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Prophecies against Judah

1THE vision which Isaiah son of Amoz had about Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

2Let the heavens and the earth give ear, for it is the LORD who speaks: I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.

3An ox knows its owner and a donkey its master's stall; but Israel lacks all knowledge, my people has no discernment.

4You sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, a race of evildoers, children whose lives are depraved, who have deserted the LORD, spurned the Holy One of Israel, and turned your backs on him!

5Why do you invite more punishment, why persist in your defection? Your head is all covered with sores, your whole body is bruised;

6from head to foot there is not a sound spot in you -- nothing but weals and welts and raw wounds which have not felt compress or bandage or the soothing touch of oil.

7Your country is desolate, your cities burnt down. Before your eyes strangers devour your land; it is as desolate as Sodom after its overthrow.

8Only Zion is left, like a watchman's shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a plot of cucumbers, like a beleaguered city.

9Had the LORD of Hosts not left us a few survivors, we should have become like Sodom, no better than Gomorrah.

10Listen to the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah:

11Your countless sacrifices, what are they to me? says the LORD. I am sated with whole-offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed cattle; I have no desire for the blood of bulls, of sheep, and of he-goats,

12when you come into my presence. Who has asked you for all this? No more shall you tread my courts.

13To bring me offerings is futile; the reek of sacrifice is abhorrent to me. New moons and sabbaths and sacred assemblies -- such idolatrous ceremonies I cannot endure.

14I loathe your new moons and your festivals; they have become a burden to me, and I can tolerate them no longer.

15When you hold out your hands in prayer, I shall turn away my eyes. Though you offer countless prayers, I shall not listen; there is blood on your hands.

16Wash and be clean; put away your evil deeds far from my sight; cease to do evil,

17learn to do good. Pursue justice, guide the oppressed; uphold the rights of the fatherless, and plead the widow's cause.

18Now come, let us argue this out, says the LORD. Though your sins are scarlet, they may yet be white as snow; though they are dyed crimson, they may become white as wool.

19If you are willing to obey, you will eat the best that earth yields;

20but if you refuse and rebel, the sword will devour you. The LORD himself has spoken.

21How the faithful city has played the whore! Once the home of justice where righteousness dwelt, she is now inhabited by murderers.

22Your silver has turned to dross and your fine liquor is diluted with water.

23Your rulers are rebels, associates of thieves; every one of them loves a bribe and chases after gifts; they deny the fatherless their rights, and the widow's cause is never heard.

24This therefore is the word of the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: Alas for you! I shall secure a respite from my foes and wreak vengeance on my enemies.

25Once again I shall act against you to refine away your dross as if with potash and purge all your impurities.

26I shall make your judges what once they were and your counsellors like those of old. Then you will be called Home of Righteousness, the Faithful City.

27Zion will be redeemed by justice and her returning people by righteousness.

28Rebels and sinners alike will be broken and those who forsake the LORD will cease to be.

29The sacred oaks in which you delighted will play you false, the garden-shrines of your fancy will fail you.

30You will be like a terebinth with withered leaves, like a garden without water.

31The strongest tree will flare up like tow, and what is made from it will go up in sparks; both will burn together with no one to quench the flames.

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