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Isaiah Chapters

1 Woe to those who enact unjust decrees, who compose oppressive legislation

2 to deny justice to the weak and to cheat the humblest of my people of fair judgement, to make widows their prey and to rob the orphan.

3 What will you do on the day of punishment, when disaster comes from far away? To whom will you run for help and where will you leave your riches,

4 to avoid squatting among the captives or falling among the slain? After all this, his anger is not spent. No, his hand is still raised!

5 Woe to Assyria, rod of my anger, the club in their hands is my fury!

6 I was sending him against a godless nation, commissioning him against the people who enraged me, to pillage and plunder at will and trample on them like the mud in the streets.

7 But this was not his intention nor did his heart plan it so, for he dreamed of putting an end to them, of liquidating nations without number!

8 For he thought, 'Are not my officers all kings?

9 Is not Calno like Carchemish, Hamath like Arpad, Samaria like Damascus?

10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the false gods, where there were more images than in Jerusalem and Samaria,

11 as I have treated Samaria and her false gods shall I not treat Jerusalem and her statues too?'

12 When the Lord has completed all his work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the fruit of the king of Assyria's boastful heart and the insolence of his haughty looks.

13 For he thinks: 'By the strength of my own arm I have done this and by my own wisdom: how intelligent I have been! I have abolished the frontiers between peoples, I have plundered their treasures, like a hero, I have subjugated their inhabitants.

14 My hand has found, as though a bird's nest, the riches of the peoples. Like someone collecting deserted eggs, I have collected the whole world while no one has fluttered a wing or opened a beak to squawk.'

15 Does the axe claim more credit than the man who wields it, or the saw more strength than the man who handles it? As though a staff controlled those who raise it, or the club could raise what is not made of wood!

16 That is why Yahweh Sabaoth is going to inflict leanness on his stout men, and beneath his glory kindle a fever burning like a fire.

17 The light of Israel will become a fire and its Holy One a flame burning and devouring his thorn-bushes and brambles in a day.

18 He will consume his luxuriant forest and productive ground, he will ravage body and soul: it will be like a consumptive wasting away;

19 and what remain of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child could write their number.

20 When that day comes, the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the House of Jacob will stop relying on the man who strikes them and will truly rely on Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.

21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.

22 Israel, though your people are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return: a destruction has been decreed which will make justice overflow,

23 for, throughout the country, the Lord Yahweh Sabaoth will enforce the destruction now decreed.

24 That is why the Lord Yahweh Sabaoth says this: My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria! He may strike you with the rod, he may raise the club against you (on the way from Egypt),

25 but in a very short time the retribution will come to an end, and my anger will destroy them.

26 Yahweh Sabaoth will brandish a whip at him as he struck Midian at Oreb's Rock, will brandish his rod at the Sea as he raised it on the way from Egypt.

27 When that day comes, his burden will fall from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed . . .

28 He has reached Aiath, he has moved on to Migron, he has left his baggage train at Michmash.

29 They have passed through the defile, they have bivouacked at Geba. Ramah quaked, Gibeah of Saul has fled.

30 Cry your loudest, Bath-Gallim! Pay attention, Laish! Answer her, Anathoth!

31 Madmenah has run away, the inhabitants of Gebim have taken cover.

32 This very day, as he halts at Nob, he will shake his fist at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

33 See how the Lord Yahweh Sabaoth violently lops off the foliage! The ones standing highest are cut down, the proudest are laid low!

34 The forest thickets fall beneath the axe, and the Lebanon falls to the blows of a Mighty One.

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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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