The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
 Hear the word of Yahweh, you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of elohenu, you people of Gomorrah!
 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says Yahweh;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.
 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand?
Trample my courts no more;
 bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation--I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.
 When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.
 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. ס
 Come now, let us argue it out, says Yahweh: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken. ס
Over recent weeks the Track 1 Old Testament reading selection has been from books of the Prophets. We read how Amos was shown by “adonay Yahweh” a plumbline and a basket of summer fruit. We then read how “Yahweh first spoke through Hosea,” telling him to save one sinner in the Northern Kingdom and then Yahweh sung how He would never destroy those who became “Ephraim” – “Doubly Fruitful.” Now we read “the vision of Isaiah,” where he proclaimed, “Hear the word of Yahweh” and “listen to the teaching of elohenu.” All of this follows the Pentecost Sunday theme of the Prophet Joel having written: “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” These books of the Prophets are all fulfillments of Joel, as well as forevermore, as through the Saints of Christianity.
The names listed in verse one need to be understood, relative to the meaning behind those names.
Isaiah – “Yah Is Salvation, Salvation Of The Lord”
Amoz – “Strong”
Judah – “Praised, Let Him Be Praised”
Jerusalem - “In Awe Of Peace, Teaching Peace”
Uzziah – “Power Of Yah, Yah Is Strong, Yah Is My Strength”
Jotham – “Yah Is Perfect, Yah Is Complete”
Ahaz – “He Has Grasped, Possessor”
Hezekiah – “Yah Strengthens”
When the meaning behind the names is seen as the deeper intent to realize, then verse one says, “the vision of Salvation Of Yahweh son of Strong , which he beheld , concerning Let Him Be Praised and Teaching Peace ; in the days of Yah[weh] Is My Strength Yah[weh] Is Complete He Has Grasped (as His possession) Yah[weh] Strengthens kings Praised.” While this first verse is included with verses ten through twenty, showing a span of time that Isaiah was shown visions as a prophet of Yahweh, the meaning of the names of kings during his time served says the Southern Kingdom was better led by souls devoted to serving Yahweh, than was the leaders of the Northern Kingdom. During this timespan the Assyrians would overrun the Northern Kingdom, with the beginning of a siege of Judah and Jerusalem commencing. More than a verse of history, the deeper meaning sings of the Strength to withstand all outer influences comes from Yahweh being in possession of one’s soul within.
When this preamble is seen as the setup for Isaiah’s service as a Prophet of Yahweh, the verses chosen to be read aloud by the Episcopal Church focus on what is commonly mistaken as what one does to show a commitment to Yahweh. The BibleHub Interlinear lists these verses as “Meaningless Offerings.” The NRSV lists everything beyond verse one as “The Wickedness of Judah,” while the NIV says this chapter (sans verse one) is “A Rebellious Nation.” While the specificity of Isaiah being a prophet who spoke the Word of Yahweh to the Southern Kingdom’s leaders, these verses extend beyond Judah, including everyone who has since called himself or herself Christian. The metaphor speaks louder as a statement about what Yahweh expects from souls who commit to Him in marriage; and, none of that involves anything burnt on altars, prepared by false priests.
In verse ten, where Isaiah spoke as Yahweh, saying “you rulers of Sodom,” it must be understood that the city of Sodom is believed to have been on the eastern side of the Jordan River. While archeologists do not know where the five cities of the plain were, they project them to be either to the north of the Dead Sea (east of Jericho) or to the south, where the Dead Sea meets a plain (called the Valley of Siddim). When one realizes that the prophecy of the destruction of Sodom is less about a place on the earth and more about the meaning behind that name, the result is Isaiah pointing out “rulers of flaming” or “rulers of those burnt.” One way to read “Sodom” has it translate as “Their Assembly,” where that bears the meaning of those leaders who manipulate the people for their own profits.
Likewise, the name meaning for “Gomorrah” is: “Tyrannical Dealings, Throes,” with another translation (Hebrew has no vowels, so variations come from pronunciations adding different vowels) is “People Of Fear.” Following the first statement in verse ten that says, “you rulers of those burnt” is a companion statement that says, “listen to the law of our elohim people of fear” or “people with tyrannical dealings.” This says the inner elohim the people will be led to marry are those spirits of the world, not Yahweh. The Laws passed down by Moses will no longer be “heard,” as the “rulers of their assembly” will be given new laws, based on lesser gods to hear and merge with spiritually. This makes “those burnt” will figuratively be the sacrifices of the people in the name of other gods.
The use of Sodom and Gomorrah by Isaiah many years after Moses told the story of Abraham arguing with Yahweh over the destruction, followed by the story of Lot and his family escaping that destruction, says those places reflect eternal lands of sin that will always be leading the people to din and destruction of their souls. This is why verse eleven says Yahweh finds no pleasure in the sacrifice of beasts to Him. He asks, “Why to me?” implying other gods would enjoy animal sacrifices; but Yahweh is only interested in the soul sacrificing its own body of flesh (a symbolic burning on the altar), so that soul can be saved.
In verse twelve, when Yahweh asks, “when you come to appear before me who has required this from your hand to trample my enclosure?” This does not mean the Temple in Jerusalem is the “enclosure” or “the court” of Yahweh. All the activity in the Temple is for self-advancement, not for Yahweh’s benefit. When a soul leaves its body of flesh at death, then it “appears before Yahweh.” It appears for Judgment. The sacrifice of animals will have done nothing to save a soul; but it will be record that will trample upon one’s soul in judgment.
In verse thirteen, Yahweh says through Isaiah that the commanded observances each year are not to celebrate souls in flesh having been given special privilege over other human beings on earth. All of the ritual of the inner Temple (by high priests) are symbolic of self-sacrifice. The incense is the release of one’s soul in marriage to Yahweh – the smoke and scent being a transitional state brought on by fire. The flesh is then given totally in service to Yahweh, as one of His priests renewed. The new moon reflects that first one following the Vernal Equinox, which begins the first month of the ecclesiastical year (Nisan). The new moon reflects the darkness of not serving Yahweh. The Sabbath is not one day a week, but the eternity that began after Creation was completed. We live today in the Sabbath; and, it is expected to be kept holy forever, not just an hour one day a week. The “assemblies” must be the people all being taught the truth of the rituals, where they gather to recognize how each has become Yahweh’s servant.
Verse fourteen repeats Yahweh’s dissatisfaction with the beginning of a new cycle that focuses more on the festivities of a feast, than the festivities of having becoming Yahweh’s priests. Verse fifteen then says the prayers offered by those who have no spiritual relationship with Yahweh will not be heard. This implies that their prayers are for selfish concerns, not for guidance and repentance. They ask for profits in the material world, when such prayers should be sent to other gods. While there are no other gods that can replay to such prayers, Yahweh will not hear them because (like the error of Cain sacrificing plants to an earth goddess, not Yahweh) they are misdirected. They are not truly sent to Him; so, He will not hear them.
In verse sixteen, the command to “wash yourselves make yourselves clean” is the way to have their prayers heard by Yahweh. They are filthy dirty from sins; so, they must first repent those sins, in recognition that they have wronged Yahweh. From a position of true repentance, a soul will then submit to doing that which pleases Yahweh – obeying His Commandments. This (in time, when a serious commitment has been made) will then bring about an engagement to be divinely wed to the Husband, which will bring about His Spirit of Baptism. This is what will cleanses their souls and make their prayers be directed to Yahweh, so He will hear and respond to them. By becoming married to Yahweh, His Son’s soul will join with those of His wife-souls and lead them away from sinful deeds. Thus, those Baptized souls will no longer do evil.
Verse seventeen ends with a samekh (“ס”), which is a signal mark of closure in a series of verses. This means Yahweh saying, “learn to do good resort to judgment go straight the ruthless” is an end of this series that says stop doing things for the wrong reasons. The only way to realize the meaning of Yahweh’s commandments is to be one with Him. To be washed clean means to become His wife-servants and change one’s evil ways. This divine union will then have one act as His priests, serving the High Priest that is His Son’s soul within one’s soul, so those not yet able to call Yahweh “Father” will be led to do so. To “plead for the widow” has nothing to do with helping poor old ladies who had no material inheritance after the death of a human husband. All souls that marry Yahweh will become “widows” to the world they once served, as that ‘husband’ will have died and left their souls nothing.
Verse eighteen then begins a new live of thought, which is based on a soul having become saved from its past sins of the flesh. When Yahweh said through Isaiah, “come now and let us decide together,” this states a divine merger has taken place. All decisions to act will be based on Yahweh’s guidance, through His Son’s voice within, so all will know this guidance is best. By being “together on decisions,” the soul knows the mind of Christ, which reveals the knowledge of Yahweh. The colors “scarlet” and “crimson” are the reflections of sin that stain a pure white state of sinlessness. When Yahweh says one’s “scarlet” sins will be transformed into the ”crimson” die that makes wool fabric “red,” this is the presence of the ‘blood of Jesus’ – the Son of Yahweh – which reflects not on sins to come, but the sins that have been forgiven.
In verse nineteen stated the servitude of being a priest of Yahweh. This demands “obedience” and the submission of self-will to the Will of Yahweh. To then “eat the good of the land,” the “land” becomes metaphor for the flesh. To “eat” becomes synonymous with “feeding” those souls seeking spiritual nourishment. As a priest of Yahweh, one does not slaughter farm animals and cook them on an altar, for all to eat, drink, and be merry. One offers the “good of the flesh” – those who serve Yahweh as living up to the name “Israel” – the spiritual food they desire.
Verse twenty is then another that ends with a samekh, meaning these three verses are completed and a new line of thought will follow. Here, Yahweh sums up through Isaiah how the choice is up to each individual soul. There is nothing twisting anyone’s arm, making them be forced to marry their souls to Yahweh. The right to refuse a marriage proposal is one’s right. However, if one chooses to turn one’s back to Yahweh, then one will face the harsh realities of a cruel world, which involves hatred by other peoples, who see the audacity of those who call themselves the children of God, when those people can see the weaknesses of a godforsaken peoples. They will then come with the sword and defeat those, proving they have no god that will protect their evil ways. This can be counted on as being true, because Yahweh has spoken them through His prophet Isaiah.
It should be realized that the list of kings (when read that way) in verse one says the vast majority of time they ruled as servants of Yahweh. The exception is Ahaz, who was known to be an evil ruler. Still, these verses read between ten and twenty should not be seen as a condemnation of the kingdom of Judah while Isaiah was a prophet of Yahweh. This speaks more of the times prior to Isaiah, which led Yahweh to show him visions. This should also be seen as eternally applicable to all nations, at all times, who pretend to serve Yahweh, when they instead worship lesser gods and misunderstand the commanded feasts of recognition.
It should also be recognized that the concept of synagogues, where holy scrolls were kept and routinely read from each Sabbath did not happen until well after Isaiah began prophesying. It would be sixty years after the death of Hezekiah, when Josiah became King of Judah, that a renovation project took place at the Temple of Solomon; and, it was in that process that holy scrolls were found. Those scrolls had long been hidden from the people, bringing great sadness to King Josiah. That began process that made sure the people knew the Law, which has been pushed underground, due to the sinful ways before Isaiah, which venerated lesser gods and made compliance to One God less warranted. This should be seen in today’s version of Christianity, where the true word [Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture] have been locked away, placed into obscurity, where English paraphrases become synonymous with the veneration of lesser gods.