Isaiah 28

Ephraim’s Captivity Predicted

28 Woe to the proud crown of the habitually drunk of Ephraim,
And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the [a]fertile valley
Of those who are [b]overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent;
As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction,
Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters,
He has thrown it down to the earth with His hand.
The splendid crown of the habitually drunk of Ephraim is trampled underfoot.
And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the [c]fertile valley,
Will be like the first-ripe fig prior to the summer,
Which [d]one sees,
And [e]as soon as it is in his [f]hand,
He swallows it.
On that day the Lord of armies will become a beautiful crown
And a glorious wreath to the remnant of His people;
A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment,
A strength to those who repel the [g]onslaught at the gate.
And these also reel with wine and stagger from intoxicating drink:
The priest and the prophet reel with intoxicating drink,
They are confused by wine, they stagger from intoxicating drink;
They reel while [h]having visions,
They stagger when rendering a verdict.
For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.

“To whom would He teach knowledge,
And to whom would He interpret the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
10 For He says,
[i]Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there.’”
11 Indeed, He will speak to this people
Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
12 He who said to them, “This is the place of quiet, give rest to the weary,”
And, “This is the resting place,” but they would not listen.
13 So the word of the Lord to them will be,
[j]Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there,”
That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive.

Judah Is Warned

14 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with [k]Sheol we have made a [l]pact.
The [m]gushing flood will not reach us when it passes by,
Because we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

16 Therefore this is what the Lord [n]God says:

“Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
A precious cornerstone for the foundation, [o]firmly placed.
The one who believes in it will not be [p]disturbed.
17 I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;
Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
And the waters will overflow the secret place.
18 Your covenant with death will be [q]canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand;
When the [r]gushing flood passes through,
Then you will become its trampling ground.
19 As often as it passes through, it will [s]seize you;
For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night,
And it will be [t]sheer terror to understand [u]what it means.”
20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out,
And the blanket is too [v]small to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be stirred up as in the Valley of Gibeon,
To do His task, His [w]unusual task,
And to work His work, His [x]extraordinary work.
22 And now do not carry on as scoffers,
Or your shackles will be made stronger;
For I have heard from the Lord [y]God of armies
Of decisive destruction on all the earth.

23 Listen and hear my voice,
Pay attention and hear my words.
24 Does the [z]farmer plow [aa]continually to plant seed?
Does he continually [ab]turn and break up his ground?
25 Does he not level its surface
And sow dill and scatter cumin
And [ac]plant wheat in rows,
Barley in its place and rye within its [ad]area?
26 For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is the cartwheel [ae]driven over cumin;
But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a club.
28 Grain for bread is crushed,
Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever.
Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually [af]damage it,
He does not thresh it longer.
29 This also comes from the Lord of armies,
Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.


  1. Isaiah 28:1 Lit valley of fatness
  2. Isaiah 28:1 Lit stricken
  3. Isaiah 28:4 Lit valley of fatness
  4. Isaiah 28:4 Lit the one seeing sees
  5. Isaiah 28:4 Lit while it is yet
  6. Isaiah 28:4 Lit palm
  7. Isaiah 28:6 Lit battle
  8. Isaiah 28:7 Lit seeing
  9. Isaiah 28:10 Heb Sav lasav, sav lasav, Kav lakav, kav lakav, Zeer sham, zeer sham. These Hebrew fragments, imitating the babbling of a child, mock the prophet’s preaching.
  10. Isaiah 28:13 See note v 10. The Lord responds to their scoffing by imitating their mockery, to represent the unintelligible language of a conqueror.
  11. Isaiah 28:15 I.e., the netherworld
  12. Isaiah 28:15 As in some ancient versions; MT seer
  13. Isaiah 28:15 Or overwhelming scourge
  14. Isaiah 28:16 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  15. Isaiah 28:16 Lit well-laid
  16. Isaiah 28:16 Lit in a hurry
  17. Isaiah 28:18 Lit covered over
  18. Isaiah 28:18 Or overwhelming scourge
  19. Isaiah 28:19 Lit take
  20. Isaiah 28:19 Lit only
  21. Isaiah 28:19 Lit the report; or the message
  22. Isaiah 28:20 Lit narrow
  23. Isaiah 28:21 Lit task is strange
  24. Isaiah 28:21 Lit work is foreign
  25. Isaiah 28:22 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  26. Isaiah 28:24 Lit plowman
  27. Isaiah 28:24 Lit all day
  28. Isaiah 28:24 Lit open
  29. Isaiah 28:25 Lit put
  30. Isaiah 28:25 Lit region
  31. Isaiah 28:27 Lit rolled
  32. Isaiah 28:28 Lit discomfit