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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

1
Superscription
1The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Rebellious Judah
2Hear, heavens,
and listen, earth,
for Yahweh has spoken:
“I reared children
and I brought them up,
but they rebelled against me.
3An ox knows its owner
and a donkey the manger of its master.
Israel does not know;
my people do not understand.
4Ah, sinful nation,
a people heavy with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly.
They have forsaken Yahweh;
they have despised the holy one of Israel.
They are estranged and gone backward.
5Why do you want to be beaten again?
You continue in rebellion.
The whole of the head is sick,
and the whole of the heart is faint.
6From the sole of the foot and up to the head
there is no health in it;
bruise and sore and bleeding wound have not been cleansed,
and they have not been bound up
and not softened with the oil.
7Your country is desolate,
your cities are burned with fire;
As for your land, aliens are devouring it in your presence,
and it is desolate, like devastation by foreigners.
8And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard,
like a shelter in a cucumber field,
like a city that is besieged.#Or “preserved”
9If Yahweh of hosts had not left us survivors,#Hebrew “survivor”
we would have been as few as Sodom,
we would have become like Gomorrah.
10Hear the word of Yahweh, rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God, people of Gomorrah!
11What is the abundance of your sacrifices to me? says Yahweh.
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened animals
and I do not delight in the blood of bulls
and ram-lambs and goats.
12When you come to appear before me,
who asked for this from your hand:
you trampling my courts?
13You must not continue#Literally “increase” or “add to” to bring offerings#Hebrew “offering” of futility,
incense—it is an abomination to me;
new moon and Sabbath, the calling of a convocation—
I cannot endure iniquity with solemn assembly.
14Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates;
they have become to me like a burden,
I am not able to bear them.
15And when you stretch out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,#Hebrew “prayer”
I will not be listening.
Your hands are full of blood. 16Wash! Make yourselves clean!
Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes!
Cease to do evil! 17Learn to do good!
Seek justice! Rescue the oppressed!
Defend the orphan! Plead for the widow!
18“Come now, and let us argue,” says Yahweh.
“Even though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white like snow;
even though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
19If you are willing and you are obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land.
20But if you refuse and you rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.
For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”
Purifying Jerusalem
21How has a faithful city become like a whore?
Full of justice, righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.
22Your silver has become as dross;
Your wine is diluted with waters.
23Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Every one loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not defend the orphan
and the legal dispute of the widow does not come before them.
24Therefore, the declaration of the Lord Yahweh of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
“Ah, I will be relieved of my enemies,
and I will avenge myself on my foes.
25And I will turn my hand against you;
I will purify your dross like lye,
and I will remove all of your tin.
26And I will restore your judges, as at the first,
and your counselors, as at the beginning.
After this you will be called#Literally “it will be called for you” the city of righteousness,
faithful city.
27Zion will be redeemed by justice,
and those of her who repent, by righteousness.
28But the destruction of rebels and sinners shall be together,
and those who forsake Yahweh will perish.
29For you#Literally “they,” but a few manuscripts read “you,” which fits the context better will be ashamed of the oaks in which you delighted,
and you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen.
30For you shall be like an oak withering its leaves,
and like a garden where there is no water for her.
31And the strong man shall become like tinder,
and his work like a spark.
And both of them shall burn together,
and there is not one to quench them.”