Israel's Futile Idolatry

Isaiah 57

1 The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
r devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
2 s he enters into peace;
they rest t in their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
3 But you, draw near,
sons of the sorceress,
u offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
4 Whom are you mocking?
Against whom v do you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of w transgression,
x the offspring of deceit,
5 you who burn with lust among y the oaks, 1
under every green tree,
z who slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of a the valley is your portion;
they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
you have brought a grain offering.
Shall I relent for these things?
7 b On a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your memorial;
for, deserting me, c you have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
d you have made it wide;
and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness. 2
9 You journeyed to the king with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
e you sent your envoys far off,
and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You were wearied with the length of your way,
f but you did not say, "It is hopeless";
you found new life for your strength,
and so you were not faint. 3

11 g Whom did you dread and fear,
h so that you lied,
and did not remember me,
did not lay it to heart?
i Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,
and you do not fear me?
12 I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
but they will not profit you.
13 j When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
The wind will carry them off,
a breath will take them away.
k But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
and shall inherit l my holy mountain.

  1. Cross References
    Psalms 12:1
    Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
  2. Cross References
    Luke 2:29
    Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word.
  3. Cross References
    2 Chronicles 16:14
    They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art, and they made a very great fire in his honor.
    Ezekiel 32:25
    They have made her a bed among the slain with all her multitude, her graves all around it, all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for terror of them was spread in the land of the living, and they bear their shame with those who go down to the pit; they are placed among the slain.
  4. Cross References
    John 8:41 - 42
    You are doing the works your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father - even God.
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 35:21
    They open wide their mouths against me; they say, "Aha, Aha! Our eyes have seen it!
  6. Cross References
    Isaiah 46:8 - 9
    Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors.
  7. Cross References
    Isaiah 1:4
    Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.
  8. Cross References
    Isaiah 1:29
    For they shall be ashamed of the oaks that you desired; and you shall blush for the gardens that you have chosen.
    2 Kings 16:4
    And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
  9. Cross References
    Ezekiel 16:20 - 21
    And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter
  10. Cross References
    2 Kings 23:10
    And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.
  11. Cross References
    1 Kings 14:23
    For they also built for themselves high places and pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree.
    Ezekiel 16:16
    You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.
    Ezekiel 16:24
    You built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square.
  12. Cross References
    Ezekiel 16:25
    At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself to any passerby and multiplying your whoring.
    Hosea 1:2
    When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.
  13. Cross References
    Ezekiel 23:17
    And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust.
  14. Cross References
    Ezekiel 16:26
    You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger.
    Ezekiel 16:28 - 29
    You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied.
  15. Cross References
    Jeremiah 2:25
    Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, 'It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.
    Jeremiah 18:12
    "But they say, 'That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.'
  16. Cross References
    Isaiah 51:12 - 13
    I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass.
  17. Cross References
    Psalms 78:10
    They did not keep God's covenant, but refused to walk according to his law.
    Psalms 78:36
    But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.
  18. Cross References
    Psalms 50:21
    These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
  19. Cross References
    Jeremiah 11:12
    Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble.
  20. Cross References
    Psalms 37:9
    For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
  21. Cross References
    Isaiah 11:9
    They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
    Isaiah 56:7
    These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
    Isaiah 65:11
    But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny.
    Isaiah 65:25
    The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain," says the Lord.
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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