Isaiah 28 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Warnings to Northern Israel
28 Look at Samaria!
2 Look, the Lord has someone who is strong and brave.
5 At that time the Lord All-Powerful will become the “Beautiful Crown.” He will be the “Wonderful Crown of Flowers” for his people who are left. 6 Then he will give wisdom to the judges who rule his people. He will give strength to the people who are in battles at the city gates. 7 But now those leaders are drunk. The priests and prophets are all drunk with wine and beer. They stumble and fall down. The prophets are drunk when they see their dreams. The judges are drunk when they make their decisions. 8 Every table is covered with vomit. There is not a clean place anywhere.
God Wants to Help His People
9 The people say, “Who does he think he is trying to teach and explain his message to? Does he think we are babies who were at their mother’s breast only a very short time ago? 10 He speaks to us as though we were babies:
“Saw lasaw saw lasaw
11 So God will use this strange way of talking, and he will use other languages to speak to these people.
12 In the past he spoke to them and said, “Here is a resting place. Let those who are tired come and rest. This is the place of peace.”
But they would not listen to him. 13 So the Lord’s words will be senseless sounds[c] to them:
“Saw lasaw saw lasaw.
When the people try to walk, they will fall backwards. They will be defeated, trapped, and captured.
No One Escapes God’s Judgment
14 You leaders in Jerusalem should listen to the Lord’s message, but now you refuse to listen to him. 15 You have said, “We have made an agreement with death. We have a contract with death. So we will not be punished. Punishment will pass us without hurting us. We will hide behind our tricks and lies.”
16 Because of these things, the Lord God says, “I will put a rock—a cornerstone—in the ground in Zion. This will be a very precious stone.[d] Everything will be built on this very important rock. Anyone who trusts in that rock will not be disappointed.[e]
17 “Workers use a string and weight to show their work is straight and true. I will use justice as the string and goodness as the weight when I lay that foundation. But your safe places were built on lies. So they will be destroyed and washed away when the troubles come against you like hail storms and floods. 18 Your agreement with death will be erased. Your contract with Sheol will not help you.
“Someone will come and punish you. He will make you like the dirt he walks on. 19 He will come and take you away. Your punishment will be terrible. Your punishment will come early in the morning, and it will continue late into the night.
“Then you will understand this story: 20 A man tried to sleep on a bed that was too short for him. He had a blanket that was not wide enough to cover him. The bed and blanket were useless, and so were your agreements.”
21 The Lord will fight as he did at Mount Perazim. He will be angry as he was in Gibeon Valley.[f] He will do what he must do. It will be what some stranger should do, but he will finish his work. Yes, this is a stranger’s job. 22 Now don’t complain about these things. If you fight against them, you will only tighten the ropes around you.
The words I heard will not change. They came from the Lord God All-Powerful, the ruler of all the earth, and these things will be done.
The Lord Punishes Fairly
23 Listen closely to the message I am telling you. 24 Does a farmer plow his field all the time? No, he doesn’t work the soil all the time. 25 A farmer prepares the ground, and then he plants the seed. He plants different kinds of seeds different ways. He scatters dill seeds, he throws cumin seeds on the ground, and he plants wheat in rows. A farmer plants barley in its special place, and he plants spelt seeds at the edge of his field.
26 Our God is using this to teach you a lesson. This example shows us that God is fair when he punishes his people. 27 Does a farmer use large boards with sharp teeth to crush dill seeds? No, and he doesn’t use a wagon to crush cumin seeds. A farmer uses a small stick to break the hulls from these seeds of grain. 28 People grind grain to make flour, but they don’t grind it forever. As God does in punishing people, a worker might drive his wagon over the grain to remove the hulls, but he does not allow the horses[g] to crush it. 29 This lesson comes from the Lord All-Powerful, who gives wonderful advice. He is very wise.
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,
5 In that day the Lord Almighty
7 And these also stagger from wine
9 “Who is it he is trying to teach?
11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
The understanding of this message
23 Listen and hear my voice;
27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
Isaiah 28 King James Version (KJV)
28 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!
2 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.
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
4 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.
5 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,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 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.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
9 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.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 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.
13 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.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 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:
16 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.
17 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.
18 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.
19 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.
20 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.
21 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.
22 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.
23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
24 Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
25 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?
26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
27 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.
28 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.
29 This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.