1Doom to those who pronounce wicked decrees,
and keep writing harmful laws
2to deprive the needy of their rights
and to rob the poor among my people of justice;
to make widows their loot;
to steal from orphans!
3What will you do on the day of punishment
when disaster comes from far away?
To whom will you flee for help;
where will you stash your wealth?
4How will you avoid crouching among the prisoners
and falling among the slain?
Even so, God’s anger hasn’t turned away;
God’s hand is still extended.
Assyria as God’s punishing weapon
5Doom to Assyria, rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the staff of my fury!
6Against a godless nation I send him;
against an infuriating people
I direct him to seize spoil, to steal plunder,
and to trample them like mud in the streets.
7But he has other plans;
he schemes in secret;
destruction is on his mind,
extermination of nation after nation.
8He says: Aren’t my commanders all kings?
9Isn’t Calno like Carchemish?
Isn’t Hamath like Arpad?
Isn’t Samaria like Damascus?
10Just as I took control of idolatrous kingdoms
with more images than Jerusalem and Samaria,
11just as I did to Samaria and her false gods,
won’t I also do this to Jerusalem and her idols?
12But when the Lord has finished all this work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish#Or I will punish the Assyrian king’s arrogant actions and the boasting of his haughty eyes.
13He said, "By my own strength I have achieved it,
and by my wisdom, since I’m so clever.
I disregarded national boundaries; I raided their treasures;
I knocked down their rulers like a bull.
14My hand found the wealth of the peoples
as if it were in a nest.
Just as one gathers abandoned eggs,
I have gathered the entire earth;
no creature fluttered a wing or opened a mouth to chirp."
15Will the ax glorify itself over the one who chops with it?
Or will the saw magnify itself over its user?
As if a rod could wave the one who lifts it!
As if a staff could lift up the one not made of wood!
16Therefore, the LORD God of heavenly forces
will make the well-fed people waste away;
and among his officials,
a blaze will burn like scorching fire.
17The light of Israel will become a fire,
its holy one a flame,
which will burn and devour
its thorns and thistles
in a single day.
18Its abundant forest and farmland
will be finished completely,#Syr, Vulg body and soul (that is, completely); MT he will finish
as when a sick person wastes away;
19its forest’s remaining trees will be no more than a child can count.
A few will return
20On that day, what’s left of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on the one who beat them. Instead, they will faithfully depend on the LORD, the holy one of Israel. 21A few will return, what’s left of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22Although your people, Israel, were like the sand of the sea, only a few survivors will return. The end is announced, overflowing with justice. 23Yes, destruction has been announced; the LORD God of heavenly forces will carry it out against the entire land.
24Therefore, the LORD God of heavenly forces says: My people who live in Zion, don’t fear Assyria, which strikes you with the rod and raises its staff against you as Egypt did. 25In a very short time my fury will end, and my anger at the world will be finished.#Heb uncertain
26Therefore, the LORD of heavenly forces will crack a whip against Assyria,
as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb.
He will raise a rod over the sea,
as he did in Egypt.
27On that day, God will remove the burden from your shoulder
and destroy the yoke on your neck.#Or and his yoke from your neck, and a yoke will be destroyed because of fatness
The exalted laid low
He has gone up from Samaria,
28come against Aiath,
passed to Migron.
At Michmash he stored his equipment.
29They crossed at the pass: "We’ll camp at Geba!"
Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30Cry aloud, Daughter Gallim!
Listen, Laishah! Answer her, Anathoth!
31Madmenah has flown.
Gebim’s inhabitants sought refuge.
32This very day he will stand at Nob
and shake his fist#Or wave his hand at Daughter Zion’s mountain,
the hill of Jerusalem!
33Look! The LORD God of heavenly forces
is chopping off the branches with terrible power.
The loftiest ones are about to be cut down
and the exalted laid low.
34He will strike down the forest thickets with an ax,
and mighty Lebanon will fall.