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Isaiah 33 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Jerusalem Will Be Safe

33 You defeated my people.

    Now you’re in for trouble!
You’ve never been destroyed,
    but you will be destroyed;
you’ve never been betrayed,
    but you will be betrayed.
When you have finished
    destroying and betraying,
you will be destroyed
    and betrayed in return.

Please, Lord, be kind to us!
    We depend on you.
Make us strong each morning,
and come to save us
    when we are in trouble.
Nations scatter when you roar
    and show your greatness.[a]
We attack our enemies
    like swarms of locusts;[b]
we take everything
    that belongs to them.[c]

You, Lord, are above all others,
    and you live in the heavens.
You have brought justice
    and fairness to Jerusalem;
you are the foundation
    on which we stand today.
You always save us and give
    true wisdom and knowledge.
Nothing means more to us[d]
    than obeying you.

The Lord Will Do Something

Listen! Our bravest soldiers
are running through the streets,
    screaming for help.[e]
Our messengers hoped for peace,
    but came home crying.
No one travels anymore;
    every road is empty.
Treaties are broken,
and no respect is shown
    to any who keep promises.[f]
Fields are dry and barren;
Mount Lebanon wilts
    with shame.
Sharon Valley is a desert;
the forests of Bashan and Carmel
    have lost their leaves.

10 But the Lord says,
“Now I will do something
    and be greatly praised.
11 Your deeds are straw
that will be set on fire
    by your very own breath.
12 You will be burned to ashes
    like thorns in a fire.
13 Everyone, both far and near,
come look at what I have done.
    See my mighty power!”

Punishment and Rewards

14 Those terrible sinners
on Mount Zion tremble
    as they ask in fear,
“How can we possibly live
where a raging fire
    never stops burning?”

15 But there will be rewards
for those who live right
    and tell the truth,
for those who refuse
    to take money by force
    or accept bribes,
for all who hate murder
    and violent crimes.
16 They will live in a fortress
    high on a rocky cliff,
where they will have food
    and plenty of water.

The Lord Is Our King

17 With your own eyes
you will see the glorious King;
    you will see his kingdom
    reaching far and wide.
18 Then you will ask yourself,
    “Where are those officials
who terrified us and forced us
    to pay such heavy taxes?”
19 You will never again have to see
    the proud people who spoke
a strange and foreign language
    you could not understand.

20 Look to Mount Zion
where we celebrate
    our religious festivals.
You will see Jerusalem,
    secure as a tent with pegs
that cannot be pulled up
and fastened with ropes
    that can never be broken.
21 Our wonderful Lord
    will be with us!
There will be deep rivers
and wide streams
    safe from enemy ships.[g]

The Lord Is Our Judge

22 The Lord is our judge
    and our ruler;
the Lord is our king
    and will keep us safe.
23 But your nation[h] is a ship
    with its rigging loose,
its mast shaky,
    and its sail not spread.

Someday even you that are lame
will take everything you want
    from your enemies.
24 The Lord will forgive your sins,
and none of you will say,
    “I feel sick.”


  1. 33.3 greatness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
  2. 33.4 locusts: Insects like grasshoppers that travel in swarms and cause great damage to crops.
  3. 33.4 them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
  4. 33.6 Nothing. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 33.7 Listen. . . help: Or “The Lord heard our shouts and will come to help us.”
  6. 33.8 to any. . . promises: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the Standard Hebrew Text “to those in the cities.”
  7. 33.21 safe. . . ships: This probably means that Jerusalem will have a lot of water, without the danger of attacks from enemy ships.
  8. 33.23 your nation: Possibly Judah or Assyria.

Isaiah 33 New International Version (NIV)

Distress and Help

33 Woe to you, destroyer,
    you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer,
    you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying,
    you will be destroyed;
when you stop betraying,
    you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;
    we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of distress.
At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;
    when you rise up, the nations scatter.
Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
    like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
    he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
    a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a]

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
    no travelers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
    its witnesses[b] are despised,
    no one is respected.
The land dries up and wastes away,
    Lebanon is ashamed and withers;
Sharon is like the Arabah,
    and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

10 “Now will I arise,” says the Lord.
    “Now will I be exalted;
    now will I be lifted up.
11 You conceive chaff,
    you give birth to straw;
    your breath is a fire that consumes you.
12 The peoples will be burned to ashes;
    like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze.

13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;
    you who are near, acknowledge my power!
14 The sinners in Zion are terrified;
    trembling grips the godless:
“Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
    Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”
15 Those who walk righteously
    and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
    and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
    and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—
16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,
    whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
Their bread will be supplied,
    and water will not fail them.

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
    and view a land that stretches afar.
18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:
    “Where is that chief officer?
Where is the one who took the revenue?
    Where is the officer in charge of the towers?
19 You will see those arrogant people no more,
    people whose speech is obscure,
    whose language is strange and incomprehensible.

20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals;
    your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;
its stakes will never be pulled up,
    nor any of its ropes broken.
21 There the Lord will be our Mighty One.
    It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.
No galley with oars will ride them,
    no mighty ship will sail them.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
    the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
    it is he who will save us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose:
    The mast is not held secure,
    the sail is not spread.
Then an abundance of spoils will be divided
    and even the lame will carry off plunder.
24 No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”;
    and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.


  1. Isaiah 33:6 Or is a treasure from him
  2. Isaiah 33:8 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text / the cities
New International Version (NIV)

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