Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees
Or, "O ye that decree" (ywh) being a sign of the vocative case, and an interjection of calling, as Aben Ezra observes; though the Targum and other versions understand it of a threatening denounced; and is to be understood as lying against lawgivers and judges, political rulers and governors of the people, that made unrighteous laws; laws which were not agreeable to the law of God, nor right reason; and were injurious to the persons and properties of men; and which were calculated for the oppression of good men, especially the poor, and for the protection of wicked men, who made no conscience of spoiling them: and that write grievousness [which] they have prescribed;
laws grievous and intolerable being made by them, they wrote them, or ordered them to be written, to be engrossed and promulgated, published them, and obliged the people to be subject to them. This some understand of the scribes of judges, who sat in court, and wrote out the decrees and sentences made by them; but it rather intends the same persons as before; and not ecclesiastical but political governors are meant, and such as lived before the Babylonish captivity; or otherwise the whole is applicable to the Scribes and Pharisees, to the Misnic doctors, the authors of the oral law, the fathers of tradition, whose decisions and decrees were unrighteous and injurious, and contrary to the commands of God; heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and very oppressive of the poor, the fatherless, and the widow; for which they are reproved by Christ, ( Matthew 15:3 Matthew 15:6 Matthew 15:9 ) ( Matthew 23:4 Matthew 23:14 Matthew 23:23 Matthew 23:25 ) Jarchi says it is an Arabic F7 word, which signifies scribes.
F7 So <arabic> and <arabic> Scriba, Golius, col. 1999; so the word is used in the Chaldee and Syriac languages. See Castel. col. 1828, 1829.