God Sends Isaiah with a Message

An EasyEnglish Bible Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) on Isaiah chapters 1-12

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A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

Isaiah wrote his book in the Hebrew language. Words in brackets, ( … ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.

 

A note on the book of Isaiah

There are 66 chapters in Isaiah’s book. The book is easier to understand if we put it into 5 parts. We have done this below. The word list explains the words prophet and messiah. The words king, servant and messiah do not always mean the same people in Isaiah’s book. This often confuses us in Isaiah’s book.

The five parts of Isaiah

PART 1: Chapters 1-5           Isaiah describes the people in the country called Judah and its capital city Jerusalem.

PART 2: Chapter 6                God makes Isaiah into a prophet.

PART 3: Chapters 7-37         God’s KING rules God’s people.

PART 4: Chapters 38-55       God’s SERVANT saves God’s people.

PART 5: Chapters 56-66       God’s *MESSIAH beats God’s enemies.

PART 1: Chapters 1-5 Isaiah describes the people that live in the country called Judah and its capital city Jerusalem

We can put PART 1 into 3 smaller parts. This makes it easier to understand.

            Isaiah 1:2-9                                         Isaiah   1:10-20                                    Isaiah   1:21-31

                                                                                    2:6-21                                                  2:22-4:1

 

 

THE PROBLEMS
OF THEIR
PEOPLE

 

THE PROBLEMS
OF THEIR
*RELIGION

 

THE PROBLEMS
OF THEIR
COUNTRY

 

 

Isaiah 2:1-5 and 4:2-6 are not about problems. They contain promises.

Chapter 5 is not about problems. It tells the people what God will do to them. Because they have not obeyed him, he will *punish them.

Chapter 1

v1 This is what Isaiah, the son of Amoz, *saw. He saw things about the country called Judah and the city called Jerusalem. It happened when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.

The problems of the country called Judah

v2 Hear (the *LORD, you) skies! And listen (to him, you) earth, because the *LORD, he has spoken! (He has said,) ‘I have helped (my) sons to grow. And I have loved them. But even they have fought against me!

v3 A cow knows its master. And a horse (knows) where its keeper feeds it. But Israel, they do not know (me). My people, they do not understand (me).’

v4 Oh! (You are a) country that does not obey me. (All your) people are (like people who are) carrying a heavy weight. (It is) the wrong things (that you have done). (You are a) family (of people) that is always doing bad things. (You are) sons that destroy (everything). They have left the *LORD. They think that the *Holy (God) of Israel is silly. They have become strangers. Their backs are towards (him).

v5 So, you continue to fight (against God). (The enemy) will only hurt you again. (Your) whole head is not well and (your) whole heart is ill.

v6 From the under part of the feet, even to the head, there is no health in you. (There are) places (where people have) hit (you). (There are) places that hurt. People have cut some places until they bleed. Nobody has cleaned those places. Nobody has tied a cloth round them. Nobody has put medicine on them.

v7 Your country is empty. Fire has burned your cities. Foreign people have taken everything from your fields. (They did it) in front of you. Strangers have destroyed (your country).

v8 The *Daughter of Zion, (Jerusalem,) remains like an empty hut in a *vineyard. (She is) like a hut in a field of fruit. (She is) like a city that an enemy is attacking.

v9 Unless the *LORD of Everything had left some people to continue living, we would have been like Sodom. We would have been like Gomorrah.

The problems of the *religion of the country called Judah

Note

People that believe in God have a religion. We show it in two ways.

·        We meet in special buildings, like churches. There, we pray to God.

·        We obey our God always. It is important to do this when we are not in our special buildings.

v10 Hear what the *LORD says, (you) rulers of Sodom. Listen to our God. He is saying what you must do, (you) people in Gomorrah.

v11 ‘All your *sacrifices do not matter to me.’ (This is what) the *LORD is saying. ‘I have had enough (*sacrifices) that you have burned as gifts to me. (I have had enough) male sheep and the best bits of fat animals. (I have had enough) of the blood of male cows, goats and young sheep. They do not give me pleasure.

v12 (There are times) when you come to appear in front of me. But nobody asked you to do this. Do not walk heavily round my *temple.

v13 Do not bring gifts (to me) that mean nothing! I do not like your *incense. I do not like your new moons, (your) *sabbaths and (your) special meetings. These meetings are bad.

v14 I really do not like your new moon meetings and your *holy days. They have become like a heavy weight for me. I am tired because I have to carry them.

v15 I will hide my eyes from you, when you lift up your hands (to me). I will not listen (to you), even if you pray (to me) often. Your hands are full of blood.

v16 Wash yourselves (and) make yourselves clean! Take away the bad things that you are doing. Then I will not see them. Do not continue to do what is wrong.

v17 Learn to do what is right. Make *justice your purpose. Do not let masters be very cruel (to people). Do not let people hurt children who have no father. Say good things on behalf of women whose husbands are dead.

v18 Come, now’, the *LORD is saying. ‘We should talk about this together. Even if your *sins are as bright red, they shall be as white as snow. Even if they are as dark red, they shall be like *wool.

v19 Agree (with me). And obey (me). If you do (these things), you will eat the best food in the country.

v20 But (if you do not do these things), the *sword will kill you. (It will kill you) if you do not obey me. (It will kill you) if you continue to fight against me.’ This is what God himself has said.

The problems of the people that live in the country called Judah

v21 Oh! The City that Loved Me (as a wife) has become like a *prostitute! (The city was) full of *justice. Good people lived in her, but now there are people who murder (other people there).

v22 Your *silver has become dirt and you have mixed water with your best *wine.

v23 Your rulers are fighting against (God). And they are friends of robbers. They all accept things to help people (that they should not help). And (they all) hope for gifts like these. But they do not help children that have no father. (They do not help these children) when people hurt them. The women whose husbands are dead have problems. But (the problems) do not come to the (rulers).

v24 So the *Lord says this. (He is) the *LORD of Everything (and he is) the Powerful (God) of Israel. ‘Oh! I will get rest from my enemies. And I will *punish those people who fight against me.

v25 And I will turn my hand against you and I will wash away all your dirt with soap and brush. So I will remove everything that is not clean.

v26 And I will give back to you your *judges, as (you had them) a long time ago. And (I will give back to you) the people that say what you must do, as at the beginning. After this, you will be called The Good City, and The City that Loves Me.’

v27 (God) will use *justice to make *Zion free. (He will make things) right for the people that return (to him).

v28 But he will destroy people that *sin. (And he will destroy) those people that continue to fight (against him). The *LORD will kill everybody that goes away from him.

v29 Really, they will be ashamed of their special trees (called) oaks. You have found a lot of pleasure in them. The gardens that you have chosen will make you really ashamed.

v30 You will be like an oak tree whose leaves are dying. (You will be like) a garden without water.

v31 The strong man will become like something that burns easily. His work will be like something that causes things to burn. They will both burn together and nobody will put out the fire.

Chapter 2

v1 This is what Isaiah, the son of Amoz, ‘*saw’ about Judah and Jerusalem.

Words that cause us to hope in God

v2 This is what will happen in the last days. The mountain, where the house of the *LORD is, will always be there (in Jerusalem). It will be the most important mountain. It will be higher than the hills (round it). (People from) every country will come towards it.

v3 And people from many countries will come (to it). And they will say, ‘Come! We shall go to the mountain of the *LORD. We must go to the house of the God of *Jacob. Then he will teach us his ways, so that we can walk in his paths.’ So, the word (of God) will go out from Zion. The *LORD’s words will go out from Jerusalem.

v4 (God) will be the *judge between the *nations. He will say (who is right. And he will say) who is wrong. They will use hammers to change their *swords into parts of ploughs. And they will use their knives to *prune plants. *Nations will not attack other *nations with *swords, neither will they learn how to fight again.

v5 House of Jacob, come and we shall walk in the light of the *LORD.

House of Jacob means Israel’s people. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

The problems of *religion in Judah and Israel

v6 But you, (*LORD), have gone away from your people. They are the house (family) of Jacob. They are full (of *magic) from (countries in) the east. They are like the people called Philistines. They have people who use *magic to find out what will happen. Also, they join hands with foreign people.

v7 Their country is full of *silver and gold and they have many valuable things. Their country is full of horses and they have many *chariots.

v8 *Idols that are worth nothing fill their country. They get down on the ground in front of things that their hands have made. (They are things) that their own fingers have made.

v9 So, (the *LORD) makes people *humble and everyone becomes low! (*LORD), do not lift them up again!

v10 Go into (the holes in) the rocks and hide in the ground. (Hide) because you are afraid. (You are afraid) of (what) the *LORD (will do). And (hide from) his great power.

v11 (The *LORD) will stop the way that *proud people look at other people. And (he will make) very *proud people *humble. On that day, only the *LORD will be important.

v12 Yes! The *LORD of Everything will choose a day. Then, (in that day, the *LORD) will make *humble everyone that is *proud, very *proud and important.

v13-16 (The *LORD will be) against all these things:

·           the high, the really high *cedar trees in Lebanon

·           the *oak trees in Bashan

·           the very high mountains

·           the highest hills

·           tall buildings

·           strong walls

·           boats from Tarshish

·           beautiful ships.

v17 (The *LORD) will stop the way that *proud people look at other people. And he will make very *proud people *humble. On that day, only the *LORD will be important.

v18 And nobody will see any of the *idols again.

v19 And (people) will run to holes in the sides of the rocks and to holes in the ground. (They will run) because they are afraid of the *LORD. (They will run) from his great power. (They will run) when he comes to *punish the earth.

v20 In that day people will throw away their *silver *idols and their gold *idols. (They will throw them) to (animals) called *rats and *bats. They made (these *idols) so that they could *worship them.

v21 Then people will run to large holes in the rocks and to holes in (the sides of) mountains. (They will run) because they are afraid of the *LORD. And (they are afraid) of his great power, when he comes to *punish the earth.

v22 Do not ask human people (to help you). They get air through their noses! They are worth (nothing).

Chapter 3

The problems of the people in Judah and Israel

v1 I will show you what the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything (will do). He will remove from Jerusalem and Judah everything that helps them. (He will take away) everything that supplies their food and their water.

v2-3 (He will take away these people):

·           the strong man and the soldier

·           the *judge and the *prophet

·           the person who uses *magic to find out what will happen and the older (leader)

·           the captain of 50 (soldiers) and the very important man

·           the person that tells people what to do and the good worker

·           the person that uses *magic.

v4 ‘And I, (the *LORD), will make boys their leaders and children will rule over them.’

v5 The people will be cruel to each other. (It will be) man against man. (It will be) man against the person that lives near him. Young people will say bad things to older people. And bad people will say bad things to good people.

v6 Then a man will hold his brother strongly in the house of his father. (The man will say), ‘You have a coat. So, you can be our leader! Then you can rule over these buildings that (the enemy) destroyed!’

v7 On that day, (the brother) will refuse. He will say, ‘I cannot help! There is no food and no coat in my house. Do not make me a leader of people.’

v8 (This will happen because the leaders of) Jerusalem and Judah have started to fall. Then they have fallen down. Their words and the things that they do are against the *LORD. They have said bad things about his great *glory.

v9 Their faces show what they are really like. It is clear that they have *sinned, like the (people in) Sodom. They do not hide it. It is so sad! They have brought great trouble to themselves.

v10 Tell the very good people that things will be well for them. They will enjoy the results of the good things that they have done.

v11 The very bad person will be very sad. He will have great trouble. (Here is the reason.) What his hands have done (to other people) will happen to him.

v12 Children are cruel to my people and women rule over them. My people, your leaders have not ruled you well. They have led you away from the (right) paths.

v13 The *LORD stands up to tell (his enemies) that they have done wrong things. He stands as a *judge of (many) countries.

v14 The *LORD comes as *judge of those people who are in the government. (He comes as *judge) of the leaders. (He says that) they burned the *vineyard. Also, they kept what they took away from the poor people.

v15 The *LORD of Everything asks (them these questions):

·           ‘Why do you hit my people, so that they break into pieces?’ (which means, ‘Do not hit my people, so that they break into pieces.’)

·           ‘Why do you walk on the faces of the poor people?’ (which means, ‘Do not walk on the faces of the poor people.’)

v16 The *LORD says, ‘The *Daughters of Zion are very *proud. They lift up their necks when they walk. They glance to see (if the men are looking at them). They walk (so that men do look at them). The little bells on their ankles make a sound when they walk.

v17 So the *LORD will make places that hurt them on their heads. He will make their heads bald.’

v18-23 In that day the *Lord will take away the valuable stones that they wear on their ankles, heads, necks, ears, arms, fingers and noses. He will take away their beautiful clothes and belts, their *perfumes and *charms.

v24 There will be a bad smell instead of *perfume. There will be a *rope instead of a belt. They will not have lovely hair. They will be bald instead. Instead of good clothes (they will wear) cheap hairy cloth. They will not be beautiful. Instead, there will be only *shame.

v25 *Swords will kill your men. Your strong men will die in wars.

v26 And the gates (of Zion) will be (like) sad (people). And they will (be like people who) cry. Zion will (be like people who) sit on the ground. (And the city will be) empty.

Chapter 4

v1 In that day, 7 women will (find and) hold one man. They will say, ‘We will eat our own bread and we will wear our own clothes. But, let us call ourselves by your name. Take away our *shame.’

More good news

v2 In that day, the Branch of the *LORD will be something pretty and something that has *glory. And the fruit of the land will be as something *proud and something beautiful. (They will be) for Israel’s people that will become free. v3 Everyone that remains in *Zion will be called *holy. Also, (everyone) who stays in Jerusalem (will be called *holy). All their names will be on a list of people who are living in Jerusalem. v4 (This will happen) when the *Lord will wash away the dirt from the *Daughters of Zion. Also, (then) he will make Jerusalem clean from the marks left by blood. (He will do this) by a *spirit that will be a *judge and by a *spirit of fire. v5 (This is what) the *LORD will make over all the mountain called Zion. And (it will be over) all the people that come together there. (He will make) a lot of smoke during the day. And (he will make) a fire, which shines in the night. The *glory will be like a coat over everything. v6 It will be a place to hide from the heat in the day. And it will be a place to hide from storms and rain.

Chapter 5

God *punishes his people

The song of the *vineyard

v1 Now I will sing for the person that I love. (I will sing) a song of love about his *vineyard.

            ‘The person that I love has a *vineyard. It is on a hill where plants grow well.

v2        He dug (the ground) and he removed the stones. He planted the best *vines in it.

                        He built a place where he could watch (the *vineyard).

            He also made a place to store *grapes in it. Then he waited for (the *vineyard) to grow (good) *grapes.

                                    But it grew bad *grapes.’

v3 And now, (listen to me,) you people that live in Jerusalem. And (listen,) all you people that live in Judah. You decide who was wrong, me or my *vineyard.

v4 There was nothing else that I ought to have done for my *vineyard. I had done everything for it! I waited for (good) *grapes. (Tell me) why it gave bad *grapes!

v5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my *vineyard. I will take away its wall. Then (animals will come in and) eat (the *vines). I will knock down its wall and (the animals) will walk all over (the *vineyard).

v6 I will make the land so that nobody can use it. Nobody will *prune the *vines or dig the ground round them. So weeds and *thorns will grow there. I will say to the clouds, ‘Do not (drop) rain on it.’

v7 Now the *vineyard of the *LORD of Everything is like a picture of Israel. The plants (in it) that he likes are the people in Judah. The *LORD looked for *justice, but he saw only the opposite. (He wanted) people to be very good. But he only heard people that were crying for help.

The wrong things that the people in Jerusalem and Judah have done

v8 The people who build (one) house (next) to (another) house will be very sad. Also, they join (one) field to (another) field. (They do this) until there is no more room. Then you live alone on the land.

v9 I have heard the *LORD of Everything (promise this. He said this.) ‘I am sure that many houses will be empty. There will be large and beautiful houses that nobody lives in.

v10 Also, large parts of the *vineyard will give only a small amount (of *wine). Very large amounts of seed will cause only a few plants to grow.’

v11 The people that get up early in the morning will be very sad. (They do this) so that they can get a drink of alcohol. They go to bed late in the evening, so that *wine can cause them to become drunks.

v12 At their parties there is (music from) *lyre and *harp, *tambourine and *flute. (They enjoy) their *wine. But they think that God’s works have no value. They do not really like what he has made.

v13 So my people will go into *exile, because they do not understand (God). Their leaders will die because they do not have enough food. And very many people will not have anything to drink.

v14 So *Sheol will open its mouth very wide to eat more (people). The leaders and the people will go into it. (Death will take in) the crowds that make a lot of noise. Also, (it will take in) the people that have parties (in Jerusalem).

v15 So (the *LORD) will make people *humble. Then (God) will make everybody low! (He will) take away their *proud faces.

v16 But his *justice will make the *LORD of Everything great! The *Holy God will show that he is *holy because he is so very good.

v17 Then the sheep will eat grass as (they do in) their own fields. Young sheep will eat in the large houses (that the enemy) destroyed.

v18 The people who tie themselves to *sin with silly (pieces of) line will be very sad. (They pull) *sin as (a horse pulls) a *cart with *ropes.

v19 Those people who say, ‘(The *LORD) must hurry!’ will be very sad. (They say) ‘He must do his work quickly, so that we can see it. We want to hear the ideas of the *Holy (One) of Israel. We want them to happen! Then we will really know (that they are true)!’

v20 The people that call wrong things right and right things wrong will be very sad. They say that it is light when it is dark. And (they say) that it is dark when it is light. They say that *bitter things are sweet. And (they say) that sweet things are *bitter.

v21 Some people think that they are clever. Those people will be very sad. They think that they are clever.

v22 Some people think that they are great. Those people will be very sad. (They think this) because they drink much *wine. Also, some people are strong when they mix strong drink. (Those people will be very sad.)

v23 They do not *punish *guilty people, when (the guilty) people give them money. There is no *justice for people that are not guilty.

v24 So as (surely as) fire burns dry plants, parts of them will fall into pieces. And as fire burns away dry grass, their flowers will blow away like small pieces of dirt. (This will happen) because they refused to obey the *LORD of Everything. He said what they should do. (But they did not do it.) And they thought that the words of the *Holy One of Israel were silly.

v25 For this reason the *LORD became angry with his people. He *punished them, as if someone had hit them with his hand. And the mountains moved and (his people’s) dead bodies became like dirt in the streets. (The *LORD has done) all this but he is still angry with them. And his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

God will send a message to another *nation from far away to *punish His people

v26 (The *LORD) will send a message to *nations that are far away. And he will (blow on his) *whistle to (a *nation at) the ends of the earth. And look! Here (its army) comes, very quickly!

v27 Nobody is tired; nobody falls down. Nobody rests; nobody sleeps. Nobody has a belt that they have not fastened. And nobody has broken a part of a shoe.

v28 Their *arrows are sharp and their bows are ready to shoot. Their horses’ feet are (as hard) as stones. And the *wheels (on their *chariots go as fast) as a strong wind.

v29 They *roar like a *lion, they make a noise like a young *lion. They *roar while they catch an animal to eat. They carry it away and nobody can save it.

v30 On that day, (the enemy) will *roar over what they catch. Their *roar will be like the sea. And if anybody looks to the land they will see *darkness. And (they will see) people that are very much afraid. Also, clouds will hide the light (of the sun).

PART 2: Chapter 6 God makes Isaiah into a *prophet

Chapter 6

v1 (It happened) in the year when King Uzziah died. I saw my *Lord. He was sitting on a very high seat. The ends of his very long coat filled the *temple. v2 Above (the *Lord) were *seraphs. They were waiting to do what he wanted them to do. Each one had 6 *wings. Two (of the *wings) were covering their faces. Two of them were covering their feet. With two of them they were flying.

v3 One (*seraph) spoke to another. They said, ‘*Holy, *holy, *holy is the *LORD of Everything! The whole earth is full of his *glory.’

v4 When each (*seraph) spoke, the door-steps of the *temple moved. Also, the *temple was full of smoke.

v5 Then I said, ‘I am very sad, because I must not speak! I am a man with lips that are not clean. And I live among people with lips that are not clean. And with my own eyes I have seen the King, the *LORD of Everything!’

v6 Then one of the *seraphs flew towards me. In his hand was a (piece of) *coal that was burning. He had taken it from the *altar with a special tool.

v7 And he touched my mouth (with it). And he said, ‘Look! This has touched your lips and it has taken away your *guilt. It has covered your *sin.’

v8 Then I heard the voice of the *Lord. He said, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘I am here. Send me.’

v9 And (God said), ‘Go! And tell this to the people (in Judah):

·           “Always listen, but you will never understand!

·           Always look. But you will never see what it means!”

v10 Make the heart of these people fat. Close their ears and shut their eyes. If (you do not do this) they will see with their eyes. They will hear with their ears and they will understand with their hearts. (Then they will) turn and they will be well again.’

v11 Then I said, ‘For how long, *Lord, (must I do this)?’ And (this is what) he answered:

·           ‘(Do it) until (their enemy) destroys the cities. Then nobody will live there.

·           (Do it until) nobody lives in the houses.

·           (Do it until) they cannot use the land in any way.

·           v12 (Do it until) the *LORD removes people to far away (places).

·           And (do it until an enemy has) destroyed many places inside the country (called Israel).

v13 And even if one in every 10 (places or people) stay, an enemy will burn them again! (They will do it as they burn) trees called terebinths and oaks. But from what remains of such a tree, an *holy people will grow.’

PART 3: Chapters 7-37 God’s king rules God’s people

            We can put PART 3 into 6 smaller parts. This makes it easier to understand.

Chapters 7-12

Chapters 13-23

Chapters 24-27

Chapters 28-33

Chapters 34-35

Chapters 36-37


 

THE LITTLE
*APOCALYPSE

THE SAD
PEOPLE

 

 

 

COUNTRIES
NEAR
JUDAH

 

 

THE CENTRE
OF THE
BOOK

 

KING
AHAZ

 

 

 

 

KING
HEZEKIAH

Chapter 7

King Ahaz refuses to ask God for a message

v1 Ahaz became the king of Judah. He was the son of (King) Jotham. (Jotham was) the son of (King) Uzziah. (When Ahaz was king), Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the king of Israel, both attacked Jerusalem. But they did not win the fight. (Pekah was the) son of Remaliah. v2 (People that were in the government) told (this to Ahaz. He was from) the family of David. (They said,) ‘Syria and Ephraim have agreed (to attack you).’ Ahaz and his people (were afraid). Their hearts moved, as trees in the forest move in the wind.

v3 Then the *LORD said to Isaiah, ‘Go out and meet Ahaz. You and *Shear Jashub, your son, will meet him at the end of the water stream. That (stream) pours from the higher pool down to where people wash clothes.’ v4 (The *LORD said,) ‘Say (to Ahaz), “Be careful. And be very quiet. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid because Rezin and the people from Syria and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, are angry. They are trying to ‘start a fire’, but their ‘fire’ will soon finish. v5 (Do not be afraid) because (the king of) Syria and the son of Remaliah have made bad *plans against you. They have said, v6 ‘We must attack Judah. We will frighten (the people). We will destroy (their country) and it will become ours. We will make the son of Tabeal king there.’ v7 The *LORD, who is *Lord, says this. ‘It will not happen, it will never happen! v8 (It will not happen,) because the capital (city) of Syria is Damascus. Now the king of Damascus is Rezin. And 65 years from now Ephraim will not be (a country)! There will be no people (of Ephraim) there. v9 And the capital (city) of Ephraim is Samaria. And the king of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. And if you do not believe this, you will not be alive (either).’ ” ’

v10 And the *LORD spoke again (to Isaiah. ‘Say this) to Ahaz.(’) v11 He said, ‘Ask the *LORD your God for a message. Ask for it deep (in the earth) or high (in the sky).’ v12 But Ahaz said, ‘I will never ask (for a message) or ask the *LORD to do something.’ v13 And he (Isaiah) said, ‘Now listen, (Ahaz. You belong to the) family of David! You are making (your) people angry (with you). And you are making God angry with you too. v14 So the *Lord himself will give you a message. Look, the *virgin will become *pregnant. She will have a son and she will call his name *Immanu El. v15 (One day) he will know (the difference between) right things and wrong things. Then he will (be old enough) to eat butter and sugar. v16 But even before the child knows (the difference between) right things and wrong things, (Assyria) will destroy (Ephraim and Syria). The two kings that you are afraid of will be (in other countries themselves).

v17 The *LORD will bring the king of Assyria to you and to your people. (He will come) to the house of your father. It will be a special time. There have been no days like it since Ephraim became separate from Judah.’ v18 On that day the *LORD will tell the flies at the higher end of the river in Egypt that they must come. And he will tell the *bees in the country called Assyria that they must come. v19 And they will all come and they will land on (these places):

·           the valleys with high sides

·           the holes in the rocks

·           all the *thorn bushes

·           all the places where there is water.

v20 On that day the *Lord will use the king of Assyria. He will come from beyond the river. He will cut off the hair from your head, your legs and your beard.

v21 On that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two goats. v22 They will give a lot of milk, so he will have butter to eat. Everyone that remains in the country will eat butter and sugar. v23 On that day, in every place where there were 1000 *vines, there will be weeds and *thorns. (1000 *vines) are worth 1000 pieces of *silver. v24 A man will go there with a bow and *arrows. (He will do this) because there will be *brambles and *thorns on all the land. v25 Nobody will go to the hills because they are afraid of the *brambles and *thorns. (These are the hills where) people would dig to grow plants. Now cows go there and sheep run about.

Chapter 8

God will use Assyria to destroy Israel and Syria

v1 And the *LORD said to me, ‘Get something big to write on. Then write on it, with a tool that will write (words on stones. Write “This is) about *Maher Shalal Hash Baz.” v2 And I will ask (two) special people to come to me. They must say what is true. (One will be) Uriah the *priest and (the other will be) Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. They will be my special people. They must say what is true.’ v3 Then I went to the *prophetess. She became *pregnant and she had a son. And the *LORD said to me, ‘Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. v4 Before the child knows how to say “my father” or “my mother” (this will happen). The king of Assyria will carry away the valuable things from Damascus and from Samaria.’

v5 The *LORD spoke to me again. (He told me) that I must say,

v6 ‘This people has refused (to accept) the waters of *Shiloah, which move quietly. And (they have said that they) are very happy about Rezin and the son of Remaliah.

v7 So, see (what will happen). The *LORD will bring against them the waters of the River (Euphrates). (The waters will be) strong and powerful. (Really, the waters will be) the king of Assyria and his powerful (armies). (They will come) like a great river that rises. And it goes over its sides.

v8 Then it will pour quickly into Judah. It will rise over its sides and it will go over (the land). It will even reach the neck! His *wings will open out and cover all your country, *Immanu El.

v9 Join together (against your enemies), you people, but they will kill you all. Listen carefully, all you far countries. Get ready for war, but (your enemies) will kill your people. Get ready to fight, but (your enemies) will kill you.

v10 Make *plans together, but (the plans) will fail! Talk about what you will do. But it will not happen. (Your plans will fail) because Immanu El (God is with us)!’

v11 Now the *LORD spoke to me. (He said this) while his strong hand was upon me. He said that I must not to do what this people (the people in Judah) were doing. He said,

v12 ‘You must not think, “Everything that this people call a secret *plan is a secret plan.” Also, do not be afraid of what they are afraid of. And do not let it frighten you.

v13 Instead, be afraid of the *LORD of Everything! You should think of him as *holy. You should be afraid of him,

v14 because he, (the *LORD,) will be a safe place.

            But for both houses of Israel (he will become like) a stone that will make people angry. And (he will become like) a rock that will cause them to fall over. To the people in Jerusalem, (the *LORD) will become someone to catch and to hold them.

v15 Many people’s feet will hit something and they will fall. (The *LORD) will hurt them very badly. He will catch and hold them!’

v16 Tie up what I have said (in a *scroll). Fasten what I have taught to my *disciples. v17 And I will wait for the *LORD. He is hiding his face from the house of Jacob (Israel’s people). But I believe that he (the *LORD will do something). v18 Here am I and the children that the *LORD has given to me. We are messages, messages from the *LORD of Everything to (the people in) Israel. He lives on the mountain (called) Zion.

v19 And they will say to you, ‘Ask the *mediums and *wizards. They will tell you what you should do.’ (Mediums and wizards) make noises like birds or animals! People should ask their God what to do. People who are alive should not talk to dead people. v20 (Listen again) to what I have said. And (listen) to what I have taught you. (If you listen to) their words, then there will be no dawn! v21 Then they will go through the country and they will not be very happy. They will not have enough to eat. Because they do not have enough to eat, they will become angry. They will look up (to where God lives). Then they will say bad things about their king and about their God. v22 And they will look to the earth. But they will see that it is dark and (that people are) not very happy. In the dark, (people will be) very sad. It will push (people) into something even blacker.

Chapter 9

Good news for God’s people

v1 But there will be no dark places for the people that were not very happy. In past years, (God) let trouble happen to the people in the places called Zebulun and Naphtali. But in future years, he will send *glory to (these places):

·           the country by the sea

·           the land at the other side of the (River) Jordan

·           the part (of Israel) that people in other countries (call) Galilee.

v2 The people that walk in the dark will see a great light. The light will shine on those (people) that live on land full of dark shadows.

v3 You (*LORD) will make the country bigger. And you will make its people much happier. They will be happy with you as when people are happy at *harvest time. Soldiers are also happy, because of what they have won in war. And its people will be happy like them.

v4 (This is) because, as in the time of Midian, (you will kill our enemies). You will break (these things):

·           the *yoke (that carries) their heavy weights

·           the sticks (that they hit) our backs with

·           the *rod that hurts us.

v5 Then they will burn as material for the fire every boot that soldiers wore in war. And (they will burn) the clothes with blood on them.

v6 (They will do this) because a child is born for us. (God has) given us a son. And that son will always have authority (to rule the people). And (people) will call him by these names:

·           *Wonderful Friend

·           Great God

·           Father for Always

·           Leader who brings *Peace

v7 His authority will become greater. And the *peace that he will bring will never come to an end. He will be king over (the land) that David ruled. He will make it safe. He will make sure that it has *justice. And its people will be very good, now and always. The *LORD of Everything will cause this to happen, because he loves (his people).

God has *punished Israel and he will do it again

Note. Isaiah says this 4 times in 9:12, 17, 21 and 10:3.

v8 The *Lord sent a message against *Jacob and it came to Israel.

v9 And all the people (that live in) Ephraim and Samaria know about it. They *praise themselves (with these words).

v10 ‘(Our) *brick (houses) fell down. But we will build them again with stones that we have cut. They have knocked down (buildings that we made from) *sycamore trees. But we will build them again with *cedar (trees, which are better).’

v11 But the *LORD will make the enemies of Rezin stronger against him. Also, he will help those enemies.

v12 The people from Syria on the east and the people from Philistia on the west have opened their mouths. And they have eaten Israel. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

‘They have eaten Israel’ means ‘They have beaten the people in many places and now they rule those places.’

v13 But the people did not turn to him who hit them. Neither did they go to the *LORD of Everything.

v14 So in one day the *LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail. (He will also cut off) *palm branch and *reed.

v15 The head means the older men and the important people. The tail means the (false) *prophets. They teach what is not true.

v16 The leaders of this people lead them away from what is true. They confuse the people that they are leaders of.

v17 So the *Lord will not feel happy with their young men. And he will not be kind and help (children) without fathers. (He will not help) women whose husbands are dead. This is because nobody obeys God. (Everyone) does wrong things. What everyone says tells us this. They are fools. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

v18 The wrong things (that people do) burn like a fire. They eat up *briars and *thorns. They burn up the bushes in the forest. And they rise up (into the sky) like a lot of smoke.

v19 He is very angry, so the *LORD of Everything will burn the land. Also, the people will be like material for the fire. No man will be kind to his brother (another *Jew).

v20 They will take food on their right (side), but they will remain hungry. And they will eat what is on the *left (side), but it will not fill them. Everyone will eat the body of the person that lives near him.

v21 Ephraim will eat Manasseh and Manasseh will eat Ephraim. And both of them (will fight) against Judah. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

Chapter 10

v1 (Some) people make rules that are not fair.  (They also make) rules that are cruel to people. Those people will be very sad.

v2 (They do these things:)

·           (Some) people need many things. (Their rulers) do not let them get what is fair.

·           They take away what poor people should have.

·           They rob women whose husbands are dead of everything.

·           And they are cruel to children whose parents are dead.

v3 You can do nothing when God *punishes you. And (you can do nothing) in a storm that comes from far away. Nobody will help you and there will be nowhere to hide your valuable things.

v4 You can only go to be with the people that are in a prison. Or perhaps you will die with those (that the enemy) kills in war. But (the *LORD) is still angry and his hand is still ready (to hit them again).

Then God will *punish Assyria

v5 (The people) in Assyria (will be very sad). (I will use them) like a stick, because I am angry. They (will be like someone who hits Israel) with a heavy stick. (They will do that) because I am so very angry.

v6 I will send (the people from Assyria) against (Israel, because Israel) does not obey God. I will tell (them that they must attack Israel). I am angry with the people (in Israel). (The people from Assyria) will take what (the people in Israel) have. And they will rob them of their things. Then (the people from Assyria) will walk all over them, as (if Israel’s people were) dirt in the streets.

v7 But this is not what (Assyria’s people) are thinking. Their ideas are different. They want to beat as many countries as they can. (They want) to destroy them.

v8 (The king of Assyria) *boasts, ‘All the leaders of my armies are (like) kings!

v9 (The city that is called) Calno is like Carchemish. Hamath is like Arpad and Samaria is like Damascus.

v10 My hand took all these places and their *idols. They had more *idols than Jerusalem and Samaria.

v11 So I will do to Jerusalem and her *idols what I did to Samaria and her *idols.’

v12 The *Lord will finish all his work against the hill called Zion and Jerusalem. Then (he will say), ‘I will *punish the king of Assyria. He *boasts in his mind and there is *pride in his eyes.’

v13 (This is what the king of Assyria) says. ‘I have done this because I am so strong. Also, I am very clever. (So) I know (what to do). I have removed the *boundaries between countries. Also, I have taken their valuable things. Like a wild animal, I have attacked their people.

v14 My hand found the valuable things of (many) countries. (I did this) as one finds a (bird’s) home. I have got all the earth (as easily) as people take eggs from an empty bird’s home. And nobody moved a *wing or opened a mouth to make a noise.’

v15 (The *LORD says,) ‘The axe is not more powerful than the person that uses it. A tool is not more important than the person that uses it. (Also, it is silly) to think that a stick can move its user! Or (it is silly to think) that a thick stick can move a man!

v16 So the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will send an illness to (Assyria’s) fat soldiers. They will become thin! He will light a fire under their *pride. It will burn with a bright light.

v17 (The *LORD, who is) the Light of Israel, will become a fire. The *Holy One (of Israel) will become a bright fire. And it will burn and destroy (Assyria’s) *thorns and *briars in one day.

v18 (The *LORD) will completely destroy (Assyria’s) great forests and its good fields. Its people’s *spirit and body will become as nothing.

v19 Only a few forest trees will remain, so that even a child will be able to count them!

But God will help the people that continue to love him

v20 When that happens, (this will happen to) the *remnant of Israel. (They are) the people of *Jacob that are still alive.

·           They will not get help from (Assyria), which beat them.

·           Instead, they will get all their help from the *LORD, the *Holy One of Israel.

v21 A *remnant, a *remnant of Jacob, will return and get help from the Great God.

v22 Israel, only a *remnant (of you) will return. (This is) even when there are so many of you. (There are as many of you) as there are bits of sand on the sea shore.

v23 This will happen because the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will destroy the whole country. (He will destroy it), as he promised to do.’

v24 So, this is what the *Lord, the *LORD of Everything says. ‘My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the people from Assyria. They will be like someone who hits you with a stick. They will lift up a big stick against you like the people in Egypt did. v25 But soon I will not be angry with you. Instead, I will be angry (with the people from Assyria) and I will kill them. v26 And the *LORD of Everything will use a *whip against them. He will do this as when he killed Midian’s people at the Rock of Oreb. His stick will be over the sea, and he will lift it up. (He will lift it up) as he did in Egypt. v27 In that day the weight will come off your shoulder. (The *LORD) will destroy the *yoke on your neck.’

v28 (Assyria) will start from Rimmon and he will go to Aiath. He will pass through Migron. He will store his things at Michmash.

v29 They will pass (through the hills), and they will stay for a night at Geba. (The people in) Ramah will be afraid and (the people in) Gibeah of Saul will run away.

v30 People in Gallim, shout (for help)! Listen, (people in) Laish. Answer them, (people in) Anathoth.

v31 (The people in) Madmenah will run away. And those that live in Gebim will rush to a safe place.

v32 He will remain at Nob the day (that he arrives there). He will move his fist angrily towards the people who live in Zion and on the hill of Jerusalem.

v33 But look! The *Lord, the *LORD of Everything, will cut off the branches with (his) *power which frightens (people). He will cut down the tallest trees. And he will cause those that are very high to lie low.

v34 He will cut down the trees in the forest with an axe. Also, (the great trees from) Lebanon will fall down.

Chapter 11

The good king, called the Branch, that God will send

v1 The part of the Tree of Jesse that remains will start to grow. Then a Branch will grow from the part of it that is under the ground.

v2 The Spirit of the *LORD will come on him. (It will be like this:)

·           a *spirit that knows what is right; and (a *spirit that) knows what things mean

·           a *spirit that tells people the (right) thing to do and that has authority

·           a *spirit that knows everything and that is afraid of the *LORD.

v3 To obey the *LORD will give pleasure (to the Branch). He will not decide about things (only) with what his eyes see. (He will not) decide (only) with what his ears hear.

v4 But what he decides about poor people will be with *justice. Also, he will decide about people who are not powerful. He will be fair. He will *punish bad people and his words will kill them.

v5 (He will wear) true *justice like a belt round him. (He will) also (wear) as clothes (the fact that he is) always there.

v6 *Wolves will live with young sheep (and will not eat them)! And *leopards will lie down with young goats! Young cows and *lions will feed together and young children will lead them!

v7 Cows and *bears will feed (together) and their young (animals) will lie down together. And *lions will eat dry grass like cows.

v8 And a small baby will play (safely) near the hole where a dangerous snake (lives). And a young child (will be safe) if he puts his hand on to the home of (another) dangerous snake.

v9 They will not hurt nor kill (each other) in all my *holy mountain. Then the earth shall be as full of facts about the *LORD as water fills the sea.

v10 In that day, the part (of the tree) of Jesse will be a like a sign to (all) peoples. Other countries will come to him. And the place where he lives will be *wonderful.

v11 And on that day, my *Lord will do something for the second time. He will save the *remnant of his people that are still (alive. He will take them) from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Elam, Shinar, Hamath and from countries by the sea.

v12 (The *Lord) will lift up a sign for these countries (to see). He will bring together the people from Israel (that Assyria) took away. He will bring back the *exiles of Judah from all over the earth.

v13 No longer will Ephraim not like (Judah) and Judah will not attack (Ephraim) any longer. Ephraim will no longer want what Judah has. Also, Judah will not cause trouble for Ephraim again.

v14 But together they will attack the low hills of Philistia to the west. They will beat the people to the east (of the River Jordan). They will fight against Edom and Moab, and the people in Ammon will obey them.

v15 The *LORD completely destroyed part of the Sea of Egypt. He will lift his hand over the River (Euphrates). Then he will send a hot wind that burns things. It will make (the river) into 7 streams, so that people can cross it with dry feet.

v16 And there will be a good road from Assyria for the *remnant. (They are the *LORD’s) people that remain. It will be (as good a road) as when Israel came up from the country called Egypt.

Chapter 12

Isaiah’s *psalm (or song to God)

v1 You will say in that day, ‘I *praise you, *LORD. You were angry with me, but now, you are not angry (with me). Now you are being kind to me.

v2 Listen! God has made me safe! I will continue to believe (in him). And I will not be afraid because the *LORD, the *LORD, has made me strong. He is the person that I am singing about. He has made me safe.

v3 You will get water happily from the wells. (This water) will make you safe.’

v4 And you will say in that day, ‘*Praise the *LORD! Shout (aloud) his name! Tell everybody what God has done. Cause them to remember that he is very great.

v5 Sing *psalms to the *LORD because he has done *wonderful things! Cause everyone in the world to know it!

v6 Everyone that lives in Zion, shout! And sing because you are so happy! The *Holy One of Israel is great and he is (living) with you.’

Word List

altar ~ a table where people burn *sacrifices.

Apocalypse ~ another name for the last book in the Bible, called Revelation. The Little Apocalypse (Isaiah chapters 24-27) is like Revelation. It is about the end of time.

arrows ~ sticks with sharp points. Bows shoot them.

bat ~ an animal like a small *rat but it can fly.

bear ~ dangerous wild animal.

bees ~ insects that can make something like sugar.

bitter ~ the opposite of sweet.

boast ~ say how very good you are.

boundaries ~ the edges of a country.

brambles ~ plants with *thorns on them.

briars ~ bushes with *thorns. (Some people spell this word briers.)

bricks ~ stones that people make to build houses with.

cart ~ a box with *wheels that animals pull along; a thing to carry people in – horses usually pull a cart.

cedar ~ a good tree to build things with, better than the sycamore tree.

chariots ~ *carts that soldiers rode in; horses pulled the carts.

charms ~ something that people use in *magic.

coal ~ material that people get from the ground. They use it to make fires.

darkness ~ when there is no light.

Daughter of Zion ~ the people that live in the city called Jerusalem. (Zion is the name of the hill in Jerusalem.)

disciples ~ students that learn from a great teacher.

exile ~ people that an enemy takes to another country are ‘in exile’. They are away from home. We also call these people ‘exiles’.

flute  ~ a flute makes music.

glory ~ something that makes people very great. They seem to shine with it!

grape ~ a fruit; people make *wine from grapes.

guilt ~ a person has guilt when they have done wrong things.

guilty ~ people may say that a person has done something; guilty means that he really has done it.

harp  ~ you use your fingers to make music with a harp.

harvest ~ a time to pick fruits.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke.

holy ~ very, very good; only God is really holy; this makes him separate from people; or, something that is used in *religion.

Holy One ~ a name for God.

humble ~ humble people do not think that they are important.

idol ~ a false god that people made.

Immanu El ~ God (is) with us.

incense ~ something that burns with a special, nice smell.

Jacob ~ perhaps another name for Israel, or the *Jews.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that is a *Jew’s.

judge ~ to say whether something is right or wrong or fair; or the person who does that.

justice ~ what is right and fair.

left (side) ~ the opposite of the right (side).

leopard ~ dangerous wild animal.

lion ~ a large and dangerous wild animal.

LORD ~ LORD is a special name of God. In the *Hebrew language it is YAHWEH. It may mean ‘always alive’. So LORD is a sign that the *Hebrew word is YAHWEH.

LORD of Everything ~ a special name for God that Isaiah often used. Some Bibles translate it as ‘LORD of Angel Armies’. An angel is a servant of God that we usually cannot see.

Lord ~ lord means master; Lord is a name for God. It is not the same as *LORD.

lyre  ~ a lyre makes music.

magic ~ when bad *spirits give you help.

Maher-shalal-hash-baz ~ the name of one of Isaiah’s sons. It means ‘What (people) catch is coming quickly; what they will kill is hurrying’.

medium ~ someone that says that they can talk to dead people.

messiah ~ a messiah has oil ‘poured on’ them. Messiah is the *Hebrew word for ‘poured on’. It happened to *Jewish kings and *priests when they started their work. The *Jews hoped for a special messiah. Christians believe that Jesus is that special Messiah.

nation ~ people who live together in the same country.

oak ~ a tree; its leaves fall off in winter.

palm ~ a tree that grows in hot countries.

peace ~ when there is no war.

perfume ~ something that has a beautiful smell.

plans ~ ideas about what to do.

power ~ what someone is able to do.

praise ~ say how good and great that somebody is.

pregnant ~ a woman with a baby inside her.

pride ~ when you think that you are better than other people; then you have pride.

priest ~ a special servant of God in his house (the *temple) in Jerusalem.

prophet ~ a prophet did two things. He told people what God had said to him. He told people what would happen in future years.

prophetess ~ either (1) the wife of a *prophet, or (2) a woman-prophet, or (3) both.

prostitute ~ a woman who has sex with men for money.

proud ~ the opposite of *humble. People can be proud in a good or a bad way.

prune ~ cut parts of a plant off, to cause it to grow better.

psalm ~ a special song that *praises God.

punish ~ hurt somebody because they have done something wrong.

rat ~ a small animal with a long tail; there are usually very many of them and they eat people’s food.

reed ~ a plant that grows near water.

religion ~ Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three examples of religion. Read also the note between verses 9 and 10 of Isaiah 1.

remnant ~ a small piece of something bigger.

roar ~ a noise that an angry animal makes.

rod ~ another word for stick.

rope ~ very thick line.

sabbath ~ the seventh day of the week, our Saturday.

sacrifice ~ something that people kill and burn for God.

saw ~ in places in Isaiah’s book it means ‘understood’. He may also have ‘seen’ something that God showed to him.

scroll ~ a very long piece of paper.

seraph ~ a special servant of God. People cannot usually see them.

shame ~ something that you are not *proud of.

Shear Jashub ~ the name of Isaiah’s older son. It means ‘a few people will return’.

Sheol ~ a place under the ground. *Jews believed that you went there when you died.

Shiloah ~ a quiet river that moved slowly.

silver ~ a valuable metal.

sin ~ what we do when we do not obey God; or, we sin when we do not obey God.

spirit ~ the part of a person that is alive, which we cannot see; it can speak to other spirits; there are spirits that we cannot see; they can be good or bad.

sword ~ a long knife that soldiers used to kill people.

sycamore ~ a tree.

tambourine  ~ a tambourine makes music when you hit it.

temple ~ like a large church. The Temple in Jerusalem was the House of God.

thorn ~ a bush with sharp points on its branches.

vine ~ a plant which climbs. Its fruits are called grapes. People use grapes to make *wine.

vineyard ~ a field where people grow vines. *Grapes grow on vines. People make *wine from grapes. In Isaiah’s book, the vineyard often means Judah and Israel.

virgin ~ a woman that has not had sex.

wheels ~ round things that help things like cars to move.

whip ~ a stick with a line on it to hit people with.

whistle ~ a pipe that makes a loud noise when you blow into it.

wine ~ a drink that people make from *grapes. It contains alcohol.

wing ~ what a bird uses to fly with.

wizard ~ a man who uses *magic.

wolf ~ dangerous wild animal.

wonderful ~ something so beautiful that you think, ‘That is great!’

wool ~ the soft hair of the sheep. The best wool is very white. This is what Isaiah means in 1:18.

worship ~ tell someone that they are very great; and tell them that you love them.

yoke ~ something that holds two animals together; it goes on their shoulders.

Zion ~ the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use it to mean all Jerusalem, as in Isaiah 1:27.

Book List

John R. Kohlenberger III ~ The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament ~ Zondervan, 1987

Sir Lancelot Brenton ~ The Septuagint with Apocrypha ~ Hendrickson, 1995

B. Davidson ~ Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon ~ Bagster, 1959

G. Abbott-Smith ~ Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament ~ T. & T. Clark, 1936

The Comparative Study Bible, NIV, NASB, AB, KJV ~ Zondervan

Various English Translations of the Bible, apart from those above, including:

The English Version for the Deaf ~ Baker, 1992

The Promise ~ Nelson, 1995

The New English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1970

The Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1957

The Revised Authorised Version ~ Bagster

The Living Bible ~ Tyndale, 1971

The Revised English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1989

The New Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1989

The New Living Translation ~ Tyndale, 1997

The Good News Bible ~ Collins, 1978

The Jerusalem Bible ~ Darton, Longman & Todd, 1968

The Four Prophets ~ J. B. Phillips ~ Bles, 1963

A Handbook on Isaiah ~ UBS Handbooks Helps for Translators Series (Draft Copy)

 

©1997-2007, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

August 2007

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info