1 These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.[a]
A Message for Rebellious Judah
2 Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth! This is what the Lord says: “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. 3 Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care— but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.” 4 Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the Lord. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.
5 Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. 6 You are battered from head to foot— covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds— without any soothing ointments or bandages. 7 Your country lies in ruins, and your towns are burned. Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see. 8 Beautiful Jerusalem[b] stands abandoned like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard, like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege. 9 If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us,[c] we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.
10 Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.” Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.” 11 “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? 13 Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. 14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! 15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. 16 Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. 17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. 19 If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. 20 But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
21 See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute. Once the home of justice and righteousness, she is now filled with murderers. 22 Once like pure silver, you have become like worthless slag. Once so pure, you are now like watered-down wine. 23 Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them love bribes and demand payoffs, but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans or fight for the rights of widows.
24 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “I will take revenge on my enemies and pay back my foes! 25 I will raise my fist against you. I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities. 26 Then I will give you good judges again and wise counselors like you used to have. Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice and the Faithful City.”
27 Zion will be restored by justice; those who repent will be revived by righteousness. 28 But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed, and those who desert the Lord will be consumed.
29 You will be ashamed of your idol worship in groves of sacred oaks. You will blush because you worshiped in gardens dedicated to idols. 30 You will be like a great tree with withered leaves, like a garden without water. 31 The strongest among you will disappear like straw; their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire. They and their evil works will burn up together, and no one will be able to put out the fire.
The Lord’s Future Reign
2 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. 3 People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. 4 The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
A Warning of Judgment
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord! 6 For the Lord has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans. 7 Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots. 8 Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands. 9 So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them. 10 Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty. 11 Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the Lord will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted. 13 He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan. 14 He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills. 15 He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall. 16 He will destroy all the great trading ships[d] and every magnificent vessel. 17 Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the Lord will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18 Idols will completely disappear. 19 When the Lord rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty. 20 On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats, 21 while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth. 22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?
Judgment against Judah
3 The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water, 2 all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders, 3 army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.
4 I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers. 5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable.
6 In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!” 7 But he will reply, “No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”
8 For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the Lord and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face. 9 The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don’t even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves.
10 Tell the godly that all will be well for them. They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned! 11 But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve.
12 Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.
13 The Lord takes his place in court and presents his case against his people.[e] 14 The Lord comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his people: “You have ruined Israel, my vineyard. Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor. 15 How dare you crush my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?” demands the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
A Warning to Jerusalem
16 The Lord says, “Beautiful Zion[f] is haughty: craning her elegant neck, flirting with her eyes, walking with dainty steps, tinkling her ankle bracelets. 17 So the Lord will send scabs on her head; the Lord will make beautiful Zion bald.”
18 On that day of judgment the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful: ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces, 19 earrings, bracelets, and veils; 20 scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes, perfumes, and charms; 21 rings, jewels, 22 party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses; 23 mirrors, fine linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls.
24 Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty.[g] 25 The men of the city will be killed with the sword, and her warriors will die in battle. 26 The gates of Zion will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.
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