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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.

Isaiah 1

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1 # 2 K 15.1-7; 2 Ch 26.1-23; 2 K 15.32-38; 2 Ch 27.1-9; 2 K 16.1-20; 2 Ch 28.1-27; 2 K 18.1—20.21; 2 Ch 29.1—32.33. I am Isaiah, the son of Amoz.
And this is the message#1.1 message: Or “vision.” that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were the kings of Judah:#1.1 kings of Judah: Uzziah (783–742 b.c.); Jotham (742–735 b.c.; Ahaz (735–715 b.c.); Hezekiah (715–687 b.c.).
A Guilty Nation
2The Lord has said,
“Listen, heaven and earth!
The children I raised
have turned against me.
3Oxen and donkeys know
who owns and feeds them,
but my people won't ever learn.”
4Israel, you are a sinful nation
loaded down with guilt.
You are wicked and corrupt
and have turned from the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.
5Why be punished more?
Why not give up your sin?
Your head is badly bruised,
and you are weak all over.
6From your head to your toes
there isn't a healthy spot.
Bruises, cuts, and open sores
go without care
or oil to ease the pain.
A Country in Ruins
7Your country lies in ruins;
your towns are in ashes.
Foreigners and strangers
take and destroy your land
while you watch.
8Enemies surround Jerusalem,
alone like a hut
in a vineyard#1.8 a hut in a vineyard: When it was almost time for grapes to ripen, farmers would put up a temporary shelter or hut in the field or vineyard and stay there to keep thieves and wild animals away.
or in a cucumber field.
9 # Gn 19.24; Ro 9.29. Zion would have disappeared
like Sodom and Gomorrah,#1.9 Sodom and Gomorrah: Two ancient cities of Palestine that God destroyed because the people were so wicked (see Genesis 19.1-29).
if the Lord All-Powerful
had not let a few
of its people survive.
Justice, Not Sacrifices
10You are no better
than the leaders and people
of Sodom and Gomorrah!
So listen to the Lord God:
11 # Am 5.21,22. “Your sacrifices
mean nothing to me.
I am sick of your offerings
of rams and choice cattle;
I don't like the blood
of bulls or lambs or goats.
12“Who asked you to bring all this
when you come to worship me?
Stay out of my temple!
13Your sacrifices are worthless,
and your incense disgusting.
I can't stand the evil you do
on your New Moon Festivals
or on your Sabbaths
and other times of worship.
14I hate your New Moon Festivals
and all others as well.
They are a heavy burden
I am tired of carrying.
15“No matter how much you pray,
I won't listen.
You are too violent.
16Wash yourselves clean!
I hate your filthy deeds.
Stop doing wrong
17and learn to live right.
See that justice is done.
Defend widows and orphans
and help the oppressed.”#1.17 and help the oppressed: Or “and punish cruel people.”
An Invitation from the Lord
18I, the Lord, invite you
to come and talk it over.
Your sins are scarlet red,
but they will be whiter
than snow or wool.
19If you willingly obey me,
the best crops in the land
will be yours.
20But if you turn against me,
your enemies will kill you.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
The Lord Condemns Jerusalem
21Jerusalem, you are like
an unfaithful wife.
Once your judges were honest
and your people lived right;
now you are a city
full of murderers.
22Your silver is fake,
and your wine
is watered down.
23Your leaders have rejected me
to become friends of crooks;
your rulers are looking
for gifts and bribes.
Widows and orphans
never get a fair trial.
24I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the mighty ruler of Israel,
and I make you a promise:
You are now my enemy,
and I will show my anger
by taking revenge on you.
25I will punish you terribly
and burn away everything
that makes you unfit
to worship me.
26Jerusalem, I will choose
judges and advisors
like those you had before.
Your new name will be
“Justice and Faithfulness.”
The Lord Will Save Jerusalem
27Jerusalem, you will be saved
by showing justice;#1.27 by showing justice: Or “by my saving power.”
Zion's people who turn to me
will be saved
by doing right.
28But those rebellious sinners
who turn against me, the Lord,
will all disappear.
29You will be made ashamed
of those groves of trees
where you worshiped idols.
30You will be like a grove of trees
dying in a drought.
31Your strongest leaders
will be like dry wood
set on fire by their idols.#1.31 Your … idols: Or “Your wealth will be like dry wood, set on fire by its owners.”
No one will be able to help,
as they all go up in flames.