Isaiah 33

Jerusalem Will Be Safe


1 You defeated my people.
        Now you’re in for trouble!
    You’ve never been destroyed,
        but you will be destroyed;
    you’ve never been betrayed,
        but you will be betrayed.
    When you have finished
        destroying and betraying,
    you will be destroyed
        and betrayed in return.

2 Please, Lord, be kind to us!
        We depend on you.
    Make us strong each morning,
    and come to save us
        when we are in trouble.
3 Nations scatter when you roar
        and show your greatness.
4 We attack our enemies
        like swarms of locusts;
    we take everything
        that belongs to them.

5 You, Lord, are above all others,
        and you live in the heavens.
    You have brought justice
        and fairness to Jerusalem;
6 you are the foundation
        on which we stand today.
    You always save us and give
        true wisdom and knowledge.
    Nothing means more to us
        than obeying you.

The Lord Will Do Something

7 Listen! Our bravest soldiers
    are running through the streets,
        screaming for help.
    Our messengers hoped for peace,
        but came home crying.
8 No one travels anymore;
        every road is empty.
    Treaties are broken,
    and no respect is shown
        to any who keep promises.
9 Fields are dry and barren;
    Mount Lebanon wilts
        with shame.
    Sharon Valley is a desert;
    the forests of Bashan and Carmel
        have lost their leaves.

10 But the Lord says,
    “Now I will do something
        and be greatly praised.
11 Your deeds are straw
     that will be set on fire
        by your very own breath.
12 You will be burned to ashes
        like thorns in a fire.
13 Everyone, both far and near,
     come look at what I have done.
        See my mighty power!”

Punishment and Rewards

14 Those terrible sinners
     on Mount Zion tremble
        as they ask in fear,
    “How can we possibly live
     where a raging fire
        never stops burning?”

15 But there will be rewards
     for those who live right
        and tell the truth,
     for those who refuse
        to take money by force
        or accept bribes,
     for all who hate murder
        and violent crimes.
16 They will live in a fortress
        high on a rocky cliff,
     where they will have food
        and plenty of water.

The Lord Is Our King

17 With your own eyes
     you will see the glorious King;
        you will see his kingdom
        reaching far and wide.
18 Then you will ask yourself,
        “Where are those officials
     who terrified us and forced us
        to pay such heavy taxes?”
19 You will never again have to see
        the proud people who spoke
     a strange and foreign language
        you could not understand.

20 Look to Mount Zion
     where we celebrate
        our religious festivals.
     You will see Jerusalem,
        secure as a tent with pegs
     that cannot be pulled up
     and fastened with ropes
        that can never be broken.
21 Our wonderful Lord
        will be with us!
     There will be deep rivers
     and wide streams
        safe from enemy ships.

The Lord is our judge

22 The Lord is our judge
        and our ruler;
     the Lord is our king
        and will keep us safe.
23 But your nation is a ship
        with its rigging loose,
     its mast shaky,
        and its sail not spread.
     Someday even you that are lame
     will take everything you want
        from your enemies.
24 The Lord will forgive your sins,
     and none of you will say,
        “I feel sick.”

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary