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Isaiah 8Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Assyria Is Coming Soon

The Lord told me, “Get a large scroll,[a] and use an ordinary pen[b] to write these words: ‘This is for Maher Shalal Hash Baz.’[c]

I found some men who could be trusted to serve as witnesses: Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah. They watched me write those words. Then I went to my wife, the woman prophet. She became pregnant and had a son. The Lord told me, “Name the boy Maher Shalal Hash Baz.” He said that because before the boy learns to say “Mama” and “Daddy,” God will take all the wealth and riches from Damascus[d] and Samaria and give them to the king of Assyria.

The Lord spoke to me again. He said, “These people[e] refuse to accept the slow-moving waters of Shiloah.[f] They prefer Rezin and Remaliah’s son.” But the Lord will bring the king of Assyria and all his power against them. The Assyrians will come like their swift moving river, like water that rises and spills over its banks. This water will be like a flash flood as it passes through Judah. It will rise to Judah’s throat and almost drown him.

But he will spread his wings over your whole country, Immanuel.[g]

All you nations, prepare for war.
    You will be defeated.
Listen, all you faraway countries!
    Prepare for battle.
    You will be defeated.
10 Make your plans for the fight.
    Your plans will be defeated.
Give orders to your armies,
    but your orders will be useless,
    because God is with us![h]

Warnings to Isaiah

11 The Lord spoke to me with his great power and warned[i] me not to be like these people. He said, 12 “Don’t think there is a plan against you just because the people say there is. Don’t be afraid of what they fear. Don’t let them frighten you!”

13 The Lord All-Powerful is the one you should fear. He is the one you should respect.[j] He is the one who should frighten you. 14 If you people would respect him, he would be a safe place[k] for you. But you don’t respect him, so he is like a stone that you stumble over. He is a rock that makes both families of Israel fall. He has become a trap that all the people of Jerusalem will fall into. 15 (Many people will trip over this rock. They will fall and be broken. They will be caught in the trap.)

16 The Lord said, “Write this agreement.[l] Tie it up and seal it so that it cannot be changed. Give these teachings to my followers for safekeeping.”

17 The Lord has turned away from the family of Jacob.
    But I will wait for him.
    I trust that he will come to save us.

18 Here I am with the children the Lord has given me. We are here as signs from the Lord All-Powerful, who lives on Mount Zion. He is using us to show his plans for the people of Israel.

19 The people will say, “Go to the fortunetellers and wizards who mumble and chirp like birds. Ask them what to do.” But I say, “Shouldn’t people go to their God for help? Why go to the dead to get help for the living?” 20 You should follow the teachings and the agreement.[m] I swear, if you follow those other things, there is no future for you. 21 When the enemy comes, there will be hard times and hunger. And when he becomes hungry, he will become angry. He will say curses in the name of his king and his gods. Then he will lift his head upwards like a roaring lion. 22 And when the captives turn their faces to the ground, there is only a depressing darkness closing in—the dark sadness of people forced to leave their country.


  1. Isaiah 8:1 scroll This Hebrew word might also mean a clay or stone tablet.
  2. Isaiah 8:1 ordinary pen Literally, “stylus of a man.” This might be a pen for writing on clay.
  3. Isaiah 8:1 Maher Shalal Hash Baz This means “There will soon be looting and stealing.”
  4. Isaiah 8:4 Damascus A city in the country of Aram (Syria).
  5. Isaiah 8:6 These people Probably Judeans who wanted to join Rezin and Pekah. Also in verse 11.
  6. Isaiah 8:6 Shiloah A channel that carried water from Gihon Spring to a pool at the south end of the City of David (Jerusalem). Men from David’s family were anointed to be kings there.
  7. Isaiah 8:8 But he … Immanuel Or “Immanuel, it will spread throughout your whole country.” This might be a promise of God’s protection, or it might be a warning about Assyria’s power.
  8. Isaiah 8:10 God is with us In Hebrew this is like the name Immanuel.
  9. Isaiah 8:11 warned Or “prevented.”
  10. Isaiah 8:13 respect Literally, “consider holy.”
  11. Isaiah 8:14 safe place Or “holy place.”
  12. Isaiah 8:16 Write this agreement Or “Take a document.” This could refer to the large scroll in verse 1 or to the promise that follows in verse 17.
  13. Isaiah 8:20 agreement This usually means the agreement God made with Israel through Moses. Here, it probably means the agreement in verse 17.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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