Your officials are rebels, 1 they associate with 2 thieves. All of them love bribery, and look for 3 payoffs. 4 They do not take up the cause of the orphan, 5 or defend the rights of the widow. 6
Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them.
Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.
Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them take bribes and refuse to defend the orphans and the widows.
Your leaders are turncoats who keep company with crooks. They sell themselves to the highest bidder and grab anything not nailed down. They never stand up for the homeless, never stick up for the defenseless.
Your chiefs have gone against the Lord, they have become friends of thieves; every one of them is looking for profit and going after rewards; they do not give right decisions for the child who has no father, and they do not let the cause of the widow come before them.
Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the orphan, and the widow’s cause does not come before them.
Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
every one loveth
not the fatherless
neither doth the cause
of the widow
|NET © [draft] ITL|
, they associate
of them love
, and look for
. They do not
of the orphan
the rights of
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Or “stubborn”; CEV “have rejected me.”
2 tn Heb “and companions of” (so KJV, NASB); CEV “friends of crooks.”
3 tn Heb “pursue”; NIV “chase after gifts.”
4 sn Isaiah may have chosen the word for gifts (שַׁלְמוֹנִים, shalmonim; a hapax legomena here), as a sarcastic pun on what these rulers should have been doing. Instead of attending to peace and wholeness (שָׁלוֹם, shalom), they sought after payoffs (שַׁלְמוֹנִים).
5 sn See the note at v. 17.
6 sn The rich oppressors referred to in Isaiah and the other eighth century prophets were not rich capitalists in the modern sense of the word. They were members of the royal military and judicial bureaucracies in Israel and Judah. As these bureaucracies grew, they acquired more and more land and gradually commandeered the economy and legal system. At various administrative levels bribery and graft become commonplace. The common people outside the urban administrative centers were vulnerable to exploitation in such a system, especially those, like widows and orphans, who had lost their family provider through death. Through confiscatory taxation, conscription, excessive interest rates, and other oppressive governmental measures and policies, they were gradually disenfranchised and lost their landed property, and with it, their rights as citizens. The socio-economic equilibrium envisioned in the law of Moses was radically disturbed.