The people that walked in darkness Have seen a brilliant light; On those who dwelt in a land of gloom Light has dawned.
You have magnified that nation, Have given it great joy; They have rejoiced before You As they rejoice at reaping time, As they exult When dividing spoil.
For the yoke that they bore And the stick on their back— The rod of their taskmaster— You have broken as on the day of Midian.
Truly, all the boots put on to stamp with And all the garments donned in infamy Have been fed to the flames, Devoured by fire.
For a child has been born to us, A son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named “The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler”—
In token of abundant authority And of peace without limit Upon David’s throne and kingdom, That it may be firmly established In justice and in equity Now and evermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts Shall bring this to pass.
My Lord Let loose a word against Jacob And it fell upon Israel.
But all the people noted— Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria— In arrogance and haughtiness:
“Bricks have fallen— We’ll rebuild with dressed stone; Sycamores have been felled— We’ll grow cedars instead!”
So the LORD let the enemies of Rezin Triumph over it And stirred up its foes—
Aram from the east And Philistia from the west— Who devoured Israel With greedy mouths. Yet His anger has not turned back, And His arm is outstretched still.
For the people has not turned back To Him who struck it And has not sought The LORD of Hosts.
So the LORD will cut off from Israel Head and tail, Palm branch and reed, In a single day.
Elders and magnates— Such are the heads; Prophets who give false instruction, Such are the tails
That people’s leaders have been misleaders, So they that are led have been confused.
That is why my Lord Will not spare their youths, Nor show compassion To their orphans and widows; For all are ungodly and wicked, And every mouth speaks impiety.
Already wickedness has blazed forth like a fire Devouring thorn and thistle. It has kindled the thickets of the wood, Which have turned into billowing smoke. Yet His anger has not turned back, And His arm is outstretched still.
By the fury of the LORD of Hosts, The earth was shaken. Next, the people became like devouring fire: No man spared his countryman.
They snatched on the right, but remained hungry, And consumed on the left without being sated. Each devoured the flesh of his own kindred—
Manasseh Ephraim’s, and Ephraim Manasseh’s, And both of them against Judah! Yet His anger has not turned back, And His arm is outstretched still.