Isaiah Chapter 9 to 11 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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A New Day Is Coming

9 In the past, people thought the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali were not important. But at a later time, {God} will make that land great: the land near the sea, the land across the Jordan River, and Galilee where the non-Jews live. 2Those people lived in darkness. But they will see a great light. Those people lived in a place as dark as the place of death. But the “Great Light” will shine on them. 3God, you will cause the nation to grow.  You will make the people happy. And the people will show their happiness to you. It will be like the joy during harvest time. It will be like the joy when people take their share of things they have won in war. 4Why? Because you will take away the heavy burden. You will take away the heavy pole on the people’s backs. You will take away the rod that the enemy uses to punish your people. This will be like the time you defeated Midian.* 5Every boot that marched in battle will be destroyed. Every uniform stained with blood will be destroyed. Those things will be thrown into the fire. 6This will happen when the special child is born. God will give a son to us. This son will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be “Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.” 7Power and peace will be in his kingdom. It will continue to grow for this king from David’s family. This king will use goodness and fair judgment to rule the kingdom forever and ever.  The Lord All-Powerful has a strong love* {for his people}. And this strong love will cause him to do these things.

God Will Punish Israel

8My Lord gave a command against the people of Jacob (Israel). That command against Israel will be obeyed. 9Then every person in Ephraim (Israel), even the leaders in Samaria, will know that God {punished them}.  Those people are very proud and boastful now. Those people say, 10“These bricks might fall, but we will build again. And we will build with {strong} stone. These small trees might be chopped down.  But we will put new trees there. And the new trees will be large, strong trees.” 11So the Lord will find people to fight against Israel. The Lord will bring Rezin’s* enemies against them. 12The Lord will bring the Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west. Those enemies will defeat Israel with their armies. But the Lord will still be angry with Israel. The Lord will still be ready to punish the people. 13God will punish the people, but they will not stop sinning. They will not return to him.  They will not follow the Lord All-Powerful. 14So the Lord will cut off Israel’s head and tail. The Lord will take away the branch and the stalk in one day. 15(The head means the elders* and important leaders. The tail means the prophets that speak lies.) 16The men that lead the people are leading them the wrong way. And the people that follow them will be destroyed. 17All the people are evil. So the Lord is not happy with the young men. And the Lord will not show mercy to their widows and orphans.* Why? Because all the people are evil. The people do things that are against God. The people speak lies. So God will continue to be angry with the people. God will continue to punish the people. 18Evil is like a small fire. First, the fire burns weeds and thorns. Next, the fire burns the larger bushes in the forest. And finally, it becomes a great fire—and everything goes up in smoke. 19The Lord All-Powerful is angry, so the land will be burned. All the people will be burned in that fire. No person will try to save his brother. 20People will grab something on the right, but they will still be hungry. They will eat something on the left, but they will not be filled. Then each person will turn and eat his own body. 21({This means} Manasseh will fight against Ephraim, and Ephraim will fight against Manasseh. And then both of them will turn against Judah.)  The Lord is still angry against Israel. The Lord is still ready to punish his people.

This … Midian See Num. 22–31. strong love This Hebrew word means strong feelings like love, hate, anger, zeal, or jealousy. Rezin A king of Aram. He ruled about 740–731 B.C. elders Older men that were city leaders; they helped make decisions for the people. widows and orphans Widows are women whose husbands have died, and orphans are children whose parents have died.  Often these people have no one to care for them.

10 Look at the lawmakers that write evil laws. Those lawmakers write laws that make life hard for people. 2Those lawmakers are not fair to the poor people. They take away the poor people’s rights. They allow people to steal from widows and orphans.* 3Lawmakers, you will have to explain the things you have done. What will you do at that time? Your destruction is coming from a faraway country. Where will you run for help?  Your money and your riches will not help you. 4You will have to bow down like a prisoner.  You will fall down like a dead person. But that will not help you! God will still be angry. God will still be ready to punish you. 5{God will say,} “I will use Assyria* like a stick. In anger, I will use Assyria to punish Israel. 6I will send Assyria to fight against the people that do evil things. I am angry at those people, and I will command Assyria to fight against them. Assyria will defeat them and Assyria will take their wealth from them.  Israel will become like dirt for Assyria to trample (walk on) in the streets. 7“But Assyria* does not understand that I will use him. Assyria does not think that he is a tool for me. Assyria only wants to destroy other people. Assyria only plans to destroy many nations. 8Assyria says to himself, ‘All of my leaders are like kings! 9The city Calno is like the city Carchemish. And the city Arpad is like the city Hamath. The city Samaria is like the city Damascus. 10I defeated those evil kingdoms and now I control them. The idols* those people worship are better than the idols of Jerusalem and Samaria. 11I defeated Samaria and her idols. I will also defeat Jerusalem and the idols her people have made.’” 12My Master will finish doing the things he planned to Jerusalem and Mount Zion.* Then the Lord will punish Assyria.* The king of Assyria is very proud. His pride made him do many bad things. So God will punish him. 13The king of Assyria* says, “I am very wise. By my own wisdom and power I have done many great things. I have defeated many nations. I have taken their wealth. And I have taken their people to be slaves. I am a very powerful man. 14With my own hands I have taken the riches of all these people—like a person taking eggs from a bird’s nest. A bird often leaves its nest and eggs. And there is nothing to protect the nest. There is no bird to chirp and fight with its wings and beak. So people take the eggs. {In the same way,} there was no person to stop me from taking all the people on earth.”

God Controls Assyria’s Power

15An axe is not better than the person that cuts with it. A saw is not better than the person that saws with it. {But Assyria thinks he is more important and powerful than God.}  And this is like a stick being more powerful and important than the person that picks it up and uses it to punish someone. 16{Assyria* thinks he is great.} But the Lord All-Powerful will send a terrible disease against Assyria. Assyria will lose his wealth and power like a sick man loses weight. Then Assyria’s glory will be destroyed. It will be like a fire burning until everything is gone. 17Israel’s Light (God) will be like a fire. The Holy One will be like a flame. He will be like a fire that first burns the weeds and thorns. 18Then the fire grows and burns away the great trees and vineyards.* Finally, everything is destroyed—even the people. {It will be like that when God destroys Assyria.} Assyria will be like a rotting log. 19There might be a few trees left standing in the forest. But even a child will be able to count them. 20At that time, the people that are left living in Israel, the people from Jacob’s family, will not continue to depend on the person that beats them. They will learn to truly depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21The people that are left in Jacob’s family will again follow the powerful God. 22Your people are very many. They are like the sands of the sea. But only a few of the people will be left to come back to the Lord.  Those people will return to God, but first, your country will be destroyed. God has announced that he will destroy the land. And then goodness will come into the land; it will be like a river flowing full. 23My Master, the Lord All-Powerful, will surely destroy this land. 24My Master, the Lord All-Powerful, says, “My people living in Zion,* don’t be afraid of Assyria!* He will beat you like Egypt beat you in the past. It will be like Assyria is using a stick to hurt you. 25But after a short time my anger will stop. I will be satisfied that Assyria has punished you enough.” 26Then the Lord All-Powerful will beat Assyria with a whip. In the past, the Lord defeated Midian at Raven Rock.* It will be the same when the Lord attacks Assyria. {In the past, the Lord punished Egypt—} he lifted the stick over the sea,* and led his people from Egypt. It will be the same when the Lord saves his people from Assyria. 27{Assyria* will bring troubles to you—those troubles will be like weights you have to carry on} a pole across your shoulder. But, that pole will be taken off your neck. That pole will be broken by your strength (God).

The Army of Assyria Invades Israel

28* The army will enter near the “Ruins” (Aiath). The army will walk on the “Threshing Floor” (Migron). The army will keep its food in the “Storehouse” (Micmash). 29The army will cross the river at the “Crossing” (Maabarah). The army will sleep at Geba.* Ramah* will be afraid. The people at Gibeah of Saul* will run away. 30Cry out, Bath Gallim!* Laishah, listen! Anathoth, answer me! 31The people of Madmenah are running away. The people of Gebim* are hiding. 32This day, the army will stop at Nob. And the army will prepare to fight against Mount Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Watch! Our Master, the Lord All-Powerful, will chop down the great tree (Assyria). The Lord will do this with his great power. The great and important people will be cut down—they will become not important. 34The Lord will cut down the forest with his axe. And the great trees in Lebanon* (important people) will fall. 

widows and orphans Widows are women whose husbands have died, and orphans are children whose parents have died.  Often these people have no one to care for them. Assyria This was a powerful nation northeast of Israel. idols Statues of false gods that people worshiped. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. vineyards Gardens for growing grapes. Midian at Raven Rock Or “Midian at the Rock of Oreb” See Judges 7:25. he lifted the stick … sea See Ex. 14:1–15:21. Verses 28–32 Isaiah uses word games to show how the Assyrian army would come and fight against Judah. Geba, Ramah, Gibeah of Saul Towns north of Jerusalem. Bath Gallim Gallim, a city south of Jerusalem. This name means “daughter of the waves,” and might also mean “seagull.” These birds make very loud noises. Gebim An unknown city. This name is like the Hebrew word for “pit” or “cistern,” a hole in the ground for storing water. Lebanon A country north of Israel. It was famous for its great cedar and pine trees.

The King of Peace Is Coming

11 A small tree (child) will begin to grow from the stump (family) of Jesse.* That branch will grow from Jesse’s roots. 2The Lord’s Spirit will be in that child. The Spirit gives wisdom, understanding, guidance, and power. And the Spirit {will help this child} know and respect the Lord. 3This child will respect the Lord, and this will make the child happy.  This child will not judge people by the way things look. He will not judge by the things he hears. 4–5He will judge the poor people fairly and honestly. He will be fair when he decides the things to do to the poor people of the land. {If he decides people should be beaten,} then he will give the command, and those people will be beaten. {If he decides people must die,} then he will give the command, and those evil people will be killed. Goodness and fairness will {give this child strength}. They will be like a belt he wears around his waist. 6At that time, wolves will live in peace with lambs. And tigers will lie down in peace with young goats. Calves, lions, and bulls will live together in peace. A little child will lead them. 7Cows and bears will live together in peace. All of their children will lie down together and will not hurt each other. Lions will eat hay like cows. Even snakes will not hurt people. 8A baby will be able to play near a cobra’s* home. A baby will be able to put his hand into the home of a poisonous snake. 9{All these things show that there will be peace}—no person will hurt any other person.  People on my holy mountain will not want to destroy things. Why? Because people will truly know the Lord. They will be full of knowledge {about him} like the sea is full of water. 10At that time, there will be a special person from Jesse’s* family. This person will be like a flag. This “flag” will show all the nations that they should come together around him. The nations will ask him the things they should do. And the place where he is will be filled with glory. 11At that time, my Master (God) will again reach out and take his people that are left. This will be the second time God has done this. (These are God’s people that are left in countries like Assyria, North Egypt, South Egypt, Ethiopia, Elam, Babylonia, Hamath, and all the faraway countries around the world.) 12God will raise this “flag” as a sign for all people. The people of Israel and Judah were forced to leave their country. The people were scattered to all the faraway places on earth. But God will gather them together. 13At that time, Ephraim (Israel) will not be jealous of Judah. Judah will have no enemies left. And Judah will not cause trouble for Ephraim. 14But Ephraim and Judah will attack the Philistines.* These two nations will be like birds flying down to catch a small animal. Together, they will take the riches from the people in the east. Ephraim and Judah will control Edom, Moab,* and the people in Ammon.* 15The Lord became angry and divided the sea of Egypt. {In the same way,} the Lord will wave his arm over the Euphrates River. He will hit the river, and the river will divide into seven small rivers. The small rivers will not be deep—people will be able to walk across those rivers with their shoes on. 16God’s people that are left will have a way to leave Assyria. It will be like the time God took the people out of Egypt.

Jesse King David’s father. cobra A very poisonous snake.  Philistines People living on the coast of Palestine. They were one of Israel’s enemies. Edom, Moab Two countries east of Israel. They were Israel’s enemies for many, many years. Ammon A country east of Israel.

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