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Isaiah 1

1
God’s Message in Troubled Times
1This is the vision Isaiah son of Amoz saw. God showed Isaiah what would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah saw these things while Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
God Finds Fault with His People
2Heaven and earth, listen,
because the Lord is speaking:
“I raised my children and helped them grow.
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.”
4Terrible times are coming for Israel, a nation of sin.
The people are loaded down with guilt.
They are like a group of children doing evil.
They are full of evil.
They have left the Lord.
They hate God, the Holy One of Israel.
They have turned away from him.
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.
Your wounds are not cleaned and covered.
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.
Your land is ruined like a country destroyed by enemies.
8Jerusalem is left alone
like an empty shelter in a vineyard.
It is like a hut left in a field of melons.
It is like a city surrounded by enemies.
9The Lord of heaven’s armies
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.
Your people are like those of Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the Lord.
Listen to the teachings of our God!
11The Lord says,
“I do not want all these sacrifices you give me.
I have had enough of your sacrifices
of male sheep and fat from fine animals.
I am not pleased
by the blood of bulls, sheep and goats.
12You come to meet with me.
But who asked you to do
all this running in and out?
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 holding your holy meetings.
14I hate your New Moon feasts
and your other yearly feasts.
They have become like heavy weights on me.
I am tired of carrying them.
15You will raise your arms in prayer to me.
But I will refuse to look at you.
Even if you say many prayers,
I will not listen to you.
It’s 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.
Be fair to other people.
Punish those who hurt others.
Help the orphans.
Stand up for the rights of widows.”
18The Lord says,
“Come, we will talk these things over.
Your sins are red like deep red cloth.
But they can be as white as snow.
Your sins are bright red.
But you can be white like wool.
19If you will 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 the Lord.
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.
They are friends of thieves.
They all accept money for doing wrong things.
They are paid to cheat people.
They don’t try to help the orphans.
And they don’t listen to the widows’ needs.
24The Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies,
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.
I will 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 the ones you had in the beginning.
Then you will be called the City That Is Right with God.
You will be called the Loyal City.”
27Because the Lord does what is fair,
he will rescue Jerusalem.
Because the Lord does what is right,
he will save her people who come back to him.
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 false 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.
You will be like a garden without water.
31Powerful people will be like small, dry pieces of wood.
And what they do will be like sparks.
The people and what they do will burn together.
And no one will be able to stop that fire.”

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.”