Isaiah 28 – New International Version (NIV)
Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah
- Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards, to the fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley—to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!
- See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong. Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, like a driving rain and a flooding downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
- That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards, will be trampled underfoot.
- That fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley, will be like figs ripe before harvest—as soon as people see them and take them in hand, they swallow them.
- In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.
- He will be a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
- And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions.
- All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth.
- “Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?
- For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that[a]; a little here, a little there.”
- Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues od will speak to this people,
- to whom he said, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose”—but they would not listen.
- So then, the word of the Lord to them will become: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there—so that as they go they will fall backward; they will be injured and snared and captured.
- Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.
- You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood[b] our hiding place.”
- So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.
- I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
- Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.
- As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through.” The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.
- The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
- The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon—to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.
- Now stop your mocking, or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed against the whole land.
- Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.
- When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
- When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place,[c] barley in its plot,[d] and spelt in its field?
- His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.
- Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick.
- Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. The wheels of a threshing cart may be rolled over it, but one does not use horses to grind grain.
- All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent.
a. Isaiah 28:10 Hebrew / sav lasav sav lasav / kav lakav kav lakav (probably meaningless sounds mimicking the prophet’s words); also in verse 13
b. Isaiah 28:15 Or false gods
c. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
d. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
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Isaiah 28 – King James Version (KJV)
- Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
- Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
- The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
- and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
- In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
- and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
- But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
- For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
- Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
- For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
- for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
- To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
- But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
- Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
- Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
- therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
- Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
- And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
- From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
- For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
- For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
- Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
- Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
- Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
- When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?
- For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
- For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
- Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.
- This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.