Woe to Oppressors
1Woe (judgment is coming) to those who devise wickedness
And plot evil on their beds!
When morning comes, they practice evil
Because it is in the power of their hands.
They covet fields and seize them,
And houses, and take them away.
They oppress and rob a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“Behold, I am planning against this family a disaster (exile)
[Like a noose] from which you cannot remove your necks;
Nor will you be able to walk haughtily and erect,
For it will be an evil time [of subjugation to the invaders].
“On that day they shall take up a [taunting, deriding] parable against you
And wail with a doleful and bitter song of mourning and say,
‘We are completely destroyed!
God exchanges the inheritance of my people;
How He removes it from me!
He divides our fields to the rebellious [our captors].’
“Therefore, you will have no one stretching a measuring line [dividing the common land]
For you by lot in the assembly of the Lord.
‘Do not speak out,’ so they speak out.
But if they do not speak out concerning these things,
Reproaches will not be turned back.
“Is it being said, O house of Jacob:
‘Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient?
Or are these [prophesied judgments] His doings?’
Do not My words do good
To the one walking uprightly?
“But lately My people have stood up as an enemy [and have made Me their antagonist].
You strip the ornaments off the garment
Of those unsuspecting passers-by,
Like those returned from war.
“You evict the women (widows) of My people,
Each one from her pleasant house;
From her [young, fatherless] children you take away My splendor and blessing forever [by putting them among the pagans, away from Me].
“Arise and depart [because the captivity is inevitable],
For this [land] is not the place of rest
Because of the defilement that brings destruction,
A painful and terrible destruction.
“If a man walking in a false spirit [spouting deception]
Should lie and say,
‘I will prophesy to you [O Israel] of wine and liquor (greed, sensual pleasure),’
He would be the acceptable spokesman of this people.
“I shall most certainly assemble all of you, O Jacob;
I shall surely gather the remnant of Israel.
I shall bring them together like sheep in the fold [multiplying the nation];
Like a flock in the midst of its pasture.
The place will swarm with many people and hum loudly with noise.
“The [a]breaker [the Messiah, who opens the way] shall go up before them [liberating them].
They will break out, pass through the gate and go out;
So their King goes on before them,
The Lord at their head.”