Assyria Is God’s Instrument
1 Woe to those who enact evil statutes
And to those who constantly record unjust decisions,
2 So as to deprive the needy of justice
And rob the poor of My people of their rights,
So that widows may be their spoil
And that they may plunder the orphans.
3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment,
And in the devastation which will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
And where will you leave your wealth?
4 Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives
Or fall among the slain.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out.
5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,
6 I send it against a godless nation
And commission it against the people of My fury
To capture booty and to seize plunder,
And to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 Yet it does not so intend,
Nor does it plan so in its heart,
But rather it is its purpose to destroy
And to cut off many nations.
8 For it says, “Are not my princes all kings?
9 “Is not Calno like Carchemish,
Or Hamath like Arpad,
Or Samaria like Damascus?
10 “As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images
Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?”
12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”
13 For he has said,
“By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this,
For I have understanding;
And I removed the boundaries of the peoples
And plundered their treasures,
And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants,
14 And my hand reached to the riches of the peoples like a nest,
And as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth;
And there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped.”
15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it?
Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it?
That would be like a club wielding those who lift it,
Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.
16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors;
And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame.
17 And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame,
And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day.
18 And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body,
And it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number
That a child could write them down.
A Remnant Will Return
20 Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22 For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea,
Only a remnant within them will return;
A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.
23 For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, “O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did.
25 For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent and My anger will be directed to their destruction.”
26 The Lord of hosts will arouse a scourge against him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt.
27 So it will be in that day, that his burden will be removed from your shoulders and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be broken because of fatness.
28 He has come against Aiath,
He has passed through Migron;
At Michmash he deposited his baggage.
29 They have gone through the pass, saying,
“Geba will be our lodging place.”
Ramah is terrified, and Gibeah of Saul has fled away.
30 Cry aloud with your voice, O daughter of Gallim!
Pay attention, Laishah and wretched Anathoth!
31 Madmenah has fled.
The inhabitants of Gebim have sought refuge.
32 Yet today he will halt at Nob;
He shakes his fist at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord, the God of hosts, will lop off the boughs with a terrible crash;
Those also who are tall in stature will be cut down
And those who are lofty will be abased.
34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an iron axe,
And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.