1Look at the lawmakers that write evil laws. Those lawmakers write laws that make life hard for people. 2Those lawmakers are not fair to the poor people. They take away the poor people’s rights. They allow people to steal from widows and orphans. 3Lawmakers, you will have to explain the things you have done. What will you do at that time? Your destruction is coming from a faraway country. Where will you run for help? Your money and your riches will not help you. 4You will have to bow down like a prisoner. You will fall down like a dead person. But that will not help you! God will still be angry. God will still be ready to punish you. 5˻God will say,˼ “I will use Assyria like a stick. In anger, I will use Assyria to punish Israel. 6I will send Assyria to fight against the people that do evil things. I am angry at those people, and I will command Assyria to fight against them. Assyria will defeat them and Assyria will take their wealth from them. Israel will become like dirt for Assyria to trample ˻(walk on)˼ in the streets. 7“But Assyria does not understand that I will use him. Assyria does not think that he is a tool for me. Assyria only wants to destroy other people. Assyria only plans to destroy many nations. 8Assyria says to himself, 'All of my leaders are like kings! 9The city Calno is like the city Carchemish. And the city Arpad is like the city Hamath. The city Samaria is like the city Damascus. 10I defeated those evil kingdoms and now I control them. The idols those people worship are better than the idols of Jerusalem and Samaria. 11I defeated Samaria and her idols. I will also defeat Jerusalem and the idols her people have made.’” 12My Master will finish doing the things he planned to Jerusalem and Mount Zion. Then the Lord will punish Assyria. The king of Assyria is very proud. His pride made him do many bad things. So God will punish him. 13The king of Assyria says, “I am very wise. By my own wisdom and power I have done many great things. I have defeated many nations. I have taken their wealth. And I have taken their people to be slaves. I am a very powerful man. 14With my own hands I have taken the riches of all these people—like a person taking eggs from a bird’s nest. A bird often leaves its nest and eggs. And there is nothing to protect the nest. There is no bird to chirp and fight with its wings and beak. So people take the eggs. ˻In the same way,˼ there was no person to stop me from taking all the people on earth.” 15An axe is not better than the person that cuts with it. A saw is not better than the person that saws with it. ˻But Assyria thinks he is more important and powerful than God.˼ And this is like a stick being more powerful and important than the person that picks it up and uses it to punish someone. 16˻Assyria thinks he is great.˼ But the Lord All-Powerful will send a terrible disease against Assyria. Assyria will lose his wealth and power like a sick man loses weight. Then Assyria’s glory will be destroyed. It will be like a fire burning until everything is gone. 17Israel’s Light ˻(God)˼ will be like a fire. The Holy One will be like a flame. He will be like a fire that first burns the weeds and thorns. 18Then the fire grows and burns away the great trees and vineyards. Finally, everything is destroyed—even the people. ˻It will be like that when God destroys Assyria.˼ Assyria will be like a rotting log. 19There might be a few trees left standing in the forest. But even a child will be able to count them. 20At that time, the people that are left living in Israel, the people from Jacob’s family, will not continue to depend on the person that beats them. They will learn to truly depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21The people that are left in Jacob’s family will again follow the powerful God. 22Your people are very many. They are like the sands of the sea. But only a few of the people will be left to come back to the Lord. Those people will return to God, but first, your country will be destroyed. God has announced that he will destroy the land. And then goodness will come into the land; it will be like a river flowing full. 23My Master, the Lord All-Powerful, will surely destroy this land. 24My Master, the Lord All-Powerful, says, “My people living in Zion, don’t be afraid of Assyria! He will beat you like Egypt beat you in the past. It will be like Assyria is using a stick to hurt you. 25But after a short time my anger will stop. I will be satisfied that Assyria has punished you enough.” 26Then the Lord All-Powerful will beat Assyria with a whip. In the past, the Lord defeated Midian at Raven Rock. It will be the same when the Lord attacks Assyria. ˻In the past, the Lord punished Egypt—˼he lifted the stick over the sea, and led his people from Egypt. It will be the same when the Lord saves his people from Assyria. 27˻Assyria will bring troubles to you—those troubles will be like weights you have to carry on˼ a pole across your shoulder. But, that pole will be taken off your neck. That pole will be broken by your strength ˻(God)˼. 28The army will enter near the “Ruins” (Aiath). The army will walk on the “Threshing Floor” (Migron). The army will keep its food in the “Storehouse” (Micmash). 29The army will cross the river at the “Crossing” (Maabarah). The army will sleep at Geba. Ramah will be afraid. The people at Gibeah of Saul will run away. 30Cry out, Bath Gallim! Laishah, listen! Anathoth, answer me! 31The people of Madmenah are running away. The people of Gebim are hiding. 32This day, the army will stop at Nob. And the army will prepare to fight against Mount Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Watch! Our Master, the Lord All-Powerful, will chop down the great tree ˻(Assyria)˼. The Lord will do this with his great power. The great and important people will be cut down—they will become not important. 34The Lord will cut down the forest with his axe. And the great trees in Lebanon ˻(important people)˼ will fall.