1Here is the vision about Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah saw. It came to him when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were ruling. They were kings of Judah. Isaiah was the son of Amoz.
The nation refuses to obey the Lord
2Listen to me, you heavens! Pay attention to me, earth! The LORD has said, ‘I raised children. I brought them up. But they have refused to obey me.3The ox knows its master. The donkey knows where its owner feeds it. But Israel does not know me. My people do not understand me.’4How terrible it will be for this sinful nation! They are loaded down with guilt. They are people who do nothing but evil. They are children who are always sinning. They have deserted the LORD. They have turned against the Holy One of Israel. They have turned their backs on him.5Israel, why do you want to be beaten all the time? Why do you always refuse to obey the LORD? Your head is covered with wounds. Your whole heart is weak.6There isn’t a healthy spot on your body. You are not healthy from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head. You have nothing but wounds, cuts and open sores. They haven’t been cleaned up or bandaged or treated with olive oil.7Your country has been deserted. Your cities have been burned down. The food from your fields is being eaten up by outsiders. They are doing it right in front of you. Your land has been completely destroyed. It looks as if strangers have taken it over.8The city of Zion is left like a shed where someone stands guard in a vineyard. It is left like a hut in a cucumber field. It’s like a city being attacked.9The LORD who rules over all has let some people live through that time of trouble. If he hadn’t, we would have become like Sodom. We would have been like Gomorrah.10Rulers of Sodom, hear the LORD’s message. People of Gomorrah, listen to the instruction of our God.11‘Do you think I need any more of your sacrifices?’ asks the LORD. ‘I have more than enough of your burnt offerings. I have more than enough of rams and the fat of your fattest animals. I do not find any pleasure in the blood of your bulls, lambs and goats.12Who asked you to bring all these animals when you come to worship me? Who asked you and your animals to walk all over my courtyards?13Stop bringing offerings that do not mean anything to me! I hate your incense. I can’t stand your worthless gatherings. I can’t stand the way you celebrate your New Moon feasts, Sabbath days and special services.14Your New Moon feasts and your other appointed feasts I hate with my whole being. They have become a heavy load to me. I am tired of carrying it.15You might spread out your hands towards me when you pray. But I do not look at you. You might even offer many prayers. But I am not listening to them. Your hands are covered with the blood of the people you have murdered.16So wash and make yourselves clean. Get your evil actions out of my sight! Stop doing what is wrong!17Learn to do what is right! Treat people fairly. Help those who are treated badly. Stand up in court for children whose fathers have died. And do the same thing for widows.18‘Come. Let us settle this matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Even though your sins are bright red, they will be as white as snow. Even though they are deep red, they will be white like wool.19But you have to be willing to change and obey me. If you are, you will eat the good things that grow on the land.20But if you are not willing to obey me, you will be killed by swords.’ The LORD has spoken.21See how the faithful city of Jerusalem has become like a prostitute! Once it was full of people who treated others fairly. Those who did what was right used to live in it. But now murderers live there!22Jerusalem, your silver isn’t pure anymore. Your best wine has been made weak with water.23Your rulers refuse to obey the LORD. They join forces with robbers. All of them love to accept money from those who want special favours. They are always looking for gifts from other people. They don’t stand up in court for children whose fathers have died. They don’t do it for widows either.24The Lord is the Mighty One of Israel. The LORD who rules over all announces, ‘Israel, you have become my enemies. I will act against you in my anger. I will pay you back for what you have done.25I will turn my power against you. I will make you completely “clean”. I will remove everything that is not pure.26I will give you leaders like the ones you had long ago. I will give you rulers like those you had at the beginning. Then you will be called the City That Does What Is Right. You will also be called the Faithful City.’27Zion will be saved when justice is done. Those who are sorry for their sins will be saved when what is right is done.28But sinners and those who refuse to obey the LORD will be destroyed. And those who desert the LORD will die.29‘Israel, you take delight in worshipping among the sacred oak trees. You will be full of shame for doing that. You have chosen to worship in the sacred gardens. You will be dishonoured for doing that.30You will be like an oak tree whose leaves are dying. You will be like a garden that doesn’t have any water.31Your strongest men will become like dry pieces of wood. Their worship of other gods will be the spark that lights the fire. Everything will be burned. No one will be there to put the fire out.’
2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. (De 4:26; De 32:1; De 32:6; De 32:10; De 32:15; Mic 1:2; Mic 6:2)3The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” (Jer 8:7)4Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. (Isa 5:24; Isa 31:1; Eze 14:5; Mt 3:7)5Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. (Isa 9:13; Isa 31:6; Jer 5:3)6From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. (Ps 38:3; Jer 8:22)7Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners. (De 28:51; Isa 5:5; Isa 6:11)8And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city. (Job 27:18; Isa 10:32; Isa 37:22; Zec 2:10; Zec 9:9)9If the Lord of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah. (Ge 19:24; Isa 10:21; Isa 13:19; La 3:22; Ro 9:29)10Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! (De 32:32; Isa 3:9; Eze 16:46; Eze 16:48; Eze 16:55; Re 11:8)11“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (1Sa 15:22; Pr 15:8; Isa 66:3; Jer 6:20; Mal 1:10)12“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? (Ex 23:17; Ex 34:23)13Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. (Ex 12:16; Le 23:36; Nu 28:11; 1Ch 23:31; Jer 7:9; Joe 2:15)14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. (Isa 1:13)15When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. (1Ki 8:22; Pr 1:28; Isa 59:3; Mic 3:4)16Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, (Jer 2:22; 1Pe 3:11)17learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isa 1:23; Jer 22:3; Jas 1:27)18“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Ps 51:7; Isa 43:26; Mic 6:2; Re 7:14)19If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; (De 30:15)20but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Nu 23:19; Isa 1:2; Isa 24:3; Isa 40:5; Isa 58:14; Mic 4:4)
The Unfaithful City
21How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. (Ex 34:15; Jer 2:20; Jer 31:23)22Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water. (Jer 6:30; Eze 22:18)23Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them. (Ex 23:8; Isa 1:17; Jer 5:28; Mic 7:3; Zec 7:10)24Therefore the Lord declares, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will get relief from my enemies and avenge myself on my foes. (De 32:41; Ps 132:2; Isa 3:1; Isa 10:33)25I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. (Ps 81:14; Isa 5:25; Eze 22:20; Am 1:8; Mal 3:3)26And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Jer 33:7; Jer 33:11; Zec 8:3)27Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. (Jer 22:3)28But rebels and sinners shall be broken together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. (Job 31:3; Ps 1:6)29For they shall be ashamed of the oaks that you desired; and you shall blush for the gardens that you have chosen. (Isa 57:5; Isa 65:3; Isa 66:17; Ho 4:13; Ho 4:19)30For you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water. (Jer 17:8)31And the strong shall become tinder, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with none to quench them. (Jud 16:9; Isa 66:24)