The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
Alas, that none takes warning! See how good men die, how the friends of God are borne away from us; and none has the wit to see trouble is coming, and the good must be spared the sight of it!✻
Peace be his lot, easy let him rest, that followed ever the straight path.
But you, come and answer for yourselves, brood of the sorceress, children of the adulterer and the harlot!
Over whom would you make merry, with open mouth and hanging tongue? What are you but the sons of shame, a bastard race?
You, that dally with idols under the first spreading tree, that sacrifice little children in the rock-caves among the glens?
Where the valleys part,✻ there is thy part and lot; to those thou wilt pour out libations, wilt offer sacrifice; and must I look on unmoved?
Thou hast set down thy bed on the peak of a high mountain; there thou hast gone up to offer victims.
Keepsake of mine must be put behind the door, where the posts should hide it, now thou wouldst strip thee naked and let in a gallant in my place, make free with my marriage-bed! With such as these thou didst exchange vows, greedily thou didst buy their good will.
A king’s favour to win,✻ with ointments thou wouldst cover thee, wouldst spare no kind of perfume; on a far errand thy envoys went out, and ever thy pride was humbled, low as hell itself.
So wearied with long journeying, and never didst thou cry, Enough; still obstinate, confess thy need thou wouldst not.
Alas, what anxious fears were these, that to my service made thee false, of me no memory left thee, no thought? And all because I nothing said, made as if I nothing saw, till at last thou hadst forgotten me!
Yet, wouldst thou have right, it is I that must declare it; thy own striving is all in vain.
Let them deliver thee, if they can, at thy summons, these new allies thou hast made! See how they are carried away on the wind, how a breath will scatter them! His the prize, that in me has confidence; on my holy mountain he shall find a resting-place.
Hark, how the cry goes up, A road, there, a road; let them have free passage! These are my people; clear of every hindrance be their path!
A message from the high God, the great God, whose habitation is eternity, whose name is hallowed! He, dwelling in that high and holy place, dwells also among chastened and humbled souls, bidding the humble spirit, the chastened soul, rise and live!
I will not be always claiming my due, I will not cherish my anger eternally; what soul but takes its origin from me? Am I not the maker of all that breathes?✻
Greedy wrong-doer that defies me I must needs smite down; hide my face from him in anger, let him follow the path his own erring will has chosen.
Now to pity his plight, now to bring him remedy! Home-coming at last, consolation at last, for him and all that bemoan him!
The harvest of men’s thanks, it is I that bring it to the birth.✻ Peace, the Lord says, peace to those who are far away, and to those who are near at hand; I have brought him remedy.
But rebellious hearts are like the tempestuous sea that can never find repose; its waters must ever be churning up mire and scum.
For the rebellious, the Lord says, there is no peace.
The Holy Bible