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Judgment on Assyria

[a]Ah! Assyria, the rod of my wrath,
    the staff I wield in anger.(A)
Against an impious nation[b] I send him,
    and against a people under my wrath I order him
To seize plunder, carry off loot,
    and to trample them like the mud of the street.
But this is not what he intends,
    nor does he have this in mind;
Rather, it is in his heart to destroy,
    to make an end of not a few nations.

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Footnotes

  1. 10:5–34 These verses contain a series of oracles directed against Assyria. Verses 5–15 portray Assyria as simply the rod God uses to punish Israel, though Assyria does not realize this. The original conclusion to this unit may be the judgment found in vv. 24–27a, which continues the imagery and motifs found in vv. 5–15. Verses 16–23, because of the quite different imagery and motifs, may originally have been an insertion directed against Aram and Israel at the time of the Syro-Ephraimite War.
  2. 10:6 Impious nation: Judah. It was God’s intention to use Assyria merely to punish, not to destroy, the nation.

God’s Judgment on Assyria

“Woe(A) to the Assyrian,(B) the rod(C) of my anger,
    in whose hand is the club(D) of my wrath!(E)
I send him against a godless(F) nation,
    I dispatch(G) him against a people who anger me,(H)
to seize loot and snatch plunder,(I)
    and to trample(J) them down like mud in the streets.
But this is not what he intends,(K)
    this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
    to put an end to many nations.

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