Isaiah 29 - The Siege of Jerusalem, Hope for the Future
Ah, Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the festivals run their round. 2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be moaning and lamentation, and Jerusalem[a] shall be to me like an Ariel.[b] 3 And like David[c] I will encamp against you; I will besiege you with towers and raise siegeworks against you. 4 Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.
5 But the multitude of your foes[d] shall be like small dust, and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff. And in an instant, suddenly, 6 you will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. 7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, shall be like a dream, a vision of the night. 8 Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating and wakes up still hungry, or a thirsty person dreams of drinking and wakes up faint, still thirsty, so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion.
9 Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor, blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not from wine; stagger, but not from strong drink! 10 For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep; he has closed your eyes, you prophets, and covered your heads, you seers.
11 The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot read.”
13 The Lord said: Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote; 14 so I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.
15 Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay? Shall the thing made say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of the one who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
Hope for the Future
17 Shall not Lebanon in a very little while become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest? 18 On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. 19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the tyrant shall be no more, and the scoffer shall cease to be; all those alert to do evil shall be cut off— 21 those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit, who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate, and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.
22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no longer shall his face grow pale. 23 For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction.
a. Isaiah 29:2 Heb she
b. Isaiah 29:2 Probable meaning, altar hearth; compare Ezek 43.15
c. Isaiah 29:3 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
d. Isaiah 29:5 Cn: Heb strangers
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
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