New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 7

The Sign of Immanuel

1Ahaz was king of Judah. Rezin was king of Aram. And Pekah was king of Israel. Rezin and Pekah marched up to fight against Jerusalem. But they couldn’t overpower it. Ahaz was the son of Jotham and the grandson of Uzziah. Pekah was the son of Remaliah.

The royal family of Ahaz was told, “The army of Aram has joined forces with Ephraim’s army.” So the hearts of Ahaz and his people trembled with fear. They shook just as trees in the forest shake when the wind blows through them.

The Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out and see Ahaz. Take your son Shear-Jashub with you. Meet Ahaz at the end of the channel that brings water from the Upper Pool. It is on the road to the Washerman’s Field. Tell Ahaz, ‘Be careful. Stay calm. Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope because of the great anger of Rezin, Aram and the son of Remaliah. After all, they are nothing but two pieces of smoking firewood. Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have planned to destroy you. They said, “Let’s march into Judah and attack it. Let’s tear everything down. Then we can share the land among ourselves. And we can make Tabeel’s son king over it.” But I am the Lord and King. I say,

“ ‘ “That will not happen.
    It will not take place.
The capital of Aram is Damascus.
    And the ruler of Damascus is only Rezin.
Do not worry about the people of Ephraim.
    They will be too crushed to be considered a people.
    That will happen before 65 years are over.
The capital of Ephraim is Samaria.
    And the ruler of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
    you will not stand at all.” ’ ”

10 The Lord spoke to Ahaz through Isaiah again. He said, 11 “I am the Lord your God. Ask me to give you a sign. It can be anything in the deepest grave or in the highest heaven.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I won’t ask. I won’t test the Lord.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen, you members of the royal family of David! Isn’t it enough for you to test the patience of human beings? Are you also going to test the patience of my God? 14 The Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel. 15 He will still be very young when he can decide between right and wrong. 16 Even before then, the lands of the two kings you fear will be ruined. 17 The Lord will also bring the king of Assyria against you. And he will bring him against your people and the whole royal family. That will be a time of trouble. It will be unlike any since the people of Ephraim broke away from Judah.”

The Lord Uses Assyria to Judge Judah

18 At that time the Lord will whistle for the Egyptians. They will come like flies from the Nile River in Egypt. He will also whistle for the Assyrians. They will come from their country like bees. 19 All of them will come and camp in the deep valleys. They will camp in caves in the rocks. And they’ll camp near bushes and water holes. 20 At that time the Lord will use the Assyrians to punish you. Ahaz had hired them earlier from east of the Euphrates River. Now their king will be like a razor in the Lord’s hand. He will shave the hair from your head and private parts. He will also shave off your beards. 21 At that time a person may only be able to keep alive one young cow and two goats. 22 But they will give plenty of milk to live on. In fact, everyone left in the land will only have milk curds and honey to eat. 23 The land used to have vineyards with 1,000 vines worth 25 pounds of silver. But soon the whole land will be covered with thorns and bushes. 24 Hunters will go there with bows and arrows. That’s because it will be covered with bushes and thorns. 25 All the hills used to be plowed with hoes. But you won’t go there anymore. That’s because you will be afraid of the thorns and bushes. Cattle will be turned loose on those hills. Sheep will also run there.