But those who have suffered will no longer be in pain.
e 9.1 will ... pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
The territories of Zebulun and Naphtali in Galilee were once hated. But this land of the Gentiles across the Jordan River and along the Mediterranean Sea will be greatly respected.
War Is Over
Those who walked in the dark
have seen a bright light.
And it shines upon everyone
who lives in the land
of darkest shadows.
3 Our Lord, you have made
your nation stronger.
f 9.3 stronger: Or “happy” or “larger.”
Because of you, its people
are glad and celebrate
like workers at harvest time
or like soldiers dividing up
what they have taken.
4 You have broken the power
of those who abused
and enslaved your people.
You have rescued them
just as you saved your people
g 9.4 rescued ... from Midian: The time when Gideon defeated the people of Midian in Jezreel Valley (see Judges 6-8).
5 The boots of marching warriors
and the blood-stained uniforms
have been fed to flames
and eaten by fire.
A Child Has Been Born
6 A child has been born for us.
We have been given a son
who will be our ruler.
His names will be
and Mighty God,
and Prince of Peace.
His power will never end;
peace will last forever.
He will rule David's kingdom
and make it grow strong.
He will always rule
with honesty and justice.
The Lord All-Powerful
will make certain
that all of this is done.
God Will Punish Israel
8 The Lord had warned the people of Israel,
9 and all of them knew it, including everyone in the capital city of Samaria. But they were proud and stubborn and said,
10 “Houses of brick and sycamore
have fallen to the ground,
but we will build houses
with stones and cedar.”
made their enemies
h 9.11 their enemies: Hebrew “the enemies of Rezin.”
He sent the Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west, and they swallowed up Israel. But even this did not stop him from being angry, so he kept on punishing them.
i 9.12 so ... them: Or “but he hasn't given up on them yet.”
The people of Israel still did not turn back to the Lord
All-Powerful and worship him.
In one day he cut off their head and tail, their leaves and branches.
Their rulers and leaders were the head, and the lying prophets were the tail.
They had led the nation down the wrong path, and the people were confused.
The Lord was angry with his people and kept punishing them, because they had turned against him.
j 9.17 and kept ... against him: Or “but even though they had turned against him, he still had not given up on them.”
They were evil and spoke foolishly. That's why he did not have pity on their young people or on their widows and orphans.
Evil had spread like a raging forest fire sending thornbushes up in smoke.
All-Powerful was angry and used the people as fuel for a fire that scorched the land. They turned against each other
like wild animals attacking and eating everyone around them, even their own relatives.
k 9.20 their own relatives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
But still they were not satisfied.
The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh turned against each other, then joined forces to attack Judah. But the Lord
was still angry and ready to punish the nation even more.