Reading for December 10th

Isaiah 4-6 (Listen)

And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

The Branch of the Lord Glorified

In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

The Vineyard of the Lord Destroyed

Let me sing for my beloved

my love song concerning his vineyard:

My beloved had a vineyard

on a very fertile hill.

He dug it and cleared it of stones,

and planted it with choice vines;

he built a watchtower in the midst of it,

and hewed out a wine vat in it;

and he looked for it to yield grapes,

but it yielded wild grapes.

 

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem

and men of Judah,

judge between me and my vineyard.

What more was there to do for my vineyard,

that I have not done in it?

When I looked for it to yield grapes,

why did it yield wild grapes?

 

And now I will tell you

what I will do to my vineyard.

I will remove its hedge,

and it shall be devoured;

I will break down its wall,

and it shall be trampled down.

I will make it a waste;

it shall not be pruned or hoed,

and briers and thorns shall grow up;

I will also command the clouds

that they rain no rain upon it.

 

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts

is the house of Israel,

and the men of Judah

are his pleasant planting;

and he looked for justice,

but behold, bloodshed;

for righteousness,

but behold, an outcry!

 

Woe to the Wicked

Woe to those who join house to house,

who add field to field,

until there is no more room,

and you are made to dwell alone

in the midst of the land.

The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing:

“Surely many houses shall be desolate,

large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.

For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath,

and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”

 

Woe to those who rise early in the morning,

that they may run after strong drink,

who tarry late into the evening

as wine inflames them!

They have lyre and harp,

tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,

but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord,

or see the work of his hands.

 

Therefore my people go into exile

for lack of knowledge;

their honored men go hungry,

and their multitude is parched with thirst.

Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite

and opened its mouth beyond measure,

and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down,

her revelers and he who exults in her.

Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,

and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.

But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice,

and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,

and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.

 

Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,

who draw sin as with cart ropes,

who say: “Let him be quick,

let him speed his work

that we may see it;

let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,

and let it come, that we may know it!”

Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

and shrewd in their own sight!

Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,

and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

who acquit the guilty for a bribe,

and deprive the innocent of his right!

 

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,

and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,

so their root will be as rottenness,

and their blossom go up like dust;

for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,

and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,

and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,

and the mountains quaked;

and their corpses were as refuse

in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger has not turned away,

and his hand is stretched out still.

 

He will raise a signal for nations far away,

and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;

and behold, quickly, speedily they come!

None is weary, none stumbles,

none slumbers or sleeps,

not a waistband is loose,

not a sandal strap broken;

their arrows are sharp,

all their bows bent,

their horses' hoofs seem like flint,

and their wheels like the whirlwind.

Their roaring is like a lion,

like young lions they roar;

they growl and seize their prey;

they carry it off, and none can rescue.

They will growl over it on that day,

like the growling of the sea.

And if one looks to the land,

behold, darkness and distress;

and the light is darkened by its clouds.

 

Isaiah's Vision of the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

 

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”

 

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Isaiah's Commission from the Lord

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

 

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;

keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

Make the heart of this people dull,

and their ears heavy,

and blind their eyes;

lest they see with their eyes,

and hear with their ears,

and understand with their hearts,

and turn and be healed.”

Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”

And he said:

“Until cities lie waste

without inhabitant,

and houses without people,

and the land is a desolate waste,

and the Lord removes people far away,

and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.

And though a tenth remain in it,

it will be burned again,

like a terebinth or an oak,

whose stump remains

when it is felled.”

The holy seed is its stump.