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Isaiah 29 International Standard Version (ISV)

Judgment is Coming to Jerusalem

29 “How terrible it will be for you, Aruel, Aruel,[a]
    the city where David encamped!
Year after year,
    let your festivals run their cycle.
Then I’ll besiege Aruel,[b]
    and there will be sorrow and mourning;
        she will become to me like an altar fireplace.[c]
Then I’ll encamp against you like David,[d]
    and I’ll lay siege to you with towers,
raise siege works against you,
and you will be brought down.
You will speak from the ground,
    and your speech will mumble from the dust.
Your voice will come ghostlike from the ground,
    and your speech will whisper from the dust.

“But the hordes of your enemies[e]
    will become like fine dust,
        and the hordes of tyrants like flying chaff.
Then suddenly, in an instant,
you will be visited by the Lord of the Heavenly Armies—
with thunder, an earthquake, and great noise,
    with a windstorm, a tempest,
        and flames from a devouring fire.
Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Aruel,[f]
    all that attack her and her fortification[g] and besiege her,
        will become like a dream, with its visions in the night—
as when a hungry man dreams—
    he eats, but wakes up still hungry;
or when a thirsty man dreams—
    he drinks, but wakes up faint,
        with his thirst unquenched.
So will it be with the hordes of all the nations
    that fight against Mount Zion.

Blind to God’s Words

“Act stupid!
    Be astonished!
Act blind,
    and be blind!
Be drunk,[h] but not from[i] wine;
    stagger around,[j] but not from strong drink.
10 For the Lord has poured out upon you
    a spirit of deep sleep—
he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
    he has covered your heads, you seers!”

11 “And this entire vision has become for you like the words of a sealed book. When people give it to someone who can read, and say, ‘Read this, please,’ he answers,[k] ‘I cannot, because it is sealed.’ 12 Or when they give the book[l] to someone who cannot read, and say, ‘Read this, please,’ he answers,[m] ‘I don’t know how to read.’”

A Rebuke of Hypocritical Worship

13 Then the Lord said:

“Because these people draw near with their mouths
    and honor me with their lips,
        but their hearts are far from me,
worship of me[n] has become
    merely like[o] rules taught by human beings.
14 Therefore, watch out!

“As for me,[p] I will once again
    do amazing things with this people,
        wonder upon wonder.
The wisdom of their wise men will perish,
    and the insights[q] of their discerning men will stay hidden.”

A Rebuke to the Deceptive

15 “How terrible it will be for you who go to great depths
    to hide your plans from the Lord,
you whose deeds have been[r] done[s] in the dark,
    and who say, ‘Who can see us?
        Who has recognized[t] us?’
16 He has turned the tables on you[u]
    as if the potter were thought to be like heat.[v]
Can what is made say of the one who made it,
    ‘He did not make me?’
Or can what is formed say of the ones[w] who formed it,
    ‘He has no skill?’

17 “In a very little while,
    will not Lebanon be turned into a garden of fruit,[x]
        and the garden of fruit[y] seem like a forest?
18 On that day the deaf will hear
    the words of a scroll,
and out of gloom and darkness
    the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The humble will again experience joy in the Lord,
    and the poorest people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the ruthless will vanish,
    and mockers will disappear,
        and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—
21 those who make a person appear to be the offender in a lawsuit,
    who set a trap for someone
        who is making his defense in court,[z]
and push aside the innocent
    with specious arguments.

22 “Therefore, this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says concerning the house of Jacob:

‘No longer will Jacob be ashamed;
    no longer will his face grow pale.
23 For when he sees in his midst his children,
    the work of my hands,
they will keep my name holy;
    they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
        and stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Moreover, those who go astray in spirit will gain[aa] understanding,
    and those who complain will accept instruction.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 29:1 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read Ariel, Ariel; i.e. a nickname assigned by the prophet for Jerusalem
  2. Isaiah 29:2 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read Ariel, Ariel; i.e. an allusion to Jerusalem
  3. Isaiah 29:2 Lit. an Ariel; i.e. perhaps a pun on the name Aruel
  4. Isaiah 29:3 So 4QIsak MTmss LXX; 1QIsaa MT read you on all sides
  5. Isaiah 29:5 So 1QIsaa; MT reads foreigners; LXX reads the ungodly
  6. Isaiah 29:7 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read Ariel, Ariel; i.e. an allusion to Jerusalem
  7. Isaiah 29:7 So 1QIsaa; MT reads her mountain stronghold; LXX reads Jerusalem
  8. Isaiah 29:9 So 1QIsaa; MT reads They have become drunk
  9. Isaiah 29:9 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT lacks from
  10. Isaiah 29:9 So 1QIsaa; MT reads They stagger around
  11. Isaiah 29:11 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read he will answer
  12. Isaiah 29:12 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read the book will be given
  13. Isaiah 29:12 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read he will answer
  14. Isaiah 29:13 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Their worship of me
  15. Isaiah 29:13 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack like
  16. Isaiah 29:14 So 1QIsaa LXX; the Heb. lacks as for me
  17. Isaiah 29:14 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read insight
  18. Isaiah 29:15 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read deeds are (or will be)
  19. Isaiah 29:15 DSS MT lack done
  20. Isaiah 29:15 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read recognizes
  21. Isaiah 29:16 So 1QIsaa; MT reads You turn things upside down!
  22. Isaiah 29:16 I.e. the fire in a kiln; so 1QIsaa; MT LXX read clay
  23. Isaiah 29:16 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read one
  24. Isaiah 29:17 Lit. into Carmel
  25. Isaiah 29:17 Lit. and Carmel
  26. Isaiah 29:21 Lit. in the gate
  27. Isaiah 29:24 Lit. discover
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Isaiah 29 New International Version (NIV)

Woe to David’s City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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