New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Judgment on Jerusalem and Judah
1 [a]The Lord, the Lord of hosts,
will take away from Jerusalem and from Judah
Support and staff—
all support of bread,
all support of water:(A)
2 Hero and warrior,
judge and prophet, diviner and elder,
3 The captain of fifty and the nobleman,
counselor, skilled magician, and expert charmer.
4 I will place boys as their princes;
the fickle will govern them,(B)
5 And the people will oppress one another,
yes, each one the neighbor.
The child will be insolent toward the elder,
and the base toward the honorable.(C)
6 When anyone seizes a brother
in their father’s house, saying,
“You have clothes! Be our ruler,
and take in hand this ruin!”—
7 He will cry out in that day:
“I cannot be a healer,(D)
when there is neither bread nor clothing in my own house!
You will not make me a ruler of the people!”
8 Jerusalem has stumbled, Judah has fallen;
for their speech and deeds affront the Lord,
a provocation in the sight of his majesty.
9 Their very look bears witness against them;(E)
they boast of their sin like Sodom,(F)
They do not hide it.
Woe to them!
They deal out evil to themselves.
10 Happy the just, for it will go well with them,
the fruit of their works they will eat.
11 Woe to the wicked! It will go ill with them,
with the work of their hands they will be repaid.
12 My people—infants oppress them,
women rule over them!
My people, your leaders deceive you,(G)
they confuse the paths you should follow.
- 3:1–12 These verses suggest deportation, with resulting social upheaval, and thus may date to sometime after Ahaz submitted as vassal to Assyria. The deportation practiced by Assyria, as later by Babylon, exiled the leading elements of society, such as those named in vv. 2–3; cf. 2 Kgs 24:12, 14–16 for a similar list of those exiled by the Babylonians. Denuding society of its leaders opens the way to near anarchy and a situation in which leadership is seized by or thrust upon those unqualified for it (vv. 5–7). The situation has been provoked by sinfully inept leadership (vv. 4, 8–9, 12). Some suggest that vv. 4 and 12 refer to Ahaz, who may have come to the throne at an early age. Verses 10–11 form a wisdom couplet that was inserted later.