Isaiah 9

Good news for God's people

1 But the darkness will not continue for ever. Those who had no hope will no longer be afraid. In past times, God let trouble happen to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in future years, he will cause the people of that region to be great. Those are the places near the sea, and those beyond the Jordan River, and Galilee region where people from other nations live.

9:1Zebulun and Naphtali were two of Israel's tribes.

2 The people who walk in the dark now see a bright light! Light is shining on those people who live in a land of complete darkness.

3 You, Lord, will make your nation stronger. You will cause your people to be very happy. They will be happy because you are with them. They will be like people who are happy at the time of harvest. They will be happy like soldiers who have won a battle, and who share their enemy's valuable things among themselves.

4 They are happy because you have removed the power of their cruel enemies. They no longer have to carry a heavy load, as slaves. You have rescued them from their enemies, in the same way that you won against Midian's army.

9:4See Judges 7-8.

5 Fire will destroy every shoe that the soldiers wore to march into the battle. Their clothes which have the blood of war on them will also go into the fire.

6 Yes, your people are happy! A child has been born for us. We now have a son with the authority to rule. His names will be:

  • Wonderful Advisor,
  • Mighty God,
  • Father for Ever,
  • Ruler who brings Peace.
  • 7 His authority to rule will be very great. The peace that he brings will never have an end. He will rule as king over David's kingdom. He will make it strong and safe, because he will do what is right and fair. He will rule like that now and for ever. The Lord Almighty will make those things happen, because he loves his people.

    The Lord punishes Israel

    8 The Lord God has spoken a message to warn Jacob's descendants, the kingdom of Israel. 9 All the people who live in Ephraim and in the city of Samaria know about it. But they are proud and they boast, 10 ‘We built houses with bricks and they fell down. But we will build them again with strong stones. People have cut down our fig trees, but we will plant great cedar trees instead.’

    11 But the Lord caused Rezin's enemies, and other nations to attack Israel. 12 Syria's army came from the east. The Philistines' army came from the west. They destroyed Israel's land, like a hungry animal.

    But the Lord is still angry. His hand is ready to hit them again.

    9:12Isaiah says this four times. The other places are Isaiah 9:17; Isaiah 9:21; Isaiah 10:3

    13 The people did not turn back to the Lord Almighty, who had punished them. They did not ask for his help. 14 So, in one day, the Lord will destroy Israel, both its head and its tail. He will cut down both palm branch and reed. 15 The head is their leaders and important people. The tail is the prophets who teach lies.

    16 The leaders of this nation lead them away from what is true. They confuse the people that they are leading. 17 So the Lord God is not pleased with their young men. He will not help their widows or their children who have no family. Nobody respects God and they all do evil things. They only speak about foolish things.

    But the Lord is still angry. His hand is ready to hit them again.

    18 The evil things that the people do destroy everything. They are like a fire that destroys thorn bushes. They burn up all the bushes in the forest. Clouds of smoke rise up from a great fire. 19 The Lord Almighty is very angry. He punishes the land of Israel, like a fire that burns everything. The people are like wood that makes the fire burn well. None of them try to help each other. 20 People eat whatever food they can get, on their right side or their left side. But they are still hungry. They even eat their own family!

    21 Manasseh's tribe and Ephraim's tribe fight against each other. Then they join together to attack Judah.

    But the Lord is still angry. His hand is ready to hit them again.