Isaiah 1:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

New Living Translation
"Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

English Standard Version
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

New American Standard Bible
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.

King James Bible
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Come, let us discuss this," says the LORD." Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.

International Standard Version
"Please come, and let's reason together," implores the LORD. "Even though your sins are like scarlet, they'll be white like snow. Though they're like crimson, they'll become like wool.

NET Bible
Come, let's consider your options," says the LORD. "Though your sins have stained you like the color red, you can become white like snow; though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet, you can become white like wool.

New Heart English Bible
"Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD: "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Come on now, let's discuss this!" says the LORD. "Though your sins are bright red, they will become as white as snow. Though they are dark red, they will become as white as wool.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Come now, and let us reason together, Saith the LORD; Though your sins be as scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, They shall be as wool.

New American Standard 1977
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
            Says the LORD,
            “Though your sins are as scarlet,
            They will be as white as snow;
            Though they are red like crimson,
            They will be like wool.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then come, shall the LORD say, and we shall be even; if your sins were as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow; if they were red like crimson, they shall become as wool.

King James 2000 Bible
Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

American King James Version
Come now, and let us reason together, said the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

American Standard Version
Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.

Darby Bible Translation
Come now, let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

English Revised Version
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Webster's Bible Translation
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

World English Bible
"Come now, and let us reason together," says Yahweh: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Young's Literal Translation
Come, I pray you, and we reason, saith Jehovah, If your sins are as scarlet, as snow they shall be white, If they are red as crimson, as wool they shall be!
Study Bible
Meaningless Offerings
17Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. 18"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. 19"If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land;…
Cross References
Revelation 7:14
"Sir," I answered, "you know." So he replied, "These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Job 9:33
"There is no umpire between us, Who may lay his hand upon us both.

Psalm 51:7
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Isaiah 41:1
"Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment.

Isaiah 41:21
"Present your case," the LORD says. "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says.

Isaiah 43:25
"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.

Isaiah 43:26
"Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; State your cause, that you may be proved right.

Isaiah 44:22
"I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

Isaiah 50:8
He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me.

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Treasury of Scripture

Come now, and let us reason together, said the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

and let us

Isaiah 41:21 Produce your cause, said the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, …

Isaiah 43:24-26 You have bought me no sweet cane with money, neither have you filled …

1 Samuel 12:7 Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the …

Jeremiah 2:5 Thus said the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, …

Micah 6:2 Hear you, O mountains, the LORD's controversy, and you strong foundations …

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three sabbath days …

Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the …

Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to …

though your

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as …

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall …

Micah 7:18,19 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the …

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where …

Ephesians 1:6-8 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted …

Revelation 7:14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they …

(18) Come now, and let us reason together.--The Authorised Version suggests the thought of a discussion between equals. The Hebrew implies rather the tone of one who gives an authoritative ultimatum, as from a judge to the accused, who had no defence, or only a sham defence, to offer (Micah 6:2-3). "Let us sum up the pleadings--that ultimatum is one of grace and mercy--'Repent, and be forgiven.'"

Though your sins be as scarlet.--The two colours probably corresponded to those now designated by the English words. Both words point to the dyes of Tyre, and the words probably received a fresh emphasis from the fact that robes of these colours were worn by the princes to whom Isaiah preached (2Samuel 1:24). To the prophet's eye that dark crimson was as the stain of blood. What Jehovah promises is that the guilt of the past, deep-dyed in grain as it might be, should be discharged, and leave the character with a restored purity. Men might dye their souls of this or that hue, but to bleach them was the work of God. He alone could transfigure them that they should be "white as snow" (Mark 9:3). Comp. the reproduction of the thought, with the added paradox that it was the crimson "blood of the lamb" that was to bleach and cleanse, in Revelation 3:4-5; Revelation 7:14.

Verse 18. - Come now, and let us reason together. God has from time to time permitted man to reason with him (Genesis 18:23-32; Exodus 4:1-17; Job 23:3-7; Micah 6:2); but it is difficult to see that there is any "reasoning" or "controversy" here. Mr. Cheyne translates, "Let us bring our dispute to an end." Though your sins be as scarlet... like crimson; i.e. "open, evident, glaring." Or there may be an allusion to their blood-guiltiness (see vers. 15, 19). They shall be as white as snow. Comp. Psalm 51:7, which is completely parallel, whether it was written before or after. There can be no better image of, purity than snow (comp. Job 9:30; Lamentations 4:7). As wool. A weaker illustration than the preceding one, but needed for the parallelism. (The resemblance of falling snow to wool is noted in Psalm 147:16.) Come now, and let us reason, together, saith the Lord,.... These words stand not in connection either with the preceding or following, but are to be read in a parenthesis, and are thrown in for the sake of the small remnant God had left among this wicked people, in order to comfort them, being distressed with sin. These, seeing their sins in their dreadful colours, and with all their aggravating circumstances, were ready to conclude that they were unpardonable; and, seeing God as an angry Judge, dared not come nigh him, but stood at a distance, fearing and expecting his vengeance to fall upon them, and therefore put away the promises, and refused to be comforted; when the Lord was pleased to encourage them to draw near to him, and come and reason with him: not at the bar of his justice; there is no reasoning with him there; none can contend with him, or answer him, one of a thousand; if he marks iniquity in strict justice, none can stand before him; there is no entering the lists with him upon the foot of justice, or at its bar: but at the bar of mercy, at the throne of grace; there the righteous may dispute with him from his declarations and promises, as well as come with boldness to him; and at the altar and sacrifice of Christ, and at the fountain of his blood: here sinners may reason with him from the virtue and efficacy of his blood and sacrifice; and from the Lord's proclamation of grace and mercy through him; and from his promises to forgive repenting and confessing sinners: and here God reasons with sensible souls from his own covenant promises and proclamations to forgive sin; from the aboundings of his grace over abounding sin; from the righteousness of Christ to justify, his blood to cleanse from sin, and his sacrifice to atone for it; and from the end of his coming into the world to save the chief of sinners: saying,

though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Every sin is a transgression of the law, and hateful and abominable to God; no sin is venial in itself, but deserving of the wrath of God, and the curses of the law; all sin is mortal, the wages of it is death: but all are not alike; some are greater, others lesser; some are attended with aggravating circumstances, as when the persons that commit them have, besides the light of nature, also the law of Moses, or the Gospel of Christ; have had the advantage of a religious education; have sat under a Gospel ministry, and received much speculative light and knowledge; yea, have been under convictions of sin time after time, and yet have been ringleaders and encouragers of others in sin, guilty of very enormous crimes, which in themselves are comparable to "scarlet" and "crimson": and perhaps reference may be had to the sin of murder, since the persons, among whom these dwelt, their hands were full of blood; and may respect the crucifiers of Christ, among whom there were some savingly convicted and converted. Moreover, they may be signified hereby on account of the effects of them, they defile men, provoke God to wrath, and, through the law, work wrath in their consciences; and may signify, that they are sins of a deep dye, and which have such a place in their hearts and consciences, that nothing can remove them but the blood of Christ: and besides are open, flagrant, and notorious to all, and especially to God; yet these, through the grace and blood of Jesus, become as white as wool and as snow: not that pardon of sin takes sin out of the hearts and natures of men, nor changes the nature of sin, or causes it to cease to be sin; but this is to be understood of the persons of sinners, who hereby are made so white, yea, whiter than this, Psalm 51:1 as they are considered in Christ, washed in his blood, and clothed with his righteousness, which is fine linen, clean and white; God, seeing no iniquity in them, has thus graciously dealt with them, and they being without fault, spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. It was with respect to this Scripture that the Jews in later times were wont to tie a scarlet thread to the head of the scapegoat, when he was sent into the wilderness; though at first they fastened it to the door of the outward porch, and then to the door of the inward porch, and, if it turned white, it was a sign their sins were forgiven them, but, if not, otherwise (k); and it is owned by them, that it belongs to future time, the time of the Messiah (l).

(k) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 89. 2.((l) Gussetius observes, that signifies not "oppressed", but infected with leaven, and so means, reduce to a right way him that is corrupt with the leaven of vice, by hindering him that he may not go on to hurt the fatherless. Comment. Ebr. p. 265. 18. God deigns to argue the case with us, that all may see the just, nay, loving principle of His dealings with men (Isa 43:26).

scarlet—the color of Jesus Christ's robe when bearing our "sins" (Mt 27:28). So Rahab's thread (Jos 2:18; compare Le 14:4). The rabbins say that when the lot used to be taken, a scarlet fillet was bound on the scapegoat's head, and after the high priest had confessed his and the people's sins over it, the fillet became white: the miracle ceased, according to them, forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, that is, exactly when Jesus Christ was crucified; a remarkable admission of adversaries. Hebrew for "scarlet" radically means double-dyed; so the deep-fixed permanency of sin in the heart, which no mere tears can wash away.

snow—(Ps 51:7). Repentance is presupposed, before sin can be made white as snow (Isa 1:19, 20); it too is God's gift (Jer 31:18, Lam 5:21, Acts 5:31).

red—refers to "blood" (Isa 1:15).

as wool—restored to its original undyed whiteness. This verse shows that the old fathers did not look only for transitory promises (Article VII, Book of Common Prayer). For sins of ignorance, and such like, alone had trespass offerings appointed for them; greater guilt therefore needed a greater sacrifice, for, "without shedding of blood there was no remission"; but none such was appointed, and yet forgiveness was promised and expected; therefore spiritual Jews must have looked for the One Mediator of both Old Testament and New Testament, though dimly understood.1:16-20 Not only feel sorrow for the sin committed, but break off the practice. We must be doing, not stand idle. We must be doing the good the Lord our God requires. It is plain that the sacrifices of the law could not atone, even for outward national crimes. But, blessed be God, there is a Fountain opened, in which sinners of every age and rank may be cleansed. Though our sins have been as scarlet and crimson, a deep dye, a double dye, first in the wool of original corruption, and afterwards in the many threads of actual transgression; though we have often dipped into sin, by many backslidings; yet pardoning mercy will take out the stain, Ps 51:7. They should have all the happiness and comfort they could desire. Life and death, good and evil, are set before us. O Lord, incline all of us to live to thy glory.
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