Isaiah 10 Good News Translation (GNT)
10 You are doomed! You make unjust laws that oppress my people. 2 That is how you keep the poor from having their rights and from getting justice. That is how you take the property that belongs to widows and orphans. 3 What will you do when God punishes you? What will you do when he brings disaster on you from a distant country? Where will you run to find help? Where will you hide your wealth? 4 You will be killed in battle or dragged off as prisoners. Yet even so the Lord's anger will not be ended; his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
The Emperor of Assyria as the Instrument of God
5 The Lord said, “Assyria! I use Assyria like a club to punish those with whom I am angry. 6 I sent Assyria to attack a godless nation, people who have made me angry. I sent them to loot and steal and trample the people like dirt in the streets.”
7 But the Assyrian emperor has his own violent plans in mind. He is determined to destroy many nations. 8 He boasts, “Every one of my commanders is a king! 9 I conquered the cities of Calno and Carchemish, the cities of Hamath and Arpad. I conquered Samaria and Damascus. 10 I reached out to punish those kingdoms that worship idols, idols more numerous than those of Jerusalem and Samaria. 11 I have destroyed Samaria and all its idols, and I will do the same to Jerusalem and the images that are worshiped there.”
12 But the Lord says, “When I finish what I am doing on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, I will punish the emperor of Assyria for all his boasting and all his pride.”
13 The emperor of Assyria boasts, “I have done it all myself. I am strong and wise and clever. I wiped out the boundaries between nations and took the supplies they had stored. Like a bull I have trampled the people who live there. 14 The nations of the world were like a bird's nest, and I gathered their wealth as easily as gathering eggs. Not a wing fluttered to scare me off; no beak opened to scream at me!”
15 But the Lord says, “Can an ax claim to be greater than the one who uses it? Is a saw more important than the one who saws with it? A club doesn't lift up a person; a person lifts up a club.”
16 The Lord Almighty is going to send disease to punish those who are now well-fed. In their bodies there will be a fire that burns and burns. 17 God, the light of Israel, will become a fire. Israel's holy God will become a flame, which in a single day will burn up everything, even the thorns and thistles. 18 The rich forests and farmlands will be totally destroyed, in the same way that a fatal sickness destroys someone. 19 There will be so few trees left that even a child will be able to count them.
A Few Will Come Back
20 A time is coming when the people of Israel who have survived will not rely any more on the nation that almost destroyed them. They will truly put their trust in the Lord, Israel's holy God. 21 A few of the people of Israel will come back to their mighty God. 22 Even though now there are as many people of Israel as there are grains of sand by the sea, only a few will come back. Destruction is in store for the people, and it is fully deserved. 23 Yes, throughout the whole country the Sovereign Lord Almighty will bring destruction, as he said he would.
The Lord Will Punish Assyria
24 The Sovereign Lord Almighty says to his people who live in Zion, “Do not be afraid of the Assyrians, even though they oppress you as the Egyptians used to do. 25 In only a little while I will finish punishing you, and then I will destroy them. 26 I, the Lord Almighty, will beat them with my whip as I did the people of Midian at Oreb Rock. I will punish Assyria as I punished Egypt. 27 When that time comes, I will free you from the power of Assyria, and their yoke will no longer be a burden on your shoulders.”
The Invader Attacks
28 The enemy army has captured the city of Ai! They have passed through Migron! They left their supplies at Michmash! 29 They have crossed the pass and are spending the night at Geba! The people in the town of Ramah are terrified, and the people in King Saul's hometown of Gibeah have run away. 30 Shout, people of Gallim! Listen, people of Laishah! Answer, people of Anathoth! 31 The people of Madmenah and Gebim are running for their lives. 32 Today the enemy are in the town of Nob, and there they are shaking their fists at Mount Zion, at the city of Jerusalem.
33 The Lord Almighty will bring them crashing down like branches cut off a tree. The proudest and highest of them will be cut down and humiliated. 34 The Lord will cut them down as trees in the heart of the forest are cut down with an ax, as even the finest trees of Lebanon fall!
Isaiah 10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
10 Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
who write oppressive statutes,
2 to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be your spoil,
and that you may make the orphans your prey!
3 What will you do on the day of punishment,
in the calamity that will come from far away?
To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth,
4 so as not to crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain?
For all this his anger has not turned away;
his hand is stretched out still.
Arrogant Assyria Also Judged
5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger—
the club in their hands is my fury!
6 Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 But this is not what he intends,
nor does he have this in mind;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few.
8 For he says:
“Are not my commanders all kings?
9 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
whose images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
what I have done to Samaria and her images?”
12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride. 13 For he says:
“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I have removed the boundaries of peoples,
and have plundered their treasures;
like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones.
14 My hand has found, like a nest,
the wealth of the peoples;
and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing,
or opened its mouth, or chirped.”
15 Shall the ax vaunt itself over the one who wields it,
or the saw magnify itself against the one who handles it?
As if a rod should raise the one who lifts it up,
or as if a staff should lift the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame;
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.
18 The glory of his forest and his fruitful land
the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when an invalid wastes away.
19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down.
The Repentant Remnant of Israel
20 On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on the one who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, 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 were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in all the earth.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: O my people, who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they beat you with a rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 The Lord of hosts will wield a whip against them, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb; his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27 On that day his burden will be removed from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck.
He has gone up from Rimmon,
28 he has come to Aiath;
he has passed through Migron,
at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29 they have crossed over the pass,
at Geba they lodge for the night;
Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Cry aloud, O daughter Gallim!
Listen, O Laishah!
Answer her, O Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight,
the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32 This very day he will halt at Nob,
he will shake his fist
at the mount of daughter Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Look, the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the tallest trees will be cut down,
and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will hack down the thickets of the forest with an ax,
and Lebanon with its majestic trees will fall.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Isaiah 10 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
10 Woe to those who enact unjust decrees
and draft oppressive legislation
2 to deprive the impoverished of justice
and rob my people’s poor of their rights,
looting widows and preying on orphans!
3 What will you do on the day of punishment,
when calamity comes from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
Where will you leave your wealth,
4 so as not to squat among the prisoners
or fall among the slain?
Even after all this, his anger remains,
his upraised hand still threatens.
5 “Oh Ashur, the rod expressing my anger!
The club in their hands is my fury!
6 I am sending him against a hypocritical nation,
ordering him to march against a people who enrage me,
to take the spoil and the plunder
and trample them down like mud in the street.
7 That is not what Ashur intends,
that is not what they think;
rather, they mean to destroy,
to cut down nation after nation.
8 For [their king] says,
‘Aren’t all my commanders kings?
9 Hasn’t Kalno [suffered] like Kark’mish,
Hamat like Arpad, Shomron like Dammesek?
10 Just as my hand reached the kingdoms of non-gods,
with more images than in Yerushalayim and Shomron;
11 so won’t I do to Yerushalayim and her non-gods
what I did to Shomron and her idols?’”
12 Therefore when Adonai has done everything he intends to do to Mount Tziyon and Yerushalayim, “I will punish the king of Ashur for the boasting that comes from his proud heart and from reveling in his arrogant looks. 13 For he says,
“‘With my own strong arm I have done this,
and with my wisdom, because I’m so clever!
I erased the boundaries between peoples,
I plundered their stores for the future;
as a mighty man, I subjugated the inhabitants.
14 My hand found the riches of the peoples like a nest;
and as one gathers abandoned eggs,
I gathered the whole earth!
Not one wing fluttered,
not one beak opened or let out a chirp!’”
15 Should the axe glorify itself
over the one who chops with it?
Should the saw magnify itself
over the one who moves it?
It’s as if a stick could wave
the hand that raises it up,
or as if a wooden staff could lift
[a person, who is] not made of wood.
16 Therefore the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot,
will send leanness to his well-fed ones;
and in place of his glory,
a fire will be kindled that will burn and burn.
17 The light of Isra’el will become a fire
and his Holy One a flame,
burning and devouring
his thorns and briars in a single day.
18 The glory of his forest
and of his fertile land
he will consume body and soul,
like an invalid wasting away.
19 So few forest trees will remain
that a child could list them.
20 On that day the remnant of Isra’el,
those of the house of Ya‘akov who escaped,
will no longer rely
on the man who struck them down,
but will truly rely on Adonai,
the Holy One of Isra’el.
21 A remnant will return,
the remnant of Ya‘akov,
to the mighty God.
22 For, although your people, Isra’el,
are like the sand of the sea,
only a remnant of them will return.
Destruction is decreed, overflowing with justice.
23 Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot
will bring about this decreed destruction
throughout all the land.
24 Therefore Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot says:
“My people living in Tziyon,
don’t be afraid of Ashur,
even when he strikes you with a stick
and raises his staff against you,
the way it was in Egypt.
25 For in but a little while, my fury will end;
and my anger will have destroyed them.”
26 Adonai-Tzva’ot will wield a whip against them, as he did when striking Midyan at the Rock of ‘Orev; as his staff was over the sea, he will raise it, the way it was in Egypt.
27 On that day his burden will fall from your shoulders
and his yoke from your neck;
the yoke will be destroyed
by your prosperity.
28 He has come to ‘Ayat
and passed through Migron.
He has stored his equipment at Mikhmas.
29 They have crossed the pass,
then lodged at Geva.
Ramah is shaking,
Giv‘at-Sha’ul has fled.
30 Cry, shriek, Bat-Gallim!
Listen, Layish! Poor ‘Anatot!
31 Madmenah is in flight,
The people of Gevim take cover.
32 This very day he will stop at Nov;
and he will shake his fist
at the mountain of the daughter of Tziyon,
at the hill of Yerushalayim.
33 See how Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot
lops off the branches with terrible violence!
The ones standing highest are chopped down,
the lofty are laid low.
34 He will hack down the forest underbrush with an axe,
and the L’vanon in its splendor falls.
Isaiah 10 The Message (MSG)
You Who Legislate Evil
10 1-4 Doom to you who legislate evil,
who make laws that make victims—
Laws that make misery for the poor,
that rob my destitute people of dignity,
Exploiting defenseless widows,
taking advantage of homeless children.
What will you have to say on Judgment Day,
when Doomsday arrives out of the blue?
Who will you get to help you?
What good will your money do you?
A sorry sight you’ll be then, huddled with the prisoners,
or just some corpses stacked in the street.
Even after all this, God is still angry,
his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.
Doom to Assyria!
5-11 “Doom to Assyria, weapon of my anger.
My wrath is a cudgel in his hands!
I send him against a godless nation,
against the people I’m angry with.
I command him to strip them clean, rob them blind,
and then push their faces in the mud and leave them.
But Assyria has another agenda;
he has something else in mind.
He’s out to destroy utterly,
to stamp out as many nations as he can.
Assyria says, ‘Aren’t my commanders all kings?
Can’t they do whatever they like?
Didn’t I destroy Calno as well as Carchemish?
Hamath as well as Arpad? Level Samaria as I did Damascus?
I’ve eliminated kingdoms full of gods
far more impressive than anything in Jerusalem and Samaria.
So what’s to keep me from destroying Jerusalem
in the same way I destroyed Samaria and all her god-idols?’”
12-13 When the Master has finished dealing with Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he’ll say, “Now it’s Assyria’s turn. I’ll punish the bragging arrogance of the king of Assyria, his high and mighty posturing, the way he goes around saying,
13-14 “‘I’ve done all this by myself.
I know more than anyone.
I’ve wiped out the boundaries of whole countries.
I’ve walked in and taken anything I wanted.
I charged in like a bull
and toppled their kings from their thrones.
I reached out my hand and took all that they treasured
as easily as a boy taking a bird’s eggs from a nest.
Like a farmer gathering eggs from the henhouse,
I gathered the world in my basket,
And no one so much as fluttered a wing
or squawked or even chirped.’”
15-19 Does an ax take over from the one who swings it?
Does a saw act more important than the sawyer?
As if a shovel did its shoveling by using a ditch digger!
As if a hammer used the carpenter to pound nails!
Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
will send a debilitating disease on his robust Assyrian fighters.
Under the canopy of God’s bright glory
a fierce fire will break out.
Israel’s Light will burst into a conflagration.
The Holy will explode into a firestorm,
And in one day burn to cinders
every last Assyrian thornbush.
God will destroy the splendid trees and lush gardens.
The Assyrian body and soul will waste away to nothing
like a disease-ridden invalid.
A child could count what’s left of the trees
on the fingers of his two hands.
20-23 And on that Day also, what’s left of Israel, the ragtag survivors of Jacob, will no longer be fascinated by abusive, battering Assyria. They’ll lean on God, The Holy—yes, truly. The ragtag remnant—what’s left of Jacob—will come back to the Strong God. Your people Israel were once like the sand on the seashore, but only a scattered few will return. Destruction is ordered, brimming over with righteousness. For the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will finish here what he started all over the globe.
24-27 Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: “My dear, dear people who live in Zion, don’t be terrorized by the Assyrians when they beat you with clubs and threaten you with rods like the Egyptians once did. In just a short time my anger against you will be spent and I’ll turn my destroying anger on them. I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will go after them with a cat-o’-nine-tails and finish them off decisively—as Gideon downed Midian at the rock Oreb, as Moses turned the tables on Egypt. On that day, Assyria will be pulled off your back, and the yoke of slavery lifted from your neck.”
27-32 Assyria’s on the move: up from Rimmon,
on to Aiath,
with a bivouac at Micmash.
They’ve crossed the pass,
set camp at Geba for the night.
Ramah trembles with fright.
Gibeah of Saul has run off.
Cry for help, daughter of Gallim!
Listen to her, Laishah!
Do something, Anathoth!
Madmenah takes to the hills.
The people of Gebim flee in panic.
The enemy’s soon at Nob—nearly there!
In sight of the city he shakes his fist
At the mount of dear daughter Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.
33-34 But now watch this: The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
swings his ax and lops the branches,
Chops down the giant trees,
lays flat the towering forest-on-the-march.
His ax will make toothpicks of that forest,
that Lebanon-like army reduced to kindling.