Isaiah 3:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Isaiah 3:9, NIV: The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.

Isaiah 3:9, ESV: For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.

Isaiah 3:9, KJV: The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

Isaiah 3:9, NASB: The expression of their faces testifies against them, And they display their sin like Sodom; They do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have done evil to themselves.

Isaiah 3:9, NLT: The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don't even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves.

Isaiah 3:9, CSB: The look on their faces testifies against them, and like Sodom, they flaunt their sin; they do not conceal it. Woe to them, for they have brought disaster on themselves.

What does Isaiah 3:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Isaiah has described the judgment coming for Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 3:1–8). Now he is describing the reason God will bring it on them. They have been openly defying Him by sinning against Him through their actions and words (Isaiah 3:8).

Now Isaiah implies that the peoples' sin is not subtle or secret. Rather, they are blatantly defying God. The expression on their faces is as if their sin is written clear as day. They are not even trying to hide their sin from each other or from the Lord. Isaiah next drives the point home by comparing their sin to Sodom.

This is the second time Isaiah has compared the Israelites living in Judah and Jerusalem to the people of Sodom. The first time he poetically called them "rulers of Sodom" and "people of Gomorrah" (Isaiah 1:10). Sodom and Gomorrah were the famously sinful cities God destroyed with fire (Genesis 18–19). The people of those towns openly flaunted their sinful actions, including sexual immorality, pride, violence, and failing to care for the poor and needy (Jude 1:7; Ezekiel 16:49).

The people of Judah and Jerusalem had fallen into open and public sinfulness before the Lord. Isaiah declares "woe" to them. The Hebrew words for "woe," oy and hoy, appear 22 times in Isaiah. They carry a pronouncement of distress or official judgment. In the New Testament, Jesus declares seven "woes" upon the scribes and pharisees in Matthew 23.

This "woe" is proclaimed over Judah because the people have willfully and openly practiced their sin, bringing evil upon themselves, and earning for themselves the judgment of the Lord.