Isaiah 29

Woe to Jerusalem

1 Woe to Ariel
Or Altar Hearth, or Lion of God; Hb obscure
the city where David camped! b
Continue year after year;
let the festivals recur.
2 I will oppress Ariel,
and there will be mourning and crying,
and she will be to Me like an Ariel.
Or Altar Hearth, or Lion of God; Hb obscure

3 I will camp in a circle around you;
I will besiege you with earth ramps,
and I will set up my siege towers against you.
4 You will be brought down;
you will speak from the ground,
and your words will come from low in the dust.
Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground; d
your speech will whisper from the dust.

5 Your many foes
Lit foreigners
will be like fine dust f
and many of the ruthless, like blowing chaff.
Then suddenly, in an instant g
6 you will be visited by the Lord of
Hosts/hosts: Military forces consisting of God's angels, sometimes including the sun, moon, and stars, and occasionally, Israel
with thunder, earthquake, and loud noise,
storm, tempest, and a flame of consuming fire. i
7 All the many nations j
going out to battle against Ariel
all the attackers, the siege works against her,
and those who oppress her –
will then be like a dream, a vision in the night. k
8 It will be like a hungry one who dreams he is eating,
then wakes and is still hungry;
and like a thirsty one who dreams he is drinking,
then wakes and is still thirsty, longing for water.
So it will be for all the many nations
who go to battle against Mount
Zion: Originally a term for the fortified section of Jerusalem and then, by extension, used for the temple and the city of Jerusalem both in the present time and in the future

9 Stop and be astonished;
blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk
LXX, Tg, Vg read Be drunk
but not with wine;
they stagger
Tg, Vg read wine; stagger
but not with beer. o
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
an overwhelming urge to
Lit you a spirit of
sleep; q
He has shut your eyes – the prophets,
and covered your heads – the seers. r

11For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. s If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it,
Lit If one gives it to one who knows the document, saying, “Read this, please”
he will say, “I can’t read it, because it is sealed.”
12And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it,
Lit who does not know the document, saying, “Read this, please”
he will say, “I can’t read.”

13The Lord said:

Because these people approach Me with their mouths v
to honor Me with lip-service
Lit their mouth and honor Me with its lips

yet their hearts are far from Me,
and their worship consists of man-made rules
learned by rote –
14 therefore I will again confound these people
with wonder after wonder. x
The wisdom of their wise men will vanish y
and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden.

15 Woe to those who go to great lengths
to hide their plans from the Lord. z
They do their works in darkness,
and say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” aa
16 You have turned things around,
as if the potter were the same as the clay.
How can what is made say about its maker,
“He didn’t make me”? ab
How can what is formed
say about the one who formed it,
“He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?

17 Isn’t it true that in just a little while
Lebanon will become an orchard,
and the orchard will seem like a forest? ac
18 On that day the deaf will hear ad
the words of a document,
and out of a deep darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The humble will have joy
after joy in the Lord,
and the poor people will rejoice ae
in the Holy One of Israel. af
20 For the ruthless one will vanish,
the scorner will disappear ag
and all those who lie in wait with evil intent
will be killed
21 those who, with their speech,
accuse a person of wrongdoing,
who set a trap at the
gate(s): The center for community discussions, political meetings, and trying of court cases
gate for the mediator,
and without cause deprive the righteous of justice. ai

22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham aj says this about the house of Jacob:

Jacob will no longer be ashamed
and his face will no longer be pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
the work of My hands within his nation,
they will honor My name,
they will honor the Holy One of Jacob ak
and stand in awe of the God of Israel. al
24 Those who are confused will gain understanding,
and those who grumble will accept instruction.
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