1 I am Isaiah, the son of Amoz.
  And this is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were the kings of Judah:

A Guilty Nation

2 The Lord has said,
      “Listen, heaven and earth!
   The children I raised
      have turned against me.
3 Oxen and donkeys know
      who owns and feeds them,
   but my people won’t ever learn.”
4 Israel, you are a sinful nation
      loaded down with guilt.
   You are wicked and corrupt
   and have turned from the Lord,
      the holy God of Israel.
5 Why be punished more?
      Why not give up your sin?
   Your head is badly bruised,
      and you are weak all over.
6 From your head to your toes
      there isn’t a healthy spot.
   Bruises, cuts, and open sores
      go without care
         or oil to ease the pain.
7 Your country lies in ruins;
      your towns are in ashes.
   Foreigners and strangers
   take and destroy your land
      while you watch.
8 Enemies surround Jerusalem,
   alone like a hut in a vineyard
      or in a cucumber field.
9 Zion would have disappeared
      like Sodom and Gomorrah,
   if the Lord All-Powerful
   had not let a few
      of its people survive.

Justice, Not Sacrifices

10 You are no better
      than the leaders and people
   of Sodom and Gomorrah!
      So listen to the Lord God:
11 “Your sacrifices
      mean nothing to me.
   I am sick of your offerings
      of rams and choice cattle;
   I don’t like the blood
      of bulls or lambs or goats.
12 “Who asked you to bring all this
   when you come to worship me?
      Stay out of my temple!
13 Your sacrifices are worthless,
         and incense is disgusting.
   I can’t stand the evil you do
      on your New Moon Festivals
   or on your Sabbaths
      and other times of worship.
14 I hate your New Moon Festivals
      and all others as well.
   They are a heavy burden
      I am tired of carrying.

15 “No matter how much you pray,
      I won’t listen.
      You are too violent.
16 Wash yourselves clean!
      I am disgusted
         with your filthy deeds.
      Stop doing wrong
17    and learn to live right.
      See that justice is done.
      Defend widows and orphans
         and help those in need.”

An Invitation from the Lord

18 I, the Lord, invite you
         to come and talk it over.
      Your sins are scarlet red,
      but they will be whiter
         than snow or wool.
19 If you willingly obey me,
      the best crops in the land
         will be yours.
20 But if you turn against me,
      your enemies will kill you.
         I, the Lord, have spoken.

The Lord Condemns Jerusalem

21 Jerusalem, you are like
         an unfaithful wife.
      Once your judges were honest
         and your people lived right;
      now you are a city
         full of murderers.
22 Your silver is fake,
      and your wine
         is watered down.
23 Your leaders have rejected me
         to become friends of crooks;
      your rulers are looking
         for gifts and bribes.
      Widows and orphans
         never get a fair trial.
24 I am the Lord All-Powerful,
      the mighty ruler of Israel,
         and I make you a promise:
      You are now my enemy,
      and I will show my anger
         by taking revenge on you.
25 I will punish you terribly
         and burn away everything
      that makes you unfit
         to worship me.
26 Jerusalem, I will choose
      judges and advisors
         like those you had before.
      Your new name will be
         “Justice and Faithfulness.”

The Lord Will Save Jerusalem

27 Jerusalem, you will be saved
         by showing justice;
      Zion’s people who turn to me
      will be saved
         by doing right.
28 But those rebellious sinners
      who turn against me, the Lord,
         will all disappear.
29 You will be made ashamed
      of those groves of trees
         where you worshiped idols.
30 You will be like a grove of trees
         dying in a drought.
31 Your strongest leaders
      will be like dry wood
         set on fire by their idols.
      No one will be able to help,
         as they all go up in flames.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary