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Isaiah 10:1-4

Context

10:1 Those who enact unjust policies are as good as dead, 1 

those who are always instituting unfair regulations, 2 

10:2 to keep the poor from getting fair treatment,

and to deprive 3  the oppressed among my people of justice,

so they can steal what widows own,

and loot what belongs to orphans. 4 

10:3 What will you do on judgment day, 5 

when destruction arrives from a distant place?

To whom will you run for help?

Where will you leave your wealth?

10:4 You will have no place to go, except to kneel with the prisoners,

or to fall among those who have been killed. 6 

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 7 

1 tn Heb “Woe [to] those who decree evil decrees.” On הוֹי (hoy, “woe, ah”) see the note on the first phrase of 1:4.

2 tn Heb “[to] the writers who write out harm.” The participle and verb are in the Piel, suggesting repetitive action.

3 tn Or “rob” (ASV, NASB, NCV, NRSV); KJV “take away the right from the poor.”

4 tn Heb “so that widows are their plunder, and they can loot orphans.”

sn On the socio-economic background of vv. 1-2, see the note at 1:23.

5 tn Heb “the day of visitation” (so KJV, ASV), that is, the day when God arrives to execute justice on the oppressors.

6 tn Heb “except one kneels in the place of the prisoner, and in the place of the slain [who] fall.” On the force of בִּלְתִּי (bilti, “except”) and its logical connection to what precedes, see BDB 116 s.v. בֵלֶת. On the force of תַּחַת (takhat, “in the place of”) here, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:258, n. 6.

7 tn Heb “in all this his anger was not turned, and still his hand was outstretched”; KJV, ASV, NRSV “his had is stretched out still.”

sn See the note at 9:12.



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