1 WOE TO those [judges] who issue unrighteous decrees, and to the magistrates who keep causing unjust and oppressive decisions to be recorded,
2 To turn aside the needy from justice and to make plunder of the rightful claims of the poor of My people, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
3 And what will you do in the day of visitation [of God's wrath], and in the desolation which shall come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you deposit [for safekeeping] your wealth and with whom leave your glory?
4 Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall [overwhelmed] under the heaps of the slain [on the battlefield]. For all this, [God's] anger is not turned away, but His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].
5 Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of My anger, the staff in whose hand is My indignation and fury [against Israel's disobedience]!
6 I send [the Assyrian] against a hypocritical and godless nation and against the people of My wrath; I command him to take the spoil and to seize the prey and to tread them down like the mire in the streets.
7 However, this is not his intention [nor is the Assyrian aware that he is doing this at My bidding], neither does his mind so think and plan; but it is in his mind to destroy and cut off many nations.
8 For [the Assyrian] says, Are not my officers all either [subjugated] kings or their equal?
9 Is not Calno [of Babylonia conquered] like Carchemish [on the Euphrates]? Is not Hamath [in Upper Syria] like Arpad [her neighbor]? Is not Samaria [in Israel] like Damascus [in Syria]? [Have any of these cities been able to resist Assyria? Not one!]
10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols [which were unable to defend them,] whose graven images were more to be feared and dreaded and more mighty than those of Jerusalem and of Samaria–
11 Shall I not be able to do to Jerusalem and her images as I have done to Samaria and her idols? [says the Assyrian]
12 Therefore when the Lord has completed all His work [of chastisement and purification to be executed] on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, it shall be that He will inflict punishment on the fruit [the thoughts, words, and deeds] of the stout and arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the haughtiness of his pride.
13 For [the Assyrian king] has said, I have done it solely by the power of my own hand and wisdom, for I have insight and understanding. I have removed the boundaries of the peoples and have robbed their treasures; and like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones and the inhabitants.
14 And my hand has found like a nest the wealth of the people; and as one gathers eggs that are forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved its wing, or that opened its mouth or chirped.
15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw magnify itself against him who wields it back and forth? As if a rod should wield those who lift it up, or as if a staff should lift itself up as if it were not wood [but a man of God]!
16 Therefore will the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send leanness among [the Assyrian's] fat ones; and instead of his glory or under it He will kindle a burning like the burning of fire.
17 And the Light of Israel shall become a fire and His Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour [the Assyrian's] thorns and briers in one day. [II Kings 19:35-37; Isa. 31:8-9; 37:36.]
18 [The Lord] will consume the glory of the [Assyrian's] forest and of his fruitful field, both soul and body; and it shall be as when a sick man pines away or a standard-bearer faints.
19 And the remnant of the trees of his forest shall be few, so that a child may make a list of them.
20 And it shall be in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more lean upon him who smote them, but will lean upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant will return [Shear-jashub, name of Isaiah's son], a remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22 For though your population, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of it will return [and survive]. The [fully completed] destruction is decreed (decided upon and brought to an issue); it overflows with justice and righteousness [the infliction of just punishment]. [Rom. 9:27, 28.]
23 For the Lord, the Lord of hosts, will make a full end, whatever is determined or decreed [in Israel], in the midst of all the earth.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord, the Lord of hosts, O My people who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian, who smites you with a rod and lifts up his staff against you, as [the king of] Egypt did. [Exod. 5.]
25 For yet a little while and My indignation against you shall be accomplished, and My anger shall be directed to destruction [of the Assyrian].
26 And the Lord of hosts shall stir up and brandish a scourge against them as when He smote Midian at the rock of Oreb; and as His rod was over the [Red] Sea, so shall He lift it up as He did in [the flight from] Egypt. [Exod. 14:26-31; Judg. 7:24, 25.]
27 And it shall be in that day that the burden of [the Assyrian] shall depart from your shoulders, and his yoke from your neck. The yoke shall be destroyed because of fatness [which prevents it from going around your neck]. [Deut. 32:15.]
28 [The Assyrian with his army comes to Judah]. He arrives at Aiath; he passes through Migron; at Michmash he gets rid of his baggage [by storing it].
29 They go through the pass, they make Geba their camping place for the night; Ramah is afraid and trembles, Gibeah [the city] of [King] Saul flees.
30 Cry aloud [in consternation], O Daughter of Gallim! Hearken, O Laishah! [Answer her] O you poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim seize their belongings and make their households flee for safety.
32 This very day [the Assyrian] will halt at Nob [the city of priests], shaking his fist at the mountain of the Daughter of Zion, at the hill of Jerusalem.
33 [But just when the Assyrian is in sight of his goal] behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, will lop off the beautiful boughs with terrorizing force; the high in stature will be hewn down and the lofty will be brought low.
34 And He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an ax, and Lebanon [the Assyrian] with its majestic trees shall fall by the Mighty One and mightily. [Gen. 49:24; Isa. 9:6.]