1 Be glad, thou thirsty desert: let the wilderness exult, and flower as the lily. 2 And the desert places of Jordan shall blossom and rejoice; the glory of Libanus has been given to it, and the honour of Carmel; and
3 1Be strong, ye relaxed hands and palsied knees. 4 Comfort one another, ye fainthearted; be strong, fear not; behold, our God renders judgement, and he will render it; he will come and save us. 5 Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammerers shall speak plainly; for water has burst forth in the desert, and a channel of water in a thirsty land. 7 And the dry land shall become pools, and a fountain of water shall be poured into the thirsty land; there shall there be a joy of birds, ready habitations and marshes. 8 There shall be there a pure way, and it shall be called a holy way; and there shall not pass by there any unclean person, neither shall there be there an unclean way; but the dispersed shall walk on it, and they shall not go astray. 9 And there shall be no lion there, neither shall any evil beast go up upon it, nor at all be found there; but the redeemed and gathered on the Lord's behalf, shall walk in it, 10 and shall return, and come to Sion with joy, and everlasting joy shall be over their head; for on their head shall be praise and exultation, and joy shall take possession of them: sorrow and pain, and groaning have fled away.
1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of the reign of Ezekias, that Sennacherim, king of the Assyrians, came up against the strong cities of Judea, and took them. 2 And the king of the Assyrians sent Rabsaces out of Laches to Jerusalem to king Ezekias with a large force: and he stood 2by the conduit of the upper pool in the way of the fuller's field. 3 And there went forth to him Heliakim the steward, the son of Chelcias, and Somnas the scribe, and Joach the son of Asaph, the recorder.
4 And Rabsaces said to them, Say to Ezekias, Thus says the great king, the king of the Assyrians, Why art thou secure? 5 Is war carried on with counsel and mere words of the lips? and now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? 6 Behold, thou trustest on this bruised staff of reed, on Egypt: as soon as a man leans upon it, it shall go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharao king of Egypt and all that trust in him. 7 But it ye say, We trust in the Lord our God; 8 yet now make an agreement with my lord the king of the Assyrians, and I will give you two thousand horses, if ye shall be able to set riders upon them. 9 And how can ye then turn to the face of the 3satraps? They that trust on the Egyptians for horse and rider, are our servants. 10 And now, Have we come up against this land to fight against it without the Lord? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
11 Then Eliakim and Somnas and Joach said to him, Speak to thy servants in the Syrian tongue; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jewish tongue: and wherefore speakest thou in the ears of the
13 And Rabsaces stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jewish language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of the Assyrians: 14 thus says the king, Let not Ezekias deceive you with words: he will not be able to deliver you. 15 And let not Ezekias say to you, That God will deliver you, and this city will not at all be delivered into the hand of the king of the Assyrians. 16 Hearken not to Ezekias: thus says the king of the Assyrians, If ye wish to be blessed, come out to me: and ye shall eat every one of his vine and his fig-trees, and ye shall drink water out of your own cisterns: 17 until I come and take you to a land, like your own land, a land of corn and wine, and bread, and vineyards. 18 Let not Ezekias deceive you, saying, God will deliver you. Have the gods of the nations delivered each one his own land out of the hand of the king of the Assyrians? 19 Where is the god of Emath, and Arphath? and where is the god of Eppharuaim? have they been able to deliver Samaria out of my hand? 20 Which is the god of all these nations, that has delivered his land out of my hand, that God should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? 21 And they were silent, and none answered him a word; because the king had commanded that none should answer.
22 And Heliakim the son of Chelcias, the steward, and Somnas the military scribe, and Joach the son of Asaph, the recorder, came in to Ezekias, having their garments rent, and they reported to him the words of Rabsaces.
2 Gr. in.
3 Or, local governors.
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