GOD'S WORD® Translation
1How horrible it will be for those who make unjust laws and who make oppressive regulations.
2They deprive the poor of justice. They take away the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and rob orphans.
3What will you do on the day you are called to account [for these things], when the disaster comes from far away? Where will you run for help? Where will you leave your wealth?
4Nothing's left but to crouch among prisoners and to fall with those who are killed. Even after all this, his anger will not disappear, and he is still ready to use his power.
5"How horrible it will be for Assyria! It is the rod of my anger. My fury is the staff in the Assyrians' hands.
6I send them against a godless nation. In my fury I order them against the people to take their belongings, loot them, and trample on them like mud in the streets.
7But that's not what they intend to do. Their minds don't work that way. Their purpose is to destroy and put an end to many nations.
8They ask, 'Aren't all our commanders kings?
9Isn't Calno like Carchemish? Isn't Hamath like Arpad? Isn't Samaria like Damascus?'
10My power has reached kingdoms which have idols. They had more carved statues than Jerusalem or Samaria.
11I will do to Jerusalem and its idols what I've done to Samaria and its idols."
12When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the king of Assyria for all his boasting and all his arrogance.
13The king will say, "I did this with my own two powerful hands. I did this with my wisdom, because I am so clever. I've eliminated the boundaries of nations. I've looted treasuries. I've brought down people like a mighty man.
14I've found the riches of nations as one finds a nest. I've gathered the whole world as one gathers abandoned eggs. Not one of them flapped a wing, opened its mouth, or peeped."
15Can an ax attack the person who cuts with it? Can a saw make itself greater than the person who saws with it? A rod cannot move the person who lifts it. A wooden stick cannot pick up a person.
16That is why the Almighty LORD of Armies will send a degenerative disease against brave men. A flame will be turned into a raging fire under his power.
17Israel's light will become a flame. Its Holy One will become a fire. He will burn up and devour the weeds and thornbushes in one day.
18The majestic forest and the orchard will destroy both body and soul. They will be like a sick person wasting away.
19The trees that remain in the forest will be so few that a child could count them.
20At that time the remaining few Israelites, the survivors of Jacob's descendants will no longer depend on the one who struck them. They will only depend on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
21A few, the remaining few of Jacob, will return to the mighty God.
22Although your people Israel may be as [numerous as] the grains of sand on the seashore, only a few will return. Destruction will be complete and fair.
23The Almighty LORD of Armies will carry out this destruction throughout the world as he has determined.
24The Almighty LORD of Armies says: My people who live in Zion, don't be afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with a rod or when they raise their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25Very soon I will unleash my fury, and my anger will destroy them. 26Then the LORD of Armies will raise his whip against them. As he struck down Midian at the Rock of Oreb and raised his staff over the water, so he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27At that time their burden will be removed from your shoulders. Their yoke will be removed from your neck. The yoke will be torn away because you have grown fat.
28They come to Aiath. They pass through Migron. They store their equipment at Michmash.
29They go through the mountain pass and lodge at Geba for the night. The people in Ramah tremble; the people in Saul's Gibeah flee.
30Cry aloud, you people in Gallim! Pay attention, you people in Laishah and miserable Anathoth!
31The people in Madmenah flee; those who live in Gebim take shelter.
32This day they stopped at Nob. They shake their fist at the mountain of my people Zion, at the mountain of Jerusalem.
33Now look! The Almighty LORD of Armies will trim the branches with terrifying power. The highest trees will be cut down. The tallest ones will be brought down.
34He will cut down the underbrush of the forest with an ax. Lebanon will fall in front of the Mighty One.