Isaiah’s Cleansing and Call
1It was in the year King Uzziah died*6:1 King Uzziah died in 740 b.c. that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
4Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
5Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
8Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
9And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,
‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
10Harden the hearts of these people.
Plug their ears and shut their eyes.
That way, they will not see with their eyes,
nor hear with their ears,
nor understand with their hearts
and turn to me for healing.”*6:9-10 Greek version reads And he said, “Go and say to this people, / ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. / When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.’ / For the hearts of these people are hardened, / and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— / so their eyes cannot see, / and their ears cannot hear, / and their hearts cannot understand, / and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” Compare
11Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?”
And he replied,
“Until their towns are empty,
their houses are deserted,
and the whole country is a wasteland;
12until the Lord has sent everyone away,
and the entire land of Israel lies deserted.
13If even a tenth—a remnant—survive,
it will be invaded again and burned.
But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down,
so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”