A New Day Is Coming 9 1But suddenly there will be no more gloom for the land that suffered. In the past God made the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali hang their heads in shame, but in the future those lands will be made great. They will stretch from the road along the Mediterranean Sea to the land beyond the Jordan River and north to Galilee, the land of people who are not Israelites. 2Before those people lived in darkness, but now they have seen a great light. They lived in a dark land, but a light has shined on them. 3God, you have caused the nation to grow and made the people happy. And they have shown their happiness to you, like the joy during harvest time, like the joy of people taking what they have won in war. 4Like the time you defeated Midian, you have taken away their heavy load and the heavy pole from their backs and the rod the enemy used to punish them. 5Every boot that marched in battle and every uniform stained with blood has been thrown into the fire. 6A child has been born to us; God has given a son to us. He 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 and will continue to grow forever. He will rule as king on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom. He will make it strong by ruling with justice and goodness from now on and forever. The Lord All-Powerful will do this because of his strong love for his people. God Will Punish Israel 8The Lord sent a message against the people of Jacob; it says that God will judge Israel. 9Then everyone in Israel, even the leaders in Samaria, will know that God has sent it. Those people are proud and brag by saying, 10“These bricks have fallen, but we will build again with cut stones. These small trees have been chopped down, but we will put great cedars there.” 11But the Lord has brought the enemies of Rezin against them; he has stirred up their enemies against them. 12The Arameans came from the east and the Philistines from the west, and they ate up Israel with their armies. But the Lord was still angry; his hand was still raised to punish the people. 13But the people did not return to the one who had struck them; they did not follow the Lord All-Powerful. 14So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail, taking away both the branch and stalk in one day. 15The older leaders and important men were the head, and the prophets who speak lies were the tail. 16Those who led the people led them in the wrong direction, and those who followed them were destroyed. 17So the Lord is not happy with the young people, nor will he show mercy to the orphans and widows. All the people are separated from God and are very evil; they all speak lies. But the Lord is still angry; his hand is still raised to strike down the people. 18Evil is like a small fire. First, it burns weeds and thorns. Next, it burns the larger bushes in the forest, and they all go up in a column of smoke. 19The Lord All-Powerful is angry, so the land will be burned. The people are like fuel for the fire; no one will try to save his brother or sister. 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 they will each turn and eat their own children. 21The people of Manasseh will fight against the people of Ephraim, and Ephraim will fight against Manasseh. Then both of them will turn against Judah. But the Lord is still angry; his hand is still raised to strike down the people.
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