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A New Day Is Coming

·But suddenly [or Nevertheless] there will be no more gloom for ·the land that suffered [or those who suffered/were distressed]. In the ·past [former time] God made the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali [C two northern tribes that bore the brunt of the Assyrian invasion] ·hang their heads in shame [humbled; humiliated], but ·in the future [later; afterwards] he ·will bring honor to [will glorify; L has honored/glorified; C the prophet sees the future as already fulfilled] the ·road along the Mediterranean Sea [L Way of the Sea], the land beyond the Jordan River [C probably Gilead in Transjordan], Galilee of the ·nations [Gentiles; C called this because it was overrun by foreigners]. [C Assyria created provinces from these three regions; though devastated in the invasion, they would be the first to see God’s salvation; Matt. 4:13–15.]

The people who ·lived [or are living/walking] in darkness,
    ·have seen [or will see] a great light.
On those who ·lived [are living/dwelling] in ·a dark land [or the shadow of death],
    a light ·has shined [or will shine].
God, you have caused the nation to ·grow [expand; enlarge]
    and ·made the people happy [increased their joy].
And they have ·shown their happiness to [L rejoiced before] you,
    like the joy during harvest time,
like the joy of people
    ·taking what they have won in war [L dividing the spoil/plunder].
Like the time you defeated Midian [Judg. 7–8],
    you have ·taken away [broken; shattered] their ·heavy load [L yoke of burden]
and the heavy ·pole [bar; staff] from their ·backs [or shoulders]
    and the rod ·the enemy used to punish them [of the oppressor].
Every boot ·that marched in battle [L marching with shaking]
    and every ·uniform [garment] ·stained with [L rolled in] blood
    ·has been thrown into [or will be used as fuel for] the fire.
A child ·has been [or will be; C the prophet views the future as though it had already happened] born to us;
    ·God has given a son [L a son has been given] to us.
    ·He will be responsible for leading the people [L The government/rule/dominion will be on his shoulder].
His name will be ·Wonderful Counselor [or Wonderful! Counselor!; or Extraordinary Advisor], ·Powerful [Mighty] God,
    ·Father Who Lives Forever [Eternal Father], Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the ·growth [abundance; increase] of his ·rule [dominion; government],
    nor to the peace he will bring.
He will rule as king on David’s throne
    and over David’s kingdom [2 Sam. 7:11–16].
He will ·make it strong [establish and sustain it]
    by ruling with justice and ·goodness [righteousness]
    from now on and forever.
·The Lord All-Powerful will do this
    because of his strong love for his people [L The zeal/jealousy of the Lord Almighty/of Heaven’s Armies/T of hosts will accomplish this].

God Will Punish Israel

The Lord sent a message against ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob];
    it ·says that God will judge [L will fall on] Israel.
Then everyone in Israel, even ·the leaders [L Ephraim and those living] in Samaria,
    will know that God has sent it.
Those people are proud and ·brag [L arrogant of heart] by saying,
10 “These bricks have fallen,
    but we will build again with ·cut [hewn; dressed] stones.
These ·small trees [L fig trees; or sycamores] have been chopped down,
    but we will put great cedars there.”
11 But the Lord has brought the enemies of Rezin against them;
    he has ·stirred up [raised up; provoked] their enemies against them.
12 The Arameans [C Syrians] came from the east
    and the Philistines from the west,
and they ·ate up [devoured] Israel with ·their armies [or one bite; L the whole mouth].
But the Lord was still angry;
his hand was still ·raised to punish the people [L outstretched].

13 But the people did not return to the one who had struck them;
    they did not follow the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
14 So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail,
    taking away both the branch and stalk in one day.
15 The elders and ·important [respected; honored] men were the head,
    and the prophets who speak lies were the tail.
16 Those who led the people led them ·in the wrong direction [astray],
    and those who followed them were ·destroyed [swallowed up; or confused].
17 So the Lord ·is not happy with [or took no pity on] the young people,
    nor will he show ·mercy [compassion; pity] to the ·orphans [fatherless] and widows.
All the people are ·separated from God [ungodly; defiled] and are very evil;
    they all speak ·lies [or foolishness; folly].

But the Lord is still angry;
his hand is still ·raised to strike down the people [outstretched].

18 ·Evil [Wickedness] is like a small fire.
    First, it burns ·weeds [briers] and thorns.
Next, it burns ·the larger bushes [thickets] in the forest,
    and they all go up in a column of smoke.
19 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is angry,
    so the land will be burned.
The people are like fuel for the fire;
    no one will ·try to save [spare] his brother or sister.
20 People will ·grab something [or slice (meat); or devour] on the right,
    but they will still be hungry.
They will ·eat something [devour] on the left,
    but they will not be ·filled [satisfied].
Then they will each turn and eat their own ·children [or arm].
21 The people of Manasseh will fight against the people of Ephraim,
    and Ephraim will fight against Manasseh [C the two most prominent northern tribes; descendants of the two sons of Joseph, so brother fighting brother].
Then both of them will turn against Judah [the most prominent southern tribe].

But the Lord is still angry;
his hand is still ·raised to strike down the people [outstretched].