The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
Chapter 1
This is the revelation made to Isaias, son of Amos, about Juda and Jerusalem, during the reigns of Ozias, Joatham, Achaz and Ezechias in Juda.
Listen, you heavens, and let earth attend to this, a divine remonstrance; my own sons, that I reared and brought to manhood, hold me in defiance!
Ox recognizes its owner, ass knows the way to its master’s crib; and I? I go unacknowledged; my own people of Israel gives me never a thought.
Woe to a sinful nation, a people bowed with guilt, a rebellious race, a brood foully degenerate! They have forsaken God, they have spurned the Holy One of Israel, turned strangers to me.
Would you have me smite you again, that you shew yourselves ever more faithless? Everywhere bowed heads, and faint hearts;
no health anywhere, from sole to crown, nothing but wounds, and bruises, and swollen sores, that none binds up, or medicines, or anoints with oil!
Your land a desert, your cities burnt to ashes, your fields ravaged before your eyes by strangers, desolation everywhere, as if an enemy had plundered you!
Poor Sion, forlorn as vineyard watch-tower, summer-house in a herb-garden, a beleaguered city!
A stock to breed from, so much the Lord of hosts has left us; but for that, we should be as Sodom is, Gomorrha’s doom should be ours.

Listen, then, to this, the Lord’s word, chiefs of the Sodom-city; people of Gomorrha, here is a command from our God for your hearing.
What do I care, the Lord says, how you multiply those victims of yours? I have had enough and to spare. Burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of stall-fed beasts, and the blood of calves and lambs and goats are nothing to me.
Think you it is a welcome sound, the tramp of your feet in my courts bringing worship such as yours?
Vain offerings, bring them no more, this incense of yours is an abomination. Enough of new moons and sabbaths, of thronged assemblies where none but sinners meet!
The new month begins, the feast day comes round, how it cloys the appetite! These be hateful tasks I can bear no longer.
Hold out your hands as you will, you shall get no heed from me; add prayer to prayer, I will not listen; are not those hands stained with blood?

Wash yourselves clean, spare me the sight of your busy wickedness, of your wrong-doing take farewell.
Learn, rather, how to do good, setting your hearts on justice, righting the wrong, protecting the orphan, giving the widow redress;
then come back, says the Lord, and make trial of me.

Crimson-dyed be your guilt, it shall turn snow-white; like wool new-washed yonder scarlet stain.
Will you think better of it, and listen, and have rich harvests to feed you?
Or will you refuse, and defy me, and yourselves be food for the sword? The Lord has given sentence.
Strange, that the city once so faithful, once so upright, has turned harlot; the haunt of murderers, that was the home of right!
The silver in thee turned to dross, the wine grown watery to the taste,
thy law-givers wanting loyalty, so that they make common cause with thieves! None of them but takes bribe and looks for profit, none will give the orphan redress, none listen to the plaint of the widow.

What, then, does the Lord proclaim; he, the God of hosts, he, the Prince of Israel? Out upon it, I will rid myself of these rebels, my enemies shall have their deserts.
And then I will take thee in hand again, smelting thee till thou art free from dross, purging away all that base alloy.
Once more I will give thee judges like the judges of old, counsellors like the counsellors of past days, and thou shalt be called the home of right, the faithful city.
Right and justice shall be done, when Sion is redeemed, when her exiles return;
with one blow, the wayward sinner shall be overthrown, by the Lord he has forsaken doomed to perish.
Tree-idols that have played you false, fond trust in your garden-shrines, you shall learn to rue them;
yourselves but an oak-tree whose leaves are falling, a garden unwatered;
when all your strength is like smouldering tow, and the idols you have made but a spark to set light to it, until both burn together, with none to quench them.