Isaiah 5-8 Bible in Basic English

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The Parable of the Vineyard

5 1  Let me make a song about my loved one, a song of love for his vine-garden. My loved one had a vine-garden on a fertile hill: 2  And after working the earth of it with a spade, he took away its stones, and put in it a very special vine; and he put up a watchtower in the middle of it, hollowing out in the rock a place for the grape-crushing; and he was hoping that it would give the best grapes, but it gave common grapes. 3  And now, you people of Jerusalem and you men of Judah, be the judges between me and my vine-garden. 4  Is there anything which might have been done for my vine-garden which I have not done? why then, when I was hoping for the best grapes did it give me common grapes? 5  And now, this is what I will do to my vine-garden: I will take away the circle of thorns round it, and it will be burned up; its wall will be broken down and the beasts of the field will go through it; 6  And I will make it waste; its branches will not be touched with the knife, or the earth worked with the spade; but blackberries and thorns will come up in it: and I will give orders to the clouds not to send rain on it. 7  For the vine-garden of the Lord of armies is the people of Israel, and the men of Judah are the plant of his delight: and he was looking for upright judging, and there was blood; for righteousness, and there was a cry for help.

Woes Pronounced on the Wicked

8  Cursed are those who are joining house to house, and putting field to field, till there is no more living-space for any but themselves in all the land! 9  The Lord of armies has said to me secretly, Truly, numbers of great and fair houses will be waste, with no one living in them. 10  For ten fields of vines will only give one measure of wine, and a great amount of seed will only give a small measure of grain. 11  Cursed are those who get up early in the morning to give themselves up to strong drink; who keep on drinking far into the night till they are heated with wine! 12  And corded instruments and wind-instruments and wine are in their feasts: but they give no thought to the work of the Lord, and they are not interested in what his hands are doing. 13  For this cause my people are taken away as prisoners into strange countries for need of knowledge: and their rulers are wasted for need of food, and their loud-voiced feasters are dry for need of water. 14  For this cause the underworld has made wide its throat, opening its mouth without limit: and her glory, and the noise of her masses, and her loud-voiced feasters, will go down into it. 15  And the poor man's head is bent, and the great man goes down on his face, and the eyes of pride are put to shame: 16  But the Lord of armies is lifted up as judge, and the Holy God is seen to be holy in righteousness. 17  Then the lambs will get food as in their grass-lands, and the fat cattle will be feasting in the waste places.

18  Cursed are those who make use of ox-cords for pulling the evil thing, and the bands of a young ox for their sin! 19  Who say, Let him do his work quickly, let him make it sudden, so that we may see it: let the design of the Holy One of Israel come near, so that it may be clear to us. 20  Cursed are those who give the name of good to evil, and of evil to what is good: who make light dark, and dark light: who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter! 21  Cursed are those who seem wise to themselves, and who take pride in their knowledge! 22  Cursed are those who are strong to take wine, and great in making mixed drinks! 23  Who for a reward give support to the cause of the sinner, and who take away the righteousness of the upright from him. 24  For this cause, as the waste of the grain is burned up by tongues of fire, and as the dry grass goes down before the flame, so their root will be like the dry stems of grain, and their flower will go up in dust: because they have gone against the law of the Lord of armies, and have given no honour to the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25  For this reason the wrath of the Lord has been burning against his people, and his hand has been stretched out against them in punishment, and the hills were shaking, and their dead bodies were like waste in the open places of the town. 26  And he will let a flag be lifted up as a sign to a far-off nation, whistling to them from the ends of the earth: and they will come quickly and suddenly. 27  There is no weariness among them, and no man is feeble-footed: they come without resting or sleeping, and the cord of their shoes is not broken. 28  Their arrows are sharp, and every bow is bent: the feet of their horses are like rock, and their wheels are like a rushing storm. 29  The sound of their armies will be like the voice of a lion, and their war-cry like the noise of young lions: with loud cries they will come down on their food and will take it away safely, and there will be no one to take it out of their hands. 30  And his voice will be loud over him in that day like the sounding of the sea: and if a man's eyes are turned to the earth, it is all dark and full of trouble; and the light is made dark by thick clouds.

The Vision and Call of Isaiah

6 1  In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated in his place, high and lifted up, and the Temple was full of the wide skirts of his robe. 2  Over him were the winged ones: every one had six wings; two for covering his face, two for covering his feed, and two for flight. 3  And one said in a loud voice to another, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of armies: all the earth is full of his glory. 4  And the bases of the door-pillars were shaking at the sound of his cry, and the house was full of smoke.

5  Then I said, The curse is on me, and my fate is destruction; for I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of armies. 6  Then a winged one came to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from off the altar with the fire-spoon. 7  And after touching my mouth with it, he said, See, your lips have been touched with this; and your evil is taken away, and you are made clean from sin. 8  And the voice of the Lord came to my ears, saying, Whom am I to send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I, send me.

9  And he said, Go, and say to this people, You will go on hearing, but learning nothing; you will go on seeing, but without getting wiser. 10  Make the hearts of this people fat, and let their ears be stopped, and their eyes shut; for fear that they may see with their eyes, and be hearing with their ears, and their heart may become wise, and they may be turned to me and made well. 11  Then I said, Lord, how long? And he said in answer, Till the towns are waste and unpeopled, and the houses have no men, and the land becomes completely waste, 12  And the Lord has taken men far away, and there are wide waste places in the land. 13  And even if there is still a tenth part in it, it will again be burned, like a tree of the woods whose broken end is still in the earth after the tree has been cut down (the holy seed is the broken end).

Isaiah's Message to Ahaz

7 1  Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, the king of Aram, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but were not able to overcome it. 2  And word came to the family of David that Aram had put up its tents in Ephraim. And the king's heart, and the hearts of his people, were moved, like the trees of the wood shaking in the wind. 3  Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out now, you and Shear-jashub, your son, and you will come across Ahaz at the end of the stream flowing from the higher pool, in the highway of the washerman's field; 4  And say to him, Take care and be quiet; have no fear, and do not let your heart be feeble, because of these two ends of smoking fire-wood, because of the bitter wrath of Rezin and Aram, and of the son of Remaliah. 5  Because Aram has made evil designs against you, saying, 6  Let us go up against Judah, troubling her, and forcing our way into her, and let us put up a king in her, even the son of Tabeel: 7  This is the word of the Lord God: This design will not come about or be effected. 8  For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin (and in sixty-five years from now Ephraim will be broken, and will no longer be a people): 9  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If you will not have faith, your kingdom will be broken.

10  And Isaiah said again to Ahaz, 11  Make a request to the Lord your God for a sign, a sign in the deep places of the underworld, or in the high heavens. 12  But Ahaz said, I will not put the Lord to the test by making such a request. 13  And he said, Give ear now, O family of David: is it not enough that you are driving men to disgust? will you do the same to my God? 14  For this cause the Lord himself will give you a sign; a young woman is now with child, and she will give birth to a son, and she will give him the name Immanuel. 15  Butter and honey will be his food, when he is old enough to make a decision between evil and good. 16  For before the child is old enough to make a decision between evil and good, the land whose two kings you are now fearing will have become waste.

17  The Lord is about to send on you, and on your people, and on your father's house, such a time of trouble as there has not been from the days of the separating of Ephraim from Judah; even the coming of the king of Assyria. 18  And it will be in that day that the Lord will make a piping sound for the fly which is in the end of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee which is in the land of Assyria. 19  And they will come, covering all the waste valleys, and the holes of the rocks, and the thorns, and all the watering-places. 20  In that day will the Lord take away the hair of the head and of the feet, as well as the hair of the face, with a blade got for a price from the other side of the River; even with the king of Assyria. 21  And it will be in that day that a man will give food to a young cow and two sheep; 22  And they will give so much milk that he will be able to have butter for his food: for butter and honey will be the food of all who are still living in the land. 23  And it will be in that day that in every place where before there were a thousand vines valued at a thousand shekels of silver, there will be nothing but blackberries and thorns. 24  Men will come there with bows and arrows, because all the land will be full of blackberries and thorns. 25  And they will send out the oxen and the sheep on all the hills which before were worked with the spade, ... fear of blackberries and thorns.

Let the LORD Be Your Fear

8 1  And the Lord said to me, Take a great writing-board, and on it put down in common letters, Maher-shalal-hash-baz; 2  And take true witnesses to the writing, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah, the son of Jeberechiah. 3  And I went in to my wife, and she became with child, and gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said to me, Give him the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz, 4  For before the child is able to say, Father, or, Mother, the wealth of Damascus and the goods of Samaria will be taken away by the king of Assyria. 5  And the Lord said again to me, 6  Because this people will have nothing to do with the softly-flowing waters of Shiloah, and have fear of Rezin and Remaliah's son; 7  For this cause the Lord is sending on them the waters of the River, deep and strong, even the king of Assyria and all his glory: and it will come up through all its streams, overflowing all its edges: 8  And it will come on into Judah; rushing on and overflowing, till the waters are up to the neck; *** and his outstretched wings will be covering the land from side to side: for God is with us.

9  Have knowledge, O peoples, and be in fear; give ear, all you far-off parts of the earth: 10  Let your designs be formed, and they will come to nothing; give your orders, and they will not be effected: for God is with us. 11  For the Lord, controlling me with a strong hand, gave me orders not to go in the way of this people, saying, 12  Do not say, It is holy, about everything of which this people says, It is holy; and do not be in fear of what they go in fear of. 13  But let the Lord of armies be holy to you, and go in fear of him, giving honour to him. 14  And he will be for a holy place: but for a stone of falling and a rock of trouble to the two houses of Israel, and to the men of Jerusalem, for a net in which they may be taken. 15  And numbers of them, falling on the stone, will be broken, and will be taken in the net.

16  Let my teaching be kept secret: and my words be given to my disciples only. 17  And I will be waiting for the Lord, whose face is veiled from the house of Jacob, and I will be looking for him. 18  See, I and the children whom the Lord has given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of armies, whose resting-place is in Mount Zion. 19  And when they say to you, Make request for us to those who have control of spirits, and to those wise in secret arts, who make hollow bird-like sounds; is it not right for a people to make request to their gods, to make request for the living to the dead? 20  Then say to them, Put your faith in the teaching and the witness. ... If they do not say such things. ... For him there is no dawn. ... 21  And he will go through the land in bitter trouble and in need of food; and when he is unable to get food, he will become angry, cursing his king and his God, and his eyes will be turned to heaven on high; 22  And he will be looking down on the earth, and there will be trouble and dark clouds, black night where there is no seeing.

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