Isaiah’s Commission

In the year that King Uzziah(A) died,(B) I saw the Lord,(C) high and exalted,(D) seated on a throne;(E) and the train of his robe(F) filled the temple. Above him were seraphim,(G) each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet,(H) and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy(I), holy is the Lord Almighty;(J)
    the whole earth(K) is full of his glory.”(L)

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.(M)

“Woe(N) to me!” I cried. “I am ruined!(O) For I am a man of unclean lips,(P) and I live among a people of unclean lips,(Q) and my eyes have seen(R) the King,(S) the Lord Almighty.”(T)

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal(U) in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips;(V) your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.(W)

Then I heard the voice(X) of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?(Y) And who will go for us?(Z)

And I said, “Here am I.(AA) Send me!”

He said, “Go(AB) and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’(AC)
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;(AD)
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.[a](AE)
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,(AF)
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”(AG)

11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”(AH)

And he answered:

“Until the cities lie ruined(AI)
    and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted(AJ)
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,(AK)
12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away(AL)
    and the land is utterly forsaken.(AM)
13 And though a tenth remains(AN) in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.(AO)
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps(AP) when they are cut down,
    so the holy(AQ) seed will be the stump in the land.”(AR)

The Sign of Immanuel

When Ahaz(AS) son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin(AT) of Aram(AU) and Pekah(AV) son of Remaliah(AW) king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

Now the house of David(AX) was told, “Aram has allied itself with[b] Ephraim(AY)”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken,(AZ) as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub,[c](BA) to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field.(BB) Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm(BC) and don’t be afraid.(BD) Do not lose heart(BE) because of these two smoldering stubs(BF) of firewood—because of the fierce anger(BG) of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.(BH) Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s(BI) son have plotted(BJ) your ruin, saying, “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:(BK)

“‘It will not take place,
    it will not happen,(BL)
for the head of Aram is Damascus,(BM)
    and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.(BN)
Within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be too shattered(BO) to be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,(BP)
    and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand(BQ) firm in your faith,(BR)
    you will not stand at all.’”(BS)

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign,(BT) whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.(BU)

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.(BV)

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David!(BW) Is it not enough(BX) to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience(BY) of my God(BZ) also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[d] a sign:(CA) The virgin[e](CB) will conceive and give birth to a son,(CC) and[f] will call him Immanuel.[g](CD) 15 He will be eating curds(CE) and honey(CF) when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows(CG) enough to reject the wrong and choose the right,(CH) the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.(CI) 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away(CJ) from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.(CK)

Assyria, the Lord’s Instrument

18 In that day(CL) the Lord will whistle(CM) for flies from the Nile delta in Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria.(CN) 19 They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices(CO) in the rocks, on all the thornbushes(CP) and at all the water holes. 20 In that day(CQ) the Lord will use(CR) a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River(CS)—the king of Assyria(CT)—to shave your head and private parts, and to cut off your beard(CU) also.(CV) 21 In that day,(CW) a person will keep alive a young cow and two goats.(CX) 22 And because of the abundance of the milk they give, there will be curds to eat. All who remain in the land will eat curds(CY) and honey.(CZ) 23 In that day,(DA) in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels,[h](DB) there will be only briers and thorns.(DC) 24 Hunters will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered with briers(DD) and thorns. 25 As for all the hills(DE) once cultivated by the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of the briers and thorns;(DF) they will become places where cattle are turned loose and where sheep run.(DG)

Isaiah and His Children as Signs

The Lord said to me, “Take a large scroll(DH) and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.”[i](DI) So I called in Uriah(DJ) the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses(DK) for me. Then I made love to the prophetess,(DL) and she conceived and gave birth to a son.(DM) And the Lord said to me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.(DN) For before the boy knows(DO) how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus(DP) and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.(DQ)

The Lord spoke to me again:

“Because this people has rejected(DR)
    the gently flowing waters of Shiloah(DS)
and rejoices over Rezin
    and the son of Remaliah,(DT)
therefore the Lord is about to bring against them
    the mighty floodwaters(DU) of the Euphrates—
    the king of Assyria(DV) with all his pomp.(DW)
It will overflow all its channels,
    run over all its banks(DX)
and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,(DY)
    passing through it and reaching up to the neck.
Its outspread wings(DZ) will cover the breadth of your land,

Raise the war cry,[k](EB) you nations, and be shattered!(EC)
    Listen, all you distant lands.
Prepare(ED) for battle, and be shattered!
    Prepare for battle, and be shattered!
10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;(EE)
    propose your plan, but it will not stand,(EF)
    for God is with us.[l](EG)

11 This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me,(EH) warning me not to follow(EI) the way of this people:

12 “Do not call conspiracy(EJ)
    everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,(EK)
    and do not dread it.(EL)
13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,(EM)
    he is the one you are to fear,(EN)
    he is the one you are to dread.(EO)
14 He will be a holy place;(EP)
    for both Israel and Judah he will be
a stone(EQ) that causes people to stumble(ER)
    and a rock that makes them fall.(ES)
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
    a trap and a snare.(ET)
15 Many of them will stumble;(EU)
    they will fall and be broken,
    they will be snared and captured.”

16 Bind up this testimony of warning(EV)
    and seal(EW) up God’s instruction among my disciples.
17 I will wait(EX) for the Lord,
    who is hiding(EY) his face from the descendants of Jacob.
I will put my trust in him.(EZ)

18 Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me.(FA) We are signs(FB) and symbols(FC) in Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.(FD)

The Darkness Turns to Light

19 When someone tells you to consult(FE) mediums and spiritists,(FF) who whisper and mutter,(FG) should not a people inquire(FH) of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 Consult God’s instruction(FI) and the testimony of warning.(FJ) If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light(FK) of dawn. 21 Distressed and hungry,(FL) they will roam through the land;(FM) when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse(FN) their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom,(FO) and they will be thrust into utter darkness.(FP)


  1. Isaiah 6:10 Hebrew; Septuagint ‘You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; / you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ / 10 This people’s heart has become calloused; / they hardly hear with their ears, / and they have closed their eyes
  2. Isaiah 7:2 Or has set up camp in
  3. Isaiah 7:3 Shear-Jashub means a remnant will return.
  4. Isaiah 7:14 The Hebrew is plural.
  5. Isaiah 7:14 Or young woman
  6. Isaiah 7:14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls son, and he or son, and they
  7. Isaiah 7:14 Immanuel means God with us.
  8. Isaiah 7:23 That is, about 25 pounds or about 12 kilograms
  9. Isaiah 8:1 Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz means quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil; also in verse 3.
  10. Isaiah 8:8 Immanuel means God with us.
  11. Isaiah 8:9 Or Do your worst
  12. Isaiah 8:10 Hebrew Immanuel

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