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The Righteous Reign of the Coming King


But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.


The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness—

on them light has shined.


You have multiplied the nation,

you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

as with joy at the harvest,

as people exult when dividing plunder.


For the yoke of their burden,

and the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor,

you have broken as on the day of Midian.


For all the boots of the tramping warriors

and all the garments rolled in blood

shall be burned as fuel for the fire.


For a child has been born for us,

a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;

and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


His authority shall grow continually,

and there shall be endless peace

for the throne of David and his kingdom.

He will establish and uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

from this time onward and forevermore.

The zeal of the L ord of hosts will do this.


Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression


The Lord sent a word against Jacob,

and it fell on Israel;


and all the people knew it—

Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—

but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:


“The bricks have fallen,

but we will build with dressed stones;

the sycamores have been cut down,

but we will put cedars in their place.”


So the L ord raised adversaries against them,

and stirred up their enemies,


the Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west,

and they devoured Israel with open mouth.

For all this his anger has not turned away;

his hand is stretched out still.



The people did not turn to him who struck them,

or seek the L ord of hosts.


So the L ord cut off from Israel head and tail,

palm branch and reed in one day—


elders and dignitaries are the head,

and prophets who teach lies are the tail;


for those who led this people led them astray,

and those who were led by them were left in confusion.


That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,

or compassion on their orphans and widows;

for everyone was godless and an evildoer,

and every mouth spoke folly.

For all this his anger has not turned away;

his hand is stretched out still.



For wickedness burned like a fire,

consuming briers and thorns;

it kindled the thickets of the forest,

and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.


Through the wrath of the L ord of hosts

the land was burned,

and the people became like fuel for the fire;

no one spared another.


They gorged on the right, but still were hungry,

and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied;

they devoured the flesh of their own kindred;


Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,

and together they were against Judah.

For all this his anger has not turned away;

his hand is stretched out still.


16. For the rulers of this people are seducers. 152152     For the leaders of this people (margin, they that call them blessed) cause them to err. — Eng. Ver. Some render it, they who make thee blessed, or, they who call thee blessed; as if he had said that nothing was more hurtful or destructive to a nation than flatteries, which gave encouragement to unbounded licentiousness. But I shall follow the reading which I approved on a former occasion, when the same word occurred. 153153     See the author’s explanation of this phrase at page 140. — Ed. (Isaiah 3:12.) He means that the rulers and magistrates, whose duty it was to restrain the people within the limits of decent behavior, allowed all to indulge freely in crimes and wickedness. On this account they ought justly to be reckoned seducers and corrupters, for corruption flows from them to the whole body of the people, as from the head to the members. Magistrates and pastors are appointed in order to restrain the waywardness of the people, to enjoin what is good and right, and especially to defend the honor of God. If they neglect these duties they ought to be reckoned impostors and not rulers, for they give rise to miserable confusion. Now, when every one does what he pleases, and the reins of government are nowhere to be found, can there be anything but the most terrible result? When the common people are thus punished on account of their faults, no lighter vengeance awaits the rulers, because they have neglected the duty entrusted to them, and have occasioned so many evils.

And they who are governed are destroyed. By this clause he means that wicked princes, and those who rule according to their own caprice, are destructive; and in like manner teachers who rather deceive and impose on men than point out the way of salvation, because through their fault the people are ruined. But at the same time he shows that this affords no excuse to any one for seeking to make bad rulers a cloak for their own transgressions, as is commonly done, for if the blind lead the blind, as Christ says, both will fall into the ditch. It is certain that none are ruined by wicked and treacherous leaders, but those who of their own accord wish to be led astray.

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