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Yesha 'yahu (Isa) 1

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1This is the vision of Yesha‘yahu the son of Amotz, which he saw concerning Y’hudah and Yerushalayim during the days of ‘Uziyahu, Yotam, Achaz and Y’chizkiyahu, kings of Y’hudah:
2“Hear, heaven! Listen, earth!
For Adonai is speaking.
“I raised and brought up children,
but they rebelled against me.
3An ox knows its owner
and a donkey its master’s stall,
but Isra’el does not know,
my people do not reflect.
4“Oh, sinful nation,
a people weighed down by iniquity,
descendants of evildoers,
immoral children!
They have abandoned Adonai,
spurned the Holy One of Isra’el,
turned their backs on him!
5“Where should I strike you next,
as you persist in rebelling?
The whole head is sick,
the whole heart diseased.
6From the sole of the foot to the head
there is nothing healthy,
only wounds, bruises and festering sores
that haven’t been dressed or bandaged
or softened up with oil.
7“Your land is desolate,
your cities are burned to the ground;
foreigners devour your land in your presence;
it’s as desolate as if overwhelmed by floods.
8The daughter of Tziyon is left
like a shack in a vineyard,
like a shed in a cucumber field,
like a city under siege.”
9If Adonai-Tzva’ot had not left us
a tiny, tiny remnant,
we would have become like S’dom,
we would have resembled ‘Amora.
10Hear what Adonai says,
you rulers of S’dom!
Listen to God’s Torah,
you people of ‘Amora!
11“Why are all those sacrifices
offered to me?” asks Adonai.
“I’m fed up with burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened animals!
I get no pleasure from the blood
of bulls, lambs and goats!
12Yes, you come to appear in my presence;
but who asked you to do this,
to trample through my courtyards?
13Stop bringing worthless grain offerings!
They are like disgusting incense to me!
Rosh-Hodesh, Shabbat, calling convocations —
I can’t stand evil together with your assemblies!
14Everything in me hates your Rosh-Hodesh
and your festivals;
they are a burden to me —
I’m tired of putting up with them!
15“When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
no matter how much you pray,
I won’t be listening;
because your hands are covered with blood.
16“Wash yourselves clean!
Get your evil deeds out of my sight!
Stop doing evil, 17learn to do good!
Seek justice, relieve the oppressed,
defend orphans, plead for the widow.
18“Come now,” says Adonai,
“let’s talk this over together.
Even if your sins are like scarlet,
they will be white as snow;
even if they are red as crimson,
they will be like wool.
19If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good of the land;
20but if you refuse and rebel,
you will be eaten by the sword”;
for the mouth of Adonai has spoken.
21How the faithful city has become a whore!
Once she was filled with justice,
righteousness lodged in her;
but now murderers!
22Your silver is no longer pure,
your wine is watered down.
23Your leaders are rebels, friends of thieves.
They all love bribes and run after gifts.
They give no justice to orphans,
the widow’s complaint doesn’t catch their attention.
24“Therefore,” says the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot,
the Mighty One of Isra’el,
“I will free myself of my adversaries,
I will take vengeance on my enemies.
25But I will also turn my hand against you!
I will cleanse your impurities as with lye
and remove all your alloyed base metal.
26I will restore your judges as at first
and your advisers as at the beginning.
After that, you will be called
the City of Righteousness, Faithful City.
27Tziyon will be redeemed by justice;
and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
28“Rebels and sinners together will be broken
and those who abandon Adonai be consumed.
29You will be ashamed of the sacred oaks you desired,
you will blush at the gardens you chose;
30for you will be like an oak whose leaf fades,
like a garden without any water.
31The strong will be like tinder
and [the idol’s] maker like a spark;
both will burn together,
and no one will put them out.”

Isaiah 1

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1 # 2 Kgs 15.1–7; 15.32—16.20; 18.1—20.21; 2 Chr 26.1—32.33 This book contains the messages about Judah and Jerusalem which God revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
God Reprimands his People
2The LORD said, “Earth and sky, listen to what I am saying! The children I brought up have rebelled against me. 3Cattle know who owns them, and donkeys know where their master feeds them. But that is more than my people Israel know. They don't understand at all.”
4You are doomed, you sinful nation, you corrupt and evil people! Your sins drag you down! You have rejected the LORD, the holy God of Israel, and have turned your backs on him. 5Why do you keep on rebelling? Do you want to be punished even more? Israel, your head is already covered with wounds, and your heart and mind are sick. 6From head to foot there is not a healthy spot on your body. You are covered with bruises and sores and open wounds. Your wounds have not been cleaned or bandaged. No ointment has been put on them.
7Your country has been devastated, and your cities have been burnt to the ground. While you look on, foreigners take over your land and bring everything to ruin. 8Jerusalem alone is left, a city under siege — as defenceless as a guard's hut in a vineyard or a shed in a cucumber field. 9#Gen 19.24; Rom 9.29If the LORD Almighty had not let some of the people survive, Jerusalem would have been totally destroyed, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were.
10Jerusalem, your rulers and your people are like those of Sodom and Gomorrah. Listen to what the LORD is saying to you. Pay attention to what our God is teaching you. 11#Amos 5.21–22He says, “Do you think I want all these sacrifices you keep offering to me? I have had more than enough of the sheep you burn as sacrifices and of the fat of your fine animals. I am tired of the blood of bulls and sheep and goats. 12Who asked you to bring me all this when you come to worship me? Who asked you to do all this tramping about in my Temple? 13It's useless to bring your offerings. I am disgusted with the smell of the incense you burn. I cannot stand your New Moon Festivals, your Sabbaths, and your religious gatherings; they are all corrupted by your sins. 14I hate your New Moon Festivals and holy days; they are a burden that I am tired of bearing.
15“When you lift your hands in prayer, I will not look at you. No matter how much you pray, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with blood. 16Wash yourselves clean. Stop all this evil that I see you doing. Yes, stop doing evil 17and learn to do right. See that justice is done — help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.”
18The LORD says, “Now, let's settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow.#1.18 sin, but… snow; or sin; do you think I will wash you as clean as snow? Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.#1.18 Although your… wool; or Your stains are deep red; do you think you will be as white as wool? 19If you will only obey me, you will eat the good things the land produces. 20But if you defy me, you are doomed to die. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
The Sinful City
21The city that once was faithful is behaving like a whore! At one time it was filled with righteous people, but now only murderers remain. 22Jerusalem, you were once like silver, but now you are worthless; you were like good wine, but now you are only water. 23Your leaders are rebels and friends of thieves; they are always accepting gifts and bribes. They never defend orphans in court or listen when widows present their case.
24So now, listen to what the LORD Almighty, Israel's powerful God, is saying: “I will take revenge on you, my enemies, and you will cause me no more trouble. 25I will take action against you. I will purify you just as metal is refined, and will remove all your impurity. 26I will give you rulers and advisers like those you had long ago. Then Jerusalem will be called the righteous, faithful city.”
27Because the LORD is righteous, he will save Jerusalem and everyone there who repents. 28But he will crush everyone who sins and rebels against him; he will kill everyone who forsakes him.
29You will be sorry that you ever worshipped trees and planted sacred gardens.#1.29 sacred gardens: People believed that dedicating a garden to a fertility god would cause him to bless their crops. 30You will wither like a dying oak, like a garden that no one waters. 31Just as straw is set on fire by a spark, so powerful people will be destroyed by their own evil deeds, and no one will be able to stop the destruction.