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Isaiah 1

1
Chapter 1
1This is a vision that God showed to Isaiah, the son of Amoz. It was a message about his country, Judah, and Jerusalem city. #1:1 Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah. God showed it to Isaiah at the time when Uzziah, then Jotham, then Ahaz and then Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
God's people are guilty #1:2 In chapters 1-5, Isaiah describes the people who live in Judah and in its capital city, Jerusalem. They have problems because they are not obeying God. God says that he will punish them.
2Hear the Lord, those who live in heaven! Listen to him, you people on the earth! Listen carefully because the Lord has spoken! He says, ‘I have helped my children to grow. I took care of them but now they have turned against me!
3An ox knows its master. A donkey knows the place where its master feeds it. But Israel's people do not know me. My people do not understand me.’
4Oh! Israel, you are a nation of people who do not obey me. The people are guilty of many evil things. Their sins are like a heavy weight on their backs. They are a family of people who do wicked things. They have turned away from the Lord, the Holy God of Israel. They have turned their backs against him.
5You continue to fight against God. Why do you do that? God will continue to punish you. You are weak and you hurt all over. Your mind and your body have great pain. 6From the bottom of your feet, to the top of your head, everywhere hurts! There are wounds all over your body that are still bleeding. Nobody has cleaned your wounds or covered them. Nobody has put olive oil on them to make them better.
7Your land has become useless. Fire has destroyed your towns and cities. Foreign people have taken the crops from your fields, while you stood there and watched. Strangers have destroyed everything in your country.
8Jerusalem city is now like a hut in a vineyard or in a field of crops. It stands there alone, with its enemies all round it.
9Unless the Lord Almighty had left some of us alive, we would have become like Sodom. We would have been completely destroyed, like Gomorrah.
10Yes, you are like the rulers of Sodom, so listen to the Lord's message! You are no better than the people in Gomorrah! So listen to what our God is saying to you.
11The Lord says, ‘All your sacrifices are not important to me. I have received too many sacrifices that you have burned as gifts to me. I have received too many sheep and fat animals. I do not want any more blood from bulls, goats and lambs that you have offered to me as sacrifices. They do not give me any pleasure.
12You come to worship me in my temple. But are you doing what I want? Did I ask you to march round the temple yards with all your animals?
13Do not bring any more useless gifts to offer to me! I do not like your incense. You like to have feasts at new moons, or on Sabbath days. But because of your sins, I hate all your holy meetings.
14I hate your new moon feasts and your holy meetings. They have become like a heavy load for me. I cannot carry it any longer!
15When you lift up your hands to pray to me, I have to look away. Even if you pray very many times to me, I do not listen to you, because your hands are full of blood. #1:15 your hands are full of blood means that they have killed people, and they have done many bad things.
16Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean! Remove your sins, so that I no longer see them. Stop doing evil things!
17Instead, learn to do what is right. Be honest and fair in what you do. Help people who are in pain. Make sure that widows and children who have no family receive justice.’
18The Lord says, ‘Please come, so that we talk about this together. Even if your sins are like a red stain, they will become as white as snow. Even if they are bright red, they will become like white wool. #1:18 God is saying that he will forgive them, even if their sins are very bad. A stain is a strong mark that spoils something that is nice.
19I will forgive you if you agree to obey me. If you are ready to do that, you will again eat plenty of good food from the land. 20But if you refuse to obey me and you turn against me, you will die in war.’
That is what the Lord himself has said.
Jerusalem is guilty
21Oh Jerusalem! Once you loved the Lord, as a wife loves her husband. But now you have become like a prostitute! At one time, the city was full of justice and honest people lived there. But now you are full of murderers!
22Your pure silver has become dirt. You have mixed water with your best wine.
23Your rulers have turned against God. They are friends of robbers. They all accept bribes and they love to receive gifts. But they do not help widows or children who have no family. They do not make sure that they receive justice.
24So the Lord says this. He is the Lord Almighty, Israel's powerful God. He says, ‘Oh! I will punish my enemies as they deserve. I will pay them back!
25I will turn against you, Jerusalem. I will make you pure again. But you will be like metal that burns in a very hot fire to remove all the dirt.
26Then I will again give you honest judges, as you had a long time ago. I will also give you wise officers, as you had before. After that, you will be called “The Righteous City” and “The Faithful City”.’
27God will use justice to make Zion free. He will do what is right for those who return to serve him.
28But he will destroy people who turn against him, and those who continue to do wrong things. People who no longer trust the Lord will live no more.
29You will become ashamed because you trusted special oak trees to help you. You worshipped idols in your special gardens, and you will be ashamed because of that.
30You will be like an oak tree with leaves that have become dry. You will be like a garden that has no water.
31Even your most powerful men will disappear. They will be like a piece of string that burns in a fire. Their sins will be the fire that destroys them. They and their sins will burn together, and nobody will put out the fire.

Isaiah 1

1
1These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.#1:1 These kings reigned from 792 to 686 b.c.
A Message for Rebellious Judah
2Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth!
This is what the Lord says:
“The children I raised and cared for
have rebelled against me.
3Even an ox knows its owner,
and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—
but Israel doesn’t know its master.
My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
4Oh, what a sinful nation they are—
loaded down with a burden of guilt.
They are evil people,
corrupt children who have rejected the Lord.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.
5Why do you continue to invite punishment?
Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured,
and your heart is sick.
6You are battered from head to foot—
covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—
without any soothing ointments or bandages.
7Your country lies in ruins,
and your towns are burned.
Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes
and destroy everything they see.
8Beautiful Jerusalem#1:8 Hebrew The daughter of Zion. stands abandoned
like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard,
like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest,
like a helpless city under siege.
9If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
had not spared a few of us,#1:9 Greek version reads a few of our children. Compare Rom 9:29.
we would have been wiped out like Sodom,
destroyed like Gomorrah.
10Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.”
Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
11“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?”
says the Lord.
“I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened cattle.
I get no pleasure from the blood
of bulls and lambs and goats.
12When you come to worship me,
who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
13Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
14I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16Wash yourselves and be clean!
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
17Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
18“Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
19If you will only obey me,
you will have plenty to eat.
20But if you turn away and refuse to listen,
you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Unfaithful Jerusalem
21See how Jerusalem, once so faithful,
has become a prostitute.
Once the home of justice and righteousness,
she is now filled with murderers.
22Once like pure silver,
you have become like worthless slag.
Once so pure,
you are now like watered-down wine.
23Your leaders are rebels,
the companions of thieves.
All of them love bribes
and demand payoffs,
but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans
or fight for the rights of widows.
24Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the Mighty One of Israel, says,
“I will take revenge on my enemies
and pay back my foes!
25I will raise my fist against you.
I will melt you down and skim off your slag.
I will remove all your impurities.
26Then I will give you good judges again
and wise counselors like you used to have.
Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice
and the Faithful City.”
27Zion will be restored by justice;
those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
28But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed,
and those who desert the Lord will be consumed.
29You will be ashamed of your idol worship
in groves of sacred oaks.
You will blush because you worshiped
in gardens dedicated to idols.
30You will be like a great tree with withered leaves,
like a garden without water.
31The strongest among you will disappear like straw;
their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire.
They and their evil works will burn up together,
and no one will be able to put out the fire.