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Isaiah 1

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1This is the vision of Isaiah son of Amoz. God showed Isaiah what would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah saw this during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
God’s Case Against Israel
2Heaven and earth, listen! This is what the Lord says:
“I raised my children and helped them grow up,
but they have turned against me.
3A bull knows its master,
and a donkey knows where its owner feeds it.
But Israel does not know me.
My people do not understand.”
4Oh, what a sinful nation! Their guilt is like a heavy weight that they must carry. They are evil, destructive children.#1:4 They … children Or “They are destructive children of evil parents.” They left the Lord and insulted the Holy One of Israel. They turned away and treated him like a stranger.
5What good will it do to keep punishing you? You will continue to rebel. Your whole head and heart are already sick and aching.#1:5 Your whole … aching Or “Every head and heart is already sick and aching.” 6From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, every part of your body has wounds, cuts, and open sores. You have not taken care of them. Your wounds have not been cleaned and bandaged.
7Your land is in ruins, and your cities are in flames. Your enemies have taken your land, and foreigners are taking what it produces. It looks like some foreigners destroyed it.#1:7 It looks … destroyed it Or “It looks like the land of the foreigners that was destroyed.” This might refer to civil war in Israel or to some time when God destroyed foreign nations, such as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Warnings for Jerusalem
8The city of Jerusalem#1:8 city of Jerusalem Literally, “daughter Zion.” See “Zion” in the Word List. is now like an empty shed left in a vineyard. It is like an old straw hut abandoned in a field of cucumbers or like a city surrounded by enemies. 9If the Lord All-Powerful had not allowed a few people to live, we would have been destroyed completely like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And that almost happened!
10You officers of Sodom, listen to the Lord’s message. You people of Gomorrah,#1:10 officers of Sodom … Gomorrah Here, this refers to leaders and people from Judah. listen to God’s teaching. 11The Lord says, “Why do you continue giving me all these sacrifices? I have had enough of your sacrifices of rams and the fat from well-fed animals. I don’t want the blood of those bulls, sheep, and goats. 12When you people come to meet with me, you trample everything in my yard. Who told you to do this?
13“Don’t keep bringing me those worthless sacrifices. I hate the incense you give me. I cannot stand your festivals for the New Moon, the Sabbath, and other special meeting days. I hate the evil you do during those holy times together. 14I hate your monthly meetings and councils. They have become like heavy weights to me, and I am tired of carrying them.
15“When you raise your arms to pray to me, I will refuse to look at you. You will say more and more prayers, but I will refuse to listen because your hands are covered with blood.
16“Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean. Stop doing the evil things I see you do. Stop doing wrong. 17Learn to do good. Treat people fairly. Punish those who hurt others. Speak up for the widows and orphans. Argue their cases for them in court.
18“I, the Lord, am the one speaking to you. Come, let’s discuss this. Even if your sins are as dark as red dye, that stain can be removed and you will be as pure as wool that is as white as snow.
19“If you listen to what I say, you will get the good things from this land. 20But if you refuse to listen and rebel against me, your enemies will destroy you.”
The Lord himself said this.
Unfaithful Jerusalem
21Look at Jerusalem. She was a faithful city. What made her become like a prostitute? In the past, Jerusalem was filled with justice, and goodness should live there now. Instead, there are murderers.
22Once you were like pure silver, but now you are like the impurities that people throw away when the silver is purified. You are like good wine that has been weakened with water. 23Your rulers are rebels and friends of thieves. They demand bribes and accept money for doing wrong. They take money to cheat people, and they don’t speak up for widows and orphans. They will not even listen to their cries for help.
24Because of this, the Lord GOD All-Powerful, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “Look, I will get relief from my enemies. You will not cause me any more trouble. 25People use lye to clean silver. In the same way, I will clean away all your wrongs. I will remove all the impurities from you. 26I will bring back the kind of judges you had in the beginning. Your counselors will be like those you had long ago. Then you will be called ‘The Good and Faithful City.’”
27God is good and does what is right, so he will rescue Zion and the people who come back to him. 28But all the criminals and sinners will be destroyed. Those who stopped following the Lord will be removed.
29In the future, you will be ashamed of the oak trees and special gardens#1:29 special gardens Gardens where people worshiped false gods. you chose to worship, 30because you will be like an oak tree whose leaves are dying. You will be like a garden dying without water. 31Powerful people will be like small, dry pieces of wood, and what they did will be like the sparks that start a fire. These people and their works will both burn up, and no one will be able to put out that fire.

Isaiah 1

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Rebellion of God’s People
1The vision of [the prophet] Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning [the kingdom of] Judah and [its capital] Jerusalem, which he saw [as revealed by God] during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth;
For the Lord has spoken:
“I have reared and brought up sons,
But they have rebelled against Me and have broken away.
3The ox [instinctively] knows its owner,
And the donkey its master’s feeding trough,
But Israel does not know [Me as Lord],
My people do not understand.”
4Ah, sinful nation,
A people loaded down with wickedness [with sin, with injustice, with wrongdoing],
Offspring of evildoers,
Sons who behave corruptly!
They have abandoned (rejected) the Lord,
They have despised the Holy One of Israel [provoking Him to anger],
They have turned away from Him.
5Why should you be stricken and punished again [since no change results from it]?
You [only] continue to rebel.
The whole head is sick
And the whole heart is faint and sick.
6From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing healthy in the nation’s body,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil [as a remedy].
7Your land lies desolate [because of your disobedience],
Your cities are burned with fire,
Your fields—strangers are devouring them in your very presence;
It is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8The Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem) is left like a [deserted] shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city [isolated, surrounded by devastation].
9If the Lord of hosts
Had not left us a few survivors,
We would be like Sodom,
We would be like Gomorrah.
God Has Had Enough
10Hear the word of the Lord [rulers of Jerusalem],
You rulers of [another] Sodom,
Listen to the law and instruction of our God,
You people of [another] Gomorrah.
11“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me [without your repentance]?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of [your] burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of well-fed cattle [without your obedience];
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls or lambs or goats [offered without repentance].
12When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires this of you, this trampling of My [temple] courts [by your sinful feet]?
13Do not bring worthless offerings again,
[Your] incense is repulsive to Me;
[Your] New Moon and Sabbath [observances], the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure wickedness [your sin, your injustice, your wrongdoing] and [the squalor of] the festive assembly.
14I hate [the hypocrisy of] your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts.
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15So when you spread out your hands [in prayer, pleading for My help],
I will hide My eyes from you;
Yes, even though you offer many prayers,
I will not be listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Get your evil deeds out of My sight.
Stop doing evil,
17Learn to do good.
Seek justice,
Rebuke the ruthless,
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the [rights of the] widow [in court].
“Let Us Reason”
18“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord.
#There was a legend among the rabbis that on the Day of Atonement a scarlet woolen thread was tied to the door of the temple, and when the scapegoat reached the wilderness (Lev 16:10), if the sins of Israel were forgiven the thread would miraculously turn white.Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be like wool.
19If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the best of the land;
20But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Zion Corrupted, to Be Redeemed
21How the faithful city has become a prostitute [idolatrous, despicable],
She who was full of justice!
Right standing with God once lodged in her,
But now murderers.
22Your silver has turned to #Lit galena.lead,
Your wine is diluted with water.
23Your rulers are rebels
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves bribes
And chases after gifts.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the widow’s cause come before them [instead they delay or turn a deaf ear].
24Therefore the Lord God of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah, I will be freed of My adversaries
And avenge Myself on My enemies.
25And I will turn My hand against you,
And will [thoroughly] purge away your dross as with lye
And remove all your tin (impurity).
26Then I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning;
Afterward you will be called the city of righteousness,
The faithful city.”
27Zion will be redeemed with justice
And her repentant ones with righteousness.
28But rebels and sinners will be crushed and destroyed together,
And those who abandon (turn away from) the Lord will be consumed (perish).
29For you will be ashamed [of the degradation] of the oaks in which you took [idolatrous] pleasure,
And you will be ashamed of the gardens [of passion] which you have chosen [for pagan worship].
30For you will be like an oak whose leaf withers and dies
And like a garden that has no water.
31The strong man will become tinder,
And his work a spark.
So both will burn together
And there will be none to quench them.