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The Lord’s Word Will Be Hidden from Some but Revealed to Others

29 How horrible it will be for you Ariel, Ariel,[a]
    the city where David camped.
        Let year after year go by.
        Let your annual festivals go on.
I will torment Ariel,
    and the city will be filled with people grieving and mourning.
        The city will become like Ariel.
I will set up war camps all around you.
    I will blockade you with towers.
    I will put up mounds of dirt around you.
When you have fallen, you will speak as you lie on the ground.
    Your words will be muffled by the dust.
    Your voice will come out of the ground like that of a ghost.
    Your words will be whispered from the dust.
Your many enemies will be like fine dust.
    Your many foes will be like husks blown by the wind.
    All of this will happen suddenly, unexpectedly.
Yahweh Tsebaoth will punish you
    with thunder, earthquakes, and loud noises,
    with windstorms, rainstorms, and fire storms.
The armies from all the nations will go to war against Ariel.
    They will go to war against it, blockade it, and torment it.
    All of this will be like a dream, like a vision in the night.
They will be like hungry people who dream that they’re eating
    and wake up to find they’re hungry.
    They will be like thirsty people who dream that they’re drinking
    and wake up to find they’re lightheaded and parched with thirst.
    This is what will happen to the armies from all the nations
    that fight against Mount Zion.

If you confuse yourselves, you will be confused.
    If you blind yourselves, you will be blinded.
    You are drunk, but not from wine.
    You stagger, but not from liquor.
10 Yahweh has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep.
    He will shut your eyes. (Your eyes are the prophets.)
    He will cover your heads. (Your heads are the seers.[b])

11 To you all these visions will be like words in a book that is closed and sealed. You give this book to someone who can read, saying, “Please read this.”

He answers, “I can’t read it. It’s sealed.”

12 Then you give the book to someone who can’t read, saying, “Please read this.”

He answers, “I can’t read.”

13 Adonay says,

“These people worship me with their mouths
    and honor me with their lips.
        But their hearts are far from me,
            and their worship of me is based on rules made by humans.
14 That is why I am going to do something completely amazing
    for these people once again.
        The wisdom of their wise people will disappear.
        The intelligence of their intelligent people will be hidden.”

15 How horrible it will be for those
    who try to hide their plans from Yahweh.
        Their deeds are done in the dark,
            and they say, “No one can see us”
                and “No one can recognize us.”
16 You turn things upside down!
    Is the potter no better than his clay?
    Can something that has been made
        say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”?
    Can a piece of pottery
        say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”?
17 In a very short time Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field
    and the fertile field will be considered a forest.
18 When that day comes, the deaf will hear the words written in the book.
    The blind will see out of their gloom and darkness.
19 Humble people again will find joy in Yahweh.
    The poorest of people will find joy in Qedosh Yisrael.
20 Tyrants will be gone.
    Mockers will be finished.
    All who look for ways to do wrong will come to an end:
21 those who make people sin with words,
    those who lay traps for judges,
        those who, without any reason, deny justice
            to people who are in the right.

22 This is what Yahweh, who saved Abraham, says about the descendants of Jacob:

Jacob will no longer be ashamed.
    Jacob’s face will no longer turn pale.
23 When they see all their children,
    the children I made with my hands,
        they will acknowledge my name as holy.
            They will treat the Holy One of Jacob as holy.
            They will stand in terror of the Elohim of Israel.
24 Then those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding,
    and those who complain will accept instruction.


  1. Isaiah 29:1 Ariel is an unknown Hebrew word which may mean “lion of God,” “mountain of God,” or “fireplace.”
  2. Isaiah 29:10 A seer is a prophet.

Woe to David’s City

29 Woe(A) to you, Ariel, Ariel,(B)
    the city(C) where David settled!
Add year to year
    and let your cycle of festivals(D) go on.
Yet I will besiege Ariel;(E)
    she will mourn and lament,(F)
    she will be to me like an altar hearth.[a](G)
I will encamp against you on all sides;
    I will encircle(H) you with towers
    and set up my siege works(I) against you.
Brought low, you will speak from the ground;
    your speech will mumble(J) out of the dust.(K)
Your voice will come ghostlike(L) from the earth;
    out of the dust your speech will whisper.(M)

But your many enemies will become like fine dust,(N)
    the ruthless(O) hordes like blown chaff.(P)
Suddenly,(Q) in an instant,
    the Lord Almighty will come(R)
with thunder(S) and earthquake(T) and great noise,
    with windstorm and tempest(U) and flames of a devouring fire.(V)
Then the hordes of all the nations(W) that fight against Ariel,(X)
    that attack her and her fortress and besiege her,
will be as it is with a dream,(Y)
    with a vision in the night—
as when a hungry person dreams of eating,
    but awakens(Z) hungry still;
as when a thirsty person dreams of drinking,
    but awakens faint and thirsty still.(AA)
So will it be with the hordes of all the nations
    that fight against Mount Zion.(AB)

Be stunned and amazed,(AC)
    blind yourselves and be sightless;(AD)
be drunk,(AE) but not from wine,(AF)
    stagger,(AG) but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:(AH)
    He has sealed your eyes(AI) (the prophets);(AJ)
    he has covered your heads (the seers).(AK)

11 For you this whole vision(AL) is nothing but words sealed(AM) in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”

13 The Lord says:

“These people(AN) come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,(AO)
    but their hearts are far from me.(AP)
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.[b](AQ)
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
    with wonder upon wonder;(AR)
the wisdom of the wise(AS) will perish,
    the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.(AT)
15 Woe to those who go to great depths
    to hide(AU) their plans from the Lord,
who do their work in darkness and think,
    “Who sees us?(AV) Who will know?”(AW)
16 You turn things upside down,
    as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!(AX)
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed(AY) it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,(AZ)
    “You know nothing”?(BA)

17 In a very short time,(BB) will not Lebanon(BC) be turned into a fertile field(BD)
    and the fertile field seem like a forest?(BE)
18 In that day(BF) the deaf(BG) will hear the words of the scroll,
    and out of gloom and darkness(BH)
    the eyes of the blind will see.(BI)
19 Once more the humble(BJ) will rejoice in the Lord;
    the needy(BK) will rejoice in the Holy One(BL) of Israel.
20 The ruthless(BM) will vanish,(BN)
    the mockers(BO) will disappear,
    and all who have an eye for evil(BP) will be cut down—
21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty,
    who ensnare the defender in court(BQ)
    and with false testimony(BR) deprive the innocent of justice.(BS)

22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed(BT) Abraham,(BU) says to the descendants of Jacob:

“No longer will Jacob be ashamed;(BV)
    no longer will their faces grow pale.(BW)
23 When they see among them their children,(BX)
    the work of my hands,(BY)
they will keep my name holy;(BZ)
    they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One(CA) of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward(CB) in spirit will gain understanding;(CC)
    those who complain will accept instruction.”(CD)


  1. Isaiah 29:2 The Hebrew for altar hearth sounds like the Hebrew for Ariel.
  2. Isaiah 29:13 Hebrew; Septuagint They worship me in vain; / their teachings are merely human rules