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Isaiah 28 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Ephraim’s Captivity Predicted

28 Woe (judgment is coming) to [Samaria] the splendid crown of the drunkards of [a]Ephraim,
And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the rich valley
Of those who are overcome with wine!

Listen carefully, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent [the Assyrian];
Like a tempest of hail, a disastrous storm,
Like a tempest of mighty overflowing waters,
He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.

The splendid crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trampled by [the foreigners’] feet.

And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the rich valley,
Will be like the early fig before the summer,
Which one sees,
And as soon as it is in his hand
He [greedily] swallows it [and so will the Assyrians rapidly devour Samaria, Israel’s capital].

In that day the Lord of hosts will become a magnificent crown
And a glorious diadem to the [converted] remnant of His people,

A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment [administering the law],
A strength to those who drive back the battle at the gate.

But even these reel with wine and stagger from strong drink:
The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink;
They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink;
They reel while seeing visions,
They stagger when pronouncing judgment.

For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, so that there is no place [that is clean.]


They say “To whom would He teach knowledge?
And to whom would He explain the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
10 
“For He says,
‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Rule upon rule, rule upon rule,
Here a little, there a little.’”
11 
Indeed, the Lord will teach this people [in a more humiliating way]
By [men with] stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
12 
He who said to them, “This is the place of quiet, give rest to the weary,”
And, “This is the resting place,” yet they would not listen.
13 
Therefore the word of the Lord to them will be [merely monotonous repetitions]:
“Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Rule upon rule, rule upon rule,
Here a little, there a little.”
That they may go and stumble backward, and be broken, ensnared, and taken captive.

Judah Is Warned

14 
Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, you arrogant men
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem!
15 
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol (the place of the dead) we have made an agreement,
When the overwhelming scourge passes by, it will not reach us,
For we have made lies our refuge and we have concealed ourselves in deception.”

16 Therefore the Lord God says this,

“Listen carefully, I am laying in Zion a Stone, a tested Stone,
A precious Cornerstone for the [secure] foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes [who trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone] will not [b]be disturbed or give way [in sudden panic].
17 
“I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the mason’s level;
Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And waters will flood over the secret [hiding] place.
18 
“Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol (the place of the dead) will not stand;
When the overwhelming scourge passes through,
Then you will become its trampling ground.
19 
“As often as it passes through, it will seize you;
For morning after morning it will pass through, by day and by night,
And it will be sheer terror to understand what it means.”
20 
For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself [and likewise all their preparations are inadequate].
21 
For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be stirred up as in the Valley of Gibeon,
To do His work, His unusual and incredible work,
And to accomplish His work, His extraordinary work.
22 
Now do not carry on as scoffers,
Or the bands which bind you will be made stronger;
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts [a decree]
Of decisive destruction on all the earth.

23 
Listen and hear my voice;
Listen carefully and hear my words.
24 
Does the farmer plow all day to plant seed?
Does he continually dig furrows and harrow his ground [after it is prepared]?
25 
When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow [the seed of] dill and scatter cumin,
And plant wheat in rows,
And barley in its [intended] place and [c]rye within its border?
26 
For his God instructs [him correctly] and teaches him properly.
27 
For dill is not threshed with a sharp threshing sledge,
Nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin;
But dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod.
28 
Bread grain is crushed fine,
Indeed, the farmer does not continue to thresh it forever.
Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it,
He does not thresh it longer.
29 
This also comes from the Lord of hosts,
Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 28:1 I.e. the ten northern tribes of Israel.
  2. Isaiah 28:16 The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) reads “be put to shame,” a phrase which occurs frequently in pleas to God.
  3. Isaiah 28:25 A subspecies of common wheat.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 28 New International Version (NIV)

Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah

28 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?
10 For it is:
    Do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that[a];
    a little here, a little there.

11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues
    God will speak to this people,
12 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.
13 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.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 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.

16 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.
17 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.
18 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.
19 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.
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,
    the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
21 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.
22 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.

23 Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 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?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.

27 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.
28 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.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,
    whose wisdom is magnificent.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 28:10 Hebrew / sav lasav sav lasav / kav lakav kav lakav (probably meaningless sounds mimicking the prophet’s words); also in verse 13
  2. Isaiah 28:15 Or false gods
  3. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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