Isaiah 7

1Ahaz was the son of Jotham. Jotham was the son of Uzziah. Rezin was the king of Aram, Pekah son of Remaliah was the king of Israel. During the time Ahaz was king of Judah, Rezin and Pekah went up to Jerusalem to fight against it. But they were not able to defeat the city. 2A message was told to the family of David. The message said, “The army of Aram and the army of Ephraim ˻(Israel)˼ have joined together. The two armies are camped together.” When King Ahaz heard this message, he and the people became very scared. They were shaking with fear like trees of the forest blowing in the wind. 3Then the Lord told Isaiah, “You and your son Shear Jashub should go out and talk to Ahaz. Go to the place where the water flows into the upper pool. This is on the street going to Laundryman’s Field. 4“Tell Ahaz, 'Be careful, but be calm. Don’t be afraid. Don’t let those two men, Rezin and Remaliah’s son, scare you! Those men are like two burnt sticks. In the past they were burning hot. But now they are only smoke. Rezin, Aram, and Remaliah’s son are angry. 5They have made plans against you. They said: 6We should go and fight against Judah. We will divide Judah for ourselves. We will make Tabeel’s son the new king of Judah.’” 7The Lord my Master says, “Their plan will not succeed. It will not happen. 8It will not happen while Rezin is the ruler of Damascus. Ephraim ˻(Israel)˼ is now a nation, but 65 years in the future Ephraim ˻(Israel)˼ will not be a nation. 9Their plan will not succeed while Samaria is the capital of Ephraim ˻(Israel)˼ and while the ruler of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If you don’t believe this message then people should not believe you.” 10Then the Lord continued to speak to Ahaz. 11The Lord said, “Ask for a sign to prove to yourself that these things are true. You can ask for any sign you want. The sign can come from a place as deep as Sheol, or the sign can come from a place as high as the skies.” 12But Ahaz said, “I will not ask for a sign as proof. I will not test the Lord.” 13Then Isaiah said, “Family of David, listen very carefully! You test the people’s patience—and this is not important to you. So, now you test my God’s patience. 14But ˻God,˼ my Master, will show you a sign: Look at the young woman. She is pregnant, and she will give birth to a son. She will name him Immanuel. 15Immanuel will eat butter and honey. ˻He will live like this˼ to learn how to choose to do good and to refuse to do evil. 16But before the child ˻is old enough˼ to learn about good and evil, the land of Ephraim ˻(Israel)˼ and Aram will be empty. “You are afraid of those two kings now. 17But ˻you should be afraid of the Lord. Why? Because˼ the Lord will bring some troubled times to you. Those troubles will come to your people and to the people of your father’s family. ˻What will God do?˼ God will bring the king of Assyria to fight against you. 18“At that time, the Lord will call for the 'Fly.’ (The 'Fly’ is now near the streams of Egypt.) And the Lord will call for the 'Bee.’ (The 'Bee’ is now in the country of Assyria.) These enemies will come to your country. 19These enemies will camp in the rocky canyons near the desert streams and near the bushes and watering holes. 20The Lord will use Assyria to punish Judah. Assyria will be hired and used like a razor. It will be like the Lord is shaving the hair from Judah’s head and legs. It will be like the Lord is shaving off Judah’s beard. 21“At that time, a person will be able to keep only one young cow and two sheep alive. 22There will be only enough milk for that person to eat butter. Every person in the country will eat butter and honey. 23In this land, there are now fields that have 1,000 grapevines. Each grapevine is worth 1,000 pieces of silver. But these fields will become full of weeds and thorns. 24The land will become wild and useful only as a hunting ground. 25People once worked and grew food on these hills. But at that time, people will not go there. The land will be filled with weeds and thorns. Only sheep and cattle will go to those places.”

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