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Isaiah 1

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Superscription
1The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Rebellious Judah
2Hear, heavens,
and listen, earth,
for Yahweh has spoken:
“I reared children
and I brought them up,
but they rebelled against me.
3An ox knows its owner
and a donkey the manger of its master.
Israel does not know;
my people do not understand.
4Ah, sinful nation,
a people heavy with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly.
They have forsaken Yahweh;
they have despised the holy one of Israel.
They are estranged and gone backward.
5Why do you want to be beaten again?
You continue in rebellion.
The whole of the head is sick,
and the whole of the heart is faint.
6From the sole of the foot and up to the head
there is no health in it;
bruise and sore and bleeding wound have not been cleansed,
and they have not been bound up
and not softened with the oil.
7Your country is desolate,
your cities are burned with fire;
As for your land, aliens are devouring it in your presence,
and it is desolate, like devastation by foreigners.
8And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard,
like a shelter in a cucumber field,
like a city that is besieged.#Or “preserved”
9If Yahweh of hosts had not left us survivors,#Hebrew “survivor”
we would have been as few as Sodom,
we would have become like Gomorrah.
10Hear the word of Yahweh, rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God, people of Gomorrah!
11What is the abundance of your sacrifices to me? says Yahweh.
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened animals
and I do not delight in the blood of bulls
and ram-lambs and goats.
12When you come to appear before me,
who asked for this from your hand:
you trampling my courts?
13You must not continue#Literally “increase” or “add to” to bring offerings#Hebrew “offering” of futility,
incense—it is an abomination to me;
new moon and Sabbath, the calling of a convocation—
I cannot endure iniquity with solemn assembly.
14Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates;
they have become to me like a burden,
I am not able to bear them.
15And when you stretch out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,#Hebrew “prayer”
I will not be listening.
Your hands are full of blood. 16Wash! Make yourselves clean!
Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes!
Cease to do evil! 17Learn to do good!
Seek justice! Rescue the oppressed!
Defend the orphan! Plead for the widow!
18“Come now, and let us argue,” says Yahweh.
“Even though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white like snow;
even though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
19If you are willing and you are obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land.
20But if you refuse and you rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.
For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”
Purifying Jerusalem
21How has a faithful city become like a whore?
Full of justice, righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.
22Your silver has become as dross;
Your wine is diluted with waters.
23Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Every one loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not defend the orphan
and the legal dispute of the widow does not come before them.
24Therefore, the declaration of the Lord Yahweh of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
“Ah, I will be relieved of my enemies,
and I will avenge myself on my foes.
25And I will turn my hand against you;
I will purify your dross like lye,
and I will remove all of your tin.
26And I will restore your judges, as at the first,
and your counselors, as at the beginning.
After this you will be called#Literally “it will be called for you” the city of righteousness,
faithful city.
27Zion will be redeemed by justice,
and those of her who repent, by righteousness.
28But the destruction of rebels and sinners shall be together,
and those who forsake Yahweh will perish.
29For you#Literally “they,” but a few manuscripts read “you,” which fits the context better will be ashamed of the oaks in which you delighted,
and you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen.
30For you shall be like an oak withering its leaves,
and like a garden where there is no water for her.
31And the strong man shall become like tinder,
and his work like a spark.
And both of them shall burn together,
and there is not one 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.