Against an unthinking people
1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz foretold concerning Ju dah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Heze kiah, kings of Judah.
2 Listen, O heavens!
2 Give heed, O earth! for the Lord speaks:
2 “I raised children, I brought them up,
2 but they have risen against me.
3 The ox knows its master
3 and the ass its owner’s manger,
3 but Israel does not know me,
3 my people do not understand.
4 A sinful nation,
4 a people weighed down with iniquity,
4 a wicked race, perverted children!
4 They have turned away from Yahweh
4 and despised the Holy One of Israel.
5 Shall I strike you again and again?
5 People always rebelling,
5 your whole head is diseased
5 and your heart also afflicted.
6 From the soles of your feet
6 to the top of your head –
6 all is wounds and bruises,
6 sores uncleaned and unbound,
6 not eased with soothing ointment.
7 Your country lies desolate,
7 your cities razed by fire.
7 Aliens have devoured the harvest
7 before your very eyes,
7 and you were left in ruins.
8 The Daughter of Zion is left
8 like a shanty in a vineyard,
8 like a hut in a melon field,
8 like a hamleted town.
9 Had not Yahweh of hosts
9 left us a small remnant,
9 we would resemble Sodom,
9 we would be like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the warning of Yahweh,
10 rulers of Sodom.
10 Listen to the word of God,
10 people of Gomorrah.”
11 “What do I care,” says Yahweh
11 “for your endless sacrifices?
11 I am fed up with your burnt offerings,
11 and the fat of your bulls.
11 The blood of fatlings, and lambs and he-goats
11 I abhor.
12 When you come before me and trample on my courts,
12 who asked you to visit me?
13 I am fed up with your oblations.
13 I grow sick with your incense.
13 Your New Moons, Sabbaths and meetings,
13 evil with holy assemblies,
13 I can no longer bear.
14 I hate your New Moons and ap pointed feasts
14 they burden me.
15 When you stretch out your hands
15 I will close my eyes;
15 the more you pray,
15 the more I refuse to listen,
15 for your hands are bloody.
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
16 Remove from my sight
16 the evil of your deeds.
16 Put an end to your wickedness
17 and learn to do good.
17 Seek justice and keep in line the abusers;
17 give the fatherless their rights
17 and defend the widow.”
18 “Come,” says the Lord,
18 “let us reason together.
18 Though your sins be like scarlet,
18 they will be white as snow;
18 though they be as crimson red,
18 they will be white as wool.
19 If you will obey me,
19 you will eat the goods of the earth;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
20 the sword will eat you instead.”
20 Truly the Lord has spoken.
You became a harlot
21 Zion, the faithful city,
21 has become a harlot!
21 She who abounded in justice,
21 in whom righteousness lodged,
21 has become a hideout of murderers!
22 Your silver has turned to dross,
22 your best wine thinned with water.
23 Your rulers are tyrants,
23 partners of thieves.
23 They love a bribe
23 and look around for gifts.
23 No one protects the orphan,
23 or listens to the claim of the widow.
24 This is why the Lord speaks,
24 Yahweh Sabaoth,
24 the Mighty One of Israel:
24 “I will subdue my foes
24 and exact payment from my enemies.
25 I will turn my hand against you,
25 I will smelt away your dross and remove your impurities.
26 I will restore your judges,
26 I will give back your counselors,
26 as it was in the beginning.
26 Then you will be called
26 the City of Righteousness,
26 the Faithful City.”
27 The deliverance of Zion will be like a judgment
27 there will be a remnant: the just ones.
28 But rebels and sinners
28 alike will be destroyed,
28 and those who desert the Lord
28 will likewise perish.
29 Yes, you will be ashamed of your sacred oaks which have
29 given you delight;
29 you will blush for your gardens
29 which you have chosen.
30 You will be like an oak,
30 the leaves of which wither,
30 and like a garden
30 which runs out of water.
31 The strongman will be as tinder
31 and all his work a spark:
31 both will burn together
31 and no one will quench the fire.