Isaiah 30

Don’t Expect Help from Egypt

1 This is the Lord’s message for his rebellious people:
    “You follow your own plans
        instead of mine;
     you make treaties
     without asking me,
        and you keep on sinning.
2 You trust Egypt for protection.
        So you refuse my advice
    and send messengers to Egypt
        to beg their king for help.

3 You will be disappointed,
    completely disgraced
        for trusting Egypt.
4 The king’s power reaches
    from the city of Zoan
        as far south as Hanes.
5 But Egypt can’t protect you,
    and to trust that nation
        is useless and foolish.

6 This is a message
    about the animals
        of the Southern Desert:
    You people carry treasures
        on donkeys and camels.
    You travel to a feeble nation
    through a troublesome desert
        filled with lions
        and flying fiery dragons.
7 Egypt can’t help you!
    That’s why I call that nation
        a helpless monster.

Israel Refuses To Listen

8 The Lord told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever. 9 They have turned against the Lord and can’t be trusted. They have refused his teaching 10 and have said to his messengers and prophets:
    Don’t tell us what God has shown you and don’t preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it’s false. 11 Stop telling us what God has said! We don’t want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel.
12 Now this is the answer
        of the holy God of Israel:
“You rejected my message,
  and you trust in violence
        and lies.
13 This sin is like a crack
        that makes a high wall
    quickly crumble 14 and shatter
        like a crushed bowl.
    There’s not a piece left
    big enough to carry hot coals
        or to dip out water.”

Trust the Lord

15 The holy Lord God of Israel
        had told all of you,
    “I will keep you safe
     if you turn back to me
        and calm down.
    I will make you strong
        if you quietly trust me.”

    Then you stubbornly 16 said,
    “No! We will safely escape
        on speedy horses.”
    But those who chase you
        will be even faster.
17 As few as five of them,
    or even one, will be enough
        to chase a thousand of you.
    Finally, all that will be left
        will be a few survivors
    as lonely as a flag pole
        on a barren hill.

The Lord Will Show Mercy

18 The Lord God is waiting
     to show how kind he is
        and to have pity on you.
     The Lord always does right;
     he blesses those who trust him.
    19 People of Jerusalem, you don’t need to cry anymore. The Lord is kind, and as soon as he hears your cries for help, he will come. 20 The Lord has given you trouble and sorrow as your food and drink. But now you will again see the Lord, your teacher, and he will guide you. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road! Now follow it.” 22 Then you will treat your idols of silver and gold like garbage; you will throw them away like filthy rags.
    23 The Lord will send rain to water the seeds you have planted—your fields will produce more crops than you need, and your cattle will graze in open pastures. 24 Even the oxen and donkeys that plow your fields will be fed the finest grain.
    25 On that day people will be slaughtered and towers destroyed, but streams of water will flow from high hills and towering mountains. 26 Then the Lord will bandage his people’s injuries and heal the wounds he has caused. The moon will shine as bright as the sun, and the sun will shine seven times brighter than usual. It will be like the light of seven days all at once.

Assyria Will Be Punished

27 The Lord is coming
        from far away
    with his fiery anger
        and thick clouds of smoke.
    His angry words flame up
        like a destructive fire;
28 he breathes out a flood
        that comes up to the neck.
    He sifts the nations
        and destroys them.
    Then he puts a bridle
    in every foreigner’s mouth
        and leads them to doom.

    29 The Lord’s people will sing as they do when they celebrate a religious festival at night. The Lord is Israel’s mighty rock, and his people will be as happy as they are when they follow the sound of flutes to the mountain where he is worshiped.
    30 The Lord will get furious. His fearsome voice will be heard, his arm will be seen ready to strike, and his anger will be like a destructive fire, followed by thunderstorms and hailstones. 31 When the Assyrians hear the Lord’s voice and see him striking with his iron rod, they will be terrified. 32 He will attack them in battle, and each time he strikes them, it will be to the music of tambourines and harps.
    33 Long ago the Lord got a place ready for burning the body of the dead king. The place for the fire is deep and wide, the wood is piled high, and the Lord will start the fire by breathing out flaming sulfur.

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