Assyria as God’s punishing weapon
5 Doom to Assyria, rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the staff of my fury!
6 Against a godless nation I send him;
against an infuriating people
I direct him to seize spoil, to steal plunder,
and to trample them like mud in the streets.
7 But he has other plans;
he schemes in secret;
destruction is on his mind,
extermination of nation after nation.
8 He says: Aren’t my commanders all kings?
9 Isn’t Calno like Carchemish?
Isn’t Hamath like Arpad?
Isn’t Samaria like Damascus?
10 Just as I took control of idolatrous kingdoms
with more images than Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 just as I did to Samaria and her false gods,
won’t I also do this to Jerusalem and her idols?
12 But when the Lord has finished all this work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the Assyrian king’s arrogant actions and the boasting of his haughty eyes.
13 He said, “By my own strength I have achieved it,
and by my wisdom, since I’m so clever.
I disregarded national boundaries; I raided their treasures;
I knocked down their rulers like a bull.
14 My hand found the wealth of the peoples
as if it were in a nest.
Just as one gathers abandoned eggs,
I have gathered the entire earth;
no creature fluttered a wing or opened a mouth to chirp.”
15 Will the ax glorify itself over the one who chops with it?
Or will the saw magnify itself over its user?
As if a rod could wave the one who lifts it!
As if a staff could lift up the one not made of wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord God of heavenly forces
will make the well-fed people waste away;
and among his officials,
a blaze will burn like scorching fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire,
its holy one a flame,
which will burn and devour
its thorns and thistles
in a single day.
18 Its abundant forest and farmland
will be finished completely,
as when a sick person wastes away;
19 its forest’s remaining trees will be no more than a child can count.