A Sign-Child is Born
1 The Lord told me, “Take a large tablet1 and inscribe these words2 on it with an ordinary stylus:3 ‘Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.’4 2 Then I will summon5 as my reliable witnesses Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah.” 3 I then had sexual relations with the prophetess; she conceived and gave birth to a son. The Lord told me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, 4 for before the child knows how to cry out, ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria6 will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”7
5 The Lord spoke to me again: 6 “These people8 have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah9 and melt in fear over Rezin and the son of Remaliah.10 7 So look, the sovereign master11 is bringing up against them the turbulent and mighty waters of the Euphrates River12 – the king of Assyria and all his majestic power. It will reach flood stage and overflow its banks.13 8 It will spill into Judah, flooding and engulfing, as it reaches to the necks of its victims. He will spread his wings out over your entire land,14 O Immanuel.”15
9 You will be broken,16 O nations;
Pay attention, all you distant lands of the earth!
Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered!
Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered!18
10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted!
Issue your orders, but they will not be executed!19
The Lord Encourages Isaiah
11 Indeed this is what the Lord told me. He took hold of me firmly and warned me not to act like these people:21
12 “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ every time these people say the word.22
Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.
13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies.23
He is the one you must respect;
he is the one you must fear.24 14 He will become a sanctuary,25
but a stone that makes a person trip,
and a rock that makes one stumble –
to the two houses of Israel.26 He will become27 a trap and a snare to the residents of Jerusalem.28 15 Many will stumble over the stone and the rock,29
and will fall and be seriously injured,
and will be ensnared and captured.”
16 Tie up the scroll as legal evidence,30 seal the official record of God’s instructions and give it to my followers.31
17 I will wait patiently for the Lord,
who has rejected the family of Jacob;32
I will wait for him.
18 Look, I and the sons whom the Lord has given me33 are reminders and object lessons34 in Israel, sent from the Lord who commands armies, who lives on Mount Zion.
Darkness Turns to Light as an Ideal King Arrives35
19 They will say to you, “Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations.36 Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living?”37 20 Then you must recall the Lord’s instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen.38 Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually darkened.39 21 They will pass through the land40 destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry,41 and they will curse their king and their God42 as they look upward. 22 When one looks out over the land, he sees43 distress and darkness, gloom44 and anxiety, darkness and people forced from the land.45