Page images

Now Hezekiah was pleased with them, and he showed the ambassadors the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah showed them not.

Then came Isaiah the prophet unto King Hezekiah, and said unto him, “ What said these men ? And whence came they unto thee?"

And Hezekiah said: “They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon.”

Then said Isaiah : “What have they seen in thine house?

And Hezekiah answered : “ All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them.”

Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah: “Hear the Word of the Lord of Hosts—Behold! The days come that all that is in thine house, and what thy fathers have laid up in store until this day shall be carried to Babylon : nothing shall be left,' saith the Lord. Of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."

Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah : “Good is the Word of the Lord, which thou hast spoken ;” and he added : “ There shall be peace and stability in my days."

(Ch. xxxix. 1-8.) A second message concerning Babylon.

The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz

did see.


“Lift ye up a banner upon a high mountain ! Raise the voice unto them !

“Wave the hand to them that they may go into the gates of princes !

I have summoned my chosen ones: I have also called my mighty ones, my proudly rejoicing ones to execute my anger. There is a noise of a multitude upon the mountains, like as of a great nation! There is a tumultuous noise of kingdoms of nations gathered together! The Lord of Hosts mustereth the host for the battle! They are coming from a far-off country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord and the weapons of His indignation to destroy the whole earth.

Howl ye! For the day of the Lord is at hand! It cometh as destruction from the Almighty! Then shall all hands be feeble, and every man's heart shall melt, and they shall be afraid. Pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them ! They shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth! They shall be terrified one at another! Their faces shall be as flames! Behold! The day of the Lord is coming! A day cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the earth desolate, and sin shall be destroyed out of it. The stars of heaven, and the Orions thereof, shall not give their light. The sun shall be darkened in its rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. Then I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity : and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants. I will make men more scarce than fine gold—even than the pure gold of Ophir. Then will I shake the heavens, and the earth shall be removed out of its place, in the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. And it shall be as

happens to the chased roe, and to the untended sheep, they shall turn every man to his own people, and flee every one unto his own land. Every one that is caught shall be thrust through, and every one that is overtaken shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes: their houses shall be plundered : and their wives shall be dishonoured.

Behold! I am stirring up the Medes against them, who shall not regard silver, nor take delight in gold. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces, and they shall have no pity on babes : their eye shall not spare the children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the excellency of the Chaldees, shall be as Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them! It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. The Arabian shall not pitch his tent there, neither shall shepherds make their folds there : but wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of hyenas : ostriches shall dwell there, and wild goats shall dance there; wolves shall howl in their desolate houses, and jackals in their pleasant palaces. Yea, her time is nearly come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

(Ch. xiii. 1-22.)

The Deliverance of Israel.

The Lord shall have mercy on Jacob, and shall once more choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. Then strangers shall join themselves to them, and they shall cleave to the House of Jacob. And the peoples shall take them, and bring them to their own place, and the House of Israel shall have them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids. They shall take captive those

whose captives they were, and they shall rule over those
who oppressed them. Then it shall come to pass, in the
day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and
from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou
wast made to serve, that thou shalt take


song against the king of Babylon, and say :


Triumph over Babylon's Fall.
How hath the oppressor ceased! How hath the exactress

The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked—the sceptre

of the ruler. That which smote the peoples in wrath, and that without

ceasing : That which ruled the nations in anger, and persecuted

them unhindered !

The whole earth is at rest, and quiet. They break forth

into singing; Even the fir-trees rejoice at thee—the cedars of Lebanon are

saying“ Since thou art laid low, no feller is come up against us.”

[ocr errors]

Sheol from beneath is moved to meet thee at thy coming.
It stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the

earth :
It raiseth up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

All of them shall answer, and say unto thee:
" Art thou also become weak like one of us ? Art thou

become like unto us?
Is thy pomp brought down to the dust ? Where the noise

of thy viols ? "

Ah ! the worm is spread under thee, and the worms—they

cover thee! How art thou fallen from Heaven, Lucifer, Son of the

morning! How art thou cut down to the ground—thou that did'st

throw nations down! Thou saidst in thine heart, “I will ascend into heaven! I will raise my throne above the stars of God! I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the sides of

the North ! I will get above the height of the clouds—I will be like the

Most High !" Ah! thou art brought down to Sheol-down to the sides of

the grave! They that see thee look narrowly upon thee—they consider

thee, saying: " Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that shook

the kingdoms ? That made the world a wilderness, that destroyed the cities

thereof? Is this he who sent not his prisoners to their home ?” All the kings of the nations, every one of them lie in glory,

in their own house; But thou ! Thou art cast out of thy grave, abominable

branch! Covered with the slain; thrust through with the sword, a

carcase trodden under foot ! Thou art of those that go down to the stones of the pit,

thou shalt not be joined with them in burial. For thou hast destroyed thy land; thou hast slain thy

people. The seed of evil-doers-it shall never be named for ever.

like an

« PreviousContinue »