Isaiah 29
Contemporary English Version

Jerusalem Will Suffer

The Lord said:

1Jerusalem, city of David,

the place of my altar,+

you are in for trouble!

Celebrate your festivals

year after year.

2I will still make you suffer,

and your people will cry

when I make an altar of you.+

3I will surround you and prepare

to attack from all sides.+

4From deep in the earth,

you will call out for help

with only a faint whisper.

5Then your cruel enemies

will suddenly be swept away

like dust in a windstorm.

6I, the Lord All-Powerful,

will come to your rescue

with a thundering earthquake

and a fiery whirlwind.

7Every brutal nation

that attacks Jerusalem

and makes it suffer

will disappear like a dream

when night is over.

8Those nations that attack

Mount Zion

will suffer from hunger

and thirst.

They will dream of food and drink

but wake up weary and hungry

and thirsty as ever.

Prophets Who Fool Themselves

9Be shocked and stunned,

you prophets!

Refuse to see.

Get drunk and stagger,

but not from wine.

10 The Lord has made you drowsy;

he put you into a deep sleep

and covered your head.

11Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can't read it, because it's sealed.” 12Others say, “We can't read it, because we don't know how to read.”

13 The Lord has said:

“These people praise me

with their words,

but they never really

think about me.

They worship me by repeating

rules made up by humans.

14 So once again I will do things

that shock and amaze them,

and I will destroy the wisdom

of those who claim to know

and understand.”

15You are in for trouble,

if you try to hide your plans

from the Lord!

Or if you think what you do

in the dark can't be seen.

16 You have it all backwards.

A clay dish doesn't say

to the potter,

“You didn't make me.

You don't even know how.”

Hope for the Future

17Soon the forest of Lebanon

will become a field with crops,

thick as a forest.+

18The deaf will be able to hear

whatever is read to them;

the blind will be freed

from a life of darkness.

19The poor and the needy

will celebrate and shout

because of the Lord,

the holy God of Israel.

20All who are cruel and arrogant

will be gone forever.

Those who live by crime

will disappear,

21together with everyone

who tells lies in court

and keeps innocent people

from getting a fair trial.

22The Lord who rescued Abraham

has this to say

about Jacob's descendants:

“They will no longer

be ashamed and disgraced.

23When they see how great

I have made their nation,

they will praise and honor me,

the holy God of Israel.

24Everyone who is confused

will understand,

and all who have complained

will obey my teaching.”


29.1 the place of my altar: One possible meaning for “ariel, ariel” of the Hebrew text. In Hebrew “ariel” can mean “God's hero” or “God's lion” or “God's altar.”
29.2 when … you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
29.3 from all sides: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. One ancient translation has “like David.”
29.17 with … forest: Or “and Mount Carmel will be covered with forests.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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