Isaiah, CHAPTER 1
The vision which Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
ACCUSATION AND APPEAL
Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth,
for the LORD speaks:
Sons have I raised and reared,
but they have rebelled against me!
An ox knows its owner,
and an ass, its master’s manger;
But Israel does not know,
my people has not understood.
Ah! Sinful nation, people laden with wickedness,
evil offspring, corrupt children!
They have forsaken the LORD,
spurned the Holy One of Israel,
Why would you yet be struck,
that you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot to the head
there is no sound spot in it;
Just bruise and welt and oozing wound,
not drained, or bandaged,
or eased with salve.
Your country is waste,
your cities burnt with fire;
Your land―before your eyes
strangers devour it,
a waste, like the devastation of Sodom.
And daughter Zion is left
like a hut in a vineyard,
Like a shed in a melon patch,
like a city blockaded.
If the LORD of hosts had not
left us a small remnant,
We would have become as Sodom,
would have resembled Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!
What do I care for the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD.
I have had enough of whole-burnt rams
and fat of fatlings;
In the blood of calves, lambs, and goats
I find no pleasure.
When you come to appear before me,
who asks these things of you?
Trample my courts no more!
To bring offerings is useless;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath, calling assemblies―
festive convocations with wickedness―
these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest;
they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
When you spread out your hands,
I will close my eyes to you;
Though you pray the more
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil;
learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be red like crimson,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
you shall be eaten by the sword:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!
THE PURIFICATION OF JERUSALEM
How she has become a prostitute,
the faithful city, so upright!
Justice used to lodge within her,
but now, murderers.
Your silver is turned to dross,
your wine is mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels
and comrades of thieves;
Each one of them loves a bribe
and looks for gifts.
The fatherless they do not defend,
the widow’s plea does not reach them.
Now, therefore, says the Lord,
the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah! I will take vengeance on my foes
and fully repay my enemies!
I will turn my hand against you,
and refine your dross in the furnace,
removing all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at first,
and your counselors as in the beginning;
After that you shall be called
city of justice, faithful city.
Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and her repentant ones by righteousness.
Rebels and sinners together shall be crushed,
those who desert the LORD shall be consumed.
JUDGMENT ON THE SACRED GROVES
You shall be ashamed of the terebinths which you desired,
and blush on account of the gardens which you chose.
You shall become like a terebinth whose leaves wither,
like a garden that has no water.
The strong tree shall turn to tinder,
and the one who tends it shall become a spark;
Both of them shall burn together,
and there shall be none to quench them.