Isaiah 1- The Vision of Isaiah


We think Isaiah was of the royal family, nephew of the King of Judah. He appears to have spent a great deal of time in the court.

His is the most quoted prophesies from the Old Testament in the New, especially concerning Christ.

Traditionally, the entire book of Isaiah was written by the prophet himself over a span of many years.

Chapter I

1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Isaiah means "Salvation of the Lord." He is the son of Amoz, which is not the prophet Amos. These two names are very different in Hebrew. It is believed Amoz was the brother or son of Amaziah, king of Judah.

It is believed from the list of kings here that Isaiah prophesied over 60 years. Jewish tradition says he was eventually executed by sawing by King Manasseh.

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me."

God here views Israel/Judah as His children who He has raised, but have now rebelled against Him.

3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider. 

Even animals know who their owners are, but Israel has totally ignored God, pretending they don't even know Him.

4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

5 Why should ye be stricken anymore? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 

When we rebel against God, it makes us sick, even if we don't realize it. God wants to know why Israel chooses to stay sick instead of coming to Him.

6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 

If God hadn't chosen to preserve part of Israel, they would have all died by now.

Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 32:1 that this would happen if Israel disobeyed God.

10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

History records these as being two of the most evil cities of all times. Here He is calling Israel by these names.

11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

Though God did command the sacrifice of animals in ceremonies, He made it clear that He much preferred obedience and compassion. He doesn't care so much about the sacrifices as the state of the heart.

12 When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts?

The Jews had added ceremonies to make themselves feel more spiritual. God is calling them on their silliness.

13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

New Living Translation:
Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.

They weren't worshiping God. They were preforming rituals.

14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.

God is just plain disgusted.

15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

God isn't even going to look at them anymore.

Israel is not being accused of idolatry here, nor offering unfit sacrifices or neglecting anything in the Mosaic Law about ceremonies. They were preforming the letter of The Law, but not the spirit. And its the spirit God cares about.

They were not serving God from teh heart, nor issuing justice to His people, especially the poor.

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil;

17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Not, just quit sinning. LEARN to do well. Study God’s word and learn what pleases Him.

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Ours is a reasonable religion. When our faults are laid out next to God’s righteousness and mercy, it is obvious that He is right. Simple logic supports God’s position.

But no matter how bad we have been, when we turn from our sins and seek what is right, God erases all the wrong and makes us as pure as new fallen snow.He gives us Jesus' righteousness.

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

Not “if you be perfect and infallible…” but if you just WANT to obey, if you just try.

20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Note, "Those that will not be governed by God's scepter will certainly and justly be devoured by his sword." -Matthew Henry

21 How is the faithful city become a harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

Dross is the impurities that are removed from gold and silver when it is refined. And mixing wine with water makes it way inferior to the pure thing.

23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

The rulers and royalty was more into partying than justice. They didn't give a hoot about the poor.

24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, "Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies:"

25 And I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

Tin is a cheap, weak, almost worthless metal. God will replace worthlessness with gold.

Wine that is mixed with water becomes flat, sour, and powerless.

God is going to punish these people.

26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. 

God is going to fix them and re-institute justice.

28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

He will punish the evil.

29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.

30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.

God is going to make them as pathetic as a wilting plant.

31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them. 

Tow is a heavy thread. If you put tow and fire together you have nothing but worthless ashes left.