Isaiah 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Isaiah 1
← Song 8
Great Isaiah Scroll.jpg
The Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved of the biblical scrolls found at Qumran from the second century BC, contains all the verses in this chapter.
BookBook of Isaiah
Hebrew Bible partNevi'im
Order in the Hebrew part5
CategoryLatter Prophets
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part23

Isaiah 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is one of the Book of the Prophets.[1][2]


The original text is written in Hebrew language. This chapter is divided into 31 verses.

Textual versions[edit]

Some early witnesses for the text of this chapter in Hebrew language:

  • Masoretic Text (10th century)
  • Dead Sea Scrolls:[3]
    • 1QIsaa: complete
    • 4QIsaa (4Q55): extant: verses 1‑3
    • 4QIsab (4Q56): extant: verses 1‑6
    • 4QIsaf (4Q60): extant: verses 10‑16, 18‑31
    • 4QIsaj (4Q63): extant: verses 1‑6

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BC. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; Q; 6th century).[4]


The parashah sections listed here are based on the Aleppo Codex.[5] Isaiah 1 is a part of the Prophecies about Judah and Israel (Isaiah 1-12). {P}: open parashah; {S}: closed parashah.

1:1-9 {P} 1:10-17 {S} 1:18-20 {P} 1:21-23 {S} 1:24-31 {P}


The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:

Verse 1[edit]

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.[6]
  • "Vision" (Hebrew: חזון chăzôn, from the verb, חזה châzâh, "to see, to behold"): Introducing the whole book as a vision in the title (see Obadiah 1, Nahum 1:1, Amos 1:1, Micah 1:1, Habakkuk 1:1), as well as in 2 Chronicles 32:32: Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold they are written in the vision of Isaiah.[7]
  • "The son of Amoz": not of Amos the prophet. Jewish tradition has a note that Amoz, the father of Isaiah, was the brother of Amaziah, king of Judah, so that Isaiah was of the royal family.[8]

According to the Pulpit Commentary, the prophecies of Isaiah "concern primarily the kingdom of Judah, not that of Israel".[9] This verse "is probably best understood as the heading of the first great collection of prophecies" in chapters 1-12. Chapter 13 initiates a proclamation against Babylon.[10]

Verses 2-3[edit]

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!

Isaiah's opening words recall those of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:1:

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.[11]

The New Century Version combines these two exhortations into one:

Heaven and earth, listen, because the Lord is speaking.[12]

Isaiah calls the people of Judah "a thoughtless people".[13]

Verses 4-9: the punishment of Judah[edit]

Isaiah uses images of the sick individual (verses 5-6) and the desolate nation (verses 7-8) to portray the sinfulness of his nation. The "daughter of Zion" (i.e. the city of Jerusalem) remained an isolated stronghold when Sennacherib, king of Assyria attacked the fortified cities of Judah in 701 BCE.[14]

Verse 11[edit]

I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.[15]

Anglican bishop Robert Lowth translates as I am cloyed with the burnt offerings of rams ...[16]

According to the Torah, burnt offerings formed a part of the required sacrifice on all great occasions, as at the Passover (Numbers 28:19), at the Feast of Weeks (Numbers 28:27), at the Feast of Tabernacles (Numbers 29:13, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36), at the Feast of Trumpets (Numbers 29:2), and on the great Day of Atonement (Numbers 29:8), as well as being commanded as the sole sacrifice for a trespass offering (Leviticus 5:16, 18).[9]

Verse 18[edit]

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.;[17]

The phrase "reason together" has a tone of "legal argument";[7] similar wording appears in Isaiah 43:26.

Verse 26a[edit]

I will restore your judges as of old.

The King James Version and American Standard Version speak of "judges" but the New International Version translates Hebrew: שָׁפט‎ (shaphat) as "leaders".

Verses 29-31[edit]

You will be ashamed of the terebinths which give you such pleasure ...

The Jerusalem Bible separates out verses 29-31 as an oracle "against tree worship", suggesting that the prophet "possibly has Samaria in mind".[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. D. Davis. 1960. A Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House.
  2. ^ Theodore Hiebert, et al. 1996. The New Interpreter's Bible: Volume VI. Nashville: Abingdon.
  3. ^ Ulrich 2010, p. 330-333.
  4. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
  5. ^ As implemented in the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 edition of the Hebrew Bible in English.
  6. ^ Isaiah 1:1
  7. ^ a b The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Augmented Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version, Indexed. Michael D. Coogan, Marc Brettler, Carol A. Newsom, Editors. Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 2007. pp. 978-980 Hebrew Bible. ISBN 978-0195288810
  8. ^ T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 10. 2. & Sota, fol. 10. 2. & Seder Olam Zuta, p. 104. Juchasin, fol. 12. 1. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 11. 2.
  9. ^ a b Pulpit Commentary on Isaiah 1, accessed 19 February 2018
  10. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Isaiah 1, accessed 19 February 2018
  11. ^ Deuteronomy 32:1
  12. ^ Isaiah 1:2
  13. ^ Jerusalem Bible: sub-title to Isaiah 1:2-3
  14. ^ 2 Kings 18:13
  15. ^ Isaiah 1:11
  16. ^ Lowth, R., Isaiah: a new translation: with a preliminary dissertation, and notes, critical, philological and explanatory, Boston, W. Hilliard; Cambridge, J. Munroe and Company, 1834
  17. ^ Isaiah 1:18
  18. ^ Jerusalem Bible, footnote at Isaiah 1:29


External links[edit]