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Vignette 1

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1 Woe to those who enact unjust laws,who draft oppressive legislation 2 denying justice to the needy,depriving the poor of my people of their right,making plunder of widows,mere spoil of the fatherless!
3 What will you do in the day of reckoningwhen the holocaust overtakes you from afar?To whom will you flee for help?Where will you leave your wealth? 4 There shall nothing remainbut to kneel among the captivesor fall among the slain.
Yet for all this his anger is not abated;his hand is upraised still.
5 Hail the Assyrian, the rod of my anger!He is a staff—my wrath in their hand.a 6 I will commission him against a godless nation,appoint him over the peopledeserving of my vengeance,to pillage for plunder, to spoliate for spoil,to tread underfoot like mud in the streets.
7 Nevertheless, it shall not seem so to him;this shall not be what he has in mind.His purpose shall be to annihilateand to exterminate nations not a few.
8 He will say, Are not my commanders kings,one and all? 9 Has not Calno fared like Carchemish?Is not Hamath as Arpad,Samaria no better than Damascus? 10 As I could do this to the pagan states,whose statues exceededthose of Jerusalem and Samaria, 11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and its imageseven as I did to Samaria and its idols?
12 But when my Lord has fully accomplished his work in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the king of Assyria for his notorious boasting and infamous conceit, 13 because he said,
I have done it by my own ability and shrewdness, for I am ingenious. I have done away with the borders of nations, I have ravaged their reserves, I have vastly reduced the inhabitants.
14 I have impounded the wealth of peoples like a nest,and I have gathered up the whole worldas one gathers abandoned eggs;not one flapped its wings,or opened its mouth to utter a peep.
15 Shall an axe exalt itselfabove the one who hews with it,or a saw vaunt itselfover him who handles it?As though the rod wielded him who lifts it up!As though the staff held up the onewho is not made of wood!
16 Therefore will the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts,send a consumption into his fertile lands,and cause a fire to flare up like a burning hearth,to undermine his glory: 17 the Light of Israel will be the fireand their Holy One the flame,and it shall burn up and devourhis briars and thorns in a single day. 18 His choice forests and productive fieldsit will consume, both life and substance,turning them into a rotting morass. 19 And the trees left of his forest shall be so few,a child could record them.
20 In that day those who survive of Israeland who escape of the house of Jacobwill no longer rely on him who struck them,but will truly rely on Jehovah,the Holy One of Israel: 21 of Jacob a remnant will returnto the One Mighty in Valor.
22 For though your people, O Israel,be as the sands of the sea,only a remnant will return;although annihilation is decreed,it shall overflow with righteousness. 23 For the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts,will carry out the utter destructiondecreed upon the whole earth.
24 Therefore, thus says my Lord,Jehovah of Hosts:O my people who inhabit Zion,be not afraid of the Assyrians,though they strike you with the rodor raise their staff over you,as did the Egyptians. 25 For my anger will very soon come to an end;my wrath will become their undoing.
26 Jehovah of Hosts will raise the whip against them,as when he struck the Midianitesat the Rock of Oreb.His staff is over the Sea,and he will lift it over themas he did to the Egyptians. 27 In that day their burdens shall be liftedfrom your shoulders,their yoke removed from your neck:the yoke that wore away your fatnessshall by fatness wear away.
28 He advances on Aiath, passes through Migron;at Micmash he marshals his weaponry. 29 They cross over the pass,stopping overnight at Geba.Ramah is in a state of alarm,Gibeah of Saul is fleeing. 30 Cry out, O Daughter of Gallim!Hear her, Laishah; answer her, Anathoth! 31 Madmenah has moved out of the way,the inhabitants of Gebim are in full flight. 32 This same day he will but pause at Noband signal the advanceagainst the mountain of the Daughter of Zion,the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Then will my Lord, Jehovah of Hosts,shatter the towering trees with terrifying power;the high in stature shall be hewn down,the lofty ones leveled. 34 The dense forests shall be battered downwith the force of iron,and Lebanon fall spectacularly.


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