New Living Translation
Isaiah’s Cleansing and Call
6 It was in the year King Uzziah died[a] that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
9 And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,
‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
10 Harden the hearts of these people.
Plug their ears and shut their eyes.
That way, they will not see with their eyes,
nor hear with their ears,
nor understand with their hearts
and turn to me for healing.”[b]
11 Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?”
And he replied,
“Until their towns are empty,
their houses are deserted,
and the whole country is a wasteland;
12 until the Lord has sent everyone away,
and the entire land of Israel lies deserted.
13 If even a tenth—a remnant—survive,
it will be invaded again and burned.
But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down,
so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”
A Message for Ahaz
7 When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria[c] and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.
2 The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel[d] against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub[e] and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.[f] 4 Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah. 5 Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, 6 ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ 7 But this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“This invasion will never happen;
it will never take place;
8 for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus,
and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin.
As for Israel, within sixty-five years
it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9 Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
I cannot make you stand firm.”
The Sign of Immanuel
10 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.[g]”
12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[h] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). 15 By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt[i] and honey. 16 For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.
17 “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”
18 In that day the Lord will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees. 19 They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places. 20 In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River[j]—the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people.[k]
21 In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left. 22 Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey. 23 In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver,[l] will become patches of briers and thorns. 24 The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife. 25 No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.
The Coming Assyrian Invasion
8 Then the Lord said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz.[m]” 2 I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this.
3 Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 4 For before this child is old enough to say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama,’ the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”
5 Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, 6 “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to[n] King Rezin and King Pekah.[o] 7 Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River[p]—the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels 8 and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel.
9 “Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified.
Listen, all you distant lands.
Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
10 Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless.
Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed.
For God is with us![q]”
A Call to Trust the Lord
11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,
12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14 He will keep you safe.
But to Israel and Judah
he will be a stone that makes people stumble,
a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
he will be a trap and a snare.
15 Many will stumble and fall,
never to rise again.
They will be snared and captured.”
16 Preserve the teaching of God;
entrust his instructions to those who follow me.
17 I will wait for the Lord,
who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob.
I will put my hope in him.
18 I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion.
19 Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.
- 6:1 King Uzziah died in 740 B.c.
- 6:9-10 Greek version reads And he said, “Go and say to this people, / ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. / When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.’ / For the hearts of these people are hardened, / and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— / so their eyes cannot see, / and their ears cannot hear, / and their hearts cannot understand, / and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” Compare Matt 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; Acts 28:26-27.
- 7:1 Hebrew Aram; also in 7:2, 4, 5, 8.
- 7:2 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 7:5, 8, 9, 17.
- 7:3a Shear-jashub means “A remnant will return.”
- 7:3b Or bleached.
- 7:11 Hebrew as deep as Sheol.
- 7:14 Or young woman.
- 7:15 Or curds; also in 7:22.
- 7:20a Hebrew the river.
- 7:20b Hebrew shave off the head, the hair of the legs, and the beard.
- 7:23 Hebrew 1,000 [shekels] of silver, about 25 pounds or 11.4 kilograms in weight.
- 8:1 Maher-shalal-hash-baz means “Swift to plunder and quick to carry away.”
- 8:6a Or They are rejoicing because of.
- 8:6b Hebrew and the son of Remaliah.
- 8:7 Hebrew the river.
- 8:10 Hebrew Immanuel!