Chapter 4

  1. Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict by the way of the Red Sea beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shone. You have multiplied the nation and increased the joy; they joy before you according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For you have broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian, for every battle of the warrior with confused noise and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.
  2. The Lord sent his word unto Jacob, and it has lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say in the pride and in the stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. Therefore, the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him and join his enemies together — the Syrians before and the Philistines behind — and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
  3. For the people turns not unto him that smites them, neither do they seek the Lord of Hosts. Therefore, the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The elder and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed. Therefore, the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows; for every one of them is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
  4. For wickedness burns as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire; no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry, and he shall eat on the left hand and they shall not be satisfied. They shall eat, every man, the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand stretched out still.
  5. Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees and that write grievousness which they have prescribed, to turn aside the needy from judgment and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey and that they may rob the fatherless. And what will you do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
  6. O Assyrian, the rod of my anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation. I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Nevertheless, he means not so, neither does his heart think so, but in his heart it is to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he says, Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus? As my hand has founded the kingdoms of the idols, and whose engraved images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria, shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and to her idols?
  7. Wherefore, it shall come to pass that when the Lord has performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks. For he says, By the strength of my hand and by my wisdom I have done these things, for I am prudent. And I have moved the borders of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. And my hand has found as a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathers eggs that are left have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
  8. Shall the ax boast itself against him that hews with it? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shakes it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame, and shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day, and shall consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, both soul and body. And they shall be as when a standard-bearer faints. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.






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