Verse

Isaiah 5:18

ESV Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes,
NIV Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes,
NASB Woe to those who drag wrongdoing with the cords of deceit, And sin as if with cart ropes;
CSB Woe to those who drag iniquity with cords of deceit and pull sin along with cart ropes,
NLT What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!
KJV Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

What does Isaiah 5:18 mean?

The prophet now pronounces another official "woe" of warning. This time, it is aimed at those in Jerusalem and Judah who practice willful sins. The picture is extremely specific. Isaiah is not talking about the kind of sin that someone steps into or samples on occasion. He is describing intentional actions which one deliberately chooses and carries along. This is a very conscious activity. The "cords of falsehood" may be about denying that the sin is, in fact, sin at all.

God's judgment was not coming on Judah because they were naively participating in the sins of their culture. This was a willful disregarding of God's law to live their lives how they wanted to live. The people were openly defiant of God's commands.
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