Isaiah 57 – “Rebuke for Idol Worshipers and Comfort for the People”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God vows to punish the idol worshippers and comfort the people.

II. Photo
The wicked are doomed: “The wicked are like the troubled sea which cannot rest, whose waters toss up mire and mud!” (v. 20)

III. Important Verses
1:  The righteous man perishes, And no one considers; Pious men are taken away, And no one gives thought That because of evil The righteous was taken away.
4-6: With whom do you act so familiarly? At whom do you open your mouth And stick out your tongue? Why, you are children of iniquity, Offspring of treachery — You who inflame yourselves Among the terebinths, Under every verdant tree; Who slaughter children in the wadis, Among the clefts of the rocks. With such are your share and portion, They, they are your allotment; To them you have poured out libations, Presented offerings. Should I relent in the face of this?
12-13: I hereby pronounce judgment upon your deeds: Your assorted [idols] shall not avail you, Shall not save you when you cry out. They shall all be borne off by the wind, Snatched away by a breeze. But those who trust in Me shall inherit the land And possess My sacred mount.
20-21: But the wicked are like the troubled sea Which cannot rest, Whose waters toss up mire and mud. There is no safety — said my God — For the wicked.

IV. Outline

1-2. Death for the righteous
3-13. Oracle #1: address to idol worshippers
    3-6. Condescending introduction
    7-11. The people have forgotten God
    12-13. Impending doom
14-19. Oracle #2: address to the people
    14-19. God will comfort his people
    20-21. The wicked are doomed

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from