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Isaiah 28 New King James Version (NKJV)

Woe to Ephraim and Jerusalem

28 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,
Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the [a]verdant valleys,
To those who are overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one,
Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm,
Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing,
Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim,
Will be trampled underfoot;
And the glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the [b]verdant valley,
Like the first fruit before the summer,
Which an observer sees;
He eats it up while it is still in his hand.

In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,
For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

But they also have erred through wine,
And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;
The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
For all tables are full of vomit and filth;
No place is clean.

“Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the Lord was to them,
“Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,”
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we are in agreement.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
It will not come to us,
For we have made lies our refuge,
And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”

A Cornerstone in Zion

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.
17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,
And righteousness the plummet;
The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
And the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will be trampled down by it.
19 As often as it goes out it will take you;
For morning by morning it will pass over,
And by day and by night;
It will be a terror just to understand the report.”

20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.
21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—
That He may do His work, His awesome work,
And bring to pass His act, His [c]unusual act.
22 Now therefore, do not be mockers,
Lest your bonds be made strong;
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts,
A [d]destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

Listen to the Teaching of God

23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the [e]spelt in its place?
26 For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him.

27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin;
But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick,
And the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground;
Therefore he does not thresh it forever,
Break it with his cartwheel,
Or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts,
Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in [f]guidance.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 28:1 Lit. valleys of fatness
  2. Isaiah 28:4 Lit. valley of fatness
  3. Isaiah 28:21 Lit. foreign
  4. Isaiah 28:22 Lit. complete end
  5. Isaiah 28:25 rye
  6. Isaiah 28:29 sound wisdom
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Ephraim’s Captivity Predicted

28 Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the [a]fertile valley
Of those who are [b]overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent;
As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction,
Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters,
He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.
The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trodden under foot.
And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the [c]fertile valley,
Will be like the first-ripe fig prior to summer,
Which [d]one sees,
And [e]as soon as it is in his [f]hand,
He swallows it.
In that day the Lord of hosts will become a beautiful crown
And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;
A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment,
A strength to those who repel the [g]onslaught at the gate.
And these also 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 [h]having visions,
They totter when rendering judgment.
For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.

“To whom would He teach knowledge,
And to whom would He interpret the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
10 “For He says,
[i]Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there.’”
11 Indeed, He will speak to this people
Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
12 He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,”
And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.
13 So the word of the Lord to them will be,
[j]Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there,”
That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.

Judah Is Warned

14 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with [k]Sheol we have made a [l]pact.
The overwhelming [m]scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

16 Therefore thus says the Lord [n]God,

Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, [o]firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be [p]disturbed.
17 “I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;
Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And the waters will overflow the secret place.
18 “Your covenant with death will be [q]canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand;
When the overwhelming scourge passes through,
Then you become its trampling place.
19 “As often as it passes through, it will [r]seize you;
For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night,
And it will be [s]sheer terror to understand [t]what it means.”
20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out,
And the blanket is too [u]small to wrap oneself in.
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 task, His [v]unusual task,
And to work His work, His [w]extraordinary work.
22 And now do not carry on as scoffers,
Or your fetters will be made stronger;
For I have heard from the Lord [x]God of hosts
Of decisive destruction on all the earth.

23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my words.
24 Does the [y]farmer plow [z]continually to plant seed?
Does he continually [aa]turn and harrow the ground?
25 Does he not level its surface
And sow dill and scatter cummin
And [ab]plant wheat in rows,
Barley in its place and rye within its [ac]area?
26 For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is the cartwheel [ad]driven over cummin;
But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.
28 Grain for bread is crushed,
Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever.
Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually [ae]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 Lit valley of fatness
  2. Isaiah 28:1 Lit smitten
  3. Isaiah 28:4 Lit valley of fatness
  4. Isaiah 28:4 Lit the one seeing sees
  5. Isaiah 28:4 Lit while it is yet
  6. Isaiah 28:4 Lit palm
  7. Isaiah 28:6 Lit battle
  8. Isaiah 28:7 Lit seeing
  9. Isaiah 28:10 Heb Sav lasav, sav lasav, Kav lakav, kav lakav, Ze’ er sham, ze’ er sham These Hebrew monosyllables, imitating the babbling of a child, mock the prophet’s preaching
  10. Isaiah 28:13 V 10, note 1 The Lord responds to their scoffing by imitating their mockery, to represent the unintelligible language of a conqueror
  11. Isaiah 28:15 I.e. the nether world
  12. Isaiah 28:15 So some ancient versions; Heb seer
  13. Isaiah 28:15 Or flood
  14. Isaiah 28:16 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  15. Isaiah 28:16 Lit well-laid
  16. Isaiah 28:16 Lit in a hurry
  17. Isaiah 28:18 Lit covered over
  18. Isaiah 28:19 Lit take
  19. Isaiah 28:19 Lit only
  20. Isaiah 28:19 Lit the report, or, the message
  21. Isaiah 28:20 Lit narrow
  22. Isaiah 28:21 Lit task is strange
  23. Isaiah 28:21 Lit work is alien
  24. Isaiah 28:22 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  25. Isaiah 28:24 Lit plowman
  26. Isaiah 28:24 Lit all day
  27. Isaiah 28:24 Lit open
  28. Isaiah 28:25 Lit put
  29. Isaiah 28:25 Lit region
  30. Isaiah 28:27 Lit rolled
  31. Isaiah 28:28 Lit discomfit
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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.

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!

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.

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.

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