The Lord’s Word Will Be Hidden from Some but Revealed to Others
How horrible it will be for you Ariel, Ariel,[a] the city where David camped. Let year after year go by. Let your annual festivals go on. 2 I will torment Ariel, and the city will be filled with people grieving and mourning. The city will become like Ariel. 3 I will set up war camps all around you. I will blockade you with towers. I will put up mounds of dirt around you. 4 When you have fallen, you will speak as you lie on the ground. Your words will be muffled by the dust. Your voice will come out of the ground like that of a ghost. Your words will be whispered from the dust. 5 Your many enemies will be like fine dust. Your many foes will be like husks blown by the wind. All of this will happen suddenly, unexpectedly. 6 The Lord of Armies will punish you with thunder, earthquakes, and loud noises, with windstorms, rainstorms, and fire storms. 7 The armies from all the nations will go to war against Ariel. They will go to war against it, blockade it, and torment it. All of this will be like a dream, like a vision in the night. 8 They will be like hungry people who dream that they’re eating and wake up to find they’re hungry. They will be like thirsty people who dream that they’re drinking and wake up to find they’re lightheaded and parched with thirst. This is what will happen to the armies from all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.
9 If you confuse yourselves, you will be confused. If you blind yourselves, you will be blinded. You are drunk, but not from wine. You stagger, but not from liquor. 10 The Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He will shut your eyes. (Your eyes are the prophets.) He will cover your heads. (Your heads are the seers.[b])
11 To you all these visions will be like words in a book that is closed and sealed. You give this book to someone who can read, saying, “Please read this.”
He answers, “I can’t read it. It’s sealed.”
12 Then you give the book to someone who can’t read, saying, “Please read this.”
He answers, “I can’t read.”
13 The Lord says,
“These people worship me with their mouths and honor me with their lips. But their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is based on rules made by humans. 14 That is why I am going to do something completely amazing for these people once again. The wisdom of their wise people will disappear. The intelligence of their intelligent people will be hidden.”
15 How horrible it will be for those who try to hide their plans from the Lord. Their deeds are done in the dark, and they say, “No one can see us” and “No one can recognize us.” 16 You turn things upside down! Is the potter no better than his clay? Can something that has been made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”? Can a piece of pottery say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”? 17 In a very short time Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field will be considered a forest. 18 When that day comes, the deaf will hear the words written in the book. The blind will see out of their gloom and darkness. 19 Humble people again will find joy in the Lord. The poorest of people will find joy in the Holy One of Israel. 20 Tyrants will be gone. Mockers will be finished. All who look for ways to do wrong will come to an end: 21 those who make people sin with words, those who lay traps for judges, those who, without any reason, deny justice to people who are in the right.
22 This is what the Lord, who saved Abraham, says about the descendants of Jacob:
Jacob will no longer be ashamed. Jacob’s face will no longer turn pale. 23 When they see all their children, the children I made with my hands, they will acknowledge my name as holy. They will treat the Holy One of Jacob as holy. They will stand in terror of the God of Israel. 24 Then those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding, and those who complain will accept instruction.
Isaiah 29:1Ariel is an unknown Hebrew word which may mean “lion of God,” “mountain of God,” or “fireplace.”
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