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Isaiah 1

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1This is the vision Isaiah son of Amoz saw about what would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah saw these things while Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
God’s Case Against His Children
2Heaven and earth, listen,
because the Lord is speaking:
“I raised my children and helped them grow up,
but they have turned against me.
3An ox knows its master,
and a donkey knows where its owner feeds it,
but the people of Israel do not know me;
my people do not understand.”
4How terrible! Israel is a nation of sin,
a people loaded down with guilt,
a group of children doing evil,
children who are full of evil.
They have left the Lord;
they hate God, the Holy One of Israel,
and have turned away from him as if he were a stranger.
5Why should you continue to be punished?
Why do you continue to turn against him?
Your whole head is hurt,
and your whole heart is sick.
6There is no healthy spot
from the bottom of your foot to the top of your head;
you are covered with wounds, hurts, and open sores
that are not cleaned and covered,
and no medicine takes away the pain.
7Your land is ruined;
your cities have been burned with fire.
While you watch,
your enemies are stealing everything from your land;
it is ruined like a country destroyed by enemies.
8Jerusalem is left alone
like an empty shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut left in a field of melons,
like a city surrounded by enemies.
9The Lord All-Powerful
allowed a few of our people to live.
Otherwise we would have been completely destroyed
like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
10Jerusalem, your rulers are like those of Sodom,
and your people are like those of Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the Lord;
listen to the teaching of our God!
11The Lord says,
“I do not want all these sacrifices.
I have had enough of your burnt sacrifices
of male sheep and fat from fine animals.
I am not pleased
by the blood of bulls, lambs, and goats.
12You come to meet with me,
but who asked you to do
all this running in and out of my Temple’s rooms?
13Don’t continue bringing me worthless sacrifices!
I hate the incense you burn.
I can’t stand your New Moons, Sabbaths, and other feast days;
I can’t stand the evil you do in your holy meetings.
14I hate your New Moon feasts
and your other yearly feasts.
They have become a heavy weight on me,
and I am tired of carrying it.
15When you raise your arms to me in prayer,
I will refuse to look at you.
Even if you say many prayers,
I will not listen to you,
because your hands are full of blood.
16Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean.
Stop doing the evil things I see you do.
Stop doing wrong.
17Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Punish those who hurt others.
Help the orphans.
Stand up for the rights of widows.”
18The Lord says,
“Come, let us talk about these things.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they can be as white as snow.
Though your sins are deep red,
they can be white like wool.
19If you become willing and obey me,
you will eat good crops from the land.
20But if you refuse to obey and if you turn against me,
you will be destroyed by your enemies’ swords.”
The Lord himself said these things.
Jerusalem Is Not Loyal to God
21The city of Jerusalem once followed the Lord,
but she is no longer loyal to him.
She used to be filled with fairness;
people there lived the way God wanted.
But now, murderers live there.
22Jerusalem, you have become like the scum left when silver is purified;
you are like wine mixed with water.
23Your rulers are rebels
and friends of thieves.
They all accept money for doing wrong,
and they are paid to cheat people.
They don’t seek justice for the orphans
or listen to the widows’ needs.
24So the Lord God All-Powerful,
the Mighty One of Israel, says:
“You, my enemies, will not cause me any more trouble.
I will pay you back for what you did.
25I will turn against you
and clean away all your wrongs as if with soap;
I will take all the worthless things out of you.
26I will bring back judges as you had long ago;
your counselors will be like those you had in the beginning.
Then you will be called the City That Is Right with God,
the Loyal City.”
27By doing what is fair,
Jerusalem will be free again.
By doing what is right,
her people who come back to the Lord will have freedom.
28But sinners and those who turn against him will be destroyed;
those who have left the Lord will die.
29“You will be ashamed,
because you have worshiped gods under the oak trees.
You will be disgraced,
because you have worshiped idols in your gardens.
30You will be like an oak whose leaves are dying
or like a garden without water.
31Powerful people will be like small, dry pieces of wood,
and their works will be like sparks.
They will burn together,
and no one will be able to put out that fire.”

Isaiah 1

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1 # 2 K 15.1-7; 2 Ch 26.1-23; 2 K 15.32-38; 2 Ch 27.1-9; 2 K 16.1-20; 2 Ch 28.1-27; 2 K 18.1—20.21; 2 Ch 29.1—32.33. I am Isaiah, the son of Amoz.
And this is the message#1.1 message: Or “vision.” that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were the kings of Judah:#1.1 kings of Judah: Uzziah (783–742 b.c.); Jotham (742–735 b.c.; Ahaz (735–715 b.c.); Hezekiah (715–687 b.c.).
A Guilty Nation
2The Lord has said,
“Listen, heaven and earth!
The children I raised
have turned against me.
3Oxen and donkeys know
who owns and feeds them,
but my people won't ever learn.”
4Israel, you are a sinful nation
loaded down with guilt.
You are wicked and corrupt
and have turned from the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.
5Why be punished more?
Why not give up your sin?
Your head is badly bruised,
and you are weak all over.
6From your head to your toes
there isn't a healthy spot.
Bruises, cuts, and open sores
go without care
or oil to ease the pain.
A Country in Ruins
7Your country lies in ruins;
your towns are in ashes.
Foreigners and strangers
take and destroy your land
while you watch.
8Enemies surround Jerusalem,
alone like a hut
in a vineyard#1.8 a hut in a vineyard: When it was almost time for grapes to ripen, farmers would put up a temporary shelter or hut in the field or vineyard and stay there to keep thieves and wild animals away.
or in a cucumber field.
9 # Gn 19.24; Ro 9.29. Zion would have disappeared
like Sodom and Gomorrah,#1.9 Sodom and Gomorrah: Two ancient cities of Palestine that God destroyed because the people were so wicked (see Genesis 19.1-29).
if the Lord All-Powerful
had not let a few
of its people survive.
Justice, Not Sacrifices
10You are no better
than the leaders and people
of Sodom and Gomorrah!
So listen to the Lord God:
11 # Am 5.21,22. “Your sacrifices
mean nothing to me.
I am sick of your offerings
of rams and choice cattle;
I don't like the blood
of bulls or lambs or goats.
12“Who asked you to bring all this
when you come to worship me?
Stay out of my temple!
13Your sacrifices are worthless,
and your incense disgusting.
I can't stand the evil you do
on your New Moon Festivals
or on your Sabbaths
and other times of worship.
14I hate your New Moon Festivals
and all others as well.
They are a heavy burden
I am tired of carrying.
15“No matter how much you pray,
I won't listen.
You are too violent.
16Wash yourselves clean!
I hate your filthy deeds.
Stop doing wrong
17and learn to live right.
See that justice is done.
Defend widows and orphans
and help the oppressed.”#1.17 and help the oppressed: Or “and punish cruel people.”
An Invitation from the Lord
18I, the Lord, invite you
to come and talk it over.
Your sins are scarlet red,
but they will be whiter
than snow or wool.
19If you willingly obey me,
the best crops in the land
will be yours.
20But if you turn against me,
your enemies will kill you.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
The Lord Condemns Jerusalem
21Jerusalem, you are like
an unfaithful wife.
Once your judges were honest
and your people lived right;
now you are a city
full of murderers.
22Your silver is fake,
and your wine
is watered down.
23Your leaders have rejected me
to become friends of crooks;
your rulers are looking
for gifts and bribes.
Widows and orphans
never get a fair trial.
24I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the mighty ruler of Israel,
and I make you a promise:
You are now my enemy,
and I will show my anger
by taking revenge on you.
25I will punish you terribly
and burn away everything
that makes you unfit
to worship me.
26Jerusalem, I will choose
judges and advisors
like those you had before.
Your new name will be
“Justice and Faithfulness.”
The Lord Will Save Jerusalem
27Jerusalem, you will be saved
by showing justice;#1.27 by showing justice: Or “by my saving power.”
Zion's people who turn to me
will be saved
by doing right.
28But those rebellious sinners
who turn against me, the Lord,
will all disappear.
29You will be made ashamed
of those groves of trees
where you worshiped idols.
30You will be like a grove of trees
dying in a drought.
31Your strongest leaders
will be like dry wood
set on fire by their idols.#1.31 Your … idols: Or “Your wealth will be like dry wood, set on fire by its owners.”
No one will be able to help,
as they all go up in flames.