Isaiah 3:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Isaiah 3:12, NIV: Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.

Isaiah 3:12, ESV: My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

Isaiah 3:12, KJV: 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.

Isaiah 3:12, NASB: My people! Their oppressors treat them violently, And women rule over them. My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.

Isaiah 3:12, NLT: Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.

Isaiah 3:12, CSB: Youths oppress my people, and women rule over them. My people, your leaders mislead you; they confuse the direction of your paths.

What does Isaiah 3:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse, Isaiah acknowledges with sadness that the people of Israel are his people. He cries out about the condition they have fallen into because of their sinfulness before God.

He presents new evidence of their sorry circumstances; this could be referring to currently or as part of the coming judgment. The idea that they are oppressed by "infants" may mean that their young and inexperienced leaders are taking advantage of them. Isaiah also says that "women rule over them." This may be a way of describing male leaders as weak or allowing their wives or mothers to exercise power over the people through them.

The problem with these young, oppressive, manipulative leaders is that they are leading the people in the wrong direction. Poetically Isaiah describes how these leaders have made it more difficult to follow the way of the Lord instead of making it easier.