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Isaiah 28 English Standard Version (ESV)

Judgment on Ephraim and Jerusalem

28 Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
    and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
    like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
    he casts down to the earth with his hand.
The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
    will be trodden underfoot;
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley,
will be like a first-ripe fig[a] before the summer:
    when someone sees it, he swallows it
    as soon as it is in his hand.

In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,[b]
    and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
    and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

These also reel with wine
    and stagger with strong drink;
the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
    they are swallowed by[c] wine,
    they stagger with strong drink,
they reel in vision,
    they stumble in giving judgment.
For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
    with no space left.

“To whom will he teach knowledge,
    and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
    those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little.”

11 For by people of strange lips
    and with a foreign tongue
the Lord will speak to this people,
12     to whom he has said,
“This is rest;
    give rest to the weary;
and this is repose”;
    yet they would not hear.
13 And the word of the Lord will be to them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little,
that they may go, and fall backward,
    and be broken, and snared, and taken.

A Cornerstone in Zion

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
    who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
    it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid[d] as a foundation in Zion,
    a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice the line,
    and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
    and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you;
    for morning by morning it will pass through,
    by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
    and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
    as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
to do his deed—strange is his deed!
    and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff,
    lest your bonds be made strong;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
    from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.

23 Give ear, and hear my voice;
    give attention, and hear my speech.
24 Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
    Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
    does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
and put in wheat in rows
    and barley in its proper place,
    and emmer[e] as the border?
26 For he is rightly instructed;
    his God teaches him.

27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
    nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
    and cumin with a rod.
28 Does one crush grain for bread?
    No, he does not thresh it forever;[f]
when he drives his cart wheel over it
    with his horses, he does not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
    he is wonderful in counsel
    and excellent in wisdom.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 28:4 Or fruit
  2. Isaiah 28:5 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
  3. Isaiah 28:7 Or confused by
  4. Isaiah 28:16 Dead Sea Scroll I am laying
  5. Isaiah 28:25 A type of wheat
  6. Isaiah 28:28 Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Isaiah 28 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Woe to the leaders of Ephraim and Judah

28 Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley –
    to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!
See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong.
    Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind,
like a driving rain and a flooding downpour,
    he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    will be trampled underfoot.
That fading flower, his glorious beauty,
    set on the head of a fertile valley,
will be like figs ripe before harvest –
    as soon as people see them and take them in hand,
    they swallow them.

In that day the Lord Almighty
    will be a glorious crown,
a beautiful wreath
    for the remnant of his people.
He will be a spirit of justice
    to the one who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
    to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

And these also stagger from wine
    and reel from beer:
priests and prophets stagger from beer
    and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
    they stagger when seeing visions,
    they stumble when rendering decisions.
All the tables are covered with vomit
    and there is not a spot without filth.

‘Who is it he is trying to teach?
    To whom is he explaining his message?
To children weaned from their milk,
    to those just taken from the breast?
10 For it is:
    do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;[a]
    a little here, a little there.’

11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues
    God will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said,
    ‘This is the resting-place, let the weary rest’;
and, ‘This is the place of repose’–
    but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
    do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;
    a little here, a little there –
so that as they go they will fall backwards;
    they will be injured and snared and captured.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, ‘We have entered into a covenant with death,
    with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
    it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie our refuge
    and falsehood[b] our hiding-place.’

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line
    and righteousness the plumb-line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
    and water will overflow your hiding-place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;
    your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;
    morning after morning, by day and by night,
    it will sweep through.’

The understanding of this message
    will bring sheer terror.
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,
    the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
21 The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,
    he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon –
to do his work, his strange work,
    and perform his task, his alien task.
22 Now stop your mocking,
    or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
    of the destruction decreed against the whole land.

23 Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer ploughs for planting, does he plough continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has levelled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,[c]
    barley in its plot,[d]
    and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.

27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
    nor is the cartwheel rolled over cummin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
    and cummin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
    so one does not go on threshing it for ever.
The wheels of a threshing-cart may be rolled over it,
    but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,
    whose wisdom is magnificent.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 28:10 Hebrew / sav lasav sav lasav / kav lakav kav lakav (probably meaningless sounds mimicking the prophet’s words); also in verse 13
  2. Isaiah 28:15 Or false gods
  3. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 28 American Standard Version (ASV)

28 Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are [a]overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one; as a tempest of hail, a destroying storm, as a tempest of mighty waters overflowing, will he cast down to the earth [b]with the hand. The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot: and the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be as the first-ripe fig before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day will Jehovah of hosts become a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people; and a spirit of justice to him that sitteth in judgment, and strength to them that turn back the battle [c]at the gate.

And even these reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

[d]Whom will he teach knowledge? and whom will he make to understand the [e]message? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? 10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; [f]line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little.

11 [g]Nay, but by men of strange lips and with another tongue will he speak to this people; 12 to whom he said, This is the rest, give ye rest to him that is weary; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 Therefore shall the word of Jehovah be unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14 Wherefore hear the word of Jehovah, ye scoffers, that rule this people that is in Jerusalem: 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I [h]lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not be in haste. 17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 19 As often as it passeth through, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night: and it shall be nought but terror to understand the message. 20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. 21 For Jehovah will rise up as in mount Perazim, he will be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his strange work, and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 22 Now therefore be ye not scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong; for [i]a decree of destruction have I heard from the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, upon the whole [j]earth.

23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. 24 Doth he that ploweth to sow plow continually? doth he continually open and harrow his ground? 25 When he hath levelled the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the [k]fitches, and scatter the cummin, and put in the wheat in rows, and the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in the border thereof? 26 [l]For his God doth instruct him aright, and doth teach him. 27 For the fitches are not threshed with a sharp threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. 28 [m]Bread grain is ground; for he will not be always threshing it: and though the wheel of his cart and his horses scatter it, he doth not grind it. 29 This also cometh forth from Jehovah of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in [n]wisdom.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 28:1 Hebrew smitten down.
  2. Isaiah 28:2 Or, with violence
  3. Isaiah 28:6 Or, to
  4. Isaiah 28:9 Or, Whom shall he teach . . . and whom shall he make . . . breasts. For etc.
  5. Isaiah 28:9 Or, report
  6. Isaiah 28:10 Or, rule
  7. Isaiah 28:11 Or, For with stammering lips
  8. Isaiah 28:16 Or, have laid
  9. Isaiah 28:22 Hebrew destruction, and that decreed.
  10. Isaiah 28:22 Or, land
  11. Isaiah 28:25 Or, black cummin (Nigella sativa)
  12. Isaiah 28:26 Or, And he traineth each of them aright; his God doth teach him
  13. Isaiah 28:28 Or, Is bread grain crushed? Nay, he will not ever be threshing it, and driving his cart wheels and his horses over it; he doth not crush it
  14. Isaiah 28:29 Or, effectual working
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