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An ox knows its owner,
    and an ass,[a] its master’s manger;
But Israel does not know,
    my people has not understood.(A)

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  1. 1:3 Ox…ass: Isaiah uses animals proverbial for their stupidity and stubbornness to underline Israel’s failure to respond to God. Israel: a term Isaiah (and other prophets) frequently applies to Judah, especially after the fall of the Northern Kingdom (which Isaiah normally calls Ephraim, as in 7:2, 9, 17; 9:8), but sometimes applies to the entire chosen people, as in 8:14.

13 Therefore my people go into exile
    for lack of understanding,(A)
Its nobles starving,
    its masses parched with thirst.

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22 My people are fools,
    they do not know me;
They are senseless children,
    without understanding;
They are wise at evil,
    but they do not know how to do good.(A)

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