Isaiah 1:21
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

Isaiah 1:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

How is - This is an expression of deploring, or lamenting. It indicates that that had occurred which was matter of grief. The prophet had stated the principles of the divine government; had urged the people to reason with God; and had affirmed his willingness to pardon. But it was seen that they would not repent. They were so wicked and perverse, that there was no hope of their reformation. His mind is full of this subject; he repeats the charge of their wickedness Isaiah 1:21-23, and states what must be the consequences.

The faithful city - Jerusalem. It is represented here under the image of a wife - once faithful to her husband; once a devoted and attached partner. Jerusalem was thus once. In former days, it was the seat of the pure worship of God; the place where his praise was celebrated, and where his people came to offer sincere devotion. In the Scriptures, the church is often represented under the image of a wife, to denote the tenderness and sacredness of the union; Hosea 2:19-20; Isaiah 62:5; Isaiah 54:6; Revelation 21:9.

An harlot - She has proved to be false, treacherous, unfaithful. The unfaithfulness of the people of God, particularly their idolatry, is often represented under the idea of unfaithfulness to the marriage contract; Jeremiah 3:8-9; Jeremiah 5:7; Jeremiah 13:27; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:32; Ezekiel 23:37; Joshua 2:2; Joshua 4:2.

It was full of judgement - It was distinguished for justice and righteousness.

Lodged in it - This is a figurative expression, meaning that it was characterized as a righteous city. The word ילין yālı̂yn is from לוּן lûn, to pass the night, to remain through the night Genesis 19:2; and then to lodge, to dwell; Psalm 25:13; Job 17:2; Job 29:19. In this place it has the sense of abiding, remaining, continuing permanently. Jerusalem was the home of justice, where it found protection and safety.

Now murderers - By murderers here are meant probably unjust judges; people who did not regard the interests of the poor, the widow, and the orphan; and who therefore, by a strong expression, are characterized as murderers. They had displaced justice from its home; and had become the permanent inhabitants of the city; compare the note at Isaiah 1:15.

Isaiah 1:21 Parallel Commentaries

The Great Suit: Jehovah Versus Judah
'The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. I Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. 3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

ISAIAH i. 12, 13. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. This is a very awful text; one of those which terrify us--or at least ought to terrify us--and set us on asking ourselves seriously and honestly--'What do I believe after all? What manner of man am I after all?
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Self-Righteousness Insufficient.
1 "Where are the mourners, [1] (saith the Lord) "That wait and tremble at my word, "That walk in darkness all the day? "Come, make my name your trust and stay. 2 ["No works nor duties of your own "Can for the smallest sin atone; "The robes [2] that nature may provide "Will not your least pollutions hide. 3 "The softest couch that nature knows "Can give the conscience no repose: "Look to my righteousness, and live; "Comfort and peace are mine to give.] 4 "Ye sons of pride that kindle coals "With your
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Confession and Prayer. December 13, 1776

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Cross References
Revelation 17:1
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot 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.

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