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Isaiah 29

29
XXIX
1Wo to Ariel, to Ariel,
The city where David dwelt!
Add ye year to year;
Let the feasts go round in their course.
2Yet I will bring distress upon Ariel;
And there shall be mourning and sorrow:
And it shall be unto me as Ariel.
3And I will encamp against thee round about,
And I will distress thee by a garrison;
And I will erect bulwarks against thee.
4And thou shalt be brought low; and thou shalt speak out of the ground,
And from out of the dust shall thy speech be heard in a low tone;
And thy voice shall come out of the ground, like that of a necromancer:
And from out of the dust shall thy speech whisper.
5Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust,
And like the flitting chaff the multitude of the terrible ones;
Yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
6From Jehovah of hosts cometh the visitation,
With thunder, and earthquake, and a mighty voice;
With storm, and tempest, and flame of devouring fire.
7And like a dream, a night vision, shall be
The multitude of all the nations,
That fight against Ariel;
Even all that fight against her, and her fortresses,
And that distress her.
8It shall even be,
As when a hungry man dreameth, and behold, he eateth;
But he awaketh, and his soul is empty:
Or, as when a thirsty man dreameth, and behold, he drinketh;
But he awaketh, and behold, he is faint; and his soul hath a craving desire:
So shall the multitude of all nations be,
That fight against mount Zion.
9Stare ye now, and wonder!
Be ye dazzled and blinded!
They are drunken, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with strong drink.
10For Jehovah hath poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep,
And he hath closed up your eyes:
The prophets, and your rulers, the seers hath he blindfolded.
11So that the whole vision is to you like the words of a sealed book,
Which men deliver to one that knoweth letters,
Saying, Read this, I pray thee;
And he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed up:
12And the book is delivered to one that knoweth not letters,
Saying, Read this, I pray thee;
And he saith, I know not letters.
13Wherefore the Lord hath said:
Forasmuch as this people draw near me
With their mouth, and with their lips do honour me,
But have removed their heart far from me;
And their fear of me is a precept taught of men:
14Therefore, behold, I will proceed to deal wonderfully
With this people; so wonderfully and astonishingly,
That the wisdom of the wise shall perish.
And the understanding of the prudent shall disappear.
15Wo unto them that seek with deep cunning to hide their counsel from Jehovah;
Whose deeds are in the dark;
And they say,
Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
16O your perverseness!
Shall the potter be esteemed as the day?
Shall the work say of the workman, He hath not made me?
And shall the thing formed say of the former of it, He hath no understanding?
17Is it not yet a very little while,
And Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
18And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of this book;
And out of obscurity, and out of darkness,
Shall the eyes of the blind see.
19The meek also shall increase their joy in Jehovah;
And the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20For the oppressor hath ceased, and the scoffer is no more;
And all that were watching to do evil are utterly cut off:
21They who would bring in a man guilty for a word,
And lay snare for him when pleading his cause in the gate;
And for nought turn aside the just.
22Wherefore thus saith Jehovah to the house of Jacob,
He who hath redeemed Abraham:
Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
Neither shall his face any more wax pale:
23For when his children shall see the work of my hands in the midst of themselves,
They shall sanctify my name:
Yea, they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
And shall fear the God of Israel.
24They also that have erred in spirit shall be full of understanding,
And murmurers shall learn knowledge.

Isaiah 29

29
The Fate of Jerusalem
1God's altar, Jerusalem itself, is doomed! The city where David camped is doomed! Let another year or two come and go, with its feasts and festivals, 2and then God will bring disaster on the city that is called “God's altar”. There will be weeping and wailing, and the whole city will be like an altar covered with blood. 3God will attack the city, surround it, and besiege it. 4Jerusalem will be like a ghost struggling to speak from under the ground, a muffled voice coming from the dust.
5Jerusalem, all the foreigners who attack you will be blown away like dust, and their terrifying armies will fly away like straw. Suddenly and unexpectedly 6the LORD Almighty will rescue you with violent thunderstorms and earthquakes. He will send tempests and raging fire; 7then all the armies of the nations attacking the city of God's altar, all their weapons and equipment — everything — will vanish like a dream, like something imagined in the night. 8All the nations that assemble to attack Jerusalem will be like a starving person who dreams he is eating and wakes up hungry, or like someone dying of thirst who dreams he is drinking and wakes with a dry throat.
Disregarded Warnings
9Go ahead and be stupid! Go ahead and be blind! Get drunk without any wine! Stagger without drinking a drop! 10#Rom 11.8The LORD has made you drowsy, ready to fall into a deep sleep. The prophets should be the eyes of the people, but God has blindfolded them. 11The meaning of every prophetic vision will be hidden from you; it will be like a sealed scroll. If you take it to someone who knows how to read and ask him to read it to you, he will say he can't because it is sealed. 12If you give it to someone who can't read and ask him to read it to you, he will answer that he doesn't know how.
13 # Mt 15.8–9; Mk 7.6–7 The Lord said, “These people claim to worship me, but their words are meaningless, and their hearts are somewhere else. Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized. 14#1 Cor 1.19So I will startle them with one unexpected blow after another. Those who are wise will turn out to be fools, and all their cleverness will be useless.”
Hope for the Future
15Those who try to hide their plans from the LORD are doomed! They carry out their schemes in secret and think no one will see them or know what they are doing. 16#Is 45.9They turn everything upside down. Which is more important, the potter or the clay? Can a thing which someone has made say to its maker, “You didn't make me”? Or “You don't know what you are doing”?
17As the saying goes, before long the dense forest will become farmland, and the farmland will go back to forest.
18When that day comes, the deaf will be able to hear a book being read aloud, and the blind, who have been living in darkness, will open their eyes and see. 19Poor and humble people will once again find the happiness which the LORD, the holy God of Israel, gives. 20It will be the end of those who oppress others and show contempt for God. Every sinner will be destroyed. 21God will destroy those who slander others, those who prevent the punishment of criminals, and those who tell lies to keep honest men from getting justice.
22So now the LORD, the God of Israel, who rescued Abraham from trouble, says, “My people, you will not be disgraced any longer, and your faces will no longer be pale with shame. 23When you see the children that I will give you, then you will acknowledge that I am the holy God of Israel. You will honour me and stand in awe of me. 24Foolish people will learn to understand, and those who are always grumbling will be glad to be taught.”