Isaiah 5:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes,

New Living Translation
What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!

English Standard Version
Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes,

New American Standard Bible
Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood, And sin as if with cart ropes;

King James Bible
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Woe to those who drag wickedness with cords of deceit and pull sin along with cart ropes,

International Standard Version
"How terrible it will be for those who parade iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin along as with a cart rope;

NET Bible
Those who pull evil along using cords of emptiness are as good as dead, who pull sin as with cart ropes.

New Heart English Bible
Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, and wickedness as with cart rope;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
How horrible it will be for those who string people along with lies and empty promises, whose lives are sinful.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, And sin as it were with a cart rope,

New American Standard 1977
Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood,
            And sin as if with cart ropes;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Woe unto those that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope,

King James 2000 Bible
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

American King James Version
Woe to them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

American Standard Version
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, and sin as it were with a cart rope;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Woe to you that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as the rope of a cart.

Darby Bible Translation
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as with cart-ropes!

English Revised Version
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

Webster's Bible Translation
Woe to them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart-rope:

World English Bible
Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, and wickedness as with cart rope;

Young's Literal Translation
Woe to those drawing out iniquity with cords of vanity, And as with thick ropes of the cart -- sin.
Study Bible
Woes to the Wicked
17Then the lambs will graze as in their pasture, And strangers will eat in the waste places of the wealthy. 18Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood, And sin as if with cart ropes; 19Who say, "Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it; And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near And come to pass, that we may know it!"…
Cross References
Isaiah 59:4
No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.

Jeremiah 23:10
For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil And their might is not right.

Jeremiah 36:23
When Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut it with a scribe's knife and threw it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier.
Treasury of Scripture

Woe to them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

draw

Isaiah 28:15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with …

Judges 17:5,13 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, …

2 Samuel 16:20-23 Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do…

Psalm 10:11 He has said in his heart, God has forgotten: he hides his face; he …

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, …

Psalm 36:2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found …

Psalm 94:5-11 They break in pieces your people, O LORD, and afflict your heritage…

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Jeremiah 8:5-9 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slid back by a perpetual backsliding? …

Jeremiah 23:10,14,24 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land …

Jeremiah 28:15,16 Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, …

Jeremiah 44:15-19 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense to …

Ezekiel 13:10,11,22 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; …

Zephaniah 1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem …

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that …

Acts 26:9 I truly thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary …

(18) That draw iniquity with cords of vanity.--The phrase is boldly figurative. Evil-doers are thought of as harnessing themselves as to the chariot of sin. The "cords of vanity"--i.e., of emptiness or ungodliness--are the habits by which they are thus bound. The "cart ropes," thicker and stronger than the "cords," represent the extreme stage, when such habits become irresistibly dominant. Probably the words may point to some idolatrous procession, in which the chariot of Baal or Ashtaroth was thus drawn by their worshippers, like that of Demter or Cybele in Greece, or Juggernth in India.

Verse 18. - Woe unto them, etc. We come here to the third woe, which is pronounced against those who openly pile up sin upon sin, and scoff at God. These men are represented as "drawing iniquity with cords of vanity," i.e. dragging after them a load of sin by cords that seem too weak; and then as "sinning with a cart-rope," which is a mere variant expression of the same idea. Mr. Cheyne quotes from the Rig-Veda, as a parallel metaphor, the phrase, "Undo the rope of sin." Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity,.... The prophet returns to the wicked again, and goes on with the account of their sin and punishment; and here describes such, not that are drawn into sin unawares, through the prevalence of their own hearts' lusts and corruptions, through the temptations of Satan, the snares of the world, or the persuasions of others; but such who draw it to themselves, seek after it, and willingly commit it; who rush and force themselves into it; who solicit it, and seek and take all occasions and opportunities of doing it; and take a great deal of pains about it; and make use of all arguments, reasonings, and pretences they can devise, to engage themselves and others in the practice of it; which are all cords of vanity, fallacious and deceitful.

And sin as it were with a cart rope; using all diligence, wisdom, policy, and strength; labouring with all might and main to effect it. Some by "iniquity" and "sin" understand punishment, as the words used sometimes signify; and that the sense is, that such persons described by their boldness and impudence in sinning, by their impenitence and hardness of heart, and by adding sin to sin, draw upon themselves swift destruction, and the greater damnation. The Targum interprets it of such that begin with lesser sins, and increase to more ungodliness; paraphrasing it thus,

"woe to them that begin to sin a little, and they go on and increase until that they are strong, and "their" sins "are" as a cart rope;''

to which agrees that saying in the Talmud (g),

"the evil imagination or corruption of nature at first is like a spider's thread, but at last it is like to cart ropes; as it is said, "woe to them that draw iniquity", &c.''

(g) T. Bab. Succa, fol. 52. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 2. Vid. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 22. fol. 19. 2.18. Third Woe—against obstinate perseverance in sin, as if they wished to provoke divine judgments.

iniquity—guilt, incurring punishment [Maurer].

cords, etc.—cart-rope—Rabbins say, "An evil inclination is at first like a fine hair-string, but the finishing like a cart-rope." The antithesis is between the slender cords of sophistry, like the spider's web (Isa 59:5; Job 8:14), with which one sin draws on another, until they at last bind themselves with great guilt as with a cart-rope. They strain every nerve in sin.

vanity—wickedness.

sin—substantive, not a verb: they draw on themselves "sin" and its penalty recklessly.5:8-23 Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house and a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that they never know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and while many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denounces awful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God has many ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set their hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bring him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it.
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