Isaiah 28

Alas! for the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And for his fading wreath of majestic beauty,—Which is on the head of the fertile valley, of them who are overcome with wine. Lo! My Lord hath one who is, strong and bold, Like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, Like a storm of mighty waters overflowing, Hath he thrust it down to the earth with force: With the feet shall be trodden down, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, So shall his fading wreath of majestic beauty, Which is on the head of the fertile valley, become—Like the first-ripe fig before fruit-harvest, Which when he that looketh upon it seeth while it is yet in his hand, he swalloweth it up. In that day, will Yahweh of hosts become A crown of beauty, and A diadem of majesty,—Unto the remnant of his people: Even a spirit of justice—to him that presideth over justice, And strength to them who would turn back the battle at the gate. But as for these, With wine, do they reel, and With strong drink, do they stagger,—Priest and prophet, reel with strong drink They are swallowed up through wine They stagger through strong drink, They reel in prophetic vision, They totter in pronouncing judgment. For, all tables, are full of filthy vomit,—There is no place!

Whom, would he teach knowledge? And, whom, would he cause to understand the message? Them who are weaned from the milk? taken from the breasts? 10 For it is—Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line,—A little here a little there. 11 For, with a jabbering lip, and with an alien tongue, must he speak unto this people! 12 To whom he said—This, is the rest—give ye rest to the weary, and This, is the quietness,—But they were unwilling to hear. 13 So the word of Yahweh must be to them—Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, A little here, a little there,—That they may go and fall backward and be torn and snared and captured.

14 Wherefore, hear ye the word of Yahweh, Ye men who scoff,—Ye rulers of this people that is in Jerusalem. 15 Because ye have said—We have solemnised a covenant with death, And with hades, have we effected a vision,—The overflowing scourge when it sweepeth by, shall not reach unto us, For we have made lying our refuge. And in falsehood, have we hid ourselves, 16 Therefore, Thus, saith My Lord, Yahweh, Behold me! founding in Zion a stone, A stone of testing, The costly corner of a well-laid foundation, he that trusteth, shall not make haste! 17 But I will make—Justice the line, and Righteousness the plummet,—And the hail shall, sweep away, your refuge of lying, And your hiding-place, the waters shall overflow; 18 So shall be wiped out your covenant with death, And your vision with hades, not stand,—When the overflowing scourge, sweepeth past, then shall ye be thereby beaten down: 19 As often as it sweepeth past, it shall take you away, For morning by morning, shall it pass along. By day and by night,—And it shall be nothing less than a terror to make out the message; 20 For too short is the couch to stretch oneself out,—And, the coverlet, too narrow, when one draweth up his feet. 21 For as in Mount Perazim, will Yahweh, arise, As in the vale of Gibeon, will he be stirred,—To do his work—foreign is his work, And to perform his task—strange is his task. 22 Now, therefore do not show yourselves scoffers, Lest your fetters, be bound fast,—For, of a full end, and that a decreed one, have I heard from My Lord, Yahweh of hosts upon all the land

23 Give ear, and hear ye my voice,—Hearken, and hear ye my speech:— 24 All day long, doth the plowman plow for sowing? Doth he continue laying open and harrowing his soil? 25 Doth he not when he hath levelled the face thereof, Cast abroad the fennel? And, the cummin, doth he not scatter? And plant wheat in rows, And barley in a lot, And spelt in the border thereof? 26 Yea One hath trained him to good judgment, His God, directeth him. 27 For not with a sledge, must, black coriander be threshed, Nor must, the wheel of a cart, on cummin, be turned, But with a staff, must fennel be eaten, And cummin with a rod: 28 Bread-corn, must be crushed,—Yet would he not be evermore, threshing, it, So he hasteneth over it the wheel of his cart, with his horsemen, He crusheth it not! 29 Even this, from Yahweh of hosts, cometh forth,—Who hath bestowed distinction upon counsel, And magnified sound wisdom.

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