Woe to them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;…
I. THE INDICTMENT drawn up against these oppressors (vers. 1, 2). They are charged —
1. With making wicked laws and edicts. Woe to the superior powers that devise and decree these decrees; they are not too high to be under the Divine check; and woe to the inferior officers that draw them up, and enter them upon record, "the writers that write the grievousness," they are not too mean to be within the Divine cognisance. Principal and accessories shall fall under the same woe.
2. With perverting justice in the execution of the laws that were made. No people had statutes and judgments" so righteous as they. had; and yet corrupt judges found ways to turn aside the needy from judgment, to hinder them from coming at their right.
3. With enriching themselves by oppressing those that lay at their mercy, whom they ought to have protected.
II. A CHALLENGE given them, with all their pride and power, to outface the judgments of God (ver. 3). Will there not come a desolation upon those that have made others desolate? Perhaps it may come from far, and therefore may he long in coming, but it will come at last. Reprieves are not pardons.
1. There is a day of visitation coming, a day of inquiry and discovery, a searching day which will bring to light, to a true light, every man and every man's work.
2. The day of visitation will be a day of desolation to all wicked people, when all their comforts and hopes will be lost and gone.
3. Impenitent sinners will be utterly at a loss, and will not know what to do in the day of visitation and desolation.
4. It concerns us all seriously to consider what we shall do in the day of visitation — in a day of affliction, in the day of death and judgment, and to provide that we may do well.
III. SENTENCE PASSED UPON THEM, by which they are doomed, some to imprisonment and captivity.
( Matthew Henry.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;