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Isaiah 28 (Today's New International Version)

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Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah

1 Woe1 to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim's2 drunkards, to the fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley3-- to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!4 2 See, the Lord has one who is powerful5 and strong. Like a hailstorm6 and a destructive wind,7 like a driving rain and a flooding8 downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground. 3 That wreath, the pride of Ephraim's9 drunkards, will be trampled10 underfoot. 4 That fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley,11 will be like figs12 ripe before harvest-- as soon as people see them and take them in hand, they swallow them. 5 In that day13 the LORD Almighty will be a glorious14 crown,15 a beautiful wreath for the remnant16 of his people. 6 He will be a spirit of justice17 to those who sit in judgment,18 a source of strength to those who turn back the battle19 at the gate. 7 And these also stagger20 from wine21 and reel22 from beer: Priests23 and prophets24 stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions,25 they stumble when rendering decisions. 8 All the tables are covered with vomit26 and there is not a spot without filth. 9 "Who is it he is trying to teach?27 To whom is he explaining his message?28 To children weaned29 from their milk,30 to those just taken from the breast? 10 For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for thata; a little here, a little there.31" 11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues32 God will speak to this people,33 12 to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest";34 and, "This is the place of repose"-- but they would not listen. 13 So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there35-- so that as they go they will fall backward; they will be injured36 and snared and captured.37 14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD,38 you scoffers39 who rule this people in Jerusalem. 15 You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death,40 with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,41 it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie42 our refuge and falsehoodb our hiding place.43" 16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion,44 a tested stone,45 a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;46 the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.47 17 I will make justice48 the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line;49 hail50 will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow51 your hiding place. 18 Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.52 When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,53 you will be beaten down54 by it. 19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;55 morning after morning,56 by day and by night, it will sweep through." The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.57 20 The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.58 21 The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,59 he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon60-- to do his work,61 his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task. 22 Now stop your mocking,62 or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed63 against the whole land.64 23 Listen65 and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. 24 When farmers plow for planting,66 do they plow continually? Do they keep on breaking up and working the soil? 25 When they have leveled the surface, do they not sow caraway and scatter cumin?67 Do they not plant wheat in its place,c barley68 in its plot,d and spelt69 in its field? 26 Their God instructs them and teaches70 them the right way. 27 Caraway is not threshed71 with a sledge,72 nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod,73 and cumin with a stick. 28 Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. The wheels of a threshing cart74 may be rolled over it, but one does not use horses to grind grain. 29 All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, whose plan is wonderful,75 whose wisdom is magnificent.76
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