Isaiah 5:20
Parallel Verses
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!

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!

Darby Bible Translation
Woe unto them 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.

Isaiah 5:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Wo unto them that call evil good ... - This is the fourth class of sins denounced. The sin which is reprobated here is that of "perverting and confounding" things, especially the distinctions of morality and religion. They prefer erroneous and fake doctrines to the true; they prefer an evil to an upright course of conduct. The Chaldee renders this, 'Wo to those who say to the impious, who are prospered in this age, You are good; and who say to the meek, Ye are impious.' Jarchi thinks that the prophet here refers to those who worship idols, but he evidently has a more general reference to those who confound all the distinctions of right and wrong, and who prefer the wrong.

That put darkness for light - "Darkness," in the Scriptures, is the emblem of ignorance, error, false doctrine, crime. Light denotes truth, knowledge, piety. This clause, therefore, expresses in a figurative, but more emphatic manner, what was said in the previous member of the verse.

That put bitter - "Bitter and bitterness" are often used to denote "sin;" see the note at Acts 8:23; also Romans 3:14; Ephesians 4:31; Hebrews 12:15; Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:18. The meaning here does not differ from that expressed in the other parts of the verse, except that there is "implied" the additional idea that sin "is" bitter; and that virtue, or holiness, is sweet: that is, that the one is attended with painful consequences, and the other with pleasure.

Isaiah 5:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Well-Beloved's vineyard.
AN ADDRESS TO A LITTLE COMPANY OF BELIEVERS, IN MR. SPURGEON'S OWN ROOM AT MENTONE."My Well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill."--Isaiah v. 1. THE WELL-BELOVED'S VINEYARD. WE recognize at once that Jesus is here. Who but He can be meant by "My Well-beloved"? Here is a word of possession and a word of affection,--He is mine, and my Well-beloved. He is loveliness itself, the most loving and lovable of beings; and we personally love Him with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength:
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

Dishonest Tenants
'And He began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. 2. And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 4. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Letter Xlviii to Magister Walter De Chaumont.
To Magister [75] Walter de Chaumont. He exhorts him to flee from the world, advising him to prefer the cause and the interests of his soul to those of parents. MY DEAR WALTER, I often grieve my heart about you whenever the most pleasant remembrance of you comes back to me, seeing how you consume in vain occupations the flower of your youth, the sharpness of your intellect, the store of your learning and skill, and also, what is more excellent in a Christian than all of these gifts, the pure and innocent
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

The Call of Isaiah
The long reign of Uzziah [also known as Azariah] in the land of Judah and Benjamin was characterized by a prosperity greater than that of any other ruler since the death of Solomon, nearly two centuries before. For many years the king ruled with discretion. Under the blessing of Heaven his armies regained some of the territory that had been lost in former years. Cities were rebuilt and fortified, and the position of the nation among the surrounding peoples was greatly strengthened. Commerce revived,
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Matthew 6:22
"The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

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

Luke 11:34
"The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Luke 11:35
"Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

Job 17:12
"They make night into day, saying, 'The light is near,' in the presence of darkness.

Proverbs 17:15
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.

Isaiah 24:9
They do not drink wine with song; Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.

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