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Isaiah 1-4New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

The Wickedness of Judah

Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth;
    for the Lord has spoken:
I reared children and brought them up,
    but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
    and the donkey its master’s crib;
but Israel does not know,
    my people do not understand.

Ah, sinful nation,
    people laden with iniquity,
offspring who do evil,
    children who deal corruptly,
who have forsaken the Lord,
    who have despised the Holy One of Israel,
    who are utterly estranged!

Why do you seek further beatings?
    Why do you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
    and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
    there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
    and bleeding wounds;
they have not been drained, or bound up,
    or softened with oil.

Your country lies desolate,
    your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
    aliens devour your land;
    it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
And daughter Zion is left
    like a booth in a vineyard,
like a shelter in a cucumber field,
    like a besieged city.
If the Lord of hosts
    had not left us a few survivors,
we would have been like Sodom,
    and become like Gomorrah.

10 Hear the word of the Lord,
    you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God,
    you people of Gomorrah!
11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    or of lambs, or of goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,[a]
    who asked this from your hand?
    Trample my courts no more;
13 bringing offerings is futile;
    incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation—
    I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals
    my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
    I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you stretch out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your doings
    from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
    rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
    plead for the widow.

18 Come now, let us argue it out,
    says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
    you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
    you shall be devoured by the sword;
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

The Degenerate City

21 How the faithful city
    has become a whore!
    She that was full of justice,
righteousness lodged in her—
    but now murderers!
22 Your silver has become dross,
    your wine is mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebels
    and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
    and runs after gifts.
They do not defend the orphan,
    and the widow’s cause does not come before them.

24 Therefore says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah, I will pour out my wrath on my enemies,
    and avenge myself on my foes!
25 I will turn my hand against you;
    I will smelt away your dross as with lye
    and remove all your alloy.
26 And I will restore your judges as at the first,
    and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
    the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
    and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
    and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
29 For you shall be ashamed of the oaks
    in which you delighted;
and you shall blush for the gardens
    that you have chosen.
30 For you shall be like an oak
    whose leaf withers,
    and like a garden without water.
31 The strong shall become like tinder,
    and their work[b] like a spark;
they and their work shall burn together,
    with no one to quench them.

The Future House of God

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
    Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more.

Judgment Pronounced on Arrogance

O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord!
For you have forsaken the ways of[c] your people,
    O house of Jacob.
Indeed they are full of diviners[d] from the east
    and of soothsayers like the Philistines,
    and they clasp hands with foreigners.
Their land is filled with silver and gold,
    and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
    and there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is filled with idols;
    they bow down to the work of their hands,
    to what their own fingers have made.
And so people are humbled,
    and everyone is brought low—
    do not forgive them!
10 Enter into the rock,
    and hide in the dust
from the terror of the Lord,
    and from the glory of his majesty.
11 The haughty eyes of people shall be brought low,
    and the pride of everyone shall be humbled;
and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.
12 For the Lord of hosts has a day
    against all that is proud and lofty,
    against all that is lifted up and high;[e]
13 against all the cedars of Lebanon,
    lofty and lifted up;
    and against all the oaks of Bashan;
14 against all the high mountains,
    and against all the lofty hills;
15 against every high tower,
    and against every fortified wall;
16 against all the ships of Tarshish,
    and against all the beautiful craft.[f]
17 The haughtiness of people shall be humbled,
    and the pride of everyone shall be brought low;
    and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.
18 The idols shall utterly pass away.
19 Enter the caves of the rocks
    and the holes of the ground,
from the terror of the Lord,
    and from the glory of his majesty,
    when he rises to terrify the earth.
20 On that day people will throw away
    to the moles and to the bats
their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
    which they made for themselves to worship,
21 to enter the caverns of the rocks
    and the clefts in the crags,
from the terror of the Lord,
    and from the glory of his majesty,
    when he rises to terrify the earth.
22 Turn away from mortals,
    who have only breath in their nostrils,
    for of what account are they?
For now the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
    is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and staff—
    all support of bread,
    and all support of water—
warrior and soldier,
    judge and prophet,
    diviner and elder,
captain of fifty
    and dignitary,
counselor and skillful magician
    and expert enchanter.
And I will make boys their princes,
    and babes shall rule over them.
The people will be oppressed,
    everyone by another
    and everyone by a neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
    and the base to the honorable.

Someone will even seize a relative,
    a member of the clan, saying,
“You have a cloak;
    you shall be our leader,
and this heap of ruins
    shall be under your rule.”
But the other will cry out on that day, saying,
“I will not be a healer;
    in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
you shall not make me
    leader of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled
    and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
    defying his glorious presence.

The look on their faces bears witness against them;
    they proclaim their sin like Sodom,
    they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
    For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Tell the innocent how fortunate they are,
    for they shall eat the fruit of their labors.
11 Woe to the guilty! How unfortunate they are,
    for what their hands have done shall be done to them.
12 My people—children are their oppressors,
    and women rule over them.
O my people, your leaders mislead you,
    and confuse the course of your paths.

13 The Lord rises to argue his case;
    he stands to judge the peoples.
14 The Lord enters into judgment
    with the elders and princes of his people:
It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
    the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people,
    by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts.

16 The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
    and walk with outstretched necks,
    glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
    tinkling with their feet;
17 the Lord will afflict with scabs
    the heads of the daughters of Zion,
    and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarfs; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the garments of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench;
    and instead of a sash, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
    and instead of a rich robe, a binding of sackcloth;
    instead of beauty, shame.[g]
25 Your men shall fall by the sword
    and your warriors in battle.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn;
    ravaged, she shall sit upon the ground.

Seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying,

“We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes;
just let us be called by your name;
    take away our disgrace.”

The Future Glory of the Survivors in Zion

On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. Whoever is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, once the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over its places of assembly a cloud by day and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night. Indeed over all the glory there will be a canopy. It will serve as a pavilion, a shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 1:12 Or see my face
  2. Isaiah 1:31 Or its makers
  3. Isaiah 2:6 Heb lacks the ways of
  4. Isaiah 2:6 Cn: Heb lacks of diviners
  5. Isaiah 2:12 Cn Compare Gk: Heb low
  6. Isaiah 2:16 Compare Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Isaiah 3:24 Q Ms: MT lacks shame
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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