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Isaiah - Chapter 30

1 Woe to the rebellious children -- declares Yahweh -- who make plans which do not come from me and make alliances not inspired by me, and so add sin to sin!

2 They are leaving for Egypt, without consulting me, to take refuge in Pharaoh's protection, to shelter in Egypt's shadow.

3 Pharaoh's protection will be your shame, the shelter of Egypt's shadow your confounding.

4 For his princes have gone to Zoan and his messengers have reached Hanes.

5 Everyone has been disappointed by a people who cannot help, who bring neither aid nor profit, only disappointment and confusion.

6 Proclamation about the beasts of the Negeb: Into the land of distress and of anguish, of lioness and roaring lion, of viper and flying dragon, they bear their riches on donkeys' backs, their treasures on camels' humps, to a nation that cannot help:

7 Egypt, whose help is vain and futile; and so I call her 'Rahab -the-collapsed'.

8 Now go, inscribe this on a tablet, write it on a scroll, so that it may serve for time to come for ever and for ever.

9 This is a rebellious people, they are lying children, children who will not listen to Yahweh's Law.

10 To the seers they say, 'See nothing!' To the prophets, 'Do not prophesy the truth to us; tell us flattering things; have illusory visions;

11 turn aside from the way, leave the path, rid us of the Holy One of Israel.'

12 So the Holy One of Israel says this, 'Since you have rejected this word and put your trust in fraud and disloyalty and rely on these,

13 for you this guilt will prove to be a breach opening up, a bulge at the top of a wall which suddenly and all at once comes crashing down.

14 He will shatter it like an earthenware pot, ruthlessly knocking it to pieces, so that of the fragments not one shard can be found with which to take up fire from the hearth or scoop water from the storage-well.'

15 For Lord Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, says this, 'Your salvation lay in conversion and tranquillity, your strength in serenity and trust and you would have none of it.

16 "No," you said, "we shall flee on horses." And so flee you will! And again, "We shall ride on swift ones." And so your pursuers will be swift!

17 A thousand will quake at the threat of one and when five threaten you will flee, until what is left of you will be like a flagstaff on a mountain top, like a signal on a hill.'

18 But Yahweh is waiting to be gracious to you, the Exalted One, to take pity on you, for Yahweh is a God of fair judgement; blessed are all who hope in him.

19 Yes, people of Zion living in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious to you when your cry for help rings out; as soon as he hears it, he will answer you.

20 When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes.

21 Your ears will hear these words behind you, 'This is the way, keep to it,' whether you turn to right or left.

22 You will hold unclean the silverplating of your idols and the goldplating of your images. You will throw them away like the polluted things they are, shouting after them, 'Good riddance!'

23 He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. That day, your cattle will graze in wide pastures.

24 Oxen and donkeys that work the land will eat for fodder wild sorrel, spread by the shovel-load and fork-load.

25 On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and water-courses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall.

26 Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter -- like the light of seven days in one -- on the day Yahweh dresses his people's wound and heals the scars of the blows they have received.

27 See, the name of Yahweh comes from afar, blazing his anger, heavy his threat. His lips are brimming over with fury, his tongue is like a devouring fire.

28 His breath is like a river in spate coming up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, to harness the peoples in a bridle, that will lead them astray.

29 Your song will be like that on a festal night, and there will be joy in your hearts as when to the sound of the flute people make a pilgrimage to the mountain of Yahweh, the Rock of Israel.

30 Yahweh will make his majestic voice ring out, he will show the weight of his arm in the heat of his anger, with a devouring fire, with thunderbolt, downpour and hailstones.

31 Yes, at Yahweh's voice Assyria will be terrified, he will strike him with his rod;

32 each time he goes by, will fall the punishing rod that Yahweh will lay on him, to the sound of tambourines and harps, in the battles which he will wage against him with uplifted hand.

33 Yes, Topheth has been ready for a long time now, that too is ready for the king, deep and wide his pyre, fire and wood in plenty. Yahweh's breath, like a stream of brimstone, will set fire to it.

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