Isaiah – Chapter 29

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 29


1 Woe to Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year, let the feasts come round.


But I will bring distress upon Ariel, with mourning and grief. You shall be to me like Ariel,


I will encamp like David against you; I will encircle you with outposts and set up siege works against you.


2 Prostrate you shall speak from the earth, and from the base dust your words shall come. Your voice shall be like a ghost’s from the earth, and your words like chirping from the dust.


The horde of your arrogant shall be like fine dust, the horde of the tyrants like flying chaff. Then suddenly, in an instant,


you shall be visited by the LORD of hosts, With thunder, earthquake, and great noise, whirlwind, storm, and the flame of consuming fire.


3 Then like a dream, a vision in the night, Shall be the horde of all the nations who war against Ariel with all the earthworks of her besiegers.


As when a hungry man dreams he is eating and awakens with an empty stomach, Or when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking and awakens faint and dry, So shall the horde of all the nations be, who make war against Zion.


4 Be irresolute, stupefied; blind yourselves and stay blind! Be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from strong drink!


For the LORD has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has shut your eyes (the prophets) and covered your heads (the seers).


For you the revelation of all this has become like the words of a sealed scroll. When it is handed to one who can read, with the request, «Read this,» he replies, «I cannot; it is sealed.»


When it is handed to one who cannot read, with the request, «Read this,» he replies, «I cannot read.»


The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And their reverence for me has become routine observance of the precepts of men,


Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion: The wisdom of its wise men shall perish and the understanding of its prudent men be hid.


Woe to those who would hide their plans too deep for the LORD! Who work in the dark, saying, «Who sees us, or who knows us?»


Your perversity is as though the potter were taken to be the clay: As though what is made should say of its maker, «He made me not!» Or the vessel should say of the potter, «He does not understand.»


5 But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest!


On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.


The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.


For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,


those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim.


6 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale.


When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel.


Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.


1 [1-2] Ariel: variously interpreted to mean «lion of God» or «hearth (altar) of God,» a poetic name for Jerusalem; or perhaps to be read as Uru-el, «foundation of God,» an archaic name for the Jebusite city of Jerusalem; like that Ariel, against which David encamped, it will be besieged by God.
2 Chirping: see note on ⇒ Isaiah 8:19.
3 [7-8] Just when the Assyrians think their capture of Jerusalem to be certain, the Lord will snatch victory from their hands and save his city.
4 [9-12] Jerusalem in her blindness refuses to believe God’s revelation that she will be saved.
5 [17-24] The prophet presents God’s plan of redemption in terms of unheard-of natural phenomena as if such changes in nature took place, e.g., the change of the cedars of Lebanon into an orchard (⇒ Isaiah 29:17).
6 [22] Who redeemed Abraham: by freeing him from the idolatry of his native land.