Contemporary English Version
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
have seen a bright light.
And it shines upon everyone
who lives in the land
of darkest shadows.
3 Our Lord, you have made
your nation stronger.[b]
Because of you, its people
are glad and celebrate
like workers at harvest time
or like soldiers dividing up
what they have taken.
4 You have broken the power
of those who abused
and enslaved your people.
You have rescued them
just as you saved your people
5 The boots of marching warriors
and the blood-stained uniforms
have been fed to flames
and eaten by fire.
A Child Has Been Born
6 A child has been born for us.
We have been given a son
who will be our ruler.
His names will be
and Mighty God,
and Prince of Peace.
7 His power will never end;
peace will last forever.
He will rule David’s kingdom
and make it grow strong.
He will always rule
with honesty and justice.
The Lord All-Powerful
will make certain
that all of this is done.
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
have fallen to the ground,
but we will build houses
with stones and cedar.”
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.
- 9.1 will. . . pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 9.3 stronger: Or “happy” or “larger.”
- 9.4 rescued. . . from Midian: The time when Gideon defeated the people of Midian in Jezreel Valley (see Judges 6-8).
- 9.11 their enemies: Hebrew “the enemies of Rezin.”
- 9.12 so. . . them: Or “but he hasn’t given up on them yet.”
- 9.17 and kept. . . against him: Or “but even though they had turned against him, he still had not given up on them.”
- 9.20 their own relatives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
New International Version
9 [a]Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom(A) for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,(B) but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness(C)
have seen a great light;(D)
on those living in the land of deep darkness(E)
a light has dawned.(F)
3 You have enlarged the nation(G)
and increased their joy;(H)
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.(I)
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,(J)
you have shattered(K)
the yoke(L) that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,(M)
the rod of their oppressor.(N)
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,(O)
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,(P)
to us a son is given,(Q)
and the government(R) will be on his shoulders.(S)
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,(T) Mighty God,(U)
Everlasting(V) Father,(W) Prince of Peace.(X)
7 Of the greatness of his government(Y) and peace(Z)
there will be no end.(AA)
He will reign(AB) on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice(AC) and righteousness(AD)
from that time on and forever.(AE)
The zeal(AF) of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
The Lord’s Anger Against Israel
8 The Lord has sent a message(AG) against Jacob;
it will fall on Israel.
9 All the people will know it—
Ephraim(AH) and the inhabitants of Samaria(AI)—
who say with pride
and arrogance(AJ) of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
but we will rebuild with dressed stone;(AK)
the fig(AL) trees have been felled,
but we will replace them with cedars.(AM)”
11 But the Lord has strengthened Rezin’s(AN) foes against them
and has spurred their enemies on.
12 Arameans(AO) from the east and Philistines(AP) from the west
have devoured(AQ) Israel with open mouth.
13 But the people have not returned(AT) to him who struck(AU) them,
nor have they sought(AV) the Lord Almighty.
14 So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail,
both palm branch and reed(AW) in a single day;(AX)
15 the elders(AY) and dignitaries(AZ) are the head,
the prophets(BA) who teach lies(BB) are the tail.
16 Those who guide(BC) this people mislead them,
and those who are guided are led astray.(BD)
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men,(BE)
nor will he pity(BF) the fatherless and widows,
for everyone is ungodly(BG) and wicked,(BH)
every mouth speaks folly.(BI)
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.(BJ)
18 Surely wickedness burns like a fire;(BK)
it consumes briers and thorns,(BL)
it sets the forest thickets ablaze,(BM)
so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the wrath(BN) of the Lord Almighty
the land will be scorched(BO)
and the people will be fuel for the fire;(BP)
they will not spare one another.(BQ)
20 On the right they will devour,
but still be hungry;(BR)
on the left they will eat,(BS)
but not be satisfied.
Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring[b]:
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh;(BT)
together they will turn against Judah.(BU)
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.(BV)