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Isaiah 1

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1Here is the vision about Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah saw. It came to him when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were ruling. They were kings of Judah. Isaiah was the son of Amoz.
The Nation Refuses to Obey the Lord
2Listen to me, you heavens! Pay attention to me, earth!
The Lord has said,
“I raised children. I brought them up.
But they have refused to obey me.
3The ox knows its master.
The donkey knows where its owner feeds it.
But Israel does not know me.
My people do not understand me.”
4How terrible it will be for this sinful nation!
They are loaded down with guilt.
They are people who do nothing but evil.
They are children who are always sinning.
They have deserted the Lord.
They have turned against the Holy One of Israel.
They have turned their backs on him.
5Israel, why do you want to be beaten all the time?
Why do you always refuse to obey the Lord?
Your head is covered with wounds.
Your whole heart is weak.
6There isn’t a healthy spot on your body.
You are not healthy from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.
You have nothing but wounds, cuts
and open sores.
They haven’t been cleaned up or bandaged
or treated with olive oil.
7Your country has been deserted.
Your cities have been burned down.
The food from your fields is being eaten up by outsiders.
They are doing it right in front of you.
Your land has been completely destroyed.
It looks as if strangers have taken it over.
8The city of Zion is left like a shed
where someone stands guard in a vineyard.
It is left like a hut in a cucumber field.
It’s like a city being attacked.
9The Lord who rules over all
has let some people live through that time of trouble.
If he hadn’t, we would have become like Sodom.
We would have been like Gomorrah.
10Rulers of Sodom,
hear the Lord’s message.
People of Gomorrah,
listen to the instruction of our God.
11“Do you think I need any more of your sacrifices?”
asks the Lord.
“I have more than enough of your burnt offerings.
I have more than enough of rams
and the fat of your fattest animals.
I do not find any pleasure
in the blood of your bulls, lambs and goats.
12Who asked you to bring all these animals
when you come to worship me?
Who asked you and your animals
to walk all over my courtyards?
13Stop bringing offerings that do not mean anything to me!
I hate your incense.
I can’t stand your worthless gatherings.
I can’t stand the way you celebrate your New Moon feasts,
Sabbath days and special services.
14Your New Moon feasts and your other appointed feasts
I hate with my whole being.
They have become a heavy load to me.
I am tired of carrying it.
15You might spread out your hands toward me when you pray.
But I do not look at you.
You might even offer many prayers.
But I am not listening to them.
Your hands are covered with the blood of the people you have murdered.
16So wash and make yourselves clean.
Get your evil actions out of my sight!
Stop doing what is wrong!
17Learn to do what is right!
Treat people fairly.
Help those who are treated badly.
Stand up in court for children whose fathers have died.
And do the same thing for widows.
18“Come. Let us settle this matter,”
says the Lord.
“Even though your sins are bright red,
they will be as white as snow.
Even though they are deep red,
they will be white like wool.
19But you have to be willing to change and obey me.
If you are, you will eat the good things that grow on the land.
20But if you are not willing to obey me,
you will be killed by swords.”
The Lord has spoken.
21See how the faithful city of Jerusalem
has become like a prostitute!
Once it was full of people who treated others fairly.
Those who did what was right used to live in it.
But now murderers live there!
22Jerusalem, your silver isn’t pure anymore.
Your best wine has been made weak with water.
23Your rulers refuse to obey the Lord.
They join forces with robbers.
All of them love to accept money from those who want special favors.
They are always looking for gifts from other people.
They don’t stand up in court for children whose fathers have died.
They don’t do it for widows either.
24The Lord is the Mighty One of Israel.
The Lord who rules over all announces,
“Israel, you have become my enemies.
I will act against you in my anger.
I will pay you back for what you have done.
25I will turn my power against you.
I will make you completely ‘clean.’
I will remove everything that is not pure.
26I will give you leaders like the ones you had long ago.
I will give you rulers like those you had at the beginning.
Then you will be called
the City That Does What Is Right.
You will also be called the Faithful City.”
27Zion will be saved when justice is done.
Those who are sorry for their sins will be saved
when what is right is done.
28But sinners and those who refuse to obey the Lord will be destroyed.
And those who desert the Lord will die.
29“Israel, you take delight in worshiping among the sacred oak trees.
You will be full of shame for doing that.
You have chosen to worship in the sacred gardens.
You will be dishonored for doing that.
30You will be like an oak tree whose leaves are dying.
You will be like a garden that doesn’t have any water.
31Your strongest men will become like dry pieces of wood.
Their worship of other gods will be the spark that lights the fire.
Everything will be burned up.
No one will be there to put the fire out.”

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.