Judgment on Ephraim and Jerusalem

28 Ah, the proud crown of (A)the drunkards of Ephraim,
    and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has (B)one who is mighty and strong;
    like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like (C)a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
    he casts down to the earth with his hand.
(D)The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
    will be trodden underfoot;
(E)and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley,
will be like (F)a first-ripe fig[a] before the summer:
    when someone sees it, he swallows it
    as soon as it is in his hand.

(G)In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,[b]
    and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
and (H)a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
    and (I)strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

(J)These also reel with wine
    and (K)stagger with strong drink;
the priest and (L)the prophet reel with strong drink,
    they are swallowed by[c] wine,
    they stagger with strong drink,
they reel in vision,
    they stumble in giving judgment.
For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
    with no space left.

(M)“To whom will he teach knowledge,
    and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
    those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little.”

11 (N)For by people of strange lips
    and with a foreign tongue
the Lord will speak to this people,
12     to whom he has said,
(O)“This is rest;
    give rest to the weary;
and this is repose”;
    yet they would not hear.
13 And the word of the Lord will be to them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little,
(P)that they may go, and fall backward,
    and be broken, and snared, and taken.

A Cornerstone in Zion

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you (Q)scoffers,
    who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the (R)overwhelming whip passes through
    it will not come to us,
for we have made (S)lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
(T)“Behold, I am the one who has laid[d] as a foundation (U)in Zion,
    a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice (V)the line,
    and righteousness (W)the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
    and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18 Then (X)your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you;
    (Y)for morning by morning it will pass through,
    by day and by night;
and it will be (Z)sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
    and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up (AA)as on Mount Perazim;
    (AB)as in the Valley of (AC)Gibeon he will be roused;
to do his deed—strange is his deed!
    and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not (AD)scoff,
    lest your bonds be made strong;
for I have heard (AE)a decree of destruction
    from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.

23 Give ear, and hear my voice;
    give attention, and hear my speech.
24 Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
    Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25 (AF)When he has leveled its surface,
    does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
and put in wheat in rows
    and barley in its proper place,
    and emmer[e] as the border?
26 (AG)For he is rightly instructed;
    his God teaches him.

27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
    nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
    and cumin with a rod.
28 Does one crush grain for bread?
    No, he does not thresh it forever;[f]
when he drives his cart wheel over it
    with his horses, he does not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
    he is (AH)wonderful in counsel
    and excellent in wisdom.

The Siege of Jerusalem

29 Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city (AI)where David encamped!
Add year to year;
    let the feasts run their round.
Yet I will distress Ariel,
    and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
    and she shall be to me like an Ariel.[g]
(AJ)And I will encamp against you all around,
    and will besiege you (AK)with towers
    and I will raise siegeworks against you.
(AL)And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak,
    and from the dust your speech will be bowed down;
your voice shall come from the ground like (AM)the voice of a ghost,
    and from the dust your speech shall whisper.

But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like (AN)small dust,
    and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.
(AO)And in an instant, suddenly,
    (AP)you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
    with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
And (AQ)the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
    all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her,
    shall be (AR)like a dream, a vision of the night.
(AS)As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,
    and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,
or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking,
    and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
    that fight against Mount Zion.

Astonish yourselves[h] and be astonished;
    blind yourselves and be blind!
Be drunk,[i] but not with wine;
    (AT)stagger,[j] but not with strong drink!
10 (AU)For the Lord has poured out upon you
    a spirit of deep sleep,
and has closed your eyes (the prophets),
    and covered your heads (the seers).

11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is (AV)sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”

13 And the Lord said:
“Because (AW)this people (AX)draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
14 therefore, behold, (AY)I will again
    do wonderful things with this people,
    with wonder upon wonder;
and (AZ)the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
    and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

15 Ah, (BA)you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel,
    whose deeds are (BB)in the dark,
    and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
16 (BC)You turn things upside down!
Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,
that the thing made should say of its maker,
    “He did not make me”;
or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
    “He has no understanding”?

17 Is it not yet a very little while
    (BD)until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
    and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?
18 In that day (BE)the deaf shall hear
    (BF)the words of a book,
and out of their gloom and darkness
    (BG)the eyes of the blind shall see.
19 (BH)The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
    and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the ruthless shall come to nothing
    and (BI)the scoffer cease,
    and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off,
21 who by a word make a man out to be an offender,
    and (BJ)lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
    and with an empty plea (BK)turn aside him who is in the right.

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

“Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
    no more shall his face grow pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
    (BM)the work of my hands, in his midst,
    they will sanctify my name;
(BN)they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 And those (BO)who go astray in spirit will come to understanding,
    and those who murmur will accept instruction.”

Do Not Go Down to Egypt

30 “Ah, (BP)stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
(BQ)“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make (BR)an alliance,[k] but not of my Spirit,
    that they may add sin to sin;
(BS)who set out to go down to Egypt,
    without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
    and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
(BT)Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
    and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
For though his officials are at (BU)Zoan
    and (BV)his envoys reach (BW)Hanes,
everyone comes to shame
    through (BX)a people that cannot profit them,
that brings neither help nor profit,
    but shame and disgrace.”

An (BY)oracle on (BZ)the beasts of (CA)the Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,
    from where come the lioness and the lion,
    the adder and the (CB)flying fiery serpent,
they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
    and their treasures on the humps of camels,
    to a people that cannot profit them.
Egypt's (CC)help is worthless and empty;
    therefore I have called her
    (CD)“Rahab who sits still.”

A Rebellious People

And now, go, (CE)write it before them on a tablet
    and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
    as a witness forever.[l]
(CF)For they are a rebellious people,
    lying children,
children unwilling to hear
    the instruction of the Lord;
10 (CG)who say to (CH)the seers, “Do not see,”
    and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us (CI)smooth things,
    prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
    let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
“Because you despise this word
    and trust in (CJ)oppression and perverseness
    and rely on them,
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you
    (CK)like a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse,
    whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 and its breaking is (CL)like that of a potter's vessel
    that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a shard is found
    with which to take fire from the hearth,
    or to dip up water out of the cistern.”

15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In (CM)returning[m] and (CN)rest you shall be saved;
    in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,
“No! We will flee upon (CO)horses”;
    therefore you shall flee away;
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
    therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
17 (CP)A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
    at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left
    like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
    like a signal on a hill.

The Lord Will Be Gracious

18 Therefore the Lord (CQ)waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore he (CR)exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
    (CS)blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 For a people shall dwell (CT)in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the (CU)bread of adversity and the (CV)water of affliction, (CW)yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 (CX)And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is (CY)the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. (CZ)You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

23 (DA)And he will give (DB)rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. (DC)In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and (DD)the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And (DE)on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, (DF)when the towers fall. 26 (DG)Moreover, 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 when (DH)the Lord binds up (DI)the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
    burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;[n]
his lips are full of fury,
    and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 (DJ)his breath is (DK)like an overflowing stream
    that reaches up to the neck;
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
    and to place on the jaws of the peoples (DL)a bridle that leads astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, (DM)as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to (DN)the mountain of the Lord, to (DO)the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord (DP)will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger (DQ)and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst (DR)and storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, (DS)when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them (DT)will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. (DU)Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For (DV)a burning place[o] has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, (DW)its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; (DX)the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt

31 Woe[p] to (DY)those who go down to Egypt for help
    and rely on horses,
who (DZ)trust in chariots because they are many
    and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but (EA)do not look to the Holy One of Israel
    or consult the Lord!
And (EB)yet he is wise and brings disaster;
    (EC)he does not call back his words,
but (ED)will arise against the house of the evildoers
    and against the helpers of (EE)those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are man, and not God,
    and their horses (EF)are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
    and they will all perish together.

For thus the Lord said to me,
(EG)“As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,
    and when a band of shepherds is called out against him
he is not terrified by their shouting
    or daunted at their noise,
(EH)so the Lord of hosts will come down
    to fight[q] on Mount Zion and on its hill.
(EI)Like birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts
    will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it;
    he will spare and rescue it.”

(EJ)Turn to him from whom people[r] have (EK)deeply revolted, O children of Israel. For in that day (EL)everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

(EM)“And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man;
    and a sword, not of man, shall devour him;
and he shall flee from the sword,
    and his young men shall be (EN)put to forced labor.
(EO)His rock shall pass away in terror,
    and his officers desert the standard in panic,”
declares the Lord, whose (EP)fire is in Zion,
    and whose (EQ)furnace is in Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 28:4 Or fruit
  2. Isaiah 28:5 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
  3. Isaiah 28:7 Or confused by
  4. Isaiah 28:16 Dead Sea Scroll I am laying
  5. Isaiah 28:25 A type of wheat
  6. Isaiah 28:28 Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever
  7. Isaiah 29:2 Ariel could mean lion of God, or hero (2 Samuel 23:20), or altar hearth (Ezekiel 43:15–16)
  8. Isaiah 29:9 Or Linger awhile
  9. Isaiah 29:9 Or They are drunk
  10. Isaiah 29:9 Or they stagger
  11. Isaiah 30:1 Hebrew who weave a web
  12. Isaiah 30:8 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate, and Greek versions; Masoretic Text forever and ever
  13. Isaiah 30:15 Or repentance
  14. Isaiah 30:27 Hebrew in weight of uplifted clouds
  15. Isaiah 30:33 Or For Topheth
  16. Isaiah 31:1 Or Ah,
  17. Isaiah 31:4 The Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike
  18. Isaiah 31:6 Hebrew they

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