Infants Shall Rule Over Them

by Jonathan Hamilton

Let’s get this on the table right from the get-go: Isaiah 3 was not written to modern-day U.S.A. It was written to ancient Israel under a specific set of circumstances, and unlike what some Bible interpreters seem to imply, it is not legitimate to simply read the Old Testament and apply every principle and enforce every example in the New Testament era. (This is true even if it was presented as a positive example of commendable faith in the OT. For example, it is ironic that the folks who argue for liturgical dance in the NT church from a verse or two in Psalms are quite silent on the issue of taking their child up the side of Mt. Moriah, knife in hand. And if there’s a nut out there crazy enough to be this logically consistent in his poor OT interpretation, I’d be the first one supporting the pagan civil magistrate who imprisons or executes him for his wickedness.)

Nevertheless, there are some gripping and ironic parallels between some of the judgments God was inflicting on Israel then, and what is happening in our country now. Hear the word of the LORD from Isaiah 3:

For behold, the Lord God of hosts
    is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,
    all support of bread,
    and all support of water;
the mighty man and the soldier,
    the judge and the prophet,
    the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty
    and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
    and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes,
    and infants shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
    every one his fellow
    and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
    and the despised to the honorable.

For a man will take hold of his brother
    in the house of his father, saying:
“You have a cloak;
    you shall be our leader,
and this heap of ruins
    shall be under your rule”;
in that day he will speak out, saying:
“I will not be a healer;
    in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
you shall not make me
    leader of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled,
    and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
    defying his glorious presence.

For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
    they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
    they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
    For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
    for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
    for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
12 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.

Scripture taken from ESV via