The Bible – Old Testament
1 The vision which Isaiah, son of Amoz, had concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth, for the LORD speaks: Sons have I raised and reared, but they have disowned me!
2 An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master’s manger; But Israel does not know, my people has not understood.
3 Ah! sinful nation, people laden with wickedness, evil race, corrupt children! They have forsaken the LORD, spurned the Holy One of Israel, apostatized.
4 Where would you yet be struck, you that rebel again and again? The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot to the head there is no sound spot: Wound and welt and gaping gash, not drained, or bandaged, or eased with salve.
Your country is waste, your cities burnt with fire; Your land before your eyes strangers devour (a waste, like Sodom overthrown) –
5 And daughter Zion is left like a hut in a vineyard, Like a shed in a melon patch, like a city blockaded.
6 Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a scanty remnant, We had become as Sodom, we should be like Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah!
7 What care I for the number 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 in to visit me, who asks these things of you?
8 Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies, octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
9 When you spread out your hands, I 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 crimson red, 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, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!
10 How has she turned adulteress, 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 defend not, and 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.
11 Zion shall be redeemed by judgment, and her repentant ones by justice.
Rebels and sinners alike shall be crushed, those who desert the LORD shall be consumed.
12 You shall be ashamed of the terebinths which you prized, and blush for the groves which you chose.
You shall become like a tree with falling leaves, like a garden that has no water.
The strong man shall turn to tow, and his work shall become a spark; Both shall burn together, and there shall be none to quench the flames.
1  The title of the book: an editorial addition. Isaiah: meaning “the salvation of the LORD,” or “The LORD is salvation.” Amoz: not the minor prophet. Judah: the southern kingdom of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Uzziah: also called Azariah; cf ⇒ 2 Kings 15:1; ⇒ 2 Chron 26:1.
2  Israel: not the northern kingdom, as in ⇒ Isaiah 9:11 exclusively, which Isaiah usually calls “Ephraim” from the tribe bordering on the southern kingdom, but the entire chosen people, cf ⇒ Isaiah 8:14.
3  Holy One of Israel: a title used frequently by Isaiah, rarely by other writers.
4 [5-8] Sufferings inflicted upon God’s people for their sins.
5  Daughter Zion: Jerusalem. Hut . . . shed: for the shelter of watchmen and laborers.
6  LORD of hosts: God, who is the Creator and Ruler of the heavenly armies of the angels, stars, etc. Remnant: St. Paul uses this text in ⇒ Romans 9:29 where he speaks of God’s saving mercy toward the Jews and Gentiles. Sodom . . . Gomorrah: cf Genesis 19.
7  The number of your sacrifices: however numerous, they are not acceptable without the right dispositions on the part of the worshipers.
8  Octaves with wickedness: the solemnity of the feasts marred by evil deeds.
9  Spread out your hands: in prayer.
10  A picture of Jerusalem, once so faithful to God. Apostasy from the covenant is often likened by the prophets to unfaithfulness to the marriage vow.
11  This verse is the key to the whole Book of Isaiah. Zion’s defiant persistence in sin has demanded a divine judgment, by which her survivors will be cleansed and will return to God in justice; cf ⇒ Isaiah 40:2.
12  Terebinths which you prized . . . groves which you chose: as popular shrines for idolatrous worship.