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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 7 and 8
1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind.
3 Then said Jehovah unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fuller's field;
4 and say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither let thy heart be faint, because of these two tails of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have purposed evil against thee, saying,
6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set up a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeel;
7 thus saith the Lord Jehovah, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken in pieces, so that is shall not be a people:
9 and the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.
10 And Jehovah spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of Jehovah thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt Jehovah.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou abhorrest shall be forsaken.
17 Jehovah will bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah-`even' the king of Assyria.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah will hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the clefts of the rocks, and upon all thorn-hedges, and upon all pastures.
20 In that day will the Lord shave with a razor that is hired in the parts beyond the River, `even' with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall keep alive a young cow, and two sheep;
22 and it shall come to pass, that because of the abundance of milk which they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land.
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, shall be for briers and thorns.
24 With arrows and with bow shall one come thither, because all the land shall be briers and thorns.
25 And all the hills that were digged with the mattock, thou shalt not come thither for fear of briers and thorns; but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of sheep.
1 And Jehovah said unto me, Take thee a great tablet, and write upon it with the pen of a man, For Maher-shalal-hash-baz;
2 and I will take unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.
3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said Jehovah unto me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and, My mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be carried away before the king of Assyria.
5 And Jehovah spake unto me yet again, saying,
6 Forasmuch as this people have refused the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son;
7 now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the River, strong and many, `even' the king of Assyria and all his glory: and it shall come up over all its channels, and go over all its banks;
8 and it shall sweep onward into Judah; it shall overflow and pass through; it shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of its wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.
9 Make an uproar, O ye peoples, and be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and be broken in pieces.
10 Take counsel together, and it shall be brought to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
11 For Jehovah spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
12 Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread `thereof'.
13 Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many shall stumble thereon, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
16 Bind thou up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
17 And I will wait for Jehovah, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
18 Behold, I and the children whom Jehovah hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion.
19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and unto the wizards, that chirp and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of the living `should they seek' unto the dead?
20 To the law and to the testimony! if they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.
21 And they shall pass through it, sore distressed and hungry; and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their king and by their God, and turn their faces upward:
22 and they shall look unto the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and into thick darkness `they shall be' driven away.
Second Reading: Ephesians Chapter 2
1 And you `did he make alive,' when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins,
2 wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;
3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:--
4 but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved),
6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly `places', in Christ Jesus:
7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus:
8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, `it is' the gift of God;
9 not of works, that no man should glory.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands;
12 that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition,
15 having abolished in the flesh the enmity, `even' the law of commandments `contained' in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, `so' making peace;
16 and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh:
18 for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.
19 So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,
20 being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;
21 in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;
22 in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 4 of 4
The book of Isaiah also has some wonderful words of comfort and encouragement prophesying a time to come:
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