Birth of the Prince of Peace 9 1[B]Nevertheless, 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. 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.   2[C]The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. 3You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy.[D] The people have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. 4For You have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as You did on the day of Midian. 5For the 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, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. 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 Hosts will accomplish this.   The Hand Raised against Israel   8The Lord sent a message against Jacob; it came against Israel. 9All the people— Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—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 is not removed, and His hand is still raised to strike.   13The people did not turn to Him who struck them; they did not seek the Lord of Hosts. 14So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail, palm branch and reed in a single day. 15The head is the elder, the honored one; the tail is the prophet, the lying teacher. 16The leaders of the people mislead them, and those they mislead are swallowed up.[E] 17Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over[F] Israel’s young men and has no compassion on its fatherless and widows, for everyone is a godless evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised to strike.   18For wickedness burns like a fire 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 Hosts, and the people are like fuel for the fire. No one has compassion on his brother. 20They carve meat on the right, but they are still hungry; they have eaten on the left, but they are still not satisfied. Each one eats the flesh of his own arm. 21Manasseh is with Ephraim, and Ephraim with Manasseh; together, both are against Judah. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised to strike.
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