Good news for God's people
1 But at a future time everything will be better for the people who were not very happy. In past years, God let trouble happen to the people in the places called Zebulun and Naphtali. But in future years, he will send glory to these places:
· the country by the sea
· the land at the other side of the River Jordan
· Galilee, where people from other countries live.
2 The people who walk in the dark will see a great light. The light will shine on those people who live on land full of dark shadows.
3 You (LORD) will make the country bigger. And you will make its people much happier. They will be happy with you as when people are happy at the harvest. Soldiers are also happy, because of what they have won in war. And the country's people will be happy like them.
4 That is because, as in the fight with Midian, you will break these things:
· the yoke that carries the heavy weights (that our enemies have put on us)
· the sticks that they hit our backs with
· the stick that hurts us.
5 Then they will burn as material for the fire every boot that soldiers wore in war. And they will burn the clothes with blood on them.
6 They will do that because a child is born for us. God has given a son to us. And that son will always have authority to rule. And people will call him by these names:
· Wonderful Friend
· Great God
· Father for Always
· Leader who brings Peace
7 His authority will become greater. And the peace that he will bring will never have an end. He will be king over the land that David ruled. He will make it safe. He will make sure that it has justice. And its people will be very good, now and always. The LORD of Many Armies will cause those things to happen, because he loves his people.
God has punished Israel and he will do it again
9:8Note. Isaiah says this 4 times. The words are in Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21 and 10:3.
8 The Lord sent a message against Jacob and it came to Israel.
9 And all the people who live in Ephraim and Samaria know about it. They praise themselves with these words.
10 ‘We built houses with bricks and they fell down. But we will build them again with stones that we have cut. People have knocked down buildings that we made from sycamore trees. But we will build them again with cedar trees (which are better).’
11 But the LORD will make the enemies of Rezin stronger against him. Also, he will help those enemies.
12 The people from Syria on the east and the people from Philistia on the west have opened their mouths. It is like they have eaten Israel. But the LORD is still angry. And his hand is still ready (to hit them again).
9:12‘They have eaten Israel’ means ‘They have beaten the people in many places and now they rule those places.’
9:12Isaiah says four times what he said at the end of verse 12. The other places are Isaiah 9:17, Isaiah 9:21 and Isaiah 10:3.
13 But the people did not turn to him who hit them. Neither did they go to the LORD of Many Armies.
14 So, in one day, the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail. He will also cut off palm branch and reed.
15 The head means the older men and the important people. The tail means the (false) prophets. They teach what is not true.
16 The leaders of this people lead them away from what is true. They confuse the people that they are leaders of.
17 So the Lord will not feel happy with their young men. And he will not be kind to children without fathers. He will not help them. He will not help women whose husbands are dead. That is because nobody obeys God. Everyone does wrong things. What everyone says tells us this. They are fools. But the LORD is still angry. And his hand is still ready (to hit them again).
18 The wrong things that people do burn like a fire. Fires eat up briars and plants with thorns. They burn up the bushes in the forest. And they rise up into the sky like a lot of smoke.
19 He is very angry, so the LORD of Many Armies will burn the land. Also, the people will be like material for the fire. No man will be kind to his brother (another Jew).
20 They will take food on their right side, but they will still be hungry. And they will eat what is on the left side. But it will not fill them. Everyone will eat the body of the person who lives near him.
21 The people from the tribe of Ephraim and the people from the tribe of Manasseh will attack each other. And both of them will fight against Judah. But the LORD is still angry. And his hand is still ready (to hit them again).