Birth of the Prince of Peace
1Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.9:1 Mt 4:15 But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.
2The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;9:2 Mt 4:16; Eph 5:8
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.9:2 Lk 1:79
3You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.9:3 Alt Hb tradition reads have not increased joy9:3 Is 26:15
The people have rejoiced before you
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.9:3 1Sm 30:16
4For you have shattered their oppressive yoke9:4 Is 10:27; 14:25
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as you did on the day of Midian.9:4 Jdg 7:25; Is 10:26
5For every trampling boot of battle
and the bloodied garments of war
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,9:6 Is 7:14; 11:1–2; 53:2; Lk 2:11; Jn 3:16
and the government will be on his shoulders.9:6 Is 22:22; Mt 28:18; 1Co 15:25
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor,9:6 Is 28:29 Mighty God,9:6 Dt 10:17; Neh 9:32; Is 10:21
Eternal Father,9:6 Is 63:16; 64:8 Prince of Peace.9:6 Is 26:3,12; 54:10; 66:12
7The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.9:7 Ps 89:4; Dn 2:44; Lk 1:32–33
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.9:7 Is 37:32; 59:17
The Hand Raised against Israel
8The Lord sent a message against Jacob;
it came against Israel.
9All the people —
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria9:9 Ac 1:8 — will know it.
They will say with pride and arrogance,
10“The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with cut stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will replace them with cedars.”
11The Lord has raised up Rezin’s adversaries against him
and stirred up his enemies.
12Aram from the east and Philistia from the west
have consumed Israel with open mouths.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.9:12 Is 5:25

13The people did not turn to him who struck them;
they did not seek the Lord of Armies.
14So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail,9:14 Is 19:15
palm branch and reed in a single day.
15The head is the elder, the honored one;9:15 Is 3:2–3
the tail is the prophet, the one teaching lies.9:15 Is 28:15; 59:3–4; Jr 23:14,32; Mt 24:24
16The leaders of the people mislead them,
and those they mislead are swallowed up.9:16 Or are confused
17Therefore the Lord does not rejoice
over9:17 DSS read not spare Israel’s young men
and has no compassion
on its fatherless and widows,
for everyone is a godless evildoer,9:17 Is 1:4; 10:6; 14:20; 31:2; 32:6
and every mouth speaks folly.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

18For wickedness burns like a fire9:18 Ps 83:14; Is 1:7; Nah 1:10; Mal 4:1
that consumes thorns and briers
and kindles the forest thickets
so that they go up in a column of smoke.
19The land is scorched
by the wrath of the Lord of Armies,
and the people are like fuel for the fire.9:19 Is 1:31; 24:6
No one has compassion on his brother.9:19 Mc 7:2,6
20They carve meat on the right,
but they are still hungry;9:20 Is 8:21–22
they have eaten on the left,
but they are still not satisfied.
Each one eats the flesh of his arm.9:20 Dt 28:53–57; Is 49:26
21Manasseh eats Ephraim,
and Ephraim, Manasseh;
together, both are against Judah.9:21 2Ch 28:6,8; Is 11:13
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.9:21 Is 5:25