Isaiah 28

Woe to Samaria

1Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards,

and to the fading flower of its beautiful splendor,

which is on the summit above the rich valley.

Woe to those overcome with wine.

2Look, the Lord has a strong and mighty one —

like a devastating hail storm,

like a storm with strong flooding water.

He will bring it across the land with his hand.

3The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards

will be trampled underfoot.

4The fading flower of his beautiful splendor,

which is on the summit above the rich valley,

will be like a ripe fig before the summer harvest.

Whoever sees it will swallow it

while it is still in his hand.

5On that day

the Lord of Armies will become a crown of beauty

and a diadem of splendor

to the remnant of his people,

6a spirit of justice

to the one who sits in judgment,

and strength

to those who repel attacks at the city gate.

7Even these stagger because of wine

and stumble under the influence of beer:

Priest and prophet stagger because of beer.

They are confused by wine.

They stumble because of beer.

They are muddled in their visions.

They stumble in their judgments.

8Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit;

there is no place without a stench.

9Who is he trying to teach?

Who is he trying to instruct?

Infants just weaned from milk?

Babies removed from the breast?

10“Law after law, law after law,

line after line, line after line,

a little here, a little there.”

11For he will speak to this people

with stammering speech

and in a foreign language.

12He had said to them,

“This is the place of rest;

let the weary rest;

this is the place of repose.”

But they would not listen.

13The word of the Lord will come to them:

“Law after law, law after law,

line after line, line after line,

a little here, a little there,”

so they go stumbling backward,

to be broken, trapped, and captured.

A Deal with Death

14Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers

who rule this people in Jerusalem.

15For you said, “We have made a covenant with Death,

and we have an agreement with Sheol;

when the overwhelming catastrophe passes through,

it will not touch us,

because we have made falsehood our refuge

and have hidden behind treachery.”

16Therefore the Lord God said:

“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,

a tested stone,

a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;

the one who believes will be unshakable.

17And I will make justice the measuring line

and righteousness the mason’s level.”

Hail will sweep away the false refuge,

and water will flood your hiding place.

18Your covenant with Death will be dissolved,

and your agreement with Sheol will not last.

When the overwhelming catastrophe passes through,

you will be trampled.

19Every time it passes through,

it will carry you away;

it will pass through every morning —

every day and every night.

Only terror will cause you

to understand the message.

20Indeed, the bed is too short to stretch out on,

and its cover too small to wrap up in.

21For the Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim.

He will rise in wrath, as at the Valley of Gibeon,

to do his work, his unexpected work,

and to perform his task, his unfamiliar task.

22So now, do not scoff,

or your shackles will become stronger.

Indeed, I have heard from the Lord God of Armies

a decree of destruction for the whole land.

God’s Wonderful Advice

23Listen and hear my voice.

Pay attention and hear what I say.

24Does the plowman plow every day to plant seed?

Does he continuously break up and cultivate the soil?

25When he has leveled its surface,

does he not then scatter black cumin and sow cumin?

He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots,

with spelt as their border.

26His God teaches him order;

he instructs him.

27Certainly black cumin is not threshed

with a threshing board,

and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin.

But black cumin is beaten out with a stick,

and cumin with a rod.

28Bread grain is crushed,

but is not threshed endlessly.

Though the wheel of the farmer’s cart rumbles,

his horses do not crush it.

29This also comes from the Lord of Armies.

He gives wondrous advice;

he gives great wisdom.