Isaiah 28
Contemporary English Version

Samaria Will Be Punished

1The city of Samaria

above a fertile valley

is in for trouble!

Its leaders are drunkards,

who stuff themselves

with food and wine.

But they will be like flowers

that dry up and wilt.

2Only the Lord is strong

and powerful!

His mighty hand

will strike them down

with the force of a hailstorm

or a mighty whirlwind

or an overwhelming flood.

3Every drunkard in Ephraim+

takes pride in Samaria,

but it will be crushed.

4Samaria above a fertile valley

will quickly lose its glory.

It will be gobbled up

like the first ripe fig

at harvest season.

5When this time comes,

the Lord All-Powerful

will be a glorious crown

for his people who survive.

6He will see that justice rules

and that his people are able

to defend their cities.

Corrupt Leaders Will Be Punished

7Priests and prophets stumble

because they are drunk.

Their minds are too confused

to receive God's messages

or give honest decisions.

8Their tables are covered,

completely covered,

with their stinking vomit.

9You drunken leaders

are like babies!

How can you possibly understand

or teach the Lord's message?

10You don't even listen—

all you hear is senseless sound

after senseless sound.+

11 So, the Lord will speak

to his people

in strange sounds

and foreign languages.+

12He promised you

perfect peace and rest,

but you refused to listen.

13Now his message to you

will be senseless sound

after senseless sound.+

Then you will fall backwards,

injured and trapped.

False Security Is Fatal

14You rulers of Jerusalem

do nothing but sneer;

now you must listen

to what the Lord says.

15 Do you think you have

an agreement with death

and the world of the dead?

Why do you trust in your lies

to keep you safe from danger

and the mighty flood?

16 And so the Lord says,

“I'm laying a firm foundation

for the city of Zion.

It's a valuable cornerstone

proven to be trustworthy;

no one who trusts it

will ever be disappointed.

17Justice and fairness

will be the measuring lines

that help me build.”

Hailstones and floods

will destroy and wash away

your shelter of lies.

18Your agreement with death

and the world of the dead

will be broken.

Then angry, roaring waves

will sweep over you.

19Morning, noon, and night

an overwhelming flood

will wash you away.

The terrible things that happen

will teach you this lesson:

20Your bed is too short,

your blanket too skimpy.+

21 The Lord will fiercely attack

as he did at Mount Perazim+

and in Gibeon Valley.+

But this time the Lord

will do something surprising,

not what you expect.

22So you had better stop sneering

or you will be in worse shape

than ever before.

I heard the Lord All-Powerful

threaten the whole country

with destruction.

All Wisdom Comes from the Lord

23Pay close attention

to what I am saying.

24Farmers don't just plow

and break up the ground.

25When a field is ready,

they scatter the seeds

of dill and cumin;

they plant the seeds

of wheat and barley

in the proper places

and sow other grains

around the edges.

26They learn this from their God.

27After dill and cumin

have been harvested,

the stalks are pounded,

not run over with a wagon.

28Wheat and barley are pounded,

but not beaten to pulp;

they are run over with a wagon,

but not ground to dust.

29This wonderful knowledge comes

from the Lord All-Powerful,

who has such great wisdom.


28.3 Ephraim: The northern kingdom of Israel; Samaria was its capital.
28.10 sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 9,10.
28.11 in … foreign languages: This probably refers to the language of the Assyrians.
28.13 Now … sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
28.20 Your bed … skimpy: Isaiah quotes a popular saying to teach that the treaty made with Egypt (verse 18) cannot give the nation security from its enemies.
28.21 Mount Perazim: This may refer to David's defeat of the Philistines at Baal Perazim (2 Samuel 5.17-21).
28.21 Gibeon Valley: This refers to Joshua's victory at Gibeon (Joshua 10.1-11).

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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