Isaiah 7:1-25

God's message for King Ahaz

1 Ahaz became the king of Judah. He was the son of Jotham. Jotham was the son of Uzziah.

While Ahaz was Judah's king, King Rezin of Syria and Remaliah's son, King Pekah of Israel, attacked Jerusalem. But they could not get into the city. 2 People gave this news to Judah's royal family. They said, ‘The armies of Syria and Ephraim have joined together to attack you.’ When they heard this, Ahaz and his people were very afraid. They shook with fear, like trees in the forest shake in the wind.

7:2Ephraim was the Israelite kingdom in the north.

3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, ‘Go out and meet Ahaz. Take your son, Shear-Jashub, with you. Go to meet Ahaz at the end of the water stream that comes from the higher pool. That is at the field where people wash clothes.

7:3‘Shear-Jashub’ was Isaiah's older son. His name means ‘Some people will return’.

4 Say to Ahaz, “Be careful. Do not be upset or afraid. Do not let King Rezin, his people from Syria and Remaliah's son, King Pekah, make you afraid. They are very angry, but their power will soon be useless, like two bits of wood that remain after a fire. 5 The rulers of Syria and Ephraim, as well as Remaliah's son, have made plans to attack you. 6 They are saying, ‘We must attack Judah. We will frighten the people and we will take their country for ourselves. We will make the son of Tabeel rule there as king.’

7 But I, the Almighty Lord, say this: That will never happen! 8 The capital city of Syria is Damascus. And the king of Damascus is Rezin. 65 years from now Ephraim will not even be a nation. There will be nothing left! 9 The capital city of Ephraim is Samaria. And the king of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If you do not continue to trust me, you will not be strong enough to win.” ’

10 Isaiah also gave this message from the Lord to Ahaz. 11 He said, ‘Ask the Lord your God to do a miracle for you. That will show you that what he has said is true. Ask for anything, deep in the earth or high in the sky.’

12 But Ahaz said, ‘I will never ask the Lord to do that. I do not want to test him.’

13 So Isaiah replied, ‘Now listen, you royal family of David! You cause trouble for people like me. That is bad enough. But now you are trying to cause trouble for God himself. 14 So the Lord God himself will show you that he speaks a true message. Look, the young woman who has never had sex will become pregnant. She will give birth to a son. She will call his name Immanuel. 15 One day he will know how to choose good things and refuse to do evil things. By that time there will be cream and honey for him to eat. 16 Even before that, the two kings that you are now afraid of will have no power. Their land will be empty.

17 But the Lord will bring even greater trouble to you! It will be very bad for you, for the royal family, and for your people. Nothing as bad will have happened since Ephraim became separate from Judah. Yes, the Lord will bring the king of Assyria to attack you!’

18 At that time, the Lord will call the soldiers of Egypt to come and attack you. And they will come like a crowd of flies! He will call for soldiers to come from Assyria. And they will come like a crowd of bees! 19 They will all come in great crowds. They will come into the valleys, the cliffs, the holes in the rocks, the thorn bushes and the pools of water.

20 At that time, the Lord will use the king of Assyria to bring trouble and pain. He will come from beyond the Euphrates river. He will be like a sharp knife that cuts off all your hair, the hair from your head, your legs and your beard.

21 At that time, a farmer will have only one young cow and two goats. 22 They will give him a lot of milk. So he will have butter and cream to eat. Everyone who remains in the land will have milk and honey as their food. 23 On that day, in every place where there had been 1,000 valuable vines, there will now be only weeds and thorn bushes. 24 In the whole land there will be only weeds and thorn bushes. So men will go to shoot wild animals there with their bows and arrows. 25 Nobody will go to the fields in the hills, because only thorn bushes grow there. People will be afraid to go there. They will send their cows there to eat grass. Sheep will run over the fields.

7:21‘two goats’ or ‘two sheep’