New Light: The Birth of a King
1#Isaiah 9:1–21 in the English Bible is 8:23–9:20 in the Hebrew Bible But there will be no gloom for those who were in distress.#Literally “Indeed there is no gloom for the one to whom there was anxiety for her”
In former times he#That is, Yahweh treated the land of Zebulun and Naphtali with contempt, but in the future he will honor the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
light has shined on those who lived in a land of darkness.
3You have made the nation numerous;
you have not#The written text (Kethib) is “not,” but the reading tradition (Qere) is “for it” made the joy great.
They rejoice in your presence as with joy at the harvest,
as they rejoice when they divide plunder.
4For you have shattered the yoke of its burden
and the stick of its shoulder,
the rod of its oppressor, on#Hebrew “like”; the Hebrew letters for “like” and “on” look alike the day of Midian.
5For every boot that marches and shakes the earth#Literally “marching with shaking,” which might mean “marching is with shaking”
and garment rolled in blood
will#Literally “and it will” be for burning—fire fuel.
6For a child has been born for us;
a son has been given to us.
And the dominion will be on his shoulder,
and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7His dominion will grow continually,
and to peace there will be no end#Literally “There is no end to the increase of the dominion and to peace”
on#Or “for” the throne of David and over#Or “for” his kingdom,
to establish it#That is, the kingdom and sustain it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.
Yahweh’s Anger against Arrogance
8The Lord has sent out a word against Jacob,
and it fell on Israel.
9And all of the people knew it,
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria
in pride and arrogance of heart, saying,
10“The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stone.
The sycamore-fig trees were felled, but we will replace them with cedars.”
11So Yahweh strengthened the adversaries of Rezin#Or “his adversaries” if a copyist added “of Rezin” in error against him,
and he provoked his enemies—
12Aram from the east
and Philistines#Hebrew “Philistine” from the west—
and they devoured Israel with the whole mouth.
He has not turned away his anger in all of this,
and his hand is still stretched out.
13And the people did not turn to the one who struck it,#That is, the people
and they did not seek Yahweh of hosts.
14So Yahweh cut off head and tail from Israel,
palm branch and reed in one day.
15Elders#Hebrew “Elder” and the respectable#Literally “one lifted up of face” are the head,
and prophets#Hebrew “prophet” who teach lies#Hebrew “lie” are the tail.
16And the leaders of this people were misleading them,
and those who were led were confused.
17Therefore the Lord did not rejoice over its young men,
and he did not have compassion on its orphans and widows,
for everyone was godless and an evildoer,
and every mouth was speaking folly.
In all of this his anger did not turn away,
and still his hand is stretched out.
18For wickedness burned like fire;
it consumed brier and thorn.
And it kindled the thickets of the forest,
and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.
19The land was burned through the wrath of Yahweh of hosts,
and the people became like fire fuel.
People had no compassion toward each other.#Literally “A man does not have compassion toward his brother”
20They devoured on the right but still were hungry
and devoured on the left but they were not satisfied.
Each one devoured the flesh of his arm,
21Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;
together they were against Judah.
In all of this his anger has not turned away,
and still his hand is stretched out.