This is the vision which Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw about Judah and Jerusalem at the time of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
Listen, heaven, and pay attention, earth! The LORD has spoken, "I raised [my] children and helped them grow, but they have rebelled against me.
Oxen know their owners, and donkeys know where their masters feed them. But Israel doesn't know [its owner]. My people don't understand [who feeds them].
"How horrible it will be for a nation that sins. [Its] people are loaded down with guilt. They are descendants of evildoers and destructive children. They have abandoned the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel. They have turned their backs on him.
"Why do you still want to be beaten? Why do you continue to rebel? Your whole head is infected. Your whole heart is failing.
From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head there is no healthy spot left on your [body]-- only bruises, sores, and fresh wounds. They haven't been cleansed, bandaged, or soothed with oil.
"Your country is devastated. Your cities are burned down. Your fields are destroyed right before your eyes by foreigners. Your fields are devastated and taken over by foreigners.
My people Zion are left like a hut in a vineyard, like a shack in a cucumber field, like a city under attack."
If the LORD of Armies hadn't left us a few survivors, we would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Listen to the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Pay attention to the teachings from our God, you people of Gomorrah!
The LORD asks, "What do your many animal sacrifices mean to me? I've had enough of your burnt offerings of rams and enough fat from your fattened calves. I'm not pleased with the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats.
When you appear in my presence, who asked you to trample on my courtyards?
Don't bring any more worthless grain offerings. Your incense is disgusting to me, so are your New Moon Festivals, your days of worship, and the assemblies you call. I can't stand your evil assemblies.
I hate your New Moon Festivals and your appointed festivals. They've become a burden to me, and I'm tired of putting up with them.
So when you stretch out your hands [in prayer], I will turn my eyes away from you. Even though you offer many prayers, I will not listen because your hands are covered with blood.
"Wash yourselves! Become clean! Get your evil deeds out of my sight. Stop doing evil.
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Arrest oppressors. Defend orphans. Plead the case of widows."
"Come on now, let's discuss this!" says the LORD. "Though your sins are bright red, they will become as white as snow. Though they are dark red, they will become as white as wool.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.
But if you refuse and rebel, you will be destroyed by swords." The LORD has spoken.
How the faithful town has become a prostitute! She was full of justice, and righteousness lived in her. But now murderers live there!
Your silver is not pure. Your wine is watered down.
Your rulers are rebels, friends with thieves. They all love bribes and run after gifts. They never defend orphans. They don't notice the widows' pleas.
That's why the Lord, the LORD of Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says, "How horrible it will be when I take revenge on my opponents! I will avenge myself against my enemies.
I will turn my power against you. I will remove your impurities with bleach. I will get rid of all your impurities.
I will give you judges like you had long ago, advisers like you had in the beginning. After that you will be called the Righteous City, the Faithful Town."
Zion will be pardoned by [the LORD's] justice, and those who return will be pardoned by [the LORD's] righteousness.
Rebels and sinners will be crushed at the same time, and those who abandon the LORD will come to an end.
You will be ashamed of the oaks that you wanted to worship and embarrassed by the garden that you have chosen for your gods.
You will be like an oak whose leaves wither and like a garden without water.
Strong people will become tinder for a fire, and their work will be the spark. Both of them will burn together, and there will be no one to put out the fire.