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Judgment against the Leaders of Ephraim

28 Ah! The garland of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim
    and the withering flower of the glory of his beauty,
which is at the head of the rich valley,[a]
    ones overcome[b] with wine!
Look! The Lord has a mighty and strong one,
    like a rainstorm of hail, a wind storm of destruction,
    like a rainstorm of mighty overflowing waters,
he will put them to the earth with his hand.
The garland of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim
    will be trampled[c] by feet,
and the withering flower of the glory of its beauty
    which is at the head of the rich valley[d]
will be like its early fig before summer,
    which the one who sees it swallows[e] while it is still in his hand.
In that day, Yahweh of hosts will become a garland of glory
    and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of his people,
and a spirit of justice to the one who sits over judgment,
    and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
And these also stagger because of wine
    and stagger because of strong drink;
priest and prophet stagger because of strong drink;
    they are confused[f] because of wine.
They stagger because of strong drink;
    they err in vision.
They stagger in the rendering of a decision,
    for all the tables are full of disgusting vomit, with no place left.[g]
To whom will he teach knowledge,
    and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
    those taken from the breast?
10 For it is blah-blah upon blah-blah,
    blah-blah upon blah-blah,
gah-gah upon gah-gah,
    gah-gah upon gah-gah,[h]
a little here, a little there.

11 For he will speak with stammering[i] and another tongue to this people, 12 to whom he has said,

“This is rest; give rest to the weary;
    and this is repose”; yet[j] they were not willing to hear.

13 And to them the word of Yahweh will be

blah-blah upon blah-blah
    blah-blah upon blah-blah
gah-gah upon gah-gah
    gah-gah upon gah-gah,[k]
a little here, a little there,
so that they may go and stumble backward
    and be broken and ensnared and captured.

The Cornerstone of Zion

14 Therefore hear the word of Yahweh, men of mockery,
    rulers of these people in Jerusalem:

15 Because you have said,

“We have made[l] a covenant with death,
    and we have made an agreement with Sheol.

The overwhelming flood, when it passes through, will not come to us,

for we have made lies[m] our refuge,
and we have hidden ourselves in falsehood.”

16 Therefore the Lord Yahweh says this:

“Look! I am laying a stone in Zion,
    a tested[n] stone,
a precious cornerstone,
    a founded foundation:

‘The one who trusts will not panic.’[o]

17 And I will make justice the measuring line,
    and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,[p]
    and waters will flood over the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
you will become a trampling place for the overwhelming flood when it passes through.
19     As often as it passes through,[q] it will take you,
for morning by morning[r] it will pass through,
    in the day and in the night,

and understanding the message will be only terror.”

20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,[s]
    and the covering is too narrow when wrapping oneself.
21 For Yahweh will rise up as at Mount Perazim;
    he will rave as in the valley at Gibeon
to do his deed—his deed is strange—
    and to work his work—his work is alien!
22 And now you must not scoff,
    or your bonds will be strong,

for I have heard from the Lord, Yahweh of hosts:

complete destruction
    decreed upon all the land.

A Parable of Yahweh’s Work

23 Listen, and hear my voice!
    Listen attentively, and hear my word!
24 Is it all day that the plowman plows,
    opens to sow seed, harrows his ground?
25 When he has leveled its surface,[t] does he not scatter dill,
    and sow cumin seed,
    and plant[u] wheat in planted rows,[v]
    and barley in an appointed place,
    and spelt grain as its border?
26 And his God instructs him about the prescription;[w]
    he teaches him.
27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
    nor is a wheel of a utility cart rolled[x] over cumin,
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
    and cumin with a rod.
28 Grain is crushed fine,
    but certainly one does not thresh it forever;
and one drives the wheel of his cart,
    but his horses do not crush it.

29 This also comes forth from Yahweh of hosts.

He is wonderful in advice;
    he makes great wisdom.


  1. Isaiah 28:1 Literally “a valley of fat”
  2. Isaiah 28:1 Literally “ones struck”
  3. Isaiah 28:3 The Hebrew is plural
  4. Isaiah 28:4 Literally “a valley of fat”
  5. Isaiah 28:4 Literally “Which, when the one who sees it sees it, he swallows it”
  6. Isaiah 28:7 Or “swallowed”
  7. Isaiah 28:8 Literally “without a place”
  8. Isaiah 28:10 In this context, the Hebrew expressions tsaw-tsaw and qaw-qaw are likely meant to sound like baby talk, but they could mean “command upon command” and “rule upon rule”
  9. Isaiah 28:11 Literally “stammer of lip”
  10. Isaiah 28:12 Or “and”
  11. Isaiah 28:13 In this context, the Hebrew expressions tsaw-tsaw and qaw-qaw are likely meant to sound like baby talk, but they could mean “command upon command” and “rule upon rule”
  12. Isaiah 28:15 Literally “cut”
  13. Isaiah 28:15 Hebrew “lie”
  14. Isaiah 28:16 Literally “testing”
  15. Isaiah 28:16 Literally “hurry”
  16. Isaiah 28:17 Hebrew “lie”
  17. Isaiah 28:19 Literally “From enough his passing through”
  18. Isaiah 28:19 Literally “in the morning in the morning”
  19. Isaiah 28:20 Literally “from stretching oneself”
  20. Isaiah 28:25 Literally “face”
  21. Isaiah 28:25 Literally “place”
  22. Isaiah 28:25 Hebrew “row”
  23. Isaiah 28:26 That is, “the proper way”
  24. Isaiah 28:27 Literally “turned”