Isaiah 10:1

ESV Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression,
NIV Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,
NASB Woe to those who enact unjust statutes And to those who constantly record harmful decisions,
CSB Woe to those enacting crooked statutes and writing oppressive laws
NLT What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.
KJV Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;

What does Isaiah 10:1 mean?

A new chapter begins in Isaiah's book, indicated by the prophet's official pronouncement of "woe" on one specific group of people. Commentators differ about whether the prophet is writing about officials in Israel or in Judah. The same message could be applied to both.

He declares judgment against those who decree sinful decisions or continue to make laws that create injustice. These "law writers" are guilty of writing oppression into the system of justice in both Israel and Judah. The picture here is of corrupt officials using the power of political office to rig the system in their favor. Leaving those who are poor and powerless in the dust.

Scholars and historians suggest Isaiah may be referring to laws that exempted the upper classes or certain cities from paying taxes. Other unjust laws may have involved private property and debt slavery These were always in favor of the wealthy. When those laws were crafted by the same men who benefited most from them, the poor and powerless often lost out.
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