1 But there will be no more gloom for the land that is in distress. God humbled the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali in earlier times. But in the future he will bring glory to the road by the sea, to the land across the Jordan River, to Galilee, where foreigners live. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a bright light. The light will shine on those who live in the land of death's shadow. 3 You will expand the nation and increase its happiness. It will be happy in your presence like those who celebrate the harvest or rejoice when dividing loot. 4 You will break the yoke that burdens them, the bar that is across their shoulders, and the stick used by their oppressor, as [you did in the battle against] Midian. 5 Every warrior's boot marching to the sound of battle and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel in the fire. 6 A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and peace will have unlimited growth. He will establish David's throne and kingdom. He will uphold it with justice and righteousness now and forever. The LORD of Armies is determined to do this! 8 The LORD sent a message against Jacob. The message is against Israel. 9 All the people of Ephraim and the people who live in Samaria will know it. With arrogant and conceited hearts they will say, 10 "Bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hand-cut stones. Fig trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." 11 The LORD will set Rezin's oppressors against Israel and will stir up its enemies-- 12 the Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west. They will devour Israel with open mouths. Even after all this, his anger will not disappear, and he is still ready to use his power. 13 But the people have not returned to the one who struck them, nor have they sought the LORD of Armies. 14 So in one day the LORD will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branches and cattails. 15 Respected and honored leaders are the head. Prophets who teach lies are the tail. 16 Those who guide these people lead them astray. Those who are guided by them will be destroyed. 17 That is why the Lord isn't happy with their young men, nor will he show compassion for their orphans and widows. Every one of them is a godless evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. Even after all this, his anger will not disappear, and he is still ready to use his power. 18 Surely wickedness burns like fire. It burns up briars and thorns. It sets the underbrush in the forest on fire, and it whirls upward in clouds of smoke. 19 The land is scorched by the fury of the LORD of Armies, and the people are like fuel for the fire. No one shows concern for others: 20 On the right, one gobbles up food and is still hungry. On the left, another eats and is never full. Each person eats the flesh from his own arm. 21 Manasseh is against Ephraim. Ephraim is against Manasseh. Together they attack Judah. Even after all this, his anger will not disappear, and he is still ready to use his power.
1 How horrible it will be for those who make unjust laws and who make oppressive regulations. 2 They deprive the poor of justice. They take away the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and rob orphans. 3 What will you do on the day you are called to account [for these things], when the disaster comes from far away? Where will you run for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4 Nothing's left but to crouch among prisoners and to fall with those who are killed. Even after all this, his anger will not disappear, and he is still ready to use his power. 5 "How horrible it will be for Assyria! It is the rod of my anger. My fury is the staff in the Assyrians' hands. 6 I send them against a godless nation. In my fury I order them against the people to take their belongings, loot them, and trample on them like mud in the streets. 7 But that's not what they intend to do. Their minds don't work that way. Their purpose is to destroy and put an end to many nations. 8 They ask, 'Aren't all our commanders kings? 9 Isn't Calno like Carchemish? Isn't Hamath like Arpad? Isn't Samaria like Damascus?' 10 My power has reached kingdoms which have idols. They had more carved statues than Jerusalem or Samaria. 11 I will do to Jerusalem and its idols what I've done to Samaria and its idols." 12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the king of Assyria for all his boasting and all his arrogance. 13 The king will say, "I did this with my own two powerful hands. I did this with my wisdom, because I am so clever. I've eliminated the boundaries of nations. I've looted treasuries. I've brought down people like a mighty man. 14 I've found the riches of nations as one finds a nest. I've gathered the whole world as one gathers abandoned eggs. Not one of them flapped a wing, opened its mouth, or peeped." 15 Can an ax attack the person who cuts with it? Can a saw make itself greater than the person who saws with it? A rod cannot move the person who lifts it. A wooden stick cannot pick up a person. 16 That is why the Almighty LORD of Armies will send a degenerative disease against brave men. A flame will be turned into a raging fire under his power. 17 Israel's light will become a flame. Its Holy One will become a fire. He will burn up and devour the weeds and thornbushes in one day. 18 The majestic forest and the orchard will destroy both body and soul. They will be like a sick person wasting away. 19 The trees that remain in the forest will be so few that a child could count them. 20 At that time the remaining few Israelites, the survivors of Jacob's descendants will no longer depend on the one who struck them. They will only depend on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A few, the remaining few of Jacob, will return to the mighty God. 22 Although your people Israel may be as [numerous as] the grains of sand on the seashore, only a few will return. Destruction will be complete and fair. 23 The Almighty LORD of Armies will carry out this destruction throughout the world as he has determined. 24 The Almighty LORD of Armies says: My people who live in Zion, don't be afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with a rod or when they raise their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 Very soon I will unleash my fury, and my anger will destroy them. 26 Then the LORD of Armies will raise his whip against them. As he struck down Midian at the Rock of Oreb and raised his staff over the water, so he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27 At that time their burden will be removed from your shoulders. Their yoke will be removed from your neck. The yoke will be torn away because you have grown fat. 28 They come to Aiath. They pass through Migron. They store their equipment at Michmash. 29 They go through the mountain pass and lodge at Geba for the night. The people in Ramah tremble; the people in Saul's Gibeah flee. 30 Cry aloud, you people in Gallim! Pay attention, you people in Laishah and miserable Anathoth! 31 The people in Madmenah flee; those who live in Gebim take shelter. 32 This day they stopped at Nob. They shake their fist at the mountain of my people Zion, at the mountain of Jerusalem. 33 Now look! The Almighty LORD of Armies will trim the branches with terrifying power. The highest trees will be cut down. The tallest ones will be brought down. 34 He will cut down the underbrush of the forest with an ax. Lebanon will fall in front of the Mighty One.
1 Then a shoot will come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from its roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD. 3 He will gladly bear the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear. 4 He will judge the poor justly. He will make fair decisions for the humble people on earth. He will strike the earth with a rod from his mouth. He will kill the wicked with the breath from his lips. 5 Justice will be the belt around his waist. Faithfulness will be the belt around his hips. 6 Wolves will live with lambs. Leopards will lie down with goats. Calves, young lions, and year-old lambs will be together, and little children will lead them. 7 Cows and bears will eat together. Their young will lie down together. Lions will eat straw like oxen. 8 Infants will play near cobras' holes. Toddlers will put their hands into vipers' nests. 9 They will not hurt or destroy anyone anywhere on my holy mountain. The world will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD like water covering the sea. 10 At that time the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the people [to gather around]. The nations will come to him. His resting place will be glorious. 11 At that time the Lord will use his power again to recover what remains of his people in Assyria, Upper and Lower Egypt, Sudan, Elam, Babylonia, Hamath, and the islands of the sea. 12 He will raise a banner for the nations [to gather around]. He will gather the outcasts of Israel and bring together the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13 Ephraim's jealousy will vanish, and Judah's opponents will come to an end. Ephraim won't be jealous of Judah, and Judah won't oppose Ephraim. 14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia in the west. Together they will loot the people of the east. They will conquer Edom and Moab. The people of Ammon will be subject to them. 15 The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian Sea. He will wave his hand over the Euphrates River with his scorching wind and divide it into seven streams so that people can walk over it in their sandals. 16 There will be a highway for the remaining few of his people left in Assyria like there was for Israel when it came out of Egypt.
1 At that time you will say, "I will praise you, O LORD. Although you had been angry with me, you turned your anger away from me, and you comforted me. 2 Look! God is my Savior. I am confident and unafraid, because the LORD is my strength and my song. He is my Savior." 3 With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation. 4 At that time you will say, "Praise the LORD. Call on his name. Make his deeds known among the nations. Make them remember that his name is highly honored. 5 Make music to praise the LORD. He has done wonderful things. Let this be known throughout the earth. 6 Shout loudly, and sing with joy, people of Zion! The Holy One of Israel is great. He is among you."