New American Standard Bible
O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.
King James Bible
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
Darby Bible Translation
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. My people! they that guide thee mislead thee, and destroy the way of thy paths.
World English Bible
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. My people, those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.
Young's Literal Translation
My people -- its exactors are sucklings, And women have ruled over it. My people -- thy eulogists are causing to err, And the way of thy paths swallowed up.
Isaiah 3:12 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
As for my people, children are their oppressors - This refers, doubtless, to their civil rulers. They who "ought" to have been their "protectors," oppressed them by grievous taxes and burdens. But whether this means that the rulers of the people were "literally" minors, or that they were so in "disposition and character," has been a question. The original word is in the singular number (מעולל me‛ôlēl), and means a "child," or an infant. It may, however, be taken collectively as a noun of multitude, or as denoting more than one. To whom reference is made here cannot easily be determined, but possibly to "Ahaz," who began to reign when he was twenty years old; 2 Kings 16:2. Or it may mean that the "character" of the princes and rulers was that of inexperienced children, unqualified for government.
Are their oppressors - literally, 'are their exactors,' or their "taxers" - the collectors of the revenue.
And women rule over them - This is not to be taken literally, but it means either that the rulers were under the influence of the "harem," or the females of the court; or that they were effeminate and destitute of vigor and manliness in counsel. The Septuagint and the Chaldee render this verse substantially alike: 'Thy exactors strip my people as they who gather the grapes strip the vineyard.'
They which lead thee - Hebrew "They who bless thee, or call thee blessed." (See the margin.) This refers, doubtless, to the public teachers, and the false prophets, who "blessed" or flattered the people, and who promised them safety in their sins.
Cause thee to err - Lead you astray; or lead you into sin and danger.
And destroy - Hebrew "Swallow up."
LibraryThe Christian view of Sorrow
"A man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief" Is. Iii. 3. There is one great distinction between the productions of Heathen and of Christian art. While the first exhibits the perfection of physical form and of intellectual beauty, the latter expresses, also, the majesty of sorrow, the grandeur of endurance, the idea of triumph refined from agony. In all those shapes of old there is nothing like the glory of the martyr; the sublimity of patience and resignation; the dignity of the thorn-crowned Jesus. …
E. H. Chapin—The Crown of Thorns
"But Whereunto Shall I Liken this Generation?"
The Prophet Micah.
The First Great Deception
"They break up my path, They profit from my destruction; No one restrains them.
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.
And I will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them,
For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.
The LORD has mixed within her a spirit of distortion; They have led Egypt astray in all that it does, As a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
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