Isaiah 1 (Bible in Basic English)

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1 The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw about Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Give ear, O heavens, and you, O earth, to the word which the Lord has said: I have taken care of my children till they became men, but their hearts have been turned away from me. 3 Even the ox has knowledge of its owner, and the ass of the place where its master puts its food: but Israel has no knowledge, my people give no thought to me. 4 O nation full of sin, a people weighted down with crime, a generation of evil-doers, false-hearted children: they have gone away from the Lord, they have no respect for the Holy One of Israel, their hearts are turned back from him. 5 Why will you have more and more punishment? why keep on in your evil ways? Every head is tired and every heart is feeble. 6 The body, from head to foot, is all diseased; it is a mass of open wounds, marks of blows, and broken flesh: the flow of blood has not been stopped, and no oil has been put on the wounds. 7 Your country has become waste; your towns are burned with fire; as for your land, it is overturned before your eyes, made waste and overcome by men from strange lands. 8 And the daughter of Zion has become like a tent in a vine-garden, like a watchman's house in a field of fruit, like a town shut in by armies. 9 If the Lord of armies had not kept some at least of us safe, we would have been like Sodom, and the fate of Gomorrah would have been ours. 10 Give ear to the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; let your hearts be turned to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah. 11 What use to me is the number of the offerings which you give me? says the Lord; your burned offerings of sheep, and the best parts of fat cattle, are a weariness to me; I take no pleasure in the blood of oxen, or of lambs, or of he-goats. 12 At whose request do you come before me, making my house unclean with your feet? 13 Give me no more false offerings; the smoke of burning flesh is disgusting to me, so are your new moons and Sabbaths and your holy meetings. 14 Your new moons and your regular feasts are a grief to my soul: they are a weight in my spirit; I am crushed under them. 15 And when your hands are stretched out to me, my eyes will be turned away from you: even though you go on making prayers, I will not give ear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Be washed, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; let there be an end of sinning; 17 Take pleasure in well-doing; let your ways be upright, keep down the cruel, give a right decision for the child who has no father, see to the cause of the widow. 18 Come now, and let us have an argument together, says the Lord: how may your sins which are red like blood be white as snow? how may their dark purple seem like wool? 19 If you will give ear to my word and do it, the good things of the land will be yours; 20 But if your hearts are turned against me, I will send destruction on you by the sword; so the Lord has said. 21 The upright town has become untrue; there was a time when her judges gave right decisions, when righteousness had a resting-place in her, but now she is full of those who take men's lives. 22 Your silver is no longer true metal, your wine is mixed with water. 23 Your chiefs have gone against the Lord, they have become friends of thieves; every one of them is looking for profit and going after rewards; they do not give right decisions for the child who has no father, and they do not let the cause of the widow come before them. 24 For this reason the Lord, the Lord of armies, the Strong One of Israel, has said, I will put an end to my haters, and send punishment on those who are against me; 25 And my hand will again be on you, washing away what is unclean as with soap, and taking away all your false metal; 26 And I will give you judges again as at the first, and wise guides as in the past; then you will be named, The Town of Righteousness, the true town. 27 Upright acts will be the price of Zion's forgiveness, and by righteousness will men be living there. 28 But a common destruction will overtake sinners and evil-doers together, and those who have gone away from the Lord will be cut off. 29 For you will be put to shame because of the trees of your desire, and because of the gardens of your pleasure. 30 For you will be like a tree whose leaves have become dry, and like a garden without water. 31 And the strong will be as food for the fire, and his work as a flame; and they will be burned together, with no one to put out the fire.
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