Isaiah 7

King Ahaz refuses to ask God for a message

7:1In Part 3 (Isaiah chapters 7—37) God's king rules God's people.

1 Ahaz became the king of Judah. He was the son of Jotham and Jotham was the son of Uzziah. When Ahaz was king, Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the king of Israel, both attacked Jerusalem. But they did not win the fight. Pekah was the son of Remaliah. 2 People told this to (Ahaz, who was from) the descendants of David. They said, ‘People from Syria and Ephraim have agreed to attack you.’ Ahaz and his people were afraid. Their hearts moved, as trees in the forest move in the wind.

3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, ‘Go out and meet Ahaz. You and Shear-Jashub, your son, will meet him at the end of the water stream. The water comes from the higher pool down to where people wash clothes.’

4 The Lord said, ‘Say to Ahaz, “Be careful. And be very quiet. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid because Rezin and the people from Syria and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, are angry. They are trying to ‘start a fire’, but their ‘fire’ will soon finish. 5 (The rulers of) Syria and Ephraim and the son of Remaliah have made bad plans against you. But do not be afraid because of that. They have said, 6 ‘We must attack Judah. We will frighten the people. We will destroy their country and it will become ours. We will make the son of Tabeel king there.’ 7 The Lord God says this. 8 It will not happen, because the capital city of Syria is Damascus. And the king of Damascus is Rezin. And 65 years from now Ephraim will not be a country! There will be no people of Ephraim there. 9 And the capital city of Ephraim is Samaria. And the king of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. And if you do not believe the Lord, you will not be alive either.” ’

10 And the Lord spoke again to Ahaz (by Isaiah). 11 He said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a message. Ask for it deep in the earth or high in the sky.’

12 But Ahaz said, ‘I will never ask for a message or ask the Lord to do something.’

13 And Isaiah said, ‘Now listen, you descendants of David! You are making your people angry with you. And you are making God angry with you too. 14 So the Lord himself will give a message to you. Look, the virgin will become pregnant. She will have a son and she will call his name Immanuel. 15 One day he will know the difference between right things and wrong things. By that time there will be milk and honey for him to eat. 16 The two kings that you are now afraid of will no longer be powerful. Their land will be empty. That will happen before the child knows how to choose right things and to refuse bad things.

17 The Lord will bring the king of Assyria to you and to your people. He will come to the descendants of your father. It will be a very bad time. There have been no days like it since Ephraim became separate from Judah.’

18 Then the Lord will tell the flies at the higher end of the river in Egypt that they must come. And he will speak to the bees in the country called Assyria. He will tell them that they must come. 19 And they will all come and they will land on these places:

· the valleys with high sides

· the holes in the rocks

· all the bushes with thorns

· all the places where there is water.

20 On that day, the Lord will use the king of Assyria. He will come from beyond the river. He will cut off the hair from your head, the hair from your legs and your beard.

21 On that day, a man will keep alive a young cow and two goats. 22 They will give a lot of milk. So he will have butter to eat. Everyone who remains in the country will eat milk and honey. 23 On that day, in every place where there were 1,000 vines, there will be weeds and plants with thorns. 1,000 vines are worth 1,000 pieces of silver. 24 A man will go there with a bow and arrows. He will do that because there will be thorn bushes on all the land. 25 Nobody will go to the fields in the hills because they will be afraid of the thorn bushes. Now cows go there to eat grass and sheep run over the plants.