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Woe to Ephraim

28 Woe to the proud crown of the (A)drunkards of (B)Ephraim,
And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the [a]fertile valley
Of those who are [b]overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has a strong and (C)courageous agent;
As a storm of (D)hail, a tempest of destruction,
Like a storm of (E)mighty overflowing waters,
He has set it down to the earth with His hand.
The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is (F)trodden under foot.
And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the [c]fertile valley,
Will be like the (G)first-ripe fig prior to summer,
Which [d]one sees,
And [e]as soon as it is in his [f]hand,
He swallows it.
In that day (H)Yahweh of hosts will become a beautiful (I)crown
And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;
A (J)spirit of just judgment for him who sits in judgment,
A (K)might to those who turn back the [g]onslaught at the gate.
And these also (L)reel with wine and stagger from strong drink:
(M)The priest and (N)the prophet reel with strong drink;
They are swallowed up by wine, they stagger from (O)strong drink;
They reel while [h]having (P)visions;
They totter when rendering a verdict.
For all the tables are full of filthy (Q)vomit, without a single clean place.

(R)Whom would He instruct in knowledge,
And whom would He provide understanding about the report?
Those just (S)weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
10 For He says,
[i](T)Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there.’”
11 Indeed, He will speak to this people
Through (U)stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
12 He who said to them, “Here is (V)rest, give rest to the weary,”
And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.
13 So the word of Yahweh to them will be,
[j]Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there,”
That they may go and (W)stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive.

A Cornerstone in Zion

14 Therefore, (X)hear the word of Yahweh, O (Y)scoffers,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have cut a (Z)covenant with death,
And with Sheol we have made a [k]pact.
(AA)The overflowing [l]scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
For we have made (AB)falsehood our refuge and we have (AC)hidden ourselves with lying.”

16 Therefore thus says Lord Yahweh,

(AD)Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested (AE)stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, [m]firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be [n]disturbed.
17 I will make (AF)justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;
Then (AG)hail will sweep away the refuge of falsehood,
And the waters will overflow the secret place.
18 Your (AH)covenant with death will be [o](AI)canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand;
When the (AJ)overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will become its (AK)trampling place.
19 As (AL)often as it passes through, it will take you;
For (AM)morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night,
And it will be [p]sheer (AN)terror to understand the report.”
20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out,
And the (AO)blanket is too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For Yahweh will rise up as at Mount (AP)Perazim;
He will be stirred up as in the valley of (AQ)Gibeon,
To work His (AR)work, His [q](AS)unusual work,
And to labor in His labor, His [r]exceptional labor.
22 So now do not carry on as (AT)scoffers,
Lest your fetters be made stronger;
For I have heard from Lord Yahweh of hosts
Of complete (AU)destruction, one that is decreed, on all the earth.

23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Pay attention and hear my words.
24 Does the [s]farmer plow [t]continually to plant seed?
Does he continually [u]turn and harrow his ground?
25 Does he not level its surface
And sow dill and scatter (AV)cumin
And [v]plant (AW)wheat in rows,
Barley in its place and rye within its [w]area?
26 For his God disciplines and teaches him proper judgment.
27 For dill is not threshed with a (AX)threshing sledge,
Nor is the wheel of a cart [x]driven over cumin;
But dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod.
28 Grain for bread is crushed,
But he does not continue to thresh it forever.
Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually [y]disturb it,
He does not crush it longer.
29 This also comes from Yahweh of hosts,
Who has made His counsel (AY)wonderful and His wisdom (AZ)great.


  1. Isaiah 28:1 Lit valley of fatness
  2. Isaiah 28:1 Lit smitten
  3. Isaiah 28:4 Lit valley of fatness
  4. Isaiah 28:4 Lit the one seeing sees
  5. Isaiah 28:4 Lit while it is yet
  6. Isaiah 28:4 Lit palm
  7. Isaiah 28:6 Lit battle
  8. Isaiah 28:7 Lit seeing
  9. Isaiah 28:10 Heb Sav lasav, sav lasav, Kav lakav, kav lakav, Ze’ er sham, ze’ er sham; These Hebrew monosyllables, imitating the babbling of a child, mock the prophet’s preaching
  10. Isaiah 28:13 See v 10 note 1, Yahweh responds to their scoffing by imitating their mockery, to represent the unintelligible language of a conqueror
  11. Isaiah 28:15 As in some ancient versions; Heb seer
  12. Isaiah 28:15 Or flood
  13. Isaiah 28:16 Lit well-laid
  14. Isaiah 28:16 Lit in a hurry
  15. Isaiah 28:18 Lit covered over
  16. Isaiah 28:19 Lit only
  17. Isaiah 28:21 Lit task is strange
  18. Isaiah 28:21 Lit work is foreign
  19. Isaiah 28:24 Lit plowman
  20. Isaiah 28:24 Lit all day
  21. Isaiah 28:24 Lit open
  22. Isaiah 28:25 Lit put
  23. Isaiah 28:25 Lit region
  24. Isaiah 28:27 Lit rolled
  25. Isaiah 28:28 Lit confuse