Isaiah 28

Judgment on Ephraim

Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards, to the fading flower of his glorious splendor, set on the summit above the fertile valley, [the pride] of those overcome by wine. Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty one. Like a hailstorm or destructive tempest, like a driving rain or flooding downpour, He will smash it to the ground. The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards will be trampled underfoot. The fading flower of his beautiful splendor, on the summit above the fertile valley, will be like a ripe fig before the summer harvest: Whoever sees it will swallow it while it is still in his hand. On that day the LORD of Hosts will be a crown of glory, a diadem of splendor to the remnant of His people, a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and a strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate. These also stagger from wine and stumble from strong drink: Priests and prophets reel from strong drink and are befuddled by wine. They stumble because of strong drink, muddled in their visions and stumbling in their judgments. For all their tables are covered with vomit; there is not a place without filth. Who is it He is trying to teach? To whom is He explaining His message? To infants just weaned from milk? To babies removed from the breast? 10  For [He says] , “Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there.”
Or meaningless gibberish, senseless babbling, a syllable here, a syllable there, probably meaningless sounds mimicking the prophet’s words; also in verse 13
11  Indeed, with mocking lips and foreign tongues, He will speak to this people 12  to whom He has said: “This is the place of rest, let the weary rest; this is the place of repose.” But they would not listen. 13  Then the word of the LORD will come to them: “Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there,” so that they will go stumbling backward and be injured, snared, and captured.

A Cornerstone in Zion

14  Therefore hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem. 15  For you said, “We have made a covenant with death; we have fashioned an agreement with Sheol. When the overwhelming scourge passes through, it will not touch us, because we have made lies our refuge and falsehood
Or false gods
our hiding place.”
16  So this is what the Lord GOD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will never be shaken.
LXX put to shame
17  I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level.” Hail will sweep away your refuge of lies, and water will flood your hiding place. 18  Your covenant with death will be dissolved, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be trampled by it. 19  As often as it passes through, it will carry you away; it will sweep through morning after morning, by day and by night. Sheer terror [will come] from understanding the message. 20  Indeed, the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket too small to wrap around you. 21  For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim. He will rouse Himself as [in] the valley of Gibeon, to do His work, His strange work, and to perform His task, His disturbing task. 22  So now, do not mock, or your shackles will become heavier. Indeed, I have heard from the Lord GOD of Hosts a decree of destruction against the whole land.

Listen and Hear

23  Listen and hear my voice. Pay attention and hear what I say. 24  Does the plowman plow for planting every day? Does he continuously loosen and harrow the soil? 25  When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots, with rye within its border. 26  For his God instructs and teaches him properly. 27  Surely caraway is not threshed with a sledge, and the wheel of a cart is not rolled over the cumin. But caraway is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. 28  Grain for bread must be ground, but it is not endlessly threshed. Though the wheels of the cart roll over it, the horses do not crush it. 29  This also comes from the LORD of Hosts, [who] is wonderful in counsel [and] excellent wisdom.
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