Isaiah 1:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Isaiah 1:20, NIV: but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.' For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 1:20, ESV: but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Isaiah 1:20, KJV: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Isaiah 1:20, NASB: But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword.' For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 1:20, NLT: But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!'

Isaiah 1:20, CSB: But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

What does Isaiah 1:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord, through the pen of Isaiah, is offering His people an opportunity to repent. To stop their sinful choices and embrace new, good actions of taking care of the least among them. (Isaiah 1:16–17) He has said that if they are willing to obey Him, they will have all they need and more.(Isaiah 1:19) If they will do what is right before the Lord in their hearts and with their actions they will thrive and be protected from their enemies.

Now the Lord adds that if they refuse this offer to repent and continue to rebel against Him, they will be "eaten by the sword". It's a powerful use of poetic wordplay. Either God's faithful people will eat well from the land or they will become the food of their enemies' swords and be destroyed.

The Lord is abridging His covenant with His people (Deuteronomy 30:15–20) to one choice: obey and prosper or rebel and be destroyed. It couldn't be simpler.

He ends this section with a phrase, "the mouth of the Lord has spoken", which means these words are final and just.