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Isaiah 9 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

But those who have suffered will no longer be in pain.[a] The territories of Zebulun and Naphtali in Galilee were once hated. But this land of the Gentiles across the Jordan River and along the Mediterranean Sea will be greatly respected.

War Is Over

Those who walked in the dark
    have seen a bright light.
And it shines upon everyone
who lives in the land
    of darkest shadows.
Our Lord, you have made
    your nation stronger.[b]
Because of you, its people
    are glad and celebrate
like workers at harvest time
or like soldiers dividing up
    what they have taken.

You have broken the power
of those who abused
    and enslaved your people.
You have rescued them
just as you saved your people
    from Midian.[c]
The boots of marching warriors
and the blood-stained uniforms
    have been fed to flames
    and eaten by fire.

A Child Has Been Born

A child has been born for us.
We have been given a son
    who will be our ruler.
His names will be
Wonderful Advisor
    and Mighty God,
Eternal Father
    and Prince of Peace.
His power will never end;
    peace will last forever.
He will rule David’s kingdom
    and make it grow strong.
He will always rule
    with honesty and justice.
The Lord All-Powerful
will make certain
    that all of this is done.

God Will Punish Israel

The Lord had warned the people of Israel, and all of them knew it, including everyone in the capital city of Samaria. But they were proud and stubborn and said,

10 “Houses of brick and sycamore
    have fallen to the ground,
but we will build houses
    with stones and cedar.”

11 The Lord made their enemies[d] attack them. 12 He sent the Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west, and they swallowed up Israel. But even this did not stop him from being angry, so he kept on punishing them.[e] 13 The people of Israel still did not turn back to the Lord All-Powerful and worship him.

14 In one day he cut off their head and tail, their leaves and branches. 15 Their rulers and leaders were the head, and the lying prophets were the tail. 16 They had led the nation down the wrong path, and the people were confused. 17 The Lord was angry with his people and kept punishing them, because they had turned against him.[f] They were evil and spoke foolishly. That’s why he did not have pity on their young people or on their widows and orphans.

18 Evil had spread like a raging forest fire sending thornbushes up in smoke. 19 The Lord All-Powerful was angry and used the people as fuel for a fire that scorched the land. They turned against each other 20 like wild animals attacking and eating everyone around them, even their own relatives.[g] But still they were not satisfied. 21 The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh turned against each other, then joined forces to attack Judah. But the Lord was still angry and ready to punish the nation even more.

Footnotes:

  1. 9.1 will. . . pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 9.3 stronger: Or “happy” or “larger.”
  3. 9.4 rescued. . . from Midian: The time when Gideon defeated the people of Midian in Jezreel Valley (see Judges 6-8).
  4. 9.11 their enemies: Hebrew “the enemies of Rezin.”
  5. 9.12 so. . . them: Or “but he hasn’t given up on them yet.”
  6. 9.17 and kept. . . against him: Or “but even though they had turned against him, he still had not given up on them.”
  7. 9.20 their own relatives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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