Isaiah 28
Judgment on Ephraim and Judah
1Oh, the majestic garland of Ephraim’s drunks
and the fading flower of its splendid beauty
on the head that flows with perfume#DSS (1QIsaa)
of those hammered with wine.
2Look! The Lord has someone who is powerful and strong;
like a hailstorm, a disastrous tempest,
like a downpour of mighty, overflowing waters,
he can level them to the ground with his hand.
3The majestic garland of Ephraim’s drunks
will be trampled underfoot.
4The withered flower, which is a thing of beauty#Heb uncertain
as it sits on the head of those bloated with fat,#Or at the head of the fat valley
will be like an early fig before the summer harvest:
whoever sees it swallows it as soon as it is in hand.
5On that day, the LORD of heavenly forces will be a splendid garland and a beautiful wreath for the people who survive, 6and a spirit of justice for the one who sits in judgment, and a strength for those who repel the assault at the gate.
7These also stagger from wine and stumble from beer:
priest and prophet stagger from beer;
they are confused by wine;
they stray on account of beer;
they err when receiving visions;
they stumble when making judgments.
8All the tables are covered with vomit;
filth overruns the place.
9To whom will God teach knowledge?
To whom will he explain the message?
To those just weaned from milk?
To those who have hardly outgrown the breast?
10It is "tsav letsav, tsav lestav; qav leqav, qav leqav,"#A Hebrew version of baby talk or gibberish
a little of this, a little of that.
11With derisive speech and a foreign tongue,
he will speak to this people.
12He has said to them,
"This is the place of rest;
give rest to the weary;
this is the place of repose";
but they refused to listen.
13So the LORD’s word will be for them:
"tsav letsav, tsav letsav; qav leqav, qav leqav,"
a little of this, a little of that.
So that they will go and stagger backward,
they will be broken, snared, and captured.
The covenant with death overturned
14Therefore, hear the LORD’s word,
you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15You said, "We’ve cut a deal with death;#Heb Maveth
with the underworld#Heb Sheol we made a pact.
When the overflowing flood passes through, it won’t reach us;
for we have made lies our hiding place,
and in falsehood we take shelter."
16Therefore, the LORD God says:
Look! I’m laying in Zion a stone,
a tested stone, a valuable cornerstone,
a sure foundation:
the one who trusts won’t tremble.
17I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line.
But hail will sweep away the hiding place of lies,
and water will overflow the shelter.
18Your deal with death#Heb Maveth will be dissolved,
and your pact with the grave#Heb Sheol won’t stand.
The rushing flood: when it passes through,
you will be annihilated by it.
19Every time it passes through it will take you,
for morning by morning it will pass,
by day and by night.
It will be nothing but terror to understand the message.
20The bed is too short to stretch out,
and the shroud is too narrow to cover oneself.
21Just as on Mount Perazim, the LORD will rise up;
as in the Gibeon Valley he will rage to do his deed—strange is his deed!—
And to work his work—foreign is his work!
22So now stop your scoffing,
or your chains will be tightened,
because destruction has been ordered—I have heard it!—
by the LORD God of heavenly forces against the whole land.
Plowing and threshing
23Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear my word:
24Does the plowman plow without stopping for planting,
opening and harrowing their ground?
25When he has smoothed its surface,
doesn’t he scatter fennel,#Or black cumin and sow cumin,
and plant wheat and barley in their places,
and spelt as a border?
26They are properly ordered;
their God directs them.#Or waters them
27Fennel#Or black cumin isn’t threshed with a threshing sledge,
nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
but fennel#Or black cumin is beaten with a staff,
and cumin with a rod.
28Bread grain is crushed,
but the thresher#DSS (1QIsaa) doesn’t thresh it forever.
He drives the cart wheel over it;
he spreads it out but doesn’t crush it.
29This also comes from the LORD of heavenly forces,
who gives wondrous counsel and increases wisdom.
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