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Isaiah 7-11 Common English Bible (CEB)

Reassurance to King Ahaz

In the days of Ahaz (Jotham’s son and grandson of Judah’s King Uzziah), Aram’s King Rezin and Israel’s King Pekah (Remaliah’s son) came up to attack Jerusalem, but they couldn’t overpower it.

When the house of David was told that Aram had become allies with Ephraim, their hearts and the hearts of their people shook as the trees of a forest shake when there is a wind. But the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub,[a] at the end of the channel of the Upper Pool, by the road to the field where laundry is washed, and say to him, ‘Be careful and stay calm. Don’t fear, and don’t lose heart over these two pieces of smoking torches, over the burning anger of Rezin, Aram, and Remaliah’s son. Aram has planned evil against you with Ephraim and Remaliah’s son, saying, “Let’s march up against Judah, tear it apart, capture it for ourselves, and install Tabeel’s son as its king.” But the Lord God says: It won’t happen; it won’t take place. The chief of Aram is Damascus; the chief of Damascus is Rezin (in sixty-five more years Ephraim will be shattered as a nation); the chief of Ephraim is Samaria; and the chief of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you don’t believe this, you can’t be trusted.’”

The sign of Immanuel

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign from the Lord your God. Make it as deep as the grave[b] or as high as heaven.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I won’t ask; I won’t test the Lord.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Isn’t it enough for you to be tiresome for people that you are also tiresome before my God? 14 Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel.[c] 15 He will eat butter and honey, and learn to reject evil and choose good. 16 Before the boy learns to reject evil and choose good, the land of the two kings you dread will be abandoned. 17 The Lord will bring upon you, upon your people, and upon your families days unlike any that have come since the day Ephraim broke away from Judah—the king of Assyria.”

The devastated land

18 On that day, the Lord will whistle for the flies from the remotest streams of Egypt and for the bees that are in the land of Assyria. 19 They will come and settle in the steep ravines, in the cracks of the cliffs, in all the thornbushes, and in all the watering holes.

20 On that day, the Lord will shave with a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates—with the king of Assyria—the head and the pubic hair, and will cut off the beard as well.

21 On that day, one will raise a young cow and two sheep 22 and will eat butter because of the abundance of milk, for all who remain in the land will eat butter and honey.

23 On that day, there will be thorns and thistles in every place where a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels once grew. 24 Only those with bows and arrows will go there, because the entire land will become thorns and thistles. 25 As for the hills that were once farmed with hoes, you won’t go there for fear of the thorns and thistles. They will become places where cattle are turned loose and sheep wander.

Isaiah’s testimonies

The Lord said to me, “Take a large tablet, and write on it in ordinary letters,[d] For Maher-shalal-hash-baz.[e] Summon trusted people, Uriah the priest and Zechariah, Jeberechiah’s son, to witness it.”

I then had sex with the prophetess, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said to me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Before the boy knows how to say ‘my father’ and ‘my mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

The Lord spoke again to me: Since this people has rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and instead rejoices over[f] Rezin and Remaliah’s son— therefore, look, the Lord is raising up against them the powerful floodwaters of the Euphrates, the king of Assyria and all his glory. It will rise up over all its channels, overflowing all its banks, and sweep into Judah, flooding, overflowing, and reaching up to the neck. But God is with us;[g] the span of his wings will cover the width of the land.

Unite[h] yourselves, peoples, and be shattered!
    Listen, all distant places of the earth!
Prepare to be shattered!
    Prepare to be shattered!
10 Create a plan, but be frustrated!
    Speak a word, but it won’t stand, for God is with us.[i]

11 The Lord spoke to me, taking hold of me and warning me not to walk in the way of this people: 12 Don’t call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy. Don’t fear what they fear, and don’t be terrified. 13 It is the Lord of heavenly forces whom you should hold sacred, whom you should fear, and whom you should hold in awe.

14 God will become a sanctuary—
    but he will be a stone to trip over and a rock to stumble on for the two houses of Israel;
    a trap and a snare for those living in Jerusalem.
15 Many of them will stumble and fall,
    and be broken, snared, and captured.

16 Bind up the testimony; seal up the teaching among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the Lord, who has hidden his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in God. 18 Look! I and the children the Lord gave me are signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of heavenly forces, who lives on Mount Zion.

19 If they say to you: “Consult the ghosts and the spirits that chirp and mutter. (Shouldn’t a people consult its gods?) Consult the dead on behalf of the living 20 for instruction and for testimony”—they will surely say such things, but they will never see the dawn.[j]

21 They will pass through the land,[k] dejected and hungry, and when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will curse their king and God. They will turn toward heaven 22 and look to the earth, but they will see only distress and darkness, random movement, and the anguish and doom of banishment.[l]

A great light

[m] Nonetheless, those who were in distress won’t be exhausted. At an earlier time, God cursed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but later he glorified the way of the sea, the far side of the Jordan, and the Galilee of the nations.[n]

[o] The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
    On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.
You have made the nation great;
    you have increased its joy.
They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest,
    as those who divide plunder rejoice.
As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them,
    the staff on their shoulders,
    and the rod of their oppressor.
Because every boot of the thundering warriors,
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned, fuel for the fire.
A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
    and authority will be on his shoulders.
    He will be named
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be vast authority and endless peace
    for David’s throne and for his kingdom,
    establishing and sustaining it
    with justice and righteousness
    now and forever.

The zeal of the Lord of heavenly forces will do this.

God’s hand still stretched out

The Lord sent a word against Jacob;
    it fell upon Israel;
    the people all knew it—
    Ephraim and the one who rules in Samaria.
But with a proud and arrogant heart they said,
10     “Bricks have fallen,
        but let’s rebuild with stones.
    Sycamores were cut down,
        but let’s replace them with cedars.”
11 So the Lord raised up their foes against them,[p]
    and stirred up their enemies—
12     Aram from the east and the Philistines from the west—
    and they devoured Israel with an open mouth.
Even then God’s anger didn’t turn away;
    God’s hand was still extended.

13 But the people didn’t turn to the one who struck them.
    They didn’t seek the Lord of heavenly forces.
14 So the Lord cut off head and tail,
    palm branch and reed from Israel in one day.
15     (Elders and celebrities are the head;
    prophets who teach lies are the tail.)
16 But this people’s leaders were misleading,
    and those being led were confused.
17 So the Lord showed their youth no pity,
    and showed their orphans and widows no mercy;
    for everyone was godless and evil;
        every mouth spoke nonsense.
Even then God’s anger didn’t turn away;
    God’s hand was still extended.

18 Wickedness burned like fire,
    devouring thorn and thistle.
It kindled the thickets of the forest;
    they swirled in rising smoke.
19 The land was scorched by the rage of the Lord of heavenly forces;
    the people were like fuel for the fire.
Not one person pitied another:
20     they consumed on the right, but remained hungry;
    devoured on the left, and weren’t satisfied.
    They devoured the flesh of their own children.[q]
21 Manasseh devoured Ephraim and Ephraim Manasseh;
    together they turned against Judah.
Even then God’s anger didn’t turn away;
    God’s hand was still extended.

Wicked laws

10 Doom to those who pronounce wicked decrees,
    and keep writing harmful laws
    to deprive the needy of their rights
    and to rob the poor among my people of justice;
    to make widows their loot;
    to steal from orphans!
What will you do on the day of punishment
    when disaster comes from far away?
To whom will you flee for help;
    where will you stash your wealth?
How will you avoid crouching among the prisoners
    and falling among the slain?
Even so, God’s anger hasn’t turned away;
    God’s hand is still extended.

Assyria as God’s punishing weapon

Doom to Assyria, rod of my anger,
    in whose hand is the staff of my fury!
Against a godless nation I send him;
    against an infuriating people
    I direct him to seize spoil, to steal plunder,
    and to trample them like mud in the streets.
But he has other plans;
    he schemes in secret;
    destruction is on his mind,
    extermination of nation after nation.
He says: Aren’t my commanders all kings?
    Isn’t Calno like Carchemish?
    Isn’t Hamath like Arpad?
    Isn’t Samaria like Damascus?
10 Just as I took control of idolatrous kingdoms
    with more images than Jerusalem and Samaria,
11     just as I did to Samaria and her false gods,
    won’t I also do this to Jerusalem and her idols?

12 But when the Lord has finished all this work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish[r] the Assyrian king’s arrogant actions and the boasting of his haughty eyes.

13 He said, “By my own strength I have achieved it,
    and by my wisdom, since I’m so clever.
    I disregarded national boundaries; I raided their treasures;
    I knocked down their rulers like a bull.
14     My hand found the wealth of the peoples
    as if it were in a nest.
Just as one gathers abandoned eggs,
    I have gathered the entire earth;
    no creature fluttered a wing or opened a mouth to chirp.”

15 Will the ax glorify itself over the one who chops with it?
    Or will the saw magnify itself over its user?
As if a rod could wave the one who lifts it!
    As if a staff could lift up the one not made of wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord God of heavenly forces
    will make the well-fed people waste away;
    and among his officials,
    a blaze will burn like scorching fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire,
    its holy one a flame,
    which will burn and devour
    its thorns and thistles
    in a single day.
18 Its abundant forest and farmland
    will be finished completely,[s]
    as when a sick person wastes away;
19     its forest’s remaining trees will be no more than a child can count.

A few will return

20 On that day, what’s left of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on the one who beat them. Instead, they will faithfully depend on the Lord, the holy one of Israel. 21 A few will return, what’s left of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 Although your people, Israel, were like the sand of the sea, only a few survivors will return. The end is announced, overflowing with justice. 23 Yes, destruction has been announced; the Lord God of heavenly forces will carry it out against the entire land.

24 Therefore, the Lord God of heavenly forces says: My people who live in Zion, don’t fear Assyria, which strikes you with the rod and raises its staff against you as Egypt did. 25 In a very short time my fury will end, and my anger at the world will be finished.[t]

26 Therefore, the Lord of heavenly forces will crack a whip against Assyria,
    as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb.
    He will raise a rod over the sea,
        as he did in Egypt.
27 On that day, God will remove the burden from your shoulder
    and destroy the yoke on your neck.[u]

The exalted laid low

He has gone up from Samaria,
28     come against Aiath,
    passed to Migron.
At Michmash he stored his equipment.
29 They crossed at the pass: “We’ll camp at Geba!”
    Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Cry aloud, Daughter Gallim!
    Listen, Laishah! Answer her, Anathoth!
31 Madmenah has flown.
    Gebim’s inhabitants sought refuge.
32 This very day he will stand at Nob
    and shake his fist[v] at Daughter Zion’s mountain,
    the hill of Jerusalem!
33 Look! The Lord God of heavenly forces
    is chopping off the branches with terrible power.
    The loftiest ones are about to be cut down
        and the exalted laid low.
34 He will strike down the forest thickets with an ax,
    and mighty Lebanon will fall.

A shoot from Jesse’s stump

11 A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse;
    a branch will sprout[w] from his roots.
The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him,
    a spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    a spirit of planning and strength,
    a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
He will delight in fearing the Lord.
He won’t judge by appearances,
    nor decide by hearsay.
He will judge the needy with righteousness,
    and decide with equity for those who suffer in the land.
He will strike the violent[x] with the rod of his mouth;
    by the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked.
Righteousness will be the belt around his hips,
    and faithfulness the belt around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
    and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
    the calf and the young lion will feed[y] together,
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze.
    Their young will lie down together,
    and a lion will eat straw like an ox.
A nursing child will play over the snake’s hole;
    toddlers will reach right over the serpent’s den.
They won’t harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain.
    The earth will surely be filled with the knowledge of the Lord,
    just as the water covers the sea.

A signal to the peoples

10 On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples. The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious.

11 On that day, the Lord will extend his hand a second time to reclaim the survivors of God’s people who are left from Assyria and from Egypt, from Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the coastlands[z] of the sea.

12 God will raise a signal for the nations and gather the outcast men of Israel.
    God will collect the dispersed women of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will cease,
    and Judah’s harassment will be eliminated.
Ephraim won’t be jealous of Judah,
    and Judah won’t harass Ephraim.
14 But they will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
    together they will plunder the people to the east.
Edom and Moab will be under their power,
    and the Ammonites will be their subjects.

15 The Lord will split the tongue of the Egyptian sea. God will wave a hand over the Euphrates with a powerful[aa] wind and break it into seven streams so that it can be crossed in sandals. 16 Then there will be a highway from Assyria for the survivors of God’s people who are left from Assyria, just as there was for Israel on the day they went up from the land of Egypt.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 7:3 Or the remaining few will return
  2. Isaiah 7:11 Heb Sheol
  3. Isaiah 7:14 Or God is with us
  4. Isaiah 8:1 Heb uncertain
  5. Isaiah 8:1 Or spoil hastens, plunder hurries
  6. Isaiah 8:6 Or melts before
  7. Isaiah 8:8 Heb Immanuel
  8. Isaiah 8:9 Heb uncertain
  9. Isaiah 8:10 Heb Immanuel
  10. Isaiah 8:20 Heb uncertain for 8:19-20
  11. Isaiah 8:21 Or it
  12. Isaiah 8:22 Heb uncertain for 8:21-22
  13. Isaiah 9:1 8:23 in Heb
  14. Isaiah 9:1 Heb uncertain
  15. Isaiah 9:2 9:1 in Heb
  16. Isaiah 9:11 Or the enemies of Rezin
  17. Isaiah 9:20 Or arm
  18. Isaiah 10:12 Or I will punish
  19. Isaiah 10:18 Syr, Vulg body and soul (that is, completely); MT he will finish
  20. Isaiah 10:25 Heb uncertain
  21. Isaiah 10:27 Or and his yoke from your neck, and a yoke will be destroyed because of fatness
  22. Isaiah 10:32 Or wave his hand
  23. Isaiah 11:1 LXX, Vulg; MT bear fruit
  24. Isaiah 11:4 Or land
  25. Isaiah 11:6 Correction; MT and the calf
  26. Isaiah 11:11 Or islands
  27. Isaiah 11:15 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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