ISAIAH
1
I am Isaiah, the son of Amoz. Yahweh showed me visions about Jerusalem and all the other places in Judah. He showed me these visions during the years that Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
A message about the rebellious nation of Judah
This is what Yahweh says:
“All you angels in [APO] heaven and all you people on [APO] earth, listen to me!
The people that I caused to exist and took care of [DOU]
have rebelled against me.
Oxen know their owners,
and donkeys know who provides food for them,
but my Israeli people do not know me;
they do not realize that I am the one who takes care of them.”
Terrible things will happen to that sinful nation,
to those people who are guilty of much sin.
They are a group of very evil people,
who act very unjustly.
They have abandoned Yahweh,
the holy one of Israel;
they have ◄abandoned/turned away from► him.
Why do you [RHQ] continue to do things for which you should be punished?
Why do you continue to rebel against Yahweh?
You are like [MET] someone whose head is badly injured
and whose mind is sick/corrupt.
It is as though [MET] from the soles/bottoms of your feet to the top of your head
nothing is healthy;
there are only open wounds and cuts and sores
that have not been cleaned or bandaged,
and no olive oil has been put on them to lessen the pain.
It is as though your country is ruined/desolate;
our towns have been burned.
Foreigners plunder/steal the crops in your fields while you watch;
they destroy everything that they see.
The city of Jerusalem has already been abandoned,
it is like [SIM] a shelter in a vineyard that has been abandoned by the watchmen;
it is like [SIM] a watchman's hut in a field of melons that has been deserted.
It is a city surrounded by its enemies who are waiting to attack it.
If Yahweh, our Supreme Commander, had not allowed a few of us his people to ◄survive/remain alive►,
we would have all been destroyed,
like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.
10 You leaders of Judah are as wicked as the rulers of Sodom were,
and you other people in Jerusalem areas are as wicked as the people in Gomorrah were.
Listen to this message from Yahweh, all of you!
11 He says, “You continue to bring many sacrifices to me,
but I do not [RHQ] want them because you do not worship me sincerely!
You bring me many offerings to be completely burned on the altar,
but I ◄am tired/do not want anymore► of your burning all those offerings,
burning rams and the fat from fat cattle.
I am not pleased with the blood of bulls and lambs and goats
that the priest pours against the altar.
12 When you come to my temple to worship me,
no one [RHQ] told you to trample on my courtyard while you perform all those rituals.
13 Stop bringing to me those offerings, because they are useless to me;
I am disgusted with the incense that the priests burn!
And your feasts to celebrate the new moon each month and your ◄Sabbath days/days of rest► and your other festivals—
I detest them because of the wicked things that you do!
14 I [SYN] hate all your celebrations of the new moon and the other festivals that you celebrate each year.
They are like [MET] a heavy burden that I am tired of carrying.
15 So, when you lift up your hands when you pray to me,
I will not even look at you.
Even if you pray to me very frequently,
I will not listen to you,
because it is as thoughyour hands are covered with the blood of people whom you have killed.
16 Wash your inner beings, and become spirituallyclean!
Get rid of your evil behavior!
Stop doing things that are wrong!
17 Learn to do deeds that are good.
Try to cause people to do what is just.
Help people who are ◄oppressed/treated cruelly►.
Defend orphans and widows when people take them to court.”
18 Yahweh says, “You need to think about the results of what you do.
Even though the guilt of your sins be as evident and as difficult to get rid of as [SIM] red stains on a white garment [DOU],
I will get rid of them completely
like someone who can make that stained garment become as white as snow or wool [DOU].
19 If you are willing to obey me,
I will enable you to have plenty to eat.
20 But, if you turn away from me and rebel against me,
you will be killed by your enemies' swords.
That will surely happen, because I, Yahweh, have said it.”
Yahweh condemned Jerusalem
21  You people of Jerusalem previously faithfully worshiped only me,
but now you have become like [MET] prostitutes who are not faithful to any husband.
Previously, people there always acted justly/fairly and righteously,
but now your city is full of murderers.
22 Previously, you were like [MET] pure silver,
but now you have become like [MET] the scum that is left when the silver is purified.
Previously you were like pure wine,
but you have become like [MET] wine that has a lot of water mixed with it.
23 Your leaders are rebels;
they spend time with thieves.
They all want to get bribes
and force others to give them gifts in order that they do good things for them.
They do not defend orphans in court,
and they do not do all they can to enable widows to get what they should receive.
24 Therefore I, your Supreme Commander, the mighty God of Israel, say to my enemies,
“I will get revenge on you;
you will not cause me any more trouble.
And I will pay you back for the evil things that you did.
25 I will raise my fist to strike you.
I will punish you severely [MET],
as though [MET] you were silver and I needed to heat you very greatly to melt you and get rid of the impurities.
26  After that happens, I will give you good judges like you had previously;
you will have wise counselors like you had long ago.
Then people will call your city ‘a city where people act righteously,’
a city where people are loyal to me.”
27 Because the people of Jerusalem will do what is fair/just,
their city will be restored;
those who repent will be saved
because of their acting righteously.
28 But rebels and sinners will be crushed by Yahweh,
and those who forsake him will disappear.
29 You will be ashamed because you worshiped idols under the oak trees that you considered to be sacred;
you will be disgraced because you worshiped idols in the gardens where you chose to worship them.
30 You will be like [SIM] a very large tree which has withered leaves,
like [SIM] a garden that is dried up because it has no water.
31 Those among you who are very strong will become like [MET] dry wood,
and the work they do will be like [MET] a spark;
both they and the evil things that they do will burn up completely,
and no one will be able to put out the fire.