Isaiah 9Living Bible (TLB)
9 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever. Though soon the land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be under God’s contempt and judgment, yet in the future these very lands, Galilee and northern Transjordan, where lies the road to the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light—a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death. 3 For Israel will again be great, filled with joy like that of reapers when the harvesttime has come, and like that of men dividing up the plunder they have won. 4 For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the vast host of the Midianites by Gideon’s little band. 5 In that glorious day of peace there will no longer be the issuing of battle gear; no more the bloodstained uniforms of war; all such will be burned.
6 For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” 7 His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it!
8-10 The Lord has spoken out against that braggart Israel who says that though our land lies in ruins now, we will rebuild it better than before. The sycamore trees are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars! 11-12 The Lord’s reply to your bragging is to bring your enemies[a] against you—the Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west. With bared fangs they will devour Israel. And even then the Lord’s anger against you will not be satisfied—his fist will still be poised to smash you. 13 For after all this punishment you will not repent and turn to him, the Lord of heaven’s armies. 14-15 Therefore the Lord, in one day, will destroy the leaders of Israel and the lying prophets. 16 For the leaders of his people have led them down the paths of ruin.
17 That is why the Lord has no joy in their young men and no mercy upon even the widows and orphans, for they are all filthy-mouthed, wicked liars. That is why his anger is not yet satisfied, but his fist is still poised to smash them all. 18 He will burn up all this wickedness, these thorns and briars; and the flames will consume the forests too, and send a vast cloud of smoke billowing up from their burning. 19-20 The land is blackened by that fire, by the wrath of the Lord of heaven’s armies. The people are fuel for the fire. Each fights against his brother to steal his food but will never have enough. Finally they will even eat their own children! 21 Manasseh against Ephraim and Ephraim against Manasseh—and both against Judah. Yet even after all of this, God’s anger is not yet satisfied. His hand is still heavy upon them to crush them.