1Adonai said to me, “Take a large tablet, and write on it in easily readable letters; ‘Maher shalal, hash baz [the spoil hurries, the prey speeds along].’” 2I had it witnessed for me by reliable witnesses — Uriyah the cohen and Z’kharyahu the son of Y’verekhyahu. 3Then I had sexual relations with my wife; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son; and Adonai said to me, “Name him Maher Shalal Hash Baz; 4because before the child knows how to cry, ‘Abba!’ and ‘Eema!’, the riches of Dammesek and the spoil of Shomron will be carried off and given to the king of Ashur.” 5Adonai went on speaking and said more to me:
6“Since this people has rejected
the gently flowing waters from Shilo’ach
and takes joy in Retzin and the son of Remalyah;
7now Adonai will bring upon them
the mighty floodwaters of the [Euphrates] River —
that is, the king of Ashur and his power.
It will rise above all its channels
and overflow all its banks.
8It will sweep through Y’hudah,
flooding everything and passing on.
It will reach even up to the neck,
and its outspread wings
will fill the whole expanse of the land.”
God is with us!
9You may make an uproar, peoples;
but you will be shattered.
Listen, all of you from distant lands:
arm yourselves, but you will be shattered;
yes, arm yourselves,
but you will be shattered;
10devise a plan, but it will come to nothing;
say anything you like, but it won’t happen;
because God is with us .
11For this is what Adonai said to me, speaking with a strong hand, warning me not to live the way this people does:
12“Don’t regard as alliance what this people calls alliance,
and don’t fear what they fear or be awestruck by it;
13but Adonai-Tzva’ot — consecrate him!
Let him be the object of your fear and awe!
14He is there to be a sanctuary.
But for both the houses of Isra’el
he will be a stone to stumble over,
a rock obstructing their way;
a trap and a snare
for the inhabitants of Yerushalayim.
15Many of them will stumble and fall,
be broken and trapped and captured.
16Wrap up this document, and confine its teaching to those I have instructed.”
17I will wait for Adonai,
who is hiding his face
from the house of Ya‘akov;
yes, I will look for him.
18Meanwhile, I and the children
whom Adonai has given me
will become for Isra’el
signs and wonders
living on Mount Tziyon.
19So when they tell you to consult
those squeaking, squawking mediums and fortune-tellers;
[you are to answer],
“Shouldn’t a people seek their God?
Must the living ask the dead
20for teaching and instruction?”
For they will indeed give you
this unenlightened suggestion.
21Distressed and hungry
they will pass through the land;
and because of their hunger they will grow angry
and curse by their king and by their God.
But whether they look up [to God]
22or [down] at the earth,
they will see only trouble and darkness,
anguished gloom and pervasive darkness.
23But there will be no more gloom
for those who are now in anguish.
In the past the land of Z’vulun
and the land of Naftali were regarded lightly;
but in the future he will honor the way to the lake,
beyond the Yarden, Galil-of-the-Goyim.