New International Reader's Version
10 How terrible it will be for you
who make laws that aren’t fair!
How terrible for you
who write laws that make life hard for others!
2 You take away the rights of poor people.
You hold back what is fair from my people who are suffering.
You take for yourselves what belongs to widows.
You rob children whose fathers have died.
3 What will you do on the day when the Lord punishes you?
On that day trouble will come from far away.
Who will you run to for help?
Who will you trust your riches with?
4 All you can do is bow down in fear among the prisoners.
All you can do is fall among those who have died in battle.
Even then, the Lord is still angry.
His hand is still raised against them.
The Lord Will Judge Assyria
5 The Lord says, “How terrible it will be for the people of Assyria!
They are the war club that carries out my anger.
6 I will send them against the ungodly nation of Judah.
I will order them to fight against my own people.
My people make me angry.
I will order Assyria to take their goods and carry them away.
I will order Assyria to walk on my people
as if they were walking on mud.
7 But that is not what the king of Assyria plans.
It is not what he has in mind.
His purpose is to destroy many nations.
His purpose is to put an end to them.
8 ‘Aren’t all my commanders kings?’ he says.
9 ‘I took over Kalno just as I took Carchemish.
I took over Hamath just as I did Arpad.
I took Samaria just as I did Damascus.
10 My powerful hand grabbed hold of kingdoms
whose people worship statues of gods.
They had more gods than Jerusalem and Samaria did.
11 I took over Samaria and its statues of gods.
In the same way, I will take Jerusalem and its gods.’ ”
12 The Lord will finish everything he has planned to do against Mount Zion and Jerusalem. Then he’ll say, “Now I will punish the king of Assyria. I will punish him because his heart and his eyes are so proud. 13 The king of Assyria says,
“ ‘By my power
I have taken over all these nations.
I am very wise.
I have great understanding.
I have wiped out the borders between nations.
I’ve taken their treasures.
Like a great hero I’ve brought their kings under my control.
14 I’ve taken the wealth of the nations.
It was as easy as reaching into a bird’s nest.
I’ve gathered the riches of all these countries.
It was as easy as gathering eggs
that have been left in a nest.
Not a single baby bird flapped its wings.
Not one of them opened its mouth to chirp.’ ”
15 Does an ax claim to be more important
than the person who swings it?
Does a saw brag that it is better
than the one who uses it?
That would be like a stick
swinging the person who picks it up!
It would be like a war club
waving the one who carries it!
16 So the Lord who rules over all will send a sickness.
The Lord will send it on the king of Assyria’s strong fighting men.
It will make them weaker and weaker.
The army he was so proud of will be completely destroyed.
It will be as if it had been burned up in a fire.
17 The Lord is the Light of Israel.
He will become a fire.
Israel’s Holy One will become a flame.
In a single day he will burn up all Assyria’s bushes.
He will destroy all their thorns.
18 He will completely destroy the beauty
of their forests and rich farm lands.
The Assyrian army will be like a sick person
who becomes weaker and weaker.
19 It will be like the trees of their forests.
So few of them will be left standing
that even a child could count them.
The Israelites Who Are Left Alive
20 In days to come, some people will still be left alive in Israel.
They will be from Jacob’s family line.
But they won’t depend any longer on
the nation that struck them down.
Instead, they will truly depend on the Lord.
He is the Holy One of Israel.
21 The people of Jacob who are still alive
will return to the Mighty God.
22 Israel, your people might be as many as the grains of sand by the sea.
But only a few of them will return.
The Lord has handed down a death sentence.
He will destroy his people.
What he does is right.
23 The Lord who rules over all will carry out his sentence.
The Lord will destroy the whole land.
24 The Lord rules over all. The Lord says,
“My people who live in Zion,
do not be afraid of the Assyrian army.
They beat you with rods.
They lift up war clubs against you,
just as the Egyptians did.
25 Very soon I will not be angry with you anymore.
I will turn my anger against the Assyrians.
I will destroy them.”
26 The Lord who rules over all will beat them with a whip.
He will strike them down as he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb.
And he will stretch out his walking stick over the waters.
That’s what he did in Egypt.
27 People of Zion, in days to come he will help you.
He will lift the heavy load of the Assyrians from your shoulders.
He will remove their yokes from your necks.
Their yokes will be broken
because you have become so strong.
28 The Assyrian army has entered the town of Aiath.
They have passed through Migron.
They have stored up supplies at Mikmash.
29 They have marched through the pass there. They said,
“Let’s camp for the night at Geba.”
The people of Ramah tremble with fear.
Those who live in Gibeah of Saul run away.
30 Town of Gallim, cry out!
31 The people of Madmenah are running away.
Those who live in Gebim are hiding.
32 Today the Assyrians have stopped at Nob.
They are shaking their fists
at Mount Zion in the city of Jerusalem.
33 The Assyrian soldiers are like trees in a forest.
The Lord who rules over all
will chop them down.
The Lord will cut off their branches
with his great power.
He will chop the tall trees down.
He will cut down even the highest ones.
34 The Mighty One will chop down the forest with his ax.
He will cut down the cedar trees in Lebanon.
New International Version
10 Woe(A) to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,(B)
2 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)
3 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?
4 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
5 “Woe(L) to the Assyrian,(M) the rod(N) of my anger,
in whose hand is the club(O) of my wrath!(P)
6 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.
7 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.
8 ‘Are not my commanders(W) all kings?’ he says.
9 ‘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)”
Gibeah(CP) of Saul flees.(CQ)
30 Cry out, Daughter Gallim!(CR)
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)