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Isaiah Chapter 28 | Parsha: Shemot

1Ah, the proud crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim,
Whose glorious beauty is but wilted flowers
On the heads of men bloated with rich food,
Who are overcome by wine!

2Lo, my Lord has something strong and mighty,
Like a storm of hail,
A shower of pestilence.
Something like a storm of massive, torrential rain
Shall be hurled with force to the ground.

3Trampled underfoot shall be
The proud crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim,

4The wilted flowers—
On the heads of men bloated with rich food—
That are his glorious beauty.
They shall be like an early fig
Before the fruit harvest;
Whoever sees it devours it
While it is still in his hand.

5In that day, the Lord of Hosts shall become a crown of beauty and a diadem of glory for the remnant of His people, 6and a spirit of judgment for him who sits in judgment and of valor for those who repel attacks at the gate.

7But these are also muddled by wine
And dazed by liquor:
Priest and prophet
Are muddled by liquor;
They are confused by wine,
They are dazed by liquor;
They are muddled in their visions,
They stumble in judgment.

8Yea, all tables are covered
With vomit and filth,
So that no space is left.

9“To whom would he give instruction?
To whom expound a message?
To those newly weaned from milk,
Just taken away from the breast?

10That same mutter upon mutter,
Murmur upon murmur,
Now here, now there!”

11Truly, as one who speaks to that people in a stammering jargon and an alien tongue 12is he who declares to them, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest; this is the place of repose.” They refuse to listen. 13To them the word of the Lord is:
“Mutter upon mutter,
Murmur upon murmur,
Now here, now there.”
And so they will march,
But they shall fall backward,
And be injured and snared and captured.

14Hear now the word of the Lord,
You mean of mockery,
Who govern that people
In Jerusalem!

15For you have said,
“We have made a covenant with Death,
Concluded a pact with Sheol.
When the sweeping flood passes through,
It shall not reach us;
For we have made falsehood our refuge,
Taken shelter in treachery.”

Thus said the Lord God:
“Behold, I will found in Zion,
Stone by stone,
A tower of precious cornerstones,
Exceedingly firm;
He who trusts need not fear.

17But I will apply judgment as a measuring line
And retribution as weights;
Hail shall sweep away the refuge of falsehood,
And flood-waters engulf your shelter.

18Your covenant with Death shall be annulled,
Your pact with Sheol shall not endure;
When the sweeping flood passes through,
You shall be its victims.

19It shall catch you
Every time it passes through;
It shall pass through every morning,
Every day and every night.
And it shall be sheer horror
To grasp the message.”

20The couch is too short for stretching out,
And the cover too narrow for curling up!

21For the Lord will arise
As on the hill of Perazim,
He will rouse Himself
As in the vale of Gibeon,
To do His work—
Strange is His work!
And to perform His task—
Astounding is His task!

22Therefore, refrain from mockery,
Lest your bonds be tightened.
For I have heard a decree of destruction
From my Lord God of Hosts
Against all the land.

23Give diligent ear to my words,
Attend carefully to what I say.

24Does he who plows to sow
Plow all the time,
Breaking up and furrowing his land?

25When he has smoothed its surface,
Does he not rather broadcast black cumin
And scatter cumin,
Or set wheat in a row,
Barley in a strip,
And emmer in a patch?

26For He teaches him the right manner,
His God instructs him.

27So, too, black cumin is not threshed with a threshing board,
Nor is the wheel of a threshing sledge rolled over cumin;
But black cumin is beaten out with a stick
And cumin with a rod.

28It is cereal that is crushed.
For even if he threshes it thoroughly,
And the wheel of his sledge and his horses overwhelm it,
He does not crush it.

29That, too, is ordered by the Lord of Hosts;
His counsel is unfathomable,
His wisdom marvelous.

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