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Isaiah 1

Judah, a Sinful Nation

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he beheld in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
For Yahweh speaks,
“Sons I have reared and raised up,
But they have transgressed against Me.
An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master’s manger,
But Israel does not know;
My people do not perceive.”

Alas, sinful nation,
People heavy with iniquity,
Seed of evildoers,
Sons who act corruptly!
They have forsaken Yahweh;
They have spurned the Holy One of Israel;
They have become estranged from Him.

Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart is faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, wounds, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out, not bandaged,
Not softened with oil.

Your land is desolate;
Your cities are burned with fire;
Your fields—strangers are devouring them in your presence;
It is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.
Unless Yahweh of hosts
Had left us a few survivors,
We would be like Sodom,
We would be like Gomorrah.

Hear the word of Yahweh,
You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the law of our God,
You people of Gomorrah.
“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?”
Says Yahweh.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle;
And in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats I take no pleasure.
When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of convocation—
I cannot endure wickedness and the solemn assembly.
My soul hates your new moon festivals and your appointed times,
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them.
So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Indeed, even though you multiply prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood.

“Wash yourselves, purify yourselves;
Remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Execute justice for the orphan,
Plead for the widow.

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says Yahweh,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
If you are willing and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be eaten by the sword.”
For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

Zion Will Be Redeemed with Justice

How the faithful city has become a harlot,
She who was full of justice!
Righteousness once lodged in her,
But now murderers.
Your silver has become dross,
Your drink diluted with water.
Your rulers are rebels
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves a bribe
And pursues rewards.
They do not execute justice for the orphan,
Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.

Therefore the Lord, Yahweh of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel, declares,
“Ah, I will be comforted concerning My adversaries,
And I will avenge Myself on My enemies.
I will also turn My hand against you,
And will smelt away your dross as with lye
And will remove all your alloy.
Then I will have your judges return as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning;
Afterwards you will be called the city of righteousness,
A faithful town.”

Zion will be redeemed with justice
And her repentant ones with righteousness.
But transgressors and sinners will be broken together,
And those who forsake Yahweh will come to an end.
For you will be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired,
And you will be humiliated because of the gardens which you have chosen.
For you will be like an oak whose leaf withers away
Or as a garden that has no water.
And the strong man will become tinder,
His work also a spark.
Thus they shall both burn together,
And there will be none to quench them.