Isaiah 5; Isaiah 6; Isaiah 7; Isaiah 8

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Isaiah 5

1 Now I will sing for my friend a song about his vineyard. My friend had a vineyard on a hill with very rich soil.
2 He dug and cleared the field of stones and planted the best grapevines there. He built a tower in the middle of it and cut out a winepress as well. He hoped good grapes would grow there, but only bad ones grew.
3 My friend says, "You people living in Jerusalem, and you people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could I have done for my vineyard than I have already done? Although I expected good grapes to grow, why were there only bad ones?
5 Now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will remove the hedge, and it will be burned. I will break down the stone wall, and it will be walked on.
6 I will ruin my field. It will not be trimmed or hoed, and weeds and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it."
7 The vineyard belonging to the Lord All-Powerful is the nation of Israel; the garden that he loves is the people of Judah. He looked for justice, but there was only killing. He hoped for right living, but there were only cries of pain.
8 How terrible it will be for you who add more houses to your houses and more fields to your fields until there is no room left for other people. Then you are left alone in the land.
9 The Lord All-Powerful said this to me: "The fine houses will be destroyed; the large and beautiful houses will be left empty.
10 At that time a ten-acre vineyard will make only six gallons of wine, and ten bushels of seed will grow only half a bushel of grain."
11 How terrible it will be for people who rise early in the morning to look for strong drink, who stay awake late at night, becoming drunk with wine.
12 At their parties they have lyres, harps, tambourines, flutes, and wine. or notice the work of his hands.
13 So my people will be captured and taken away, because they don't really know me. All the great people will die of hunger, and the common people will die of thirst.
14 So the place of the dead wants more and more people, and it opens wide its mouth. Jerusalem's important people and common people will go down into it, with their happy and noisy ones.
15 So the common people and the great people will be brought down; those who are proud will be humbled.
16 The Lord All-Powerful will receive glory by judging fairly; the holy God will show himself holy by doing what is right.
17 Then the sheep will go anywhere they want, and lambs will feed on the land that rich people once owned.
18 How terrible it will be for those people! They pull their guilt and sins behind them as people pull wagons with ropes.
19 They say, "Let God hurry; let him do his work soon so we may see it. so that we will know what it is."
20 How terrible it will be for people who call good things bad and bad things good, who think darkness is light and light is darkness, who think sour is sweet and sweet is sour.
21 How terrible it will be for people who think they are wise and believe they are clever.
22 How terrible it will be for people who are famous for drinking wine and are champions at mixing drinks.
23 They take money to set the guilty free and don't allow good people to be judged fairly.
24 They will be destroyed just as fire burns straw or dry grass. They will be destroyed like a plant whose roots rot and whose flower dies and blows away like dust. and have hated the message from the Holy God of Israel.
25 So the Lord has become very angry with his people, and he has raised his hand to punish them. Even the mountains are frightened. Dead bodies lie in the streets like garbage. But the Lord is still angry; his hand is still raised to strike down the people.
26 He raises a banner for the nations far away. He whistles to call those people from the ends of the earth.
27 Not one of them becomes tired or falls down. Not one of them gets sleepy and falls asleep. Their weapons are close at hand, and their sandal straps are not broken.
28 Their arrows are sharp, and all of their bows are ready to shoot. The horses' hoofs are hard as rocks, and their chariot wheels move like a whirlwind.
29 Their shout is like the roar of a lion; it is loud like a young lion. They growl as they grab their captives. There is no one to stop them from taking their captives away.
30 On that day they will roar like the waves of the sea. And when people look at the land, they will see only darkness and pain; all light will become dark in this thick cloud.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 6

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high throne. His long robe filled the Temple.
2 Heavenly creatures of fire stood above him. Each creature had six wings: It used two wings to cover its face, two wings to cover its feet, and two wings for flying.
3 Each creature was calling to the others: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord All-Powerful. His glory fills the whole earth."
4 Their calling caused the frame around the door to shake, as the Temple filled with smoke.
5 I said, "Oh, no! I will be destroyed. I am not pure, and I live among people who are not pure, but I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful."
6 One of the heavenly creatures used a pair of tongs to take a hot coal from the altar. Then he flew to me with the hot coal in his hand.
7 The creature touched my mouth with the hot coal and said, "Look, your guilt is taken away, because this hot coal has touched your lips. Your sin is taken away."
8 Then I heard the Lord's voice, saying, "Whom can I send? Who will go for us?" So I said, "Here I am. Send me!"
9 Then the Lord said, "Go and tell this to the people: 'You will listen and listen, but you will not understand. You will look and look, but you will not learn.'
10 Make the minds of these people dumb. Shut their ears. Cover their eyes. Otherwise, they might really understand what they see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds and come back to me and be healed."
11 Then I asked, "Lord, how long should I do this?" He answered, "Until the cities are destroyed and the people are gone, until there are no people left in the houses, until the land is destroyed and left empty.
12 The Lord will send the people far away, and the land will be left empty.
13 One-tenth of the people will be left in the land, but it will be destroyed again. These people will be like an oak tree whose stump is left when the tree is chopped down. The people who remain will be like a stump that will sprout again."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 7

1 Now Ahaz was the son of Jotham, who was the son of Uzziah. When Ahaz was king of Judah, Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to fight against it. But they were not able to defeat the city.
2 Ahaz king of Judah received a message saying, "The armies of Aram and Israeln have joined together." When Ahaz heard this, he and the people were frightened. They shook with fear like trees of the forest blown by the wind.
3 Then the Lord told Isaiah, "You and your son Shear-Jashubn should go and meet Ahaz at the place where the water flows into the upper pool, on the road where people do their laundry.
4 Tell Ahaz, 'Be careful. Be calm and don't worry. Don't let those two men, Rezin and Pekah son of Remaliah, scare you. Don't be afraid of their anger or Aram's anger, because they are like two barely burning sticks that are ready to go out.
5 They have made plans against you, saying,
6 "Let's fight against Judah and tear it apart. We will divide the land for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel the new king of Judah."
7 But I, the Lord God, say, "'Their plan will not succeed; it will not happen,
8 because Aram is led by the city of Damascus, and Damascus is led by its weak king, Rezin. Within sixty-five years Israel will no longer be a nation.
9 Israel is led by the city of Samaria, and Samaria is led by its weak king, the son of Remaliah. If your faith is not strong, you will not have strength enough to last.'"
10 Then the Lord spoke to Ahaz again, saying,
11 "Ask for a sign from the Lord your God to prove to yourself that these things are true. It may be a sign from as deep as the place of the dead or as high as the heavens."
12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask for a sign or test the Lord."
13 Then Isaiah said, "Ahaz, descendant of David, listen carefully! Isn't it bad enough that you wear out the patience of people? Do you also have to wear out the patience of my God?
14 The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virginn will be pregnant. She will have a son, and she will name him Immanuel.
15 He will be eating milk curds and honey when he learns to reject what is evil and to choose what is good.
16 You are afraid of the kings of Israel and Aram now. But before the child learns to choose good and reject evil, the lands of Israel and Aram will be empty.
17 The Lord will bring troubled times to you, your people, and to the people of your father's family. They will be worse than anything that has happened since Israel separated from Judah. The Lord will bring the king of Assyria to fight against you.
18 "At that time the Lord will whistle for the Egyptians, and they will come like flies from Egypt's faraway streams. He will call for the Assyrians, and they will come like bees.
19 These enemies will camp in the deep ravines and in the cliffs, by the thornbushes and watering holes.
20 The Lord will hire Assyria and use it like a razor to punish Judah. It will be as if the Lord is shaving the hair from Judah's head and legs and removing Judah's beard.
21 "At that time a person will be able to keep only one young cow and two sheep alive.
22 There will be only enough milk for that person to eat milk curds. All who remain in the land will go back to eating just milk curds and honey.
23 In this land there are now vineyards that have a thousand grapevines, which are worth about twenty-five pounds of silver. But these fields will become full of weeds and thorns.
24 The land will become wild and useful only as a hunting ground.
25 People once worked and grew food on these hills, but at that time people will not go there, because the land will be filled with weeds and thorns. Only sheep and cattle will go to those places."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 8

1 The Lord told me, "Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: 'Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.'
2 I will gather some men to be reliable witnesses: Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah."
3 Then I went to the prophetess, and she became pregnant and had a son. The Lord told me, "Name the boy Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz,
4 because the king of Assyria will take away all the wealth and possessions of Damascus and Samaria before the boy learns to say 'my father' or 'my mother.'"
5 Again the Lord spoke to me, saying,
6 "These people refuse to accept the slow-moving waters of the pool of Shiloah and are terrified of Rezin and Pekah son of Remaliah.
7 So I, the Lord, will bring the king of Assyria and all his power against them, like a powerful flood of water from the Euphrates River. The Assyrians will be like water rising over the banks of the river, flowing over the land.
8 That water will flow into Judah and pass through it, rising to Judah's throat. Immanuel, this army will spread its wings like a bird until it covers your whole country."
9 Be broken, all you nations, and be smashed to pieces. Listen, all you faraway countries. Prepare for battle and be smashed to pieces! Prepare for battle and be smashed to pieces!
10 Make your plans for the fight, but they will be defeated. Give orders to your armies, but they will be useless, because God is with us.
11 The Lord spoke to me with his great power and warned me not to follow the lead of the rest of the people. He said,
12 "People are saying that others make plans against them, but you should not believe them. Don't be afraid of what they fear; do not dread those things.
13 But remember that the Lord All-Powerful is holy. He is the one you should fear; he is the one you should dread.
14 Then he will be a place of safety for you. But for the two families of Israel, he will be like a stone that causes people to stumble, like a rock that makes them fall. He will be like a trap for the people of Jerusalem, and he will catch them in his trap.
15 Many people will fall over this rock. They will fall and be broken; they will be trapped and caught."
16 Make an agreement. Seal up the teaching while my followers are watching.
17 I will wait for the Lord to help us, the Lord who is ashamed of the family of Israel. I will wait for him.
18 I am here, and with me are the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and proofs for the people of Israel from the Lord All-Powerful, who lives on Mount Zion.
19 Some people say, "Ask the mediums and fortune-tellers, who whisper and mutter, what to do." But I tell you that people should ask their God for help. Why should people who are still alive ask something from the dead?
20 You should follow the teachings and the agreement with the Lord. The mediums and fortune-tellers do not speak the word of the Lord, so their words are worth nothing.
21 People will wander through the land troubled and hungry. When they become hungry, they will become angry and will look up and curse their king and their God.
22 They will look around them at their land and see only trouble, darkness, and awful gloom. And they will be forced into the darkness.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.