Bible: Isa 1-12

Heading

1:1 Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem 1  that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah reigned over Judah. 2 

Obedience, not Sacrifice

1:2 Listen, O heavens,

pay attention, O earth! 3 

For the Lord speaks:

“I raised children, 4  I brought them up, 5 

but 6  they have rebelled 7  against me!

1:3 An ox recognizes its owner,

a donkey recognizes where its owner puts its food; 8 

but Israel does not recognize me, 9 

my people do not understand.”

1:4 10 

The sinful nation is as good as dead, 11 

the people weighed down by evil deeds.

They are offspring who do wrong,

children 12  who do wicked things.

They have abandoned the Lord,

and rejected the Holy One of Israel. 13 

They are alienated from him. 14 

1:5 15 

Why do you insist on being battered?

Why do you continue to rebel? 16 

Your head has a massive wound, 17 

your whole body is weak. 18 

1:6 From the soles of your feet to your head,

there is no spot that is unharmed. 19 

There are only bruises, cuts,

and open wounds.

They have not been cleansed 20  or bandaged,

nor have they been treated 21  with olive oil. 22 

1:7 Your land is devastated,

your cities burned with fire.

Right before your eyes your crops

are being destroyed by foreign invaders. 23 

They leave behind devastation and destruction. 24 

1:8 Daughter Zion 25  is left isolated,

like a hut in a vineyard,

or a shelter in a cucumber field;

she is a besieged city. 26 

1:9 If the Lord who commands armies 27  had not left us a few survivors,

we would have quickly become like Sodom, 28 

we would have become like Gomorrah.

1:10 Listen to the Lord’s word,

you leaders of Sodom! 29 

Pay attention to our God’s rebuke, 30 

people of Gomorrah!

1:11Of what importance to me are your many sacrifices?” 31 

says the Lord.

“I am stuffed with 32  burnt sacrifices

of rams and the fat from steers.

The blood of bulls, lambs, and goats

I do not want. 33 

1:12 When you enter my presence,

do you actually think I want this

animals trampling on my courtyards? 34 

1:13 Do not bring any more meaningless 35  offerings;

I consider your incense detestable! 36 

You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations,

but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations! 37 

1:14 I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies;

they are a burden

that I am tired of carrying.

1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,

I look the other way; 38 

when you offer your many prayers,

I do not listen,

because your hands are covered with blood. 39 

1:16 40 

Wash! Cleanse yourselves!

Remove your sinful deeds 41 

from my sight.

Stop sinning!

1:17 Learn to do what is right!

Promote justice!

Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! 42 

Take up the cause of the orphan!

Defend the rights of the widow! 43 

1:18 44 

Come, let’s consider your options,” 45  says the Lord.

“Though your sins have stained you like the color red,

you can become 46  white like snow;

though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,

you can become 47  white like wool. 48 

1:19 If you have a willing attitude and obey, 49 

then you will again eat the good crops of the land.

1:20 But if you refuse and rebel,

you will be devoured 50  by the sword.”

Know for certain that the Lord has spoken. 51 

Purifying Judgment

1:21 How tragic that the once-faithful city

has become a prostitute! 52 

She was once a center of 53  justice,

fairness resided in her,

but now only murderers. 54 

1:22 Your 55  silver has become scum, 56 

your beer is diluted with water. 57 

1:23 Your officials are rebels, 58 

they associate with 59  thieves.

All of them love bribery,

and look for 60  payoffs. 61 

They do not take up the cause of the orphan, 62 

or defend the rights of the widow. 63 

1:24 Therefore, the sovereign Lord who commands armies, 64 

the powerful ruler of Israel, 65  says this:

“Ah, I will seek vengeance 66  against my adversaries,

I will take revenge against my enemies. 67 

1:25 I will attack you; 68 

I will purify your metal with flux. 69 

I will remove all your slag. 70 

1:26 I will reestablish honest judges as in former times,

wise advisers as in earlier days. 71 

Then you will be called, ‘The Just City,

Faithful Town.’

1:27 72 

Zion will be freed by justice, 73 

and her returnees by righteousness. 74 

1:28 All rebellious sinners will be shattered, 75 

those who abandon the Lord will perish.

1:29 Indeed, they 76  will be ashamed of the sacred trees

you 77  find so desirable;

you will be embarrassed because of the sacred orchards 78 

where you choose to worship.

1:30 For you will be like a tree whose leaves wither,

like an orchard 79  that is unwatered.

1:31 The powerful will be like 80  a thread of yarn,

their deeds like a spark;

both will burn together,

and no one will put out the fire.

The Future Glory of Jerusalem

2:1 Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem 81  that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz. 82 

2:2 In the future 83 

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will endure 84 

as the most important of mountains,

and will be the most prominent of hills. 85 

All the nations will stream to it,

2:3 many peoples will come and say,

Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain,

to the temple of the God of Jacob,

so 86  he can teach us his requirements, 87 

and 88  we can follow his standards.” 89 

For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; 90 

the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem. 91 

2:4 He will judge disputes between nations;

he will settle cases for many peoples.

They will beat their swords into plowshares, 92 

and their spears into pruning hooks. 93 

Nations will not take up the sword against other nations,

and they will no longer train for war.

2:5 O descendants 94  of Jacob,

come, let us walk in the Lord’s guiding light. 95 

The Lord’s Day of Judgment

2:6 Indeed, O Lord, 96  you have abandoned your people,

the descendants of Jacob.

For diviners from the east are everywhere; 97 

they consult omen readers like the Philistines do. 98 

Plenty of foreigners are around. 99 

2:7 Their land is full of gold and silver;

there is no end to their wealth. 100 

Their land is full of horses;

there is no end to their chariots. 101 

2:8 Their land is full of worthless idols;

they worship 102  the product of their own hands,

what their own fingers have fashioned.

2:9 Men bow down to them in homage,

they lie flat on the ground in worship. 103 

Don’t spare them! 104 

2:10 Go up into the rocky cliffs,

hide in the ground.

Get away from the dreadful judgment of the Lord, 105 

from his royal splendor!

2:11 Proud men will be brought low,

arrogant men will be humiliated; 106 

the Lord alone will be exalted 107 

in that day.

2:12 Indeed, the Lord who commands armies has planned a day of judgment, 108 

for 109  all the high and mighty,

for all who are proud – they will be humiliated;

2:13 for all the cedars of Lebanon,

that are so high and mighty,

for all the oaks of Bashan; 110 

2:14 for all the tall mountains,

for all the high hills, 111 

2:15 for every high tower,

for every fortified wall,

2:16 for all the large ships, 112 

for all the impressive 113  ships. 114 

2:17 Proud men will be humiliated,

arrogant men will be brought low; 115 

the Lord alone will be exalted 116 

in that day.

2:18 The worthless idols will be completely eliminated. 117 

2:19 They 118  will go into caves in the rocky cliffs

and into holes in the ground, 119 

trying to escape the dreadful judgment of the Lord 120 

and his royal splendor,

when he rises up to terrify the earth. 121 

2:20 At that time 122  men will throw

their silver and gold idols,

which they made for themselves to worship, 123 

into the caves where rodents and bats live, 124 

2:21 so they themselves can go into the crevices of the rocky cliffs

and the openings under the rocky overhangs, 125 

trying to escape the dreadful judgment of the Lord 126 

and his royal splendor,

when he rises up to terrify the earth. 127 

2:22 Stop trusting in human beings,

whose life’s breath is in their nostrils.

For why should they be given special consideration?

A Coming Leadership Crisis

3:1 Look, the sovereign Lord who commands armies 128 

is about to remove from Jerusalem 129  and Judah

every source of security, including 130 

all the food and water, 131 

3:2 the mighty men and warriors,

judges and prophets,

omen readers and leaders, 132 

3:3 captains of groups of fifty,

the respected citizens, 133 

advisers and those skilled in magical arts, 134 

and those who know incantations.

3:4 The Lord says, 135  “I will make youths their officials;

malicious young men 136  will rule over them.

3:5 The people will treat each other harshly;

men will oppose each other;

neighbors will fight. 137 

Youths will proudly defy the elderly

and riffraff will challenge those who were once respected. 138 

3:6 Indeed, a man will grab his brother

right in his father’s house 139  and say, 140 

‘You own a coat

you be our leader!

This heap of ruins will be under your control.’ 141 

3:7 At that time 142  the brother will shout, 143 

‘I am no doctor, 144 

I have no food or coat in my house;

don’t make me a leader of the people!’

3:8 Jerusalem certainly stumbles,

Judah falls,

for their words and their actions offend the Lord; 145 

they rebel against his royal authority. 146 

3:9 The look on their faces 147  testifies to their guilt; 148 

like the people of Sodom they openly boast of their sin. 149 

Too bad for them! 150 

For they bring disaster on themselves.

3:10 Tell the innocent 151  it will go well with them, 152 

for they will be rewarded for what they have done. 153 

3:11 Too bad for the wicked sinners!

For they will get exactly what they deserve. 154 

3:12 Oppressors treat my 155  people cruelly;

creditors rule over them. 156 

My people’s leaders mislead them;

they give you confusing directions. 157 

3:13 The Lord takes his position to judge;

he stands up to pass sentence on his people. 158 

3:14 The Lord comes to pronounce judgment

on the leaders of his people and their officials.

He says, 159  “It is you 160  who have ruined 161  the vineyard! 162 

You have stashed in your houses what you have stolen from the poor. 163 

3:15 Why do you crush my people

and grind the faces of the poor?” 164 

The sovereign Lord who commands armies 165  has spoken.

Washing Away Impurity

3:16 The Lord says,

The women 166  of Zion are proud.

They walk with their heads high 167 

and flirt with their eyes.

They skip along 168 

and the jewelry on their ankles jingles. 169 

3:17 So 170  the sovereign master 171  will afflict the foreheads of Zion’s women 172  with skin diseases, 173 

the Lord will make the front of their heads bald.” 174 

3:18 175 

At that time 176  the sovereign master will remove their beautiful ankle jewelry, 177  neck ornaments, crescent shaped ornaments, 3:19 earrings, bracelets, veils, 3:20 headdresses, ankle ornaments, sashes, sachets, 178  amulets, 3:21 rings, nose rings, 3:22 festive dresses, robes, shawls, purses, 3:23 garments, vests, head coverings, and gowns. 179 

3:24 A putrid stench will replace the smell of spices, 180 

a rope will replace a belt,

baldness will replace braided locks of hair,

a sackcloth garment will replace a fine robe,

and a prisoner’s brand will replace beauty.

3:25 Your 181  men will fall by the sword,

your strong men will die in battle. 182 

3:26 Her gates will mourn and lament;

deprived of her people, she will sit on the ground. 183 

4:1 Seven women will grab hold of

one man at that time. 184 

They will say, “We will provide 185  our own food,

we will provide 186  our own clothes;

but let us belong to you 187 

take away our shame!” 188 

The Branch of the Lord

4:2 At that time 189 

the crops given by the Lord will bring admiration and honor; 190 

the produce of the land will be a source of pride and delight

to those who remain in Israel. 191 

4:3 Those remaining in Zion, 192  those left in Jerusalem, 193 

will be called “holy,” 194 

all in Jerusalem who are destined to live. 195 

4:4 At that time 196  the sovereign master 197  will wash the excrement 198  from Zion’s women,

he will rinse the bloodstains from Jerusalem’s midst, 199 

as he comes to judge

and to bring devastation. 200 

4:5 Then the Lord will create

over all of Mount Zion 201 

and over its convocations

a cloud and smoke by day

and a bright flame of fire by night; 202 

indeed a canopy will accompany the Lord’s glorious presence. 203 

4:6 By day it will be a shelter to provide shade from the heat,

as well as safety and protection from the heavy downpour. 204 

A Love Song Gone Sour

5:1 I 205  will sing to my love

a song to my lover about his vineyard. 206 

My love had a vineyard

on a fertile hill. 207 

5:2 He built a hedge around it, 208  removed its stones,

and planted a vine.

He built a tower in the middle of it,

and constructed a winepress.

He waited for it to produce edible grapes,

but it produced sour ones instead. 209 

5:3 So now, residents of Jerusalem, 210 

people 211  of Judah,

you decide between me and my vineyard!

5:4 What more can I do for my vineyard

beyond what I have already done?

When I waited for it to produce edible grapes,

why did it produce sour ones instead?

5:5 Now I will inform you

what I am about to do to my vineyard:

I will remove its hedge and turn it into pasture, 212 

I will break its wall and allow animals to graze there. 213 

5:6 I will make it a wasteland;

no one will prune its vines or hoe its ground, 214 

and thorns and briers will grow there.

I will order the clouds

not to drop any rain on it.

5:7 Indeed 215  Israel 216  is the vineyard of the Lord who commands armies,

the people 217  of Judah are the cultivated place in which he took delight.

He waited for justice, but look what he got – disobedience! 218 

He waited for fairness, but look what he got – cries for help! 219 

Disaster is Coming

5:8 Those who accumulate houses are as good as dead, 220 

those who also accumulate landed property 221 

until there is no land left, 222 

and you are the only landowners remaining within the land. 223 

5:9 The Lord who commands armies told me this: 224 

“Many houses will certainly become desolate,

large, impressive houses will have no one living in them. 225 

5:10 Indeed, a large vineyard 226  will produce just a few gallons, 227 

and enough seed to yield several bushels 228  will produce less than a bushel.” 229 

5:11 Those who get up early to drink beer are as good as dead, 230 

those who keep drinking long after dark

until they are intoxicated with wine. 231 

5:12 They have stringed instruments, 232  tambourines, flutes,

and wine at their parties.

So they do not recognize what the Lord is doing,

they do not perceive what he is bringing about. 233 

5:13 Therefore my 234  people will be deported 235 

because of their lack of understanding.

Their 236  leaders will have nothing to eat, 237 

their 238  masses will have nothing to drink. 239 

5:14 So Death 240  will open up its throat,

and open wide its mouth; 241 

Zion’s dignitaries and masses will descend into it,

including those who revel and celebrate within her. 242 

5:15 Men will be humiliated,

they will be brought low;

the proud will be brought low. 243 

5:16 The Lord who commands armies will be exalted 244  when he punishes, 245 

the sovereign God’s authority will be recognized when he judges. 246 

5:17 Lambs 247  will graze as if in their pastures,

amid the ruins the rich sojourners will graze. 248 

5:18 Those who pull evil along using cords of emptiness are as good as dead, 249 

who pull sin as with cart ropes. 250 

5:19 They say, “Let him hurry, let him act quickly, 251 

so we can see;

let the plan of the Holy One of Israel 252  take shape 253  and come to pass,

then we will know it!

5:20 Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead, 254 

who turn darkness into light and light into darkness,

who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter. 255 

5:21 Those who think they are wise are as good as dead, 256 

those who think they possess understanding. 257 

5:22 Those who are champions 258  at drinking wine are as good as dead, 259 

who display great courage when mixing strong drinks.

5:23 They pronounce the guilty innocent for a payoff,

they ignore the just cause of the innocent. 260 

5:24 Therefore, as flaming fire 261  devours straw,

and dry grass disintegrates in the flames,

so their root will rot,

and their flower will blow away like dust. 262 

For they have rejected the law of the Lord who commands armies,

they have spurned the commands 263  of the Holy One of Israel. 264 

5:25 So the Lord is furious 265  with his people;

he lifts 266  his hand and strikes them.

The mountains shake,

and corpses lie like manure 267  in the middle of the streets.

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 268 

5:26 He lifts a signal flag for a distant nation, 269 

he whistles for it to come from the far regions of the earth.

Look, they 270  come quickly and swiftly.

5:27 None tire or stumble,

they don’t stop to nap or sleep.

They don’t loosen their belts,

or unstrap their sandals to rest. 271 

5:28 Their arrows are sharpened,

and all their bows are prepared. 272 

The hooves of their horses are hard as flint, 273 

and their chariot wheels are like a windstorm. 274 

5:29 Their roar is like a lion’s;

they roar like young lions.

They growl and seize their prey;

they drag it away and no one can come to the rescue.

5:30 At that time 275  they will growl over their prey, 276 

it will sound like sea waves crashing against rocks. 277 

One will look out over the land and see the darkness of disaster,

clouds will turn the light into darkness. 278 

Isaiah’s Commission

6:1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, 279  I saw the sovereign master 280  seated on a high, elevated throne. The hem of his robe filled the temple. 6:2 Seraphs 281  stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, 282  and they used the remaining two to fly. 6:3 They called out to one another, “Holy, holy, holy 283  is the Lord who commands armies! 284  His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!” 6:4 The sound of their voices shook the door frames, 285  and the temple was filled with smoke.

6:5 I said, “Too bad for me! I am destroyed, 286  for my lips are contaminated by sin, 287  and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin. 288  My eyes have seen the king, the Lord who commands armies.” 289  6:6 But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs. 6:7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Look, this coal has touched your lips. Your evil is removed; your sin is forgiven.” 290  6:8 I heard the voice of the sovereign master say, “Whom will I send? Who will go on our behalf?” 291  I answered, “Here I am, send me! 6:9 He said, “Go and tell these people:

‘Listen continually, but don’t understand!

Look continually, but don’t perceive!’

6:10 Make the hearts of these people calloused;

make their ears deaf and their eyes blind!

Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears,

their hearts might understand and they might repent and be healed.” 292 

6:11 I replied, “How long, sovereign master?” He said,

Until cities are in ruins and unpopulated,

and houses are uninhabited,

and the land is ruined and devastated,

6:12 and the Lord has sent the people off to a distant place,

and the very heart of the land is completely abandoned. 293 

6:13 Even if only a tenth of the people remain in the land, it will again be destroyed, 294  like one of the large sacred trees 295  or an Asherah pole, when a sacred pillar on a high place is thrown down. 296  That sacred pillar symbolizes the special chosen family.” 297 

Ahaz Receives a Sign

7:1 During 298  the reign of Ahaz son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel marched up to Jerusalem 299  to do battle, but they were unable to prevail against it. 300 

7:2 It was reported to the family 301  of David, “Syria has allied with 302  Ephraim.” They and their people were emotionally shaken, just as the trees of the forest shake before the wind. 303  7:3 So the Lord told Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub 304  and meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. 305  7:4 Tell him, ‘Make sure you stay calm! 306  Don’t be afraid! Don’t be intimidated 307  by these two stubs of smoking logs, 308  or by the raging anger of Rezin, Syria, and the son of Remaliah. 7:5 Syria has plotted with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah to bring about your demise. 309  7:6 They say, “Let’s attack Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it. 310  Then we’ll set up the son of Tabeel as its king.” 311  7:7 For this reason the sovereign master, 312  the Lord, says:

“It will not take place;

it will not happen.

7:8 For Syria’s leader is Damascus,

and the leader of Damascus is Rezin.

Within sixty-five years Ephraim will no longer exist as a nation. 313 

7:9 Ephraim’s leader is Samaria,

and Samaria’s leader is the son of Remaliah.

If your faith does not remain firm,

then you will not remain secure.” 314 

7:10 The Lord again spoke to Ahaz: 7:11 Ask for a confirming sign from the Lord your God. You can even ask for something miraculous.” 315  7:12 But Ahaz responded, “I don’t want to ask; I don’t want to put the Lord to a test.” 316  7:13 So Isaiah replied, 317 Pay attention, 318  family 319  of David. 320  Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God? 7:14 For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. 321  Look, this 322  young woman 323  is about to conceive 324  and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him 325  Immanuel. 326  7:15 He will eat sour milk 327  and honey, which will help him know how 328  to reject evil and choose what is right. 7:16 Here is why this will be so: 329  Before the child knows how to reject evil and choose what is right, the land 330  whose two kings you fear will be desolate. 331  7:17 The Lord will bring on you, your people, and your father’s family a time 332  unlike any since Ephraim departed from Judah – the king of Assyria! 333 

7:18 At that time 334  the Lord will whistle for flies from the distant streams of Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. 335  7:19 All of them will come and make their home 336  in the ravines between the cliffs, and in the crevices of the cliffs, in all the thorn bushes, and in all the watering holes. 337  7:20 At that time 338  the sovereign master will use a razor hired from the banks of the Euphrates River, 339  the king of Assyria, to shave the head and the pubic hair; 340  it will also shave off the beard. 7:21 At that time 341  a man will keep alive a young cow from the herd and a couple of goats. 7:22 From the abundance of milk they produce, 342  he will have sour milk for his meals. Indeed, everyone left in the heart of the land will eat sour milk and honey. 7:23 At that time 343  every place where there had been a thousand vines worth a thousand shekels will be overrun 344  with thorns and briers. 7:24 With bow and arrow 345  men will hunt 346  there, for the whole land will be covered 347  with thorns and briers. 7:25 They will stay away from all the hills that were cultivated, for fear of the thorns and briers. 348  Cattle will graze there and sheep will trample on them. 349 

A Sign-Child is Born

8:1 The Lord told me, “Take a large tablet 350  and inscribe these words 351  on it with an ordinary stylus: 352  ‘Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.’ 353  8:2 Then I will summon 354  as my reliable witnesses Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah.” 8:3 I then had sexual relations with the prophetess; she conceived and gave birth to a son. The Lord told me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, 8:4 for before the child knows how to cry out, ‘My fatheror ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria 355  will be carried off by the king of Assyria.” 356 

8:5 The Lord spoke to me again: 8:6 These people 357  have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah 358  and melt in fear over Rezin and the son of Remaliah. 359  8:7 So look, the sovereign master 360  is bringing up against them the turbulent and mighty waters of the Euphrates River 361 the king of Assyria and all his majestic power. It will reach flood stage and overflow its banks. 362  8:8 It will spill into Judah, flooding and engulfing, as it reaches to the necks of its victims. He will spread his wings out over your entire land, 363  O Immanuel.” 364 

8:9 You will be broken, 365  O nations;

you will be shattered! 366 

Pay attention, all you distant lands of the earth!

Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered!

Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered! 367 

8:10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted!

Issue your orders, but they will not be executed! 368 

For God is with us! 369 

The Lord Encourages Isaiah

8:11 Indeed this is what the Lord told me. He took hold of me firmly and warned me not to act like these people: 370 

8:12Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ every time these people say the word. 371 

Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.

8:13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies. 372 

He is the one you must respect;

he is the one you must fear. 373 

8:14 He will become a sanctuary, 374 

but a stone that makes a person trip,

and a rock that makes one stumble

to the two houses of Israel. 375 

He will become 376  a trap and a snare

to the residents of Jerusalem. 377 

8:15 Many will stumble over the stone and the rock, 378 

and will fall and be seriously injured,

and will be ensnared and captured.”

8:16 Tie up the scroll as legal evidence, 379 

seal the official record of God’s instructions and give it to my followers. 380 

8:17 I will wait patiently for the Lord,

who has rejected the family of Jacob; 381 

I will wait for him.

8:18 Look, I and the sons whom the Lord has given me 382  are reminders and object lessons 383  in Israel, sent from the Lord who commands armies, who lives on Mount Zion.

8:19

Darkness Turns to Light as an Ideal King Arrives

384 

They will say to you, “Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations. 385  Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living? 386  8:20 Then you must recall the Lord’s instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen. 387  Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually darkened. 388  8:21 They will pass through the land 389  destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry, 390  and they will curse their king and their God 391  as they look upward. 8:22 When one looks out over the land, he sees 392  distress and darkness, gloom 393  and anxiety, darkness and people forced from the land. 394  9:1 395  The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious. 396 

In earlier times he 397  humiliated

the land of Zebulun,

and the land of Naphtali; 398 

but now he brings honor 399 

to the way of the sea,

the region beyond the Jordan,

and Galilee of the nations. 400 

9:2 The people walking in darkness

see a bright light; 401 

light shines

on those who live in a land of deep darkness. 402 

9:3 You 403  have enlarged the nation;

you give them great joy. 404 

They rejoice in your presence

as harvesters rejoice;

as warriors celebrate 405  when they divide up the plunder.

9:4 For their oppressive yoke

and the club that strikes their shoulders,

the cudgel the oppressor uses on them, 406 

you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat. 407 

9:5 Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth 408 

and every garment dragged through blood

is used as fuel for the fire.

9:6 For a child has been 409  born to us,

a son has been given to us.

He shoulders responsibility

and is called: 410 

Extraordinary Strategist, 411 

Mighty God, 412 

Everlasting Father, 413 

Prince of Peace. 414 

9:7 His dominion will be vast 415 

and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. 416 

He will rule on David’s throne

and over David’s kingdom, 417 

establishing it 418  and strengthening it

by promoting justice and fairness, 419 

from this time forward and forevermore.

The Lord’s intense devotion to his people 420  will accomplish this.

9:8

God’s Judgment Intensifies

421 

The sovereign master 422  decreed judgment 423  on Jacob,

and it fell on Israel. 424 

9:9 All the people were aware 425  of it,

the people of Ephraim and those living in Samaria. 426 

Yet with pride and an arrogant attitude, they said, 427 

9:10The bricks have fallen,

but we will rebuild with chiseled stone;

the sycamore fig trees have been cut down,

but we will replace them with cedars.” 428 

9:11 Then the Lord provoked 429  their adversaries to attack them, 430 

he stirred up 431  their enemies

9:12 Syria from the east,

and the Philistines from the west,

they gobbled up Israelite territory. 432 

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 433 

9:13 The people did not return to the one who struck them,

they did not seek reconciliation 434  with the Lord who commands armies.

9:14 So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail,

both the shoots and stalk 435  in one day.

9:15 The leaders and the highly respected people 436  are the head,

the prophets who teach lies are the tail.

9:16 The leaders of this nation were misleading people,

and the people being led were destroyed. 437 

9:17 So the sovereign master was not pleased 438  with their young men,

he took no pity 439  on their orphans and widows;

for the whole nation was godless 440  and did wicked things, 441 

every mouth was speaking disgraceful words. 442 

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 443 

9:18 For 444  evil burned like a fire, 445 

it consumed thorns and briers;

it burned up the thickets of the forest,

and they went up in smoke. 446 

9:19 Because of the anger of the Lord who commands armies, the land was scorched, 447 

and the people became fuel for the fire. 448 

People had no compassion on one another. 449 

9:20 They devoured 450  on the right, but were still hungry,

they ate on the left, but were not satisfied.

People even ate 451  the flesh of their own arm! 452 

9:21 Manasseh fought against 453  Ephraim,

and Ephraim against Manasseh;

together they fought against Judah.

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 454 

10:1 Those who enact unjust policies are as good as dead, 455 

those who are always instituting unfair regulations, 456 

10:2 to keep the poor from getting fair treatment,

and to deprive 457  the oppressed among my people of justice,

so they can steal what widows own,

and loot what belongs to orphans. 458 

10:3 What will you do on judgment day, 459 

when destruction arrives from a distant place?

To whom will you run for help?

Where will you leave your wealth?

10:4 You will have no place to go, except to kneel with the prisoners,

or to fall among those who have been killed. 460 

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 461 

The Lord Turns on Arrogant Assyria

10:5 Assyria, the club I use to vent my anger, is as good as dead, 462 

a cudgel with which I angrily punish. 463 

10:6 I sent him 464  against a godless 465  nation,

I ordered him to attack the people with whom I was angry, 466 

to take plunder and to carry away loot,

to trample them down 467  like dirt in the streets.

10:7 But he does not agree with this,

his mind does not reason this way, 468 

for his goal is to destroy,

and to eliminate many nations. 469 

10:8 Indeed, 470  he says:

“Are not my officials all kings?

10:9 Is not Calneh like Carchemish?

Hamath like Arpad?

Samaria like Damascus? 471 

10:10 I overpowered kingdoms ruled by idols, 472 

whose carved images were more impressive than Jerusalem’s 473  or Samaria’s.

10:11 As I have done to Samaria and its idols,

so I will do to Jerusalem and its idols.” 474 

10:12 But when 475  the sovereign master 476  finishes judging 477  Mount Zion and Jerusalem, then I 478  will punish the king of Assyria for what he has proudly planned and for the arrogant attitude he displays. 479  10:13 For he says:

“By my strong hand I have accomplished this,

by my strategy that I devised.

I invaded the territory of nations, 480 

and looted their storehouses.

Like a mighty conqueror, 481  I brought down rulers. 482 

10:14 My hand discovered the wealth of the nations, as if it were in a nest,

as one gathers up abandoned eggs,

I gathered up the whole earth.

There was no wing flapping,

or open mouth chirping.” 483 

10:15 Does an ax exalt itself over the one who wields it,

or a saw magnify itself over the one who cuts with it? 484 

As if a scepter should brandish the one who raises it,

or a staff should lift up what is not made of wood!

10:16 For this reason 485  the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, will make his healthy ones emaciated. 486  His majestic glory will go up in smoke. 487 

10:17 The light of Israel 488  will become a fire,

their Holy One 489  will become a flame;

it will burn and consume the Assyrian king’s 490  briers

and his thorns in one day.

10:18 The splendor of his forest and his orchard

will be completely destroyed, 491 

as when a sick man’s life ebbs away. 492 

10:19 There will be so few trees left in his forest,

a child will be able to count them. 493 

10:20 At that time 494  those left in Israel, those who remain of the family 495  of Jacob, will no longer rely on a foreign leader that abuses them. 496  Instead they will truly 497  rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 498  10:21 A remnant will come back, a remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 499  10:22 For though your people, Israel, are as numerous as 500  the sand on the seashore, only a remnant will come back. 501  Destruction has been decreed; 502  just punishment 503  is about to engulf you. 504  10:23 The sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, is certainly ready to carry out the decreed destruction throughout the land. 505 

10:24 So 506  here is what the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, says: “My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, even though they beat you with a club and lift their cudgel against you as Egypt did. 507  10:25 For very soon my fury 508  will subside, and my anger will be directed toward their destruction.” 10:26 The Lord who commands armies is about to beat them 509  with a whip, similar to the way he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb. 510  He will use his staff against the sea, lifting it up as he did in Egypt. 511 

10:27 At that time 512 

the Lord will remove their burden from your shoulders, 513 

and their yoke from your neck;

the yoke will be taken off because your neck will be too large. 514 

10:28 515 

They 516  attacked 517  Aiath,

moved through Migron,

depositing their supplies at Micmash.

10:29 They went through the pass,

spent the night at Geba.

Ramah trembled,

Gibeah of Saul ran away.

10:30 Shout out, daughter of Gallim!

Pay attention, Laishah!

Answer her, Anathoth! 518 

10:31 Madmenah flees,

the residents of Gebim have hidden.

10:32 This very day, standing in Nob,

they shake their fist at Daughter Zion’s mountain 519 

at the hill of Jerusalem.

10:33 Look, the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies,

is ready to cut off the branches with terrifying power. 520 

The tallest trees 521  will be cut down,

the loftiest ones will be brought low.

10:34 The thickets of the forest will be chopped down with an ax,

and mighty Lebanon will fall. 522 

An Ideal King Establishes a Kingdom of Peace

11:1 A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s 523  root stock,

a bud will sprout 524  from his roots.

11:2 The Lord’s spirit will rest on him 525 

a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom, 526 

a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans, 527 

a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord. 528 

11:3 He will take delight in obeying the Lord. 529 

He will not judge by mere appearances, 530 

or make decisions on the basis of hearsay. 531 

11:4 He will treat the poor fairly, 532 

and make right decisions 533  for the downtrodden of the earth. 534 

He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, 535 

and order the wicked to be executed. 536 

11:5 Justice will be like a belt around his waist,

integrity will be like a belt around his hips. 537 

11:6 A wolf will reside 538  with a lamb,

and a leopard will lie down with a young goat;

an ox and a young lion will graze together, 539 

as a small child leads them along.

11:7 A cow and a bear will graze together,

their young will lie down together. 540 

A lion, like an ox, will eat straw.

11:8 A baby 541  will play

over the hole of a snake; 542 

over the nest 543  of a serpent

an infant 544  will put his hand. 545 

11:9 They will no longer injure or destroy

on my entire royal mountain. 546 

For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty,

just as the waters completely cover the sea. 547 

Israel is Reclaimed and Reunited

11:10 At that time 548  a root from Jesse 549  will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, 550  and his residence will be majestic. 11:11 At that time 551  the sovereign master 552  will again lift his hand 553  to reclaim 554  the remnant of his people 555  from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, 556  Cush, 557  Elam, Shinar, 558  Hamath, and the seacoasts. 559 

11:12 He will lift a signal flag for the nations;

he will gather Israel’s dispersed people 560 

and assemble Judah’s scattered people

from the four corners of the earth.

11:13 Ephraim’s jealousy will end, 561 

and Judah’s hostility 562  will be eliminated.

Ephraim will no longer be jealous of Judah,

and Judah will no longer be hostile toward Ephraim.

11:14 They will swoop down 563  on the Philistine hills to the west; 564 

together they will loot the people of the east.

They will take over Edom and Moab, 565 

and the Ammonites will be their subjects.

11:15 The Lord will divide 566  the gulf 567  of the Egyptian Sea; 568 

he will wave his hand over the Euphrates River 569  and send a strong wind, 570 

he will turn it into seven dried-up streams, 571 

and enable them to walk across in their sandals.

11:16 There will be a highway leading out of Assyria

for the remnant of his people, 572 

just as there was for Israel,

when 573  they went up from the land of Egypt.

12:1 At that time 574  you will say:

“I praise you, O Lord,

for even though you were angry with me,

your anger subsided, and you consoled me.

12:2 Look, God is my deliverer! 575 

I will trust in him 576  and not fear.

For the Lord gives me strength and protects me; 577 

he has become my deliverer.” 578 

12:3 Joyfully you will draw water

from the springs of deliverance. 579 

12:4 At that time 580  you will say:

“Praise the Lord!

Ask him for help! 581 

Publicize his mighty acts among the nations!

Make it known that he is unique! 582 

12:5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done magnificent things,

let this be known 583  throughout the earth!

12:6 Cry out and shout for joy, O citizens of Zion,

for the Holy One of Israel 584  acts mightily 585  among you!

NET Bible Study Environment