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Judgment on Unjust Lawmakers

10 “How terrible it will be for the one[a] who enacts unjust decrees,
    for those who write oppressive laws
    that they have prescribed
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]
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,
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

“How terrible it will be
    for Assyria, the rod of my anger!
        The club is in their hands![h]
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.
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.

“Because this is what he is saying:
    ‘My commanders are all kings, are they not?
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]


  1. Isaiah 10:1 So 1QIsaa; MT reads the ones
  2. Isaiah 10:2 Lit. right
  3. Isaiah 10:2 Or plunder the fatherless
  4. Isaiah 10:3 Lit. reckoning
  5. Isaiah 10:4 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read beneath prisoners
  6. Isaiah 10:4 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack Yet
  7. Isaiah 10:4 DSS MT lack ready to strike
  8. Isaiah 10:5 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads is their fury!
  9. Isaiah 10:6 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads sending him
  10. Isaiah 10:7 Lit. off
  11. Isaiah 10:10 So 1QIsaa; MT reads the idol
  12. Isaiah 10:12 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read And when
  13. Isaiah 10:12 Lit. the fruit of the arrogant
  14. Isaiah 10:13 Lit. saying; so 1QIsaa; MT reads He said
  15. Isaiah 10:13 Lit. I have understanding
  16. Isaiah 10:14 1QIsaa MT lack inhabitants of the
  17. Isaiah 10:15 So 1QIsaa MT; LXX reads the one who lifts
  18. Isaiah 10:16 So 1QIsaa MT; other LXX MT mss read Lord
  19. Isaiah 10:16 Lit. his
  20. Isaiah 10:17 Lit. its
  21. Isaiah 10:18 Lit. it
  22. Isaiah 10:19 Lit. can write them down
  23. Isaiah 10:23 So 1QIsaa; LXX, MT mss lack Lord of the Heavenly Armies
  24. Isaiah 10:23 Lit. in the midst of
  25. Isaiah 10:23 Lit. land
  26. Isaiah 10:24 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Assyrians, when they strike you with a rod
  27. Isaiah 10:25 So 1QIsaa MT; MT mss. read end; LXX reads counsel
  28. Isaiah 10:26 Cf. Judg 7:25
  29. Isaiah 10:26 1QIsaa MT lack stretched out
  30. Isaiah 10:26 Cf. Exod 14:16,26
  31. Isaiah 10:27 Lit. On that day; so 1QIsaa MT LXX; 4QIsac reads On a day
  32. Isaiah 10:27 So 1QIsaa MT; LXX lacks because you’ve become obese.
  33. Isaiah 10:28 Lit. He
  34. Isaiah 10:28 So 1QIsaa MT; 4QIsac LXX read to
  35. Isaiah 10:29 So 1QIsaa; MT reads They have
  36. Isaiah 10:29 So 1QIsaa; the Heb. lacks by
  37. Isaiah 10:30 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read Laishah
  38. Isaiah 10:31 So 1QIsaa Syr.; MT LXX read Madmenah
  39. Isaiah 10:32 I.e. city where the ephod was stored during the reign of Saul; cf. 1Sam 22:13-20
  40. Isaiah 10:32 So 1QIsaa; MT reads brandish
  41. Isaiah 10:32 So 1QIsaa; MT reads fist
  42. Isaiah 10:33 Lit. the
  43. Isaiah 10:34 Or fall, along with its majestic trees