The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
In the year of king Ozias’ death, I had a vision. I saw the Lord sitting on a throne that towered high above me, the skirts of his robe filling the temple.
Above it rose the figures of the seraphim, each of them six-winged; with two wings they veiled God’s face, with two his feet, and the other two kept them poised in flight.✻
And ever the same cry passed between them, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts; all the earth is full of his glory.
The lintels over the doors rang with the sound of that cry, and smoke went up, filling the temple courts.
Alas, said I, that I must needs keep silence;✻ my lips, and the lips of all my countrymen, are polluted with sin; and yet these eyes have looked upon their King, the Lord of hosts.
Whereupon one of the seraphim flew up to me, bearing a coal which he had taken with a pair of tongs from the altar;
he touched my mouth with it, and said, Now that this has touched thy lips, thy guilt is swept away, thy sin pardoned.
And now I heard the Lord say, Who shall be my messenger? Who is to go on this errand of ours? And I said, I am here at thy command; make me thy messenger.
Go then, said he, and give a message to this people of mine: Listen as you will, but ever without understanding; watch all, and nothing perceive!
Thy office is to dull the hearts of this people of mine, deaden their ears, dazzle their eyes, so that they cannot see with those eyes, hear with those ears, understand with that heart, and turn back to me, and win healing.✻
For how long, Lord? I asked. And he said, Till the cities are left unpeopled, and the houses untenanted, and the whole land a wilderness.
The Lord will send its people into exile far away; wider, ever wider desolation must spread over it.
Though a tenth of their number remain, it is but empty show,✻ like leafage of terebinth or oak that needs pruning; only a remnant of it will be left, the true stock of holiness.
The Holy Bible