Isaiah 3:4

4 “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.”

Isaiah 3:4 in Other Translations

4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
4 And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them.
4 I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers.
4 He says, "I'll put little kids in charge of the city. Schoolboys and schoolgirls will order everyone around.
4 "I will make youths their leaders, and the unstable will govern them."

Isaiah 3:4 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 3:4

And I will give children [to be] their princes
Either in age, or in understanding, who are really so, or act like such; and in either sense, when this is the case, it is an unhappiness to a nation, ( Ecclesiastes 10:16 ) : and babes shall rule over them;
which is the same as before. The Targum is,

``the weak shall rule over them;''
such who are weak in their intellectuals, or are of mean pusillanimous spirits, "effeminate", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; and so as "children" are opposed to the "ancient", that should be taken away, these are opposed to "men of might" and courage, who would now be wanting: or "men of illusions", as in the margin; such as were subtle as foxes, and should deceive them, and impose upon them, and were audacious and impudent, and would mock at them, and despise them. So Jarchi and Abarbinel; and according to this sense of the word the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "mockers shall rule over them".

Isaiah 3:4 In-Context

2 the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder,
3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
4 “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.”
5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored.
6 A man will seize one of his brothers in his father’s house, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!”

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 12; Ecc 10:16 "fn"
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.