Isaiah 28
International Standard Version

The Captivity of Ephraim

1How terrible it will be for that arrogant garland—

the drunks of Ephraim!

How terrible it will be for that fading flower of his glorious beauty,

which sits on the heads of people bloated with food,a

of people overcome with wine!

2Look! The LORDb has one who is mighty and strong,

like a hailstorm and destructive tempest,

like a storm of mighty, overflowing water—

andc he will give rest to the land.

3With handsd and feet, that proud garlande

those drunks of Ephraim—will be trampled.

4And that fading flower, his glorious beauty,

which sits on the heads of people bloated with food,

will be like an early fig before summer—

whenever someone sees it, he swallows it

as soon as it’s in his hand.

5At that time,f the LORD of the Heavenly Armies will become a glorious crown,

a beautiful diadem for the remnant of his people,

6and a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment,

a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

7These people alsog stagger from wine

and reel from strong drink.

Priests and prophets stagger from strong drink;

they’re drunk fromh wine;

they reel from strong drink,

waver when seeing visions,

and stumble when rendering decisions.

8For all the tables are covered in vomit and filth,

with no cleani space left.

Misuse of God’s Word

9To whom will he teach knowledge,

and to whom will he explain the message?

To children just weaned from milk?

To those just taken from the breast?

10For it is: “Do this and do that,

do this and do that,

Line upon line, line upon line,

a little here, a little there.”

11Very well, then, through the mouths of foreignersj

and foreign languages

the LORD will speak to this people

12to whom he said,

“This is the resting place,

so give rest to the weary”’

and,

“This is the place of repose”—

but they would not listen.

13So, then, the message from the LORD to them will become:

“Do this and do that,

do this and do that,

line upon line,

line upon line,

a little here,

a little there,”

so that they will go,

but fall backward,

and be injured, snared, and captured.

God’s Precious Cornerstone

14“Therefore heark the message from the LORD, you scoffers

who rule this people that are in Jerusalem.

15Because you said:

‘We have entered into a covenant with death,

and we have an agreement with Sheol,l

so when the overwhelming scourge makes its choice,m

it cannot reach us,

since we have made lies our refuge

and have concealed ourselves inside falsehood’

16therefore this is what the LORD Godn says:

“Look! I am layingo a foundation stone in Zion, a tested stone,

a precious cornerstone for a surep foundation:

Whoever believes firmly will not act hastily.

17And I will make justice the measuring line,

and righteousness the plumb line;

hail will sweep away your refuge of lies,

and floodsq will overflow your hiding place.

18“Then your covenant with death will be annulled,

and your agreement with Sheolr will not stand;

when the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,

you will be trampled by it.

19As often as it sweeps through,

it will carry you away,

for it will sweep by morning after morning in the day;

but understanding this message will bring sheer terror at night,s

20because the bed is too short to stretch out on,

and its blankets too narrow to wrap around oneself!

God is on Mount Perazim

21For the LORD will stand upont Mount Perazim,u

he will rouse himself inv the Valley of Gibeon;

to carry out his work—

his strange deed,

and to perform his task—

his alien task!

22But as for you,w don’t start mocking,

or your chains will become tighter;

for I have heard from the LORDx of the Heavenly Armies about destruction,

and it is decreed against the whole land.

The God who Plows and Harvests

23“Pay attention!

Listen to what I have to say;

Pay attention,

and hear my speech.

24Does he who plows for sowing plow all the time?

Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing his field?

25When he has leveled its surface,

he scatters carawayy and sows cumin, doesn’t he?

He plants wheat in rows,

barley in its designated place,

and feed for livestockz around its borders,aa doesn’t he?

26His God instructs him regarding the correct way,

directing him how to plant.bb

27For caraway is not threshed with a sharp sledge,

nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin.

Instead, caraway is winnowed with a stick,

and cumin with a rod.

28Itcc must be ground;dd

one cannot keep threshing it forever.

Even if he drives his cartee and horses over it,

he cannot crush it.

29This insight also comes from the LORD of the Heavenly Armies,

who is distinguishedff in practical advice

andgg magnificent in sound wisdom.”


Footnotes:
a 28:1 Lit. the valley of those grown fat
b 28:2 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Lord
c 28:2 So 1QIsaa; the Heb. lacks and
d 28:3 So 1QIsaa; cf. LXX; or He will throw them forcefully down to the ground; cf. MT
e 28:3 So 1QIsaa LXX; or Underfoot that proud garland; cf. MT
f 28:5 Lit. On that day
g 28:7 1QIsaa lacks people also; MT lacks people
h 28:7 Lit. are devoured by
i 28:8 1QIsaa MT lack clean
j 28:11 Or through foreign lips
k 28:14 So 1QIsaa; 4QIsac MT LXX read hear (pl.)
l 28:15 i.e. the place where the dead dwell in the afterlife
m 28:15 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read sweeps by
n 28:16 So 1QIsaa corrector
o 28:16 So 1QIsaa 1QIsab; MT reads I have laid
p 28:16 So 1QIsaa MT; MTmss LXX lack sure
q 28:17 Lit. waters
r 28:18 i.e. the place where the dead dwell in the afterlife
s 28:19 So 1QIsaa; MT reads by day and by night; and there will be sheer terror.
t 28:21 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads as
u 28:21 i.e. a mountain near Jerusalem, perhaps the Mount of Olives; cf. 2Sam 6:8
v 28:21 So 1QIsaa; MT reads as
w 28:22 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads So now
x 28:22 So 1QIsaa MTmss LXX Syr; MT reads the LORDGod
y 28:25 Or scatters black cumin
z 28:25 Lit. and spelt; i.e. a grass grown and used as fodder
aa 28:25 So 1QIsaa; MT reads its border; LXX reads your borders
bb 28:26 DSS MT lack how to plant
cc 28:28 i.e. grain; so1QIsaa MT; 4QIsak reads And it
dd 28:28 So 1QIsaa; 4QIsak MT read must be ground for bread
ee 8:28 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsaa corrector MT read the wheel of his cart
ff 28:29 So 1QIsaa; MT reads wonderful
gg 28:29 So 1QIsaa; the Heb. lacks and



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