Isaiah 1:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Isaiah 1:18, NIV: Come now, let us settle the matter,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Isaiah 1:18, ESV: “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Isaiah 1:18, KJV: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 1:18, NASB: 'Come now, and let us debate your case,' Says the LORD, 'Though your sins are as scarlet, They shall become as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.

Isaiah 1:18, NLT: 'Come now, let's settle this,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Isaiah 1:18, CSB: "Come, let's settle this," says the Lord. "Though your sins are scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are crimson red, they will be like wool.

What does Isaiah 1:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Even amid His condemnation of Israel, the Lord pauses to offer them the opportunity to be made clean in His eyes. If they chose, they could avoid the destruction coming for them.

The Lord calls His people to reason together with Him. In Isaiah 1:3, He describes them as lacking the basic understanding that all the good they desire comes from Him. If they did understand this truth, they would not be trying so hard to turn away from the Lord (Isaiah 1:4). He has described their whole being as sick (Isaiah 1:5–6).

Now the Lord tells them to use their mental abilities to come to a rational understanding and see that He is right. When they understand that and agree with Him, change is possible. Their sins have stained their hands (Isaiah 1:15) and hearts red like scarlet. If they will repent and change course, those blood-red stains will become as white as snow.

After acknowledging His own sin with Bathsheba many years earlier, King David desired to be made clean in a similar way. "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7).