The Unfaithful City

Isaiah 1

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 2 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.

  1. Cross References
    Jeremiah 2:20
    For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, 'I will not serve.' Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.
    Exodus 34:15
    Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice.
  2. Cross References
    Jeremiah 31:23
    Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes: "'The Lord bless you, O habitation of righteousness, O holy hill!
  3. Cross References
    Jeremiah 6:30
    Rejected silver they are called, for the Lord has rejected them.
    Ezekiel 22:18
    Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver.
  4. Cross References
    Micah 7:3
    Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together.
    Exodus 23:8
    And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
  5. Cross References
    Jeremiah 5:28
    They have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
    Zechariah 7:10
    Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.
    Isaiah 1:17
    Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.
  6. Cross References
    Isaiah 3:1
    For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water.
    Isaiah 10:33
    Behold, the Lord God of hosts will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low.
  7. Cross References
    Psalms 132:2
    How he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob.
  8. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 32:41
    If I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me.
  9. Cross References
    Psalms 81:14
    I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.
    Amos 1:8
    I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod, and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will turn my hand against Ekron, and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish," says the Lord God.
    Isaiah 5:25
    Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.
  10. Cross References
    Ezekiel 22:20
    As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you.
    Malachi 3:3
    He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.
  11. Cross References
    Jeremiah 33:7
    I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first.
    Jeremiah 33:11
    The voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord : "'Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!' For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.
  12. Cross References
    Zechariah 8:3
    Thus says the Lord : I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain.
  13. Cross References
    Jeremiah 22:3 - 4
    Thus says the Lord : Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.
  14. Cross References
    Job 31:3
    Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
    Psalms 1:6
    For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
  15. Cross References
    Hosea 4:19
    A wind has wrapped them in its wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
  16. Cross References
    Isaiah 57:5
    You who burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
    Hosea 4:13
    They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your brides commit adultery.
  17. Cross References
    Isaiah 65:3
    A people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks.
    Isaiah 66:17
    Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord.
  18. Cross References
    Jeremiah 17:8
    He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
  19. Cross References
    Judges 16:9
    Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.
  20. Cross References
    Isaiah 66:24
    "And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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