“If favor is shown
To the wicked,
They still do not learn righteousness.
In the land of uprightness,
They deal perversely.
They do not see
The majesty of Yahweh.
Your hand is lifted up.
But they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal
For your people!
Let them be ashamed!
Let the fire
For your adversaries
Isaiah says that you cannot favor the wicked because they never learned righteousness. They are the perverse ones in the land of the upright people, since they do not see the majesty of Yahweh. Turning directly to Yahweh, Isaiah says that Yahweh’s hand is lifted up in judgment. However, the wicked ones do not even see it. They should see the zeal that Yahweh has for his people and be ashamed. These wicked adversaries should be consumed with God’s fire.
“Whoever augments his wealth by exorbitant interest
Gathers it for another who is kind to the poor.
When one will not listen to the law
Even one’s prayers are an abomination.
Those who mislead the upright into evil ways
Will fall into the pits of their own making.
But the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.”
If you augment your wealth with high interest rates, the law of retribution will get you, so that someone else will end up with your money. They will give it to the poor people so that your profit will be in vain. When you do not listen to the law, your very prayer will be an abomination. If you mislead the upright into evil ways, you will fall into the pits that you made for others. However, the blameless will have a good inheritance for their family.
“The proud and haughty persons
Are named ‘scoffers.’
They act with arrogant pride.
The craving of the lazy person is fatal.
His lazy hands refuse to labor.
All day long the wicked covet.
But the righteous give.
The righteous do not hold back.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination.
How much more is it
When brought with evil intent.
A false witness will perish.
But a good listener will testify successfully.
The wicked put on a bold face.
But the upright give thought to their ways.”
The proud and haughty people are scoffers, or ones who mock people. They act with an arrogant pride. The lazy ones, on the other hand, refuse to work so that it is fatal to them. The wicked want more things, but the righteous are generous and do not hold back. Any sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination. It is even worse when they make a sacrifice with an evil intent. The person who gives false testimony will perish. The good listener will testify successfully. The wicked have a bold face, but the upright think before they act.
“Whoever wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Whoever loves pleasure
Will be poor.
Whoever loves wine and oil
Will not be rich.
The wicked are a ransom for the righteous.
The faithless are a ransom for the upright.”
If you wander from the way of understanding, you are headed for rest in the assembly of the dead. If you love pleasure, you will be a poor man. If you love wine and oil, you certainly will not be rich. The wicked ones are a ransom for the righteous, while the faithless ones are a ransom for the upright. Actions have consequences.
“Those who are hot-tempered
Stir up strife.
But those who are slow to anger
The way of the lazy
Is overgrown with thorns.
But the path of the upright
Is a level highway.”
The hot tempered angry people stir up strife. If you are slow to anger, you can calm contentious situations. The way of the lazy people is overgrown with thorns, but the upright have a nice level highway. Watch your temper! Do not be lazy!
“When it goes well with the righteous,
The city rejoices.
When the wicked perish
There is jubilation.
By the blessing of the upright,
A city is exalted.
But the city is overthrown
By the mouth of the wicked.
Whoever belittles another
But an intelligent person remains silent.
A gossip goes about telling secrets.
But one who is trustworthy in spirit
Keeps a confidence.
Where there is no guidance,
A nation falls.
But in an abundance of counselors
There is safety.”
The city dwellers are happy with the righteous. They rejoice when all goes well with them. However, they are just as happy when the wicked perish. The city dwellers exalt at the blessings of the upright. However, the words of the wicked can overthrow a city. Anyone who belittles another lacks sense because the intelligent person keeps silent. You cannot trust gossips that go about telling secrets because they are not trustworthy. If there is no guidance, a city or country will fall. It is much better when there are many counselors, since they will keep the city or country safe.
“A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh.
But an accurate weight is his delight.
When pride comes,
Then disgrace comes.
But wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them.
But the crookedness of the treacherous
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath.
But righteousness delivers from death.”
Yahweh wants integrity in humans. They should not use a false scale, but have accurate weights in their business dealings. Pride brings disgrace while humility is wise. Integrity should be your guide, as it is for the upright, because the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. On the day of wrath, riches will not be worth much, but righteousness will deliver you from death.