ESV Chronological

Over 365 days, read the events of the Bible as they occurred chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis because Job lived before Abraham.

This reading plan is copyright © Back to the Bible.

  1. 2 Kings 18:1–8

    2 Kings 18:1–8 (Listen)

    Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

    18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).1 He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.


    [1] 18:4 Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew for both bronze and serpent


    2 Chronicles 29–31

    2 Chronicles 29–31 (Listen)

    Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

    29 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah1 the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.

    Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple

    In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth2 from the Holy Place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the LORD our God. They have forsaken him and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD and turned their backs. They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the LORD came on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has made them an object of horror, of astonishment, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, in order that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not now be negligent, for the LORD has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.”

    12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers and consecrated themselves and went in as the king had commanded, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. 16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it and carried it out to the brook Kidron. 17 They began to consecrate on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the LORD. Then for eight days they consecrated the house of the LORD, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the showbread and all its utensils. 19 All the utensils that King Ahaz discarded in his reign when he was faithless, we have made ready and consecrated, and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.”

    Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship

    20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early and gathered the officials of the city and went up to the house of the LORD. 21 And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. And he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the LORD. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood and threw it against the altar. And they slaughtered the rams, and their blood was thrown against the altar. And they slaughtered the lambs, and their blood was thrown against the altar. 23 Then the goats for the sin offering were brought to the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them, 24 and the priests slaughtered them and made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel. For the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.

    25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king's seer and of Nathan the prophet, for the commandment was from the LORD through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 When the offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 And Hezekiah the king and the officials commanded the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshiped.

    31 Then Hezekiah said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to3 the LORD. Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. 33 And the consecrated offerings were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But the priests were too few and could not flay all the burnt offerings, so until other priests had consecrated themselves, their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was finished—for the Levites were more upright in heart than the priests in consecrating themselves. 35 Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the peace offerings, and there were the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the LORD was restored. 36 And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.

    Passover Celebrated

    30 Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month—for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem—and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed. So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the LORD God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”

    10 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD.

    13 And many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great assembly. 14 They set to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for burning incense they took away and threw into the brook Kidron. 15 And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were ashamed, so that they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. 16 They took their accustomed posts according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests threw the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the LORD. 18 For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD pardon everyone 19 who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary's rules of cleanness.”4 20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 And the people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with all their might5 to the LORD. 22 And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the LORD. So they ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the LORD, the God of their fathers.

    23 Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the feast for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep for offerings, and the princes gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And the priests consecrated themselves in great numbers. 25 The whole assembly of Judah, and the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the sojourners who came out of the land of Israel, and the sojourners who lived in Judah, rejoiced. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.

    Hezekiah Organizes the Priests

    31 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession.

    And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, division by division, each according to his service, the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and peace offerings, to minister in the gates of the camp of the LORD and to give thanks and praise. The contribution of the king from his own possessions was for the burnt offerings: the burnt offerings of morning and evening, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the appointed feasts, as it is written in the Law of the LORD. And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the LORD. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. And the people of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of the dedicated things that had been dedicated to the LORD their God, and laid them in heaps. In the third month they began to pile up the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD and his people Israel. And Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites about the heaps. 10 Azariah the chief priest, who was of the house of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began to bring the contributions into the house of the LORD, we have eaten and had enough and have plenty left, for the LORD has blessed his people, so that we have this large amount left.”

    11 Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD, and they prepared them. 12 And they faithfully brought in the contributions, the tithes, and the dedicated things. The chief officer in charge of them was Conaniah the Levite, with Shimei his brother as second, 13 while Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers assisting Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the chief officer of the house of God. 14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the east gate, was over the freewill offerings to God, to apportion the contribution reserved for the LORD and the most holy offerings. 15 Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah were faithfully assisting him in the cities of the priests, to distribute the portions to their brothers, old and young alike, by divisions, 16 except those enrolled by genealogy, males from three years old and upward—all who entered the house of the LORD as the duty of each day required—for their service according to their offices, by their divisions. 17 The enrollment of the priests was according to their fathers' houses; that of the Levites from twenty years old and upward was according to their offices, by their divisions. 18 They were enrolled with all their little children, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, the whole assembly, for they were faithful in keeping themselves holy. 19 And for the sons of Aaron, the priests, who were in the fields of common land belonging to their cities, there were men in the several cities who were designated by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to everyone among the Levites who was enrolled.

    20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. 21 And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.


    [1] 29:1 Spelled Abi in 2 Kings 18:2
    [2] 29:5 Hebrew impurity
    [3] 29:31 Hebrew filled your hand for
    [4] 30:19 Hebrew not according to the cleanness of holiness
    [5] 30:21 Compare 1 Chronicles 13:8; Hebrew with instruments of might


    Psalm 48

    Psalm 48 (Listen)

    Zion, the City of Our God

    A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

    48   Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
        in the city of our God!
      His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
        is the joy of all the earth,
      Mount Zion, in the far north,
        the city of the great King.
      Within her citadels God
        has made himself known as a fortress.
      For behold, the kings assembled;
        they came on together.
      As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
        they were in panic; they took to flight.
      Trembling took hold of them there,
        anguish as of a woman in labor.
      By the east wind you shattered
        the ships of Tarshish.
      As we have heard, so have we seen
        in the city of the LORD of hosts,
      in the city of our God,
        which God will establish forever. Selah
      We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
        in the midst of your temple.
    10   As your name, O God,
        so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
      Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
    11     Let Mount Zion be glad!
      Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
        because of your judgments!
    12   Walk about Zion, go around her,
        number her towers,
    13   consider well her ramparts,
        go through her citadels,
      that you may tell the next generation
    14     that this is God,
      our God forever and ever.
        He will guide us forever.1


    [1] 48:14 Septuagint; another reading is (compare Jerome, Syriac) He will guide us beyond death


  2. Isaiah 23–27

    Isaiah 23–27 (Listen)

    An Oracle Concerning Tyre and Sidon

    23 The oracle concerning Tyre.

      Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
        for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor!
      From the land of Cyprus1
        it is revealed to them.
      Be still, O inhabitants of the coast;
        the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.
      And on many waters
      your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
        the harvest of the Nile;
        you were the merchant of the nations.
      Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
        the stronghold of the sea, saying:
      “I have neither labored nor given birth,
        I have neither reared young men
        nor brought up young women.”
      When the report comes to Egypt,
        they will be in anguish2 over the report about Tyre.
      Cross over to Tarshish;
        wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
      Is this your exultant city
        whose origin is from days of old,
      whose feet carried her
        to settle far away?
      Who has purposed this
        against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
      whose merchants were princes,
        whose traders were the honored of the earth?
      The LORD of hosts has purposed it,
        to defile the pompous pride of all glory,3
        to dishonor all the honored of the earth.
    10   Cross over your land like the Nile,
        O daughter of Tarshish;
        there is no restraint anymore.
    11   He has stretched out his hand over the sea;
        he has shaken the kingdoms;
      the LORD has given command concerning Canaan
        to destroy its strongholds.
    12   And he said:
      “You will no more exult,
        O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon;
      arise, cross over to Cyprus,
        even there you will have no rest.”

    13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not;4 Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin.

    14   Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
        for your stronghold is laid waste.

    15 In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days5 of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

    16   “Take a harp;
        go about the city,
        O forgotten prostitute!
      Make sweet melody;
        sing many songs,
        that you may be remembered.”

    17 At the end of seventy years, the LORD will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the LORD. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the LORD.

    Judgment on the Whole Earth

    24   Behold, the LORD will empty the earth6 and make it desolate,
        and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
      And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
        as with the slave, so with his master;
        as with the maid, so with her mistress;
      as with the buyer, so with the seller;
        as with the lender, so with the borrower;
        as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
      The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
        for the LORD has spoken this word.
      The earth mourns and withers;
        the world languishes and withers;
        the highest people of the earth languish.
      The earth lies defiled
        under its inhabitants;
      for they have transgressed the laws,
        violated the statutes,
        broken the everlasting covenant.
      Therefore a curse devours the earth,
        and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
      therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
        and few men are left.
      The wine mourns,
        the vine languishes,
        all the merry-hearted sigh.
      The mirth of the tambourines is stilled,
        the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
        the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
      No more do they drink wine with singing;
        strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
    10   The wasted city is broken down;
        every house is shut up so that none can enter.
    11   There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
        all joy has grown dark;
        the gladness of the earth is banished.
    12   Desolation is left in the city;
        the gates are battered into ruins.
    13   For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
        among the nations,
      as when an olive tree is beaten,
        as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.
    14   They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
        over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.7
    15   Therefore in the east8 give glory to the LORD;
        in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
    16   From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
        of glory to the Righteous One.
      But I say, “I waste away,
        I waste away. Woe is me!
      For the traitors have betrayed,
        with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
    17   Terror and the pit and the snare9
        are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
    18   He who flees at the sound of the terror
        shall fall into the pit,
      and he who climbs out of the pit
        shall be caught in the snare.
      For the windows of heaven are opened,
        and the foundations of the earth tremble.
    19   The earth is utterly broken,
        the earth is split apart,
        the earth is violently shaken.
    20   The earth staggers like a drunken man;
        it sways like a hut;
      its transgression lies heavy upon it,
        and it falls, and will not rise again.
    21   On that day the LORD will punish
        the host of heaven, in heaven,
        and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
    22   They will be gathered together
        as prisoners in a pit;
      they will be shut up in a prison,
        and after many days they will be punished.
    23   Then the moon will be confounded
        and the sun ashamed,
      for the LORD of hosts reigns
        on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
      and his glory will be before his elders.

    God Will Swallow Up Death Forever

    25   O LORD, you are my God;
        I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
      for you have done wonderful things,
        plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
      For you have made the city a heap,
        the fortified city a ruin;
      the foreigners' palace is a city no more;
        it will never be rebuilt.
      Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
        cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
      For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
        a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
        a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
      for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
        like heat in a dry place.
      You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
        as heat by the shade of a cloud,
        so the song of the ruthless is put down.
      On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
        a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
        of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
      And he will swallow up on this mountain
        the covering that is cast over all peoples,
        the veil that is spread over all nations.
        He will swallow up death forever;
      and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
        and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
        for the LORD has spoken.
      It will be said on that day,
        “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
        This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
        let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
    10   For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain,
        and Moab shall be trampled down in his place,
        as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.10
    11   And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it
        as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,
        but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill11 of his hands.
    12   And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down,
        lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

    You Keep Him in Perfect Peace

    26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

      “We have a strong city;
        he sets up salvation
        as walls and bulwarks.
      Open the gates,
        that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
      You keep him in perfect peace
        whose mind is stayed on you,
        because he trusts in you.
      Trust in the LORD forever,
        for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
      For he has humbled
        the inhabitants of the height,
        the lofty city.
      He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
        casts it to the dust.
      The foot tramples it,
        the feet of the poor,
        the steps of the needy.”
      The path of the righteous is level;
        you make level the way of the righteous.
      In the path of your judgments,
        O LORD, we wait for you;
      your name and remembrance
        are the desire of our soul.
      My soul yearns for you in the night;
        my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
      For when your judgments are in the earth,
        the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
    10   If favor is shown to the wicked,
        he does not learn righteousness;
      in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly
        and does not see the majesty of the LORD.
    11   O LORD, your hand is lifted up,
        but they do not see it.
      Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
        Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
    12   O LORD, you will ordain peace for us,
        for you have indeed done for us all our works.
    13   O LORD our God,
        other lords besides you have ruled over us,
        but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
    14   They are dead, they will not live;
        they are shades, they will not arise;
      to that end you have visited them with destruction
        and wiped out all remembrance of them.
    15   But you have increased the nation, O LORD,
        you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
        you have enlarged all the borders of the land.
    16   O LORD, in distress they sought you;
        they poured out a whispered prayer
        when your discipline was upon them.
    17   Like a pregnant woman
        who writhes and cries out in her pangs
        when she is near to giving birth,
      so were we because of you, O LORD;
    18     we were pregnant, we writhed,
        but we have given birth to wind.
      We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,
        and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
    19   Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
        You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
      For your dew is a dew of light,
        and the earth will give birth to the dead.
    20   Come, my people, enter your chambers,
        and shut your doors behind you;
      hide yourselves for a little while
        until the fury has passed by.
    21   For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place
        to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
      and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
        and will no more cover its slain.

    The Redemption of Israel

    27 In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

      In that day,
      “A pleasant vineyard,12 sing of it!
        I, the LORD, am its keeper;
        every moment I water it.
        Lest anyone punish it,
      I keep it night and day;
        I have no wrath.
      Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
        I would march against them,
        I would burn them up together.
      Or let them lay hold of my protection,
        let them make peace with me,
        let them make peace with me.”
      In days to come13 Jacob shall take root,
        Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
        and fill the whole world with fruit.
      Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them?
        Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain?
      Measure by measure,14 by exile you contended with them;
        he removed them with his fierce breath15 in the day of the east wind.
      Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for,
        and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:16
      when he makes all the stones of the altars
        like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
        no Asherim or incense altars will remain standing.
    10   For the fortified city is solitary,
        a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
      there the calf grazes;
        there it lies down and strips its branches.
    11   When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
        women come and make a fire of them.
      For this is a people without discernment;
        therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them;
        he who formed them will show them no favor.

    12 In that day from the river Euphrates17 to the Brook of Egypt the LORD will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.


    [1] 23:1 Hebrew Kittim; also verse 12
    [2] 23:5 Hebrew they will have labor pains
    [3] 23:9 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
    [4] 23:13 Or that has become nothing
    [5] 23:15 Or lifetime
    [6] 24:1 Or land; also throughout this chapter
    [7] 24:14 Hebrew from the sea
    [8] 24:15 Hebrew in the realm of light, or with the fires
    [9] 24:17 The Hebrew words for terror, pit, and snare sound alike
    [10] 25:10 The Hebrew words for dunghill and for the Moabite town Madmen (Jeremiah 48:2) sound alike
    [11] 25:11 Or in spite of the skill
    [12] 27:2 Many Hebrew manuscripts A vineyard of wine
    [13] 27:6 Hebrew In those to come
    [14] 27:8 Or By driving her away; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
    [15] 27:8 Or wind
    [16] 27:9 Septuagint and this is the blessing when I take away his sin
    [17] 27:12 Hebrew from the River


  3. Isaiah 18–22

    Isaiah 18–22 (Listen)

    An Oracle Concerning Cush

    18   Ah, land of whirring wings
        that is beyond the rivers of Cush,1
      which sends ambassadors by the sea,
        in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
      Go, you swift messengers,
        to a nation tall and smooth,
      to a people feared near and far,
        a nation mighty and conquering,
        whose land the rivers divide.
      All you inhabitants of the world,
        you who dwell on the earth,
      when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
        When a trumpet is blown, hear!
      For thus the LORD said to me:
      “I will quietly look from my dwelling
        like clear heat in sunshine,
        like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
      For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
        and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
      he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
        and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
      They shall all of them be left
        to the birds of prey of the mountains
        and to the beasts of the earth.
      And the birds of prey will summer on them,
        and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

    At that time tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts

      from a people tall and smooth,
        from a people feared near and far,
      a nation mighty and conquering,
        whose land the rivers divide,

    to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts.

    An Oracle Concerning Egypt

    19 An oracle concerning Egypt.

      Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud
        and comes to Egypt;
      and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
        and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
      And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
        and they will fight, each against another
        and each against his neighbor,
        city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
      and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
        and I will confound2 their counsel;
      and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
        and the mediums and the necromancers;
      and I will give over the Egyptians
        into the hand of a hard master,
      and a fierce king will rule over them,
        declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
      And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
        and the river will be dry and parched,
      and its canals will become foul,
        and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up,
        reeds and rushes will rot away.
      There will be bare places by the Nile,
        on the brink of the Nile,
      and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
        will be driven away, and will be no more.
      The fishermen will mourn and lament,
        all who cast a hook in the Nile;
      and they will languish
        who spread nets on the water.
      The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
        and the weavers of white cotton.
    10   Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
        and all who work for pay will be grieved.
    11   The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
        the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
      How can you say to Pharaoh,
        “I am a son of the wise,
        a son of ancient kings”?
    12   Where then are your wise men?
        Let them tell you
        that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
    13   The princes of Zoan have become fools,
        and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
      those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
        have made Egypt stagger.
    14   The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
      and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
        as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
    15   And there will be nothing for Egypt
        that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

    Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed

    16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.

    18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.3

    19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

    23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

    24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

    A Sign Against Egypt and Cush

    20 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

    Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’”

    Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon

    21 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

      As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
        it comes from the wilderness,
        from a terrible land.
      A stern vision is told to me;
        the traitor betrays,
        and the destroyer destroys.
      Go up, O Elam;
        lay siege, O Media;
      all the sighing she has caused
        I bring to an end.
      Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
        pangs have seized me,
        like the pangs of a woman in labor;
      I am bowed down so that I cannot hear;
        I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
      My heart staggers; horror has appalled me;
        the twilight I longed for
        has been turned for me into trembling.
      They prepare the table,
        they spread the rugs,5
        they eat, they drink.
      Arise, O princes;
        oil the shield!
      For thus the Lord said to me:
      “Go, set a watchman;
        let him announce what he sees.
      When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
        riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
      let him listen diligently,
        very diligently.”
      Then he who saw cried out:6
      “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
        continually by day,
      and at my post I am stationed
        whole nights.
      And behold, here come riders,
        horsemen in pairs!”
      And he answered,
        “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
      and all the carved images of her gods
        he has shattered to the ground.”
    10   O my threshed and winnowed one,
        what I have heard from the LORD of hosts,
        the God of Israel, I announce to you.

    11 The oracle concerning Dumah.

      One is calling to me from Seir,
        “Watchman, what time of the night?
        Watchman, what time of the night?”
    12   The watchman says:
      “Morning comes, and also the night.
        If you will inquire, inquire;
        come back again.”

    13 The oracle concerning Arabia.

      In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge,
        O caravans of Dedanites.
    14   To the thirsty bring water;
        meet the fugitive with bread,
        O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
    15   For they have fled from the swords,
        from the drawn sword,
      from the bent bow,
        and from the press of battle.

    16 For thus the Lord said to me, “Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. 17 And the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.”

    An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem

    22 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.

      What do you mean that you have gone up,
        all of you, to the housetops,
      you who are full of shoutings,
        tumultuous city, exultant town?
      Your slain are not slain with the sword
        or dead in battle.
      All your leaders have fled together;
        without the bow they were captured.
      All of you who were found were captured,
        though they had fled far away.
      Therefore I said:
      “Look away from me;
        let me weep bitter tears;
      do not labor to comfort me
        concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
      For the Lord GOD of hosts has a day
        of tumult and trampling and confusion
        in the valley of vision,
      a battering down of walls
        and a shouting to the mountains.
      And Elam bore the quiver
        with chariots and horsemen,
        and Kir uncovered the shield.
      Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
        and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
      He has taken away the covering of Judah.

    In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, 10 and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.

    12   In that day the Lord GOD of hosts
        called for weeping and mourning,
        for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
    13   and behold, joy and gladness,
        killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
        eating flesh and drinking wine.
      “Let us eat and drink,
        for tomorrow we die.”
    14   The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
      “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
        says the Lord GOD of hosts.

    15 Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16 What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you 18 and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. 20 In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23 And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”


    [1] 18:1 Probably Nubia
    [2] 19:3 Or I will swallow up
    [3] 19:18 Dead Sea Scroll and some other manuscripts City of the Sun
    [4] 20:3 Probably Nubia
    [5] 21:5 Or they set the watchman
    [6] 21:8 Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac; Masoretic Text Then a lion cried out, or Then he cried out like a lion


  4. Isaiah 13–17

    Isaiah 13–17 (Listen)

    The Judgment of Babylon

    13 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

      On a bare hill raise a signal;
        cry aloud to them;
      wave the hand for them to enter
        the gates of the nobles.
      I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
        and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
        my proudly exulting ones.1
      The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
        as of a great multitude!
      The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
        of nations gathering together!
      The LORD of hosts is mustering
        a host for battle.
      They come from a distant land,
        from the end of the heavens,
      the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
        to destroy the whole land.2
      Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
        as destruction from the Almighty3 it will come!
      Therefore all hands will be feeble,
        and every human heart will melt.
      They will be dismayed:
        pangs and agony will seize them;
        they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
      They will look aghast at one another;
        their faces will be aflame.
      Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
        cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
      to make the land a desolation
        and to destroy its sinners from it.
    10   For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
        will not give their light;
      the sun will be dark at its rising,
        and the moon will not shed its light.
    11   I will punish the world for its evil,
        and the wicked for their iniquity;
      I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
        and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
    12   I will make people more rare than fine gold,
        and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
    13   Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
        and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
      at the wrath of the LORD of hosts
        in the day of his fierce anger.
    14   And like a hunted gazelle,
        or like sheep with none to gather them,
      each will turn to his own people,
        and each will flee to his own land.
    15   Whoever is found will be thrust through,
        and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
    16   Their infants will be dashed in pieces
        before their eyes;
      their houses will be plundered
        and their wives ravished.
    17   Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
        who have no regard for silver
        and do not delight in gold.
    18   Their bows will slaughter4 the young men;
        they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
        their eyes will not pity children.
    19   And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
        the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
      will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
        when God overthrew them.
    20   It will never be inhabited
        or lived in for all generations;
      no Arab will pitch his tent there;
        no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
    21   But wild animals will lie down there,
        and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
      there ostriches5 will dwell,
        and there wild goats will dance.
    22   Hyenas6 will cry in its towers,
        and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
      its time is close at hand
        and its days will not be prolonged.

    The Restoration of Jacob

    14 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD's land as male and female slaves.7 They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

    Israel's Remnant Taunts Babylon

    When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

      “How the oppressor has ceased,
        the insolent fury8 ceased!
      The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
        the scepter of rulers,
      that struck the peoples in wrath
        with unceasing blows,
      that ruled the nations in anger
        with unrelenting persecution.
      The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
        they break forth into singing.
      The cypresses rejoice at you,
        the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
      ‘Since you were laid low,
        no woodcutter comes up against us.’
      Sheol beneath is stirred up
        to meet you when you come;
      it rouses the shades to greet you,
        all who were leaders of the earth;
      it raises from their thrones
        all who were kings of the nations.
    10   All of them will answer
        and say to you:
      ‘You too have become as weak as we!
        You have become like us!’
    11   Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
        the sound of your harps;
      maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
        and worms are your covers.
    12   “How you are fallen from heaven,
        O Day Star, son of Dawn!
      How you are cut down to the ground,
        you who laid the nations low!
    13   You said in your heart,
        ‘I will ascend to heaven;
      above the stars of God
        I will set my throne on high;
      I will sit on the mount of assembly
        in the far reaches of the north;9
    14   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
        I will make myself like the Most High.’
    15   But you are brought down to Sheol,
        to the far reaches of the pit.
    16   Those who see you will stare at you
        and ponder over you:
      ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
        who shook kingdoms,
    17   who made the world like a desert
        and overthrew its cities,
        who did not let his prisoners go home?’
    18   All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
        each in his own tomb;10
    19   but you are cast out, away from your grave,
        like a loathed branch,
      clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
        who go down to the stones of the pit,
        like a dead body trampled underfoot.
    20   You will not be joined with them in burial,
        because you have destroyed your land,
        you have slain your people.
      “May the offspring of evildoers
        nevermore be named!
    21   Prepare slaughter for his sons
        because of the guilt of their fathers,
      lest they rise and possess the earth,
        and fill the face of the world with cities.”

    22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the LORD. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog,11 and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts.

    An Oracle Concerning Assyria

    24   The LORD of hosts has sworn:
      “As I have planned,
        so shall it be,
      and as I have purposed,
        so shall it stand,
    25   that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
        and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
      and his yoke shall depart from them,
        and his burden from their shoulder.”
    26   This is the purpose that is purposed
        concerning the whole earth,
      and this is the hand that is stretched out
        over all the nations.
    27   For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
        and who will annul it?
      His hand is stretched out,
        and who will turn it back?

    An Oracle Concerning Philistia

    28 In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:

    29   Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
        that the rod that struck you is broken,
      for from the serpent's root will come forth an adder,
        and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
    30   And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
        and the needy lie down in safety;
      but I will kill your root with famine,
        and your remnant it will slay.
    31   Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
        melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
      For smoke comes out of the north,
        and there is no straggler in his ranks.
    32   What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
      “The LORD has founded Zion,
        and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

    An Oracle Concerning Moab

    15 An oracle concerning Moab.

      Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night,
        Moab is undone;
      because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,
        Moab is undone.
      He has gone up to the temple,12 and to Dibon,
        to the high places13 to weep;
      over Nebo and over Medeba
        Moab wails.
      On every head is baldness;
        every beard is shorn;
      in the streets they wear sackcloth;
        on the housetops and in the squares
        everyone wails and melts in tears.
      Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
        their voice is heard as far as Jahaz;
      therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
        his soul trembles.
      My heart cries out for Moab;
        her fugitives flee to Zoar,
        to Eglath-shelishiyah.
      For at the ascent of Luhith
        they go up weeping;
      on the road to Horonaim
        they raise a cry of destruction;
      the waters of Nimrim
        are a desolation;
      the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
        the greenery is no more.
      Therefore the abundance they have gained
        and what they have laid up
      they carry away
        over the Brook of the Willows.
      For a cry has gone
        around the land of Moab;
      her wailing reaches to Eglaim;
        her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
      For the waters of Dibon14 are full of blood;
        for I will bring upon Dibon even more,
      a lion for those of Moab who escape,
        for the remnant of the land.
    16   Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
      from Sela, by way of the desert,
        to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
      Like fleeing birds,
        like a scattered nest,
      so are the daughters of Moab
        at the fords of the Arnon.
      “Give counsel;
        grant justice;
      make your shade like night
        at the height of noon;
      shelter the outcasts;
        do not reveal the fugitive;
      let the outcasts of Moab
        sojourn among you;
      be a shelter to them15
        from the destroyer.
      When the oppressor is no more,
        and destruction has ceased,
      and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
      then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
        and on it will sit in faithfulness
        in the tent of David
      one who judges and seeks justice
        and is swift to do righteousness.”
      We have heard of the pride of Moab—
        how proud he is!—
      of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
        in his idle boasting he is not right.
      Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
        let everyone wail.
      Mourn, utterly stricken,
        for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.
      For the fields of Heshbon languish,
        and the vine of Sibmah;
      the lords of the nations
        have struck down its branches,
      which reached to Jazer
        and strayed to the desert;
      its shoots spread abroad
        and passed over the sea.
      Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
        for the vine of Sibmah;
      I drench you with my tears,
        O Heshbon and Elealeh;
      for over your summer fruit and your harvest
        the shout has ceased.
    10   And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field,
      and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
        no cheers are raised;
      no treader treads out wine in the presses;
        I have put an end to the shouting.
    11   Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
        and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

    12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

    13 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

    An Oracle Concerning Damascus

    17 An oracle concerning Damascus.

      Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
        and will become a heap of ruins.
      The cities of Aroer are deserted;
        they will be for flocks,
        which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
      The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
        and the kingdom from Damascus;
      and the remnant of Syria will be
        like the glory of the children of Israel,
          declares the LORD of hosts.
      And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
        and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
      And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
        and his arm harvests the ears,
      and as when one gleans the ears of grain
        in the Valley of Rephaim.
      Gleanings will be left in it,
        as when an olive tree is beaten—
      two or three berries
        in the top of the highest bough,
      four or five
        on the branches of a fruit tree,
          declares the LORD God of Israel.

    In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.

    In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

    10   For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
        and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
      therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
        and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
    11   though you make them grow16 on the day that you plant them,
        and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
      yet the harvest will flee away17
        in a day of grief and incurable pain.
    12   Ah, the thunder of many peoples;
        they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
      Ah, the roar of nations;
        they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
    13   The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
        but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
      chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
        and whirling dust before the storm.
    14   At evening time, behold, terror!
        Before morning, they are no more!
      This is the portion of those who loot us,
        and the lot of those who plunder us.


    [1] 13:3 Or those who exult in my majesty
    [2] 13:5 Or earth; also verse 9
    [3] 13:6 The Hebrew words for destruction and almighty sound alike
    [4] 13:18 Hebrew dash in pieces
    [5] 13:21 Or owls
    [6] 13:22 Or foxes
    [7] 14:2 Or servants
    [8] 14:4 Dead Sea Scroll (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain
    [9] 14:13 Or in the remote parts of Zaphon
    [10] 14:18 Hebrew house
    [11] 14:23 Possibly porcupine, or owl
    [12] 15:2 Hebrew the house
    [13] 15:2 Or temple, even Dibon to the high places
    [14] 15:9 Dead Sea Scroll, Vulgate (compare Syriac); Masoretic Text Dimon; twice in this verse
    [15] 16:4 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; Masoretic Text let my outcasts sojourn among you; as for Moab, be a shelter to them
    [16] 17:11 Or though you carefully fence them
    [17] 17:11 Or will be a heap


  5. 2 Chronicles 28

    2 Chronicles 28 (Listen)

    Ahaz Reigns in Judah

    28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done, but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made metal images for the Baals, and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering,1 according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

    Judah Defeated

    Therefore the LORD his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with great force. For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 from Judah in one day, all of them men of valor, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king's son and Azrikam the commander of the palace and Elkanah the next in authority to the king.

    The men of Israel took captive 200,000 of their relatives, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much spoil from them and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Behold, because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand, but you have killed them in a rage that has reached up to heaven. 10 And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. Have you not sins of your own against the LORD your God? 11 Now hear me, and send back the captives from your relatives whom you have taken, for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.”

    12 Certain chiefs also of the men of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who were coming from the war 13 and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives in here, for you propose to bring upon us guilt against the LORD in addition to our present sins and guilt. For our guilt is already great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.” 14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. 15 And the men who have been mentioned by name rose and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them. They clothed them, gave them sandals, provided them with food and drink, and anointed them, and carrying all the feeble among them on donkeys, they brought them to their kinsfolk at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.

    16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king2 of Assyria for help. 17 For the Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and carried away captives. 18 And the Philistines had made raids on the cities in the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. And they settled there. 19 For the LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah act sinfully3 and had been very unfaithful to the LORD. 20 So Tiglath-pileser4 king of Assyria came against him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him. 21 For Ahaz took a portion from the house of the LORD and the house of the king and of the princes, and gave tribute to the king of Assyria, but it did not help him.

    Ahaz's Idolatry

    22 In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the LORD—this same King Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. 24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the LORD, the God of his fathers. 26 Now the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.


    [1] 28:3 Hebrew made his sons pass through the fire
    [2] 28:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate (compare 2 Kings 16:7); Hebrew kings
    [3] 28:19 Or wildly
    [4] 28:20 Hebrew Tilgath-pilneser


    2 Kings 16–17

    2 Kings 16–17 (Listen)

    Ahaz Reigns in Judah

    16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering,1 according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

    Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to wage war on Jerusalem, and they besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time Rezin the king of Syria recovered Elath for Syria and drove the men of Judah from Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they dwell to this day. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” Ahaz also took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasures of the king's house and sent a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria listened to him. The king of Assyria marched up against Damascus and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir, and he killed Rezin.

    10 When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. 11 And Uriah the priest built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Uriah the priest made it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus. 12 And when the king came from Damascus, the king viewed the altar. Then the king drew near to the altar and went up on it 13 and burned his burnt offering and his grain offering and poured his drink offering and threw the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. 14 And the bronze altar that was before the LORD he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of his altar. 15 And King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, “On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering and the king's burnt offering and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. And throw on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice, but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” 16 Uriah the priest did all this, as King Ahaz commanded.

    17 And King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands and removed the basin from them, and he took down the sea2 from off the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pedestal. 18 And the covered way for the Sabbath that had been built inside the house and the outer entrance for the king he caused to go around the house of the LORD, because of the king of Assyria. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

    Hoshea Reigns in Israel

    17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.

    The Fall of Israel

    In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

    Exile Because of Idolatry

    And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. And the people of Israel did secretly against the LORD their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the LORD carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the LORD to anger, 12 and they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”

    14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings3 and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.

    19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

    21 When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD and made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

    Assyria Resettles Samaria

    24 And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the LORD. Therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him4 go and dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

    29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They also feared the LORD and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33 So they feared the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.

    34 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the LORD, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 The LORD made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36 but you shall fear the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to do. You shall not fear other gods, 38 and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods, 39 but you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.

    41 So these nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children's children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day.


    [1] 16:3 Or made his son pass through the fire
    [2] 16:17 Compare 1 Kings 7:23
    [3] 17:17 Or made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire
    [4] 17:27 Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew them



National MS Society News

This is a list of all national news for the National MS Society.