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Warnings to Jerusalem

29 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] you, Ariel [C another name for Jerusalem, perhaps meaning either “lion” or “altar hearth”; v. 2],
    the city where David ·camped [lived; settled; or besieged; C David first conquered, then lived in the city; 2 Sam. 5:6–9].
Your festivals have continued
    year after year.
I will ·attack [threaten; bring distress to] ·Jerusalem [L Ariel; v. 1],
    and that city will be filled with ·sadness [mourning] and ·crying [lamentation].
    It will be like an ·altar [or altar hearth; C the Hebrew word sounds like Ariel, perhaps indicating that Jerusalem will burn like an altar] to me.
I will ·put armies all around you [encamp against/besiege you; C same word as in v. 1];
    I will surround you with towers
    and with ·devices to attack [siege works against] you.
You will be pulled down and will speak from the ground;
    I will hear your voice rising from the ·ground [or underworld].
It will sound like the voice of a ghost;
    your words will come like a whisper from the ·dirt [dust].

Your ·many [multitude of] enemies will become like fine dust;
    the many ·cruel people [ruthless hordes] will be like chaff that is blown away.
·Everything will happen very quickly [L Suddenly, in an instant…; C this phrase may go with what comes before or after].
    The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will come
with thunder, earthquakes, and great noises,
    with ·storms [whirlwind], ·strong winds [tempest], and a fire that ·destroys [devours].
Then all the nations that fight against ·Jerusalem [L Ariel; v. 1]
    will be like a dream;
all the nations that ·attack [besiege; bring distress to] her
    will be like a vision in the night.
They will be like a hungry man who dreams he is eating,
    but when he awakens, he is still hungry.
They will be like a thirsty man who dreams he is drinking,
    but when he awakens, he is still weak and thirsty.
It will be the same way with ·all the [the multitude of] nations
    who fight against Mount Zion.

·Be surprised and amazed [Shock yourselves and be shocked].
    Blind yourselves ·so that you cannot see [and be blind].
Become drunk, but not from wine.
    Trip and fall, but not from ·beer [T strong drink; C alcoholic beverage made from grain].
10 The Lord has ·made you go into [L poured out on you] a deep sleep.
    He has closed your eyes. (The prophets are your eyes.)
He has covered your heads. (The seers [C another name for prophets] are your heads.)

11 This vision is like the words of a ·book [scroll] that is closed and sealed. You may give the book to someone who can read and tell that person to read it. But he will say, “I can’t read the book, because it is sealed.” 12 Or you may give the book to someone who cannot read and tell him to read it. But he will say, “I don’t know how to read.”

13 The Lord says:

“These people ·worship me [L come near to me] with their mouths,
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their ·worship [awe; fear] is based on
    nothing but human ·rules [L commandments that have been taught].
14 So [L look; T behold] I will continue to ·amaze [astound] these people
    by doing more and more ·miracles [wonders].
·Their wise men will lose their wisdom [L The wisdom of the wise will perish];
    ·their wise men will not be able to understand [L the discernment of the discerning will disappear; 1 Cor. 1:19].”

Warnings About Other Nations

15 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] those who ·try
    to hide [deeply hide; or hide too deep to see] ·things [plans; counsel] from the Lord
and who do their work in darkness.
    They ·think no one will see them or know what they do [L say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”].
16 You ·are confused [L turn things upside down!].
    You think the clay is equal to the potter.
·You think that an object can [or Should the thing formed…?] tell the one who made it,
    “You didn’t make me [10:15; Rom. 9:20].”
This is like a pot telling ·its maker [the potter],
    “You don’t ·know anything [understand].”

A Better Time Is Coming

17 In a very short time, Lebanon will become ·rich farmland [a fertile/fruitful field],
    and the ·rich farmland [fertile/fruitful field] will seem like a forest.
18 ·At that time [L In that day] the deaf will hear the words in a ·book [scroll].
    ·Instead of having [L From; Out of] darkness and gloom, the blind will see.
19 The Lord will make the ·poor people [humble; lowly; meek] ·happy [rejoice];
    ·they [L the poor/needy] will ·rejoice [delight; exult] in the Holy One of Israel [1:4].
20 Then the ·people without mercy [ruthless; tyrants] will come to an end;
    ·those who do not respect God [the scoffer/mocker/arrogant] will disappear.
    Those who ·enjoy [are intent on; have an eye for] doing evil will be ·gone [cut off/down]:
21 those who ·lie about others in court [bear false testimony; L make a person a sinner with a word],
    those who trap ·people in court [L the arbiter at the city gate],
those who ·lie and [with false charges/testimony] take justice from innocent people in court.

22 This is what the Lord who ·set free [redeemed; rescued] Abraham says to the ·family [L house] of Jacob:

“Now ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob] will not be ashamed
    or ·disgraced [L their faces turn pale] any longer.
23 When they see all their children,
    the children I made with my hands,
they will ·say my name is holy [honor/sanctify my name].
    They will ·agree [recognize; acknowledge] that the Holy One of Jacob [1:4] is holy,
    and they will ·respect [stand in awe of; fear] the God of Israel.
24 People who ·do wrong [wander/err in spirit] will now understand.
    Those who complain will accept ·being taught [insight; instruction].”

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)


  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

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