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20 But if you are stubborn and refuse to obey,
    the sword will eat you instead.”[a]
    The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

The Collapse of Society

21 Look how the once faithful city
    has become as unfaithful as a prostitute!
    She who was once the “Center of Justice,”
    where righteousness made its home,
    is now the dwelling place of murderers![b]
22 She was once like sterling silver, now only mixture;
    once so pure, now diluted like watered-down wine.[c]

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  1. Isaiah 1:20 The Hebrew text contains an obvious wordplay. “If you listen, you will eat the harvest; if you rebel, you will be eaten by the sword.”
  2. Isaiah 1:21 Or “those who cause to execute,” a possible indictment of judges who condemned the innocent to death.
  3. Isaiah 1:22 What was silver (redemption) has now become dross. The choice wine (fullness and gifts of the Spirit) has become watered down and unintelligible. The gifts of God have been diluted by fleshly lives that did not measure up to the standard of holiness—the choice wine of the Spirit ruined (watered down) by the works of the flesh.