1 This is the vision Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem ·while [L in the days when] Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah [792–686 bc].
God’s Case Against His Children
2 Listen, heavens, and pay attention, earth [L witnesses of the covenant; Deut. 30:19], because the Lord is speaking: “I raised ·my children [or sons; C the nation Israel] and ·helped them grow [brought them] up, but they have ·turned [rebelled] against me. 3 An ox knows its ·master [owner], and a donkey knows ·where its owner feeds it [L the feeding trough/crib of its owner/master], but the people of Israel do not know me; my people do not understand.”
4 ·How terrible [Woe; Alas]! ·Israel is a nation of sin [L Sinful nation!], a people ·loaded [weighed] down with guilt, ·a group of children [offspring; brood; seed] ·doing evil [or born from evildoers], ·children [or sons] who ·are full of evil [act corruptly; are depraved]. They have ·left [abandoned; forsaken] the Lord; they ·hate [despise; or have rejected/spurned] the Holy One of Israel [C Isaiah’s favorite title for God], and have ·turned away [become alienated/estranged] from him.
5 Why ·should you continue to be [or do you insist on being] ·punished [battered; struck down]? Why do you continue to ·turn against him [rebel]? Your whole head is ·hurt [bruised; wounded], and your whole heart is ·sick [faint; weak]. 6 There is no ·healthy spot [soundness] from the ·bottom [sole] of your foot to the top of your head; you are covered with ·wounds [bruises], ·hurts [sores; welts], and ·open sores [raw/infected wounds] that are not ·cleaned [L pressed out] and ·covered [bandaged], ·and no medicine takes away the pain [L not soothed/softened with oil].
7 Your land is ·ruined [desolate]; your cities have been burned with fire. ·While you watch [Right in front of you], ·your enemies [L foreigners; strangers] ·are stealing everything from [destroy; devour] your ·land [fields; crops]; it is ruined like a country ·destroyed [overthrown] by ·enemies [L foreigners; strangers]. 8 Jerusalem [L Daughter Zion; C the location of the Temple] is left alone like an ·empty shelter [or watchman’s hut] in a vineyard, like a ·hut [shelter] left in a field of ·melons [or cucumbers], like a city ·surrounded by enemies [besieged]. 9 If the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] had not ·allowed a few of our people to live [left us a few survivors], we would have been like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah [C completely destroyed; Gen. 19].
10 ·Hear [Listen to] the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom [C Jerusalem is compared sarcastically to evil Sodom and Gomorrah]! listen to the ·teaching [instruction] of our God, You people of Gomorrah! 11 The Lord says, “·I do not want all these sacrifices [L What are your many sacrifices to me?]. I ·have had enough of [am stuffed full with] your burnt sacrifices [Lev. 1:1–17] of male sheep and fat from ·fine [fattened] ·animals [beasts; cattle]. I ·am not pleased by [take no pleasure in] the blood of bulls, lambs, and goats. 12 You ·come to meet with [appear before; worship] me, but who asked you to do all this ·running in and out of [trampling/parading through] my ·Temple’s rooms [courts; courtyards]? 13 Don’t continue bringing me ·worthless [meaningless; futile] sacrifices! ·I hate the incense you burn [L Incense is detestable/an abomination to me]. I can’t stand your New Moons, Sabbaths, and ·other feast days [convocations; sacred assemblies]; I can’t ·stand [endure] ·the evil you do in your holy meetings [L sin and assembly]. 14 I hate your New Moon ·feasts [festivals; Num. 28:11–15] and your ·other yearly [annual; appointed] feasts. They have become a ·heavy weight on [burden to] me, and I ·am tired of carrying it [or can no longer tolerate them]. 15 When you ·raise your arms to me [L spread out your hands] in prayer, I will ·refuse to look at [look the other way; L hide my eyes from] you. Even if you say many prayers, I will not listen to you, because your hands are ·full of [covered with] blood. 16 Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean. ·Stop doing the evil things I see you do [L Take away your evil deeds from my eyes]. Stop doing wrong. 17 Learn to do ·good [right]. Seek justice. ·Punish those who hurt others [Rebuke the oppressor; or Encourage the oppressed]. ·Help [Defend; Bring justice to] the ·orphans [fatherless]. ·Stand up for the rights of [L Contend/Strive for] widows.”
18 The Lord says, “Come, let us ·talk about these things [reason together; or settle this matter; or consider your options]. Though your sins are like scarlet [C stained with blood; vv. 15, 21], they can be as white as snow. Though your sins are ·deep red [L red as crimson/purple], they can be white like wool. 19 If you become willing and ·obey [listen to] me, you will eat ·good crops from [the good of] the land. 20 But if you ·refuse to obey [resist] and ·if you turn against me [rebel], you will be ·destroyed [L devoured] by your enemies’ swords [C the options are to eat the crops or be eaten by the swords].” The Lord himself ·said these things [has spoken].
Jerusalem Is Not Loyal to God
21 [L See how; or How…!] The ·city of Jerusalem once followed the Lord[L faithful city], ·but she is no longer loyal to him [L …has become a prostitute/whore; C a metaphor for spiritual treachery]. She used to be filled with ·fairness [justice]; ·people there lived the way God wanted [Righteousness/Justice lived/lodged there; C personification]. But now, murderers live there. 22 ·Jerusalem, you have become like the scum left when silver is purified [L Your silver has become dross/scum]; you are like ·wine [beer; alcohol; L drink] ·mixed [diluted; weakened] with water. 23 Your ·rulers [princes] are rebels and ·friends [companions; associates] of thieves. They all ·accept money for doing wrong [L love bribes], and they ·are paid to cheat people [pursue rewards/gifts]. They don’t ·seek justice for [defend the cause of] the ·orphans [fatherless] or ·listen to the widows’ needs [or defend the widows’ rights; L the widows’ disputes do not come before them]. 24 So the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the Mighty One of Israel, says: “[L Woe; Alas; Aha,] I will ·take revenge on [vent my wrath against; or get relief from; console myself by destroying] my ·foes [enemies; adversaries]. I will pay back my ·enemies [foes]. 25 I will turn [L my hand] against you and ·clean away all your wrongs as if with soap [or purify you as metal is refined; L purge your dross as with lye/potash/soap]; I will ·take all the worthless things out of you [L remove all your impurities/slag]. 26 I will ·bring back [restore] judges as you had ·long ago [formerly; at the first]; your ·counselors [advisors] will be like those you had in the beginning. Then you will be called the City ·That Is Right with God [of Righteousness/Justice], the ·Loyal [Faithful; Trustworthy] City.”
27 By ·doing what is fair [justice], ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple] will be ·free again [redeemed; restored]. By ·doing what is right [righteousness], her ·people who come back to the Lord[penitent/repentant ones; or returnees] will have freedom. 28 But ·those who turn against him [rebels] and sinners will be destroyed; those who ·have left [abandon; forsake] the Lord will ·die [perish; come to an end; cease].
29 “You will be ashamed, because ·you have worshiped gods under the oak trees [L of the oaks you have desired; C pagan worship sites]. You will be ·disgraced [embarrassed], because ·you have worshiped idols in your gardens [L of the gardens you have chosen; 66:17]. 30 You will be like an oak whose leaves are ·dying [withered] or like a garden without water. 31 Powerful people will ·be [or become] like ·small, dry pieces of wood [tinder; kindling], and their works will be like sparks. They will burn together, and no one will be able to put out that fire.”
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