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Isaiah 29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Woe to Jerusalem

29 Woe to Ariel,[a] 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.[b]
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[c] will be like fine dust,
and many of the ruthless, like blowing chaff.
Then suddenly, in an instant,
you will be visited by the Lord of Hosts
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,[d] but not with wine;
they stagger,[e] but not with beer.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
an overwhelming urge to[f] 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,[g] 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,[h] he will say, “I can’t read.”

13 The Lord said:

Because these people approach Me with their mouths
to honor Me with lip-service[i]
yet their hearts are far from Me,
and their worship consists of man-made rules
learned by rote—
14 therefore I will again confound these people
with wonder after wonder.
The wisdom of their wise men will vanish,
and the understanding of the 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 darkness,
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 at the gate for the mediator,
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. Isaiah 29:1 Or Altar Hearth, or Lion of God; Hb obscure
  2. Isaiah 29:2 Or Altar Hearth, or Lion of God; Hb obscure
  3. Isaiah 29:5 Lit foreigners
  4. Isaiah 29:9 LXX, Tg, Vg read Be drunk
  5. Isaiah 29:9 Tg, Vg read wine; stagger
  6. Isaiah 29:10 Lit you a spirit of
  7. Isaiah 29:11 Lit If one gives it to one who knows the document, saying, “Read this, please”
  8. Isaiah 29:12 Lit who does not know the document, saying, “Read this, please”
  9. Isaiah 29:13 Lit their mouth and honor Me with its lips

Isaiah 29 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Message about Jerusalem

29 “What sorrow awaits Ariel,[a] the City of David.
    Year after year you celebrate your feasts.
Yet I will bring disaster upon you,
    and there will be much weeping and sorrow.
For Jerusalem will become what her name Ariel means—
    an altar covered with blood.
I will be your enemy,
    surrounding Jerusalem and attacking its walls.
I will build siege towers
    and destroy it.
Then deep from the earth you will speak;
    from low in the dust your words will come.
Your voice will whisper from the ground
    like a ghost conjured up from the grave.

“But suddenly, your ruthless enemies will be crushed
    like the finest of dust.
Your many attackers will be driven away
    like chaff before the wind.
Suddenly, in an instant,
    I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will act for you
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
    with whirlwind and storm and consuming fire.
All the nations fighting against Jerusalem[b]
    will vanish like a dream!
Those who are attacking her walls
    will vanish like a vision in the night.
A hungry person dreams of eating
    but wakes up still hungry.
A thirsty person dreams of drinking
    but is still faint from thirst when morning comes.
So it will be with your enemies,
    with those who attack Mount Zion.”

Are you amazed and incredulous?
    Don’t you believe it?
Then go ahead and be blind.
    You are stupid, but not from wine!
    You stagger, but not from liquor!
10 For the Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep.
    He has closed the eyes of your prophets and visionaries.

11 All the future events in this vision are like a sealed book to them. When you give it to those who can read, they will say, “We can’t read it because it is sealed.” 12 When you give it to those who cannot read, they will say, “We don’t know how to read.”

13 And so the Lord says,
    “These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
    is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.[c]
14 Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites
    with amazing wonders.
The wisdom of the wise will pass away,
    and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.”

15 What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the Lord,
    who do their evil deeds in the dark!
“The Lord can’t see us,” they say.
    “He doesn’t know what’s going on!”
16 How foolish can you be?
    He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay!
Should the created thing say of the one who made it,
    “He didn’t make me”?
Does a jar ever say,
    “The potter who made me is stupid”?

17 Soon—and it will not be very long—
    the forests of Lebanon will become a fertile field,
    and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.
18 In that day the deaf will hear words read from a book,
    and the blind will see through the gloom and darkness.
19 The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord.
    The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 The scoffer will be gone,
    the arrogant will disappear,
    and those who plot evil will be killed.
21 Those who convict the innocent
    by their false testimony will disappear.
A similar fate awaits those who use trickery to pervert justice
    and who tell lies to destroy the innocent.

22 That is why the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the people of Israel,[d]

“My people will no longer be ashamed
    or turn pale with fear.
23 For when they see their many children
    and all the blessings I have given them,
they will recognize the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob.
    They will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Then the wayward will gain understanding,
    and complainers will accept instruction.

Footnotes:

  1. 29:1 Ariel sounds like a Hebrew term that means “hearth” or “altar.”
  2. 29:7 Hebrew Ariel.
  3. 29:13 Greek version reads Their worship is a farce, / for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God. Compare Mark 7:7.
  4. 29:22 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 14:1.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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