War against Jerusalem
1Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Aram (Syria) and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but they could not conquer it. 2When the house of David (Judah) was told, “Aram is allied with Ephraim (Israel),” the hearts of Ahaz and his people trembled as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind.
3Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz [king of Judah], you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field; 4and say to him, ‘Take care and be calm, do not fear and be weak-hearted because of these two stumps of smoldering logs, on account of the fierce anger of [King] Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah (Pekah, usurper of the throne of Israel). 5Because Aram, along with Ephraim (Israel) and the son of Remaliah, have planned evil against you (Judah), saying, 6“Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it; and let us breach its wall and tear it apart [each of us taking a portion] and set up the son of Tabeel over it as its [puppet] king,” 7for this is what the Lord God says, “It shall not stand nor shall it happen. 8For the head (capital) of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is [King] Rezin (now within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken to pieces and will no longer be a people). 9And the head (capital) of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son [King Pekah]. If you will not believe [and trust in God and His message], be assured that you will not be established.” ’ ”
The Child Immanuel
10Then the Lord spoke again to [King] Ahaz, saying, 11“Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God [one that will convince you that God has spoken and will keep His word]; make your request as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven.” 12But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13Then Isaiah said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too small a thing for you to try the patience of men, but will you try the patience of my God as well? 14Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us). 15He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16For before the child will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land (Canaan) whose two kings you dread will be deserted [both Ephraim and Aram].
Trials to Come for Judah
17The Lord will bring on you, on your people, and on your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim (the ten northern tribes) separated from Judah—[He will call for] the king of Assyria.”
18In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is in the mouth of the rivers and canals of Egypt and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19These [armies, like flies and bees] will all come and settle on the steep and rugged ravines and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thorn bushes and in all the watering places.
20In that day [when foreign armies swarm the land] the Lord will shave with a razor, hired from the regions beyond the Euphrates (that is, with the king of Assyria), [that razor will shave] the head and the hair of the legs; and it will also remove the beard [leaving Judah stripped, shamed and scorned].
21Now in that day [because of the poverty caused by the invaders] a man will keep alive only a young milk cow and two sheep; 22and because of the abundance of milk produced he will eat curds, for everyone that is left in the land will eat [only] curds and [wild] honey.
23And it will come to pass in that day, in every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand silver shekels, there will be briars and thorns. 24People will come there [to hunt] with arrows and with bows because all the land will be briars and thorns. 25As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the pick and the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place where oxen are pastured and where sheep tread.