In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on his throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole Temple. 2Round him flaming creatures were standing, each of which had six wings. Each creature covered its face with two wings, and its body with two, and used the other two for flying. 3
They were calling out to each other:
“Holy, holy, holy!
The LORD Almighty is holy!
His glory fills the world.”
The sound of their voices made the foundation of the Temple shake, and the Temple itself was filled with smoke.
5I said, “There is no hope for me! I am doomed because every word that passes my lips is sinful, and I live among a people whose every word is sinful. And yet, with my own eyes, I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!”
6Then one of the creatures flew down to me, carrying a burning coal that he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7He touched my lips with the burning coal and said, “This has touched your lips, and now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven.”
8Then I heard the Lord say, “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?”
I answered, “I will go! Send me!”
So he told me to go and give the people this message: “No matter how much you listen, you will not understand. No matter how much you look, you will not know what is happening.” 10Then he said to me, “Make the minds of these people dull, their ears deaf, and their eyes blind, so that they cannot see or hear or understand. If they did, they might turn to me and be healed.”
11I asked, “How long will it be like this, Lord?”
He answered, “Until the cities are ruined and empty — until the houses are uninhabited — until the land itself is a desolate waste. 12I will send the people far away and make the whole land desolate. 13Even if one person out of ten remains in the land, he too will be destroyed; he will be like the stump of an oak tree that has been cut down.”
(The stump represents a new beginning for God's people.)
When King Ahaz, the son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, ruled Judah, war broke out. Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, attacked Jerusalem, but were unable to capture it.
2When word reached the king of Judah that the armies of Syria were already in the territory of Israel, he and all his people were so terrified that they trembled like trees shaking in the wind.
3The LORD said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear Jashub,7.3 Shear Jashub: This name in Hebrew means “A few will come back” (see 10.20–22). and go to meet King Ahaz. You will find him on the road where the cloth makers work, at the end of the ditch that brings water from the upper pool. 4Tell him to keep alert, to stay calm, and not to be frightened or disturbed. The anger of King Rezin and his Syrians and of King Pekah is no more dangerous than the smoke from two smouldering sticks. 5Syria, together with Israel and its king, has made a plot. 6They intend to invade Judah, terrify the people into joining their side, and then put Tabeel's son on the throne.
7“But I, the LORD, declare that this will never happen. 8Why? Because Syria is no stronger than Damascus, its capital city, and Damascus is no stronger than King Rezin. As for Israel, within 65 years it will be too shattered to survive as a nation. 9Israel is no stronger than Samaria, its capital city, and Samaria is no stronger than King Pekah.
“If your faith is not enduring, you will not endure.”
10The LORD sent another message to Ahaz: 11“Ask the LORD your God to give you a sign. It can be from deep in the world of the dead or from high up in heaven.”
12Ahaz answered, “I will not ask for a sign. I refuse to put the LORD to the test.”
13To that Isaiah replied, “Listen, now, descendants of King David. It's bad enough for you to wear out the patience of people — must you wear out God's patience too? 14
Well then, the Lord himself will give you a sign: a young woman7.14 young woman: The Hebrew word here translated “young woman” is not the specific term for “virgin”, but refers to any young woman of marriageable age. The use of “virgin” in Mt 1.23 reflects a Greek translation of the Old Testament, made some 500 years after Isaiah. who is pregnant will have a son and will name him ‘Immanuel.’7.14 Immanuel: This name in Hebrew means “God is with us”. 15By the time he is old enough to make his own decisions, people will be drinking milk and eating honey.7.15 milk and honey: These foods were associated with the earlier days of Israel's history. 16Even before that time comes, the lands of those two kings who terrify you will be deserted.
17“The LORD is going to bring on you, on your people, and on the whole royal family, days of trouble worse than any that have come since the kingdom of Israel separated from Judah — he is going to bring the king of Assyria.
18“When that time comes, the LORD will whistle as a signal for the Egyptians to come like flies from the farthest branches of the Nile, and for the Assyrians to come from their land like bees. 19They will swarm in the rugged valleys and in the caves in the rocks, and they will cover every thorn bush and every pasture.
20“When that time comes, the Lord will hire a barber from across the Euphrates — the emperor of Assyria! — and he will shave off your beards, and the hair on your heads and your bodies.
21“When that time comes, even if a farmer has been able to save only one young cow and two goats, 22they will give so much milk that he will have all he needs. Yes, the few survivors left in the land will have milk and honey to eat.
23“When that time comes, the fine vineyards, each with a thousand vines and each worth a thousand pieces of silver, will be overgrown with thorn bushes and briars. 24People will go hunting there with bows and arrows. Yes, the whole country will be full of briars and thorn bushes. 25All the hills where crops used to grow will be so overgrown with thorns that no one will go there. It will be a place where cattle and sheep graze.”
81The LORD said to me, “Take a large piece of writing material and write on it in large letters:8.1 large letters; or letters that everyone can read. ‘Quick Loot, Fast Plunder’. 2Get two reliable men, the priest Uriah and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah, to serve as witnesses.”
3Some time later my wife became pregnant. When our son was born, the LORD said to me, “Name him ‘Quick-Loot-Fast-Plunder’. 4Before the boy is old enough to say ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, all the wealth of Damascus and all the loot of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”
5The LORD spoke to me again. 6He said, “Because these people have rejected the quiet waters from the brook of Shiloah,8.6 brook of Shiloah: A stream which flowed from the large spring on the eastern side of Jerusalem. and tremble8.6 Probable text tremble; Hebrew rejoice. before King Rezin and King Pekah, 7I, the Lord, will bring the emperor of Assyria and all his forces to attack Judah. They will advance like the flood waters of the River Euphrates, overflowing all its banks. 8They will sweep through Judah in a flood, rising shoulder high and covering everything.”
God is with us! His outspread wings protect the land.8.8 everything.” God… land; or everything. They will spread out over the land. God be with us!”
9Gather together in fear, you nations! Listen, you distant parts of the earth. Get ready to fight, but be afraid! Yes, get ready, but be afraid! 10Make your plans! But they will never succeed. Talk as much as you like! But it is all useless, because God is with us.
11With his great power the LORD warned me not to follow the path which the people were following. He said, 12
“Do not join in the schemes of the people and do not be afraid of the things that they fear. 13Remember that I, the LORD Almighty, am holy; I am the one you must fear. 14
Because of my awesome holiness I am like a stone that people stumble over; I am like a trap that will catch the people of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel and the people of Jerusalem. 15Many will stumble; they will fall and be crushed. They will be caught in a trap.”
16You, my disciples are to guard and preserve the messages that God has given me. 17
The LORD has hidden himself from his people, but I trust him and place my hope in him.
Here I am with the children the LORD has given me. The LORD Almighty, whose throne is on Mount Zion, has sent us as living messages to the people of Israel.
19But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortune tellers and mediums, who chirp and mutter. They will say, “After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living.”
20You are to answer them, “Listen to what the LORD is teaching you! Don't listen to mediums — what they tell you cannot keep trouble away.”8.20 Verse 20 in Hebrew is unclear.
21The people will wander through the land, discouraged and hungry. In their hunger and their anger they will curse their king and their God. They may look up to the sky 22or stare at the ground, but they will see nothing but trouble and darkness, terrifying darkness into which they are being driven.