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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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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.”