The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
Land of Zabulon and Nephthali, its burden at first how lightly borne! but after-wards affliction weighed on it, Galilee, by the sea road where the Gentiles dwell west of Jordan.✻
And now the people that went about in darkness has seen a great light; for men abiding in a land where death overshadowed them, light has dawned.
Their number thou didst increase, but gavest them no joy of it;✻ now, they shall rejoice in thy presence, as men rejoice when the harvest is in, as men triumph when victory is won, and booty taken, and they fall to dividing up the spoils.
Yoke that fixed the burden, shaft that galled the shoulder, rod of the tyrant, all lie broken now, as they did long ago, when Madian fell.
All the trophies of the old tumultuous forays,✻ all the panoply stained with blood, will be burnt up now, will go to feed the flames.
For our sakes a child is born, to our race a son is given, whose shoulder will bear the sceptre of princely power. What name shall be given him? Peerless among counsellors, the mighty God, Father of the world to come, the Prince of peace.
Ever wider shall his dominion spread, endlessly at peace; he will sit on David’s kingly throne, to give it lasting foundations of justice and right; so tenderly he loves us, the Lord of hosts.
Meanwhile, the Lord has issued his sentence against Jacob, his writ is out against Israel:
Ephraim will soon know of it, all the citizens of Samaria. Fools, that boast in the pride of their hearts:
The brick houses have fallen, we must build them up in stone; the sycamores have been cut down, we must plant cedars instead!
The Lord will make Rasin’s rivals more powerful than Rasin himself;✻ all the enemies of Israel he will set astir,
Syria on the East, and the Philistines in the west, that will fall upon him wide-mouthed. And even so the Lord’s anger is not appeased; his hand threatens us still.
Alas for the people that will not come back to God, who chastens it; that leaves the Lord of hosts unregarded as ever!
And now, in one day, the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both pliant reed and stubborn bough.✻
(What is the head, but the senator that holds his head so high? What is the tail, but the prophet that gives lying assurances?)
False guides, that promised all was well; fools that gave them credence, to their own undoing!
Pride in their warriors the Lord has none, pity for orphan and widow has none; all are false and worthless, no mouth but talks presumptuously. Even so the Lord’s anger is not appeased, his hand threatens us still.
Our wickedness is like a raging fire, that will devour brushwood and thorn-bush, then set light to the forest’s tangled boughs; see how proudly yonder column of smoke whirls upward!
Fiery vengeance of the Lord of hosts, that ravages country-side and devours citizen! Brother shews brother no mercy;
turn he to the right, nought but famine is there; eat he what comes to his left hand, he is yet hungry, so that at last he will fall on his own flesh and blood,✻ Manasses on Ephraim and Ephraim on Manasses, and both will be banded together against Juda.
And even so the Lord’s anger is not appeased; his hand threatens us still.
The Holy Bible