10 “How terrible it will be for the one[a] who enacts unjust decrees, for those who write oppressive laws that they have prescribed 2 to deprive the needy of justice and to rob the poor of my people of their rights,[b] so that widows may become their spoil and so that they may plunder orphans![c] 3 What will you do on the day of Judgment,[d] in the calamity that will come from far away? To whom will you run for help, and where will you leave your wealth, 4 so you won’t have to crouch among those in chains[e] or fall among the slain?
“Yet[f] for all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is still stretched out, ready to strike.”[g]
Assyria is an Instrument of Judgment
5 “How terrible it will be for Assyria, the rod of my anger! The club is in their hands![h] 6 I’m sending my fury[i] against a godless nation, and I’ll command him against the people with whom I’m angry to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7 But this is not what he intends, and this is not what he thinks in his mind; but it is in his mind to destroy, and to cut down[j] many nations.
8 “Because this is what he is saying: ‘My commanders are all kings, are they not? 9 Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? 10 As my hand has reached to the idolatrous kingdoms[k] whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, 11 will I not deal with Jerusalem and her idols as I have dealt with Samaria and her images?’”
Assyria will be Judged
12 “For[l] the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and against Jerusalem; he will punish the speech that comes from that willful[m] heart of Assyria’s king and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 He keeps bragging:[n]
‘I’ve done it by the strength of my hand, and by my wisdom, because I’m so clever.[o] I removed the boundaries of peoples, and plundered their treasures; like a bull I brought down those who sat on thrones. 14 My hand has found, as if in a nest, the wealth of the people; and as one gathers eggs that have been abandoned, so I have gathered all the inhabitants of the[p] earth. Nothing moved a wing, opened its mouth, or chirped.’
15 “Does the ax exalt itself over the one who swings it? Or does the saw magnify itself in opposition to the one who wields it? As if a rod were to wield those who lift[q] it, or as if a club were to brandish the one who is not wood! 16 Therefore, the Lord God[r] of the Heavenly Armies will send a wasting disease among Assyria’s[s] sturdy warriors, and under its glory a conflagration will be kindled, like a blazing bonfire.
17 “The light of Israel will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame, and it will burn and consume Assyria’s[t] thorns and briers in a single day. 18 The splendor of its forest and its fruitful land the Lord will destroy— both soul and body— and Assyria[u] will be as when a dying man wastes away. 19 What survives of the trees in his forest will be so few that a child can count them.”[v]
The Remnant Returns
20 At that time, the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer rely on the one who struck them down, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return—a remnant of Jacob—to the Mighty God. 22 For even if your people of Israel number as many as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Overwhelming, righteous destruction is decreed, 23 because the Lord God of the Heavenly Armies[w] will bring about destruction, as has been decreed, throughout[x] the entire region.[y]
24 Therefore this is what the Lord God of the Heavenly Armies says: “My people, you who live in Zion, don’t be afraid of the Assyrians, of the rod that beats you,[z] who lift up their club against you as the Egyptians did. 25 In just a little while, my fury will come to an end, and my anger then will be directed to their destruction.[aa]26 The Lord of the Heavenly Armies will brandish a whip against them, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb;[ab] and as his staff was stretched out[ac] over the sea,[ad] so he will lift it up as he did in Egypt. 27 At that time,[ae] his burden will depart from your shoulder and his yoke from your neck. Indeed, the yoke will be broken, because you’ve become obese.”[af]
The Coming Judgment of God
28 “The Assyrian commander[ag] has come upon[ah] Aiath and has passed through Migron; he stores his supplies at Michmash. 29 He has[ai] crossed over by[aj] the pass; his overnight lodging is at Geba. Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul has fled. 30 Cry aloud, you daughter of Gallim! Pay attention, Laish![ak] Poor Anathoth! 31 Marmenah[al] is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim take cover. 32 This very day he will halt at Nob;[am] he will shake[an] his fists[ao] at the mountain that is the Daughter of Zion, at Jerusalem’s hill. 33 Behold, the Lord God of the Heavenly Armies will lop off its[ap] boughs with terrifying power; the tallest in height will be cut down, and the lofty will be brought low. 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an ax, and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.”[aq]
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