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New Light: The Birth of a King

[a] But there will be no gloom for those who were in distress.[b]

In former times he[c] 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.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
    light has shined on those who lived in a land of darkness.
You have made the nation numerous;
    you have not[d] made the joy great.
They rejoice in your presence as with joy at the harvest,
    as they rejoice when they divide plunder.
For you have shattered the yoke of its burden
    and the stick of its shoulder,
    the rod of its oppressor, on[e] the day of Midian.
For every boot that marches and shakes the earth[f]
    and garment rolled in blood
will[g] be for burning—fire fuel.
For 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.
His dominion will grow continually,
    and to peace there will be no end[h]
on[i] the throne of David and over[j] his kingdom,
    to establish it[k] and sustain it
with justice and righteousness
    now and forever.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.

Yahweh’s Anger against Arrogance

The Lord has sent out a word against Jacob,
    and it fell on Israel.
And 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.”
11 So Yahweh strengthened the adversaries of Rezin[l] against him,
    and he provoked his enemies—
12 Aram from the east
    and Philistines[m] 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.
13 And the people did not turn to the one who struck it,[n]
    and they did not seek Yahweh of hosts.
14 So Yahweh cut off head and tail from Israel,
    palm branch and reed in one day.
15 Elders[o] and the respectable[p] are the head,
    and prophets[q] who teach lies[r] are the tail.
16 And the leaders of this people were misleading them,
    and those who were led were confused.
17 Therefore 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.
18 For 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.
19 The land was burned through the wrath of Yahweh of hosts,
    and the people became like fire fuel.
People had no compassion toward each other.[s]
20 They 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,
21     Manasseh 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.


  1. Isaiah 9:1 Isaiah 9:1–21 in the English Bible is 8:23–9:20 in the Hebrew Bible
  2. Isaiah 9:1 Literally “Indeed there is no gloom for the one to whom there was anxiety for her”
  3. Isaiah 9:1 That is, Yahweh
  4. Isaiah 9:3 The written text (Kethib) is “not,” but the reading tradition (Qere) is “for it”
  5. Isaiah 9:4 Hebrew “like”; the Hebrew letters for “like” and “on” look alike
  6. Isaiah 9:5 Literally “marching with shaking,” which might mean “marching is with shaking”
  7. Isaiah 9:5 Literally “and it will”
  8. Isaiah 9:7 Literally “There is no end to the increase of the dominion and to peace”
  9. Isaiah 9:7 Or “for”
  10. Isaiah 9:7 Or “for”
  11. Isaiah 9:7 That is, the kingdom
  12. Isaiah 9:11 Or “his adversaries” if a copyist added “of Rezin” in error
  13. Isaiah 9:12 Hebrew “Philistine”
  14. Isaiah 9:13 That is, the people
  15. Isaiah 9:15 Hebrew “Elder”
  16. Isaiah 9:15 Literally “one lifted up of face”
  17. Isaiah 9:15 Hebrew “prophet”
  18. Isaiah 9:15 Hebrew “lie”
  19. Isaiah 9:19 Literally “A man does not have compassion toward his brother”