Isaiah 8

1The Lord told me, “Get a large scroll and use a pen to write these words: 'This is for Maher Shalal Hash Baz.’ ˻(This means 'There will soon be looting and stealing.’)˼” 2I gathered some people that could be trusted to be witnesses. (These people were Uriah the priest, and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah.) These men watched me write those words. 3Then I went to the woman prophet. She became pregnant and had a son. Then the Lord told me, “Name the boy Maher Shalal Hash Baz. 4˻Why?˼ Because before the boy learns to say, 'Mama’ and 'Daddy,’ God will take all the wealth and riches from Damascus and Samaria, and God will give those things to the king of Assyria.” 5Again the Lord spoke to me. 6My Master said, “These people refuse to accept the slow-moving waters of the pool of Shiloah. These people are happy with Rezin and Remaliah’s son ˻(Pekah)˼. 7But I, the Lord, will bring the king of Assyria and all his power against you. They will come like a powerful flood of water from the Euphrates River. It will be like water rising up and over the river banks. 8That water will spill out of that river and flow into Judah. The water will rise to Judah’s throat—˻it will almost drown Judah˼. “Immanuel, this flood will spread until it covers your whole country.” 9All you nations, prepare for war! You will be defeated. Listen, all you faraway countries! Prepare for battle! You will be defeated. 10Make your plans for the fight! Your plans will be defeated. Give orders to your armies! Your orders will be useless. Why? Because God is with us! 11The Lord spoke to me with his great power. The Lord warned me not to be like these other people. The Lord said, 12“Every person is saying that other people are making plans against him. You should not believe those things. Don’t be afraid of the things those people fear. Don’t be afraid of those things!” 13The Lord All-Powerful is the One you should be afraid of. He is the One you should respect. He is the One you should fear. 14If you will respect the Lord and consider him holy, then he will be a safe place for you. But you don’t respect him. So God is like a rock that you people fall over. He is a rock that makes the two families of Israel stumble. The Lord is a trap to catch all the people of Jerusalem. 15(Many people will fall over this rock. Those people will fall and be broken. They will be trapped and caught.) 16Isaiah said, “Make an agreement and seal it. Save my teachings for the future. Do this while my followers are watching. 17This is the agreement: I will wait for the Lord to help us. The Lord is ashamed of the family of Jacob. He refuses to look at them. But I will wait for the Lord. He will save us. 18“My children and I are signs and proofs for the people of Israel. We have been sent by the Lord All-Powerful—the Lord who lives on the Mount Zion.” 19Some people say, “Ask the fortune tellers and wizards what to do.” (These fortune tellers and wizards whisper and make sounds like birds ˻to make people think that they know secret things˼.) ˻But I tell you that˼ people should ask their God ˻for help˼! Those fortune tellers and wizards ask dead people what to do. Why should living people ask something from the dead? 20You should follow the teachings and the agreement. If you don’t follow these commands, then you might follow the wrong commands. (The wrong commands are those commands that come from the wizards and fortune tellers. Those commands are worth nothing; you will gain nothing by following those commands.) 21˻If you follow those wrong commands,˼ then there will be troubles and hunger in the land. People will become hungry. Then they will become angry and say things against their king and his gods. Then they will look up ˻to God for help˼. 22If they look around them at their land, then they will see only trouble and depressing darkness—the dark sadness of people forced to leave their country. And the people that are trapped in that darkness will not be able to free themselves.

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