The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
See where the Lord of hosts, our Master, takes away from Jerusalem and from Juda all that was valiant and strong, all the support they had against famine and thirst!
Gone the hero and the warrior, judge and prophet, diviner and senator,
captain of the watch, and nobleman, and counsellor, and skilful workman, and master of charms.
Only boys will be left to rule, and wantonness shall govern all;
the citizens coming to blows, neighbour falling out with neighbour; for age and rank there shall be no reverence.
Here is one catching hold of his own brother, his own house-mate, What (says he) hast thou a coat to thy back? Be our chieftain, then; take these ruins into thy keeping.
And the other answers, Who, I? Nay, I have no doctor’s skill. As for my house, there is neither bread nor coat in it; ruler thou shalt never make of me.
Jerusalem in ruins, Juda lying prostrate! Whispering and scheming of theirs defied the Lord, challenged his divine scrutiny.
Their hang-dog looks betray them; they publish their guilt abroad, like the men of Sodom, making no secret of it. Ill-fated souls, retribution has come upon them.
For the just, courage! His reward is earned;
but woe betide the sinner! He shall be repaid for his ill deeds.
My people has been despoiled by the tyrants that rule it; women have gained power over it; those who call thee happy, my people, are deceiving thee, are luring thee into false paths.
Even now the Lord stands ready to hold his assize, waits there to pass judgement on all nations.
The Lord will enter into a reckoning with the senators and the rulers of his people: You have made spoil of the vineyard, your houses are full of the plunder you have taken from the oppressed;
what means it, that you ride roughshod over my people, that you spurn the right of friendless folk? Such warning he gives you, the Lord God of hosts.
This, too, the Lord says: See what airs they put on, the women-folk of Sion, walk head in air, look about them with glancing eyes, click the trappings on their feet with mincing steps. Ay, but the Lord has his doom ready for them;
bald of head and bare of temple the women of Sion shall know it.
In one day the Lord will sweep away all their finery, the shoes with the rest; locket,
and collar, necklace and bracelet and veil;
hair-pin, ankle-ring, chain, scent-box, pendant,
signet-ring and nose-ring;
gala dress and gown and scarf, bodkin
and mirror and shawl and riband and kerchief.
There will be new fashions then; stench for scent, hempen rope for waist-band, baldness for curls, and hair shirt for stomacher.
Of the men-folk, too, all that is fairest shall fall by the sword, all that is bravest, slain in battle.
See where she sits on the ground desolate, every gateway of hers full of sorrow and lament!
The Holy Bible