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Isaiah 29 Common English Bible (CEB)

Ariel besieged but spared

29 Oh, Ariel, Ariel,
    town where David encamped!
Year by year, let the festivals come around—
    but I will oppress Ariel.
There will be mourning and lamentation;
    she will be like an Ariel to me.
I will surround you like a wall,
    and I will lay a siege against you with assault towers,
    and I will raise up siegeworks against you.
You will be brought down;
    from the ground you will speak;
    from low in the dust your speech will come.
Your voice will be like a ghost’s from the earth;
    from the dust your words will whisper.
But your many enemies will be like fine dust,
    the terrible horde like passing chaff.
Suddenly, in an instant, the Lord of heavenly forces will come to you with thunder, earthquake, and a mighty voice,
    with whirlwind, tempest, and flames of devouring fire.
The horde of nations fighting against Ariel,
    and all who make war on her and her fortress and besiege her,
    will be like a dream, a vision of the night.
It will be like when a hungry person dreams of eating
    but wakes up and the mouth is empty.
    Or when a thirsty person dreams of drinking
    but wakes up and has a dry throat.
So will it be for all the horde of nations
    who fight against Mount Zion.

Be shocked and stunned;
    blind yourselves; be blind!
Be drunk, but not on wine;
    stagger, but not on account of beer!
10 The Lord has poured on you a spirit of deep sleep,
    and has shut your eyes, you prophets,
    and covered your heads, you seers.

11 This entire vision has become for you like the words of a sealed scroll. When they give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” that one will say, “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” 12 And when the scroll is given to one who can’t read, saying, “Read this,” that one will say, “I can’t read.”

The wisdom of their wise

13 The Lord says:
Since these people turn toward me with their mouths,
    and honor me with lip service
        while their heart is distant from me,
    and their fear of me is just a human command that has been memorized,
14     I will go on doing amazing things to these people,
        shocking and startling things.
The wisdom of their wise will perish,
    and the discernment of their discerning will be hidden.
15 Doom to those who hide their plan deep, away from the Lord,
    whose deeds are in the dark,
    who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
16 You have everything backward!
    Should the potter be thought of as clay?
    Should what is made say of its maker,
        “He didn’t make me”?
    Should what is shaped say of the one who shaped it,
        “He doesn’t understand”?

17 In just a little while won’t Lebanon become farmland once again,
    and the farmland be considered a forest?
18 On that day: The deaf will hear the words of a scroll and, freed from dimness and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The poor will again find joy in the Lord,
    and the neediest of people will rejoice in the holy one of Israel.
20 The tyrant will be no more,
    the mocker will perish,
    and all who plot evil will be eliminated:
21     all who incriminate others wrongly,
    who entrap the judge in the gate,
    and pointlessly postpone justice for the innocent.

22 Therefore, proclaims the Lord,
    the God of[a] the house of Jacob,
    who redeemed Abraham:
Jacob won’t be ashamed now,
    and his face won’t grow pale now.
23 When he sees his children among them,
    the work of my hands,
    proclaiming my name holy,
    they will make holy the holy one of Jacob,
    and stand in awe of Israel’s God.
24 Those who wander in spirit will have understanding,
    and those who grumble will gain insight.


  1. Isaiah 29:22 Or to
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Isaiah 29 New International Version (NIV)

Woe to David’s City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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