Isaiah 1:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
See how the faithful city has become a prostitute! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her-- but now murderers!

New Living Translation
See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute. Once the home of justice and righteousness, she is now filled with murderers.

English Standard Version
How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

New American Standard Bible
How the faithful city has become a harlot, She who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers.

King James Bible
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The faithful city-- what an adulteress she has become! She was once full of justice. Righteousness once dwelt in her-- but now, murderers!

International Standard Version
"How the faithful city has become a whore, she who used to be filled with justice! Righteousness used to reside within her, but now only murderers live there.

NET Bible
How tragic that the once-faithful city has become a prostitute! She was once a center of justice, fairness resided in her, but now only murderers.

New Heart English Bible
How the faithful city has become a prostitute. She was full of justice; righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
How the faithful town has become a prostitute! She was full of justice, and righteousness lived in her. But now murderers live there!

JPS Tanakh 1917
How is the faithful city Become a harlot! She that was full of justice, Righteousness lodged in her, But now murderers.

New American Standard 1977
How the faithful city has become a harlot,
            She who was full of justice!
            Righteousness once lodged in her,
            But now murderers.

Jubilee Bible 2000
How is the faithful city become a harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers.

King James 2000 Bible
How has the faithful city become a harlot! it was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

American King James Version
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

American Standard Version
How is the faithful city become a harlot! she that was full of justice! righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

Douay-Rheims Bible
How is the faithful city, that was full of judgment, become a harlot? justice dwelt in it, but now murderers.

Darby Bible Translation
How is the faithful city become a harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness used to lodge in it, but now murderers.

English Revised Version
How is the faithful city become an harlot! she that was full of judgment! righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

Webster's Bible Translation
How is the faithful city become a harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

World English Bible
How the faithful city has become a prostitute! She was full of justice; righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

Young's Literal Translation
How hath a faithful city become a harlot? I have filled it with judgment, Righteousness lodgeth in it -- now murderers.
Study Bible
Zion Corrupted
20"But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword." Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 21How the faithful city has become a harlot, She who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers. 22Your silver has become dross, Your drink diluted with water.…
Cross References
Revelation 17:1
Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls came and told me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.

Isaiah 1:22
Your silver has become dross, Your drink diluted with water.

Isaiah 57:3
"But come here, you sons of a sorceress, Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute.

Isaiah 59:3
For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness.

Isaiah 59:14
Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter.

Isaiah 59:15
Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the LORD saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.

Jeremiah 2:20
"For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, 'I will not serve!' For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot.

Hosea 2:5
"For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'

Habakkuk 1:4
Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted.
Treasury of Scripture

How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

the faithful

Isaiah 48:2 For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves on …

Nehemiah 11:1 And the rulers of the people dwelled at Jerusalem: the rest of the …

Psalm 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of …

Psalm 48:1,8 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, …

Hosea 11:12 Ephraim compasses me about with lies, and the house of Israel with …

Zechariah 8:3 Thus said the LORD; I am returned to Zion, and will dwell in the …

Hebrews 12:22 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, …

become

Jeremiah 2:20,21 For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and …

Jeremiah 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become …

Lamentations 1:8,9 Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that …

Ezekiel 16:1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Ezekiel 22:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Ezekiel 23:1 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kill the prophets, and stone them that …

Revelation 11:2,8 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure …

it was full

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and …

2 Samuel 8:15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and …

2 Chronicles 19:9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall you do in the fear of the …

Ezekiel 22:3-7 Then say you, Thus said the Lord GOD, The city sheds blood in the …

Micah 3:2,3 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from …

Zephaniah 3:1-3 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!…

Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they …

(21) How is the faithful city become an harlot! . . .--The opening word, as in Lamentations 1:1, is the key-note of an elegiac wail, which opens a new section. The idea of prostitution as representing apostasy from Jehovah was involved in the thought that Israel was the bride whom He had wooed and won (Hosea 1-3; Jeremiah 2:2). The imagery was made more impressive by the fact that actual prostitution entered so largely into the ritual of many of the forms of idolatry to which the Israelites were tempted (Numbers 25:1-2). So Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:1-14) develops the symbolism with an almost terrible fulness. So our Lord spoke of the Pharisees as an "adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39). The fact that Hosea, an earlier contemporary, had been led to tell how he had been taught the truth thus set forth by a living personal experience, is not without significance in its bearing on the genesis of Isaiah's thoughts.

Righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.--Better, assassins. The word implies not casual homicide, but something like the choice of murder and robbery as a profession. Hosea (Hosea 6:9) had painted a like picture as true of Samaria. The traveller who sojourned in Jerusalem, the poor who lived there, were exposed to outrage and murder; and all this was passing before men's eyes at the very time when they were boasting, as it were, of their "glorious reformation."

Verses 21-23. - ISAIAH'S LAMENT OVER JERUSALEM. The exhortation to amendment has been made - the results have been set forth; the temporal reward has been promised; the temporal vengeance, unless they amend, threatened. Time must be allowed the people for the prophet's words to reach them, and do their work upon them, i.e. either soften or harden them. Meanwhile, Isaiah reflects on the condition of Jerusalem, and the unlikelihood of its rulers turning to God in consequence of his preaching. Verse 21. - How is the faithful city become an harlot! Not here an idolatress, but one that has left her first love, and turned to other attractions. Faithful once to her lord her spouse (Cant., passim), she has now cast him off - she is an adulterous wife, she no longer obeys or loves her husband. It was full of judgment; righteousness, etc. "She that was full" (Revised Version). Under Solomon (1 Kings 3:9-28) and again under Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:5-11). It is not clear when the systematic perversion of justice by the rulers began. Perhaps it originated in the latter part of Uzziah's reign, when the royal authority was weakened by being divided between Uzziah and Jotham (2 Chronicles 26:21). But now murderers (see the last note on ver. 15). How is the faithful city become a harlot!.... The city of Jerusalem, in which were the temple, and the pure worship of God, and was in the tribe of Judah, which ruled with God, and was very faithful with the saints when the ten tribes revolted, and fell in with the sin of Jeroboam; but now, in Isaiah's time, was become like a treacherous wife to her husband, unfaithful to the Lord, went after other lovers, committed spiritual adultery, that is, idolatry, with stocks and stones; and in the times of Christ were a wicked and an adulterous generation, corrupting the word and worship of God; see Matthew 12:39.

it was full of judgment; strict justice was exercised privately between man and man, as well as in the public courts of judicature;

righteousness lodged in it; that is, righteous men, who walked in all the commandments of the Lord, and lived soberly, righteously, and godly; see 2 Peter 3:13.

but now murderers: of the prophets whom they stoned, who were sent unto them, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom they were the betrayers and murderers; see Matthew 23:37. 21. faithful—as a wife (Isa 54:5; 62:5; Ho 2:19, 20).

harlot—(Eze 16:28-35).

righteousness lodged—(2Pe 3:13).

murderers—murderous oppressors, as the antithesis requires (see on [687]Isa 1:15; [688]1Jo 3:15).1:21-31 Neither holy cities nor royal ones are faithful to their trust, if religion does not dwell in them. Dross may shine like silver, and the wine that is mixed with water may still have the colour of wine. Those have a great deal to answer for, who do not help the oppressed, but oppress them. Men may do much by outward restraints; but only God works effectually by the influences of his Spirit, as a Spirit of Judgment. Sin is the worst captivity, the worst slavery. The redemption of the spiritual Zion, by the righteousness and death of Christ, and by his powerful grace, most fully accord with what is here meant. Utter ruin is threatened. The Jews should become as a tree when blasted by heat; as a garden without water, which in those hot countries would soon be burned up. Thus shall they be that trust in idols, or in an arm of flesh. Even the strong man shall be as tow; not only soon broken, and pulled to pieces, but easily catching fire. When the sinner has made himself as tow and stubble, and God makes himself as a consuming fire, what can prevent the utter ruin of the sinner?
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