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Isaiah 29 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

The Siege of Jerusalem

29 Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David encamped!
Add year to year;
    let the festivals run their round.
Yet I will distress Ariel,
    and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
    and Jerusalem[a] shall be to me like an Ariel.[b]
And like David[c] I will encamp against you;
    I will besiege you with towers
    and raise siege-works against you.
Then deep from the earth you shall speak,
    from low in the dust your words shall come;
your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
    and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

But the multitude of your foes[d] shall be like fine dust,
    and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
    you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
    with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
    all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,
    shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating
    and wakes up still hungry,
or a thirsty person dreams of drinking
    and wakes up faint, still thirsty,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
    that fight against Mount Zion.

Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
    blind yourselves and be blind!
Be drunk, but not from wine;
    stagger, but not from strong drink!
10 For the Lord has poured out upon you
    a spirit of deep sleep;
he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
    and covered your heads, you seers.

11 The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot, for it is sealed.’ 12 And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot read.’

13 The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
    and honour me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
14 so I will again do
    amazing things with this people,
    shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
    and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

15 Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,
    whose deeds are in the dark,
    and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?’
16 You turn things upside down!
    Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made say of its maker,
    ‘He did not make me’;
or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
    ‘He has no understanding’?

Hope for the Future

17 Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
    become a fruitful field,
    and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
18 On that day the deaf shall hear
    the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
    the eyes of the blind shall see.
19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
    and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the tyrant shall be no more,
    and the scoffer shall cease to be;
    all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—
21 those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
    who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
    and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

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

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
    no longer shall his face grow pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
    the work of my hands, in his midst,
    they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
    and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 29:2 Heb she
  2. Isaiah 29:2 Probable meaning, altar hearth; compare Ezek 43.15
  3. Isaiah 29:3 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Isaiah 29:5 Cn: Heb strangers
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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.”

Footnotes:

  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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