Isaiah 3

Chapter 3

Ruling against Judah and Jerusalem

1 Now the Lord, the Lord of hosts,
is about to deprive Jerusalem and Judah
of resources and provisions—
all supplies of bread and water—
2 warriors and soldiers,
judges and prophets,
fortune tellers and elders,
3 captains and dignitaries,
counselors, skilled magicians,
and expert enchanters.
4 I will appoint young boys as their princes,
mere lads to rule over them.
5 People will oppress one another,
each one ill-treated by his neighbor.
The young will be arrogant toward their elders,
as will the lowly toward the honorable.
6 A man will take hold of his brother
in their father’s house, saying,
“You have a cloak;
you will be our leader,
and this heap of ruins
will be under your rule.”
7 But on that day
the other will cry out, saying,
“I am not qualified to undertake this;
in my house there is neither bread nor clothing.
You will not make me leader of the people.”
8 Jerusalem has been brought low
and Judah has fallen
because by their words and their deeds
they turned against the Lord
and defied his glorious presence.
9 The look on their faces bears witness against them;
they proclaim their sins like Sodom
without any effort to conceal them.
Woe to them!
For they have brought disaster upon themselves.
10 Happy are the righteous,
for they will eat the fruit of their labors.
11 Woe to the wicked.
All will go ill with them.
They will be repaid
as their actions deserve.
12 O my people, children are oppressing you
and women have become your rulers.
O my people, your rulers are leading you astray
and putting you on the road to ruin.
13 The Lord has risen to argue his case;
he stands up to judge his people.
14 The Lord enters into judgment
against the elders and the princes of his people:
It is you who have ravaged the vineyard;
the spoils you have taken from the poor
are in your houses.
15 What right do you have to crush my people
and grind the faces of the poor?
says the Lord God of hosts.
16 The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
walking with their heads held high,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
moving provocatively with mincing steps
and with their anklets tinkling,
17 the Lord will cover with scabs
the scalps of the daughters of Zion,
and he will lay bare their foreheads.

18 [a]On that day the Lord will take away their finery: anklets, headbands, and crescents; 19 pendants, bracelets, and shawls; 20 headdresses, bangles, necklaces, perfume boxes, and amulets; 21 signet rings and nose rings; 22 fine dresses, wraps, cloaks, and purses; 23 mirrors, linen garments, turbans, and veils.

24 Then instead of perfume there will be a stench,
and instead of a sash, a rope;
instead of a lovely hair setting, baldness,
instead of a rich gown, a sackcloth[b] dress,
and instead of beauty, branding marks.
25 O Zion, your men will fall by the sword
and your warriors will perish in battle.
26 Your gates will lament and mourn;
ravaged, you will sit desolate on the ground.


  1. Isaiah 3:18 Of these various garments and jewels some would have had a magical or idolatrous significance.
  2. Isaiah 3:24 Sackcloth: a coarse cloth of which sacks were made.

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