New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 8

Isaiah and His Children Are Signs

1The Lord said to me, “Get a large sheet of paper. Write ‘Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz’ on it with a pen.” So I sent for Zechariah and Uriah the priest. Zechariah is the son of Jeberekiah. Zechariah and Uriah were witnesses for me whom I could trust. Then I went and slept with my wife, who was a prophet. She became pregnant and had a baby boy. The Lord said to me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. The king of Assyria will carry off the wealth of Damascus. He will also carry away the goods that were taken from Samaria. That will happen before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother.’ ”

The Lord continued,

“I am like the gently flowing stream of Siloam.
    But the people of Judah have turned their backs on me.
They are filled with joy because of the fall of Rezin
    and the son of Remaliah.
So I am about to bring against these people
    the king of Assyria and his whole army.
The Assyrians will be like the mighty Euphrates River
    when it is flooding.
    They will run over everything in their path.
They will sweep on into Judah like a flood.
    They will pass through Judah and reach all the way to Jerusalem.
Immanuel, they will attack your land like an eagle.
    Their wings will spread out and cover it.”

Sound the battle cry, you nations!
    But you will be torn apart.
    Listen, all you lands far away!
Prepare for battle! But you will be torn apart.
    Prepare for battle! But you will be torn apart.
10 Make your battle plans! But you won’t succeed.
    Give your orders! But they won’t be carried out.
    That’s because God is with us.

11 The Lord speaks to me while his powerful hand is on me. He is warning me not to live the way these people live. He says,

12 “People of Judah, do not agree with those who say
    Isaiah is guilty of treason.
Do not fear what they fear.
    Do not be afraid.
13 The Lord rules over all.
    So you must think about him as holy.
You must have respect for him.
    You must fear him.
14 Then the Lord will be a holy place of safety for you.
    But that’s not true for many people in Israel and Judah.
    He will be a stone that causes them to trip.
    He will be a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
    he will be a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will trip.
    They will fall and be broken.
    They will be trapped and captured.”

16 Tie up and seal this warning that the Lord said to you through me.
    Preserve among my followers what he taught you through me.
17 I will wait for the Lord.
    He is turning his face away from Jacob’s people.
    I will put my trust in him.

18 Here I am. Here are the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and reminders to Israel from the Lord who rules over all. He lives on Mount Zion.

The Darkness Turns to Light

19 There are people who get messages from those who have died. But these people only whisper words that are barely heard. Suppose someone tells you to ask for advice from these people. Shouldn’t you ask for advice from your God instead? Why should you get advice from dead people to help those who are alive? 20 Follow what the Lord taught you and said to you through me. People who don’t speak in keeping with these words will have no hope in the morning. 21 They will suffer and be hungry. They’ll wander through the land. When they are very hungry, they will become angry. They’ll look up toward heaven. They’ll ask for bad things to happen to their king and their God. 22 Then they will look at the earth. They’ll see nothing but suffering and darkness. They’ll see terrible sadness. They’ll be driven into total darkness.