Bible in Basic English

Help of the upright

    33:1     Ho ! you who make waste those who did not make you waste ; acting falsely to those who were not false to you. When you have come to an end of wasting, you will be made waste, and after your false acts, they will do the same to you.
    33:2 O Lord, have mercy on us ; for we have been waiting for your help : be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of trouble. 3 At the loud noise the peoples have gone in flight ; at your coming up the nations have gone in all directions. 4 And the goods taken in war will be got together like the massing of young locusts ; men will be rushing on them like the rushing of locusts.
5 The Lord is lifted up ; his place is on high : he has made Zion full of righteousness and true religion. 6 And she will have no more fear of change, being full of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge : the fear of the Lord is her wealth.
7 See, the men of war are sorrowing outside the town : those who came looking for peace are weeping bitterly. 8 The highways are waste, no man is journeying there : the agreement is broken, he has made sport of the towns, he has no thought for man. 9 The earth is sorrowing and wasting away ; Lebanon is put to shame and has become waste ; Sharon is like the Arabah ; and in Bashan and Carmel the leaves are falling.
10 Now will I come forward, says the Lord ; now will I be lifted up ; now will my power be seen. 11 Your designs will be without profit, and their effect will be nothing : you will be burned up by the fire of my breath. 12 And the peoples will be like the burning of chalk : as thorns cut down, which are burned in the fire.
13 Give ear, you who are far off, to what I have done : see my power, you who are near. 14 The sinners in Zion are full of fear ; the haters of God are shaking with wonder. Who among us may keep his place before the burning fire? who among us may see the eternal burnings? 15 He whose ways are true, and whose words are upright ; he who gives no thought to the profits of false acts, whose hands have not taken rewards, who will have no part in putting men to death, and whose eyes are shut against evil ; 16 He will have a place on high : he will be safely shut in by the high rocks : his bread will be given to him ; his waters will be certain.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his glory : they will be looking on a far-stretching land. 18 Your heart will give thought to the cause of your fear: where is the scribe, where is he who made a record of the payments, where is he by whom the towers were numbered ? 19 Never again will you see the cruel people, a people whose tongue has no sense for you ; whose language is strange to you. 20 Let your eyes be resting on Zion, the town of our holy feasts : you will see Jerusalem, a quiet resting-place, a tent which will not be moved, whose tent-pins will never be pulled up, and whose cords will never be broken. 21 But there the Lord will be with us in his glory, ... wide rivers and streams ; where no boat will go with blades, and no fair ship will be sailing. 22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is our king ; he will be our saviour.
23 Your cords have become loose ; they were not able to make strong the support of their sails, the sail was not stretched out : then the blind will take much property, the feeble-footed will make division of the goods of war. 24 And the men of Zion will not say, I am ill : for its people will have forgiveness for their sin.

God's anger at the nations

    34:1     Come near, you nations, and give ear ; take note, you peoples : let the earth and everything in it give ear ; the world and all those living in it. 2 For the Lord is angry with all the nations, and his wrath is burning against all their armies : he has put them to the curse, he has given them to destruction. 3 Their dead bodies will be thick on the face of the earth, and their smell will come up, and the mountains will be flowing with their blood, and all the hills will come to nothing. 4 And the heavens will be rolled together like the roll of a book: and all their army will be gone, like a dead leaf from the vine, or a dry fruit from the fig-tree. 5 For my sword in heaven is full of wrath : see, it is coming down on Edom, in punishment on the people of my curse. 6 The sword of the Lord is full of blood, it is fat with the best of the meat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the best parts of the sheep: for the Lord has a feast in Bozrah, and much cattle will be put to death in the land of Edom. 7 And the strong oxen will go down to death together with the smaller cattle. 8 For it is the day of the Lord's punishment, when he gives payment for the wrongs done to Zion. 9 And its streams will be turned into boiling oil, and its dust into burning stone, and all the land will be on fire. 10 It will not be put out day or night ; its smoke will go up for ever : it will be waste from generation to generation; no one will go through it for ever. 11 But the birds of the waste land will have their place there ; it will be a heritage for the bittern and the raven : and it will be measured out with line and weight as a waste land. 12 The jackals will be there, and her great ones will be gone; they will say, There is no longer a kingdom there, and all her chiefs will have come to an end. 13 And thorns will come up in her fair houses, and waste plants in her strong towers : and foxes will make their holes there, and it will be a meeting-place for ostriches. 14 And the beasts of the waste places will come together with the jackals, and the evil spirits will be crying to one another, even the night-spirit will come and make her resting-place there. 15 The arrowsnake will make her hole and put her eggs there, and get her young together under her shade: there the hawks will come together by twos. 16 See what is recorded in the book of the Lord : all these will be there, not one without the other: the mouth of the Lord has given the order, and his spirit has made them come together. 17 And he has given them their heritage, and by his hand it has been measured out to them : it will be theirs for ever, their resting-place from generation to generation.

Zion's happy future

    35:1     The waste land and the dry places will be glad ; the lowland will have joy and be full of flowers. 2 It will be flowering like the rose ; it will be full of delight and songs ; the glory of Lebanon will be given to it ; the pride of Carmel and Sharon : they will see the glory of the Lord, the power of our God. 3 Make strong the feeble hands, give support to the shaking knees. 4 Say to those who are full of fear, Be strong and take heart : see, your God will give punishment ; the reward of God will come ; he himself will come to be your saviour. 5 Then the eyes of the blind will see, and the ears which are stopped will be open. 6 Then will the feeble-footed be jumping like a roe, and the voice which was stopped will be loud in song: for in the waste land streams will be bursting out, and waters in the dry places. 7 And the burning sand will become a pool, and the dry earth springs of waters : the fields where the sheep take their food will become wet land, and water-plants will take the place of grass. 8 And a highway will be there ; its name will be, The Holy Way; the unclean and the sinner may not go over it, and those who go on it will not be turned out of the way by the foolish. 9 No lion will be there, or any cruel beast ; they will not be seen there; but those for whom the Lord has given a price, 10 Even those whom he has made free, will come back again ; they will come with songs to Zion ; on their heads will be eternal joy ; delight and joy will be theirs, and sorrow and sounds of grief will be gone for ever.

Sennacherib invades Judah

    36:1     And it came about in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the walled towns of Judah and took them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a strong force, and he took up his position by the stream of the higher pool, by the highway of the washerman's 3 And there came out to him Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder.
    36:4 And the Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, These are the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: In what are you placing your hope ? 5 You say you have a design and strength for war, but these are only words : now to whom are you looking for support, that you have gone against my authority ? 6 See, you are basing your hope on that broken rod of Egypt, which will go into a man's hand if he makes use of it for a support ; for so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all who put their faith in him. 7 And if you say to me, Our hope is in the Lord our God; is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and Jerusalem that worship may only be given before this altar ? 8 And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. 9 How then may you put to shame the least of my master's servants ? and you have put your hope in Egypt for war-carriages and horsemen : 10 And have I now come to send destruction on this land without the Lord's authority ? It was the Lord himself who said to me, Go up against this land and make it waste.
    36:11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, Please make use of the Aramaean language in talking to your servants, for we are used to it, and do not make use of the Jews' language in the hearing of the people on the wall. 12 But the Rab-shakeh said, Is it to your master or to you that my master has sent me to say these words ? has he not sent me to the men seated on the wall ? for they are the people who will be short of food with you when the town is shut in.
    36:13 Then the Rab-shakeh got up and said with a loud voice in the Jews' language, Give ear to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria : 14 This is what the king says : Do not be tricked by Hezekiah, for there is no salvation for you in him. 15 And do not let Hezekiah make you put your faith in the Lord, saying, The Lord will certainly keep us safe, and this town will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 16 Do not give ear to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says, Make peace with me, and come out to me; and everyone will be free to take the fruit of his vine and of his fig-tree, and the water of his spring ; 17 Till I come and take you away to a land like yours, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vine-gardens. 18 Give no attention to Hezekiah when he says to you, The Lord will keep us safe. Has any one of the gods of the nations kept his land from falling into the hands of the king of Assyria ? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? where are the gods of Samaria ? and have they kept Samaria out of my hand ? 20 Who among all the gods of these countries have kept their country from falling into my hand, to give cause for the thought that the Lord will keep Jerusalem from falling into my hand?
    36:21 But they kept quiet and gave him no answer : for the king's order was, Give him no answer. 22 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothing parted as a sign of grief, and gave him an account of what the Rab-shakeh had said.

Hezekiah's prayer

    37:1     And on hearing it Hezekiah took off his robe and put on haircloth and went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and the chief priests, dressed in haircloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 3 And they said to him, Hezekiah says, This day is a day of trouble and punishment and shame : for the children are ready to come to birth, but there is no strength to give birth to them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will give ear to the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria, his master, has sent to say evil things against the living God, and will make his words come to nothing : so make your prayer for the rest of the people.
    37:5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 And Isaiah said to them, This is what you are to say to your master : The Lord says, Be not troubled by the words which the servants of the king of Assyria have said against me in your hearing. 7 See, I will put a spirit into him, and bad news will come to his ears, and he will go back to his land ; and there I will have him put to death.
    37:8 So the Rab-shakeh went back, and when he got there the king of Assyria was making war against Libnah : for it had come to his ears that the king of Assyria had gone away from Lachish. 9 And when news came to him that Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, had made an attack on him, ... And he sent representatives to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying, 10 This is what you are to say to Hezekiah, king of Judah : Let not your God, in whom is your faith, give you a false hope, saying, Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 11 No doubt the story has come to your ears of what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, putting them to the curse: and will you be kept safe from their fate ? 12 Did the gods of the nations keep safe those on whom my fathers sent destruction, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Telassar ? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the town of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivva?
    37:14 And Hezekiah took the letter from the hands of those who had come with it ; and after reading it, Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, opening the letter there before the Lord, 15 And he made prayer to the Lord, saying, 16 O Lord of armies, the God of Israel, seated between the winged ones, you only are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth ; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Let your ear be turned to us, O Lord ; let your eyes be open, O Lord, and see : take note of all the words of Sennacherib who has sent men to say evil against the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have made waste all the nations and their lands, 19 And have given their gods to the fire : for they were no gods, but wood and stone, the work of men's hands ; so they have given them to destruction. 20 But now, O Lord our God, give us salvation from his hand, so that it may be clear to all the kingdoms of the earth that you, and you only, are the Lord.
    37:21 Then Isaiah, the son of Amoz, sent to Hezekiah, saying, The Lord, the God of Israel, says, The prayer you have made to me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, has come to my ears. 37:22 This is the word which the Lord has said about him: In the eyes of the virgin daughter of Zion you are shamed and laughed at ; the daughter of Jerusalem has made sport of you. 23 Against whom have you said evil and bitter things ? and against whom has your voice been loud and your eyes lifted up? even against the Holy One of Israel. 24 You have sent your servants with evil words against the Lord, and have said, With all my war-carriages I have come up to the top of the mountains, to the inmost parts of Lebanon ; and its tall cedars will be cut down, and the best trees of its woods : I will come up into his highest places, into his thick woods. 25 I have made water-holes and taken their waters, and with my foot I have made all the rivers of Egypt dry. 26 Has it not come to your ears how I did it long before, purposing it in times long past ? Now I have given effect to my design, so that by you strong towns might be turned into masses of broken walls. 27 This is why their townsmen had no power, they were broken and put to shame ; they were like the grass of the field, or a green plant ; like the grass on the house-tops, which a cold wind makes waste. 28 But I have knowledge of your getting up and your resting, of your going out and your coming in. 29 Because your wrath against me and your pride have come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my cord in your lips, and I will make you go back by the way you came.
    37:30 And this will be the sign to you : you will get your food this year from what comes up of itself, and in the second year from the produce of the same ; and in the third year you will put in your seed, and get in the grain, and make vine-gardens, and take of their fruit. 31 And those of Judah who are still living will again take root in the earth, and give fruit. 32 For from Jerusalem those who have been kept safe will go out, and those who are still living will go out of Mount Zion: by the fixed purpose of the Lord of armies this will be done.
    37:33 For this cause the Lord says about the king of Assyria, He will not come into this town, or send an arrow against it ; he will not come before it with arms, or put up an earthwork against it. 34 By the way he came he will go back, and he will not get into this town. 35 For I will keep this town safe, for my honour, and for the honour of my servant David.
    37:36 And the angel of the Lord went out and put to death in the army of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five thousand men : and when the people got up early in the morning, there was nothing to be seen but dead bodies. 37 Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went back to his place at Nineveh. 38 And it came about, when he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer put him to death with the sword, and they went in flight into the land of Ararat. And Esar-haddon, his son, became king in his place.

Hezehaih's recovery

    38:1     In those days Hezekiah was ill and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him, and said to him, The Lord says, Put your house in order ; for your death is near. 2 And Hezekiah, turning his face to the wall, made his prayer to the Lord, saying, 3 O Lord, keep in mind how I have been true to you with all my heart, and have done what is good in your eyes. And Hezekiah gave way to bitter weeping. 4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, 5 Go to Hezekiah, and say, The Lord, the God of David, your father, says, Your prayer has come to my ears, and I have seen your weeping : see, I will give you fifteen more years of life. 6 And I will keep you and this town safe from the hands of the king of Assyria : and I will keep watch over this town.
    38:7 And Isaiah said, This is the sign the Lord will give you, that he will do what he has said : 8 See, I will make the shade which has gone down on the steps of Ahaz with the sun, go back ten steps. So the shade went back the ten steps by which it had gone down.
    38:9 The writing of Hezekiah, king of Judah, after he had been ill, and had got better from his disease. 10 I said, In the quiet of my days I am going down into the underworld: the rest of my years are being taken away from me. 11 I said, I will not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living : I will not see man again or those living in the world. 12 My resting-place is pulled up and taken away from me like a herdsman's tent : my life is rolled up like a linen-worker's thread ; I am cut off from the cloth on the frame: from day even to night you give me up to pain. 13 I am crying out with pain till the morning ; it is as if a lion was crushing all my bones. 14 I make cries like a bird ; I give out sounds of grief like a dove : my eyes are looking up with desire ; O Lord, I am crushed, take up my cause. 15 What am I to say ? seeing that it is he who has done it : all my time of sleeping I am turning from side to side without rest. 16 O Lord, for this cause I am waiting for you, give rest to my spirit : make me well again, and let me come back to life. 17 See, in place of peace my soul had bitter sorrow. but you have kept back my soul from the underworld ; for you have put all my sins out of your memory. 18 For the underworld is not able to give you praise, death gives you no honour : for those who go down into the underworld there is no hope in your mercy. 19 The living, the living man, he will give you praise, as I do this day : the father will give the story of your mercy to his children. 20 O Lord, quickly be my saviour ; so we will make my songs to corded instruments all the days of our lives in the house of the Lord.
    38:21 And Isaiah said, Let them take a cake of figs, and put it on the diseased place, and he will get well. 22 And Hezekiah said, What is the sign that I will go up to the house of the Lord?

Messengers from Babylon

    39:1     At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters with an offering to Hezekiah, because he had news that Hezekiah had been ill, and was well again. 2 And Hezekiah was glad at their coming, and let them see all his store of wealth, the silver and the gold and the spices and the oil, and all the house of his arms, and everything there was in his stores : there was nothing in all his house or his kingdom which he did not let them see. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, What did these men say, and where did they come from ? And Hezekiah said, They came from a far country, even from Babylon. 4 And he said, What have they seen in your house ? And Hezekiah said in answer, They saw everything in my house: there is nothing among my stores which I did not let them see.
    39:5 Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Give ear to the word of the Lord of armies : 6 Truly, the days are coming when everything in your house, and whatever your fathers have put in store till this day, will be taken away to Babylon : all will be gone. 7 And your sons, even your offspring, will they take away to be unsexed servants in the house of the king of Babylon. 8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which you have said. And he said in his heart, There will be peace and quiet in my days.

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