28 The city of Samaria above a fertile valley is in for trouble! Its leaders are drunkards, who stuff themselves with food and wine. But they will be like flowers that dry up and wilt. 2 Only the Lord is strong and powerful! His mighty hand will strike them down with the force of a hailstorm or a mighty whirlwind or an overwhelming flood.
3 Every drunkard in Ephraim[a] takes pride in Samaria, but it will be crushed. 4 Samaria above a fertile valley will quickly lose its glory. It will be gobbled down like the first ripe fig at harvest season.
5 When this time comes, the Lord All-Powerful will be a glorious crown for his people who survive. 6 He will see that justice rules and that his people are able to defend their cities.
Corrupt Leaders Will Be Punished
7 Priests and prophets stumble because they are drunk. Their minds are too confused to receive God’s messages or give honest decisions. 8 Their tables are covered, completely covered, with their stinking vomit.
9 You drunken leaders are like babies! How can you possibly understand or teach the Lord’s message? 10 You don’t even listen— all you hear is senseless sound after senseless sound.[b]
11 So, the Lord will speak to his people in strange sounds and foreign languages.[c] 12 He promised you perfect peace and rest, but you refused to listen. 13 Now his message to you will be senseless sound after senseless sound.[d] Then you will fall backwards, injured and trapped.
False Security Is Fatal
14 You rulers of Jerusalem do nothing but sneer; now you must listen to what the Lord says. 15 Do you think you have an agreement with death and the world of the dead? Why do you trust in your lies to keep you safe from danger and the mighty flood?
16 And so the Lord says, “I’m laying a firm foundation for the city of Zion. It’s a valuable cornerstone proven to be trustworthy; no one who trusts it will ever be disappointed. 17 Justice and fairness will be the measuring lines that help me build.”
Hailstones and floods will destroy and wash away your shelter of lies. 18 Your agreement with death and the world of the dead will be broken. Then angry, roaring waves will sweep over you. 19 Morning, noon, and night an overwhelming flood will wash you away. The terrible things that happen will teach you this lesson: 20 Your bed is too short, your blanket too skimpy.[e]
21 The Lord will fiercely attack as he did at Mount Perazim[f] and in Gibeon Valley.[g] But this time the Lord will do something surprising, not what you expect. 22 So you had better stop sneering or you will be in worse shape than ever before. I heard the Lord All-Powerful threaten the whole country with destruction.
All Wisdom Comes from the Lord
23 Pay close attention to what I am saying. 24 Farmers don’t just plow and break up the ground. 25 When a field is ready, they scatter the seeds of dill and cumin; they plant the seeds of wheat and barley in the proper places. 26 They learn this from their God.
27 After dill and cumin have been harvested, the stalks are pounded, not run over with a wagon. 28 Wheat and barley are pounded, but not beaten to pulp; they are run over with a wagon, but not ground to dust. 29 This wonderful knowledge comes from the Lord All-Powerful, who has such great wisdom.
Jerusalem Will Suffer
The Lord said:
29 Jerusalem, city of David, the place of my altar,[h] you are in for trouble! Celebrate your festivals year after year. 2 I will still make you suffer, and your people will cry when I make an altar of you.[i] 3 I will surround you and prepare to attack from all sides.[j] 4 From deep in the earth, you will call out for help with only a faint whisper.
5 Then your cruel enemies will suddenly be swept away like dust in a windstorm. 6 I, the Lord All-Powerful, will come to your rescue with a thundering earthquake and a fiery whirlwind.
7 Every brutal nation that attacks Jerusalem and makes it suffer will disappear like a dream when night is over. 8 Those nations that attack Mount Zion will suffer from hunger and thirst. They will dream of food and drink but wake up weary and hungry and thirsty as ever.
Prophets Who Fool Themselves
9 Be shocked and stunned, you prophets! Refuse to see. Get drunk and stagger, but not from wine. 10 The Lord has made you drowsy; he put you into a deep sleep and covered your head.
11 Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can’t read it, because it’s sealed.” 12 Others say, “We can’t read it, because we don’t know how to read.”
13 The Lord has said:
“These people praise me with their words, but they never really think about me. They worship me by repeating rules made up by humans. 14 So once again I will do things that shock and amaze them, and I will destroy the wisdom of those who claim to know and understand.”
15 You are in for trouble, if you try to hide your plans from the Lord! Or if you think what you do in the dark can’t be seen. 16 You have it all backwards. A clay dish doesn’t say to the potter, “You didn’t make me. You don’t even know how.”
Hope for the Future
17 Soon the forest of Lebanon will become a field with crops, thick as a forest.[k] 18 The deaf will be able to hear whatever is read to them; the blind will be freed from a life of darkness. 19 The poor and the needy will celebrate and shout because of the Lord, the holy God of Israel.
20 All who are cruel and arrogant will be gone forever. Those who live by crime will disappear, 21 together with everyone who tells lies in court and keeps innocent people from getting a fair trial.
22 The Lord who rescued Abraham has this to say about Jacob’s descendants: “They will no longer be ashamed and disgraced. 23 When they see how great I have made their nation, they will praise and honor me, the holy God of Israel. 24 Everyone who is confused will understand, and all who have complained will obey my teaching.”
28.3Ephraim: The northern kingdom of Israel; Samaria was its capital.
28.10sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 9,10.
28.11in. . . foreign languages: This probably refers to the language of the Assyrians.
28.13Now. . . sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
28.20Your bed. . . skimpy: Isaiah quotes a popular saying to teach that the treaty made with Egypt (verse 18) cannot give the nation security from its enemies.
28.21Mount Perazim: This may refer to David’s defeat of the Philistines at Baal Perazim (2 Samuel 5.17-21).
28.21Gibeon Valley: This refers to Joshua’s victory at Gibeon (Joshua 10.1-11).
29.1the place of my altar: One possible meaning for “ariel, ariel” of the Hebrew text. In Hebrew “ariel” can mean “God’s hero” or “God’s lion” or “God’s altar.”
29.2when. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
29.3from all sides: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. One ancient translation has “like David.”
29.17with. . . forest: Or “and Mount Carmel will be covered with forests.”
3 Finally, my dear friends, be glad that you belong to the Lord. It doesn’t bother me to write the same things to you that I have written before. In fact, it is for your own good.
2 Watch out for those people who behave like dogs! They are evil and want to do more than just circumcise you. 3 But we are the ones who are truly circumcised, because we worship by the power of God’s Spirit[a] and take pride in Christ Jesus. We don’t brag about what we have done, 4 although I could. Others may brag about themselves, but I have more reason to brag than anyone else. 5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old,[b] and I am from the nation of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. I am a true Hebrew. As a Pharisee, I strictly obeyed the Law of Moses. 6 And I was so eager that I even made trouble for the church. I did everything the Law demands in order to please God.
7 But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. 8 Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ 9 and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. 10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, 11 so that somehow I also may be raised to life.
Running toward the Goal
12 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. 13 My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. 14 I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. 15 All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. 16 But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.
17 My friends, I want you to follow my example and learn from others who closely follow the example we set for you. 18 I often warned you that many people are living as enemies of the cross of Christ. And now with tears in my eyes, I warn you again 19 that they are headed for hell! They worship their stomachs and brag about the disgusting things they do. All they can think about are the things of this world.
20 But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there. Our Lord Jesus Christ 21 has power over everything, and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body.
3.3by the power of God’s Spirit: Some manuscripts have “sincerely.”
3.5when I was eight days old: Jewish boys are circumcised eight days after birth.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.