Isaiah 14

God's people will return

1 The Lord will once again be kind to Jacob's descendants. He will choose to help the Israelite people again, as his own people. He will put them back in their land. Foreign people will join them and they will become a part of Jacob's family. 2 People of other nations will help Israel's people to return to their own country. When they are living again in the land that the Lord gave to them, foreign people will become their servants, both men and women. In that way, the people who made the Israelites prisoners will be prisoners themselves! The Israelites will rule over the people who had been cruel to them.

The king of Babylon will die

3 At that time, the Lord will let you live safely, without trouble and without pain. You will no longer have to work for cruel people, as their slaves. 4 Then you will laugh at the king of Babylon. You will say to him,

‘Now you cannot be cruel to us any more! Your power to cause trouble has finished! 5 The Lord has destroyed the authority of wicked rulers like you.

6 You used your power to attack people all the time. In your anger, you ruled over other nations, and you never stopped being cruel to them.

7 But now there is peace in the whole world. People can live safely. Everyone is so happy that they are singing! 8 Even the pine trees and the cedar trees in Lebanon are happy because your power has finished. They say to you, “Now God has knocked you down. So nobody will come again to cut us down!”

9 The deep hole of death below the earth is ready to receive you! People there want to meet you. The spirits of those who ruled on the earth have heard that you are coming. They are standing up from their thrones. 10 All of them will say to you, “Now you have become as weak as we are! You are weak like us!”

11 Your great power has now come down low, into the deep hole of death. People no longer praise you with their harps. Now you will lie on a bed of maggots. A blanket of worms will cover you.

14:11A maggot is like a small worm. Often maggots live in dead bodies which they eat.

12 Look at you! You have fallen from heaven!

You shine like the bright morning star!

You have won against many nations,

but now you have come down very low!

13 You said to yourself, “I will go up into heaven.

I will put my throne above the stars of God.

I will rule as king on the mountain in the far north,

where the gods of the nations meet together.

14 I will go up above the tops of the clouds.

I will become like the Most High God.”

15 But instead of that, you have come down into the deep hole of death.

You have fallen to the deepest place under the earth.

16 In that deep place, people will look at you carefully. They will be very surprised. They will think, “This is the man who caused the earth to shake. He caused kingdoms to shake with fear. Is that really true? 17 Is this really the man who made the world become like a desert? He destroyed its cities. He did not let his prisoners go back to their homes.”

18 All the kings of all the nations lie down there, with all their valuable things. Each king lies in his own grave. 19 But as for you, Babylon's king, they have thrown you out! You have no grave! You are like a branch that has broken off. You lie among the dead bodies of soldiers that their enemies have killed with their swords. They have thrown your body into a big hole in the rocks, and they have walked over it.

20 They will not bury you with those other kings, because you destroyed your land and you killed your people. Nobody will ever remember the family of a wicked person like you.

21 Prepare to kill this king's children, because of the sins of their ancestors. Then his children will not rule the world. They will not build cities everywhere.’

22 This is what the Lord Almighty says, ‘I will attack Babylon and I will destroy it. I will leave nothing that people can remember. No people or their descendants will remain.’

23 The Lord Almighty says, ‘I will make Babylon a place where wild animals live. There will be pools of bad water. I will sweep everything away, like someone who sweeps dirt away with a brush.’

A message about Assyria

24 The Lord Almighty promises this: ‘It will happen exactly as I have decided. Yes, it will really happen like that. 25 I will destroy the Assyrians who are in my land. I will knock them down on my mountains. They will no longer be cruel to my people. My people will not be their slaves any more. 26 That is what I have decided for the whole earth. I am ready to show my power against all the nations.’

27 Yes, the Lord Almighty has decided what he will do. Nobody can change it. He is ready to show his power. Nobody can stop it.

A message about Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died, God showed this message to Isaiah:

29 Do not feel happy, you Philistine people. God has destroyed the king who was attacking you. That king hit you with a big stick, but a dangerous snake will follow! And that snake will give birth to an even more dangerous snake that moves very fast.

30 The Lord will give food to the poorest of his people. The weak and helpless people will live safely. But you Philistine people will die from famine. I will destroy you all, so that nobody remains.

31 Gate of the city, weep! City, cry out in pain! You Philistine people should be very afraid! See that cloud of smoke in the north! It is the dust of an army that is marching towards you. Their soldiers are ready to fight, and none of them is afraid.

14:31The gate in a city was the place where important people met. So the word ‘gate’ here may mean those important people.

32 When a foreign nation sends a message, what should we say? Say that the Lord has made Zion very strong. When his people have trouble, they will be safe there.