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Isaiah 34 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Nations Will Be Judged

34 Everyone of every nation,
    the entire earth,
and all of its creatures,
    come here and listen!
The Lord is terribly angry
    with the nations;
he has condemned them
    to be slaughtered.
Their dead bodies will be left
    to rot and stink;
their blood will flow
    down the mountains.
Each star[a] will disappear—
the sky will roll up
    like a scroll.[b]
Everything in the sky
    will dry up and wilt
like leaves on a vine
    or fruit on a tree.

Trouble for Edom

After the sword of the Lord
has done what it wants
    to the skies above,[c]
it will come down on Edom,
the nation that the Lord
    has doomed for destruction.

The sword of the Lord
is covered with blood
    from lambs and goats,
together with fat
    from kidneys of rams.
This is because the Lord
    will slaughter many people
and make a sacrifice of them
    in the city of Bozrah
and everywhere else
    in Edom.
Edom’s leaders are wild oxen.
They are powerful bulls,
    but they will die
    with the others.
Their country will be soaked
    with their blood,
and its soil made fertile
    with their fat.

The Lord has chosen
    the year and the day,
when he will take revenge
    and come to Zion’s defense.
Edom’s streams will turn into tar
    and its soil into sulfur—
then the whole country
    will go up in flames.
10 It will burn night and day
    and never stop smoking.
Edom will be a desert,
    generation after generation;
no one will ever travel
    through that land.
11 Owls, hawks, and wild animals[d]
    will make it their home.
God will leave it in ruins,
    merely a pile of rocks.

The End of Edom

12 Edom will be called
    “Kingdom of Nothing.”
Its rulers will also be nothing.
13 Its palaces and fortresses
    will be covered with thorns;
only wolves and ostriches
    will make their home there.
14 Wildcats and hyenas
    will hunt together,
demons will scream to demons,
and creatures of the night
    will live among the ruins.
15 Owls will nest there
to raise their young
    among its shadows,[e]
while families of buzzards
    circle around.

16 In The Book of the Lord[f]
you can search
and find
    where it is written,
“The Lord brought together
    all of his creatures
by the power of his Spirit.
    Not one is missing.”
17 The Lord has decided
    where they each should live;
they will be there forever,
    generation after generation.


  1. 34.4 star: Stars were worshiped as gods.
  2. 34.4 scroll: A roll of paper or specially prepared leather used for writing on.
  3. 34.5 has done. . . above: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “appears in the skies above.”
  4. 34.11 Owls. . . animals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 34.15 Owls. . . shadows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 34.16 The Book of the Lord: The book that Isaiah refers to is unknown.

Isaiah 34 New International Version (NIV)

Judgment Against the Nations

34 Come near, you nations, and listen;
    pay attention, you peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
    the world, and all that comes out of it!
The Lord is angry with all nations;
    his wrath is on all their armies.
He will totally destroy[a] them,
    he will give them over to slaughter.
Their slain will be thrown out,
    their dead bodies will stink;
    the mountains will be soaked with their blood.
All the stars in the sky will be dissolved
    and the heavens rolled up like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall
    like withered leaves from the vine,
    like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
    see, it descends in judgment on Edom,
    the people I have totally destroyed.
The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood,
    it is covered with fat—
the blood of lambs and goats,
    fat from the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah
    and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
And the wild oxen will fall with them,
    the bull calves and the great bulls.
Their land will be drenched with blood,
    and the dust will be soaked with fat.

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
    a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
    her dust into burning sulfur;
    her land will become blazing pitch!
10 It will not be quenched night or day;
    its smoke will rise forever.
From generation to generation it will lie desolate;
    no one will ever pass through it again.
11 The desert owl[b] and screech owl[c] will possess it;
    the great owl[d] and the raven will nest there.
God will stretch out over Edom
    the measuring line of chaos
    and the plumb line of desolation.
12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,
    all her princes will vanish away.
13 Thorns will overrun her citadels,
    nettles and brambles her strongholds.
She will become a haunt for jackals,
    a home for owls.
14 Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest.
15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
    she will hatch them, and care for her young
    under the shadow of her wings;
there also the falcons will gather,
    each with its mate.

16 Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,
    not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth that has given the order,
    and his Spirit will gather them together.
17 He allots their portions;
    his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it forever
    and dwell there from generation to generation.


  1. Isaiah 34:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 5.
  2. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  3. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  4. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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