The Bible in Its Traditions

Isaiah 5:8–24

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Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land!

Woe to you who join house to house, and who combine field to field, even to the limits of the place! Do you intend to live alone in the midst of the earth?

Woe to those who trespass the boundaries between houses, who remove the landmarks between the fields, to steal the land, that they may dwell alone in the midst of the earth!

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In mine ears said YHWH of hosts: of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.

For these things have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts: for though many houses should be built, many and fair houses shall be desolate, and there shall be no inhabitants in them.

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10  For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah.

10  For where ten yoke of oxen plough the land shall yield one jar-full, and he that sows six homers shall produce three measures.

10  Then ten acres of vineyard will produce one small bottle of wine, and thirty measures of seed will produce three measures of grain.

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11  Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them!

11  Woe to you who rise up in the morning to pursue drunkenness, and to drink even until evening, so as to be inflamed with wine.

11  Woe to them who rise up early in the morning, and run after strong drink; that continue drinking until night, till wine inflames them!

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12  And the harp and the psaltery, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of YHWH, neither have they considered the operation of His hands.

12  For they drink wine with harp, and psaltery, and drums, and pipes: but they regard not the works of the Lord, and consider not the works of his hands.

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13  Therefore My people are gone into captivity, for want of knowledge; and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude are parched with thirst.

13  Therefore my people have been taken captive, because they know not the Lord: and there has been a multitude of dead bodies, because of hunger and of thirst for water.

13  Because of this, my people have been led away as captives, for they did not have knowledge, and their nobles have passed away from famine, and their multitudes have dried up from thirst.

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14  Therefore the nether-world hath enlarged her desire, and opened her mouth without measure; and down goeth their glory, and their tumult, and their uproar, and he that rejoiceth among them.

14  Therefore hell has enlarged its desire and opened its mouth without ceasing: and her glorious and great, and her rich and her pestilent men shall go down into it.

14  For this reason, Hell has expanded its soul, and has opened its mouth without any limits. And their strong ones, and their people, and their exalted and glorious ones will descend into it.

15  And man is bowed down, and man is humbled, and the eyes of the lofty are humbled;

15  And the mean man shall be brought low, and the great man shall be disgraced, and the lofty eyes shall be brought low.

15  And man will be bowed down, and man will be humbled, and the eyes of the exalted will be brought low.

16  But YHWH of hosts is exalted through justice, and God the Holy One is sanctified through righteousness.

16  But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgement, and the holy God shall be glorified in righteousness.

16  And the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will be sanctified in justice.

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17  Then shall the lambs feed as in their pasture, and the waste places of the fat ones shall wanderers eat.

17  And they that were spoiled shall be fed as bulls, and lambs shall feed on the waste places of them that are taken away.

17  And the lambs will pasture in proper order, and new arrivals will eat from the deserts turned into fertile lands.

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18  Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope,

18  Woe to them that draw sins to them as with a long rope, and iniquities as with a thong of the heifer’s yoke

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19  That say: 'Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!'

19  who say, Let him speedily hasten what he will do, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel come, that we may know it.

19  and who say: “Let him hurry, and let his work arrive soon, so that we may see it. And let the plan of the Holy One of Israel approach and arrive, so that we may know it.”

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20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness; that change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!

20  Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness light, and light darkness; who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter.

20  Woe to you who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light, and light for darkness; who exchange bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

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21  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

21  Woe to them that are wise in their own conceit, and knowing in their own sight.

21  Woe to you who are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own sight!

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22  Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink;

22  Woe to you who are powerful at drinking wine, who are strong men in contriving inebriation!

22  Woe to those who are mighty to drink wine, and strong men who mix strong drink;

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23  That justify the wicked for a reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

23  who justify the ungodly for rewards, and take away the righteousness of the righteous.

23  For you justify an impious man in exchange for bribes, and you carry away the justice of a just man from him.

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24  Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the chaff is consumed in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of YHWH of hosts, and contemned the word of the Holy One of Israel.

24  Therefore as stubble shall be burnt by a coal of fire, and shall be consumed by a violent flame, their root shall be as chaff, and their flower shall go up as dust: for they rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and insulted the word of the Holy One of Israel.

24  Because of this, as the tongue of fire devours stubble, and as the heat of a flame burns it completely, so will their root become like glowing embers, and so will their offshoot ascend like dust. For they have cast aside the law of the Lord of hosts, and they have blasphemed the eloquence of the Holy One of Israel.