Isaiah 28-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
E. The Lord Alone, Israel’s and Judah’s Salvation
The Fate of Samaria
1 Ah! majestic garland
of the drunkards of Ephraim,
Fading blooms of his glorious beauty,
at the head of the fertile valley,
upon those stupefied with wine.
2 See, the Lord has a strong one, a mighty one,
who, like an onslaught of hail, a destructive storm,
Like a flood of water, great and overflowing,
levels to the ground with violence;
3 With feet that will trample
the majestic garland of the drunkards of Ephraim.
4 The fading blooms of his glorious beauty
at the head of the fertile valley
Will be like an early fig before summer:
whoever sees it,
swallows it as soon as it is in hand.
5 On that day the Lord of hosts
will be a glorious crown
And a brilliant diadem
for the remnant of his people,
6 A spirit of judgment
for the one who sits in judgment,
And strength for those
who turn back the battle at the gate.
7 But these also stagger from wine
and stumble from strong drink:
Priest and prophet stagger from strong drink,
overpowered by wine;
They are confused by strong drink,
they stagger in their visions,
they totter when giving judgment.
8 Yes, all the tables
are covered with vomit,
with filth, and no place left clean.
9 “To whom would he impart knowledge?
To whom would he convey the message?
To those just weaned from milk,
those weaned from the breast?
10 For he says,
‘Command on command, command on command,
rule on rule, rule on rule,
here a little, there a little!’”
11 Yes, with stammering lips and in a strange language
he will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said:
“This is the resting place,
give rest to the weary;
And this is the place of repose”—
but they refused to hear.
13 So for them the word of the Lord shall be:
“Command on command, command on command,
Rule on rule, rule on rule,
here a little, there a little!”
So that when they walk, they shall stumble backward,
broken, ensnared, and captured.
14 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
who rule this people in Jerusalem:
15 You have declared, “We have made a covenant with death,
with Sheol we have made a pact;
When the raging flood passes through,
it will not reach us;
For we have made lies our refuge,
and in falsehood we have found a hiding place,”—
16 Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
See, I am laying a stone in Zion,
a stone that has been tested,
A precious cornerstone as a sure foundation;
whoever puts faith in it will not waver.
17 I will make judgment a measuring line,
and justice a level.—
Hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies,
and waters shall flood the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death shall be canceled
and your pact with Sheol shall not stand.
When the raging flood passes through,
you shall be beaten down by it.
19 Whenever it passes, it shall seize you;
morning after morning it shall pass,
by day and by night.
to impart the message!
20 For the bed shall be too short to stretch out in,
and the cover too narrow to wrap in.
21 For the Lord shall rise up as on Mount Perazim,
bestir himself as in the Valley of Gibeon,
To carry out his work—strange his work!
to perform his deed—alien his deed!
22 Now, cease scoffing,
lest your bonds be tightened,
For I have heard a decree of destruction
from the Lord, the God of hosts,
for the whole land.
The Parable of the Farmer
23 Give ear and hear my voice,
pay attention and hear my word:
24 Is the plowman forever plowing in order to sow,
always loosening and harrowing the field?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
does he not scatter caraway and sow cumin,
Put in wheat and barley,
with spelt as its border?
26 His God has taught him this rule,
he has instructed him.
27 For caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
nor does a cartwheel roll over cumin.
But caraway is beaten out with a staff,
and cumin with a rod.
28 Grain is crushed for bread, but not forever;
though he thresh it thoroughly,
and drive his cartwheel and horses over it,
he does not pulverize it.
29 This too comes from the Lord of hosts;
wonderful is his counsel and great his wisdom.
Judgment and Deliverance of Jerusalem
1 Ah! Ariel, Ariel,
city where David encamped!
Let year follow year,
and feast follow feast,
2 But I will bring distress upon Ariel,
and there will be mourning and moaning.
You shall be to me like Ariel:
3 I will encamp like David against you;
I will circle you with outposts
and set up siege works against you.
4 You shall speak from beneath the earth,
and from the dust below, your words shall come.
Your voice shall be that of a ghost from the earth,
and your words shall whisper from the dust.
5 The horde of your arrogant shall be like fine dust,
a horde of tyrants like flying chaff.
Then suddenly, in an instant,
6 you shall be visited by the Lord of hosts,
With thunder, earthquake, and great noise,
whirlwind, storm, and the flame of consuming fire.
7 Then like a dream,
a vision of the night,
Shall be the horde of all the nations
who make war against Ariel:
All the outposts, the siege works against it,
all who distress it.
8 As when a hungry man dreams he is eating
and awakens with an empty stomach,
Or when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking
and awakens faint, his throat parched,
So shall the horde of all the nations be,
who make war against Mount Zion.
Blindness and Perversity
9 Stupefy yourselves and stay stupid;
blind yourselves and stay blind!
You who are drunk, but not from wine,
who stagger, but not from strong drink!
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
a spirit of deep sleep.
He has shut your eyes (the prophets)
and covered your heads (the seers).
11 For you the vision of all this has become like the words of a sealed scroll. When it is handed to one who can read, with the request, “Read this,” the reply is, “I cannot, because it is sealed.” 12 When the scroll is handed to one who cannot read, with the request, “Read this,” the reply is, “I cannot read.”
13 The Lord said:
Since this people draws near with words only
and honors me with their lips alone,
though their hearts are far from me,
And fear of me has become
mere precept of human teaching,
14 Therefore I will again deal with this people
in surprising and wondrous fashion:
The wisdom of the wise shall perish,
the prudence of the prudent shall vanish.
15 Ah! You who would hide a plan
too deep for the Lord!
Who work in the dark, saying,
“Who sees us, who knows us?”
16 Your perversity is as though the potter
were taken to be the clay:
As though what is made should say of its maker,
“He did not make me!”
Or the vessel should say of the potter,
“He does not understand.”
17 Surely, in a very little while,
Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be considered a forest!
18 On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a scroll;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
19 The lowly shall again find joy in the Lord,
the poorest rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the tyrant shall be no more,
the scoffer shall cease to be;
All who are ready for evil shall be cut off,
21 those who condemn with a mere word,
Who ensnare the defender at the gate,
and leave the just with an empty claim.
22 Therefore thus says the Lord,
the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
no longer shall his face grow pale.
23 For when his children see
the work of my hands in his midst,
They shall sanctify my name;
they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
be in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
those who find fault shall receive instruction.
Oracle on the Futility of an Alliance with Egypt
1 Ah! Rebellious children,
oracle of the Lord,
Who carry out a plan that is not mine,
who make an alliance I did not inspire,
thus adding sin upon sin;
2 They go down to Egypt,
without asking my counsel,
To seek strength in Pharaoh’s protection
and take refuge in Egypt’s shadow.
3 Pharaoh’s protection shall become your shame,
refuge in Egypt’s shadow your disgrace.
4 When his princes are at Zoan
and his messengers reach Hanes,
5 All shall be ashamed
of a people that gain them nothing,
Neither help nor benefit,
but only shame and reproach.
6 Oracle on the Beasts of the Negeb.
Through the distressed and troubled land
of the lioness and roaring lion,
of the viper and flying saraph,
They carry their riches on the backs of donkeys
and their treasures on the humps of camels
To a people good for nothing,
7 to Egypt whose help is futile and vain.
Therefore I call her
8 Now come, write it on a tablet they can keep,
inscribe it on a scroll;
That in time to come it may be
an eternal witness.
9 For this is a rebellious people,
Children who refuse
to listen to the instruction of the Lord;
10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see”;
to the prophets, “Do not prophesy truth for us;
speak smooth things to us, see visions that deceive!
11 Turn aside from the way! Get out of the path!
Let us hear no more
of the Holy One of Israel!”
12 Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel:
Because you reject this word,
And put your trust in oppression and deceit,
and depend on them,
13 This iniquity of yours shall be
like a descending rift
Bulging out in a high wall
whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant,
14 Crashing like a potter’s jar
smashed beyond rescue,
And among its fragments cannot be found
a sherd to scoop fire from the hearth
or dip water from the cistern.
15 For thus said the Lord God,
the Holy One of Israel:
By waiting and by calm you shall be saved,
in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.
But this you did not will.
16 “No,” you said,
“Upon horses we will flee.”
Very well, you shall flee!
“Upon swift steeds we will ride.”
Very well, swift shall be your pursuers!
17 A thousand shall tremble at the threat of one—
if five threaten, you shall flee.
You will then be left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a flag on a hill.
Zion’s Future Deliverance
18 Truly, the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you,
truly, he shall rise to show you mercy;
For the Lord is a God of justice:
happy are all who wait for him!
19 Yes, people of Zion, dwelling in Jerusalem,
you shall no longer weep;
He will be most gracious to you when you cry out;
as soon as he hears he will answer you.
20 The Lord will give you bread in adversity
and water in affliction.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or the left.
22 You shall defile your silver-plated idols
and your gold-covered images;
You shall throw them away like filthy rags,
you shall say, “Get out!”
23 He will give rain for the seed
you sow in the ground,
And the bread that the soil produces
will be rich and abundant.
On that day your cattle will graze
in broad meadows;
24 The oxen and the donkeys that till the ground
will eat silage tossed to them
with shovel and pitchfork.
25 Upon every high mountain and lofty hill
there will be streams of running water.
On the day of the great slaughter,
when the towers fall,
26 The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun,
and the light of the sun will be seven times greater,
like the light of seven days,
On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of his people
and heals the bruises left by his blows.
Divine Judgment on Assyria
27 See, the name of the Lord is coming from afar,
burning with anger, heavy with threat,
His lips filled with fury,
tongue like a consuming fire,
28 Breath like an overflowing torrent
that reaches up to the neck!
He will winnow the nations with a destructive winnowing
and bridle the jaws of the peoples to send them astray.
29 For you, there will be singing
as on a night when a feast is observed,
And joy of heart
as when one marches along with a flute
Going to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Rock of Israel.
30 The Lord will make his glorious voice heard,
and reveal his arm coming down
In raging fury and flame of consuming fire,
in tempest, and rainstorm, and hail.
31 For at the voice of the Lord, Assyria will be shattered,
as he strikes with the rod;
32 And every sweep of the rod of his punishment,
which the Lord will bring down on him,
Will be accompanied by timbrels and lyres,
while he wages war against him.
33 For his tophet has long been ready,
truly it is prepared for the king;
His firepit made both deep and wide,
with fire and firewood in abundance,
And the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur,
setting it afire.
Against the Egyptian Alliance
1 Ah! Those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses;
Who put their trust in chariots because of their number,
and in horsemen because of their combined power,
But look not to the Holy One of Israel
nor seek the Lord!
2 Yet he too is wise and will bring disaster;
he will not turn from his threats.
He will rise up against the house of the wicked
and against those who help evildoers.
3 The Egyptians are human beings, not God,
their horses flesh, not spirit;
When the Lord stretches forth his hand,
the helper shall stumble, the one helped shall fall,
and both of them shall perish together.
4 For thus says the Lord to me:
As a lion or its young
growling over the prey,
With a band of shepherds
assembled against it,
Is neither dismayed by their shouts
nor cowed by their noise,
So shall the Lord of hosts come down
to wage war upon Mount Zion, upon its height.
5 Like hovering birds, so the Lord of hosts
shall shield Jerusalem,
To shield and deliver,
to spare and rescue.
6 Return, O Israelites, to him whom you have utterly deserted. 7 On that day each one of you shall reject his idols of silver and gold, which your hands have made.
8 Assyria shall fall by a sword, not wielded by human being,
no mortal sword shall devour him;
He shall flee before the sword,
and his young men shall be impressed as laborers.
9 He shall rush past his crag in panic,
and his princes desert the standard in terror,
Says the Lord who has a fire in Zion
and a furnace in Jerusalem.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.