Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression,
to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
What will you do on the day of punishment, in the storm which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?
Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.
Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger, the staff of my fury!
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.
But he does not so intend, and his mind does not so think; but it is in his mind to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
for he says: "Are not my commanders all kings?
Is not Calno like Car'chemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Sama'ria like Damascus?
As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Sama'ria,
shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Sama'ria and her images?"
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.
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.
My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as men gather eggs that have been forsaken so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing, or opened the mouth, or chirped."
Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
Therefore the Lord, 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.
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.
The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down.
In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.
For the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
Therefore thus says the Lord, the LORD of hosts: "O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they smite with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.
For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction.
And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a scourge, as when he smote Mid'ian at the rock of Oreb; and his rod will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt.
And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck." He has gone up from Rimmon,
he has come to Ai'ath; he has passed through Migron, at Michmash he stores his baggage;
they have crossed over the pass, at Geba they lodge for the night; Ramah trembles, Gib'e-ah of Saul has fled.
Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim! Hearken, O La'ishah! Answer her, O An'athoth!
Madme'nah is in flight, the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
This very day he will halt at Nob, he will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low.
He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe, and Lebanon with its majestic trees will fall.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by 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. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)