in their places.

v13 My good help will make (Cyrus) into a great leader. I will make all his paths straight. He will build again my city (Jerusalem) and he will make my *exiles free. He will not get money or gifts because (he will do) this’, says the *LORD of Everything.

v14 This is what the *LORD is saying. ‘This is what will come to you and what will become yours.

·           everything that (the people in) Egypt make

·           everything that (the people in) Cush sell

·           the tall people from Sabea.

They will walk behind you. Metal lines (will tie them up) when they come to you. They will go down on their knees in front of you. They will pray to you. They will say, “Surely God is with you. And there is no other God.” ’

v15 It is true. You are a God that hides himself! (You are) the God that makes Israel safe!

v16 Everybody that makes *idols will be ashamed. And nobody will give them *praise. Together, they will have no praise.

v17 The *LORD will make Israel safe. (Israel) will be safe for all time. You will never be ashamed. And you will always have *praise. This will always be true.

v18 This is because the *LORD says it. He (is the LORD that) *created the skies. He is God. He made the earth and he gave to it its shape. He built it. He did not create it to be empty. He made it for people to live in. He says, ‘I am the LORD. And there is nobody else (that is LORD).

v19 I have not spoken secretly. (I have not spoken) from somewhere that is a dark country. I did not say to the people whose *ancestor is Jacob, “Look for me, but do not find me.” I am the *LORD. I speak what is true. I say what is right.

v20 Bring (yourselves) together! And come and put yourselves into a group. You (are) people that are running away from (other) countries. Some people that carry *idols that they made from wood. Those people do not know anything. (They are people that) pray to (false) gods. (Those gods) cannot make them safe.

v21 Speak! Tell us (what will happen)! Also, decide this together. Who said a long time ago that this would happen? Who said it in past years? It was I, the *LORD! There is no God without me. I am a *righteous God that saves (my people). There is (no other) God but me.

v22 Turn to me and I will make you safe. (Do this), everybody on the earth. (Do this) because I am God. I am God and there is no other (God but me).

v23 I, myself, have given you a promise. Because I am honest I have said this. I will change nothing that I have said. Everybody will go down on their knees in front of me. People will say their promises in every language in my (name).

v24 People will say this about me. “Only with the *LORD are things that are *righteous and strong.” Everybody that was angry with (God) will come to (God). They will be ashamed.

v25 With the *LORD, everybody that has Israel for an *ancestor will be *righteous and they will be very, very happy.’

God will send Cyrus to beat Babylon (chapters 46-47)

Chapter 46

v1 *Bel bends down. *Nebo lies low. Animals that can carry heavy things carry these *idols. (The animals) carry the idols, which are very heavy. They are very heavy for tired (animals).

v2 (The false gods) fall down and they lie together. (The animals) cannot carry the heavy weights. (The false gods) themselves go away (into another country) as slaves.

v3 ‘Listen to me, you people (that live) in *Jacob. (Listen to me), everyone that remains from the people in Israel. I have helped you since you began to live inside (your mother). And I have carried you since you were born.

v4 (I will do this) even until you are old. (Then) you will have grey hairs. I am he who will supply everything. I (will supply everything) that you need. I have made you and I will carry you. I will supply everything that you need. And I will save you.

v5 No (god) is like me! (*Bel, or *Nebo) are not as good as me. You cannot say that any god is like me. You cannot say that I am the same (as them).

v6 Some (people) pour out gold from a bag. And they weigh out *silver on the *scales. Then they pay someone who can work with gold. He makes it into a god. Then they bend down and they *worship it!

v7 They lift it on to their shoulders and they carry it. They put it in its place and it stands there. It cannot move from that place. If anyone shouts out to it, it does not answer. It cannot save anybody from his troubles.

v8 Remember this and fix it in (your) mind. Do not forget it, you people that fight against me.

v9 Remember the things that happened long ago. I am God and there is no other (God). I am God and there is nobody like me.

v10 I told (you) at the beginning what will happen at the end. (I told you) from long ago about future things that will happen. I am the Person that says (this). My purpose will not change. And I will do everything that I want (to do).

v11 I will send someone from the east like a bird that catches small animals. And (I will get) a man from a country that is far away. He will cause my purposes to happen. I really will do the things that I have promised to do. I have made a *plan and I will really will cause it to happen.

v12 Listen to me, you people that will not change your minds. (Listen), you people who are not *righteous in any way.

v13 Soon, I will come to do what is right. I am not far away. I will not wait any longer to come and save you. I will save (the people in) Zion (Jerusalem). (I will make) Israel beautiful.’

Chapter 47

v1 ‘Get down (on to the ground) and sit in the dirt, *Virgin *Daughter of Babylon. Sit on the ground without a high seat, *Daughter of the people in *Chaldea. Nobody will say that you are quiet and pretty again.

We think that ‘Virgin Daughter of Babylon’ means ‘all the people in Babylon’, mostly the leaders.

v2 Use a stone to break (*grain) into flour. *Uncover your face. Lift up your skirt and make your legs *bare. Walk through streams (of water).

v3 Everybody will see that you are *bare. Nothing will hide your sex parts. I will *punish (you) and I will not leave anybody out.’

v4 Our *Redeemer is the Holy (God) of Israel. His name is the *LORD of Everything. (He says this.)

v5 ‘*Daughter of the people in *Chaldea, sit and make no noise. And go into dark (places). Nobody will call you the queen of *kingdoms again.

v6 I was angry with my people (Judah). I made what was mine not clean. I gave them into your power, but you were not kind them. You even made the old people into slaves.

v7 You said, “I will always continue to be queen. (I will) always (be queen)!” But you did not think about these things. You did not think about what might happen (to you).

v8 Now, listen (to me), you (women) that love pleasure. You do not say what is true about your *safety. And you say (this) to yourself. “(Here) I am, and there is nobody except me. I will never be a *widow and I will never lose (my) children.”

v9 Both of these things will happen to you in one moment. (They will happen) in only one day. You will lose your children and you will become a *widow. It will all happen to you, even if you (try to stop it) with much *magic and powerful *magic words.

v10 You have believed this: The bad things that you have done would help you. And you have said, “Nobody sees me (when I do them).” But you are clever and you know so much. It has caused you to make mistakes. This happened when you said to yourself, “(Here) I am, and there is nobody except me.”

v11 Then bad things will happen to you. And you will not know what *magic words (will remove them). So they will destroy you and you will have no *ransom for them. They will destroy you quickly, in a way that you have known nothing about.

v12 Continue, then, with your *magic! (Continue to say) your many *magic words! You have worked a lot with them since you were children. Perhaps you will cause the *magic things really to happen. Perhaps you will frighten (your enemies)!

v13 All the things that you have learned have made you very tired! The people that (look at) different parts of the skies should stand up. Those people that study the stars should (stand up). They say what will happen each month. Cause them to save you from what will happen to you.

v14 Surely, they are like dry grass! Fire will burn them (away). They cannot save themselves from the heat of the fires. This is not the wood that will bake their bread. (It is) not a fire to sit by.

v15 This is (all) that they (have done) on your behalf. You worked with them since you were children. They were your friends. (But now) each of them continues to make mistakes. There is nobody to save you.’

Chapter 48

God will send Cyrus to make his people free from Babylon

v1 ‘Listen to this, you people of *Jacob. Your name is Israel and you belong to the family of Judah. You (are people) that promise in the name of the *LORD. Also, you ask the God of Israel for help. But you do not (do these things) honestly and fairly.

v2 They even call themselves (people who live) in the *holy city. And they hope that the God of Israel will help them. His name is the *LORD of Everything.

v3 I said (a) long (time) ago the things (that would) soon (happen). I myself said that they would happen. And I caused (everybody) to know (about them). Then, quickly, I did something and they happened!

v4 (This is why) I did it. I knew that it would be difficult to cause you to think differently. It seems that your necks have become (as hard) as iron! The front of your head is like *bronze!

v5 So I told you these things long ago. Before they happened, I told you about them. Then you could not say, “My *idol did them. My wood idol and my metal god decided that they would happen.”

v6 You heard (these things). Now look at them all. Agree that it is true! From now, I will tell you new things. They will be things that you do not know. (They will be things that I) hid from you.

v7 (I) *created them now. I did not (create them) a long (time) ago. You did not hear about them before today. So you cannot say, “Yes. I knew about them.”

v8 You have not heard them and you have not understood them. From (a) long (time) ago your ear has not listened to them. I know well that you do not always obey me. (People) said that you fought against (me) from (your) birth.

v9 I will not be angry immediately, because of the name that I have. (So that people will give) me *praise, I will not be angry with you. Then (nobody) will kill you.

v10 I have made you clean, but not as (people make) *silver (clean). I have let you have much trouble. It is like I put you in a fire. This has been to check how good you are.

v11 I do this on my own behalf, (yes), on my own behalf! Really, I cannot let people say bad things about me. And (so), I will not give my *praise to another (person or god).

v12 Listen to me, (you people of) *Jacob! (Listen to me, you people of) Israel. I have asked you to follow me. I am (your God). I am the first (God) and (I am) the last (God).

v13 My own hand put out the parts that are under the earth. And my right hand hung up the skies. When I speak to them, they all stand (up) together.

v14 All of you, come together and listen (to me). Not one (of your *idols) said what would happen. The *LORD has chosen a friend to help him. (This friend) will do what God wants to happen against Babylon. His arm (will be against) the people in *Chaldea.

v15 I, (yes,) I have spoken. Also, I have asked him to follow me. I will bring him (to Babylon). And he will do well in what he has to do.

v16 Come near to me and listen to this. From the first time that I spoke (about it), it was not a secret. When it happens, I will be there.

And now the *LORD and Master has sent me with his Spirit’, (says God’s servant).

v17 This is what the *LORD says. He is your *Redeemer, the Holy (God) of Israel. ‘I am the LORD your God. I will teach you what is the best (thing) for you. I will send you in the way that you should go.

v18 I told you what you should do. You should have listened to what I said. Then your *peace would be like a river. Also, the good things that you do would be like the *waves in the sea.

v19 Your children, and your children’s children, would be as many as there are little bits in some sand. Nobody would ever forget their names. Nobody would kill them in front of me.

v20 Leave Babylon! Run from the people in *Chaldea! Talk about it with happy shouts. Talk about it and send (the news) to the ends of the earth. Say that the *LORD has *redeemed *Jacob his servant.’

v21 They did not need a drink when he led them through sandy places. He caused water to pour from a rock for them. He broke the rock and water rushed out.

v22 ‘There is no *peace for bad people’, says the *LORD.

Chapter 49

The Second Servant Song

v1 Listen to me, (you) islands. And hear (this, you) countries that are far away. The *LORD chose me when I was inside my mother. From (when I was) inside her body he said my name.

Verse 1 We think that the word ‘islands’ here means countries near to Judah.

v2 And he made my mouth like a sharp *sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. And he made me into an *arrow (that he had caused) to shine. He hid me in his basket of arrows.

v3 He said to me, ‘You are my servant. (You are) Israel. In you I will show (to everybody) that I am beautiful.’

v4 But I said (that) my work had no purpose. I had done all that work for nothing. But the *LORD will be my *judge and my God (will know) the result of my work.

v5 And now the *LORD says (this). He (is the LORD) that made me inside my mother to be his servant.

·           (He did this) to bring *Jacob back to him.

·           Also, (he did it) to bring Israel to himself.

And I will have *praise in the eyes of the LORD. My God will make me strong. He says,

v6 ‘It is too small a thing for you, as my servant (to do these things):

·           Bring back the families of *Jacob.

·           And bring together the people of Israel that I have kept alive.

I will also make you (like) a light for the (people in other) countries. Then you will bring (the news) that I can save people to the ends of the earth.’

v7 This is what the *LORD says. (The LORD is) the *Redeemer and the *Holy (God) of Israel. (He says it) to him, (the servant). The country (Judah) thought that he was not important. And they did not like (him). (He was) the servant of rulers. (God says), ‘Kings will see you and they will rise up. Also, leaders will get on their knees (in front of you). (They will do this) because the LORD will always help (you). (He is) the Holy (God) of Israel, who has chosen you.’

v8 This is what the *LORD says. ‘When I am ready to do something for you, I will answer you. And in the day when I am ready to save you, I will help you. Also, I will keep you alive and I will cause you to be a *covenant for the people. You will make the country safe, and you will cause (people) to live in the empty places.

v9 You will say to the people (that are) in a prison, “Come out.” And (you will say) to those people that are in the dark, “Be free!”

They will eat food at the sides of the roads. And there will be food for them on every empty hill.

v10 They will not be hungry and they will not need a drink. The heat of the sun in the sandy places will not hurt them. He who loves them will be their guide. And he will lead them to water that comes up (from the ground).

v11 I will make all my mountains into roads. And I will build up all my roads on higher ground.

v12 Look! People will come from far away. And look! Some people will come from the north and some (will come) from the west. Some will (even) come from round Sinim.’

v13 (Everything in) the skies, shout because you are so happy! (Everything on) the earth, be very happy! Sing loudly, you mountains! (Do this) because the *LORD is being kind to his people. He will show his love to his people that are hurting.

v14 But *Zion said, ‘The *LORD has left me. The *Lord has forgotten me.’

v15 (The *LORD answered), ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast? Can she have no love for the child that came from inside her body? Yes, these (mothers) may forget, but I will not forget you.

v16 Look! I have written (your names) on my (own) hands. Your walls (of Jerusalem) are always in front of me.

v17 Your sons will hurry back (to you). People beat you and they destroyed you. But those people will leave you.

v18 Use your eyes and look all round you. All your (sons) will come (together). They will return to you. Because I am alive’, says the *LORD, ‘you will surely wear all of them as something beautiful. You will put them on as a woman does at the time of her marriage.

v19 (The enemy) broke you and they destroyed you. They made your land empty. But now your (land) will be too small for the people (that will come to) you. The people that destroyed you will be far away.

v20 Children were born to you while you were a *widow. They will say (this). “This place is too small for us. Give us more room to live in.”

v21 Then you will say in your mind, “I do not know how these (people) were born to me. I was a *widow and I could not have any (children). I was in *exile and (God had) thrown me away. So I do not know who *brought them up. Look, (he) left me alone. So I do not know where they have (come from).” ’

v22 The *LORD, (who is) the *Lord, says, ‘Look! I will point with my hand to (many) countries. I will lift up a mark to the people (in many countries). And they will bring your sons in their arms and they will carry your daughters on their shoulders.

v23 Then kings will be (like) fathers for you and their queens will be (like) mothers (to your children). They will go down on their knees in front of you. Their faces will look to the ground. And they will taste the dirt by your feet. Then you will know that I am the *LORD. I will not disappoint people that hope in me.

v24 You cannot take things away from strong soldiers. And you cannot save *prisoners from people that are right to keep them.’

v25 But this is what the *LORD says. ‘Yes! (I) can take the *prisoner from the strong soldier. And I will take back what the cruel man took away. I will fight with those people that fight with you. And I will make your children safe.

v26 I will cause the people that are cruel to you to eat their own bodies. They will become drunks with their own blood, like it was *wine. Then everybody will know that I, the *LORD, have made you safe. (I am) your *Redeemer, the Strong (God) of *Jacob.’

Chapter 50

v1 The *LORD says, ‘Your mother (Jerusalem) does not have a *divorce notice. (I mean) that I did not send her away with (a notice). I did not sell you to any of the people with whom I had a debt. I sold you because of your *sins. I sent your mother away because of wrong things (that she did).

v2 Nobody was there when I came. Nobody answered when I spoke to them. My arm was not too short to *ransom you. I was strong enough to save you. Look! With only a word I can make the sea dry. I can make rivers into sandy places. The fish in them will die because there is no water. And they will die because they need water.

v3 I can make the sky dark and I can cover it with hairy cloth.’

The Third Servant Song

v4 (The servant says,) ‘The *Lord, who is *LORD, has given to me a *tongue. It has learned (what to say). I know what to say to give hope (for something good) to very tired people. He wakes me every morning. He wakes my ear to listen, like someone that he is teaching.

v5 The *Lord, who is *LORD, has opened my ears. I have obeyed him and I have not turned back.

v6 I offered my back to the people that hit me. And (I offered) my face to the people that pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face when (they did these things). They laughed in a bad way at me and they *spat at me.

v7 The *Lord, who is *LORD, will help me. So, I will not be ashamed. I have made my face (hard) like a stone. So, I know that I will not be ashamed.

v8 He (the *LORD) says that I am right. He is near (to me). Some people are saying bad things about me. We should talk to each other! Some people have said that I have done wrong things. We should talk about it together!

v9 Look! The *Lord, who is *LORD, will help me. Some person may say that I have done wrong things. But people like that will all become like very old clothes. The *moths will eat them up!’

v10 Perhaps someone among you is afraid of the *LORD. And perhaps someone obeys the word of his servant. Some people walk in the dark and they have no light. They should believe in the LORD and they should hope for help from their God.

v11 But now, go and walk in the light of your fires. Everyone who has lit a fire (must do this). (So must) everybody that has got for themselves something on fire. (You must) go in the light of the fires that you have made. This is what you will receive from me. You will lie down in very great pain.

Copy God’s servant (Isaiah 51:1-52:12)

Chapter 51

v1 ‘Listen to me, you people that are trying to be very good (like my servant). And (listen to me,) you people that are coming to the *LORD. Think about the rock from which he cut you. And (think about) the rocky place from which he took you.

v2 Think about your father Abraham. And think about Sarah who gave you birth. When I spoke to (Abraham), there was only one (of him). Then I *blessed him and I made (from) him many (people).’

Verse 1 The ‘rock’ is like a picture of Abraham.

In verse 2, the word ‘father’ means ‘*ancestor’.

v3 Surely, the *LORD will be kind to *Zion. And he will make it strong again, when he looks at its buildings. (These are the people whose land the enemy) destroyed. He will make its sandy places like (the garden of) Eden. (He will make) its wild places like the garden of the LORD. (People will) be happy there. They will feel very happy there. (People will) hear songs that thank (God).

v4 ‘Listen to me, my people. And hear me, my country. The *law will go out from me. And what I fairly decide will be (like) a light to every country.

v5 The good things that I do (will be) near (to you). I will soon make you very safe. And my arm will decide fairly for every country. The islands will look to me and they will hope for my arm (to arrive).’

Many Christians believe that the Arm of the *LORD is a name for Jesus.

v6 ‘Lift up your eyes to the skies and look at the earth beneath (them). The skies will *disappear like smoke and the earth will become old like a coat. The people that live there will die in the same way. But the safe place that I give will be there always. The very good things that I do will never fail.’

Many translations have *righteousness for ‘very good things’. It is not only what God does. It is also what he is.

v7 ‘You people know that I am very good. (So) listen to me. You people have my *law in your minds. (Listen to me.) Some people say that you are wrong, But do not be afraid of those people. Do not let them make you afraid with their bad words.

v8 (Do not be afraid) because a *moth will (seem to) eat them up! (It will seem to eat them) like (it eats) clothes. A *grub will (seem to) eat them like (a *grub eats) clothes. But the very good things that I do will never have an end. The safe place that I (offer to you) will never have an end.’

v9 Awake, awake (you) arm of the *LORD! Put on *strength like (you put on) clothes! Awake, as you did in past days. (Awake) as you did for people many years ago. You cut Rahab into pieces. You pushed (your *sword) into that large animal.

v10 You made the sea and the deep waters dry. You made a road deep in the sea. The people that you *redeemed crossed over.

v11 And the people that the *LORD has *ransomed will return. And they will sing while they go into *Zion. And they will be so happy that it will always show on their faces. They will continue to be happy, so very happy. Then, they will no longer feel sad and they will not want to cry.

v12 ‘I, (the *LORD, yes,) I am he that (will always) make (everybody) strong.

You (people in *Zion, you) do not have to be afraid of men that will always die. They are (only) the sons of (other) men and they are only like grass.

v13 But (you all) forget the *LORD that made you! He put the skies in their place. And he made what is beneath the earth. (Do not) be afraid every day of your life, because your *oppressor is very angry. The oppressor wants to destroy things. But really he can do nothing, even if he is angry.

v14 The people that are so afraid will be made free. They will not die in a hole in the ground. They will not be without their bread, v15 because I am the *LORD your God. I am (the God) that moves the sea so that its waters make a great noise! His name is the *LORD of Everything. v16 I have put my words into your mouth, (my servant). And I have covered you with the shadow of my hand. (It is I) that will put the skies in their place. And I will make what is beneath the earth. And I will say to *Zion, “You are my people.” ’

v17 Awake, awake! Get up, (people in) Jerusalem! The LORD has been angry with you and he has punished you. When he punishes you it is like you are drinking something bad from a cup. You have drunk everything from the cup that makes people afraid (in front of God).

v18 There was nobody to be her guide, from all the sons that she gave birth to. There was nobody to lead her by the hand, from all the sons that she had taught.

v19 These two things have (destroyed) you. I do not know anyone who can make you strong again. (An enemy) broke and they destroyed (your buildings). The *sword (killed your people). And (they died because) there was no food. I do not know anyone who can make you happy again.

v20 Your sons have fallen down. They lie at the end of every street. (They are) like animals that something has caught. The *LORD was angry and the serious words of your God *punished them.

v21 So, hear this, you people that (God is) hurting. You are (like) drunks, but it is not because you have drunk *wine.

v22 This is what the *Lord who is your *LORD says. (He is) your God, that fights for his people. ‘Look! I have taken out from your hand the cup that makes you afraid. You will never drink again from that cup, the cup that contains my *anger.

v23 I will put it into the hands of the people that are cruel and *unkind to you. (They are) the people that said, “Lie down flat (on the ground), so that we can walk over you.” And you made your backs like the ground. (You made them) like a street that people could walk over.’

Chapter 52

v1 Awake, awake, *Zion! Put on *strength like (you put on) clothes. Put on your beautiful clothes, Jerusalem, the *holy city. People who are not God’s people will not come into you again.

‘People who are not God’s people’. Isaiah wrote ‘people who are not clean’. Here it means ‘not clean like God is clean’. This was because they met people like the people from Babylon. Those people did not love the *LORD God.

v2 Remove the dirt (from yourselves). Get up and sit on your special high seat, Jerusalem. Make yourself free from the *chains round your neck, *Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem) (who is now) (like someone) in a prison.

v3 (Do this) because the *LORD says, ‘You sold yourselves for nothing, and I will *redeem you without money.’ v4 And the *Lord who is *LORD says, ‘Firstly, my people went down to live in Egypt. Then, not long ago, Assyria was cruel to them. v5 And now, this is what I (have got) here’, says the *LORD. He says, ‘(An enemy) took my people away for nothing. And the rulers (of my people) are crying. And for all of every day (enemies) continue to say bad things about me. v6 So, my people will know my name. So, in that day, (my people) will know this. I said what would happen. Yes, I (said it)!’

v7 The feet of the people that bring good news will be beautiful. (They will be beautiful while they run) on the mountains. The people that bring good news will tell you, ‘There is no war and there is no danger.’ They will say to *Zion, ‘Your God rules (as king)!’

v8 Listen! The men that watch over (your city) are saying (something). They are (all) shouting together because they are so happy. When the *LORD returns to *Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.

v9 Sing aloud together, (you places in) Jerusalem that the enemy destroyed. (Do this) because the *LORD has made his people happy again. He has *redeemed Jerusalem.

v10 The *LORD has made his holy arm *bare. (He has done it) in front of the eyes of the people in every country. Now, all parts of the earth can see that our God makes people safe.

v11 Leave! Leave! Go out from there. Do not touch anything that is not clean. Go out from inside it! Those (people) that will carry the *LORD’s special things, be clean!

v12 But you will not go out quickly, or hurry away. (This is) because the *LORD will go in front of you. And the God of Israel will be like an army behind you.

The Fourth Servant Song (52:13-53:12)

v13 Look! Everything that my servant says will be good. (It will be) right. (I will) raise him up and I will lift him up (to an important place). And I will make him very important.

v14 (They) hit his body, so that it did not seem like (the body) of a man. (They) changed his shape, so that it was not like the shape of any human person. And when many people looked at him, they felt sick.

v15 But he will pour (water or something like water) on many countries! Kings will shut their mouths because of him. (Here are the reasons:)

·           They will see things that nobody told them about.

·           And they will understand things that they have not heard about.

Bible students do not really know why Isaiah used the word ‘pour’. Some students say that the word should be ‘startle’. This means ‘do something that surprises people’. We do not know what it means. And we do not know what the servant does! But it causes people to understand what happened to him.

Chapter 53

v1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the *LORD shown his Arm?

There are two answers to each question in this verse. They are: Who has believed our message? Nobody, unless it was the people that he poured something on. To whom has the *LORD shown his Arm? Nobody, if they look only at the human story of the servant. This human story is in verses 2 and 3.

‘our message’ may mean ‘God’s message’.

Many Christians believe that the Arm of the *LORD is a name for Jesus.

v2 (The Servant) grew up in front of him like a weak plant. And (he grew) from a *root in dry ground. He was not beautiful and he did not seem like a king. We had no interest in him. We looked at him. But there was nothing to cause us to want him.

v3 People did not like him. And they caused him to go away. (He was) a man who often felt very sad. And he knew what pain felt like. He was like someone from whom people hid their faces. People did not like him. And we decided that he was worth nothing.

v4 Surely, he lifted up our pain (from us)! And he took away the things that cause us to feel sad. But we thought that he had become ill. (We thought that) God had hit him very badly. And (we thought) that he was sick.

v5 They put a *sword into him, but we had done the wrong things. They hurt him and they broke him because of our *sins. (They gave) to him the *punishment (that brought) *peace to us. His *wounds have given us health.

v6 We have all gone away, like sheep. Each (of us) has turned to his own way. And the *LORD has put all our *sins on him.

v7 They were very cruel to him, but he was always quiet. And he did not open his mouth. They led him away like a *lamb to kill him. A sheep is quiet when they cut off its hairy coat. In the same way, he did not open his mouth.

v8 They took him to a *court. After this, they decided to take him (to die). And none of his people said that it was wrong. They did not let him stay in the country where people are alive. They hit him very badly because of the *sins of my people.

v9 They gave him a *grave with very bad people. And he was with a rich (man) in his deaths. (They did this), but he had done nothing to hurt people. Also, he had said nothing that was not true.

Verse 9 The word ‘deaths’ is plural in the *Hebrew Bible. Isaiah’s book is in the Hebrew Bible.

v10 But it was the *LORD’s idea to hurt him and to break him. (The LORD) caused (people) to hurt (him). The LORD offered his life for *sin, but (the servant) will see his seed. He will continue to live (after his death).

‘seed’ usually means ‘children’. But here it is a special Bible word for people that love Jesus.

v11 (Death) will hurt his *spirit. But, after that, what he sees will make him happy. My very good servant will make many (people) very good, because they know him. And he will carry their *sins (away).

v12 So, I will give to him many (peoples). And he will have the strong (people) as his gift. (The facts are these.) He poured out his life until he died. He let people count him in with bad people. Also, he carried the *sin of many (people) and he prayed for the very bad people.

Enjoy the results of the Servant’s work (chapters 54-55)

Chapter 54

v1 ‘Sing, woman that cannot have a child. (Sing), you who have never had a baby. Sing a song and shout! Then, you will be so happy! (Sing), you, who never had the pain of *giving birth (to a baby). (Do this), because the lonely woman will have more sons than the woman with a husband.’ This is what the *LORD is saying.

v2 ‘Make bigger the space that your *tent covers. Make the curtains of your tent wider. Do not make it smaller! Make the sides longer and make the *tent pegs stronger.

v3 (Do this), because you will become larger, both to the right (side) and to the *left (side). Your children (and their children) will cause people to go (from their own countries). (Your children) will live in the empty cities (of the people that go away).

v4 Do not be afraid. You will not be ashamed. Nobody will take away your good name. You will not seem to be *unimportant. Then, you will forget this: You were ashamed when you were young. You will not remember how bad you felt as a *widow.

v5 (This is) because your *Maker is now your husband. His name is the *LORD of Everything. The *Holy (God) of Israel is your *Redeemer. (People) call (him), “The God of all the earth”.

v6 (This is) because the *LORD has asked you (to come) back. (You were) like a wife (whose husband had) left (her) alone. (He has asked you to come to him, like a wife) who was not happy. (That) wife married when she was young. Then, (her husband) sent her away.’ This is what God is saying.

v7 ‘For a short time I left you alone. But (now), because I love you very much, I will bring you back.

v8 When I was angry, I hid my face from you, for a moment. But (now), with kind love that will always stay (with you), I will help you.’ This is what the *LORD, (who is) your *Redeemer, is saying.

v9 ‘This is like the waters of Noah for me. Then, I promised that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So, now I have promised not to be angry with you. I will not *punish you again.’

Verse 9 ‘waters of Noah’ The story is in Genesis chapters 6-9.

v10 ‘Even if the mountains move, my kind love for you will not fail. Even if (someone) removes the hills, no(body) will remove my *covenant of peace (with you).’ This is what the *LORD, who loves you, is saying.

v11 ‘(My city, that the enemy) hurt, storms hit you. No(body) made you strong. Look! I will build you (again) with *turquoise stones. (I will build you) on the top of very valuable blue stones called sapphires.’

The city is Jerusalem (for *Jews) or the New Jerusalem (for Christians). Isaiah does not use the name Jerusalem here. But he does write about ‘what is right’ (verse 14 zedek in the Hebrew language) and ‘*peace’ (verse 13 salem in Hebrew). Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem, Genesis 14:18. Isaiah wrote his book in the Hebrew language.

v12 ‘I will build your *castles with valuable red stones called rubies. (I will build) your gates with valuable stones that shine (in the light). (I will build) your walls with very valuable stones.

v13 The *LORD will teach all your sons. And your sons will have great *peace.

v14 (The *LORD) will build you on (a *base of) what is right. You will be far away from cruel (people). Really, you will have nothing to be afraid of. Nobody will ever frighten you again. (People that frighten you) will not come near to you.

v15 If anybody attacks you, I will not have sent them. You will beat anyone who attacks you.

v16 Look! I, I *created the man that works with iron. He causes the *coal to burn strongly. He makes arms that are good for their work. But it is I that have *created the destroyer. That (destroyer) can destroy everything.

v17 No arms that anybody will make will beat you. And you will show that this is true. Everything that people say against you is not true. This is what the servants of the *LORD will enjoy. And their *righteousness will be from me.’ These are the words of the LORD.

Chapter 55

v1 ‘*Hoy! Everyone that needs a drink, come to the waters! And the person without money, come (to me). Buy (food) and eat! Come and buy *wine and milk!

v2 Do not spend money on (that which is) not bread. And do not work for (things which) do not make (you) happy. Listen! Listen to me. And eat (what is) good! Then your *spirit will have pleasure in the best (things).

v3 Listen and come to me! Hear (me), so that your *spirit may live! Then I will make a *covenant (of peace) with you (all), that will never end. (It will be) the kind love that I promised to David.

v4 Look! I have made (David) someone that every country can listen to. (And I have made him) a leader and a ruler of all the countries.’

Verses 3 and 4 The promises that God made to David would become true in God’s Servant.

v5 ‘Surely, you will ask a country that you do not know to come to you. And a country that does not know you will hurry to you. (This will happen) because the *LORD (is) your God. (He is) the Holy (God) of Israel. And he has made you really great!’

v6 Come to the *LORD while you can find him. Talk to him while he is near (to you).

v7 The very bad (man) must stop doing bad things. And the very bad man (must stop having) his (bad) thoughts. He must turn to the *LORD, who will be kind to him. And (he must turn) to our God, because (God) will certainly excuse him.

v8 ‘(This is) because my thoughts are not your thoughts. And neither are your ways my ways.’ These are the words of the *LORD.

v9 ‘As the skies are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways. Also, my thoughts (are higher) than your thoughts (like that too).

v10 The rain and the snow come down from the skies. And they do not return (to them) until they have put water on to the earth. And they cause (plants) to grow in the earth. Then (the plants) become strong. Then they give seeds for the gardener and they give bread for the eater.

v11 It is the same with the word that I speak. It will not return to me empty. It will do what I want it to do. And it will cause to happen the purpose for which I sent it.

v12 You will go out and you will be happy. And you will follow (your leader). You will have *peace. The mountains and the hills will sing songs in front of you. And all the trees in the field(s) will hit their hands together!

v13 *Pine trees will grow in the place of *thorn bushes, and *myrtle bushes will grow in the place of *briars. This will make the *LORD famous. It will always be something that nobody will destroy.’

PART 5: Chapters 56-66 God’s *Messiah beats God’s enemies

A place where everyone can pray (chapters 56-57)

Chapter 56

v1 This is what the *LORD is saying (to you). ‘Always be fair. And do what is right. (Do this) because I will make you safe. It will happen very soon. Also, soon I will show (everybody) that I am *righteous.

v2 (God) will *bless the man that does this. (He will bless) the man that really does this. (That man) does not do the wrong things on the *Sabbath and he does not make it dirty. And he does not let his hand do anything that is really bad.’

Verse 2 ‘make it dirty’ here means ‘do what was wrong on the *Sabbath’.

v3 (A *foreigner) may have promised to obey the *LORD. That foreigner should not say, ‘The LORD will surely not let me join his people.’ And no *eunuch should say, ‘I am only like a dry tree.’

v4 The *LORD says this to the *eunuchs that do the things in this list:

·           They do not do wrong things on my *Sabbaths.

·           They choose to do what makes me happy.

·           They really obey my *covenant.

v5 (He says,) ‘Then I will give to them these things inside the walls of my *temple:

·           something to (cause people) to remember them

·           a name that is better than sons and daughters.

I will give them a name that will always stay. Nobody will cut it off.’

Verse 5 ‘cut it off’ A *eunuch could not have children, because someone had cut off his male sex part.

v6 ‘(This will happen) to *foreigners who (do these things):

·           They promise to obey and to be the *LORD’s servants.

·           They love the name of the LORD and they *worship him.

·           They all do the right things on the *Sabbath and they do not make it dirty.

·           They hold strongly to my *covenant.’

Verse 6 ‘make it dirty’ here means ‘do what was wrong on the *Sabbath’.

v7 ‘I will bring them to my *holy mountain. And I will make them happy in my house for *prayer. I will accept what they offer. (I will accept) what they burn as *sacrifices on my *altar. (This is) because (people will) call my house, “A house for prayer for people from every country”.’

‘*holy mountain’ means Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

‘house for prayer’ means a place where people pray to God. Here, it means the *temple in Jerusalem. Jesus said these words again in Matthew 21:13.

v8 The *LORD (is the God) that brings the *exiles of Israel together. The *LORD (who is) *Lord says, ‘I will bring even other (people) to them. (They will be) with those people that I have brought already.’

v9 (God says this about bad people.) ‘Come here, you wild animals (that live) in fields! (Come,) you wild animals (that live) in the forest! Come and eat everything!’

v10 Israel’s *watchmen cannot see anything. They do not know anything. They are all (like) dogs that cannot make a noise. They cannot make the noise that dogs usually make. They lie about and they dream. They like to sleep.

v11 They are (like) dogs that like to eat a lot. And they never have enough. (Also), they are (like) *shepherds who understand nothing. They all turn to their own way. Everybody (tries) to get (what he can for himself).

v12 (Each one of them) shouts, ‘Come, I must get *wine! We must drink as much beer as we can! And tomorrow will be like today. It might be much better!’

Chapter 57

v1 When a very good man dies, nobody really thinks about it. (Death) takes away men that (God) loves. But nobody understands why (death) takes them away. It is to save the very good man from trouble that will come soon.

v2 (When a good man dies) he goes into (a place where there is) *peace. They lie on their beds. He is the man that walks in the right (way).

v3 But you, come here! (You are) sons of a woman that does *magic. (You are) the children of an *adulteress. (You are the children of) a woman that sells her body for sex.

v4 Tell me whom you are you laughing at in a bad way. Tell me about whom you are saying bad things. You push your *tongue out of your mouth! You are a crowd of people that do not obey (God’s) rules. You do not say what is true.

v5 You like to have sex among the big trees. Also, (you have sex) under every tree that hangs out (its branches). You kill and burn your children (for false gods). (You do this) in the deep valleys and under the rocks that hang over (the sides of hills).

To have sex was one way in which they *worshipped false gods.

v6 Your place is among the flat (stones) in the deep valley. Yes, they, they are where you should be. Yes, you have poured out drink, to offer it to (your false gods). And you have offered (them) *grain. Because of this, I, (God), will not change my mind.

‘flat stones’ may mean false gods.

v7 You have made your bed on a high and tall hill. You went there to offer things to your (false gods).

v8 You have put your notice behind your door, where the door opens. But you left me and you opened your bed. You climbed into it and you opened it wide. You agreed with those people whose beds you loved. You saw a hand (to help you).

Verses 7 and 8

The notice might say that they were God’s servants. But they were not!

‘bed’ here means a place to *worship false gods. A man had sex with someone who was not his wife. That is how he *worshipped those false gods.

‘hand’ here means the hand of a false god. We could translate ‘a hand to help’ as ‘someone to help’.

v9 You went to the king with *olive oil and you made more *perfumes. You sent your leaders far away and you even went down to *Sheol.

Verse 9 ‘the king’ may be the name of Moloch, a false god.

v10 All your journeys made you very tired. But you would not say, ‘We cannot continue to hope.’ You became strong again and so you did not stop trying.

v11 Perhaps someone is frightening you, so that you do not *worship (me). Perhaps you are so afraid of someone that you cannot remember me. And you have not thought about me in your minds. Perhaps you are afraid of me because I have not said anything for a long time.

v12 I will show (to everybody) the very good things that you do. (Only you think that they are good!) And they will not be a benefit to you.

v13 You will shout for help. Then I will let all (your false gods) save you (if they can)! The wind will carry them all away. (Somebody’s) *breath will blow them away. But anyone that comes to me for help will have the land. (He or she) will have my *holy mountain.

‘*holy mountain’ here may mean Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

v14 He will say, ‘Build up (a road)! Build (it) up. Make a road. Remove the things that stop my people from using the road.’

v15 The High (God), who is Above (Everything), is speaking. He (is the God that) will always be alive. His name is *holy. (He says,) ‘I live in a high and holy place. But (I will live) also with anyone who has a *lowly and a *humble *spirit. I will cause the *spirit of the humble person to continue to live. I will also cause the heart of the lowly person to stay alive.

v16 I will not always say that someone is bad. (I will not always) be angry (with him). (If I did, his) *spirit would become weak in front of me. I made (him) alive when I made man.

v17 His *sin, *greed made me angry and I *punished him. I was angry and I hid from him. But he continued to do what he wanted to do.

v18 I have seen what he is doing. But I will give him health again. Then I will be a guide to him and I will make him strong again.’

v19 (God) will cause the people who are sad to speak words of *praise. The *LORD says, ‘(I will give) *peace. (There will be) peace to the people that are far away. And (there will be peace) to those that are near. And I will give them health.

v20 But bad people are like a sea that is always moving. Its waters throw up dirt. And they throw up wet material that is not clean.

v21 There is no *peace’, says my God, ‘for bad people.’

Chapter 58

*Fast or *Feast

v1 (God says),’Shout with (your) voice! Do not keep (the sound) quiet! Make a sound with your voice like a *trumpet! Tell my people that they have not obeyed me. Also, (tell) the house of Jacob about their *sins.’

Verse 1 ‘the house of Jacob’ here means God’s people, Judah and Israel, who were *descendants of Jacob.

v2 ‘(Do this) because every day (my people) look for me. And it seems that they really want to know my ways. They are like a country that does what is right. And they seem not to have turned away from what their God wants them to do. They ask me to decide fairly. And they seem to want God to come near to them.’

v3 (They say this.) ‘We have *fasted and you, (God), did not see it. We made ourselves *humble and you did not seem to see it.’ (God answers), ‘Look! On the day when you fast, you make yourselves happy. And you are not kind to the people that work for you.

v4 Look! While you fast, you quarrel. Then you fight. And you hit each other with your fists. You cannot fast today so that (I, God) will hear your voice in (*heaven).

v5 I did not want you to do these things when you fast:

·           A man makes himself *humble (only) for a day.

·           (A man) is humble, like a plant that is dying.

·           And (a man) lies on hairy cloth and ashes.

That is what you do when you fast. (Do not think) that the *LORD will accept that.

v6-7 This is the way that I want you to fast:

·           Remove the *chains that wrongly tie (people) up.

·           And take off the chains (that hold) the *yoke.

·           Let the people that the enemy has been cruel to go free.

·           And break every yoke.

·           Give some of your food to hungry people.

·           And give a safe place to the poor person who goes from place to place.

·           When you see *bare people, give them clothes.

·           And do not turn away from your own family.

v8 Then your light will shine like the (light at) dawn. And soon (everyone) will see that you are well again. Then your *righteous (God) will go in front of you. And the *glory of the *LORD at your backs will make you safe.

v9-10 Then you will pray and the *LORD will answer (you). You will ask for help and immediately he will say, “Here I am.”

(You must do these things:)

·           Remove the *yoke.

·           Do not point with the finger (at people) and say bad things (about them).

·           Use all your power to give help to hungry people.

·           Give to *oppressed people the things that they need.

Then your light will shine in the dark places and your night will be like midday.

v11 (Then) the *LORD will always be your guide. He will give to you plenty of everything, in a country where the sun is burning (everything). And he will make your bodies strong. You will become like a garden that has plenty of water. (You will be) like a well whose waters never fail.

v12 You will build again the old (places that the enemy) destroyed. And you will build the old houses again. (People) will call you “The Person who Mends Broken Walls” and “The Person who Builds Again Streets with Houses”.

v13-14 If you (do these things), then you will enjoy yourselves with the *LORD:

·           Do not do wrong things on the *Sabbath.

·           Do not do what only what makes you happy you on my *holy day.

·           Call the Sabbath a lovely day.

·           Call the LORD’s *holy day a good day.

·           Think good things about (the Sabbath). (You will do this) when you do not do things in your own way.

·           Do not do things to make yourself happy (on the Sabbath). And do not speak words that are not important (on the Sabbath).

(If you do these things,) I will cause you to ride on the high places in the country. Also, you will have a *feast with what your *ancestor Jacob gave to you.’ (Do these things) because the mouth of the LORD has said them.

Chapter 59

v1 Look! The hand of the *LORD is not too short to save you. Neither is his ear too weak to hear you.

v2 But the wrong things that you have done have made you separate from your God. Your *sins have hidden (his) face from you, so that he will not listen (to you).

v3-4 (This is true) for these reasons:

·           Blood makes your hands red. The wrong things that you do are on your fingers.

·           Your lips have said things that are not true. Also, your *tongue quietly says bad things.

·           Nobody asks for a *judge to be fair. Nobody says things that are honest.

·           People give reasons that mean nothing. People say things that are not true.

·           People *conceive trouble and they give birth to bad (things).

This is like a picture of when people have an idea to do bad things. And then they do them.

v5 It is like when a snake causes young snakes to come out of the snake’s eggs. And they are always making *spiders’ *webs. People that eat the eggs (of spiders) will die. And when they break (a snake’s egg) a worse snake will come out.

v6 They cannot use (*spiders’) *webs (to make) clothes. They cannot cover themselves with the things that they make from them. The things that they do are bad. And they use their hands to hurt people.

v7 Their feet hurry (them) to do bad things. They rush to pour out the blood of people who have not done anything bad. Their thoughts are bad thoughts. They break and destroy things. They do that everywhere that they go.

v8 They do not know the way to *peace. Their paths are never honest. Their roads turn away (from what is good). Nobody that walks on them will have peace.

v9 So, (God’s) rules are far away from us! So, *righteousness does not reach us! We look for light, but everything is dark. (We look) for a little bit of light, but we see only dark shadows.

v10 Like *blind people, we touch the wall (to find our way). We find our way (when we touch things), like men without eyes. At midday, we fall down. (We are) like (people that are in) bad light. We are like dead people among strong people.

v11 We all make angry noises, like *bears (make). And we make sad noises, like *doves make. We look for (people to obey God’s) rules, but we do not find any. (We look) for people to help us, but they are far away.

v12 (This is) because we have done many (wrong) things. You, (God) think that they are wrong. And our *sins speak against us. The things that we have done wrong are always with us. And we know about our sins.

v13 We have not obeyed the *LORD. And we have not tried to do what he wanted us to do. We have turned away from our God. We have spoken about being cruel to people. And we have spoken about fights against (God). We have thought about things in our minds that were not true. Then we have said those things.

v14 So, (it is like) we have sent away (God’s) rules. And *righteousness (is like a person who) is standing a long way away. Things that are true have fallen down in the streets. We will not let people be honest.

v15 (People) cannot find what is true anywhere. Also, good people become (people that bad people) try to kill.

And the *LORD looked (at his people). And it did not make him happy that (people did) not obey his rules.

v16 He saw that there was nobody to do anything (about it). And he thought that this was bad. So his own arm made his people safe. And (with) his own *righteousness he made himself strong.

v17 He put on *righteousness to cover his body. And (he put on) what makes people safe to cover his head. He put on (these things as) clothes to fight against his enemies. And he wanted so much (to fight his enemies) that these (clothes) were like a coat all round him!

v18 He will pay again to people what they should have.

·           He will be angry with the people that fight against him.

·           (There will be) a fair *punishment for his enemies.

·           (He will) pay a fair price to the islands.

v19 People will be afraid of the name of the *LORD in the west. And from where the sun rises (in the east) they will see his *glory. (They will say that) it is very good. (This is) because he will rush along like a river. The Spirit of the LORD will push him along.

v20 ‘The *Redeemer will come to *Zion. (He will come) to the people of *Jacob who are sorry because of their *sins’, says the *LORD.

v21 ‘Now I myself have this *covenant with them’, says the *LORD. ‘My Spirit is with you and I have put my words into your mouth. They will not go from your mouth. (They will not go) from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their children. This will be (true), now and for always’, says the LORD.

Chapter 60

The first Song of the *Messiah

v1 Stand up and shine! (Do this) because your light has come! And the *glory of the *LORD has risen over you.

The word ‘light’ here is a name for God’s *Messiah. See John 9:5.

v2 Look, because a dark cloud covers the earth. It is very dark over the people. But the *LORD will rise up above you and (the world will) see his *glory over you.

v3 Then, people will come to your light from foreign countries. Also, kings will come to the bright light that is beginning to shine over you.

v4 Open your eyes and look all round you. Everybody is coming together and they are coming to you. Your sons will come from far away and (you will) carry your daughters in your arms.

v5 Then you will look and you will shine! And you will feel like your heart is jumping. And (it will) feel bigger (inside you). (This will happen) because they will bring valuable things from across the seas to you. The valuable (things) from other countries will come to you.

v6 Groups of *camels will be in your country. Young camels (will come from) Midian and from Ephah. And everybody from Sheba will come. They will carry gold and *incense. Also, they will talk about how great that the *LORD is.

v7 (People) will bring to you all the farm animals from Kedar. They will offer the male sheep from Nebaioth to you. I (God’s *Messiah,) will accept them when people offer them (to me) on my *altar. So, I will make my great *temple beautiful.

v8 These are the people that fly along (quickly) like clouds. They come like birds to their homes.

v9 (They do this) because the islands are looking for me to come. The ships from Tarshish are at the front (of the people that are coming). They bring your sons from far away. And they bring *silver and gold. They will come to (the place where) the name of *LORD your God (is important). (He is) the *Holy (God) of Israel. (They do this) because he has made you beautiful.

v10 And the sons of strangers will build your walls again. Also, their kings will be your servants. I hit you when I was angry. But I will be kind to you now that I am not angry (with you).

v11 Your gates will always be open. (People) will never close them, during the day or during the night. Then, people can bring in (to you) valuable things from other countries. Their kings will come with them.

v12 (Somebody will) destroy the country or the *kingdom that will not be your servant. (That country) will really destroy itself completely.

v13 The *glory of Lebanon will come to you. (Its glory is its) *pine trees, *fir trees and *cypress trees. They will make my *temple beautiful. And I will put my glory where my feet touch the earth.

v14 The people that were cruel to you will come (to you). They will bend in front of you. And everybody that did not like you will come (to you). (They will) bend on their knees at your feet. And they will call you, ‘The City of the *LORD. (You are) *Zion. (You) belong to the *Holy (God) of Israel.’

v15 People have kept away from you and they have not liked you. Now, everybody will always think that you are great. Nobody may travel through you, but everybody will (always) be happy because of you.

v16 And you will drink the milk of other countries and the breasts of queens will feed you. Then you will know that I, the *LORD, have made you safe. And I am your *Redeemer. I am the very strong (God) of Jacob.

v17 I will bring you gold, (I will not bring you) *bronze. And (I will bring you) *silver. (I will not bring you) iron. And you will not have wood, (but you will have) bronze. And (I will bring you) iron; (I will not bring you) stones. And I will make *peace your ruler and *righteousness will rule over you.

v18 You will not hear in your country (the noise that) cruel people make. Nobody will break or destroy anything inside the edges of your country. And you will call your walls ‘A Safe Place’ and (you will call) your gates ‘*Praise’.

v19 The sun will not give you light in the day again, neither will the moon shine brightly on you. But (instead) the *LORD will always be your light and your God will be your *glory.

v20 Your sun will never go down again and your moon will never *disappear. (This is) because the *LORD will always be your light. Then your sad days will end.

v21 Then all your people will be *righteous and they will always have the land. They will be like a small plant that I have planted. (They will be) the work that my hands have made. (They will) show that I am beautiful.

v22 The least (person) will become a thousand (1000) people and the smallest (person) will become a strong country. I am the *LORD. When it happens, I will do it quickly.

The 2nd and 3rd Songs of the *Messiah (chapters 61-62)

Chapter 61

The second Song of the *Messiah

v1 The Spirit of the *Lord, (who is) *LORD, (is) upon me. (This is) because the LORD has *anointed me to tell good news to poor people. He has sent me to make people happy again. (These are the people that trouble) has caused to be very sad. (He has sent me) to tell the people in a prison that they are free. And (he sent me) to tell the people in a prison that they can come out of the dark places.

Verse 1 is about people who are very sad. They are sad because of what has happened to them. He will help them to feel better.

v2 (He has sent me) to say (this. Now is) the year when the *LORD will be kind. Also, the day when God will *punish people (is near). (He has sent me) to make everybody who is very sad happy again. (They are so sad) that it causes them to weep.

v3 (He has sent me) to do (these things). (I will do them) on behalf of all those people in *Zion whose *spirits are hurting:

·           (They will have) flowers on them; (they will not have) ashes (on them).

·           (They will have on them *olive) oil that will make them happy. Then, they will not weep.

·           No longer will their spirits have no hope. *Praise will be like a coat for them, instead.

People will say that they are like large trees of *righteousness. They will be (like trees) that the *LORD has planted. They will show to people that the LORD is beautiful.

v4 They will build again what (enemies) broke into pieces long ago. And they will make places new again (that enemies) destroyed long ago. They will mend the cities that (somebody) destroyed. (Someone) destroyed (the cities) when their grandparents were alive!

In verses 4-9, Isaiah uses the words ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘you’ and ‘your’. They all mean ‘those people in *Zion’, (verse 3).

v5 *Foreigners will come and they will be *shepherds to your animals. People from foreign countries will work in your fields and in your *vineyards.

v6 And (people) will call you ‘*priests of the *LORD’. Your name will be ‘servants of our God’. You will have valuable things from every country. And you will tell everybody about how rich they (have made you).

v7 You will not be ashamed, (because you will be) twice as (happy) instead. And (things will not) disappoint (them). They will sing aloud about what (the *LORD has) given (to them). So, they will have twice as much (as they had) in their land. And they will always be very happy.

v8 (This is) because I, the *LORD, love *justice. I do not like people that take things for themselves. (I am speaking about the things) that they offer on my *altar. And I will give a gift to them, because I will always be kind to them. I will make a *covenant with them that will never end.

v9 And every country will know their seed. People from every country will know their children. Everybody that sees them will agree to this. They are the seed that the *LORD has *blessed.

‘seed’ is a special word for God’s people here.

The third Song of the *Messiah

v10 I have great pleasure in the *LORD. My *spirit is very happy in my God. He has put the clothes on to me that make me safe. He has dressed me in the clothes of *righteousness. (I am) like a man at his marriage, with a special hat like a *priest’s. And (I am) like a woman at her marriage whose valuable stones make her beautiful.

v11 So the *Lord, (who is) *LORD, will cause *righteousness and *praise to appear to every country. It will be like the ground that causes the young plant to come up. And (it will be like) a garden that causes seeds to grow.

Chapter 62

v1 I will not be quiet, on behalf of *Zion. On behalf of Jerusalem, I will not stay quiet. (I will be like this) until her *righteousness shines out like the dawn. She will be so safe that it burns like the brightest *torch.

v2 Then, the people in every country will see your *righteousness and every king (will see) your *glory. And they will call you by a new name. The mouth of the *LORD will give it to you.

v3 And you will be like a beautiful *crown in the *LORD’s hand. In the hand of your God (you will be like) what a king wears on his head.

v4 They will not call you ‘Alone’ again. The name of your country will not be ‘Empty, Sandy Place’. But they will call you ‘*Hephzibah’ and they will call your country ‘*Beulah’.

v5 As a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you. As a man at his marriage is happy with his new wife, so your God will be happy with you.

Verse 5 ‘your sons’ here means the people that live in Jerusalem.

v6 I have put people on your walls, Jerusalem, to keep them safe. They will not be quiet, during all the day and during all the night. Those (people) that remember the *LORD do not rest.

v7 And do not let (the *LORD) rest, until he has built Jerusalem again. He will make (Jerusalem the place) that all the people in the world *praise. (Do not let him rest) until he does that.

v8 The *LORD has promised (these things). (He will do them) with his right hand and with his strong arm.

·           ‘I will never give your *grain to your enemies for food again.

·           And never again will *foreigners drink the new *wine that you have worked carefully to make.’

Some Christians believe that ‘right hand’ is a name for God’s *Holy Spirit in Isaiah’s book.

And some Christians believe that, in Isaiah’s book, ‘strong arm’ is a name for Jesus, the *Messiah.

v9 ‘But the people who pick it will eat it. Then they will *praise the *LORD. And those (people) who pick the *grapes will drink (the *wine). They will do it in the yards that are round about my *temple.’

v10 Pass through, pass through the gates. Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the road on higher ground. Remove the stones. Lift up a sign for the people (from foreign countries).

v11 Look! The *LORD has said this to the parts of the earth that are far away. ‘Say to the *Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem), “Look! The (*Messiah that will) make you safe is coming! Look! His gifts are with him! He is bringing with him what he will give back (to you).” ’

v12 Their name will the *Holy People. (They are the people) whom the *LORD has *redeemed. And people will call you (by these names): ‘(Whom somebody) Looked For’ (and) ‘The City that Nobody Keeps Away From’.

The 4th Song of the *Messiah and Isaiah’s *Prayer (chapters 63-64)

Chapter 63

The fourth Song of the *Messiah

v1 Someone is coming from Edom and from Bozrah. A bright colour makes his clothes (red). It is someone that is wearing beautiful clothes. He marches on his way and he is very strong. (He says), ‘I am speaking (to you). I am *righteous. I am strong enough to save you.’

v2 Why are your clothes red? They are like (the clothes) of somebody that has worked in a *winepress.

v3 ‘I have worked in the *winepress alone. From (all) the countries, nobody was with me. I walked on them because I was angry. And I put them under my feet because I was angry. Their blood went all over my clothes and I made all my clothes (red).

v4 (I did this) because I was thinking about (a certain) day. (On that day) I would *punish people. Also, the year when I would *redeem people had come.’

Verse 4 ‘I was thinking about’. In the *Hebrew Bible this is ‘it was in my heart’. The *Jews believed that people thought in their hearts.

v5 ‘I had looked, but there was nobody to help (me). And I was not happy, because nobody helped (me). So my own arm did the work to save them. And I was so angry that it helped me.

v6 I walked on (all) the countries, because I was angry. I was so angry that I caused them (to seem) like drunks. Then, I poured their blood on to the ground.’

Isaiah’s *Prayer

v7 I will tell (people) that the *LORD is kind. (I will talk about) how people *praise the LORD. (This is) because of all that the LORD has done on our behalf. He has done many good things on behalf of the house of Israel. (He did this) because of his great love on their behalf. And (he did this) (because) he was very kind (to them).

‘The house of Israel’ means the *Jewish people.

v8 And he said, ‘Surely, they are my people. (They are) sons who will always follow me.’ So he became the person that saved them.

v9 When they were in trouble, he was in their trouble with them. And the *angel, that was there with him, saved them. And in his love and in his *mercy he *redeemed them. Also, he lifted them up and he carried them. (He did this) as he had done it in past years.

v10 But they did not obey him and they made his *Holy Spirit angry. So, he turned against them and he became their enemy. He fought against them.

v11 Then he remembered past years. (He remembered) Moses and his people. (They said,) ‘(We need) the Person that brought them up out of the sea, with the leaders of his people. (We need the Person) that put his *Holy Spirit on him.

v12 His arm shone while he went at Moses’ right hand. (We need that Person.) (We need the Person) who caused the waters (of the River Jordan) to become separate. (Because of that,) he caused his name always to be famous.’

v13 ‘(We need the Person) who led them through the deep (places in the sea). As a horse (runs) in flat country, so they did not fall.

Verses 8-13 ‘He’ and ‘him’ and ‘the Person’ in these verses mean the *LORD God.

v14 The (*Holy) Spirit of the *LORD gave them rest, like cows and sheep that go down to their fields. This is how he was the guide of your people. And you made for yourself a famous name!’

v15 Look down from your *holy and beautiful house in *heaven and see (us). You want (to do what you have promised to us). And you are strong. And you love (us) and you want to be kind to us. But you are not doing anything on our behalf!

v16 But you are our father, even if Abraham does not know us. (You are our father) even if Israel does not recognise us. You, *LORD, are our father. Your name is our *Redeemer, from days long ago.

v17 *LORD, we do not know why you let us go away from your ways. (You let us make) our hearts so hard, so that we do not love you. (We do not know why you let us do that.) Come back to us, on behalf of your servants. (We are) the families that belong to you!

To have hard hearts means that they cannot love anyone.

v18 Your *holy people will have (their own land) only for a short time. Our enemies will walk all over your holy place.

v19 For a long time, we are like people that you have not ruled. (People) did not call us by your name!

Chapter 64

v1 Oh, I wanted you to break open the skies and I wanted you to come down! Then the mountains would have moved in front of you.

v2 (It would have been) like a fire that burns up bits of wood. And (it would have been) like a fire that boils water. (These things would have happened) when you came down. And you would have caused your enemies to know your name. The countries would have moved away in front of you.

v3 (You did things) that made us afraid. (And it would have happened) while you did those things. They were things that we did not think would happen. (It would have happened) while you came down. And the mountains would have moved in front of you.

v4 And, for a long time, nobody has heard of, or thought about, a God like you. Nobody has seen (a God like you). He does things on behalf of those (people) that wait for him.

v5 You help the people that are happy. (You help them) to do what is right. They (are the people that) remember your ways. But you are angry because, for a long time, we have *sinned against your rules. So, we do not know if (anyone) can save us.

v6 We have all become like someone who is not clean. And all the good things that we do are like very dirty bits of cloth. We all become dry, like a leaf. And, like a wind, our *sins sweep us away.

v7 And nobody shouts your name or tries to pray to you. (This is) because you have hidden your face from us. And you have caused us slowly to become weak, because our *sins are so strong.

v8 But *LORD, you are still our father. We are like the *clay. And you are like the person that makes the pots. Your hand made all of us.

v9 Do not be too angry with us, *LORD. And do not always remember our *sins. But help us again, because we are your people.

v10 Your *holy cities will become empty, sandy places. *Zion will be an empty, sandy place and Jerusalem will be full of dirt.

v11 Our *ancestors *praised you in our *holy and beautiful *temple. (But soon,) fire will burn it. (An enemy will) destroy everything that is valuable to us.

v12 After all this, *LORD, we hope that you will not still do nothing. We hope that you will not continue to be quiet. We hope that you will not continue to *punish us.

The New Jerusalem (chapters 65-66)

Chapter 65

v1 ‘I spoke to people who did not ask for me. People who did not look for me found me. I said, “Here I (am), here I (am)!” (I said it) to a country that was not called by my name.

v2 All day long I hold my hands out to people who will not listen (to me). They continue to walk (live) in ways that are not good. They still do what their thoughts (want them to do).’

Verse 2 ‘hold my hands out’ This is what the *Jews did when they asked someone to do something.

v3 ‘They are people that continue to make me angry. (They do it) in front of me! They offer gifts in (their) gardens (to false gods). They burn them on stones.

v4 They sit among the *graves and they watch all night in secret places. They eat meat from pigs. And (they eat) dishes of soup (that they made) from *unclean meat.

v5 They are people that say, “Keep away from me, and do not come near me. I am too *holy for you!” These people are like smoke in my nose! (They are like smoke) from a fire that burns all day.

v6 Look! The words are (in a book) in front of me. I will not stay quiet, but I will *punish them completely. I will pay them back completely, like someone who puts things into their hands.

v7 (I will pay back) both your *sins and the sins of your *ancestors’, says the *LORD. ‘(I will do this) because they burned gifts (to false gods) on the mountains. And they said bad things about me on the hills. And, firstly, I will measure to them the right *punishment for what they have done.’

Verses 6 and 7 ‘pay back’ This means ‘give to them what their *sin has brought to them’. It is another way to say ‘*punish them’.

v8 This is what the *LORD says. ‘Sometimes people find *juice in a group of *grapes. Then men say, “Do not destroy it, because there is something good in it.” I will do something like this on behalf of my servants. I will not kill them all.

v9 I will cause there still to be seed in Jacob’s family. There will be people in Judah to live on my mountains. The people that I have chosen will live on them. And my servants will live there.’

‘seed’ is a special word for God’s people here.

v10 ‘And Sharon will become a field for groups (of sheep). Also, groups (of cows) will rest in the Valley of Achor. (They will be places) for my people who are looking for me.

v11 (This will happen) to you (people) who go away from the *LORD. And (it will happen to you people) that forget my *holy mountain. Also, (it will happen to people) who put food on a table for (the false god called) *Luck. And (it will happen to people) who fill dishes of *wine for *Fate.’

‘*holy mountain’ here means Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

v12 ‘Your “*luck” will be that a *sword (will kill you). And you will all bend down for death. I spoke (to you), but you did not answer. I spoke, but you did not listen. You did bad things in front of me, where I could see them. And you chose (to do things) that did not make me happy.’

v13 So the *LORD (who is) Master says this. ‘Look! My servants will eat (food), but you will be hungry. Look! My servants will (have something to) drink, but you will have nothing to drink. Look! My servants will be very happy, but you will be ashamed.

v14 Look! My servants will sing because they feel so happy. But you will cry because there is so much pain in your minds. You will weep because your *spirits are so sad.

v15 And you will leave your name as a *curse to the people that I have chosen. And the *LORD (who is) Master will kill (all of) you. But he will give to his servants another name.

v16 Whoever asks for a *blessing in the country will do it by the *God of Truth. Whoever makes a promise in the country will do it by the God of Truth. (This is because God) will forget troubles in past years. Really, (something) will hide them from my eyes.’

v17 ‘Listen, because I will *create new *heavens and a new earth. And (people) will not remember how things were. They will not even (be ideas that) come to their minds.

v18 But rather, be happy! And always, (yes), always be very happy about what I will *create! (Do this), for these reasons:

·           The Jerusalem that I will create will be a pleasure (to me).

·           The people that live there will make (me) very happy.

v19 Then, I will be very happy with Jerusalem and I will have great pleasure in my people. Nobody will hear the sound of (people) crying (in Jerusalem). People will not weep there again.

v20 Never again will there be (in Jerusalem) a baby that only lives for a few days. (Nor will there be) an old man that does not live a long life. But a man that dies 100 (years old), people will call a young man. And a man may not live to be 100 (years old). But then people will think that someone has said a *curse about him.

v21 People (in Jerusalem) will build houses and they will live in them. They will plant *vineyards and they will eat the fruit from them.

v22 They will not build houses for other people to live in. They will not plant things for other people to eat (the fruit). (This is) because the days of my people will be as many as the days of a tree. The people that I have chosen will enjoy things. (They will enjoy) what their hands have made for a long time.

v23 They will not work without result. Neither will they have children that will have bad times. (This is) because they are the seed. (They are the seed) that the *LORD will *bless. (He will bless) them and their *descendants with them.

v24 Before they pray (to me), I will answer (them). While they are still speaking, I will hear (them).

v25 The *wolf and the young sheep will eat together. And the *lion will eat dry grass like the cow. But the food of the snake will be dirt. They will neither hurt nor kill (anything) on all my *holy mountain’, says the *LORD.

Verse 23 The word for ‘seed’ usually means ‘children’. But here it is a special word for God’s people.

Verse 25 ‘*holy mountain’ here may mean Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem where they built God’s house.

Chapter 66

v1 This is what the *LORD is saying. ‘*Heaven is my high seat. And the earth is the place where I will put my feet. I do not know where you could build a house for me. You could not make a place where I will rest.’

The word for ‘high seat’ is the chair that a king would sit on.

v2 ‘My hand has made all these things. That is how they happened’, says the *LORD. ‘I think that this kind of person is valuable. He will be *humble and he will have a *lowly *spirit. And he will be afraid when he hears my word.

v3 Some people kill a male cow for me. Some people kill a man. Some people offer me a young sheep. Some people break a dog’s neck. Some people offer *grain. Some people offer pig’s blood. Some people (burn) *incense to remember (me). Some people *worship false gods. Some people have chosen their own ways. Their *spirits have pleasure in bad things.

v4 So I will choose to *punish them a lot. And I will send to them the things that will make them very afraid. (This is) because nobody answered when I spoke. And when I spoke, nobody listened. They did bad things (even while) I watched them! And they chose (to do) things that did not make me happy.’

In verse 3, some people do good things, and some people do bad things.

Good things

Bad things

Kill a male cow for me.

Kill a man.

Offer me a young sheep.

Break a dog’s neck.

Offer *grain.

Offer pig’s blood.

(Burn) *incense to remember (me).

*Worship false gods.

v5 Listen to the *LORD’s message, you people that were afraid of his words. ‘Your (bad) brothers did not like you. They do not let you belong (to the people of Judah). They do this because of my name. They said (to you), “Give *praise to the LORD. Then we will see that you are happy.” But (your brothers) will be ashamed.’

The word ‘brothers’ here might really mean other *Jews.

v6 ‘A voice (comes like) a loud noise from the city! A voice (comes) from the *temple. The voice (is) the *LORD’s (voice). He is giving to his enemies all that they should have.’

v7 ‘Before she has *labour, she has a baby. Before the pains come to her, a son is born!

v8 Nobody has ever heard of such a thing. Nobody has ever seen things like this. A country cannot be born in one day. Nor can a country have birth in a moment. But as soon as *Zion has *labour, her children are born!

Zion is not the name of a woman here. It is the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use it to mean all Jerusalem. The idea about a woman who has a baby is like a picture here.

v9 When I bring (someone) to the moment of birth, then the baby is born.’ This is what the *LORD is saying. ‘I do not close up the mother’s body before the baby is born’, says your God.

v10 ‘Be happy with (the people in) Jerusalem and be very happy for Jerusalem. (Do this), everybody that loves Jerusalem. Be very happy with Jerusalem, everybody that cries for Jerusalem.

v11 (Jerusalem) will be like a mother to you. And she will give to you all that you need. Her breasts will cause you to feel happier. You will drink a lot (of her milk). And you will be very happy with the *glory that pours (like a stream of water) from her.’

v12 (This will happen) because the *LORD says, ‘Look! I will give *peace to (Jerusalem) like a river. And (I will cause) the valuable things from every country to pour in like a stream (of water). Jerusalem will be like a mother to you and she will carry you by her side. And you will (be like a baby that) sits on its (mother’s) knees.

v13 I will cause you to feel happier as a mother causes her child to feel happier. (You felt sad because an enemy destroyed Jerusalem.) I will cause you to feel happier about Jerusalem (now).’

v14 And when you see (this), you will feel very happy! And your bones will grow easily, like grass. The *LORD will cause his servants to know that his hand (is good). But he will show his enemies that he is very angry.

Verses 11-14 The words that we have translated ‘cause you to feel happier’ in these verses mean ‘to make people strong again, so that they can live with their troubles’.

v15 Look! The *LORD will come with fire and his *chariots will be like a strong wind. He will come down (from *heaven) because he is very angry. He will speak against them with words of fire.

v16 And so the *LORD will be the *judge of all people with fire and with his *sword. Then the LORD will kill many people.

v17 ‘Some people are servants of their gods. And some people make themselves very clean for their gods. They go into the gardens. They follow the people who eat the meat from pigs and *rats and other dirty things. They will all come to their deaths together’, says the *LORD.

v18 ‘And I will come and I will bring together the people from all countries. And I will bring together the people who speak all languages. (I will do this because) of what they have done and (because of) their thoughts. And they will come and they will see my *glory.

v19 And I will put a sign among them. And I will send some of those people that run away (from me) to other countries. (They will go to):

·           Tarshish (in Spain)

·           the people in Libya

·           the people in Lydia, who are famous because they shoot *arrows (so well)

·           Tubal

·           Greece

·           far away islands that have not heard of my name and have not seen my *glory.

These people will tell other countries about my glory.

v20 And they will bring all your brothers to my *holy mountain in Jerusalem. (They will bring them) from all the countries to offer (them) to the *LORD. (They will come) on horses, in *chariots and in trucks. (They will come) on mules (animals like small horses) and on *camels’, says the LORD. ‘They will bring them as the *Jews bring *grain. (This is what) they offer to the LORD in the *temple. (The grain is in) the special dishes that they use to *worship me. v21 And I will choose some of them to be *priests. And I will choose some of them to be servants of God (like my servants) from Levi’s family’, says the *LORD.

Verse 20 The word ‘brothers’ here really means other *Jews.

v22 ‘The new *heavens and the new earth that I will make will always be there’, says the *LORD. ‘Also, your name and (the names of) your seed will stay there.’

‘seed’ is a special word for God’s people here.

v23 ‘Everybody will come and they will bend down on their knees in front of me’, says the *LORD. ‘(They will come) from one New Moon to the next (New Moon) and from one *Sabbath to another.

v24 And they will go out (of the New Jerusalem). And they will look at the dead bodies of the people that did not obey me. Their *worm will not die and their fire will not go out. And everybody will see how dirty that they are.’

Word List

adulteress ~ a woman who has sex with a man that is not her husband.

altar ~ a special table on which people offer gifts to God (or to their false god).

ancestors ~ fathers and grandfathers and people years ago that they were born to.

angels ~ servants of God that live with him in his home called Heaven.

anger ~ what you feel when you are angry.

anointed ~ poured oil on (from a plant called the olive). The *Jews did this to show that God had chosen someone. The *Hebrew word is the one that we get our word ‘*messiah’ from.

Apocalypse ~ another name for the last book in the Bible, called Revelation. The Little Apocalypse (Isaiah chapters 24-27) is like Revelation. It is about the end of time.

Arabah ~ the dry valley of the River Jordan, south-east of Jerusalem.

ariel ~ a *Hebrew word for a place where you have a fire. In Isaiah 29:1-8 it also is a name for Jerusalem, or maybe another important city in Judah.

arrows ~ sticks with sharp points. Bows shoot them.

Asherah poles ~ a false god.

B.C. ~ 50 B.C. means the year that was 50 years before Jesus came, and so on.

balance ~ a machine that weighs things.

bare ~ with no clothes on.

bars ~ thick lines that keep a person in a prison.

base ~ lowest part of something.

bat ~ an animal like a small *rat but it can fly.

battle ~ big fight between soldiers.

bear ~ a dangerous wild animal.

bees ~ insects that can make something like sugar.

Bel ~ the name of a false god in Babylon.

Beulah ~ a *Hebrew word for ‘married’.

bit ~ people use it to cause a horse to go where they want it to go.

bitter ~ the opposite of sweet.

bless ~ be very good to you, so that you have many children, animals and fruits.

blessing ~ words that ask for something good to happen to someone. The opposite of a *curse.

blind ~ not able to see.

boast ~ say how very good you are.

borrow ~ opposite of lend.

boundaries ~ the edges of a country.

brambles ~ plants with *thorns on them.

breath ~ the air that goes into and comes out of our mouths.

breathe ~ what we do when we take in or push out air through our noses.

briars ~ bushes with *thorns. (Some people spell this word briers.)

bricks ~ stones that people make to build houses with.

bring up (children) ~ feed them and keep them safe. Do that until they are men and women.

bronze ~ a strong, yellow metal.

camel ~ an animal that people use to carry heavy weights.

Canaan ~ an old name for Judah.

canal ~ a river that men have made.

caravan ~ here, a group of *camels.

carraway ~ a plant. Its seeds give an oil that causes food to taste good.

cart ~ a box a bit like a car but without an engine that animals pull along; a thing to carry people in; horses usually pull a cart.

castle ~ a strong building that is difficult to destroy.

cedar ~ a large, beautiful tree. It does not lose its leaves in winter; a good tree to build things with, better than the tree called a sycamore.

chaff ~ dead part of a plant round the seed.

chains ~ metal lines and rings that tie people up.

Chaldea ~ another name for Babylon.

chariots ~ *carts that soldiers rode in; horses pulled the carts.

charms ~ something that people use in *magic.

cheat ~ someone who is not honest.

clay ~ material from the earth. People use it to make pots.

coal ~ black material that people get from the ground. They use it to make very hot fires.

conceive ~ when the result of sex is a baby. In Isaiah 59:4, 5, the egg is a result of this sex. The snakes are like a picture of bad things that people do.

court ~ place where a *judge works. He says who is right and who is wrong.

covenant ~ usually in the Bible, what God and his people agreed to do. But also, what the leaders in Jerusalem and *Sheol agreed to do, (Isaiah 28:15, 18); or what the leaders of Assyria agreed to do, (Isaiah 33:8).

covenant of peace ~ what God has agreed to do. He will not fight against his people again.

create ~ make out of nothing except your own power. Only God can really create.

Creator ~ name for God. It tells us that he made (created) everything.

crown ~ a special hat that a king wears.

cummin ~ a plant. Its seeds give an oil that causes food to taste good.

curse ~ words that ask for something bad to happen.

cypress ~ a very beautiful tree.

darkness ~ when there is no light.

Daughter of a city ~ all the people that live in the city.

Daughter of Zion ~ the people that live in the city called Jerusalem. (Zion is the name of the hill in Jerusalem.)

deep sleep ~ a sleep that it is difficult to awake from.

deer ~ an animal that can jump high.

descendants ~ people in your family who are born after you.

desert ~ land with much empty space and perhaps sand, but not many people.

dew ~ water that comes on to the ground during the night. It is not rain.

disappear ~ the opposite of appear.

disciples ~ students that learn from a great teacher.

divorce notice ~ paper that says that you are no longer married to your husband or wife. See Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

donkey ~ an animal like a small horse.

dove ~ a bird that makes a sad noise like ‘coo’.

Ephraim ~ a name for the country called Israel.

eunuch ~ man with no sex part.

exile ~ people that an enemy takes to another country are ‘in exile’. They are away from home. We also call these people ‘exiles’.

fast ~ not to eat food, when people pray.

Fate ~ your fate is what will happen to you; we think that it is the name of a false god in Isaiah 65:11.

feast ~ a special meal with a lot of good food and drink.

fig ~ a fruit.

fir ~ a tree that does not change much in winter.

flag ~ a bit of cloth with a picture on it. People tie it to a long stick.

flax ~ a plant that people use to make a cloth called linen.

flute  ~ a flute makes music.

foreigner ~ a person from a foreign country.

give birth ~ have a baby.

glean ~ when poor people pick a little bit of fruit that the farmer has not picked.

glory ~ something that a great person has. It nearly causes them to shine! God’s glory is difficult to describe. God’s glory is something that shines very, very much. It is too bright to look at. But it also describes what God does. What he does is great. God will not give any of his glory to *idols, because they have not done anything, (Isaiah 41:29).

God of Truth ~ God who always says what is true.

grain ~ fruit of a plant like grass, that people make bread from.

grapes ~ fruit that people use to make a drink with alcohol in it.

grave ~ hole in the ground where they bury dead people.

greed ~ greed causes you to want more than you really need.

grub ~ a grub becomes an insect that can fly.

guard ~ keep enemies away.

guilt ~ a person has guilt when they have done wrong things.

guilty ~ people may say that a person has done something; guilty means that he really has done it.

harp ~ you use your fingers to make music with a harp.

harvest ~ the time when people pick their fruit.

heaven ~ God’s home; but ‘heavens’ can mean the skies.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke.

help ~ to give help to someone.

helper ~ someone that gives you help.

Hephzibah ~ a *Hebrew word for ‘beautiful’.

high places ~ places where people built *altars.

holy ~ very, very good; only God is really holy; this makes him separate from people; or, holy means something that is used in *religion.

holy city ~ in Isaiah 48:2 and in other places, a name for Jerusalem.

Holy God of Israel ~ one of God’s names.

Holy One ~ a name for God.

Holy One of Israel ~ one of God’s names.

house of Jacob ~ a name for the people of Israel or Judah.

hoy ~ a word that asks people to listen to the speaker.

humble ~ humble people do not think that they are important.

hyenas ~ like dogs, but wild.

idol ~ false god. People usually make them with metal or stone or wood.

images ~ false gods that people made from wood or metal.

Immanu El ~ God (is) with us.

in labour ~ a woman is in labour while she has her baby.

incense ~ something that makes a special, nice smell when people burn it.

jackals ~ like dogs, but wild.

Jacob ~ sometimes in Isaiah’s book it means the *Jewish people, who were *descendants of Jacob.

Jeshurun ~ a name for Israel. It means ‘somebody that always does what is right’.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that is a *Jew’s.

judge ~ to say whether something is right or wrong or fair; or the person who does that.

juice ~ a drink from the *grapes.

justice ~ what is right and fair.

kingdom ~ a country that a king or a queen rules over.

labour ~ (here) the pain when a woman has a baby.

lamb ~ young sheep.

law ~ in Isaiah 51:4, the rules in the first 5 books of the Bible.

left (side) ~ the opposite of the right (side).

leopard ~ dangerous wild animal.

Leviathan ~ a very big sea animal.

lies ~ words that are not true.

lime ~ white material that you get when you make chalk very hot.

lion ~ a large and dangerous wild animal.

lioness ~ a female *lion.

locust ~ insect that eats green plants.

LORD ~ LORD is a special name of God. In the *Hebrew language it is YAHWEH. It may mean ‘always alive’. So LORD is a sign that the *Hebrew word is YAHWEH.

LORD of Everything ~ a special name for God that Isaiah often used. Some Bibles translate it as ‘*LORD of Angel Armies’. An angel is a servant of God that we usually cannot see.

LORD of Many Armies ~ a special name for God that Isaiah often used. Some Bibles translate it as ‘*LORD of Angel Armies’. An angel is a servant of God that we usually cannot see.

Lord, lord ~ lord means master; Lord is a name for God. It is not the same as *LORD.

lowly ~ another word for humble; lowly or humble people do not think that they are very important.

luck ~ when good things happen when really there is no reason for them to happen. In Isaiah 65:11, Luck is the name of a false god.

lyre  ~ a lyre makes music.

maggots ~ insects that often live in dead bodies.

magic ~ when bad *spirits give you help.

Maher-shalal-hash-baz ~ the name of one of Isaiah’s sons. It means ‘What (people) catch is coming quickly; what they will kill is hurrying’.

make a promise ~ to promise that you will do something.

Maker ~ a name for God, who made everything.

mate ~ animal or bird of the opposite sex.

medium ~ someone who says that they can talk to dead people.

merchant ~ someone who buys and sells things to get money.

mercy ~ when you are kind when you do not have to be kind.

messiah ~ a messiah has oil ‘poured on’ them. Messiah is the *Hebrew word for ‘poured on’. It happened to *Jewish kings and *priests when they started their work. The *Jews hoped for a special messiah. Christians believe that Jesus is that special Messiah.

mist ~ mist is in the air; it makes it difficult to see things.

mistress ~ female master.

mortar ~ material that makes stones into a wall.

Most High ~ a name for God.

moths ~ insects that eat clothes.

Mount ~ a short word for mountain; small mountain.

myrtle ~ a kind of tree.

nation ~ people who live together in the same country.

Nebo ~ the name of a false god in Babylon.

Negev desert ~ a very sandy place south of Jerusalem with few people in it.

oak ~ a tree; its leaves fall off in winter.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible, which the writers wrote before the life of Jesus.

olive ~ a fruit that gives oil. People cook with this oil.

oppressed ~ you are oppressed when people are cruel to you.

oppressor ~ someone who is cruel and not kind to people.

ostrich ~ a kind of bird.

owl ~ a bird that catches its food at night.

palace ~ a big house that a king lives in.

palm ~ a tree that grows in hot countries.

papyrus ~ a plant that grows by water.

peace ~ when there is no trouble or war.

pegs ~ they held a *tent on the ground, so that it would not blow away.

perfume ~ something that has a beautiful smell.

pine ~ a beautiful tree that does not lose its leaves in winter.

pit ~ a hole. The deepest Pit in *Sheol was where the worst people went. They went there when they died.

pitch ~ a sticky black material that will burn. People find it in the ground.

plague ~ something bad, often illnesses.

plan ~ idea about what you want to do; or what someone has decided to do.

poem ~ words that are very beautiful, and often mean several things. Isaiah often repeats ideas. In Isaiah 34:1, countries, people, earth and world all mean the same. They mean everybody!

power ~ what someone is able to do.

praise ~ to tell someone that they are very good; or words that say that somebody is great, good or important.

prayer ~ the words that we say when we pray.

pregnant ~ a woman with a baby inside her.

pride ~ something that causes people to feel better than other people, but they may not be.

priest ~ a special servant of God in his house (the *temple) in Jerusalem.

prisoner ~ someone that is in a prison, or someone who cannot run away.

profit ~ when you sell something for more money than you bought it for.

prophecy ~ words that a *prophet says.

prophet ~ a prophet did two things. He told people what God had said to him. He told people what would happen in future years.

prophetess ~ either (1) the wife of a *prophet, or (2) a woman-prophet, or (3) both.

prostitute ~ a woman who has sex with men for money.

proud ~ the opposite of *humble. People can be proud in a good way or in a bad way.

prove ~ show that something is true.

prune ~ cut parts of a plant off, to cause it to grow better.

psalm ~ a special song that *praises God.

punish ~ hurt somebody because they have done something wrong.

punishment ~ what happens to us when somebody *punishes us.

ransom ~ pay to make someone safe.

rat ~  a small animal with a long tail that can make people very ill; there are usually very many of them and they eat people’s food.

redeem ~ pay to make someone in your family safe.

Redeemer ~ God. He *redeems when he saves people. He does it because they are part of his family.

reed ~ a plant that grows near water.

refugee ~ someone who has had to run away from his or her own country.

religion ~ how people *worship their God or their false god. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three examples of religion. Read also the note between verses 9 and 10 of Isaiah 1.

remnant ~ a small piece of something bigger.

righteous ~ very, very good. Only God is really righteous. He is called ‘The Righteous One’.

righteousness ~ is what people have who always obey God’s rules. They are very, very good.

roar ~ make a noise like an angry animal; or the noise itself.

rod ~ another word for stick.

root ~ part of a plant that is in the ground.

rope ~ very thick line.

rough ~ like ground that nobody has dug. It is not flat.

ruler ~ a straight piece of wood that measures things.

Sabbath ~ the seventh day of the week, our Saturday.

sacrifice ~ something that people give to God; sometimes they kill and burn an animal.

safety ~ when someone is safe.

sail ~ the wind on this cloth causes a boat to move.

Satan ~ the leader of the bad *spirits; God’s worst enemy.

saw ~ in places in Isaiah’s book it means ‘understood’. He may also have ‘seen’ something that God showed to him.

scales ~ a machine that weighs things.

scroll ~ a very long piece of paper.

seer ~ another word for *prophet.

seraph ~ a special servant of God. People cannot usually see them.

Shaddai ~ a name for God. There are 12 possible translations. But most people think that it means ‘very powerful’.

shake ~ move quickly from one side to another and back again, many times.

shame ~ something that you are not *proud of.

Shear Jashub ~ the name of Isaiah’s older son. It means ‘a few people will return’.

Sheol ~ a place under the ground. A place where dead people went.

shepherd ~ a sheep farmer. God often sees his people as sheep that need a shepherd.

shield ~ what a soldier uses to stop an enemy’s *sword hurting him.

Shiloah ~ a quiet river that moved slowly.

shroud ~ cloth over a dead body.

silver ~ a valuable metal.

sin ~ what we do when we do not obey God; or, we sin when we do not obey God.

sinner ~ a person that *sins.

spat ~ sent water out of the mouth very quickly.

spices ~ materials from plants. People use them to cause food to taste better.

spider ~ like an insect, but with 8 legs. Spiders make *webs.

spirit ~ the part of a person that is alive, which we cannot see; it can speak to other spirits; there are spirits that we cannot see; they can be good or bad.

strength ~ what you have when you are strong.

stringed instruments ~ you use your fingers to make music with stringed instruments. Examples are guitar and violin.

sulphur ~ a yellow material in the ground. It makes a very bad smell when it burns.

sword ~ a long knife that soldiers used to kill people.

sycamore ~ a tree.

tambourine ~ a tambourine makes music when you hit it.

tears ~ the water that comes from our eyes when we cry.

temple ~ like a large church. The Temple in Jerusalem was the House of God.

tent ~ a house that people make from animal skins, like goats’ skins. People can move them about easily.

terror ~ what you feel when you are very much afraid.

thirsty ~ needs a drink.

thorn ~ a bush with sharp points on its branches.

thresh ~ get the good part of a plant and throw away the *chaff.

thrush ~ a bird about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long.

thunder ~ noise in the sky during a storm.

tomb ~ where people put dead bodies.

tongue ~ the thing in our mouths that tastes things and it makes us able to speak.

torch ~ a piece of burning wood that people use to give light.

trap ~ something that catches an animal.

trumpet ~ you use your mouth to make music with a trumpet.

truth ~ what is true.

tsaw ~ this, and the other words, do not mean much in the *Hebrew language! Some Bible students say that the words mean this:       
Do this, do not do that. Do this, do not do that.         
Rules and no rules, rules and no rules.         
A little here, a little there.

turquoise stones ~ very valuable stones that are blue.

unclean ~ not clean. This means meat that they should not eat.

uncover ~ the opposite of cover.

unimportant ~ the opposite of important.

unkind ~ the opposite of kind.

vanish ~ the opposite of appear.

vine ~ a plant which climbs. Its fruits are called grapes. People use grapes to make *wine.

vineyard ~ a field where people grow *vines. *Grapes grow on vines. People make *wine from grapes. In Isaiah’s book, the vineyard often means Judah and Israel.

virgin ~ a woman who has not had sex with anyone.

vision ~ something that a person sees, maybe only in their mind.

vulture ~ a large bird that eats dead animals and birds.

watchmen ~ people that watch for enemies and dangers.

waves ~ the water in the sea makes waves when it moves.

web ~ what a *spider makes to catch its food in. It is too weak to make clothes from, in Isaiah 59:6.

wheels ~ round things that help things like cars to move.

whip ~ a stick with a line on it to hit people with.

whistle ~ a pipe that makes a loud noise when you blow into it.

widow ~ a woman whose husband has died.

wild country ~ Bible students are not sure where this was. It was either south of Jerusalem, or in Babylon. This translation believes that it was in Babylon.

wine ~ a drink that people make from fruit called grapes. It contains alcohol.

winepress ~ where people start to make *wine from *grapes. They walk on the grapes, so that their clothes become red like the grapes. Here, the winepress is a like a picture of the work of the *Messiah.

wing ~ what a bird uses to fly with.

wisdom ~ you use what you know very well.

witness ~ someone who says what they saw happen.

wizard ~ a man who uses *magic.

wolf ~ dangerous wild animal a bit like a dog.

wonderful ~ something so beautiful that you think, ‘That is great!’

wool ~ the soft hair of the sheep. The best wool is very white. This is what Isaiah means in 1:18.

worm ~ a small animal about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long. It lives under the ground.

worry ~ you worry when you are not sure what to do.

worship ~ tell someone that they are very great; and tell them that you love them.

wounds ~ places where somebody has hit or cut a person.

YHWH ~ the *Hebrew name for God; sometimes called Jehovah; God’s name in Hebrew.

yoke ~ something that holds two animals together; it goes on their shoulders; but sometimes in Isaiah’s book, it means something that makes people not free.

Zion ~ the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use it to mean all Jerusalem, as in Isaiah 1:27.

Book List

John R. Kohlenberger III ~ The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament ~ Zondervan, 1987

Sir Lancelot Brenton ~ The Septuagint with Apocrypha ~ Hendrickson, 1995

B. Davidson ~ Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon ~ Bagster, 1959

G. Abbott-Smith ~ Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament ~ T.& T. Clark, 1936

The Comparative Study Bible, NIV, NASB, AB, KJV ~ Zondervan

Various English Translations of the Bible, apart from those above, including:

The English Version for the Deaf ~ Baker, 1992

The Promise ~ Nelson, 1995

The New English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1970

The Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1957

The Revised Authorised Version ~ Bagster

The Living Bible ~ Tyndale, 1971

The Revised English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1989

The New Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1989

The New Living Translation ~ Tyndale, 1997

The Good News Bible ~ Collins, 1978

The Jerusalem Bible ~ Darton, Longman & Todd, 1968

The Four Prophets ~ J. B. Phillips ~ Bles, 1963

A Handbook on Isaiah ~ UBS Handbooks Helps for Translators Series (Draft Copy)


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*Note: Chapter topic headings from "The Holman Illustrated Study Bible"; Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. ISBN: 978-1-58640-275-4. and "The Liberty Annotated Study Bible", by Liberty University, 1988.
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