You Who Legislate Evil

10 1-4 Doom to you who legislate evil,
    who make laws that make victims—

Laws that make misery for the poor,
    that rob my destitute people of dignity,
Exploiting defenseless widows,
    taking advantage of homeless children.
What will you have to say on Judgment Day,
    when Doomsday arrives out of the blue?
Who will you get to help you?
    What good will your money do you?
A sorry sight you’ll be then, huddled with the prisoners,
    or just some corpses stacked in the street.
Even after all this, God is still angry,
    his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.

Doom to Assyria!

5-11 “Doom to Assyria, weapon of my anger.
    My wrath is a cudgel in his hands!
I send him against a godless nation,
    against the people I’m angry with.
I command him to strip them clean, rob them blind,
    and then push their faces in the mud and leave them.
But Assyria has another agenda;
    he has something else in mind.
He’s out to destroy utterly,
    to stamp out as many nations as he can.
Assyria says, ‘Aren’t my commanders all kings?
    Can’t they do whatever they like?
Didn’t I destroy Calno as well as Carchemish?
    Hamath as well as Arpad? Level Samaria as I did Damascus?
I’ve eliminated kingdoms full of gods
    far more impressive than anything in Jerusalem and Samaria.
So what’s to keep me from destroying Jerusalem
    in the same way I destroyed Samaria and all her god-idols?’”

12-13 When the Master has finished dealing with Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he’ll say, “Now it’s Assyria’s turn. I’ll punish the bragging arrogance of the king of Assyria, his high and mighty posturing, the way he goes around saying,

13-14 “‘I’ve done all this by myself.
    I know more than anyone.
I’ve wiped out the boundaries of whole countries.
    I’ve walked in and taken anything I wanted.
I charged in like a bull
    and toppled their kings from their thrones.
I reached out my hand and took all that they treasured
    as easily as a boy taking a bird’s eggs from a nest.
Like a farmer gathering eggs from the henhouse,
    I gathered the world in my basket,
And no one so much as fluttered a wing
    or squawked or even chirped.’”

15-19 Does an ax take over from the one who swings it?
    Does a saw act more important than the sawyer?
As if a shovel did its shoveling by using a ditch digger!
    As if a hammer used the carpenter to pound nails!
Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    will send a debilitating disease on his robust Assyrian fighters.
Under the canopy of God’s bright glory
    a fierce fire will break out.
Israel’s Light will burst into a conflagration.
    The Holy will explode into a firestorm,
And in one day burn to cinders
    every last Assyrian thornbush.
God will destroy the splendid trees and lush gardens.
    The Assyrian body and soul will waste away to nothing
    like a disease-ridden invalid.
A child could count what’s left of the trees
    on the fingers of his two hands.

20-23 And on that Day also, what’s left of Israel, the ragtag survivors of Jacob, will no longer be fascinated by abusive, battering Assyria. They’ll lean on God, The Holy—yes, truly. The ragtag remnant—what’s left of Jacob—will come back to the Strong God. Your people Israel were once like the sand on the seashore, but only a scattered few will return. Destruction is ordered, brimming over with righteousness. For the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will finish here what he started all over the globe.

24-27 Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: “My dear, dear people who live in Zion, don’t be terrorized by the Assyrians when they beat you with clubs and threaten you with rods like the Egyptians once did. In just a short time my anger against you will be spent and I’ll turn my destroying anger on them. I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will go after them with a cat-o’-nine-tails and finish them off decisively—as Gideon downed Midian at the rock Oreb, as Moses turned the tables on Egypt. On that day, Assyria will be pulled off your back, and the yoke of slavery lifted from your neck.”

27-32 Assyria’s on the move: up from Rimmon,
    on to Aiath,
through Migron,
    with a bivouac at Micmash.
They’ve crossed the pass,
    set camp at Geba for the night.
Ramah trembles with fright.
    Gibeah of Saul has run off.
Cry for help, daughter of Gallim!
    Listen to her, Laishah!
    Do something, Anathoth!
Madmenah takes to the hills.
    The people of Gebim flee in panic.
The enemy’s soon at Nob—nearly there!
    In sight of the city he shakes his fist
At the mount of dear daughter Zion,
    the hill of Jerusalem.

33-34 But now watch this: The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    swings his ax and lops the branches,
Chops down the giant trees,
    lays flat the towering forest-on-the-march.
His ax will make toothpicks of that forest,
    that Lebanon-like army reduced to kindling.

10 Woe(A) to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees,(B)
to deprive(C) the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,(D)
making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless.(E)
What will you do on the day of reckoning,(F)
    when disaster(G) comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?(H)
    Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives(I)
    or fall among the slain.(J)

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,(K)
    his hand is still upraised.

God’s Judgment on Assyria

“Woe(L) to the Assyrian,(M) the rod(N) of my anger,
    in whose hand is the club(O) of my wrath!(P)
I send him against a godless(Q) nation,
    I dispatch(R) him against a people who anger me,(S)
to seize loot and snatch plunder,(T)
    and to trample(U) them down like mud in the streets.
But this is not what he intends,(V)
    this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
    to put an end to many nations.
‘Are not my commanders(W) all kings?’ he says.
    ‘Has not Kalno(X) fared like Carchemish?(Y)
Is not Hamath(Z) like Arpad,(AA)
    and Samaria(AB) like Damascus?(AC)
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols,(AD)
    kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images
    as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?(AE)’”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work(AF) against Mount Zion(AG) and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria(AH) for the willful pride(AI) of his heart and the haughty look(AJ) in his eyes. 13 For he says:

“‘By the strength of my hand(AK) I have done this,(AL)
    and by my wisdom, because I have understanding.
I removed the boundaries of nations,
    I plundered their treasures;(AM)
    like a mighty one I subdued[a] their kings.(AN)
14 As one reaches into a nest,(AO)
    so my hand reached for the wealth(AP) of the nations;
as people gather abandoned eggs,
    so I gathered all the countries;(AQ)
not one flapped a wing,
    or opened its mouth to chirp.(AR)’”

15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it,
    or the saw boast against the one who uses it?(AS)
As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up,
    or a club(AT) brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    will send a wasting disease(AU) upon his sturdy warriors;(AV)
under his pomp(AW) a fire(AX) will be kindled
    like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire,(AY)
    their Holy One(AZ) a flame;
in a single day it will burn and consume
    his thorns(BA) and his briers.(BB)
18 The splendor of his forests(BC) and fertile fields
    it will completely destroy,(BD)
    as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests(BE) will be so few(BF)
    that a child could write them down.

The Remnant of Israel

20 In that day(BG) the remnant of Israel,
    the survivors(BH) of Jacob,
will no longer rely(BI) on him
    who struck them down(BJ)
but will truly rely(BK) on the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.(BL)
21 A remnant(BM) will return,[b](BN) a remnant of Jacob
    will return to the Mighty God.(BO)
22 Though your people be like the sand(BP) by the sea, Israel,
    only a remnant will return.(BQ)
Destruction has been decreed,(BR)
    overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
    the destruction decreed(BS) upon the whole land.(BT)

24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:

“My people who live in Zion,(BU)
    do not be afraid(BV) of the Assyrians,
who beat(BW) you with a rod(BX)
    and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.
25 Very soon(BY) my anger against you will end
    and my wrath(BZ) will be directed to their destruction.(CA)

26 The Lord Almighty will lash(CB) them with a whip,
    as when he struck down Midian(CC) at the rock of Oreb;
and he will raise his staff(CD) over the waters,(CE)
    as he did in Egypt.
27 In that day(CF) their burden(CG) will be lifted from your shoulders,
    their yoke(CH) from your neck;(CI)
the yoke(CJ) will be broken
    because you have grown so fat.[c]

28 They enter Aiath;
    they pass through Migron;(CK)
    they store supplies(CL) at Mikmash.(CM)
29 They go over the pass, and say,
    “We will camp overnight at Geba.(CN)
Ramah(CO) trembles;
    Gibeah(CP) of Saul flees.(CQ)
30 Cry out, Daughter Gallim!(CR)
    Listen, Laishah!
    Poor Anathoth!(CS)
31 Madmenah is in flight;
    the people of Gebim take cover.
32 This day they will halt at Nob;(CT)
    they will shake their fist(CU)
at the mount of Daughter Zion,(CV)
    at the hill of Jerusalem.

33 See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    will lop off(CW) the boughs with great power.
The lofty trees will be felled,(CX)
    the tall(CY) ones will be brought low.(CZ)
34 He will cut down(DA) the forest thickets with an ax;
    Lebanon(DB) will fall before the Mighty One.(DC)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 10:13 Or treasures; / I subdued the mighty,
  2. Isaiah 10:21 Hebrew shear-jashub (see 7:3 and note); also in verse 22
  3. Isaiah 10:27 Hebrew; Septuagint broken / from your shoulders

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