The Israelites 1 turn justice into bitterness; 2 they throw what is fair and right 3 to the ground. 4
You who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground
For those who turn justice into wormwood And cast righteousness down to the earth."
You wicked people! You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the poor and oppressed. Righteousness and fair play are meaningless fictions to you.
Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar and stomp righteousness into the mud.
You who make the work of judging a bitter thing, crushing down righteousness to the earth;
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!
You who turn justice to wormwood, And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!"
Ye who turn
and leave off
in the earth
|NET © [draft] ITL|
The Israelites turn
; they throw what is fair
to the ground.
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “Those who”; the referent (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity. In light of vv. 11-13, it is also possible that the words are directed at a more limited group within the nation – those with social and economic power.
2 tn There is an interesting wordplay here with the verb הָפַךְ (hafakh, “overturn, turn”). Israel “turns” justice into wormwood (cf. 6:12), while the Lord “turns” darkness into morning (v. 8; cf. 4:11; 8:10). Israel’s turning is for evil, whereas the Lord’s is to demonstrate his absolute power and sovereignty.
3 tn Heb “they throw righteousness.”
4 sn In v. 7 the prophet begins to describe the guilty Israelites, but then interrupts his word picture with a parenthetical, but powerful, description of the judge they must face (vv. 8-9). He resumes his description of the sinners in v. 10.