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Isaiah 1

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1This is the vision that Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw about Judah and Jerusalem in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2Heavens, listen! Earth, pay attention! For the Lord has spoken!#1:2. Since the prophet is speaking for the Lord, it is not always easy to determine exactly who is speaking. This version therefore does not use quotation marks in these circumstances, as it can be rather arbitrary to determine where the direct “quotation” begins and ends. Only when it is helpful and explicit are quotation marks used in prophetic material, since all prophets spoke as directed by God. I brought up children, I cared for them, but they have rebelled against me. 3An ox knows its owner, and a donkey knows its feeding trough; but my people don't know me, they don't understand me.
4What a sinful nation—a people carrying such a load of guilt, an evil generation, corrupt children! They have abandoned the Lord. They have despised Israel's Holy One. They have become strangers. They have gone backwards. 5Are you wanting to be punished? Are you going to continue to rebel? The whole of your head is damaged, and your heart is totally giving out. 6You're injured from head to toe, bruised and sore, with open wounds that haven't been cleaned or bandaged or treated with olive oil.
7Your country has been devastated, your towns burned down, your fields stripped bare by foreigners right in front of you, as they turn it all into a wasteland. 8The daughter of Zion is left like a shack in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, like a city under attack. 9If the Lord Almighty hadn't let a few of us survive, we would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah.
10Listen to what the Lord has to say, you rulers of Sodom! Pay attention to the instructions of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11What use are all your many sacrifices to me? asks the Lord. I am sick and tired of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of sacrificial animals. I don't delight in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats! 12When you come to appear before me in worship, who asked you to proudly tramp around my courts? 13Don't bring me any more meaningless offerings; your incense is offensive to me. Your new moon festivals and Sabbath observations and your calling of special religious meetings—I can't stand them because they're evil, as are your solemn assemblies. 14I detest your new moon and yearly festivals with my whole being! They've become just a burden to me—I can't bear them anymore!
15When you hold up your hands to me in prayer, I'll look away. Even though you pray many prayers, I won't pay attention to them, because your hands are full of blood.#1:15. Meaning they are guilty of committing violence, even murder. 16Wash yourselves and clean yourselves up. Get rid of your sins—I don't want to see them! Stop doing evil! 17Learn to do good; strive for justice, condemn those who oppress others; support the rights of orphans, take up cases to defend widows.
18Come on, let's argue this out, says the Lord. Even though your sins are like scarlet, they will become white like snow. Even though they are red like crimson, they will become like wool. 19If you really want this, and if you do as you're told, then you yourselves will eat the best things that the land produces.#1:19. “You yourselves will eat all the good things the land produces”: this means that there will be peace in the country—no invaders would come to steal the crops etc. 20But if you are defiant, and if you are rebellious, you'll be killed by the sword. This is what the Lord has declared!
21The city that used to be faithful has turned into a prostitute! Once she operated on principles of justice and followed what was right, but now only murderers live there. 22Your silver has become worthless waste; your wine has been watered down. 23Your leaders are rebels, friends of thieves. They all love bribes and want to get kickbacks. They don't defend the rights of orphans, and refuse to take cases to help widows.
24So this is what the Lord says, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel: Ha! I will take satisfaction in punishing my enemies, by paying back those who hate me! 25I will turn against you. I will refine you in a furnace, removing all impurities. 26I will give you good leaders as you used to have before, wise counselors as you had in the beginning. After that you will once again be called the City of Integrity, the Faithful City.
27Zion will be rescued by justice, those who repent by doing right. 28But rebels and sinners will be destroyed together, and those who abandon the Lord will die.
29You will be ashamed about how you enjoyed your pagan worship among the oak trees; you will be embarrassed because you chose the pleasure gardens of idols. 30As a result you will become like an oak whose leaves have withered, a dried-out garden that has no water. 31Your strong people will become like tinder, and their work will become like a spark. They will burn together, and nobody will be able to put out the flames.

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 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 medicine has been put on them.
7Your country has been devastated, and your cities have been burned 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 defenseless as a guard's hut in a vineyard or a shed in a cucumber field. 9#Gn 19.24; Ro 9.29 If 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#Am 5.21,22 He 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 around 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 the way 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 worshiped 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.