Isaiah 9

Darkness Turns to Light as an Ideal King Arrives

8:191 They will say to you, “Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations.2 Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living?”3 8:20 Then you must recall the Lord’s instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen.4 Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually darkened.5 8:21 They will pass through the land6 destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry,7 and they will curse their king and their God8 as they look upward. 8:22 When one looks out over the land, he sees9 distress and darkness, gloom10 and anxiety, darkness and people forced from the land.11 9:1 (8:23)12 The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious.13

In earlier times he14 humiliated

the land of Zebulun,

and the land of Naphtali;15

but now he brings honor16

to the way of the sea,

the region beyond the Jordan,

and Galilee of the nations.17

9:2 (9:1) The people walking in darkness

see a bright light;18

light shines

on those who live in a land of deep darkness.19

9:3 You20 have enlarged the nation;

you give them great joy.21

They rejoice in your presence

as harvesters rejoice;

as warriors celebrate22 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,23

you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat.24

9:5 Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth25

and every garment dragged through blood

is used as fuel for the fire.

9:6 For a child has been26 born to us,

a son has been given to us.

He shoulders responsibility

and is called:27

Extraordinary Strategist,28

Mighty God,29

Everlasting Father,30

Prince of Peace.31

9:7 His dominion will be vast32

and he will bring immeasurable prosperity.33

He will rule on David’s throne

and over David’s kingdom,34

establishing it35 and strengthening it

by promoting justice and fairness,36

from this time forward and forevermore.

The Lord’s intense devotion to his people37 will accomplish this.

God’s Judgment Intensifies

9:838 The sovereign master39 decreed judgment40 on Jacob,

and it fell on Israel.41

9:9 All the people were aware42 of it,

the people of Ephraim and those living in Samaria.43

Yet with pride and an arrogant attitude, they said,44

9:10 “The 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.”45

9:11 Then the Lord provoked46 their adversaries to attack them,47

he stirred up48 their enemies –

9:12 Syria from the east,

and the Philistines from the west,

they gobbled up Israelite territory.49

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again.50

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

they did not seek reconciliation51 with the Lord who commands armies.

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

both the shoots and stalk52 in one day.

9:15 The leaders and the highly respected people53 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.54

9:17 So the sovereign master was not pleased55 with their young men,

he took no pity56 on their orphans and widows;

for the whole nation was godless57 and did wicked things,58

every mouth was speaking disgraceful words.59

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again.60

9:18 For61 evil burned like a fire,62

it consumed thorns and briers;

it burned up the thickets of the forest,

and they went up in smoke.63

9:19 Because of the anger of the Lord who commands armies, the land was scorched,64

and the people became fuel for the fire.65

People had no compassion on one another.66

9:20 They devoured67 on the right, but were still hungry,

they ate on the left, but were not satisfied.

People even ate68 the flesh of their own arm!69

9:21 Manasseh fought against70 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.71

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