Isaiah 28-30 World English Bible

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Condemnation of Ephraim

28 1  Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley of those who are overcome with wine! 2  Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one. Like a storm of hail, a destroying storm, and like a storm of mighty waters overflowing, he will cast them down to the earth with his hand. 3  The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden under foot. 4  The fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley, shall be like the first-ripe fig before the summer; which someone picks and eats as soon as he sees it. 5  In that day, Yahweh of Armies will become a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the residue of his people; 6  and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. 7  They also reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink. The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink. They are swallowed up by wine. They stagger with strong drink. They err in vision. They stumble in judgment. 8  For all tables are completely full of filthy vomit and filthiness.

9  Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? 10  For it is precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little. 11  But he will speak to this nation with stammering lips and in another language; 12  to whom he said, “This is the resting place. Give rest to weary;” and “This is the refreshing;” yet they would not hear. 13  Therefore the word of Yahweh will be to them precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, fall backward, be broken, be snared, and be taken.

The Warning to Jerusalem

14  Therefore hear the word of Yahweh, you scoffers, that rule this people in Jerusalem: 15  “Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.’” 16  Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. He who believes shall not act hastily. 17  I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plumb line. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. 18  Your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. 19  As often as it passes through, it will seize you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be nothing but terror to understand the message.” 20  For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket is too narrow to wrap oneself in. 21  For Yahweh will rise up as on Mount Perazim. He will be angry as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his unusual work, and bring to pass his act, his extraordinary act. 22  Now therefore don’t be scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, on the whole earth.

23  Give ear, and hear my voice! Listen, and hear my speech! 24  Does he who plows to sow plow continually? Does he keep turning the soil and breaking the clods? 25  When he has leveled its surface, doesn’t he plant the dill, and scatter the cumin seed, and put in the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place? 26  For his God instructs him in right judgment, and teaches him. 27  For the dill are not threshed with a sharp instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned over the cumin; but the dill is beaten out with a stick, and the cumin with a rod. 28  Bread flour must be ground; so he will not always be threshing it. Although he drives the wheel of his threshing cart over it, his horses don’t grind it. 29  This also comes forth from Yahweh of Armies, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.

Ariel and Her Enemies

29 1  Woe to Ariel! Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts come around; 2  then I will distress Ariel, and there will be mourning and lamentation. She shall be to me as an altar hearth [1]. 3  I will encamp against you all around you, and will lay siege against you with posted troops. I will raise siege works against you. 4  You will be brought down, and will speak out of the ground. Your speech will mumble out of the dust. Your voice will be as of one who has a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and your speech will whisper out of the dust. 5  But the multitude of your foes will be like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless ones like chaff that blows away. Yes, it will be in an instant, suddenly. 6  She will be visited by Yahweh of Armies with thunder, with earthquake, with great noise, with whirlwind and storm, and with the flame of a devouring fire. 7  The multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, will be like a dream, a vision of the night. 8  It will be like when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats; but he awakes, and his hunger isn’t satisfied; or like when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and behold, he is faint, and he is still thirsty. The multitude of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion will be like that.

The Blindness and Hypocrisy of Israel

9  Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10  For Yahweh has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets; and he has covered your heads, the seers. 11  All vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is educated, saying, “Read this, please;” and he says, “I can’t, for it is sealed:” 12  and the book is delivered to one who is not educated, saying, “Read this, please;” and he says, “I can’t read.” 13  The Lord said, “Because this people draws near with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but they have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which has been taught; 14  therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their prudent men will be hidden.” 15  Woe to those who deeply hide their counsel from Yahweh, and whose works are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us?” and “Who knows us?” 16  You turn things upside down! Should the potter be thought to be like clay; that the thing made should say about him who made it, “He didn’t make me;” or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding?”

The Redemption of Israel

17  Isn’t it yet a very little while, and Lebanon will be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field will be regarded as a forest? 18  In that day, the deaf will hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind will see out of obscurity and out of darkness. 19  The humble also will increase their joy in Yahweh, and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20  For the ruthless is brought to nothing, and the scoffer ceases, and all those who are alert to do evil are cut off— 21  who cause a person to be indicted by a word, and lay a snare for the arbiter in the gate, and who deprive the innocent of justice with false testimony. 22  Therefore thus says Yahweh, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall no longer be ashamed, neither shall his face grow pale. 23  But when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they will sanctify my name. Yes, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24  They also who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will receive instruction.”

The Futility of Reliance on Egypt

30 1  “Woe to the rebellious children,” says Yahweh, “who take counsel, but not from me; and who make an alliance, but not with my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin, 2  who set out to go down into Egypt, and have not asked my advice; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt! 3  Therefore the strength of Pharaoh will be your shame, and the refuge in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 4  For their princes are at Zoan, and their ambassadors have come to Hanes. 5  They shall all be ashamed because of a people that can’t profit them, that are not a help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.” 6  The burden of the animals of the South. Through the land of trouble and anguish, of the lioness and the lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they carry their riches on the shoulders of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to an unprofitable people. 7  For Egypt helps in vain, and to no purpose; therefore have I called her Rahab who sits still.

8  Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever. 9  For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of Yahweh; 10  who tell the seers, “Don’t see!” and to the prophets, “Don’t prophesy to us right things. Tell us pleasant things. Prophesy deceits. 11  Get out of the way. Turn aside from the path. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” 12  Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely on it; 13  therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly in an instant. 14  He will break it as a potter’s vessel is broken, breaking it in pieces without sparing, so that there won’t be found among the broken piece a piece good enough to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern.” 15  For thus said the Lord Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, “You will be saved in returning and rest. Your strength will be in quietness and in confidence.” You refused, 16  but you said, “No, for we will flee on horses;” therefore you will flee; and, “We will ride on the swift;” therefore those who pursue you will be swift. 17  One thousand will flee at the threat of one. At the threat of five, you will flee until you are left like a beacon on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill.

The Promise of God's Grace to Israel

18  Therefore Yahweh will wait, that he may be gracious to you; and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy on you, for Yahweh is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for him. 19  For the people will dwell in Zion at Jerusalem. You will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the voice of your cry. When he hears you, he will answer you. 20  Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers won’t be hidden anymore, but your eyes will see your teachers; 21  and when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.” 22  You shall defile the overlaying of your engraved images of silver, and the plating of your molten images of gold. You shall cast them away as an unclean thing. You shall tell it, “Go away!” 23  He will give the rain for your seed, with which you will sow the ground; and bread of the increase of the ground will be rich and plentiful. In that day, your livestock will feed in large pastures. 24  The oxen likewise and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat savory provender, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fork. 25  There shall be brooks and streams of water on every lofty mountain and on every high hill in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26  Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, in the day that Yahweh binds up the fracture of his people, and heals the wound they were struck with.

The LORD's Judgment on Assyria

27  Behold, the name of Yahweh comes from far away, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is as a devouring fire. 28  His breath is as an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that leads to ruin will be in the jaws of the peoples. 29  You will have a song, as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goes with a flute to come to Yahweh’s mountain, to Israel’s Rock. 30  Yahweh will cause his glorious voice to be heard, and will show the descent of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and the flame of a devouring fire, with a blast, storm, and hailstones. 31  For through the voice of Yahweh the Assyrian will be dismayed. He will strike him with his rod. 32  Every stroke of the rod of punishment, which Yahweh will lay on him, will be with the sound of tambourines and harps. He will fight with them in battles, brandishing weapons. 33  For his burning place has long been ready. Yes, for the king it is made ready. He has made its pyre deep and large with fire and much wood. Yahweh’s breath, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

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Footnotes

[1] 29:2 or, Ariel

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