Isaiah 34

God will punish his enemies

1 Come near to me, people of all nations.

Listen carefully, everyone!

All the earth, and everything that is in it,

listen to me!

Yes, the whole world, and all who live in it,

listen carefully!

2 The Lord is angry against all the nations

and all their armies.

He has decided to destroy them,

and that is what he will do.

3 Nobody will bury the dead bodies

of those who have died in battle.

The smell of their dead bodies will be everywhere.

Their blood will pour down the mountains.

4 The stars in the sky will slowly disappear.

The sky will close up like a book.

All the stars will fall,

like dry leaves that fall from a vine.

They will drop like figs from a fig tree,

when they become dry.

5 The Lord says,

‘My sword has finished its work in the skies.

Now it will come to punish Edom.

Those are the people that I have decided to destroy.’

6 The Lord's sword has blood all over it!

It is the blood of young sheep and goats.

It has the fat of meat on it.

It is the fat from sheep's kidneys.

Yes! The Lord is killing animals for a sacrifice in Bozrah.

34:6Bozrah was an important town in Edom, to the east of Judah.

He will kill many people in Edom.

7 He will kill their wild oxen

and their young bulls.

34:7The oxen and the bulls may be a way of talking about Edom's leaders and strong young men.

Blood will pour over Edom's land.

Fat will feed their soil.

8 The Lord has chosen a day for punishment.

It will be a time when he punishes Zion's enemies,

because they have attacked his people.

9 The water in Edom's streams will become tar.

Its soil will become sulphur.

Its whole land will become tar that is burning.

10 That fire will burn through the days and the nights.

Its smoke will always continue to rise up.

The land will be empty from one century to the next.

Nobody will ever travel through it again.

11 Owls, hawks and hedgehogs will live there,

34:11A hedgehog is a small animal that can hide in a bush.

as well as all kinds of wild animals and wild birds.

The Lord will carefully measure the whole land,

so that he can destroy it.

It will become like an empty desert.

12 There will be no kingdom left for anyone to rule.

Edom's leaders and officers will all disappear.

13 Thorn bushes will grow over its palaces.

Bushes and weeds will grow over its strong cities.

Jackals and ostriches will make their homes in the land.

14 Wild animals and hyenas will meet there.

Wild goats will call out to each other.

The night monster will come there,

and she will find a place to stay.

15 Owls will build their nests there.

They will take care of their eggs

until the baby birds come out.

They will keep their babies safe under their wings.

Hawks will meet there too.

They will be together in pairs, male and female.

16 Read the Lord's book very carefully:

‘All these animals and birds will be there.

They will all be together in pairs.

The Lord himself has commanded what must happen.

His Spirit brings them all together.’

17 The Lord has decided where each one will live.

He measures a place for every kind of animal and bird.

The land will always belong to them to live in.

It will be their home from one century to the next.