Isaiah 1:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.

New Living Translation
Oh, what a sinful nation they are--loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.

English Standard Version
Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.

New American Standard Bible
Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him.

King James Bible
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Oh sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, brood of evildoers, depraved children! They have abandoned the LORD; they have despised the Holy One of Israel; they have turned their backs on Him.

International Standard Version
"Oh, you sinful nation! You people burdened down by iniquity! You offspring of those who keep practicing what is evil! You corrupt children! "They've abandoned the LORD; they've despised the Holy One of Israel; in their estrangement, they've walked away from me.

NET Bible
The sinful nation is as good as dead, the people weighed down by evil deeds. They are offspring who do wrong, children who do wicked things. They have abandoned the LORD, and rejected the Holy One of Israel. They are alienated from him.

New Heart English Bible
Ah sinful nation, a people loaded with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly. They have forsaken the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel. They are estranged and backward.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"How horrible it will be for a nation that sins. [Its] people are loaded down with guilt. They are descendants of evildoers and destructive children. They have abandoned the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel. They have turned their backs on him.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Ah sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A seed of evil-doers, Children that deal corruptly; They have forsaken the LORD, They have contemned the Holy One of Israel, They are turned away backward.

New American Standard 1977
Alas, sinful nation,
            People weighed down with iniquity,
            Offspring of evildoers,
            Sons who act corruptly!
            They have abandoned the LORD,
            They have despised the Holy One of Israel,
            They have turned away from Him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
O sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, generation of evildoers, corrupt sons! They have forsaken the LORD; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger; they have turned back.

King James 2000 Bible
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a descendant of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they have turned away backward.

American King James Version
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

American Standard Version
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly! they have forsaken Jehovah, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged and gone backward.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children: they have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards.

Darby Bible Translation
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that corrupt themselves! They have forsaken Jehovah; they have despised the Holy One of Israel; they are turned away backward.

English Revised Version
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly: they have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged and gone backward.

Webster's Bible Translation
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

World English Bible
Ah sinful nation, a people loaded with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken Yahweh. They have despised the Holy One of Israel. They are estranged and backward.

Young's Literal Translation
Ah, sinning nation, a people heavy with iniquity, A seed of evil doers, sons -- corrupters! They have forsaken Jehovah, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have gone away backward.
Study Bible
Judah's Rebellion
3"An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master's manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand." 4Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him. 5Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick And the whole heart is faint.…
Cross References
Nehemiah 1:7
"We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Psalm 71:22
I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 1:28
But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, And those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.

Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble And dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 9:17
Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.

Isaiah 14:20
"You will not be united with them in burial, Because you have ruined your country, You have slain your people. May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.

Isaiah 31:2
Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster And does not retract His words, But will arise against the house of evildoers And against the help of the workers of iniquity.

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

Isaiah 57:17
"Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart.

Isaiah 58:2
"Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.
Treasury of Scripture

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

ah sinful

Isaiah 1:23 Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one …

Isaiah 10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people …

Isaiah 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will …

Genesis 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Acts 7:51,52 You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always …

Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

laden with iniquity. Heb. of heaviness
a seed

Isaiah 57:3,4 But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer …

Numbers 32:14 And, behold, you are risen up in your fathers' stead, an increase …

Psalm 78:8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; …

Jeremiah 7:26 Yet they listened not to me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened …

Jeremiah 16:11,12 Then shall you say to them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, …

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, …

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation …

children

Jeremiah 2:33 Why trim you your way to seek love? therefore have you also taught …

Ezekiel 16:33 They give gifts to all whores: but you give your gifts to all your …

forsaken

Deuteronomy 29:25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the …

Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; …

Judges 10:10 And the children of Israel cried to the LORD, saying, We have sinned …

Jeremiah 2:13,17,19 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the …

provoked

Isaiah 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue …

Isaiah 65:3 A people that provokes me to anger continually to my face; that sacrifices …

Deuteronomy 32:19 And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking …

Psalm 78:40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!

Jeremiah 7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? said the LORD: do they not provoke themselves …

1 Corinthians 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

the Holy

Isaiah 5:19,24 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see …

Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, you inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy …

Isaiah 29:19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor …

Isaiah 30:11,12,15 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy …

Isaiah 37:23 Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? and against whom have you …

Isaiah 41:14,16,20 Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, …

Psalm 89:18 For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

Jeremiah 50:29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all you that bend the …

Jeremiah 51:5 For Israel has not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts…

gone away backward. Heb. alienated, or separated

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as …

Jeremiah 2:5,31 Thus said the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, …

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject …

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which …

(4) Ah, sinful nation . . .--The Hebrew interjection is, like our English "Ha!" the expression of indignation rather than of pity.

A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters.--The first phrase in the Hebrew idiom does not mean "the progeny of evil-doers," but those who, as a seed or brood, are made up of such. (Comp. Isaiah 14:20; Isaiah 65:23.) The word "children" (better, as in Isaiah 1:2, sons) once more emphasises the guilt of those who ought to have been obedient.

They have forsaken the Lord . . .--The three verbs paint the several stages of the growth in evil. Men first forsake, then spurn, then openly apostatise. (Comp. Luke 16:13). In the "Holy One of Israel" we have the Divine name on which Isaiah most delights to dwell, and which had been impressed on his mind by the Trisagion, which accompanied his first call to the office of a prophet (Isaiah 6:3). The thought expressed by the name is that all ideas of consecration, purity, and holiness are gathered up in God. The term occurs fourteen times in the first part of Isaiah, and sixteen times in the second. A corrupt people needed to be reminded ever more and more of the truth which the name asserted.

Verse 4. - Ah sinful nation. These are the words of Isaiah, not of Jehovah. The prophet, having delivered God's message in vers. 2 and 3, proceeds to impress and enforce it on the people by remarks of his own. He begins with a lamentation over their wickedness and impenitence; "Ah sinful nation!" or "Alas for the sinful nation! "the nation called to be holy (Exodus 19:6; Leviticus 20:26, etc.), but sunk in sin and wickedness. How sad their condition! How almost hopeless! Laden with iniquity; literally, heavy with guilt. But our version well expresses the sense. As the psalmist says, "My sins have gone up over my head, and are like a sore burden, toe heavy for me to bear" (Psalm 38:4; cf. Matthew 11:28). A seed of evil-doers. Not descendants of evil-doors, but "an evil-doing seed, "or "race" (σπέρμα πονηρόν, LXX.; comp. Isaiah 14:20; Isaiah 61:9; Isaiah 65:23). Children that are corrupters; literally, sons that do corruptly. It is not their corrupting of others, though that might follow, but the corruption that was in themselves, which is spoken cf. The corruption was both moral and doctrinal (see ver. 21). In corroboration of the fact, see 2 Chronicles 27:2. They have forsaken the Lord. Not by renouncing his worship, which they still continued (see vers. 11-15), but by reducing it to a formality. The people "honored him with their lips, while their hearts were far from him" (Isaiah 29:13). They have provoked to anger; rather, despised (Revised Version), or scorched (Kay, Cheyne), or rejected with disdain (Lowth), in allusion to their disobeying his commandments (see vers. 21-23). The Holy One of Israel. This title of God is a favorite one with Isaiah (see Isaiah 5:19, 24; Isaiah 10:17, 20; Isaiah 12:6; Isaiah 17:7; Isaiah 29:19, 23; Isaiah 30:11, 12, 15; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 37:23; Isaiah 41:14, 16, 20; Isaiah 43:3, 14; Isaiah 45:11; Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 55:5; Isaiah 60:9, 14), and is very rarely used by the other sacred writers. We find it thrice in the Psalms (Psalm 71:22; Psalm 78:41; Psalm 89:18); once in Kings (2 Kings 19:22), but then in the mouth of Isaiah; twice in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:29; 51:5); and once in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 39:7). According to Isaiah's conception of God, holiness is the most essential element of his nature (see Isaiah 6:3, 5, 7). They are gone away backward; literally, they are estranged backwards; or, as Bishop Lowth paraphrases, "they are estranged from him; they have turned their back upon him." Instead of looking to God, and following after him, they "followed a multitude to do evil (Exodus 23:2)." Ah sinful nation,..... Or "sinning nation" (y); that was continually sinning, doing nothing else but sin, the reverse of what they were chosen to be, Deuteronomy 7:6. These words are said, either as calling and crying to them, to cause them to hear and hearken to what is said, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi observe, and as is used in Isaiah 55:1 or by way of complaint and lamentation, as Jarchi thinks, because of their general and continued wickedness, see 1 Kings 13:30, or by way of threatening, as in Isaiah 1:24 and so the Targum paraphrases it,

"woe to them who are called a holy people, and have sinned:''

and so the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it, "woe to the sinning nation"; their ruin is at hand:

a people laden with iniquity; full of sin; they multiplied offences, as in the Chaldee paraphrase: they were "heavy" with them, as the word (z) signifies, yet felt not, nor complained of, the burden of them:

a seed of evil doers; this is not said of their fathers, but of themselves, as Jarchi observes; they had been planted a right seed, but now were degenerate, a wicked generation of men.

Children that are corrupters; of themselves and others, by their words and actions; who had corrupted their ways, as the Targum adds; and so Kimchi and Aben Ezra.

They have forsaken the Lord; the worship of the Lord, as the Targum interprets it; the ways and ordinances of God, forsook the assembling of themselves together, neglected the hearing of the word, and attendance on the worship of the Lord's house:

they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger; by their numerous sins, both of omission and commission:

they are gone away backward; were become backsliders and revolters, had apostatized from God and his worship, turned their backs on him, and cast his law behind them. The characters here given not only agree with the Jews in the times of Isaiah, but also with those in the times of Christ and his apostles, Matthew 12:39.

(y) "gens peccatrix", Sept. V. L. Syr. Ar. (z) "gravi iniquitate", V. L. 4. people—the peculiar designation of God's elect nation (Ho 1:10), that they should be "laden with iniquity" is therefore the more monstrous. Sin is a load (Ps 38:4; Mt 11:28).

seed—another appellation of God's elect (Ge 12:7; Jer 2:21), designed to be a "holy seed" (Isa 6:13), but, awful to say, "evildoers!"

children—by adoption (Ho 11:1), yet "evildoers"; not only so, but "corrupters" of others (Ge 6:12); the climax. So "nation—people—seed children."

provoked—literally, "despised," namely, so as to provoke (Pr 1:30, 31).

Holy One of Israel—the peculiar heinousness of their sin, that it was against their God (Am 3:2).

gone … backward—literally, "estranged" (Ps 58:3).1:1-9 Isaiah signifies, The salvation of the Lord; a very suitable name for this prophet, who prophesies so much of Jesus the Saviour, and his salvation. God's professing people did not know or consider that they owed their lives and comforts to God's fatherly care and kindness. How many are very careless in the affairs of their souls! Not considering what we do know in religion, does us as much harm, as ignorance of what we should know. The wickedness was universal. Here is a comparison taken from a sick and diseased body. The distemper threatens to be mortal. From the sole of the foot even to the head; from the meanest peasant to the greatest peer, there is no soundness, no good principle, no religion, for that is the health of the soul. Nothing but guilt and corruption; the sad effects of Adam's fall. This passage declares the total depravity of human nature. While sin remains unrepented, nothing is done toward healing these wounds, and preventing fatal effects. Jerusalem was exposed and unprotected, like the huts or sheds built up to guard ripening fruits. These are still to be seen in the East, where fruits form a large part of the summer food of the people. But the Lord had a small remnant of pious servants at Jerusalem. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. The evil nature is in every one of us; only Jesus and his sanctifying Spirit can restore us to spiritual health.
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