Chapter 23: Isaiah
Isa:1:3: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
I very much doubt that oxen or asses understand the concept of ownership. Nor do they slave away for their "masters" willingly (as the context implies). Given a chance, an ox and an ass would rebel and flee from their forced labor even more readily than Israel evidently rebelled against the yoke of their excessive religious laws. So, "the Lord's" analogy in the verse above wouldn't pass in an elementary-school essay.
Also, I don't know about you, but if I picked up a book in which the author began by implying that his readers were asses (or didn't have as much sense as an ass) I would stop reading. But evidently the Israelites were addicted to such verbal abuse.
Isa:1:11: To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
Isa:1:12: When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
Evidently, "the Lord" did not believe the books of the Bible up to this point. The first five books (the so-called "books of Moses" or "Torah") clearly answered the Lord's question: God himself had required these animal sacrifices, and this "appearing before him". They were written in stone as part of the "ten commandments" (see my chapter on Exodus). This was supposed to be a "statute forever". But, forever didn't last very long according to Isaiah. In time, God got bored with the sacrifices.
Isa:1:13: Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Isa:1:14: Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
Seventh Day Adventists insist that the Sabbath law never passed away with the other Mosaic laws (since it preceded the Mosaic laws). But here in the book of Isaiah we are told a different story. God no longer wanted people to observe the Sabbath or the sacred feasts he had previously commanded to be observed forever. He now "hated" such things! He was "weary" of them (if we can imagine an omnipotent being becoming weary.) He hereby ordered such observances to stop!
Isa:1:15: And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Isa:1:16: Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Isa:1:17: Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
There you have it. God was singing a totally new tune: he would not listen to the Israelite's prayers because their hands were full of blood. This was blood from animal sacrifices as well as from the bloodshed of war (wars which the Bible had previously claimed were ordered by this same god). So, according to the Bible, large parts of the Mosaic law had actually passed away and been replaced with the "law of love" centuries before Jesus.
Isa:2:4: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Here, Isaiah prophesied a time when Israel would rule the world, and this war-mongering nation would somehow bring about world peace!
Isaiah looked forward to a time when people would not "learn war any more". This is certainly a worthwhile goal, but it contradicts another part of the Bible in which "learning war" for its own sake was advocated (Judges 3:1-2).
Nor can we claim that the Israelites were here meant to represent Jesus (someone Isaiah didn't know). Because the Bible tells us that Jesus was far from advocating disarmament:
Mt:10:34: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Isa:3:12: As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
The above is listed here amongst the "calamities" which Isaiah claimed had befallen the Israelites. The assumption he made is that it would be an outrageously evil thing to have a woman in a leadership role. Maybe Isaiah had forgotten about the Biblical book of Judges which recounts the story of Deborah: a woman who was a judge over Israel (Judges 4:4).
Isa:3:16: Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
Isa:3:17: Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.
Isa:3:18: In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
Isa:3:19: The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
Isa:3:20: The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
Isa:3:21: The rings, and nose jewels,
Isa:3:22: The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
Isa:3:23: The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
Isa:3:24: And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Isa:3:25: Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
Isa:3:26: And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
From the above, it sounds as if Isaiah was a misogynist. What, exactly, were the terrible crimes of these women whom Isaiah prophesied would be punished so severely by his god? They were "haughty": holding their heads up high when they walked, and they adorned themselves with jewelry and fine clothes.
The Bible gives contradictory messages regarding jewelry. The Israelites were commanded to steal the jewelry of the Egyptians (which they then presumably wore, at least until they melted it down to make a golden calf), and Solomon heaped praises on a man for having adorned himself with jewelry. Yet, elsewhere in the Bible women are commanded to not wear jewelry and to go about "shame-faced" (Ex. 12:35; Song 1:10; 1 Tim. 2:9).
For holding their heads up and refusing to be ashamed of being women, and for taking some pride in their appearance, Isaiah threatened that his god would punish them as follows:
If they had newspapers back then, I can imagine reading the following:
Isa:5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Well, "woe unto" most of the writers of the Bible, then.
Isa:6:1: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
This is simply a lie according to what is written elsewhere in the Bible:
Jn:1:18: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
If no man has seen God at any time, then when Isaiah claimed to have seen God, he must've been lying. Do you think that it is wise to contemplate the writings of a liar when searching for the truth?
Isa:6:9: And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Isa:6:10: Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Isa:6:11: Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
According to this, God was charging Isaiah to deliver a message to his chosen people, but at the same time he would make them unable to understand the message. This was to ensure that they did not "convert and be healed". For some reason, God wanted to go through the motions of warning people, even though he did not want them to heed the warning and be saved from his punishment of them!
Not only does this make no sense, it is also at variance with what is written about God elsewhere in the Bible:
1Tm:2:3: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Tm:2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
In fact, the description Isaiah gives of God's dealings with humankind resemble what Jesus is purported to have said about the devil:
Lk:8:12: Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Isa:7:4: And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
Isa:7:5: Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,
Isa:7:6: Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:
Isa:7:7: Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
Here God told Isaiah to prophesy that the attack by Israel, Ephraim, and Syria against Judah would fail. He went on to offer Ahaz a sign to backup this prophesy:
Isa:7:10: Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
Isa:7:11: Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
Isa:7:12: But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
Isa:7:13: And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
Isa:7:14: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isa:7:15: Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
Isa:7:16: For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
This would be quite an amazing sign! A virgin would give birth! That would be pretty convincing. But the description of the sign proved to be deceptive:
Isa:8:3: And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
Isa:8:4: For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
After Isaiah "went unto" her, the "virgin" prophetess was no longer a virgin. Whether Ahaz was informed of this fact is not stated. If he was informed, then the "sign" wasn't particularly miraculous or convincing. If he wasn’t informed, then Isaiah simply played a "prophet's" trick on him.
Although one part of the Bible claims that Isaiah's prophecy came true:
2Kgs:16:5: Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.
Another part of the Bible tells us that his prophecy failed miserably:
2Chron:28:1: Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:
2Chron:28:5: Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
2Chron:28:6: For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
2Chron:28:7: And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.
2Chron:28:8: And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
As incredible as it seems, this transparent deception surrounding a false prophecy is what is used as a "prophetic proof" of the virgin birth of Jesus -- one of the basic tenets of Christianity:
Mt:1:21: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Mt:1:22: Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Mt:1:23: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
It seems to me that whoever wrote the above verses was either dishonest or of very low intelligence. The story in Isaiah very clearly was not a prophecy about a coming Messiah being born of a virgin. It was a "sign" -- not a prophecy. It was a rigged sign at that. And the prophecy which this sign was meant to guarantee turned out to be a false prophecy according to Second Chronicles!
Yet, the book of Matthew states that the reason Jesus was born of a virgin was in order to fulfill this "prophecy"! It is error piled on top of error!
Isa:8:18: Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Isa:9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa:9:7: Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Evidently, Isaiah thought that Immanuel -- the son he had by the prophetess (the former "virgin") -- would grow up to be the king (the "Messiah") and reestablish the monarchy in David's line. History would prove him wrong, but Christians were quick to latch on to Isaiah's mistake and turn it into yet another "prophecy" about Jesus! But Jesus didn't fit this prophecy; he never took the government "on his shoulder" and he didn't reestablished the monarchy in David's line. Nor did he bring "peace without end": far from it: he specifically stated in no uncertain terms that he had not come to bring peace, but a sword (Mt. 10:34). Yet none of these annoying facts seem to make the least impression on Christians who want to see prophesies about Jesus whether they exist or not.
Isa:9:17: Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Isa:9:18: For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
Isa:9:19: Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.
So much for the idea of showing kindness to widows and orphans! The god of the Bible would have no mercy on them, but -- according to Isaiah -- threatened to burn them alive! Do you really believe that every single orphan and widow in Israel was evil, and deserved such a ghastly, excruciating death? Even our most hated criminals are not dispatched in such an inhumane manner. Was it "justice" for the "God of love" to deal so brutally with widows and orphans?
Earlier in his book, Isaiah had put the following words into god's mouth, extolling the virtues of caring for widows and orphans:
Isa:1:17: Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Is there a double-standard here, or does this god expect us to do as he says but not as he does?
Isa:10:1: Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;
Isa:10:2: To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!
Woe unto Isaiah then! He just consigned the widows and orphans to the fire! Then he had the audacity to call down woe upon those who would rob them! Well, robbing them is certainly wrong, but setting them on fire is much worse!
Isa:11:6: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
Isa:11:7: And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
Isa:11:8: And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
Isa:11:9: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Are we to assume, then, that wolves, leopards, and lions are carnivores solely because they lack knowledge of "the LORD"? If lions could only somehow be taught from the book of Deuteronomy, their internal organs would somehow be transformed and they would no longer require meat to survive? And if we set up Biblical reading centers in the wilderness to instruct the snakes, they would no longer bite? Well, now at last we've gained some practical advice from the Bible: if we ever find ourselves being chased by a hungry carnivorous beast, we'll know enough to whip out our trusty King James Bible and start furiously reading to them!
But doesn't it make you wonder why "the LORD" didn't create these beasts with a knowledge of him from the start? Why allow thousands of years of pain and death in the animal kingdom, when it could've been so easily avoided. After all: it wasn't the lions who ate the "forbidden fruit".
A loving God never would have created carnivores in the first place.
Isa:13:9: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
The American Heritage Dictionary has this to say about the word cruel:
Cruel implies both disposition to harm and satisfaction in or indifference to suffering
One would assume that the "day of the LORD" would be a day exactly as the Lord would want it. Such a day would be "made to order" for the Lord and he would have total control over the events that would take place on that day.
The Bible tells us that the day of the Lord will be cruel. This would mean, then, that the Lord wants cruel things to happen, and therefore the Lord is cruel: he has a disposition to harm and either takes satisfaction in causing suffering, or is indifferent to the suffering he causes. Does this sound like a "God of love" that you would love to worship?
Isa:13:10: For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
How could stars stop "giving their light"? Stars are massive fireballs. The only way a star could stop giving forth light would be for it to burn out and die: to cease being a star. Since stars are very far away from the earth, the light from the stars takes a very long time to reach the earth. The closest starlight (that of the sun) takes several minutes to reach us. Other starlight takes millions of years to reach us. In fact, some of the stars we see today might have ceased to exist thousands or even millions of years ago.
What this means is that if "in the day of the Lord" all of the stars are suddenly to stop giving their light, some of them would have to have already gone out of existence millions of years ago, and the rest would have to go out of existence in synchronized order at the speed of light, until finally on the very day of the Lord our sun would have to burn itself out and cease being a star within that one day. Yet this cataclysmic event would somehow fail to immediately destroy the earth, since Isaiah foretold that other calamities are to befall humans even after the sun disappears!
The moon, of course, never had any "light to shine". The moon produces no light of its own: it merely reflects light from the sun. One would think that if the creator of the universe was the source of Isaiah's prophecy, then he would have known this elementary fact of astronomy.
Isa:13:15: Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
Isa:13:16: Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
Isa:13:17: Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
Isa:13:18: Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
Let's ponder this supposed message from God, as delivered by Isaiah, and held as sacred in the "Holy Bible". God promised to have children taken and "dashed to pieces" in front of their parents! He promised to send men to rape women! He promised to send men who would kill children and babies!
Is this god of the Bible something to be worshipped as the epitome of love?
Isa:13:19: And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isa:13:20: It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
Isa:13:21: But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
Isa:13:22: And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.
Although it's not called Babylon anymore, the land where Babylon once stood is currently a populated country where no reports of dragons or dancing satyrs have been filed. Little wonder: the American Heritage Dictionary defines dragons and satyrs as follows:
Dragon: A mythical monster traditionally represented as a gigantic reptile having a lion's claws, the tail of a serpent, wings, and a scaly skin
Satyr: Greek Mythology A woodland creature depicted as having the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry.
Do you still maintain that the Bible contains no mythology?
Isa:14:4: That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
Isa:14:12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isa:14:13: For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa:14:14: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa:14:15: Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Isa:14:16: They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
Isa:14:17: That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
Here is the first and only Biblical mention of Lucifer. I was taught that Lucifer was another name for Satan the Devil. I was surprised to find -- when reading the above passage in context -- that it simply referred to some ancient king of Babylon. All of this wanting to exalt himself above God, and being brought down to hell: it's all just a metaphor for Isaiah's hatred of the king of Babylon. It's nothing to base one's theology on: imagining some sort of war between a "bad angel" named Lucifer who got "too big for his britches" and was sent to hell by God in punishment, and who now tempts mankind to do evil. What a lot of nonsense has been erroneously based on these verses!
Isa:14:21: Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
Here again, the god of the Bible ordered the slaughter of children! Here again is yet another direct contradiction of the following:
Ezek:18:20: The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Isa:20:2: At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
Isa:20:3: And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
Isa:20:4: So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
Thus began more of Isaiah's bizarre behavior. If anyone did this today they would be locked up for indecent exposure. Evidently, already in Isaiah's day people no longer believed "prophets". Probably their prophecies had failed so often that the "prophets" had lost all credibility and were largely ignored. So Isaiah resorted to stunts in order to grab people's attention. This explains why he previously got the "virgin" prophetess pregnant, and why he decided to walk around naked for three years. He may not have gained any credibility, but he sure got people's attention!
Isa:27:1: In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
Since there are no dragons in the sea, how will the LORD slay one?
Isa:30:6: The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.
Exactly which species of animal is the "fiery flying serpent"?
Isa:30:26: Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
There is no "light of the moon". The moon gives off no light of its own; it merely reflects the light of the sun. The moon is not a very good reflector. The intensity of sunlight upon the earth varies from roughly 32,000 lux to 100,000 lux. The intensity of light from a full moon upon earth is 1 lux. So, in order for the moon to reflect as much light as the sun gives off today, the intensity of the sun would have to increase not "sevenfold" but at least thirty-two-thousandfold!
The amount of sunlight we receive controls the temperature of our planet. What would happen if the amount of sunlight was multiplied "sevenfold"? We don't have to look too far to find out. The intensity of sunlight that the planet Mercury receives is 6.6 times that of earth's. So, it's just a little less than Isaiah's predicted "sevenfold". A typical day on Mercury is 750 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to melt metal. So, in that "day" the LORD would have no people to bindeth up or heal: just burned cinders.
Isa:33:1: Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.
This implies that it is okay to spoil and deal treacherously if one has ever been spoiled or has been dealt with treacherously. This contradicts Jesus' statement that if you are ever abused you should invite further abuse (Mt. 5:39) and "do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you" (Mt. 5:44).
It also states that a person who is a treacherous despoiler will not suffer the consequences until he or she ceases to despoil and makes an end of dealing treacherously. So, according to the Bible, it's better to continue acting in these immoral ways once someone has started!
Isa:34:4: And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
If the above is meant to be symbolic, it still exhibits a woeful lack of knowledge of astronomy. Stars cannot "fall down"; there is no "down" in space.
Isa:34:7: And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
This exhibits a woeful lack of knowledge of zoology. There has never been such an animal as a unicorn.
Isa:34:13: And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.
Isa:34:14: The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.
And this exhibits a woeful lack of knowledge of reality. Dragons and satyr's have never existed: they are mythological beasts.
Isa:38:1: In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
Isa:38:2: Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
Isa:38:3: And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Isa:38:4: Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
Isa:38:5: Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
Here a mere man purportedly changed the Divine Will of the Ultimate Being! Isaiah's god decreed that the death of Hezekiah was imminent. But this god changed his mind after Hezekiah cried. Did Hezekaih know what was better in the "Divine Plan" than its architect?
Isa:38:6: And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
Isa:38:7: And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;
Isa:38:8: Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
Once again Isaiah found it necessary to back up his prophecy with a sign. This time he had the shadow on Ahaz's sundial move backwards ten degrees. If this was not a parlor trick, then we are to believe that Isaiah had gone Joshua one better: not only had he stopped the earth from spinning, he had reversed its direction! Of course, this would have caused massive tidal waves and other world-wide cataclysms (none of which were reported, and no evidence of which exists anywhere in the world). If this had happened, don't you think someone other than just Isaiah and Hezekiah would have noticed it?
Isa:40:17: All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
Elsewhere in the Bible, we are told:
Mt:10:29: Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mt:10:30: But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mt:10:31: Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
One would take this to mean that every human being is priceless in God's sight, and God watches over us all. Yet, here in Isaiah we are told that entire nations of people are "less than nothing" to God!
Isa:40:28: Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
Yet, elsewhere in this same book of the Bible, "God" stated that he was, in fact "weary": (Isa. 1:14)
Isa:43:10: Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa:43:11: I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Isa:43:12: I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.
How could the Israelites be "witnesses" of there not having been a god formed before the Bible's god? Were any of them around to witness this?
These are the verses from which Jehovah's Witnesses derived their name. Ironically, their theology repudiates the very thing Jehovah's "witnesses" are hereby ordered to bear witness to: that no god was formed after Jehovah. In their theology, Jesus is a god who was formed after Jehovah! But, by selective quoting, the last part of the sentence in verse 10 never enters their minds, and the contradiction goes unnoticed!
Isa:43:18: Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
If only I'd known of this verse when I was in grade school and wanted to get out of history class! Better yet: if only we'd known about this verse before we started reading the Bible; we could've skipped Genesis through Second Chronicles! In fact, if we are to follow this Bible verse, we should stop reading the book of Isaiah as well.
Isa:43:22: But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.
Isa:43:23: Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.
Isa:43:24: Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.
Isa:43:25: I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Do you recall chapter one, verses 11-12 of this very book of the Bible? There we were told that the god of the Bible never required burnt sacrifices, and did not want them. Yet here, in this same book of the Bible, this same god finds fault with the same people for not having brought him animal sacrifices!
When these barbaric rituals were first described in the Bible, the reason given for them was so that the Israelites' sins could be forgiven. We are also told, elsewhere in the Bible, that it is only through the spilling of blood that sins can be forgiven:
Heb:9:22: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Yet, here in Isaiah we are told that the god of the Bible stated that he had blotted out and forgotten the Israelites' sins for "his own sake" without any sacrificial blood having been spilt!
Isa:43:26: Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.
Isa:43:27: Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.
Isa:43:28: Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.
Any competent lawyer would object to the god of the Bible's "pleading" of his case, because he had previously testified that:
Ezek:18:20: The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
If the above testimony is true, then god cannot justify his punishing of the Israelites on the basis that their "first father hath sinned". It is irrelevant since "the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father."
Isa:45:7: I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Theologians have often excused the presence of evil in the world by claiming that humankind has brought about evil due to their god-given free will. This excuse allows them to maintain that an all-good God exists in the face of evil (since God did not create evil). But, as we can see from the above verse, the Bible disagrees with such a notion. Here, the god of the Bible stated that he "creates evil".
Isa:45:9: Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
Isa:45:10: Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
This is a favorite verse for Christians to quote to atheists. How dare the clay pot question the potter? How dare I question my "maker"?
In the first place, when we question the validity of the Bible, we are in no way questioning "our maker". Rather, we are questioning the validity of a particular collection of ancient writings of men.
Secondly, we are not clay pots. We are sentient beings.
Believers hold the opinion that "God is good". That is also a judgment of God.
If believers are judging God, they are guilty of a double-standard when they tell non-believers that judging God is like a clay pot judging the potter.
The verses in Isaiah claim that it is wrong for a human being to question anything that God may do. That would be just as wrong, these verses claim, as someone questioning his or her parents. But just because someone has a child, that does not make them a perfect parent. Some parents are abusive, and their children have every right to complain and point out the injustice they suffer, and to report their parents to the police.
So too, just because we hypothesize a being who created us, it does not follow that such a being would be "good" (especially since the bloody design of nature renders such a thought highly dubious). If "our maker" is unjust then we have every right to point this out as long as we have the courage to face whatever consequences telling the truth may entail.
Isa:45:19: I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
So, according to this, it is "right" for a father to sell his daughter and for a man to own slaves and beat them to death, and to stone rape victims and rebellious children, and all of the other immoral acts which this "LORD" declared in the Bible. Do you buy that?
Isa:51:6: Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
This makes it sound like heaven and earth will not last forever. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told differently (at least concerning the earth):
Eccl:1:4: One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
Isa:54:17: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
This is one of many such promises the god of the Bible made to the Israelites via Isaiah. Unfortunately, such promises were not kept, as is born out by the Holocaust and the many pogroms against the Jews from Isaiah's time to today.
Isa:56:4: For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Isa:56:5: Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Does anyone today remember the names of any of the eunuchs of Isaiah's time? If not, then either none of the eunuchs kept the Sabbath (highly unlikely since it was a stoning offense), or this was another broken promise from the god of the Bible.
It's odd that in this section of Isaiah great stress is laid on keeping the Sabbath. Perhaps Isaiah had forgotten how he began his book by stating that God called the keeping of the Sabbath "iniquity" and implied that God had never ordered its observance (Is. 1:11-14).
Isa:57:1: The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
According to this verse, 'when bad things happen to good people,' it is so that worse things do not befall them. They are "taken away from the evil to come". However, many righteous people have died just before realizing their lifelong dreams. Nothing bad happened after their death which would've affected them had they lived a normal lifespan.
To see just how absurd the Bible's excuse is, just try to apply this verse to any child dying of leukemia.
Isa:57:16: For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
If the god of the Bible will not always be angry (for such wrath, we are told, would eventually destroy all souls), then the idea of eternal torment (as described in Rev. 14:10-11 and Rev. 20:10) cannot be true.
Isa:58:5: Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa:58:6: Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa:58:7: Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Well, according to earlier books of the Bible, the honest answer to god's last questions here is "No!" Under the Mosaic Law, fasts were not enjoined as times when freedom would be granted to the oppressed; they were simply times when people were supposed to refrain from eating. It would have been nice if god had enjoined a much more beneficial law to ensure justice and humanitarian aide as is here claimed -- but the fact is he did not.
Isa:64:1: Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
Isa:64:2: As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
Isa:64:3: When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
This reveals in clear language what we suspected all along: that Jehovah was originally a volcano god.
Isa:64:9: Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
Evidently Isaiah hadn't been listening to what god supposedly said back in Isaiah 57:16 where he plainly stated that he would not always be angry.
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