Isaiah 5:20
New International Version
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

New Living Translation
What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

English Standard Version
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Berean Study Bible
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter.

King James Bible
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

New King James Version
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

New American Standard Bible
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

NASB 1995
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

NASB 1977
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Amplified Bible
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Christian Standard Bible
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

American Standard Version
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, and put light for darkness and darkness for light, and put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness light, and light darkness; who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter.

Contemporary English Version
You are headed for trouble! You say wrong is right, darkness is light, and bitter is sweet.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

Good News Translation
You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. You turn darkness into light and light into darkness. You make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet you make bitter.

International Standard Version
"How terrible it will be for those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute what is bitter for what is sweet and what is sweet for what is bitter!"

JPS Tanakh 1917
Woe unto them that call evil good, And good evil; That change darkness into light, And light into darkness; That change bitter into sweet, And sweet into bitter!

Literal Standard Version
Woe [to] those saying to evil “good,” and to good “evil,” Putting darkness for light, and light for darkness, Putting bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

New American Bible
Ah! Those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness to light, and light into darkness, who change bitter to sweet, and sweet into bitter!

NET Bible
Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead, who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.

New Revised Standard Version
Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

New Heart English Bible
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

World English Bible
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Young's Literal Translation
Woe to those saying to evil 'good,' And to good 'evil,' Putting darkness for light, and light for darkness, Putting bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Woes to the Wicked
19to those who say, “Let Him hurry and hasten His work so that we may see it! Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come so that we may know it!” 20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter. 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.…

Cross References
Matthew 6:22
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

Matthew 6:23
But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Luke 11:34
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body is full of darkness.

Luke 11:35
Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

Job 17:12
They have turned night into day, making light seem near in the face of darkness.

Proverbs 17:15
Acquitting the guilty and condemning the righteous--both are detestable to the LORD.

Isaiah 24:9
They no longer sing and drink wine; strong drink is bitter to those who consume it.


Treasury of Scripture

Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

them

Proverbs 17:15
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

Malachi 2:17
Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Malachi 3:15
And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

call evil good.











(20) Woe unto them that call evil good.--The moral state described was the natural outcome of the sins condemned in the preceding verses. So Thucydides (iii. 82-84) describes the effects of the spirit of party in the Peloponnesian war. Rashness was called courage, and prudence timidity, and treachery cleverness, and honesty stupidity. That deliberate perversion is in all ages the ultimate outcome of the spirit that knows not God, and therefore neither fears nor loves Him, whether it shows itself in the licence of profligacy, or the diplomacy of Machiavellian statesmen, or the speculations of the worshippers of Mammon.

Verse 20. - Woe unto them that call evil good. This is the fourth woe. There are persons who gloss over evil deeds and evil habits by fair-sounding names, who call cowardice caution, and rashness courage, stinginess thrift, and wasteful profusion generosity. The same men are apt also to call good evil; they brand prudence with the name of cunning, call meekness want of proper spirit, sincerity rudeness, and firmness obstinacy. This deadness to moral distinctions is the sign of deep moral corruption, and fully deserves to have a special "woe" pronounced against it. That put darkness for light. "Light" and "darkness" symbolize good and evil throughout Scripture (1 Samuel 2:9; 2 Samuel 22:29; Job 29:3; Psalm 112:4; Proverbs 2:13; Ecclesiastes 2:13; Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 6:22; John 1:19; Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; 1 Corinthians 4:5, etc.). They are sometimes mere synonyms, as here; but sometimes they express rather the intellectual side of morality. Bitter for sweet. More symbolism, but of a rarer kind. Jeremiah calls wickedness "bitter" (Jeremiah 2:9; 4:18), and the psalmist calls the judgments of God" sweet" (Psalm 109:103). But the terms are not often used with any moral bearing.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Woe
ה֣וֹי (hō·w)
Interjection
Strong's 1945: Ah! alas! ha!

to those who call
הָאֹמְרִ֥ים (hā·’ō·mə·rîm)
Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

evil
לָרַ֛ע (lā·ra‘)
Preposition-l, Article | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7451: Bad, evil

good
ט֖וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

and good
וְלַטּ֣וֹב (wə·laṭ·ṭō·wḇ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

evil,
רָ֑ע (rā‘)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7451: Bad, evil

who turn
שָׂמִ֨ים (śā·mîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 7760: Put -- to put, place, set

darkness
חֹ֤שֶׁךְ (ḥō·šeḵ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2822: The dark, darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness

to light
לְאוֹר֙ (lə·’ō·wr)
Preposition-l | Noun - common singular
Strong's 216: Illumination, luminary

and light
וְא֣וֹר (wə·’ō·wr)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - common singular
Strong's 216: Illumination, luminary

to darkness,
לְחֹ֔שֶׁךְ (lə·ḥō·šeḵ)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2822: The dark, darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness

who replace
שָׂמִ֥ים (śā·mîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 7760: Put -- to put, place, set

bitter
מַ֛ר (mar)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4751: Bitter, bitterness, bitterly

with sweet
לְמָת֖וֹק (lə·mā·ṯō·wq)
Preposition-l | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4966: Sweet, sweetness

and sweet
וּמָת֥וֹק (ū·mā·ṯō·wq)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4966: Sweet, sweetness

with bitter.
לְמָֽר׃ (lə·mār)
Preposition-l | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4751: Bitter, bitterness, bitterly


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OT Prophets: Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good (Isa Isi Is)
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