1 This is the vision that Amoz's son Isaiah had about Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Listen, you heavens, and let the earth pay attention, because the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them to adulthood, but then they rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's feeding trough, but Israel doesn't know, and my people don't understand.
4 "Oh, you sinful nation! You people burdened down by iniquity! You offspring of those who keep practicing what is evil! You corrupt children! "They've abandoned the LORD; they've despised the Holy One of Israel; in their estrangement, they've walked away from me.
5 "Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? Your whole head is sick, and your whole heart is faint. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head, there's no soundness evident only bruises, sores, and festering wounds that haven't been cleaned out, bandaged, or treated with oil."
7 "Your country lies desolate; your cities have been incinerated. Before your very eyes, foreigners are devouring your land they've brought devastation on it, while the land is overthrown by foreigners. 8 "The daughter of Zion is left abandoned, like a booth in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, or like a city under siege. 9 If the Lord of the Heavenly Armies hadn't left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom; we would be like Gomorrah.
10 "Listen to what the LORD says, you rulers of Sodom, and pay attention to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11 "How do your voluminous sacrifices benefit me?" the LORD is asking. "I've had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts. I don't enjoy the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats. 12 "When you come to present yourselves in my presence, who has required you to trample on my courts? 13 Stop bringing useless offerings! Incense is detestable to me, as are your New Moons, Sabbaths, and calling of convocations. I cannot stand iniquity within a solemn assembly. 14 As for your New Moons and your appointed festivals, I abhor them. They've become a burden to me; I've grown weary of carrying that burden. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I'll hide my eyes from you. Even though you pray repeatedly, I won't listen. Your hands are full of blood, your fingers drenched with iniquity."
16 "Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean; remove your evil behavior from my presence; stop practicing what is evil. 17 Learn to practice what is good; seek justice, alleviate oppression, defend orphans in court, and plead the widow's case.
18 "Please come, and let's reason together," implores the LORD. "Even though your sins are like scarlet, they'll be white like snow. Though they're like crimson, they'll become like wool. 19 If you're willing and obedient, you'll eat the best that the land produces; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you'll be devoured by the sword, because the LORD has spoken."
21 "How the faithful city has become a whore, she who used to be filled with justice! Righteousness used to reside within her, but now only murderers live there. 22 Your silver has become dross, your best wine is diluted with water. 23 Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. All of them are lovers of bribes and are runners after gifts. They don't bring justice to orphans, and the widow's case never comes up for review in their court."
24 Therefore this is what the Lord GOD of the Heavenly Armies, the one who is Israel's Mighty One, declares: "Now I'll get relief from his enemies and avenge myself on his foes. 25 When I turn my attention to you, I'll refine your dross as in a furnace. I'll remove all your alloy. 26 Let me restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you'll be called "The Righteous City' and "The Faithful City of Zion'.
27 "Zion will be redeemed by justice, and her repentant ones by righteousness. 28 Rebels and sinners will be broken together, and those who forsake the LORD will be consumed. 29 They'll be ashamed of the oak trees that you desired; and you'll blush because of the gardens that you have chosen. 30 You'll be like an oak whose leaf is withering, like an unwatered garden. 31 Your strong one will be like tinder, and your work a spark; both of them will burn together, with no one to quench the flames that burn them."