1 THEN THE Lord said to me, Take a large tablet [of wood, metal, or stone] and write upon it with a graving tool and in ordinary characters [which the humblest man can read]: Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz [they (the Assyrians) hasten to the spoil (of Syria and Israel), they speed to the prey].
2 And I took faithful witnesses to record and attest [this prophecy] for me, Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah.
3 And I approached [my wife] the prophetess, and when she had conceived and borne a son, the Lord said to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz [as a continual reminder to the people of the prophecy],
4 For before the child knows how to say, My father or my mother, the riches of Damascus [Syria's capital] and the spoil of Samaria [Israel's capital] shall be carried away before the king of Assyria.
5 The Lord spoke to me yet again and said,
6 Because this people [Israel and Judah] have refused and despised the waters of Shiloah [Siloam, the only perennial fountain of Jerusalem, and symbolic of God's protection and sustaining power] that go gently, and rejoice in and with Rezin [the king of Syria] and Remaliah's son [Pekah the king of Israel],
7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them the waters of the River [Euphrates], strong and many–even the king of Assyria and all the glory [of his gorgeous retinue]; and it will rise over all its channels, brooks, valleys, and canals and extend far beyond its banks; [Isa. 7:17.]
8 And it will sweep on into Judah; it will overflow and go over [the hills], reaching even [but only] to the neck [of which Jerusalem is the head], and the outstretched wings [of the armies of Assyria] shall fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel [Messiah, God is with us]! [Num. 14:9; Ps. 46:7.]
9 Make an uproar and be broken in pieces, O you peoples [rage, raise the war cry, do your worst, and be utterly dismayed]! Give ear, all you [our enemies] of far countries. Gird yourselves [for war], and be thrown into consternation! Gird yourselves, and be [utterly] dismayed!
10 Take counsel together [against Judah], but it shall come to nought; speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us [Immanuel]!
11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with His strong hand [upon me], and warned and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
12 Do not call conspiracy [or hard, or holy] all that this people will call conspiracy [or hard, or holy]; neither be in fear of what they fear, nor [make others afraid and] in dread.
13 The Lord of hosts–regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him].
14 And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. [Isa. 28:6; Rom. 9:33; I Pet. 2:6-8.]
15 And many among them shall stumble thereon; and they shall fall and be broken, and be snared and taken.
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law and the teaching among my [Isaiah's] disciples.
17 And I will wait for the Lord, Who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; and I will look for and hope in Him.
18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and wonders [that are to take place] in Israel from the Lord of hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.
19 And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you, Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
20 [Direct such people] to the teaching and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is surely because there is no dawn and no morning for them.
21 And they [who consult mediums and wizards] shall pass through [the land] sorely distressed and hungry; and when they are hungry, they will fret, and will curse by their king and their God; and whether they look upward
22 Or look to the earth, they will behold only distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and into thick darkness and widespread, obscure night they shall be driven away.