Isaiah 1 1 חֲזוֹן֙ יְשַֽׁעְיָ֣הוּ בֶן ־ אָמ֔וֹץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר חָזָ֔ה עַל ־ יְהוּדָ֖ה וִירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם בִּימֵ֨י עֻזִּיָּ֧הוּ יוֹתָ֛ם אָחָ֥ז יְחִזְקִיָּ֖הוּ מַלְכֵ֥י יְהוּדָֽה ׃ 2 שִׁמְע֤וּ שָׁמַ֙יִם֙ וְהַאֲזִ֣ינִי אֶ֔רֶץ כִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה דִּבֵּ֑ר בָּנִים֙ גִּדַּ֣לְתִּי וְרוֹמַ֔מְתִּי וְהֵ֖ם פָּ֥שְׁעוּ בִֽי ׃ 3 יָדַ֥ע שׁוֹר֙ קֹנֵ֔הוּ וַחֲמ֖וֹר אֵב֣וּס בְּעָלָ֑יו יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔ע עַמִּ֖י לֹ֥א הִתְבּוֹנָֽן ׃ 4 ה֣וֹי ׀ גּ֣וֹי חֹטֵ֗א עַ֚ם כֶּ֣בֶד עָוֺ֔ן זֶ֣רַע מְרֵעִ֔ים בָּנִ֖ים מַשְׁחִיתִ֑ים עָזְב֣וּ אֶת ־ יְהוָ֗ה נִֽאֲצ֛וּ אֶת ־ קְד֥וֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נָזֹ֥רוּ אָחֽוֹר ׃ 5 עַ֣ל מֶ֥ה תֻכּ֛וּ ע֖וֹד תּוֹסִ֣יפוּ סָרָ֑ה כָּל ־ רֹ֣אשׁ לָחֳלִ֔י וְכָל ־ לֵבָ֖ב דַּוָּֽי ׃ 6 מִכַּף ־ רֶ֤גֶל וְעַד ־ רֹאשׁ֙ אֵֽין ־ בּ֣וֹ מְתֹ֔ם פֶּ֥צַע וְחַבּוּרָ֖ה וּמַכָּ֣ה טְרִיָּ֑ה לֹא ־ זֹ֙רוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א חֻבָּ֔שׁוּ וְלֹ֥א רֻכְּכָ֖ה בַּשָּֽׁמֶן ׃ 7 אַרְצְכֶ֣ם שְׁמָמָ֔ה עָרֵיכֶ֖ם שְׂרֻפ֣וֹת אֵ֑שׁ אַדְמַתְכֶ֗ם לְנֶגְדְּכֶם֙ זָרִים֙ אֹכְלִ֣ים אֹתָ֔הּ וּשְׁמָמָ֖ה כְּמַהְפֵּכַ֥ת זָרִֽים ׃ 8 וְנוֹתְרָ֥ה בַת ־ צִיּ֖וֹן כְּסֻכָּ֣ה בְכָ֑רֶם כִּמְלוּנָ֥ה בְמִקְשָׁ֖ה כְּעִ֥יר נְצוּרָֽה ׃ 9 לוּלֵי֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת הוֹתִ֥יר לָ֛נוּ שָׂרִ֖יד כִּמְעָ֑ט כִּסְדֹ֣ם הָיִ֔ינוּ לַעֲמֹרָ֖ה דָּמִֽינוּ ׃ ס 10 שִׁמְע֥וּ דְבַר ־ יְהוָ֖ה קְצִינֵ֣י סְדֹ֑ם הַאֲזִ֛ינוּ תּוֹרַ֥ת אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ עַ֥ם עֲמֹרָֽה ׃ 11 לָמָּה ־ לִּ֤י רֹב ־ זִבְחֵיכֶם֙ יֹאמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה שָׂבַ֛עְתִּי עֹל֥וֹת אֵילִ֖ים וְחֵ֣לֶב מְרִיאִ֑ים וְדַ֨ם פָּרִ֧ים וּכְבָשִׂ֛ים וְעַתּוּדִ֖ים לֹ֥א חָפָֽצְתִּי ׃ 12 כִּ֣י תָבֹ֔אוּ לֵרָא֖וֹת פָּנָ֑י מִי ־ בִקֵּ֥שׁ זֹ֛את מִיֶּדְכֶ֖ם רְמֹ֥ס חֲצֵרָֽי ׃ 13 לֹ֣א תוֹסִ֗יפוּ הָבִיא֙ מִנְחַת ־ שָׁ֔וְא קְטֹ֧רֶת תּוֹעֵבָ֛ה הִ֖יא לִ֑י חֹ֤דֶשׁ וְשַׁבָּת֙ קְרֹ֣א מִקְרָ֔א לֹא ־ אוּכַ֥ל אָ֖וֶן וַעֲצָרָֽה ׃ 14 חָדְשֵׁיכֶ֤ם וּמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם֙ שָׂנְאָ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֔י הָי֥וּ עָלַ֖י לָטֹ֑רַח נִלְאֵ֖יתִי נְשֹֽׂא ׃ 15 וּבְפָרִשְׂכֶ֣ם כַּפֵּיכֶ֗ם אַעְלִ֤ים עֵינַי֙ מִכֶּ֔ם גַּ֛ם כִּֽי ־ תַרְבּ֥וּ תְפִלָּ֖ה אֵינֶ֣נִּי שֹׁמֵ֑עַ יְדֵיכֶ֖ם דָּמִ֥ים מָלֵֽאוּ ׃ 16 רַחֲצוּ֙ הִזַּכּ֔וּ הָסִ֛ירוּ רֹ֥עַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶ֖ם מִנֶּ֣גֶד עֵינָ֑י חִדְל֖וּ הָרֵֽעַ ׃ 17 לִמְד֥וּ הֵיטֵ֛ב דִּרְשׁ֥וּ מִשְׁפָּ֖ט אַשְּׁר֣וּ חָמ֑וֹץ שִׁפְט֣וּ יָת֔וֹם רִ֖יבוּ אַלְמָנָֽה ׃ ס 18 לְכוּ ־ נָ֛א וְנִוָּֽכְחָ֖ה יֹאמַ֣ר יְהוָ֑ה אִם ־ יִֽהְי֨וּ חֲטָאֵיכֶ֤ם כַּשָּׁנִים֙ כַּשֶּׁ֣לֶג יַלְבִּ֔ינוּ אִם ־ יַאְדִּ֥ימוּ כַתּוֹלָ֖ע כַּצֶּ֥מֶר יִהְיֽוּ ׃ 19 אִם ־ תֹּאב֖וּ וּשְׁמַעְתֶּ֑ם ט֥וּב הָאָ֖רֶץ תֹּאכֵֽלוּ ׃ 20 וְאִם ־ תְּמָאֲנ֖וּ וּמְרִיתֶ֑ם חֶ֣רֶב תְּאֻכְּל֔וּ כִּ֛י פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה דִּבֵּֽר ׃ ס 21 אֵיכָה֙ הָיְתָ֣ה לְזוֹנָ֔ה קִרְיָ֖ה נֶאֱמָנָ֑ה מְלֵאֲתִ֣י מִשְׁפָּ֗ט צֶ֛דֶק יָלִ֥ין בָּ֖הּ וְעַתָּ֥ה מְרַצְּחִֽים ׃ 22 כַּסְפֵּ֖ךְ הָיָ֣ה לְסִיגִ֑ים סָבְאֵ֖ךְ מָה֥וּל בַּמָּֽיִם ׃ 23 שָׂרַ֣יִךְ סוֹרְרִ֗ים וְחַבְרֵי֙ גַּנָּבִ֔ים כֻּלּוֹ֙ אֹהֵ֣ב שֹׁ֔חַד וְרֹדֵ֖ף שַׁלְמֹנִ֑ים יָתוֹם֙ לֹ֣א יִשְׁפֹּ֔טוּ וְרִ֥יב אַלְמָנָ֖ה לֹֽא ־ יָב֥וֹא אֲלֵיהֶֽם ׃ פ 24 לָכֵ֗ן נְאֻ֤ם הָֽאָדוֹן֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת אֲבִ֖יר יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל ה֚וֹי אֶנָּחֵ֣ם מִצָּרַ֔י וְאִנָּקְמָ֖ה מֵאוֹיְבָֽי ׃ 25 וְאָשִׁ֤יבָה יָדִי֙ עָלַ֔יִךְ וְאֶצְרֹ֥ף כַּבֹּ֖ר סִיגָ֑יִךְ וְאָסִ֖ירָה כָּל ־ בְּדִילָֽיִךְ ׃ 26 וְאָשִׁ֤יבָה שֹׁפְטַ֙יִךְ֙ כְּבָרִ֣אשֹׁנָ֔ה וְיֹעֲצַ֖יִךְ כְּבַתְּחִלָּ֑ה אַחֲרֵי ־ כֵ֗ן יִקָּ֤רֵא לָךְ֙ עִ֣יר הַצֶּ֔דֶק קִרְיָ֖ה נֶאֱמָנָֽה ׃ 27 צִיּ֖וֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּ֣ט תִּפָּדֶ֑ה וְשָׁבֶ֖יהָ בִּצְדָקָֽה ׃ 28 וְשֶׁ֧בֶר פֹּשְׁעִ֛ים וְחַטָּאִ֖ים יַחְדָּ֑ו וְעֹזְבֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה יִכְלֽוּ ׃ 29 כִּ֣י יֵבֹ֔שׁוּ מֵאֵילִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר חֲמַדְתֶּ֑ם וְתַ֨חְפְּר֔וּ מֵהַגַּנּ֖וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּחַרְתֶּֽם ׃ 30 כִּ֣י תִֽהְי֔וּ כְּאֵלָ֖ה נֹבֶ֣לֶת עָלֶ֑הָ וּֽכְגַנָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁר ־ מַ֖יִם אֵ֥ין לָֽהּ ׃ 31 וְהָיָ֤ה הֶחָסֹן֙ לִנְעֹ֔רֶת וּפֹעֲל֖וֹ לְנִיצ֑וֹץ וּבָעֲר֧וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֛ם יַחְדָּ֖ו וְאֵ֥ין מְכַבֶּֽה ׃ ס
Isaiah 1 1 The a vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem b in the days of c Uzziah, d Jotham, e Ahaz, and f Hezekiah, kings of Judah. The Wickedness of Judah 2 g Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O h earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children 1 i have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox j knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does j not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, k offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord , they have l despised m the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly n estranged. 5 Why will you still be o struck down? Why will you p continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 q From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are r not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. 7 s Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners. 8 And t the daughter of Zion is left like a u booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city. 9 v If the Lord of hosts had not left us w a few survivors, we should have been like x Sodom, and become like x Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the Lord , you rulers of y z Sodom! Give ear to the teaching 1 of our God, you people of z Gomorrah! 11 a “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord ; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 12 “When you come to b appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? 13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. c New moon and Sabbath and the d calling of convocations— I cannot endure e iniquity and f solemn assembly. 14 Your c new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you g spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; h even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; i your hands are full of blood. 16 j Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; k cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; l seek justice, correct oppression; m bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. 18 “Come now, n let us reason 1 together, says the Lord : though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as o white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 p If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; q for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The Unfaithful City 21 How the faithful city r has become a whore, 1 s she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. 22 t Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water. 23 Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone u loves a bribe and runs after gifts. v They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them. 24 Therefore the w Lord declares, the Lord of hosts, the x Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will get relief from my enemies y and avenge myself on my foes. 25 z I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your a dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. 26 And I will restore your judges b as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward c you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” 27 d Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. 28 e But rebels and sinners shall be broken together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. 29 f For they 1 shall be ashamed of g the oaks that you desired; and you shall blush for h the gardens that you have chosen. 30 For you shall be i like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water. 31 And the strong shall become j tinder, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with k none to quench them.
Isaiah 1 sermon notes - background etc God states his case against his people and his city We are deliberately left disorientated at the start. Until chapter 6. Chapters 1-5 provide us with the situation into which he was called. These are oracles he preached at some point after his call, but he placed them here as a kind of preface. No historical markers. 1-5 are a 'backdrop' to the rest. [Like a movie intro sometimes is] Three parts, which we'll do today, next week, and the week after. Each shows God's people in rebellion against him, in a different way. NB it is lazy application just to say, 'this is like Britain today'. Since the crucial difference is that the UK is not God's covenant people. Chapter 1: national, relgious and social corruption. Chatpers 2-4 have another view of Zion. But contrasted with actual Jerusalem, which is frightful. Chapter 5 presents same picture as a vine bearing stink fruit, and then 6 woes. So all of them contrast ideal and actual. 1-4 are focused on the Lord's punishment, but there are chinks of hope. E.g., ch. 4 looks ahead to a new city and new people. But ch 5 says 'what more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? Has sin nullified grace? Thus ch 5 is climactic - and the darkness sets up the glorious vision of ch 6. This first part of the preface drops some subtle but almost jarringly bright notes of hope. We might miss them out of familiarity, or because we've not read Isaiah on its own terms in the past. v18-19 and v26-27. Structure 1.1 We thought about this in our introduction last week. He lived through 4 kings, and his ministry formally began when Uzziah died; the end of a lengthy time of stability and prosperity. Ahaz generally bad, Hezekiah generally good. 1.2-9 National situation: The nation is sick Courtroom drama. Law - lawyer - lawsuit - verdict Covenant - prophet - vision/oracle Heavens and earth are witness. Created universe always on side of creator. Sons: cf Exodus 4.22; sonship through redemption and adoption. v3 Israel - the man made new. v3 knowing/understanding; primarily relational-covenantal knowledge here. The Holy One of Israel - did Isaiah coin this term? Utterly estranged - 'reverted to alien status'. Metaphor of sickness, v5-8. For all the worldly wisdom of the kings of Judah, the country was sickening to death. v9 'The unmerited factor of divine preservation' Inclusio here: the LORD is sovereign in speaking v2, and sovereign in mercy v9 1.10-20 Religious situation: their worship is fake Hear the word of the LORD v10, and then mouth of the LORD has spoken v20. v10 addresses them as Sodom/Gomorrah. Forms without function. Redemption led to lawgiving which led to the forms of worship: in that order. v12 empty noise of feet. 'unholy alliance of religious duty and personal iniquity'. v16 threefold command to get right with God; wash, clean, remove. v16-17 threefold command to reorder personal life: cease; learn; seek. v17 threefold command for reforming society: correct, bring justice, plead. NB the two 'ends' of oppression are dealt with: oppressor and victim. v18 should come as a huge surprise: the people called 'to the bar' to head the verdict of... an offer of free pardom and a new life! Snow/wool are not just white, but white by nature. 1.21-26 Social situation: the city is in ruins Lament, starts first word of v21. Palistrophic poem v21-26. (23/24; 22/25; 21/26) Ends with the hope which comes from the Lord's sovereign grace, v26. He won't go back on his promises. v21 moral collapse of the city. 'Breach of the first table of the law (harlotry) leads inevitably to breach of the second table (murder)'. v23 widow and fatherless are test cases of quality of justice in society. v26 is a seed that will grow and develop through the book. 'King' is in the background, since this is built on promises to David. 1.27-31 Tensions between threat and hope are resolved It's crucial to see that v27 follows on from v26. Move from fact to explanation. This is how the Lord will 'restore' Zion. 'When he redeems, the Lord does not overlook, but satisfies the claims of his holy precepts'. v29 the talk of oaks and gardens; 'they shall reap shame from the trees which you desired'. Symbols of 'nature religion' and fertility gods. But the evergreen tree will fade. False religion is a garden without water. God's glory. He somehow promises pardon and new life for his people and Zion. He will not cancel out his promises. FCF. Outward religion/virtue with total moral corruption. H1. Virtue and intense zeal (e.g., woke movement; climate), with rampant self-interest. H2. Christian activity while harbouring hearts far from God. Person of Jesus. He is the true Israel. Inner and outer righteousness. Work of Jesus. He receives what faithless Israel deserved. So that Zion might be 'redeemed by justice'. Union with Jesus. Invite: the world: see that the zealous virtues are empty, a waterless garden. We need a life-giver if ethics are ever to 'deliver' a world of flourishing. The unbeliever: come and be made white as snow. Confront: cease, learn, seek. Console: This city is coming. Wrap up: Two chinks of bright light, v18-19 and v26-27. The LORD will redeem by justice. Somehow the scarlet sins will become white as snow.