Isaiah 30

A sad song for those who want to join with Egypt

1 ‘It is a very sad day for children who do not obey their father,’ says the Lord. ‘They have decided what to do. But they did not ask me about it. They have decided to agree with Egypt, but without my Spirit's help. They have done more and more sins as a result.

2 They hurry to go down to Egypt. But they do not ask me what to do. They ask for Pharaoh's help to make them safe. And they look for the shadow of Egypt to cover them.

3 But Pharaoh's help will make you ashamed. And you will not receive help in Egypt's shadow.

4 Their leaders have arrived in Zoan and their people with authority have gone to Hanes.’

30:4Zoan and Hanes are two places in Egypt.

5 ‘The people (in Egypt) will not be able to help them. So everyone will be ashamed. They will not bring any help to you. They will not really bring any help to you. They will only make you very much more ashamed.’

6 Here is a message about the animals that travel in the Negev desert. It is a place where there is trouble and danger. There are dangerous lions there, both male and female. There are different kinds of dangerous snakes. People carry their valuable things on the backs of donkeys and camels. They carry those things as gifts to a nation that cannot help them!

7 Egypt is like an empty place. The people there will not send any help. So, I call Egypt ‘Rahab who does not do anything.’

8 Now go! Write it down on a piece of stone for them. Also, write it in a book. Then, in future days, it will always be there to read.

9 These people are people who do not obey the Lord. They are his children and they disappoint him. They are children who do not want to listen to the Lord's words.

10 They say to the seers, ‘Do not see anything!’ And they say to the prophets, ‘Do not tell us the right thing to do. Tell us nice things. Say what is not true!

11 Leave this path. Get off this road. Do not hold the Holy God of Israel in front of us.’

12 So, this is what the Holy God of Israel says. ‘You have not listened when my word told you about the danger. And you are cruel to people. And you believe that it will help you. And you have believed in lies.

13 So this will happen. This sin will be for you like a high wall that is not safe. It will bend over, and in a moment, it will fall down.

14 The Lord will break it into pieces as easily as someone breaks a piece of pot. He will destroy it, and he will not feel kind about it. There will not be a big piece of pot among the bits. You will not be able to use any bit to lift a burning stick from the fire. You will not be able to use any bit to bring water from a pool.’

15 Now this is what the Lord God said. He is the Holy God of Israel: ‘Return (from Egypt) and rest. If you do that, you will be safe. Be quiet and believe in God. If you do that, you will be strong. But you would not do it.’

16 So you said, ‘No! We will run away on horses.’ So you will run away. You said, ‘We will ride away very quickly.’ So the people who run after you will move quickly.

17 A thousand men will run away from only one enemy. You will all run away from 5 of them! They will leave you like a sign on the top of the mountain, or like a flag on a hill.

God is kind and fair

18 So the Lord will wait for the time to be kind to you. So, also, one day he will start to show his great love for you. It is because the Lord is a fair God. He will make everyone who waits for him very happy.

19 Yes! You people of Zion who live in Jerusalem, you will not weep again. The Lord will be very kind to you when you shout for help. When he hears you, he will answer you. 20 In past years, the Lord has given trouble to you like your bread. And he has given pain to you as your water. But then your Teacher will not hide himself from you. You will see him with your own eyes. 21 And your ears will hear a word near you, but behind you. When you turn to the right or to the left it will say, ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’ 22 And you will not use your idols. You cut them from wood with a knife. Then you covered them with silver. You will not use your idols that you made from metal. You covered them with gold. You will throw them away like dirty things. You will say to them, ‘Go!’

23 The Lord will send rain for your seeds that you plant in the ground. And plenty of good food will come from the ground. In that day, your cows will eat grass in wide fields. 24 And the cows and the horses that work on the ground will eat the best food for animals. Farmers will use a big farm-fork and a spade to give it to them. 25 And on every tall mountain and on every high hill, water will come down in streams. That will happen on the day when high buildings fall. And many people will die. 26 Also, the moon will shine as bright as the sun. And the light of the sun will be 7 times brighter. It will be like the light of seven days at the same time! That will happen when the Lord puts soft cloths on his people. He will put the cloths where he had hit them hard. And he will make them better where he hurt them.

27 Look! The Lord himself is coming from somewhere that is a long way from here. There is fire in his nose and smoke like thick clouds is all round him. His lips show that he is angry. His tongue eats things like a fire burns things.

28 From his mouth comes something that is like a lot of water. It will reach up to a person's neck. He moves the people from many countries so that they become separate. And then he will destroy those nations. He will be like a man who ties rope in horses' mouths. The man does that to lead them away from their own place.

29 And you (my people) will sing! It will be like the nights of your important feasts. You will feel very happy inside you! It will be like when people go up to the Lord's temple. There will be music. Another name for the Lord is the Rock of Israel.

30 Then the Lord will cause people to hear the sound of his words. It will be like a great king when he speaks! He will let people see his arm when it comes down. It will come down so that it can hit them. He will cause people to know that he is very, very angry. He will be like a fire that burns everything. He will be like a cloud that drops a lot of rain. He will be like a storm that makes a lot of noise. He will drop like bits of ice.

31 The voice of the Lord will completely destroy Assyria. He will knock them down with his stick.

32 He will hit them with his stick. He will use his stick to punish them. It will sound like the music of harps and tambourines while the Lord fights them in a war. He will use his weapons to hit them.

33 The Lord has already made the fire ready in Topheth. He prepared it to burn the body of the king (of Assyria). The hole in the ground for the fire is deep and wide. There is plenty of wood for the fire. The Lord's breath will light the fire. That air is like a stream of sulphur that is on fire.