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Isaiah 1

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1The vision about Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah, Amoz’s son, saw in the days of Judah’s kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
Rebels condemned
2Hear you heavens, and listen earth,
for the LORD has spoken:
I reared children; I raised them,
and they turned against me!
3An ox knows its owner,
and a donkey its master’s feeding trough.
But Israel doesn’t know;
my people don’t behave intelligently.
4Doom! Sinful nation, people weighed down with crimes,
evildoing offspring, corrupt children!
They have abandoned the LORD,
despised the holy one of Israel;
they turned their backs on God.
5Why do you invite further beatings?
Why continue to rebel?
Everyone’s head throbs,
and everyone’s heart fails.
6From head to toe, none are well—
only bruises, cuts, and raw wounds,
not treated, not bandaged,
not soothed with oil.
7Your country is deserted,
your cities burned with fire;
your land—strangers are devouring it in plain sight.
It’s a wasteland, as when foreigners raid.
8Daughter Zion is left like a small shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
like a city besieged.#1.8 LXX, Vulg; MT spared
9If the LORD of heavenly forces had not spared a few of us,
we would be like Sodom; we would resemble Gomorrah.
Hands filled with bloodshed
10Hear the LORD’s word, you leaders of Sodom.
Listen to our God’s teaching,
people of Gomorrah!
11What should I think about all your sacrifices?
says the LORD.
I’m fed up with entirely burned offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts.
I don’t want the blood of bulls, lambs, and goats.
12When you come to appear before me,
who asked this from you,
this trampling of my temple’s courts?
13Stop bringing worthless offerings.
Your incense repulses me.
New moon, sabbath, and the calling of an assembly—
I can’t stand wickedness with celebration!
14I hate your new moons and your festivals.
They’ve become a burden that I’m tired of bearing.
15When you extend your hands,
I’ll hide my eyes from you.
Even when you pray for a long time,
I won’t listen.
Your hands are stained with blood.
16Wash! Be clean!
Remove your ugly deeds from my sight.
Put an end to such evil;
17learn to do good.
Seek justice:
help the oppressed;#1.17 LXX, Vulg; MT lead the oppressor
defend the orphan;
plead for the widow.
18Come now, and let’s settle this,
says the LORD.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they will be white as snow.
If they are red as crimson,
they will become like wool.
19If you agree and obey,
you will eat the best food of the land.
20But if you refuse and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.
The LORD has said this.
Zion will be redeemed
21This faithful town has become a prostitute!
She was full of justice;
righteousness lived in her—
but now murderers.
22Your silver has become impure;
your beer is diluted with water.
23Your princes are rebels,
companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe and pursues gifts.
They don’t defend the orphan,
and the widow’s cause never reaches them.
24Therefore, says the LORD God of heavenly forces,
the mighty one of Israel:
Doom! I will vent my anger against my foes;
I will take it out on my enemies,
25and I will turn my hand against you.
I will refine your impurities as with lye,
and remove all your cinders.
26Then I will restore your judges as in earlier times,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
After this you will be called Righteous City, Faithful Town.
27Zion will be redeemed by justice,
and those who change their lives by righteousness.
28But God will shatter rebels and sinners alike;
those who abandon the LORD will be finished.
29You will be ashamed of the oaks you once desired,
and embarrassed by the gardens you once chose.
30You will be like an oak with withering leaves,
like a garden without water.
31The strong will be like dry twigs,
their deeds like sparks;
the two will burn together,
with no one to extinguish them.

Isaiah 1

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1 # 2 Kgs 15.1–7; 15.32—16.20; 18.1—20.21; 2 Chr 26.1—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 ointment has been put on them.
7Your country has been devastated, and your cities have been burnt 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 defenceless as a guard's hut in a vineyard or a shed in a cucumber field. 9#Gen 19.24; Rom 9.29If 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#Amos 5.21–22He 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 about 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 just as 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 worshipped 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.