Isaiah 8

Isaiah's Vision of the Lord

In the year that sKing Uzziah died I tsaw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train1 of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had usix wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

uHoly, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

vthe whole earth is full of his glory!2

And wthe foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and xthe house was filled with smoke. And I said: Woe is me! yFor I am lost; zfor I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the aKing, the Lord of hosts!

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he btouched my mouth and said: Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.

Isaiah's Commission from the Lord

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for cus? Then I said, Here I am! Send me. And he said, Go, and say to this people:

dKeep on hearing,3 but do not understand;

keep on seeing,4 but do not perceive.

10  eMake the heart of this people fdull,5

and their ears heavy,

and blind their eyes;

glest they see with their eyes,

and hear with their ears,

and understand with their hearts,

and turn and be healed.

11  Then I said, hHow long, O Lord?

And he said:

Until icities lie waste

without inhabitant,

and houses without people,

and the land is a desolate waste,

12  and the Lord removes people far away,

and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.

13  jAnd though a tenth remain in it,

it will be burned6 again,

like a terebinth or an oak,

whose stump kremains

when it is felled.

lThe holy seed7 is its stump.

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz

In the days of mAhaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, nRezin the king of Syria and nPekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. When the house of David was told, oSyria is in league with1 pEphraim, the heart of Ahaz2 and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

And the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and qShear-jashub3 your son, at the end of rthe conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. And say to him, sBe careful, tbe quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two usmoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and vthe son of Remaliah. Because Syria, with Ephraim and vthe son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it4 for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it, thus says the Lord God:

wIt shall not stand,

and it shall not come to pass.

For the head of Syria is xDamascus,

and the head of Damascus is Rezin.

And within sixty-five years

Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.

And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,

and the head of Samaria is ythe son of Remaliah.

zIf you5 are not firm in faith,

you will not be firm at all.

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 Ask aa sign of the Lord your6 God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13 And he7 said, Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you bweary my God also? 14 Therefore the cLord himself will give you a sign. dBehold, the evirgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name fImmanuel.8 15 He shall eat gcurds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 hFor before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be ideserted. 17 jThe Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that kEphraim departed from Judahthe king of Assyria!

18 In that day the Lord will lwhistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and min the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.9

20 In that day nthe Lord will oshave with a razor that is phired beyond qthe River10with the king of Assyriathe head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

21 rIn that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat scurds and honey.

23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels11 of silver, will become tbriers and thorns. 24 uWith bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 vAnd as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear tof briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

The Coming Assyrian Invasion

Then the Lord said to me, Take a large tablet wand write on it in common characters,1 Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.2 And xI will get reliable witnesses, yUriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me.

And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, zCall his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; afor before the boy knows how to cry My father or My mother, the awealth of bDamascus and the spoil of bSamaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.

The Lord spoke to me again: Because this people has refused the waters of cShiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over dRezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them ethe waters of fthe River,3 mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it gwill rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, hreaching even to the neck, and its ioutspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, jO Immanuel.

Be broken,4 you peoples, and kbe shattered;5

give ear, all you far countries;

strap on your armor and be shattered;

strap on your armor and be shattered.

10  Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;

speak a word, lbut it will not stand,

for God mis with us.6

Fear God, Wait for the Lord

11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and nwarned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 Do not call oconspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and pdo not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, qhim you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a rsanctuary and sa stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many tshall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.

16 Bind up uthe testimony; vseal the teaching7 among my disciples. 17 I will wwait for the Lord, who is xhiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 yBehold, I and zthe children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, Inquire of the amediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of bthe dead on behalf of the living? 20 cTo the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no ddawn. 21 They will pass through the land,8 greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against9 their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22 eAnd they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into fthick darkness.

For to Us a Child Is Born

1 But there will be no ggloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he hbrought into contempt the land of iZebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he jhas made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.2

3 iThe people kwho walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of ldeep darkness,

on them has light shone.

mYou have multiplied the nation;

you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

as with njoy at the harvest,

as they oare glad pwhen they divide the spoil.

qFor the yoke of his burden,

rand the staff for his shoulder,

the rod of his oppressor,

you have broken as son the day of Midian.

tFor every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult

and every garment rolled in blood

will be burned as fuel for the fire.

uFor to us a child is born,

to us va son is given;

wand the government shall be xupon4 his shoulder,

and his name shall be called5

Wonderful yCounselor, zMighty God,

aEverlasting bFather, Prince of cPeace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace

dthere will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

to establish it and to uphold it

ewith justice and with righteousness

from this time forth and forevermore.

fThe zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression

The Lord has sent a word against Jacob,

and it will fall on Israel;

and all the people will know,

gEphraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,

who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:

10  The bricks have fallen,

but we will build with dressed stones;

the sycamores have been cut down,

but we will put cedars in their place.

11  But the Lord raises the adversaries of Rezin against him,

and stirs up his enemies.

12  hThe Syrians on the east and ithe Philistines on the west

devour Israel with open mouth.

jFor all this his anger has not turned away,

and his hand is stretched out still.

13  The people kdid not turn to him who struck them,

nor inquire of the Lord of hosts.

14  So the Lord cut off from Israel lhead and tail,

palm branch and reed in one day

15  mthe elder and honored man is the head,

and nthe prophet who teaches lies is the tail;

16  for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,

and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.

17  Therefore the Lord does not orejoice over their young men,

and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows;

for everyone is pgodless and an evildoer,

and every mouth speaks qfolly.6

jFor all this his anger has not turned away,

and his hand is stretched out still.

18  For wickedness burns like ra fire;

it consumes briers and thorns;

it kindles the thickets of the forest,

and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

19  Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts

the land is scorched,

and sthe people are like fuel for the fire;

tno one spares another.

20  uThey slice meat on the right, but are still hungry,

and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied;

veach devours the flesh of his own arm,

21  Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim devours Manasseh;

together they are wagainst Judah.

xFor all this his anger has not turned away,

and his hand is stretched out still.

10  Woe to those who ydecree iniquitous decrees,

and the writers who zkeep writing oppression,

to turn aside the needy from justice

and ato rob the poor of my people of their right,

that widows may be their spoil,

and that they may make the fatherless their prey!

What will you do on bthe day of punishment,

in the ruin that will come cfrom afar?

To whom will you flee for help,

and where will you leave your wealth?

Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners

or fall among the slain.

dFor all this his anger has not turned away,

and his hand is stretched out still.

Judgment on Arrogant Assyria

Woe to Assyria, ethe rod of my anger;

the staff in their hands is my fury!

Against a fgodless nation I send him,

and against the people of my wrath I command him,

to take gspoil and seize plunder,

and to htread them down like the mire of the streets.

But he idoes not so intend,

and his heart does not so think;

but it is in his heart to destroy,

and to cut off nations not a few;

for he says:

jAre not my commanders all kings?

kIs not lCalno like mCarchemish?

Is not nHamath like oArpad?

pIs not qSamaria like Damascus?

10  As my hand has reached to rthe kingdoms of the idols,

whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,

11  shall I not do to Jerusalem and sher idols

tas I have done to Samaria and her images?

12 uWhen the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, vhe1 will punish the speech2 of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13 wFor he says:

By the strength of my hand I have done it,

and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;

I remove the boundaries of peoples,

and plunder their treasures;

like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.

14  My hand has found like a nest

the wealth of the peoples;

and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,

so I have gathered all the earth;

and there was none that moved a wing

or opened the mouth or chirped.

15  Shall xthe axe boast over him who hews with it,

or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?

As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,

or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!

16  Therefore the Lord God of hosts

will send wasting sickness among his ystout warriors,

and under his glory za burning will be kindled,

like the burning of fire.

17  aThe light of Israel will become a fire,

and bhis Holy One a flame,

and cit will burn and devour

his thorns and briers din one day.

18  The glory of ehis forest and of his ffruitful land

the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,

and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.

19  The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few

that a child can write them down.

The Remnant of Israel Will Return

20 gIn that day hthe remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more ilean on him who struck them, but jwill lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, kto the mighty God. 22 lFor though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, monly a remnant of them will return. nDestruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: O my people, owho dwell in Zion, pbe not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as qthe Egyptians did. 25 For rin a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 And sthe Lord of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck tMidian uat the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it vas he did in Egypt. 27 And in that day whis burden will depart from your shoulder, and xhis yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.3

28  He has come to Aiath;

he has passed through yMigron;

at Michmash he stores zhis baggage;

29  they have crossed over athe pass;

at bGeba they lodge for the night;

cRamah trembles;

dGibeah of Saul has fled.

30  Cry aloud, O daughter of eGallim!

Give attention, O Laishah!

O poor fAnathoth!

31  Madmenah is in flight;

the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.

32  This very day he will halt at gNob;

he will shake his fist

at the mount of hthe daughter of Zion,

the hill of Jerusalem.

33  Behold, the Lord God of hosts

iwill lop jthe boughs with terrifying power;

the great in height will be hewn down,

and the lofty will be brought low.

34  He will cut down jthe thickets of the forest with an axe,

and kLebanon will fall by the Majestic One.