Woe to Ephraim and Jerusalem

28 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,
Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the [a]verdant valleys,
To those who are overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one,
(A)Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm,
Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing,
Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim,
Will be trampled underfoot;
And the glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the [b]verdant valley,
Like the first fruit before the summer,
Which an observer sees;
He eats it up while it is still in his hand.

In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,
For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

But they also (B)have erred through wine,
And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;
(C)The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
For all tables are full of vomit and filth;
No place is clean.

“Whom(D) will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?
10 (E)For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”

11 For with (F)stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, “This is the (G)rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the Lord was to them,
“Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,”
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we are in agreement.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
It will not come to us,
(H)For we have made lies our refuge,
And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”

A Cornerstone in Zion

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I lay in Zion (I)a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.
17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,
And righteousness the plummet;
The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
And the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will be trampled down by it.
19 As often as it goes out it will take you;
For morning by morning it will pass over,
And by day and by night;
It will be a terror just to understand the report.”

20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.
21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount (J)Perazim,
He will be angry as in the Valley of (K)Gibeon—
That He may do His work, (L)His awesome work,
And bring to pass His act, His [c]unusual act.
22 Now therefore, do not be mockers,
Lest your bonds be made strong;
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts,
(M)A [d]destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

Listen to the Teaching of God

23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the [e]spelt in its place?
26 For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him.

27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin;
But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick,
And the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground;
Therefore he does not thresh it forever,
Break it with his cartwheel,
Or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts,
(N)Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in [f]guidance.

Woe to Jerusalem

29 “Woe (O)to [g]Ariel, to Ariel, the city (P)where David dwelt!
Add year to year;
Let feasts come around.
Yet I will distress Ariel;
There shall be heaviness and sorrow,
And it shall be to Me as Ariel.
I will encamp against you all around,
I will lay siege against you with a mound,
And I will raise siegeworks against you.
You shall be brought down,
You shall speak out of the ground;
Your speech shall be low, out of the dust;
Your voice shall be like a medium’s, (Q)out of the ground;
And your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

“Moreover the multitude of your (R)foes
Shall be like fine dust,
And the multitude of the terrible ones
Like (S)chaff that passes away;
Yes, it shall be (T)in an instant, suddenly.
(U)You will be punished by the Lord of hosts
With thunder and (V)earthquake and great noise,
With storm and tempest
And the flame of devouring fire.
(W)The multitude of all the nations who fight against [h]Ariel,
Even all who fight against her and her fortress,
And distress her,
Shall be (X)as a dream of a night vision.
(Y)It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams,
And look—he eats;
But he awakes, and his soul is still empty;
Or as when a thirsty man dreams,
And look—he drinks;
But he awakes, and indeed he is faint,
And his soul still craves:
So the multitude of all the nations shall be,
Who fight against Mount Zion.”

The Blindness of Disobedience

Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
(Z)They are drunk, (AA)but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
10 For (AB)the Lord has poured out on you
The spirit of deep sleep,
And has (AC)closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, namely, (AD)the seers.

11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a [i]book (AE)that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”

(AF)And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”

12 Then the book is delivered to one who [j]is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.”

And he says, “I am not literate.”

13 Therefore the Lord said:

(AG)“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me (AH)with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
14 (AI)Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
(AJ)For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

15 (AK)Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord,
And their works are in the dark;
(AL)They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”
16 Surely you have things turned around!
Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay;
For shall the (AM)thing made say of him who made it,
“He did not make me”?
Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding”?

Future Recovery of Wisdom

17 Is it not yet a very little while
Till (AN)Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest?
18 (AO)In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
19 (AP)The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord,
And (AQ)the poor among men shall rejoice
In the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the [k]terrible one is brought to nothing,
(AR)The scornful one is consumed,
And all who (AS)watch for iniquity are cut off—
21 Who make a man an offender by a word,
And (AT)lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
And turn aside the just (AU)by empty words.

22 Therefore thus says the Lord, (AV)who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

“Jacob shall not now be (AW)ashamed,
Nor shall his face now grow pale;
23 But when he sees his children,
(AX)The work of My hands, in his midst,
They will hallow My name,
And hallow the Holy One of Jacob,
And fear the God of Israel.
24 These also (AY)who erred in spirit will come to understanding,
And those who complained will learn doctrine.”

Futile Confidence in Egypt

30 “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord,
(AZ)“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who [l]devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
(BA)That they may add sin to sin;
(BB)Who walk to go down to Egypt,
And (BC)have not asked My advice,
To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
(BD)Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation.
For his princes were at (BE)Zoan,
And his ambassadors came to Hanes.
(BF)They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them,
Or be help or benefit,
But a shame and also a reproach.”

(BG)The [m]burden against the beasts of the South.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,
From which came the lioness and lion,
(BH)The viper and fiery flying serpent,
They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
And their treasures on the humps of camels,
To a people who shall not profit;
(BI)For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.
Therefore I have called her

A Rebellious People

Now go, (BJ)write it before them on a tablet,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever:
That (BK)this is a rebellious people,
Lying children,
Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;
10 (BL)Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
(BM)Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
11 Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path,
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us.”

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

“Because you (BN)despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
(BO)Like a breach ready to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking (BP)comes suddenly, in an instant.
14 And (BQ)He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel,
Which is broken in pieces;
He shall not spare.
So there shall not be found among its fragments
[o]A shard to take fire from the hearth,
Or to take water from the cistern.”

15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:

(BR)“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
(BS)But you would not,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”—
Therefore you shall flee!
And, “We will ride on swift horses”—
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!

17 (BT)One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
At the threat of five you shall flee,
Till you are left as a [p]pole on top of a mountain
And as a banner on a hill.

God Will Be Gracious

18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be (BU)gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
(BV)Blessed are all those who (BW)wait for Him.

19 For the people (BX)shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall (BY)weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will (BZ)answer you.
20 And though the Lord gives you
(CA)The bread of adversity and the water of [q]affliction,
Yet (CB)your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you (CC)turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
22 (CD)You will also defile the covering of your images of silver,
And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
(CE)You will say to them, “Get away!”

23 (CF)Then He will give the rain for your seed
With which you sow the ground,
And bread of the increase of the earth;
It will be [r]fat and plentiful.
In that day your cattle will feed
In large pastures.
24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground
Will eat cured fodder,
Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
25 There will be (CG)on every high mountain
And on every high hill
Rivers and streams of waters,
In the day of the (CH)great slaughter,
When the towers fall.
26 Moreover (CI)the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
As the light of seven days,
In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound.

Judgment on Assyria

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
Burning with His anger,
And His burden is heavy;
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue like a devouring fire.
28 (CJ)His breath is like an overflowing stream,
(CK)Which reaches up to the neck,
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be (CL)a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err.

29 You shall have a song
As in the night when a holy festival is kept,
And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute,
To come into (CM)the mountain of the Lord,
To [s]the Mighty One of Israel.
30 (CN)The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard,
And show the descent of His arm,
With the indignation of His anger
And the flame of a devouring fire,
With scattering, tempest, (CO)and hailstones.
31 For (CP)through the voice of the Lord
Assyria will be [t]beaten down,
As He strikes with the (CQ)rod.
32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the Lord lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of (CR)brandishing He will fight with it.
33 (CS)For Tophet was established of old,
Yes, for the king it is prepared.
He has made it deep and large;
Its pyre is fire with much wood;
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,
Kindles it.


  1. Isaiah 28:1 Lit. valleys of fatness
  2. Isaiah 28:4 Lit. valley of fatness
  3. Isaiah 28:21 Lit. foreign
  4. Isaiah 28:22 Lit. complete end
  5. Isaiah 28:25 rye
  6. Isaiah 28:29 sound wisdom
  7. Isaiah 29:1 Jerusalem, lit. Lion of God
  8. Isaiah 29:7 Jerusalem
  9. Isaiah 29:11 scroll
  10. Isaiah 29:12 Lit. does not know books
  11. Isaiah 29:20 terrifying
  12. Isaiah 30:1 Lit. weave a web
  13. Isaiah 30:6 oracle, prophecy
  14. Isaiah 30:7 Lit. Rahab Sits Idle
  15. Isaiah 30:14 A piece of broken pottery
  16. Isaiah 30:17 A tree stripped of branches
  17. Isaiah 30:20 oppression
  18. Isaiah 30:23 rich
  19. Isaiah 30:29 Lit. the Rock
  20. Isaiah 30:31 Lit. shattered

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