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.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.
8For 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?”
12When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he a Q Ms: MT rejoice over will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride. 13For 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.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. 21A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22For though your people Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in all the earth. a Or arm
24Therefore 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. 25For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26The 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. 27On 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, b Heb I 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; Ramah trembles, 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 c Or land will fall.