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Isaiah 1

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1 THE VISION [seen by spiritual perception] of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah [the kingdom] and Jerusalem [its capital] in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: I have nourished and brought up sons and have made them great and exalted, but they have rebelled against Me and broken away from Me.
3 The ox [instinctively] knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib, but Israel does not know or recognize Me [as Lord], My people do not consider or understand.
4 Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised and shown contempt and provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they have become utterly estranged (alienated).
5 Why should you be stricken and punished any more [since it brings no correction]? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint (feeble, sick, and nauseated).
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness or health in [the nation's body]–but wounds and bruises and fresh and bleeding stripes; they have not been pressed out and closed up or bound up or softened with oil. [No one has troubled to seek a remedy.]
7 [Because of your detestable disobedience] your country lies desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land–strangers devour it in your very presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by aliens.
8 And the Daughter of Zion [Jerusalem] is left like a [deserted] booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, like a besieged city [spared, but in the midst of desolation].
9 Except the Lord of hosts had left us a very small remnant [of survivors], we should have been like Sodom, and we should have been like Gomorrah. [Gen. 19:24, 25; Rom. 9:29.]
10 Hear [O Jerusalem] the word of the Lord, you rulers or judges of [another] Sodom! Give ear to the law and the teaching of our God, you people of [another] Gomorrah!
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me [unless they are the offering of the heart]? says the Lord. I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts [without obedience]; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats [without righteousness].
12 When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you that your [unholy feet] trample My courts?
13 Bring no more offerings of vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory, and futility); [your hollow offering of] incense is an abomination to Me; the New Moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure–[it is] iniquity and profanation, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your New Moon festivals and your [hypocritical] appointed feasts My soul hates. They are an oppressive burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
15 And when you spread forth your hands [in prayer, imploring help], I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
21 How the faithful city has become an [idolatrous] harlot, she who was full of justice! Uprightness and right standing with God [once] lodged in her–but now murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes and runs after compensation and rewards. They judge not for the fatherless nor defend them, neither does the cause of the widow come to them [for they delay or turn a deaf ear].
24 Therefore says the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will appease Myself on My adversaries and avenge Myself on My enemies.
25 And I will bring My hand again upon you and thoroughly purge away your dross [as with lye] and take away all your tin or alloy.
26 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; afterward you shall be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.
27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her [returned] converts with righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God).
28 But the crushing and destruction of rebels and sinners shall be together, and they who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
29 For you will be ashamed [of the folly and degradation] of the oak or terebinth trees in which you found [idolatrous] pleasure, and you will blush with shame for the [idolatrous worship which you practice in the passion-inflaming] gardens which you have chosen.
30 For you shall be like an oak or terebinth whose leaf withers, and like a garden that has no water.
31 And the strong shall become like tow and become tinder, and his work like a spark, and they shall both burn together, with none to quench 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.