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Darkness Turns to Light as an Ideal King Arrives

8:19 35 They will say to you, “Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations.36 Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living?”37 8:20 Then you must recall the Lord’s instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen.38 Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually darkened.39 8:21 They will pass through the land40 destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry,41 and they will curse their king and their God42 as they look upward. 8:22 When one looks out over the land, he sees43 distress and darkness, gloom44 and anxiety, darkness and people forced from the land.45 9:1 (8:23)1 The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious.2

In earlier times he3 humiliated

the land of Zebulun,

and the land of Naphtali;4

but now he brings honor5

to the way of the sea,

the region beyond the Jordan,

and Galilee of the nations.6

9:2 (9:1) The people walking in darkness

see a bright light;7

light shines

on those who live in a land of deep darkness.8

9:3 You9 have enlarged the nation;

you give them great joy.10

They rejoice in your presence

as harvesters rejoice;

as warriors celebrate11 when they divide up the plunder.

9:4 For their oppressive yoke

and the club that strikes their shoulders,

the cudgel the oppressor uses on them,12

you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat.13

9:5 Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth14

and every garment dragged through blood

is used as fuel for the fire.

9:6 For a child has been15 born to us,

a son has been given to us.

He shoulders responsibility

and is called:16

Extraordinary Strategist,17

Mighty God,18

Everlasting Father,19

Prince of Peace.20

9:7 His dominion will be vast21

and he will bring immeasurable prosperity.22

He will rule on David’s throne

and over David’s kingdom,23

establishing it24 and strengthening it

by promoting justice and fairness,25

from this time forward and forevermore.

The Lord’s intense devotion to his people26 will accomplish this.


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