Isaiah 3:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them."

New Living Translation
I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers.

English Standard Version
And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them.

New American Standard Bible
And I will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them,

King James Bible
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I will make youths their leaders, and the unstable will govern them."

International Standard Version
"I will make youths their princes, and infants will rule over them.

NET Bible
The LORD says, "I will make youths their officials; malicious young men will rule over them.

New Heart English Bible
And I will make youths to be their leaders, and capricious children shall rule over them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"I will make boys their leaders. Children will govern them."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I will give children to be their princes, And babes shall rule over them.

New American Standard 1977
And I will make mere lads their princes
            And capricious children will rule over them,

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I will give children to be their princes, and young fools shall rule over them.

King James 2000 Bible
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

American King James Version
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

American Standard Version
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I will give children to be their princes, and the effeminate shall rule over them.

Darby Bible Translation
And I will appoint youths as their princes, and children shall rule over them.

English Revised Version
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

World English Bible
I will give boys to be their princes, and children shall rule over them.

Young's Literal Translation
And I have made youths their heads, And sucklings rule over them.
Study Bible
Judgment against Judah and Jerusalem
3The captain of fifty and the honorable man, The counselor and the expert artisan, And the skillful enchanter. 4And I will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them, 5And the people will be oppressed, Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor; The youth will storm against the elder And the inferior against the honorable.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 10:16
Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.

Isaiah 3:3
The captain of fifty and the honorable man, The counselor and the expert artisan, And the skillful enchanter.

Isaiah 3:12
O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.

Isaiah 3:16
Moreover, the LORD said, "Because the daughters of Zion are proud And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, And go along with mincing steps And tinkle the bangles on their feet,

Jeremiah 52:3
For through the anger of the LORD this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Treasury of Scripture

And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

children

1 Kings 3:7-9 And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king instead of …

2 Chronicles 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned …

2 Chronicles 34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned …

2 Chronicles 36:2,5,9,11 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and …

Ecclesiastes 10:16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat …

(4) I will give children to be their princes.--Better, youths. The words may point obliquely to Ahaz, who had ascended the throne at the age of twenty (2Chronicles 28:1). Manasseh was but twelve when he became king; Josiah but eight (2Chronicles 33:1; 2Chronicles 34:1). In an Eastern monarchy the rule of a young king, rash and without experience, guided by counsellors like himself, was naturally regarded as the greatest of evils, and the history of Rehoboam had impressed this truth on the mind of every Israelite. (Comp. Ecclesiastes 10:16.)

Verse 4. - I will give children to be their princes; rather, youths than "children." The extreme youth of the later kings of Judah at the date of their accession is very remarkable. After Hezekiah, only one was as much as twenty-five years old when he came to the throne. Jehoahaz was twenty-three (2 Kings 23:31); Amon, twenty-two (2 Kings 21:19); Zedekiah twenty-one (2 Kings 24:18); Jehoiachin, eighteen (2 Kings 24:8); Manasseh, twelve (2 Kings 21:1); and Josiah eight (2 Kings 22:1). Thus this prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. And babes shall rule over them; literally, puerilities shall rule over them; i.e. the youths shall behave in a childish way. 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". 4. children—in ability for governing; antithesis to the "ancient" (see Isa 3:12; Ec 10:16).

babes—in warlike might; antithesis to "the mighty" and "man of war."3:1-9 God was about to deprive Judah of every stay and support. The city and the land were to be made desolate, because their words and works had been rebellious against the Lord; even at his holy temple. If men do not stay themselves upon God, he will soon remove all other supports, and then they must sink. Christ is the Bread of life and the Water of life; if he be our Stay, we shall find that is a good part not to be taken away, Joh 6:27. Here note, 1. That the condition of sinners is exceedingly woful. 2. It is the soul that is damaged by sin. 3. Whatever evil befals sinners, be sure that they bring it on themselves.
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