Isaiah 5:13

ESV Therefore my people go into exile for lack of knowledge; their honored men go hungry, and their multitude is parched with thirst.
NIV Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.
NASB Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; And their nobles are famished, And their multitude is parched with thirst.
CSB Therefore my people will go into exile because they lack knowledge; her dignitaries are starving, and her masses are parched with thirst.
NLT So my people will go into exile far away because they do not know me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.
KJV Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.

What does Isaiah 5:13 mean?

Over the last few verses, Isaiah has described two ways in which the people of Judah and Jerusalem have been living only for themselves. Those who are wealthy have been buying up properties—both houses and land—taking advantage of those who must sell. After purchasing, they are left isolated in the middle of huge chunks of land. (Isaiah 5:8–9). In addition, at least some in Judah have been living only for pleasure, drinking from morning to night, engaging in whatever activities their passions lean toward (Isaiah 5:11). They throw elaborate feasts with live music, partying late into the evening (Isaiah 5:12). They have stopped paying any attention to God.

Now the Lord says that because of these things, the people will be dragged into exile. Isaiah is referring to the coming defeat and captivity of the people by the Babylonians in 586 BC (2 Kings 24:14). They have stopped paying attention to God's revelation of Himself to them. And they have stopped seeing how He is working in and through them in the world. They have become a people with no relationship with their God.

As a result, those who have been buying up land will be removed from their land (Isaiah 5:8). Those seemingly important men in the community won't even be able to acquire enough food. Those who have made drinking the point of their lives will experience thirst for even a drop of water.

Once again, the Lord's response to Israel's dependence on anything but Him alone is to remove that thing from them, including material gain and the escapism of alcohol.
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