Isaiah 1

1This is the vision of Isaiah son of Amoz. God showed Isaiah things that would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah saw these things during the time Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. 2Heaven and Earth, listen to the Lord! The Lord says, “I raised my children. I helped my children grow. But my children turned against me. 3A cow knows its master. And a donkey knows the place where its owner feeds it. But the people of Israel don’t know me. My people don’t understand.” 4The nation of Israel is full of guilt. This guilt is like a heavy weight the people have to carry. Those people are like bad children from evil families. They left the Lord. They insulted the Holy One ˻(God)˼ of Israel. They left him and treated him like a stranger. 5˻God says,˼ “Why should I continue to punish you people? ˻I punished you, but you did not change.˼ You continue to rebel against me. Now every head and every heart is sick. 6From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, every part of your body has wounds, hurts, and open sores. You have not cared for your sores. Your wounds are not cleaned and covered. 7“Your land is ruined. Your cities have been burned with fire. Your enemies have taken your land. Your land is ruined like a country destroyed by armies. 8The Daughter of Zion ˻(Jerusalem)˼ is now like an empty tent left in a field of grapes. It is like an old house left in a field of cucumbers. It is like a city that has been defeated by enemies.” 9˻This is true,˼ but the Lord All-Powerful did allow a few people to continue living. We were not completely destroyed like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. 10You leaders of Sodom, listen to the Lord’s message! You people of Gomorrah, listen to God’s teachings! 11The Lord says, “Why do you continue giving me all these sacrifices? I have had enough of your sacrifices of rams and fat from well-fed animals. I am not pleased by the blood of bulls, sheep, and goats. 12“When you people come to meet with me, you trample ˻(walk on)˼ everything in my yard. Who told you to do this? 13“Don’t continue bringing worthless sacrifices to me. I hate the incense you give me. I can’t bear your feasts for the New Moon, the Sabbath, and your holidays. I hate the evil you do during your holy meetings. 14With my whole self I hate your monthly meetings and councils. These meetings have become like heavy weights to me. And I am tired of carrying those weights. 15“You people will raise your arms to pray to me—but I will refuse to look at you. You people will say more and more prayers—but I will refuse to listen to you. Why? Because your hands are covered with blood. 16“Wash yourselves. Make yourselves clean. Stop doing the bad things you do. I don’t want to see those bad things. Stop doing wrong! 17Learn to do good things. Be fair with other people. Punish the people that hurt others. Help the children that have no parents. Help the women whose husbands are dead.” 18The Lord says, “Come, let’s discuss these things. Your sins are red like scarlet, but they can be ˻washed away and you will be˼ white like snow. Your sins are bright red, but you can become white like wool. 19“If you listen to the things I say, then you will have the good things from this land. 20But if you refuse to listen, you are against me. And your enemies will destroy you.” The Lord himself said those things. 21˻God says,˼ “Look at Jerusalem. She was a city that trusted and followed me. What caused her to become like a prostitute? She does not follow me now. Jerusalem should be filled with fairness. People living in Jerusalem should live the way God wants. But now, murderers live there. 22“Goodness is like silver. But your silver has become worthless. Your wine ˻(goodness)˼ has been mixed with water—it is now weak. 23Your rulers are rebels and friends of thieves. All of your rulers demand bribes—they accept money for doing wrong things. All of your rulers take pay for cheating people. Your rulers don’t try to help the children that have no parents. And your rulers don’t listen to the needs of the women whose husbands are dead.” 24Because of all these things, the Master, the Lord All-Powerful, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “I will punish you, my enemies. You will not cause me any more trouble. 25People use lye to clean silver. ˻In the same way,˼ I will clean all your wrongs away. I will take all the worthless things out from you. 26I will bring back the kind of judges you had in the beginning. Your counselors will be like the counselors you had long ago. Then you will be called 'The Good and Faithful City.’” 27˻God is˼ good and does the things that are right. So he will rescue Zion and the people that come back to him. 28But all criminals and sinners will be destroyed. (They are the people that don’t follow the Lord.) 29˻In the future,˼ people will be ashamed of the oak trees and special gardens you choose to worship. 30This will happen because you people will be like oak trees with leaves that are dying. You people will be like a garden dying without water. 31Powerful people will be like small dry pieces of wood. And the things those people do will be like sparks ˻that start a fire˼—the powerful people and the things they do will begin to burn. And no person will be able to stop that fire.

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