Isaiah 29:10-14

29:10 For the Lord has poured out on you

a strong urge to sleep deeply.

He has shut your eyes (the prophets),

and covered your heads (the seers).

29:11 To you this entire prophetic revelation is like words in a sealed scroll. When they hand it to one who can read and say, “Read this,” he responds, “I can’t, because it is sealed.” 29:12 Or when they hand the scroll to one who can’t read and say, “Read this,” he says, “I can’t read.”

29:13 The sovereign master says,

“These people say they are loyal to me;

they say wonderful things about me,

but they are not really loyal to me.

Their worship consists of

nothing but man-made ritual. 10 

29:14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people –

an absolutely extraordinary deed. 11 

Wise men will have nothing to say,

the sages will have no explanations.” 12 

tn Heb “a disposition [or “spirit”] of deep sleep.” Through this mixed metaphor (sleep is likened to a liquid which one pours and in turn symbolizes spiritual dullness) the prophet emphasizes that God himself has given the people over to their spiritual insensitivity as a form of judgment.

tn Heb “vision” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

tn Heb “one who knows a/the scroll.”

tn Heb “and if the scroll is handed to one who does not know a scroll.”

tn Heb “I do not know a scroll.”

tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai).

tn Heb “Because these people draw near to me with their mouth.”

tn Heb “and with their lips they honor me.”

tn Heb “but their heart is far from me.” The heart is viewed here as the seat of the will, from which genuine loyalty derives.

10 tn Heb “their fear of me is a commandment of men that has been taught.”

11 tn Heb “Therefore I will again do something amazing with these people, an amazing deed, an amazing thing.” This probably refers to the amazing transformation predicted in vv. 17-24, which will follow the purifying judgment implied in vv. 15-16.

12 tn Heb “the wisdom of their wise ones will perish, the discernment of their discerning ones will keep hidden.”