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Isaiah 1

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1 The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Joatham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Listen, O heavens, and pay attention, O earth, for the Lord has spoken. I have nurtured and raised children, but they have spurned me.
3 An ox knows his owner, and a donkey knows the manger of his lord, but Israel has not known me, and my people have not understood.
4 Woe to a sinful nation, a people burdened by iniquity, a wicked offspring, accursed children. They have abandoned the Lord. They have blasphemed the Holy One of Israel. They been taken away backwards.
5 For what reason shall I continue to strike you, as you increase transgressions? The entire head is feeble, and the entire heart is grieving.
6 From the sole of the foot, even to the top of the head, there is no soundness within. Wounds and bruises and swelling sores: these are not bandaged, nor treated with medicine, nor soothed with oil.
7 Your land is desolate. Your cities have been set ablaze. Foreigners devour your countryside in your sight, and it will become desolate, as if devastated by enemies.
8 And the daughter of Zion will be left behind, like an arbor in a vineyard, and like a shelter in a cucumber field, and like a city being laid to waste.
9 If the Lord of hosts had not bequeathed us offspring, we would have been like Sodom, and we would have been comparable to Gomorrah.
10 Listen to the Word of the Lord, you leaders of the people of Sodom. Listen closely to the law of our God, O people of Gomorrah.
11 The multitude of your sacrifices, what is that to me, says the Lord? I am full. I do not desire holocausts of rams, nor the fat of fatlings, nor the blood of calves and of lambs and of he-goats.
12 When you approach before my sight, who is it that requires these things from your hands, so that you would walk in my courts?
13 You should no longer offer sacrifice vain. Incense is an abomination to me. The new moons and the Sabbaths and the other feast days, I will not receive. Your gatherings are iniquitous.
14 My soul hates your days of proclamation and your solemnities. They have become bothersome to me. I labor to endure them.
15 And so, when you extend your hands, I will avert my eyes from you. And when you multiply your prayers, I will not heed you. For your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash, become clean, take away the evil of your intentions from my eyes. Cease to act perversely.
17 Learn to do good. Seek judgment, support the oppressed, judge for the orphan, defend the widow.
18 And then approach and accuse me, says the Lord. Then, if your sins are like scarlet, they shall be made white like snow; and if they are red like vermillion, they shall become white like wool.
19 If you are willing, and you listen to me, then you will eat the good things of the land.
20 But if you are not willing, and you provoke me to anger, then the sword will devour you. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
21 How has the faithful city, full of judgment, become a harlot? Justice lived in her, but now murderers.
22 Your silver has turned into dross. Your wine has been mixed with water.
23 Your leaders are unfaithful, the associates of thieves. They all love gifts; they pursue rewards. They do not judge for orphans, and the widow's case is not brought before them.
24 Because of this, the Lord God of hosts, the Strength of Israel, says: Ah! I will be consoled over my enemies, and I will be vindicated from my adversaries.
25 And I will turn my hand to you. And I will temper your dross unto purity, and I will take away all your tin.
26 And I will restore your judges, so that they will be as before, and your counselors as in times long past. After this, you shall be called the City of the Just, the Faithful City.
27 Zion will be redeemed in judgment, and they will lead her back to justice.
28 And he shall crush the accursed and sinners together. And those who have abandoned the Lord will be consumed.
29 For they shall be confounded because of the idols, to which they have sacrificed. And you shall be ashamed over the gardens that you chose,
30 when you were like an oak with falling leaves, and like a garden without water.
31 And your strength will be like the embers from stubble, and your work will be like a spark, and both will burn together, and there will be no one to extinguish it.

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.