Isaiah 29:1-24 Reading the Passage

Don’t Remove Your Heart from God – Isaiah 29:1-24

29 Woe to you, Ariel, O Ariel, the city where David settled! For still another year, continue to observe the cycle of your sacred festivals. (2) Then I will distress Ariel, she will mourn and lament—but she will still be to me like a pleasant hearth, an Ariel. (3) I will encamp against you on every side, I will besiege you with troops stationed all around, I will erect siege works against you. (4) Then you will be brought down, and you will speak from out of the ground; your speech will be a mumbling from out of the dust. Your voice will sound like that of a person possessed by a spirit who has come up out of the ground. Your speech will be merely a whisper out of the dust. (5) But the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust and the ruthless hordes will be like chaff that is blown away. Indeed, this will happen suddenly, in an instant. (6) Jehovah of hosts will come to Ariel with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a consuming fire. (7) Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel—all who attack her and her stronghold, all that distress her—will become like a dream, like a passing vision of the night. (8) It will be like when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he wakes up and is still hungry; or when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he wakes up and is faint, with his thirst unquenched. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.

(9) Stop and stare, blind yourselves and become blind. They are drunk, but not from wine; they stagger, but not from strong drink. (10) On the contrary, Jehovah has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep: he has shut your eyes, namely, the prophets; he has covered your heads, namely, the seers. (11) The whole vision has become to you like the words of a scroll that is sealed. Men bring the scroll to someone who is literate, asking, Please read this. But he replies, I cannot, because it is sealed. (12) Then the scroll is brought to someone who is illiterate, and again they ask, Please read this. But he replies, I am illiterate. (13) Then the Lord said, Because these people only approach me with their mouth and only honor me with their lips, but have removed their heart far from me, and their reverence for me is nothing more than a tradition they have learned by rote; (14) therefore, take note, I will proceed to do an astonishing thing to these people, an amazingly astonishing thing. The wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their intelligent men will vanish.

(15) Woe to those who try to deeply hide their plans from Jehovah, those who do their works in the dark, those who say, Who sees us? and, Who knows what we are doing? (16) You turn things upside down! Should the potter be viewed as being the same as the clay, so that the thing that has been made can say of him who made it, He did not make me? or can the thing that has been formed say of him who formed it, He has no skill?

(17) In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into an arable field, and will not the arable field seem like a forest? (18) On that day the deaf shall hear the words of the scroll, and even in the gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. (19) The meek will abound with joy in Jehovah, and the poor people of the world will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; (20) because the ruthless will vanish, the scoffers will disappear, and all those who watch for the opportunity to commit iniquity will be cut off—(21) those who condemn a man on a mere technicality, those who lay a trap for the man who speaks out against evil in the courts, those who deprive the innocent of justice by means of false testimony. (22) Therefore, this is what Jehovah—the God who redeemed Abraham—says concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall no longer be ashamed; no longer will his face turn pale. (23) On the contrary, when he sees his children all around him, the work of my hands, he will sanctify my name; indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and stand in awe of the God of Israel. (24) Furthermore, those who have an erring spirit will gain understanding.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.