1a But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
2b The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it fell on Israel;
and all the people knew it— Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria— but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:
"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."
So the Lord raised adversaries c against them, and stirred up their enemies,
the Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west, and they devoured Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still.
The people did not turn to him who struck them, or seek the Lord of hosts.
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day—
elders and dignitaries are the head, and prophets who teach lies are the tail;
for those who led this people led them astray, and those who were led by them were left in confusion.
That is why the Lord did not have pity on d their young people, or compassion on their orphans and widows; for everyone was godless and an evildoer, and every mouth spoke folly. For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still.
For wickedness burned like a fire, consuming briers and thorns; it kindled the thickets of the forest, and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.
Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land was burned, and the people became like fuel for the fire; no one spared another.
They gorged on the right, but still were hungry, and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied; they devoured the flesh of their own kindred; e21
Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and together they were against Judah. For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)