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Woes on the Wicked

10 Ah! Those who decree decrees of evil,
    and writers who have written harm,
to guide the needy away from legal claims,[a]
    and to rob the justice from the poor of my people,
    to make widows their spoil;
and they plunder orphans.
And what will you do at the day of punishment,
    and at calamity? It comes from afar!
To whom will you flee for help,
    and where will you leave your wealth,
save that they bow down under the prisoners
    and fall under the slain?[b]
In all of this his anger has not turned away,
    and still his hand is stretched out.

Judgment on Assyria’s Arrogance

Ah! Assyria, the rod of my anger,
    and a staff is in their hand: my wrath!
I send him against a godless nation,
    and I command him against the people of my wrath,
to capture spoil
    and to carry off plunder,
and to make them[c] a trampling place,
    like the clay of the streets.
But he does not think this,[d]
    and his heart does not plan this.
For it is in his heart to destroy
    and to cut off not a few nations.
For he says, “Are not my commanders altogether kings?
    Is not Calno like Carchemish?
    Is not Hamath like Arpad?
    Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols[e]
    —and their images were greater than those of[f] Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and its idols
    what I have done to Samaria and her idols?”

12 And this shall happen: when the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion[g] and Jerusalem, “I will punish the arrogance[h] of the king of Assyria and his haughtiness.”[i]

13 For he says,

“I have done it by the strength of my hand
    and by my wisdom, for I have understanding,
and I have removed the boundaries of peoples,
    and I have plundered their stores,
    and like a bull I have brought down the inhabitants.[j]
14 And my hand has found, like a nest, the wealth of the peoples,
    and like the gathering of forsaken eggs, I myself have gathered all the earth.
        And there was no fluttering wing or open mouth or chirp.”
15 Does the ax boast against the one who cuts with it,
    or the saw magnify itself against the one who moves it to and fro?
As if a rod should move the one who lifts it![k]
    As if a staff should lift up that which is not wood![l]
16 Therefore the Lord, Yahweh of hosts, will send leanness among his sturdy warriors,
    and a burning like the burning of fire will burn under his glory.
17 And the light of Israel will become like a fire,
    and his holy one like a flame,
and it will burn and devour his thorns[m] and briers[n] in one day.
18 And he will destroy the glory of his forest and orchard completely,[o]
    and it will be like the wasting away of one who is sick.
19 And the rest of the trees[p] of his forest will be a small number,
    and a boy can write them down.

The Return of the Remnant

20 And this shall happen: on that day, the remnant of Israel and the survivors[q] of the house of Jacob will not continue to lean on the one who struck it
    but will lean on Yahweh, the holy one of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant will return—
    the remnant of Jacob—to the mighty God.
22 For though your people Israel was like the sand of the sea,
    only a remnant of it will return.
Annihilation is determined,
    overflowing with righteousness.
23 For the Lord Yahweh of hosts is about to make a complete destruction
    and a determined end in the midst of all the earth.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh of hosts:

“My people who live in Zion,
    you must not be afraid of Assyria.
It beats you with the rod,
    and it lifts up its staff against you as the Egyptians did.[r]
25 My indignation will come to an end in just a very little while,[s]
    and my anger will be directed to their destruction.”
26 And Yahweh of hosts is going to swing a whip against him,
    as when Midian was defeated at the rock of Oreb;
and his staff will be over the sea,
    and he will lift him up as he did in Egypt.[t]

27 And this shall happen: on that day,

he will remove his burden from your shoulder
    and his yoke from your neck,
    and a yoke will be destroyed because of fat.[u]
28 He has come to Aiath,
    he has passed through Migron;
    at Micmash he deposited his baggage.
29 They crossed over the pass;
    Geba is a place of overnight lodging for us.
Ramah trembles;
    Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Daughter of Gallim, cry out with your voice;
    Laishah, listen!
    Anathoth is poor.[v]
31 Madmenah flees!
    The inhabitants of Gebim bring themselves into safety!
32 This day[w] taking a stand[x] at Nob,
he will shake his fist at the mountain of the daughter[y] of Zion,
    at the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Look! The Lord Yahweh of hosts is about to lop off the branches[z] with great power,
    and the towering trees[aa] will be felled,
    and the tall trees[ab] will be brought low.
34 And he will cut down the thickets of the forest with the axe,
    and Lebanon will fall by the mighty one.


  1. Isaiah 10:2 Hebrew “claim”
  2. Isaiah 10:4 Literally “except he will bow down under a prisoner and under slain they will fall”; “under” could also mean “in the place of”
  3. Isaiah 10:6 Hebrew “him”
  4. Isaiah 10:7 Or “so”
  5. Isaiah 10:10 Hebrew “idol”
  6. Isaiah 10:10 Literally “from”
  7. Isaiah 10:12 Literally “the mountain of Zion”
  8. Isaiah 10:12 Literally “fruit of the greatness of the heart”
  9. Isaiah 10:12 Literally “the pride of the height of his eyes”
  10. Isaiah 10:13 Or, “those sitting,” that is, rulers sitting on thrones
  11. Isaiah 10:15 Literally “As a rod waving even the one who lifts it up”
  12. Isaiah 10:15 Literally “As a staff lifting up not wood”
  13. Isaiah 10:17 Hebrew “thorn”
  14. Isaiah 10:17 Hebrew “brier”
  15. Isaiah 10:18 Literally “from soul and to body”
  16. Isaiah 10:19 Hebrew “tree”
  17. Isaiah 10:20 Hebrew “survivor”
  18. Isaiah 10:24 Literally “in the way of Egypt”
  19. Isaiah 10:25 Literally “for still a little a trifle”
  20. Isaiah 10:26 Literally “in the way of Egypt”
  21. Isaiah 10:27 The meaning of this phrase is uncertain, leading to the conjecture that it belongs with the next verse and by a different word division could mean “he has gone up from Jeshimon”; alternatively, “fat” could be a metaphor for prosperity
  22. Isaiah 10:30 Or with different vocalization, “Answer her, Anathoth!” which fits the parallelism better
  23. Isaiah 10:32 Literally “Yet today”
  24. Isaiah 10:32 Literally “to stand”
  25. Isaiah 10:32 Following the reading tradition (Qere); the consonantal text has “house”
  26. Isaiah 10:33 Hebrew “branch”
  27. Isaiah 10:33 Literally “the haughty of the height”
  28. Isaiah 10:33 Literally “height”