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Isaiah 1

1
Messages of Judgment
Quit Your Worship Charades
1The vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw regarding Judah and Jerusalem during the times of the kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
2-4Heaven and earth, you’re the jury.
Listen to God’s case:
“I had children and raised them well,
and they turned on me.
The ox knows who’s boss,
the mule knows the hand that feeds him,
But not Israel.
My people don’t know up from down.
Shame! Misguided God-dropouts,
staggering under their guilt-baggage,
Gang of miscreants,
band of vandals—
My people have walked out on me, their God,
turned their backs on The Holy of Israel,
walked off and never looked back.
5-9“Why bother even trying to do anything with you
when you just keep to your bullheaded ways?
You keep beating your heads against brick walls.
Everything within you protests against you.
From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head,
nothing’s working right.
Wounds and bruises and running sores—
untended, unwashed, unbandaged.
Your country is laid waste,
your cities burned down.
Your land is destroyed by outsiders while you watch,
reduced to rubble by barbarians.
Daughter Zion is deserted—
like a tumbledown shack on a dead-end street,
Like a tarpaper shanty on the wrong side of the tracks,
like a sinking ship abandoned by the rats.
If God-of-the-Angel-Armies hadn’t left us a few survivors,
we’d be as desolate as Sodom, doomed just like Gomorrah.
10“Listen to my Message,
you Sodom-schooled leaders.
Receive God’s revelation,
you Gomorrah-schooled people.
11-12“Why this frenzy of sacrifices?”
God’s asking.
“Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of burnt sacrifices,
rams and plump grain-fed calves?
Don’t you think I’ve had my fill
of blood from bulls, lambs, and goats?
When you come before me,
whoever gave you the idea of acting like this,
Running here and there, doing this and that—
all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?
13-17“Quit your worship charades.
I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—
meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion,
while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing
people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.
Let’s Argue This Out
18-20“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so.
Those Who Walk Out on God
21-23Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city
has become a whore!
She was once all justice,
everyone living as good neighbors,
And now they’re all
at one another’s throats.
Your coins are all counterfeits.
Your wine is watered down.
Your leaders are turncoats
who keep company with crooks.
They sell themselves to the highest bidder
and grab anything not nailed down.
They never stand up for the homeless,
never stick up for the defenseless.
24-31This Decree, therefore, of the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
the Strong One of Israel:
“This is it! I’ll get my oppressors off my back.
I’ll get back at my enemies.
I’ll give you the back of my hand,
purge the junk from your life, clean you up.
I’ll set honest judges and wise counselors among you
just like it was back in the beginning.
Then you’ll be renamed
City-That-Treats-People-Right, the True-Blue City.”
God’s right ways will put Zion right again.
God’s right actions will restore her penitents.
But it’s curtains for rebels and God-traitors,
a dead end for those who walk out on God.
“Your dalliances in those oak grove shrines
will leave you looking mighty foolish,
All that fooling around in god and goddess gardens
that you thought was the latest thing.
You’ll end up like an oak tree
with all its leaves falling off,
Like an unwatered garden,
withered and brown.
‘The Big Man’ will turn out to be dead bark and twigs,
and his ‘work,’ the spark that starts the fire
That exposes man and work both
as nothing but cinders and smoke.”

Isaiah 1

1
1The vision#Pr 29:18; Dn 8:1; Ob 1; Nah 1:1; Hab 2:2–3 concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah#Is 2:1; 13:1 son of Amoz saw during the reigns#1:1 ca 792–686 BC of Kings Uzziah,#2Ch 26:3–5 Jotham,#2Kg 15:32–38 Ahaz,#2Kg 16:1–4 and Hezekiah#2Kg 18:1–8 of Judah.#Hs 1:1; Mc 1:1
Judah on Trial
2Listen, heavens, and pay attention, earth,#Dt 4:26; 32:1; Is 30:1; Mc 1:2
for the Lord has spoken:
“I have raised children#1:2 Or sons, also in v. 4 and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.#Is 30:1
3The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s feeding trough,
but Israel does not know;
my people do not understand.”#Jr 8:7
4Oh sinful nation,
people weighed down with iniquity,#Is 13:11
brood of evildoers,#Is 14:20; Mt 3:7
depraved children!
They have abandoned#Dt 4:31 the Lord;
they have despised#Nm 14:11; Dt 31:20; Pr 5:12; Is 5:24 the Holy One of Israel;#Is 5:19,24; 10:20; 12:6; 29:19; 30:11–15
they have turned their backs on him.
5Why do you want more beatings?
Why do you keep on rebelling?
The whole head is hurt,
and the whole heart is sick.
6From the sole of the foot even to the head,#Jb 2:7
no spot is uninjured#Ps 38:3  —
wounds, welts, and festering sores
not cleansed, bandaged,
or soothed with oil.
7Your land is desolate,
your cities burned down;#Lv 26:33; Dt 28:51–52; Is 6:11–12; Jr 44:6
foreigners devour your fields
right in front of you —
a desolation, like a place demolished by foreigners.
8Daughter Zion#Is 10:32; 37:22; Zch 2:10; 9:9 is abandoned
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a shack in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
9If the Lord of Armies#1Sm 17:45
had not left us a few survivors,#Is 10:21–22
we would be like Sodom,
we would resemble Gomorrah.#Gn 19:24–25; Is 3:9; 13:19; Rm 9:29
10Hear the word of the Lord,#Is 28:14
you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!#Is 3:9; Ezk 16:46–49,55; Rv 11:8
11“What are all your sacrifices to me?”
asks the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams
and the fat of well-fed cattle;
I have no desire for the blood of bulls,
lambs, or male goats.#1Sm 15:22; Jr 6:20; Hs 6:6; Am 5:21–24; Mt 23:23; Mk 12:33
12When you come to appear before me,
who requires this from you —
this trampling of my courts?
13Stop bringing useless offerings.#Mal 1:10
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons and Sabbaths,#Nm 28:11; 1Ch 23:31
and the calling of solemn assemblies#Ex 12:16; Lv 23:36  —
I cannot stand iniquity#Is 13:11 with a festival.
14I hate your New Moons and prescribed festivals.
They have become a burden to me;
I am tired of putting up with them.
15When you spread out your hands in prayer,#1Kg 8:22
I will refuse to look at you;
even if you offer countless prayers,
I will not listen.#Is 59:2; Jr 7:16; Ezk 8:18; Am 5:23; Hab 1:2; Zch 7:13
Your hands are covered with blood.#Pr 1:28; Is 59:1–3; Mc 3:4
Purification of Jerusalem
16“Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves.#Ps 26:6; Is 4:4; 52:11
Remove your evil deeds from my sight.
Stop doing evil.#Jr 25:5
17Learn to do what is good.
Pursue justice.#Dt 16:20; 1Kg 3:11; Ps 89:14; Is 10:2; 11:4; Am 5:15; Zch 7:9
Correct the oppressor.#1:17 Or Aid the oppressed
Defend the rights of the fatherless.
Plead the widow’s cause.
18“Come, let’s settle this,”#Is 41:1,21; 43:26; Mc 6:2
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are scarlet,
they will be as white as snow;#Ps 51:7; Is 43:25; 44:22; Rv 7:14
though they are crimson red,
they will be like wool.
19If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land.#Dt 30:15–20
20But if you refuse and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”#Jr 12:12
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.#Is 24:3; 40:5; 58:14; Mc 4:4
21The faithful town —
what an adulteress#1:21 Or prostitute she has become!
She was once full of justice.
Righteousness once dwelt in her,
but now, murderers!
22Your silver has become dross to be discarded,
your beer#1:22 Or wine is diluted with water.
23Your rulers are rebels,
friends of thieves.#Hs 5:10
They all love graft
and chase after bribes.#Ex 23:8; Mc 7:2–6
They do not defend the rights of the fatherless,
and the widow’s case never comes before them.#Ex 22:22; Dt 24:17; Is 10:2; Jr 5:28; Ezk 22:7; Zch 7:10
24Therefore the Lord God of Armies,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah, I will get even with my foes;
I will take revenge against my enemies.#Is 35:4; 59:18; Jr 46:10
25I will turn my hand against you#Ps 81:14; Is 5:25; Am 1:8
and will burn away your dross completely;#1:25 Lit dross as with lye
I will remove all your impurities.#Ezk 22:20; Mal 3:3
26I will restore your judges#Is 60:17; Mt 19:28 to what they were at first,
and your advisers to what they were at the start.
Afterward you will be called the Righteous City,#Is 33:5; 60:14; 62:1–2; Zch 8:3
a Faithful Town.”
27Zion will be redeemed by justice,
those who repent, by righteousness.#Rm 3:26
28At the same time both rebels and sinners will be broken,
and those who abandon the Lord will perish.
29Indeed, they#1:29 Some Hb mss; other Hb mss, Tg read you will be ashamed of the sacred trees
you desired,#Is 2:8; 57:5; Hs 4:13
and you will be embarrassed because of the garden shrines
you have chosen.#Is 65:3; 66:17
30For you will become like an oak
whose leaves are withered,
and like a garden without water.#Ps 1:3; Is 64:6
31The strong one will become tinder,
and his work a spark;
both will burn together,#Is 5:24; 9:19; 26:11; 33:11–14
with no one to extinguish the flames.#Is 66:24; Mt 3:12; Mk 9:43