Isaiah 9-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
9 But those who have suffered will no longer be in pain.[a] The territories of Zebulun and Naphtali in Galilee were once hated. But this land of the Gentiles across the Jordan River and along the Mediterranean Sea will be greatly respected.
War Is Over
2 Those who walked in the dark
4 You have broken the power
A Child Has Been Born
6 A child has been born for us.
God Will Punish Israel
8 The Lord had warned the people of Israel, 9 and all of them knew it, including everyone in the capital city of Samaria. But they were proud and stubborn and said,
10 “Houses of brick and sycamore
11 The Lord made their enemies[d] attack them. 12 He sent the Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west, and they swallowed up Israel. But even this did not stop him from being angry, so he kept on punishing them.[e] 13 The people of Israel still did not turn back to the Lord All-Powerful and worship him.
14 In one day he cut off their head and tail, their leaves and branches. 15 Their rulers and leaders were the head, and the lying prophets were the tail. 16 They had led the nation down the wrong path, and the people were confused. 17 The Lord was angry with his people and kept punishing them, because they had turned against him.[f] They were evil and spoke foolishly. That’s why he did not have pity on their young people or on their widows and orphans.
18 Evil had spread like a raging forest fire sending thornbushes up in smoke. 19 The Lord All-Powerful was angry and used the people as fuel for a fire that scorched the land. They turned against each other 20 like wild animals attacking and eating everyone around them, even their own relatives.[g] But still they were not satisfied. 21 The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh turned against each other, then joined forces to attack Judah. But the Lord was still angry and ready to punish the nation even more.
10 You people are in for trouble! You have made cruel and unfair laws 2 that let you cheat the poor and needy and rob widows and orphans. 3 But what will you do when you are fiercely attacked and punished by foreigners? Where will you run for help? Where will you hide your valuables? 4 How will you escape being captured[h] or killed? The Lord is still angry, and he isn’t through with you yet![i]
The Lord’s Purpose and the King of Assyria
5 The Lord says:
I am furious! And I will use the king of Assyria[j] as a club 6 to beat down you godless people. I am angry with you, and I will send him to attack you. He will take what he wants and walk on you like mud in the streets. 7 He has even bigger plans in mind, because he wants to destroy many nations.
8 The king of Assyria says:
My army commanders are kings! 9 They have already captured[k] the cities of Calno, Carchemish, Hamath, Arpad, Samaria, and Damascus. 10-11 The gods of Jerusalem and Samaria are weaker than the gods of those powerful nations. And I will destroy Jerusalem, together with its gods and idols, just as I did Samaria.
12 The Lord will do what he has planned against Jerusalem and Mount Zion. Then he will punish the proud and boastful king of Assyria, 13 who says:
I did these things by my own power because I am smart and clever. I attacked kings like a wild bull, and I took the land and the treasures of their nations. 14 I have conquered the whole world! And it was easier than taking eggs from an unguarded nest. No one even flapped a wing or made a peep.
15 King of Assyria, can an ax or a saw overpower the one who uses it? Can a wooden pole lift whoever holds it? 16 The mighty Lord All-Powerful will send a terrible disease to strike down your army, and you will burn with fever under your royal robes. 17 The holy God, who is the light of Israel, will turn into a fire, and in one day you will go up in flames, just like a thornbush. 18 The Lord will make your beautiful forests and fertile fields slowly rot. 19 There will be so few trees that even a young child can count them.
Only a Few Will Come Back
20 A time is coming when the survivors from Israel and Judah will completely depend on the holy Lord of Israel, instead of the nation[l] that defeated them. 21-22 There were as many people as there are grains of sand along the seashore, but only a few will survive to come back to Israel’s mighty God. This is because he has threatened to destroy their nation, just as they deserve. 23 The Lord All-Powerful has promised that everyone on this earth[m] will be punished.
24 Now the Lord God All-Powerful says to his people in Jerusalem:
The Assyrians will beat you with sticks and abuse you, just as the Egyptians did. But don’t be afraid of them. 25 Soon I will stop being angry with you, and I will punish them for their crimes.[n] 26 I will beat the Assyrians with a whip, as I did the people of Midian near the rock at Oreb. And I will show the same mighty power that I used when I made a path through the sea in Egypt. 27 Then they will no longer rule your nation. All will go well for you,[o] and your burden will be lifted.
28 Enemy troops have reached the town of Aiath.[p] They have gone through Migron, and they stored their supplies at Michmash, 29 before crossing the valley and spending the night at Geba.[q] The people of Ramah are terrified; everyone in Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, has run away. 30 Loud crying can be heard in the towns of Gallim, Laishah, and sorrowful Anathoth. 31 No one is left in Madmenah or Gebim. 32 Today the enemy will camp at Nob[r] and shake a threatening fist at Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
33 But the Lord All-Powerful
Peace at Last
11 Like a branch that sprouts
This king won’t judge
6 Leopards will lie down
8 Little children will play
9 Nothing harmful will take place
God’s People Will Come Back Home
10 The time is coming when one of David’s descendants[u] will be the signal for the people of all nations to come together. They will follow his advice, and his own nation will become famous.
11 When that day comes, the Lord will again reach out his mighty arm and bring home his people who have survived in Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia,[v] Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the land along the coast.[w] 12 He will give a signal to the nations, and he will bring together the refugees from Judah and Israel, who have been scattered all over the earth. 13 Israel will stop being jealous of Judah, and Judah will no longer be the enemy of Israel. 14 Instead, they will get together and attack the Philistines in the west. Then they will defeat the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites in the east. They will rule those people and take from them whatever they want.
15 The Lord will dry up the arm of the Red Sea near Egypt,[x] and he will send a scorching wind to divide the Euphrates River into seven streams that anyone can step across. 16 Then for his people who survive, there will be a good road from Assyria, just as there was a good road for their ancestors when they left Egypt.
A Song of Praise
12 At that time you will say,
3 With great joy, you people
6 Sing, people of Zion!
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