Isaiah 9:1

(KJV) Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
(1611 KJV) Neuerthelesse the dimnesse shall not be such as was in her vexation; when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grieuously afflict her by the way of the Sea, beyond Iordan in Galile of the nations.
(1587 Geneva Bible) Yet the darkenes shal not be according to the affliction that it had when at the first hee touched lightly the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, nor afteward when he was more grieuous by the way of the sea beyond Iorden in Galile of the Gentiles.
(1568 Bishops Bible) Neuerthelesse, the darknesse shall not be suche as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the lande Zabulon, and the lande of Nephthali, and afterwarde dyd more greeuously afflict her by the way of the sea beyond Iordane in Galilee of the heathen.

Counterfeit Versions
(1901 ASV) But there shall be no gloom to her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time hath he made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
(AMP) But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish [for with judgment comes the promise of salvation]. In earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He will make them honored [by the presence of the Messiah], by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
(CEB) Nonetheless, those who were in distress won’t be exhausted. At an earlier time, God cursed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but later he glorified the way of the sea, the far side of the Jordan, and the Galilee of the nations.
(CEV) But those who have suffered will no longer be in pain. The territories of Zebulun and Naphtali in Galilee were once hated. But this land of the Gentiles across the Jordan River and along the Mediterranean Sea will be greatly respected.
(Douay Rheims-1899 American Edition) At the first time the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephtali was lightly touched: and at the last the way of the sea beyond the Jordan of the Galilee of the Gentiles was heavily loaded. [I have no idea what “heavily loaded” even means.]
(ERV) But there will be an end to the gloom those people suffered. In the past, people thought the land of Zebulun and Naphtali was not important. But later, that land will be honored—the land along the sea, the land east of the Jordan River, and Galilee where people from other nations live.
(ESV) But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
(GNB) There will be no way for them to escape from this time of trouble. The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was once disgraced, but the future will bring honor to this region, from the Mediterranean eastward to the land on the other side of the Jordan, and even to Galilee itself, where the foreigners live.
(HCSB) Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future He will bring honor to the Way of the Sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.
(ISV) But there will be no gloom for her who was in distress. Formerly, he brought contempt to the region of Zebulun and the region of Naphtali, but in the future he will have made glorious the way of the sea, the territory beyond the Jordan—Galilee of the nations.
(LEB) But there will be no gloom for those who were in distress. In former times he treated the land of Zebulun and Naphtali with contempt, but in the future he will honor the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
(LB) Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever. Though soon the land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be under God’s contempt and judgment, yet in the future these very lands, Galilee and northern Transjordan, where lies the road to the sea, will be filled with glory.
(THE MESSAGE) But there’ll be no darkness for those who were in trouble. Earlier he did bring the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali into disrepute, but the time is coming when he’ll make that whole area glorious— the road along the Sea, the country past the Jordan, international Galilee.
(NABRE) The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone.
(NASB) But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
(NCV) But suddenly there will be no more gloom for the land that suffered. In the past God made the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali hang their heads in shame, but in the future those lands will be made great. They will stretch from the road along the Mediterranean Sea to the land beyond the Jordan River and north to Galilee, the land of people who are not Israelites.
(NET) The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious. In earlier times he humiliated the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali; but now he brings honor to the way of the sea, the region beyond the Jordan, and Galilee of the nations.
(NIRV) But there won’t be any more sadness for those who were suffering. In the past the Lord brought shame on the land of Zebulun. He also brought shame on the land of Naphtali. But in days to come he will honor Galilee, where people from other nations live. He will honor the land along the Mediterranean Sea. And he will honor the territory east of the Jordan River.
(NIV) Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
(NLV) But there will be no more heavy hearts for those who were suffering. In the past God allowed the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali to be put to shame. In the future He will honor Galilee where those who are not Jews live and where the road to the sea is. It is on the other side of the Jordan.
(NLT) Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
(NRSV) But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
(RSV) But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zeb′ulun and the land of Naph′tali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
(TLV) The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine.
(VOICE) But there will be no more gloom for those who knew such hardship. In times past, God humbled the land of Zebulun and Naphtali; later, He will restore the honor and glory to the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee, home of the nations.

Hebrew Word
The Hebrew word behind “grievously afflict” is the word ”kavedh” which carries with it the meaning of “to be heavy, to glorify, grievously afflict.” Now this word is the type that is used according to context. For example:

Genesis 18:20 (KJV) And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

Exodus 14:4 (KJV) And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

How did the King James Translators know which word to use? In Isaiah 9:1, the context of the verse is speaking about the destruction of the northern kingdom. Now Shalmaneser took the ten tribes into Assyria and they were never to be heard from again. Since the Assyrians took the northern kingdom, there would have been no one left at that time for a “more grievous affliction” and that is why it is looking toward the final destruction. What is in view here is the further destruction of Galilee which happened about 4-5 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Then in Isaiah 9:2, he speaks of the coming of the Messiah which is the great light but verse 1 is speaking about the further destruction that region would face about 75 A.D. Therefore the King James translators have it right and the modern versions do not. 

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