18 Here I am with the children the Lord has given me(A) to be signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Armies who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 When they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the spiritists who chirp and mutter,”(B) shouldn’t a people inquire of their God?[a] Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?(C) 20 Go to God’s instruction and testimony!(D) If they do not speak according to this word, there will be no dawn for them.

21 They will wander through the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged, and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 They will look toward the earth(E) and see only distress, darkness, and the gloom of affliction, and they will be driven into thick darkness.

Birth of the Prince of Peace

Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.(F) But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;(G)
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.(H)
You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.[b](I)
The people have rejoiced before you
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.(J)
For you have shattered their oppressive yoke(K)
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as you did on the day of Midian.(L)
For every trampling boot of battle
and the bloodied garments of war
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,(M)
and the government will be on his shoulders.(N)
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor,(O) Mighty God,(P)
Eternal Father,(Q) Prince of Peace.(R)
The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.(S)
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.(T)

Footnotes

  1. 8:19 Or gods
  2. 9:3 Alt Hb tradition reads have not increased joy

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