The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
Afterwards, in the reign of Achaz, whose father was Ozias’ son Joathan, an attack was made upon Jerusalem by Rasin, king of Syria, and Phacee, son of Romelia, king of Israel. As it proved, they were not strong enough to take it;
but when the news reached David’s palace that Syria had gained a footing in Ephraim, the hearts of Achaz and his people trembled like forest trees before the wind.
Then it was that the Lord said to Isaias, Take with thee thy son, Jashub the Survivor,✻ and go out to the end of the aqueduct that feeds the upper pool in the Fuller’s Ground. There thou wilt meet Achaz,
and this shall be thy message to him, Shew a calm front, do not be afraid. Must thy heart fail thee because Rasin king of Syria and the son of Romelia are thy sworn enemies? What is either of them but the smouldering stump of a fire-brand?
What if Syria, what if Ephraim and the son of Romelia are plotting to do thee an injury?
They think to invade Juda and strike terror into it, so that they can bring it into their power, and set up the son of Tabeel as its ruler;
a vain errand, the Lord says; it shall not be.
As surely as Damascus rules Syria,✻ and Rasin rules Damascus, within sixty-five years Ephraim will be a people no longer.
As surely as Samaria rules Ephraim, and the son of Romelia rules Samaria, if you lose courage, your cause is lost.
The Lord sent, besides, this message to Achaz,
Ask the Lord thy God to give thee a sign, in the depths beneath thee, or in the height above thee.
But Achaz said, Nay, I will not ask for a sign; I will not put the Lord to the test.
Why then, said Isaias, listen to me, you that are of David’s race. Cannot you be content with trying the patience of men? Must you try my God’s patience too?
Sign you ask none, but sign the Lord will give you. Maid shall be with child, and shall bear a son,✻ that shall be called Emmanuel.
On butter and honey shall be his thriving, till he is of age to know good from harm;✻
already, before he can tell this from that, king they shall have none, the two kingdoms that are thy rivals.
As for thee, and for thy people, and for thy father’s house, the Lord means to bring upon thee such days of trouble as have not been seen since Ephraim parted from Juda, with the coming of the king of Assyria.
Days when the Lord will whistle up those plagues of his, yonder flies that hatch by the last rivers of Egypt; yonder bees, that hive in the land of Assur.
Invading swarms, that settle even upon mountain, gully and rock, cavern; thicket is none, nor underground pit, shall be safe from them.
Hard times, when the Lord will be hiring mercenaries from beyond Euphrates, the king of Assyria’s men, and will leave you quite bare, hair of head and legs shaved close with this hired rasor of his, and the beard too!
Hard times, when one heifer and a pair of sheep are all the stock a man has;
milk plentiful, so that he has butter to eat; of butter and honey the survivors will have no lack;
but where once a thousand vines grew, each worth a silver piece, all will be thorns and brushwood.
Covert of thorns and brushwood, where men go armed with bow and arrows;
only the hill-sides, that have felt the hoe, shall be free from the terrors of the covert, and these the cattle shall graze, the sheep trample under foot.
The Holy Bible