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Isaiah 28-29 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Woe to Samaria

28 Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards,
and to the fading flower of its beautiful splendor,
which is on the summit above the rich valley.
Woe to those overcome with wine.
Look, the Lord has a strong and mighty one
like a devastating hail storm,
like a storm with strong flooding water.
He will bring it across the land with his hand.
The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards
will be trampled underfoot.
The fading flower of his beautiful splendor,
which is on the summit above the rich valley,
will be like a ripe fig before the summer harvest.
Whoever sees it will swallow it
while it is still in his hand.
On that day
the Lord of Armies will become a crown of beauty
and a diadem of splendor
to the remnant of his people,
a spirit of justice
to the one who sits in judgment,
and strength
to those who repel attacks at the city gate.

Even these stagger because of wine
and stumble under the influence of beer:
priest and prophet stagger because of beer,
they are confused by wine.
They stumble because of beer,
they are muddled in their visions,
they stumble in their judgments.
Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit;
there is no place without a stench.
Who is he trying to teach?
Who is he trying to instruct?
Infants[a] just weaned from milk?
Babies[b] removed from the breast?
10 “Law after law, law after law,
line after line, line after line,
a little here, a little there.”[c]
11 For he will speak to this people
with stammering speech
and in a foreign language.
12 He had said to them:
“This is the place of rest;
let the weary rest;
this is the place of repose.”
But they would not listen.

13 The word of the Lord will come to them:
“Law after law, law after law,
line after line, line after line,
a little here, a little there,”
so they go stumbling backward,
to be broken, trapped, and captured.

A Deal with Death

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 For you said, “We have made a covenant with Death,
and we have an agreement with Sheol;
when the overwhelming catastrophe[d] passes through,
it will not touch us,
because we have made falsehood our refuge
and have hidden behind treachery.”
16 Therefore the Lord God said:
“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
the one who believes will be unshakable.[e]
17 And I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the mason’s level.”
Hail will sweep away the false refuge,
and water will flood your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with Death will be dissolved,
and your agreement with Sheol will not last.
When the overwhelming catastrophe passes through,
you will be trampled.
19 Every time it passes through,
it will carry you away;
it will pass through every morning—
every day and every night.
Only terror will cause you
to understand the message.[f]
20 Indeed, the bed is too short to stretch out on,
and its cover too small to wrap up in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim.
He will rise in wrath, as at the Valley of Gibeon,
to do his work, his unexpected work,
and to perform his task, his unfamiliar task.
22 So now, do not scoff,
or your shackles will become stronger.
Indeed, I have heard from the Lord God of Armies
a decree of destruction for the whole land.

God’s Wonderful Advice

23 Listen and hear my voice.
Pay attention and hear what I say.
24 Does the plowman plow every day to plant seed?
Does he continuously break up and cultivate the soil?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
does he not then scatter black cumin and sow cumin?
He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots,
with spelt as their border.
26 His God teaches him order;
he instructs him.
27 Certainly black cumin is not threshed
with a threshing board,
and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin.
But black cumin is beaten out with a stick,
and cumin with a rod.
28 Bread grain is crushed,
but is not threshed endlessly.
Though the wheel of the farmer’s cart rumbles,
his horses do not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of Armies.
He gives wondrous advice;
he gives great wisdom.

Woe to Jerusalem

29 Woe to Ariel,[g] Ariel,
the city where David camped!
Continue year after year;
let the festivals recur.
I will oppress Ariel,
and there will be mourning and crying,
and she will be to me like an Ariel.
I will camp in a circle around you;
I will besiege you with earth ramps,
and I will set up my siege towers against you.
You will be brought down;
you will speak from the ground,
and your words will come from low in the dust.
Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground;
your speech will whisper from the dust.

Your many foes[h] will be like fine dust,
and many of the ruthless, like blowing chaff.
Then suddenly, in an instant,
you will be punished by the Lord of Armies
with thunder, earthquake, and loud noise,
storm, tempest, and a flame of consuming fire.
All the many nations
going out to battle against Ariel—
all the attackers, the siege works against her,
and those who oppress her—
will then be like a dream, a vision in the night.
It will be like a hungry one who dreams he is eating,
then wakes and is still hungry;
and like a thirsty one who dreams he is drinking,
then wakes and is still thirsty, longing for water.
So it will be for all the many nations
who go to battle against Mount Zion.

Stop and be astonished;
blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk,[i] but not with wine;
they stagger,[j] but not with beer.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
an overwhelming urge to[k] sleep;
he has shut your eyes (the prophets)
and covered your heads (the seers).

11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it,[l] he will say, “I can’t read it, because it is sealed.” 12 And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it,[m] he will say, “I can’t read.”

13 The Lord said:

These people approach me with their speeches
to honor me with lip-service[n]
yet their hearts are far from me,
and human rules direct their worship of me.[o]
14 Therefore, I will again confound these people
with wonder after wonder.
The wisdom of their wise will vanish,
and the perception of their perceptive will be hidden.

15 Woe to those who go to great lengths
to hide their plans from the Lord.
They do their works in the dark,
and say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
16 You have turned things around,
as if the potter were the same as the clay.
How can what is made say about its maker,
“He didn’t make me”?
How can what is formed
say about the one who formed it,
“He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?

17 Isn’t it true that in just a little while
Lebanon will become an orchard,
and the orchard will seem like a forest?
18 On that day the deaf will hear
the words of a document,
and out of a deep darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The humble will have joy
after joy in the Lord,
and the poor people will rejoice
in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the ruthless one will vanish,
the scorner will disappear,
and all those who lie in wait with evil intent
will be killed—
21 those who, with their speech,
accuse a person of wrongdoing,
who set a trap for the one mediating at the city gate
and without cause deprive the righteous of justice.

22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham says this about the house of Jacob:

Jacob will no longer be ashamed,
and his face will no longer be pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
the work of my hands within his nation,
they will honor my name,
they will honor the Holy One of Jacob
and stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are confused will gain understanding,
and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Footnotes:

  1. 28:9 Lit Those
  2. 28:9 Lit Those
  3. 28:10 Hb obscure, also in v. 13
  4. 28:15 Or whip; Hb obscure, also in v. 18
  5. 28:16 Lit will not hurry
  6. 28:19 Or The understanding of the message will cause sheer terror
  7. 29:1 Or Altar Hearth, or Lion of God; Hb obscure, also in v. 2
  8. 29:5 Lit foreigners
  9. 29:9 LXX, Tg, Vg read Be drunk
  10. 29:9 Tg, Vg read wine; stagger
  11. 29:10 Lit you a spirit of
  12. 29:11 Lit If one gives it to one who knows the document, saying, “Read this, please”
  13. 29:12 Lit who does not know the document, saying, “Read this, please”
  14. 29:13 Lit their mouth and honor me with its lips
  15. 29:13 Lit their fearing of me is a taught command of men
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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