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.(A) 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;(B)
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.(C)
You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.[a](D)
The people have rejoiced before you
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.(E)
For you have shattered their oppressive yoke(F)
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as you did on the day of Midian.(G)
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,(H)
and the government will be on his shoulders.(I)
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor,(J) Mighty God,(K)
Eternal Father,(L) Prince of Peace.(M)
The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.(N)
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.(O)

The Hand Raised against Israel

The Lord sent a message against Jacob;
it came against Israel.
All the people—
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria(P)—will know it.
They will say with pride and arrogance:
10 “The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with cut stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will replace them with cedars.”
11 The Lord has raised up Rezin’s adversaries against him
and stirred up his enemies.
12 Aram from the east and Philistia from the west
have consumed Israel with open mouths.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.(Q)

13 The people did not turn to him who struck them;
they did not seek the Lord of Armies.
14 So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail,(R)
palm branch and reed in a single day.
15 The head is the elder, the honored one;(S)
the tail is the prophet, the one teaching lies.(T)
16 The leaders of the people mislead them,
and those they mislead are swallowed up.[b]
17 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice
over[c] Israel’s young men
and has no compassion
on its fatherless and widows,
for everyone is a godless evildoer,(U)
and every mouth speaks folly.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

18 For wickedness burns like a fire(V)
that consumes thorns and briers
and kindles the forest thickets
so that they go up in a column of smoke.
19 The land is scorched
by the wrath of the Lord of Armies,
and the people are like fuel for the fire.(W)
No one has compassion on his brother.(X)
20 They carve meat on the right,
but they are still hungry;(Y)
they have eaten on the left,
but they are still not satisfied.
Each one eats the flesh of his own arm.(Z)
21 Manasseh is with Ephraim,
and Ephraim with Manasseh;
together, both are against Judah.(AA)
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.(AB)

10 Woe(AC) to those enacting crooked statutes
and writing oppressive laws
to keep the poor from getting a fair trial
and to deprive the needy among my people of justice,(AD)
so that widows can be their spoil
and they can plunder the fatherless.(AE)
What will you do on the day of punishment
when devastation comes from far away?
Who will you run to for help?
Where will you leave your wealth?
There will be nothing to do
except crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.(AF)

Assyria, the Instrument of Wrath

Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger—
the staff in their hands is my wrath.
I will send him against a godless nation;
I will command him to go
against a people destined for my rage,
to take spoils, to plunder,(AG)
and to trample them down like clay(AH) in the streets.
But this is not what he intends;
this is not what he plans.
It is his intent to destroy
and to cut off many nations.
For he says,
“Aren’t all my commanders kings?
Isn’t Calno like Carchemish?
Isn’t Hamath like Arpad?
Isn’t Samaria(AI) like Damascus?[d]
10 As my hand seized the idolatrous kingdoms,
whose idols exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 and as I did to Samaria and its worthless images
will I not also do to Jerusalem and its idols?” (AJ)

Judgment on Assyria

12 But when the Lord finishes all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I[e] will punish the king of Assyria for his arrogant acts and the proud look in his eyes.”(AK) 13 For he said:

I have done this by my own strength
and wisdom, for I am clever.
I abolished the borders of nations
and plundered their treasures;(AL)
like a mighty warrior, I subjugated the inhabitants.[f](AM)
14 My hand has reached out, as if into a nest,
to seize the wealth of the nations.
Like one gathering abandoned eggs,
I gathered the whole earth.
No wing fluttered;
no beak opened or chirped.

15 Does an ax exalt itself
above the one who chops with it?
Does a saw magnify itself
above the one who saws with it?
It would be like a rod waving the one who lifts[g] it!
It would be like a staff lifting the one who isn’t wood!
16 Therefore the Lord God of Armies
will inflict an emaciating disease
on the well-fed of Assyria,
and he will kindle a burning fire
under its glory.
17 Israel’s Light will become a fire,
and its Holy One, a flame.(AN)
In one day it will burn and consume Assyria’s thorns and thistles.(AO)
18 He will completely destroy
the glory of its forests and orchards
as a sickness consumes a person.
19 The remaining trees of its forest
will be so few in number
that a child could count them.

The Remnant Will Return

20 On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on the one who struck them, but they will faithfully depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.(AP)

21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob,
to the Mighty God.
22 Israel, even if your people were as numerous
as the sand of the sea,
only a remnant of them will return.(AQ)
Destruction has been decreed;
justice overflows.
23 For throughout the land
the Lord God of Armies
is carrying out a destruction that was decreed.

24 Therefore, the Lord God of Armies says this: “My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear Assyria, though they strike you with a rod and raise their staff over you as the Egyptians did. 25 In just a little while my wrath will be spent and my anger will turn to their destruction.” 26 And the Lord of Armies will brandish a whip against him as he did when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb;(AR) and he will raise his staff over the sea as he did in Egypt.

God Will Judge Assyria

27 On that day
his burden will fall from your shoulders,
and his yoke from your neck.
The yoke will be broken because your neck will be too large.[h](AS)
28 Assyria has come to Aiath
and has gone through Migron,
storing their equipment at Michmash.
29 They crossed over at the ford, saying,
“We will spend the night at Geba.”
The people of Ramah are trembling;
those at Gibeah of Saul have fled.
30 Cry aloud, daughter of Gallim!
Listen, Laishah!
Anathoth is miserable.
31 Madmenah has fled.
The inhabitants of Gebim have sought refuge.
32 Today the Assyrians will stand at Nob,
shaking their fists at the mountain of Daughter Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Look, the Lord God of Armies
will chop off the branches with terrifying power,
and the tall trees will be cut down,
the high trees felled.
34 He is clearing the thickets of the forest with an ax,
and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

Footnotes

  1. 9:3 Alt Hb tradition reads have not increased joy
  2. 9:16 Or are confused
  3. 9:17 DSS read not spare
  4. 10:9 Cities conquered by Assyria
  5. 10:12 LXX reads Jerusalem, he
  6. 10:13 Or I brought down their kings
  7. 10:15 Some Hb mss, Syr, Vg read wave he who lifts
  8. 10:27 Lit because of fatness; Hb obscure

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