Isaiah 1-4 Bible in Basic English

A Sinful Nation

1 1  The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw about Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

2  Give ear, O heavens, and you, O earth, to the word which the Lord has said: I have taken care of my children till they became men, but their hearts have been turned away from me. 3  Even the ox has knowledge of its owner, and the ass of the place where its master puts its food: but Israel has no knowledge, my people give no thought to me. 4  O nation full of sin, a people weighted down with crime, a generation of evil-doers, false-hearted children: they have gone away from the Lord, they have no respect for the Holy One of Israel, their hearts are turned back from him. 5  Why will you have more and more punishment? why keep on in your evil ways? Every head is tired and every heart is feeble. 6  The body, from head to foot, is all diseased; it is a mass of open wounds, marks of blows, and broken flesh: the flow of blood has not been stopped, and no oil has been put on the wounds. 7  Your country has become waste; your towns are burned with fire; as for your land, it is overturned before your eyes, made waste and overcome by men from strange lands. 8  And the daughter of Zion has become like a tent in a vine-garden, like a watchman's house in a field of fruit, like a town shut in by armies. 9  If the Lord of armies had not kept some at least of us safe, we would have been like Sodom, and the fate of Gomorrah would have been ours.

A Call to True Repentance

10  Give ear to the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; let your hearts be turned to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah. 11  What use to me is the number of the offerings which you give me? says the Lord; your burned offerings of sheep, and the best parts of fat cattle, are a weariness to me; I take no pleasure in the blood of oxen, or of lambs, or of he-goats. 12  At whose request do you come before me, making my house unclean with your feet? 13  Give me no more false offerings; the smoke of burning flesh is disgusting to me, so are your new moons and Sabbaths and your holy meetings. 14  Your new moons and your regular feasts are a grief to my soul: they are a weight in my spirit; I am crushed under them. 15  And when your hands are stretched out to me, my eyes will be turned away from you: even though you go on making prayers, I will not give ear: your hands are full of blood.

16  Be washed, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; let there be an end of sinning; 17  Take pleasure in well-doing; let your ways be upright, keep down the cruel, give a right decision for the child who has no father, see to the cause of the widow. 18  Come now, and let us have an argument together, says the Lord: how may your sins which are red like blood be white as snow? how may their dark purple seem like wool? 19  If you will give ear to my word and do it, the good things of the land will be yours; 20  But if your hearts are turned against me, I will send destruction on you by the sword; so the Lord has said.

The Judgment and Redemption of Zion

21  The upright town has become untrue; there was a time when her judges gave right decisions, when righteousness had a resting-place in her, but now she is full of those who take men's lives. 22  Your silver is no longer true metal, your wine is mixed with water. 23  Your chiefs have gone against the Lord, they have become friends of thieves; every one of them is looking for profit and going after rewards; they do not give right decisions for the child who has no father, and they do not let the cause of the widow come before them. 24  For this reason the Lord, the Lord of armies, the Strong One of Israel, has said, I will put an end to my haters, and send punishment on those who are against me; 25  And my hand will again be on you, washing away what is unclean as with soap, and taking away all your false metal; 26  And I will give you judges again as at the first, and wise guides as in the past; then you will be named, The Town of Righteousness, the true town. 27  Upright acts will be the price of Zion's forgiveness, and by righteousness will men be living there. 28  But a common destruction will overtake sinners and evil-doers together, and those who have gone away from the Lord will be cut off. 29  For you will be put to shame because of the trees of your desire, and because of the gardens of your pleasure. 30  For you will be like a tree whose leaves have become dry, and like a garden without water. 31  And the strong will be as food for the fire, and his work as a flame; and they will be burned together, with no one to put out the fire.

The LORD's Universal Reign of Peace

2 1  The word which Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw about Judah and Jerusalem. 2  And it will come about in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord will be placed on the top of the mountains, and be lifted up over the hills; and all nations will come to it. 3  And the peoples will say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob: and he will give us knowledge of his ways, and we will be guided by his word; for out of Zion the law will go out, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4  And he will be the judge between the nations, and the peoples will be ruled by his decisions: and their swords will be turned into plough-blades, and their spears into vine-knives: no longer will the nations be turning their swords against one another, and the knowledge of war will be gone for ever.

The LORD's Judgment on the Proud

5  O family of Jacob, come, and let us go in the light of the Lord.

6  For you, O Lord, have given up your people, the family of Jacob, because they are full of the evil ways of the east, and make use of secret arts like the Philistines, and are friends with the children of strange countries. 7  And their land is full of silver and gold, and there is no end to their stores; their land is full of horses, and there is no end to their carriages. 8  Their land is full of images; they give worship to the work of their hands, even to that which their fingers have made. 9  And the poor man's head is bent, and the great man goes down on his face: for this cause there will be no forgiveness for their sin.

10  Go into a hole in the rock, covering yourselves with dust, in fear of the Lord, before the glory of his power. 11  The high looks of man will be put to shame, and the pride of men will be made low, and only the Lord will be lifted up in that day. 12  For the day of the Lord of armies is coming on all the pride of men, and on all who are high and lifted up; 13  And on all the high trees of Lebanon, and on all the strong trees of Bashan; 14  And on all the high mountains, and on all the hills which are lifted up; 15  And on every high tower, and on every strong wall; 16  And on all the ships of Tarshish, and on all the fair boats. 17  And the high looks of man will be put to shame, and the pride of men will be made low: and only the Lord will be lifted up in that day. 18  And the images will never be seen again. 19  And men will go into cracks of the rocks, and into holes of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and before the glory of his power, when he comes out of his place, shaking the earth with his strength. 20  In that day men will put their images of silver and of gold, which they made for worship, in the keeping of the beasts of the dark places; 21  To take cover in the cracks of the rocks, and in the holes of the hills, for fear of the Lord, and before the glory of his power, when he comes out of his place, shaking the earth with his strength. 22  Have no more to do with man, whose life is only a breath, for he is of no value.

The LORD's Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem

3 1  For the Lord, the Lord of armies, is about to take away from Jerusalem and from Judah all their support; their store of bread and of water; 2  The strong man and the man of war; the judge and the prophet; the man who has knowledge of secret arts, and the man who is wise because of his years; 3  The captain of fifty, and the man of high position, and the wise guide, and the wonder-worker, and he who makes use of secret powers. 4  And I will make children their chiefs, and foolish ones will have rule over them. 5  And the people will be crushed, every one by his neighbour; the young will be full of pride against the old, and those of low position will be lifted up against the noble. 6  When one man puts his hand on another in his father's house, and says, You have clothing, be our ruler and be responsible for us in our sad condition: 7  Then he will say with an oath, I will not be a helper, for in my house there is no bread or clothing: I will not let you make me a ruler of the people. 8  For Jerusalem has become feeble, and destruction has come on Judah, because their words and their acts are against the Lord, moving the eyes of his glory to wrath.

9  Their respect for a man's position is a witness against them; and their sin is open to the view of all; like that of Sodom, it is not covered. A curse on their soul! for the measure of their sin is full. 10  Happy is the upright man! for he will have joy of the fruit of his ways. 11  Unhappy is the sinner! for the reward of his evil doings will come on him. 12  As for my people, their ruler is acting like a child, and those who have authority over them are women. O my people, your guides are the cause of your wandering, turning your footsteps out of the right way. 13  The Lord is ready to take up his cause against his people, and is about to come forward as their judge. 14  The Lord comes to be the judge of their responsible men and of their rulers: it is you who have made waste the vine-garden, and in your houses is the property of the poor which you have taken by force. 15  By what right are you crushing my people, and putting a bitter yoke on the necks of the poor? This is the word of the Lord, the Lord of armies.

Judgment on the Daughters of Zion

16  Again, the Lord has said, Because the daughters of Zion are full of pride, and go with outstretched necks and wandering eyes, with their foot-chains sounding when they go: 17  The Lord will send disease on the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will let their secret parts be seen. 18  In that day the Lord will take away the glory of their foot-rings, and their sun-jewels, and their moon-ornaments, 19  The ear-rings, and the chains, and the delicate clothing, 20  The head-bands, and the arm-chains, and the worked bands, and the perfume-boxes, and the jewels with secret powers, 21  The rings, and the nose-jewels, 22  The feast-day dresses, and the robes, and the wide skirts, and the handbags, 23  The looking-glasses, and the fair linen, and the high head-dresses, and the veils. 24  And in the place of sweet spices will be an evil smell, and for a fair band a thick cord; for a well-dressed head there will be the cutting-off of the hair, and for a beautiful robe there will be the clothing of sorrow; the mark of the prisoner in place of the ornaments of the free. 25  Your men will be put to the sword, and your men of war will come to destruction in the fight. 26  And in the public places of her towns will be sorrow and weeping; and she will be seated on the earth, waste and uncovered.

4 1  And in that day seven women will put their hands on one man, saying, There will be no need for you to give us food or clothing, only let us go under your name, so that our shame may be taken away.

Jerusalem's Glorious Future

2  In that day will the young growth of the Lord be beautiful in glory, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride of those who are still living in Israel. 3  And it will come about that the rest of the living in Zion, and of those who have been kept from destruction in Jerusalem, will be named holy, even everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem: 4  When Zion has been washed from her sin by the Lord, and Jerusalem made clean from her blood by a judging and a burning wind. 5  And over every living-place on Mount Zion, all over all her meetings, the Lord will make a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, for over all, the glory of the Lord will be a cover and a tent; 6  And a shade in the daytime from the heat, and a safe cover from storm and from rain.


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