Woe to Jerusalem

29 Woe to Ariel,[a] Ariel,
the city where David camped!(A)
Continue year after year;
let the festivals recur.
I will oppress Ariel,
and there will be mourning and crying,
and she will be to me like an Ariel.
I will camp in a circle around you;
I will besiege you with earth ramps,
and I will set up my siege towers against you.
You will be brought down;
you will speak from the ground,
and your words will come from low in the dust.
Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground;(B)
your speech will whisper from the dust.

Your many foes[b] will be like fine dust,(C)
and many of the ruthless, like blowing chaff.
Then suddenly, in an instant,(D)
you will be punished by the Lord of Armies
with thunder, earthquake, and loud noise,
storm, tempest, and a flame of consuming fire.(E)
All the many nations(F)
going out to battle against Ariel—
all the attackers, the siege works against her,
and those who oppress her—
will then be like a dream, a vision in the night.(G)
It will be like a hungry one who dreams he is eating,
then wakes and is still hungry;
and like a thirsty one who dreams he is drinking,
then wakes and is still thirsty, longing for water.
So it will be for all the many nations
who go to battle against Mount Zion.

Stop and be astonished;
blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk,[c] but not with wine;
they stagger,[d] but not with beer.(H)
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
an overwhelming urge to[e] sleep;(I)
he has shut your eyes (the prophets)
and covered your heads (the seers).(J)

11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document.(K) If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it,[f] he will say, “I can’t read it, because it is sealed.” 12 And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it,[g] he will say, “I can’t read.”

13 The Lord said:

These people approach me with their speeches(L)
to honor me with lip-service[h]
yet their hearts are far from me,
and human rules direct their worship of me.[i]
14 Therefore, I will again confound these people
with wonder after wonder.(M)
The wisdom of their wise will vanish,(N)
and the perception of their perceptive will be hidden.

15 Woe to those who go to great lengths
to hide their plans from the Lord.(O)
They do their works in the dark,
and say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” (P)
16 You have turned things around,
as if the potter were the same as the clay.
How can what is made say about its maker,
“He didn’t make me”?(Q)
How can what is formed
say about the one who formed it,
“He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?

17 Isn’t it true that in just a little while
Lebanon will become an orchard,
and the orchard will seem like a forest?(R)
18 On that day the deaf will hear(S)
the words of a document,
and out of a deep darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The humble will have joy
after joy in the Lord,
and the poor people will rejoice(T)
in the Holy One of Israel.(U)
20 For the ruthless one will vanish,
the scorner will disappear,(V)
and all those who lie in wait with evil intent
will be killed—
21 those who, with their speech,
accuse a person of wrongdoing,
who set a trap for the one mediating at the city gate
and without cause deprive the righteous of justice.(W)

22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham(X) says this about the house of Jacob:

Jacob will no longer be ashamed,
and his face will no longer be pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
the work of my hands within his nation,
they will honor my name,
they will honor the Holy One of Jacob(Y)
and stand in awe of the God of Israel.(Z)
24 Those who are confused will gain understanding,
and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Footnotes

  1. 29:1 Or Altar Hearth, or Lion of God; Hb obscure, also in v. 2
  2. 29:5 Lit foreigners
  3. 29:9 LXX, Tg, Vg read Be drunk
  4. 29:9 Tg, Vg read wine; stagger
  5. 29:10 Lit you a spirit of
  6. 29:11 Lit If one gives it to one who knows the document, saying, “Read this, please”
  7. 29:12 Lit who does not know the document, saying, “Read this, please”
  8. 29:13 Lit their mouth and honor me with its lips
  9. 29:13 Lit their fearing of me is a taught command of men

Woe to David’s City

29 Woe(A) to you, Ariel, Ariel,(B)
    the city(C) where David settled!
Add year to year
    and let your cycle of festivals(D) go on.
Yet I will besiege Ariel;(E)
    she will mourn and lament,(F)
    she will be to me like an altar hearth.[a](G)
I will encamp against you on all sides;
    I will encircle(H) you with towers
    and set up my siege works(I) against you.
Brought low, you will speak from the ground;
    your speech will mumble(J) out of the dust.(K)
Your voice will come ghostlike(L) from the earth;
    out of the dust your speech will whisper.(M)

But your many enemies will become like fine dust,(N)
    the ruthless(O) hordes like blown chaff.(P)
Suddenly,(Q) in an instant,
    the Lord Almighty will come(R)
with thunder(S) and earthquake(T) and great noise,
    with windstorm and tempest(U) and flames of a devouring fire.(V)
Then the hordes of all the nations(W) that fight against Ariel,(X)
    that attack her and her fortress and besiege her,
will be as it is with a dream,(Y)
    with a vision in the night—
as when a hungry person dreams of eating,
    but awakens(Z) hungry still;
as when a thirsty person dreams of drinking,
    but awakens faint and thirsty still.(AA)
So will it be with the hordes of all the nations
    that fight against Mount Zion.(AB)

Be stunned and amazed,(AC)
    blind yourselves and be sightless;(AD)
be drunk,(AE) but not from wine,(AF)
    stagger,(AG) but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:(AH)
    He has sealed your eyes(AI) (the prophets);(AJ)
    he has covered your heads (the seers).(AK)

11 For you this whole vision(AL) is nothing but words sealed(AM) in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”

13 The Lord says:

“These people(AN) come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,(AO)
    but their hearts are far from me.(AP)
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.[b](AQ)
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
    with wonder upon wonder;(AR)
the wisdom of the wise(AS) will perish,
    the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.(AT)
15 Woe to those who go to great depths
    to hide(AU) their plans from the Lord,
who do their work in darkness and think,
    “Who sees us?(AV) Who will know?”(AW)
16 You turn things upside down,
    as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!(AX)
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed(AY) it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,(AZ)
    “You know nothing”?(BA)

17 In a very short time,(BB) will not Lebanon(BC) be turned into a fertile field(BD)
    and the fertile field seem like a forest?(BE)
18 In that day(BF) the deaf(BG) will hear the words of the scroll,
    and out of gloom and darkness(BH)
    the eyes of the blind will see.(BI)
19 Once more the humble(BJ) will rejoice in the Lord;
    the needy(BK) will rejoice in the Holy One(BL) of Israel.
20 The ruthless(BM) will vanish,(BN)
    the mockers(BO) will disappear,
    and all who have an eye for evil(BP) will be cut down—
21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty,
    who ensnare the defender in court(BQ)
    and with false testimony(BR) deprive the innocent of justice.(BS)

22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed(BT) Abraham,(BU) says to the descendants of Jacob:

“No longer will Jacob be ashamed;(BV)
    no longer will their faces grow pale.(BW)
23 When they see among them their children,(BX)
    the work of my hands,(BY)
they will keep my name holy;(BZ)
    they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One(CA) of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward(CB) in spirit will gain understanding;(CC)
    those who complain will accept instruction.”(CD)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 29:2 The Hebrew for altar hearth sounds like the Hebrew for Ariel.
  2. Isaiah 29:13 Hebrew; Septuagint They worship me in vain; / their teachings are merely human rules

29 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.

Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.

And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.

And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.

Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

10 For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

22 Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.

23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

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