Woe to Tyrants
1 Woe to those who enact unjust statutes
and issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of fair treatment
and withhold justice from the oppressed of My people,
to make widows their prey
and orphans their plunder.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning
when devastation comes from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
Where will you leave your wealth?
4 Nothing will remain but to crouch among the captives
or fall among the slain.
Despite all this, His anger is not turned away;
His hand is still upraised.
Judgment on Assyria
5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger;
the staff in their hands is My wrath.
6 I will send him against a godless nation;
I will dispatch him against a people destined for My rage,
to take spoils and seize plunder,
and to trample them down like clay in the streets.
7 But this is not his intention;
this is not his plan.
For it is in his heart to destroy
and cut off many nations.
8 “Are not all my commanders kings?” he says.
9 “Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand seized the idolatrous kingdoms
whose images surpassed those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 and as I have done to Samaria and its idols,
will I not also do to Jerusalem and her idols?”
12 So when the Lord has completed all His work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the fruit of his arrogant heart and the proud look in his eyes. 13 For he says:
‘By the strength of my hand I have done this,
and by my wisdom, for I am clever.
I have removed the boundaries of nations
and plundered their treasures;
like a mighty one I subdued their rulers.
14 My hand reached as into a nest
to seize the wealth of the nations.
Like one gathering abandoned eggs,
I gathered all the earth.
No wing fluttered,
no beak opened or chirped.’ ”
15 Does an axe raise itself above the one who swings it?
Does a saw boast over him who saws with it?
It would be like a rod waving the one who lifts it,
or a staff lifting him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord GOD of Hosts will send a wasting disease
among Assyria’s stout warriors,
and under his pomp will be kindled
a fire like a burning flame.
17 And the Light of Israel will become a fire,
and its Holy One a flame.
In a single day it will burn and devour
Assyria’s thorns and thistles.
18 The splendor of its forests and orchards,
both soul and body,
it will completely destroy,
as a sickness consumes a man.
19 The remaining trees of its forests will be so few
that a child could count them.
A Remnant Shall Return
20 On that day the remnant of Israel
and the survivors of the house of Jacob
will no longer depend
on him who struck them,
but they will truly rely on the LORD,
the Holy One of Israel.
22 Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand of the sea,
only a remnant will return. b
Destruction has been decreed,
overflowing with righteousness.
23 For the Lord GOD of Hosts will carry out
the destruction decreed upon the whole land. c
24 Therefore this is what the Lord GOD of Hosts says:
“O My people who dwell in Zion,
do not fear Assyria,
who strikes you with a rod
and lifts his staff against you
as the Egyptians did.
25 For in just a little while
My fury against you will subside,
and My anger will turn to their destruction.”
26 And the LORD of Hosts will brandish a whip against them,
as when He struck Midian at the rock of Oreb.
He will raise His staff over the sea,
as He did in Egypt.
27 On that day the burden will be lifted from your shoulders,
and the yoke from your neck.
The yoke will be broken
because your neck will be too large. d
28 Assyria has entered Aiath
and passed through Migron,
storing their supplies at Michmash.
29 They have crossed at the ford:
“We will spend the night at Geba.”
Gibeah of Saul flees.
30 Cry aloud, O Daughter of Gallim!
Listen, O Laishah!
O wretched Anathoth!
31 Madmenah flees;
the people of Gebim take refuge.
32 Yet today they will halt at Nob,
shaking a fist at the mount of Daughter Zion,
at the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord GOD of Hosts
will lop off the branches with terrifying power.
The tall trees will be cut down,
the lofty ones will be felled.
34 He will clear the forest thickets with an axe,
and Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.
21 a Hebrew Shear-jashub ; also in verse 22; see Isaiah 7:3.
22 b LXX Though the people of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only a remnant will be saved. Cited in Romans 9:27
23 c LXX He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work in all the world. Cited in Romans 9:28
27 d Literally broken because of fatness ; LXX broken from your shoulders