Isaiah 8:5-10 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Emperor of Assyria Is Coming
5 The Lord spoke to me again. 6 He said, “Because these people have rejected the quiet waters of Shiloah Brook[a] and tremble[b] before King Rezin and King Pekah, 7 I, the Lord, will bring the emperor of Assyria and all his forces to attack Judah. They will advance like the flood waters of the Euphrates River, overflowing all its banks. 8 They will sweep through Judah in a flood, rising shoulder high and covering everything.”
God is with us! His outspread wings protect the land.[c]
9 Gather together in fear, you nations! Listen, you distant parts of the earth. Get ready to fight, but be afraid! Yes, get ready, but be afraid! 10 Make your plans! But they will never succeed. Talk all you want to! But it is all useless, because God is with us.
The Lord Warns the Prophet
11 With his great power the Lord warned me not to follow the road which the people were following. He said, 12 “Do not join in the schemes of the people and do not be afraid of the things that they fear. 13 Remember that I, the Lord Almighty, am holy; I am the one you must fear. 14 Because of my awesome holiness I am like a stone that people stumble over; I am like a trap that will catch the people of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel and the people of Jerusalem. 15 Many will stumble; they will fall and be crushed. They will be caught in a trap.”
Warning against Consulting the Dead
16 You, my disciples, are to guard and preserve the messages that God has given me. 17 The Lord has hidden himself from his people, but I trust him and place my hope in him.
18 Here I am with the children the Lord has given me. The Lord Almighty, whose throne is on Mount Zion, has sent us as living messages to the people of Israel.
19 But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortunetellers and mediums, who chirp and mutter. They will say, “After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living.”
20 You are to answer them, “Listen to what the Lord is teaching you! Don't listen to mediums—what they tell you cannot keep trouble away.”[d]
A Time of Trouble
21 The people will wander through the land, discouraged and hungry. In their hunger and their anger they will curse their king and their God. They may look up to the sky 22 or stare at the ground, but they will see nothing but trouble and darkness, terrifying darkness into which they are being driven.
9 There will be no way for them to escape from this time of trouble.
The Future King
The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was once disgraced, but the future will bring honor to this region, from the Mediterranean eastward to the land on the other side of the Jordan, and even to Galilee itself, where the foreigners live.
2 The people who walked in darkness
The Lord Will Punish Israel
8 The Lord has pronounced judgment on the kingdom of Israel, on the descendants of Jacob. 9 All the people of Israel, everyone who lives in the city of Samaria, will know that he has done this. Now they are proud and arrogant. They say, 10 “The brick buildings have fallen down, but we will replace them with stone buildings. The beams of sycamore wood have been cut down, but we will replace them with the finest cedar.”
11 The Lord has stirred up their enemies[g] to attack them. 12 Syria on the east and Philistia on the west have opened their mouths to devour Israel. Yet even so the Lord's anger is not ended; his hand is still stretched out to punish.
13 The people of Israel have not repented; even though the Lord Almighty has punished them, they have not returned to him. 14 In a single day the Lord will punish Israel's leaders and its people; he will cut them off, head and tail. 15 The old and honorable men are the head—and the tail is the prophets whose teachings are lies! 16 Those who lead these people have misled them and totally confused them. 17 And so the Lord will not let any of the young men escape, and he will not show pity on any of the widows and orphans, because all the people are godless and wicked and everything they say is evil. Yet even so the Lord's anger will not be ended, but his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
18 The wickedness of the people burns like a fire that destroys thorn bushes and thistles. It burns like a forest fire that sends up columns of smoke. 19 Because the Lord Almighty is angry, his punishment burns like a fire throughout the land and destroys the people, and it is each of us for ourselves. 20 Everywhere in the country people snatch and eat any bit of food they can find, but their hunger is never satisfied. They even eat their own children! 21 The people of Manasseh and the people of Ephraim attack each other, and together they attack Judah. Yet even so the Lord's anger is not ended; his hand is still stretched out to punish.
10 You are doomed! You make unjust laws that oppress my people. 2 That is how you keep the poor from having their rights and from getting justice. That is how you take the property that belongs to widows and orphans. 3 What will you do when God punishes you? What will you do when he brings disaster on you from a distant country? Where will you run to find help? Where will you hide your wealth? 4 You will be killed in battle or dragged off as prisoners. Yet even so the Lord's anger will not be ended; his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
The Emperor of Assyria as the Instrument of God
5 The Lord said, “Assyria! I use Assyria like a club to punish those with whom I am angry.
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