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Isaiah 28

28
XXVIII
1Wo to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
Even the fading flower, their glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the rich valley of the men that are stupified with wine.
2Behold the strong and mighty one of the Lord!
Like a storm of hail, a destructive tempest;
Like a flood of mighty and overflowing waters,
Shall he dash it to the ground with his mighty hand.
3Under foot shall it be trodden down,
The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim.
4The fading flower, their glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the rich valley,
Shall be as an early fig before summer;
Which a man seeth, and while it is yet scarcely in his hand, he swalloweth it up.
5In that day shall Jehovah of hosts become a beauteous crown,
And glorious diadem, to the residue of his people;
6And a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment;
And strength to them that turn back the battle to the gate.
7But even these have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled:
The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink;
They are overcome by wine, they have reeled through strong drink;
They have erred in vision, they have stumbled in judgment
8For all tables are full of filthy vomit;
So that no place is free.
9Whom, say they, would he teach knowledge?
And to whom would he impart instruction?
Are we infants weaned from the milk?
Scarcely removed from the breasts?
10For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept;
Line upon line, line upon line;
Here a little, and there a little.
11Yea verily, by speakers of a strange language, and in a foreign tongue,
Will He speak to this people.
12For when He said unto them:
This is the true rest; give ye rest unto the weary;
And this is the place of happiness; they would not hear.
13But the word of Jehovah was unto them,
Precept upon precept, precept upon precept;
Line upon line, line upon line;
Here a little, and there a little:
That they should go on, and fall backward, and be broken;
And be snared, and taken.
14Wherefore hear ye the word of Jehovah, ye scoffers;
Ye rulers of this people which is in Jerusalem.
15Because ye have said: We have made a covenant with death,
And with the grave we have made an agreement:
The overflowing scourge, when it passeth through, shall not reach us:
For we have made lying our refuge;
And under falsehood have we hid ourselves.
16Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah:
Behold! I have laid in Zion for a foundation a stone,
A tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation:
He that confideth in it shall not make haste.
17And I will set judgment for a line,
And righteousness for a plummet;
And the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lying,
And the hiding place the waters shall overwhelm.
18And your covenant with death shall be annulled;
And your agreement with the grave shall not stand:
When the overflowing scourge posseth through,
By it shall ye be trodden down.
19As oft as it passeth through, shall it seize you;
For morning after morning shall it pass through,
By day and by night:
And even the report alone shall cause terror.
20For the bed is too short, for one to stretch himself out at length;
And the covering too narrow, for one to wrap himself therein.
21For as in mount Perazim, Jehovah will arise;
As in the valley of Gibeon, shall he be moved with anger;
That he may perform his work, his strange work;
And to bring to pass his act, his strange act.
22Now therefore give not up yourselves to scoffing,
Lest your bands be tightened:
For the havock, even the judgment decreed have I heard
From the Lord Jehovah of hosts, upon the whole land.
23Give ye ear, and hear my voice;
Attend, and hearken unto my words.
24Doth the ploughman plough all day long that he may sow?
Doth he always open and break the clods of his ground!
25Doth he not also, when he hath levelled the surface thereof,
Cast abroad the dill, and scatter the cummin;
And set the wheat in rows,
And the barley in its appointed place,
And the spelt in its proper border?
26For He instructeth him as to the right way,
His God it is that teacheth him.
27For the dill is not threshed with the threshing sledge,
Nor is the wheel of the wain made to roll over the cummin:
But the dill is beaten out with a staff,
And the cummin with a rod.
28Bread-corn is threshed:
But not for ever will he continue thus to thresh it;
Though he driveth along the wheels of his wain,
And his horses, he will not bruise it to dust.
29This also cometh from Jehovah of hosts,
Who is wonderful in counsel, great in wisdom.

Isaiah 28

28
A Warning to the Northern Kingdom
1The kingdom of Israel is doomed! Its glory is fading like the crowns of flowers on the heads of its drunken leaders. Their proud heads are well perfumed, but there they lie, dead drunk. 2The Lord has someone strong and powerful ready to attack them, someone who will come like a hailstorm, like a torrent of rain, like a rushing, overpowering flood, and will overwhelm the land. 3The pride of those drunken leaders will be trampled underfoot. 4The fading glory of those proud leaders will disappear like the first figs of the season, picked and eaten as soon as they are ripe.
5A day is coming when the LORD Almighty will be like a glorious crown of flowers for his people who survive. 6He will give a sense of justice to those who serve as judges, and courage to those who defend the city gates from attack.
Isaiah and the Drunken Prophets of Judah
7Even the prophets and the priests are so drunk that they stagger. They have drunk so much wine and liquor that they stumble in confusion. The prophets are too drunk to understand the visions that God sends, and the priests are too drunk to decide the cases that are brought to them. 8The tables where they sit are all covered with vomit, and not a clean spot is left.
9They complain about me. They say, “Who does that man think he's teaching? Who needs his message? It's only good for babies that have just been weaned! 10He is trying to teach us letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson.”
11 # 1 Cor 14.21 If you won't listen to me, then God will use foreigners speaking some strange-sounding language to teach you a lesson. 12He offered rest and comfort to all of you, but you refused to listen to him. 13That is why the LORD is going to teach you letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson. Then you will stumble with every step you take. You will be wounded, trapped, and taken prisoner.
A Cornerstone for Zion
14Now you arrogant ones who rule here in Jerusalem over this people, listen to what the LORD is saying. 15You boast that you have made a treaty with death and reached an agreement with the world of the dead. You are certain that disaster will spare you when it comes, because you depend on lies and deceit to keep you safe. 16#Ps 118.22–23; Rom 9.33; 10.11; 1 Pet 2.6This, now, is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I am placing in Zion a foundation that is firm and strong. In it I am putting a solid cornerstone on which are written the words, ‘Faith that is firm is also patient.’ 17Justice will be the measuring line for the foundation, and honesty will be its plumb line.”
Hailstorms will sweep away all the lies you depend on, and floods will destroy your security. 18The treaty you have made with death will be abolished, and your agreement with the world of the dead will be cancelled. When disaster sweeps down, you will be overcome. 19It will strike you again and again, morning after morning. You will have to bear it day and night. Each new message from God will bring new terror! 20You will be like the person in the proverb, who tries to sleep in a bed too short to stretch out on, with a blanket too narrow to wrap himself in. 21#Josh 10.10–12; 2 Sam 5.20; 1 Chr 14.11The LORD will fight as he did at Mount Perazim and in the valley of Gibeon, in order to do what he intends to do — strange as his actions may seem. He will complete his work, his mysterious work.
22Don't laugh at the warning I am giving you! If you do, it will be even harder for you to escape. I have heard the LORD Almighty's decision to destroy the whole country.
God's Wisdom
23Listen to what I am saying; pay attention to what I am telling you. 24No farmer goes on constantly ploughing his fields and getting them ready for sowing. 25Once he has prepared the soil, he sows the seeds of herbs such as dill and cumin. He sows rows of wheat and barley,#28.25 Hebrew has an additional word, the meaning of which is unclear. and at the edges of his fields he sows other grain. 26He knows how to do his work, because God has taught him. 27He never uses a heavy club to beat out dill seeds or cumin seeds; instead he uses light sticks of the proper size. 28He does not ruin the wheat by threshing it endlessly, and he knows how to thresh it by driving a cart over it without bruising the grains. 29All this wisdom comes from the LORD Almighty. The plans God makes are wise, and they always succeed!