Isaiah 3:12 New American Standard Bible 1995
12 O My people! Their oppressors [a]are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.
English Standard Version
12 My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up[a] the course of your paths.
New King James Version
12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you [a]cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.”
3:12 The Westminster Leningrad Codex
12 עַמִּי֙ נֹגְשָׂ֣יו מְעוֹלֵ֔ל וְנָשִׁ֖ים מָ֣שְׁלוּ ב֑וֹ עַמִּי֙ מְאַשְּׁרֶ֣יךָ מַתְעִ֔ים וְדֶ֥רֶךְ אֹֽרְחֹתֶ֖יךָ בִּלֵּֽעוּ׃ ס
Some of the bible commentaries in seem to reasonable ( https://biblehub.com/commentaries/isaiah/3-12.htm )
"and women rule over them — Weak and effeminate rulers. Or, perhaps he speaks of the wives and concubines of their kings and great men, who, by their arts, gaining an ascendency over their husbands, induced them to act as they desired, though frequently to the people’s prejudice, and in a manner contrary to all the laws. Thus it was in the reign of Jehoram, king of Judah, whose wife Athaliah, a cruel and weak woman, occasioned great disorders in the state; see 2 Chronicles chap. 21. and 22.; and thus undoubtedly it frequently happened after the time Isaiah uttered this prophecy."
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
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."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
and women rule over them, or "over him" (o); either over the people of Israel, as Alexandra before Hyrcanus, and Helena queen of the Adiabenes; or over the child their governor, as women had great influence over their husbands, the governors of Judea, in those times, as Herodias, Bernice, and Drusilla; or it may be understood of men, weak, effeminate, and given to pleasure:
I was trying to get a better understanding of what God meant by (Isaiah 3:12)’s declaration that women would rule over Jerusalem & Judah.
If someone were cursorily/hastily reading (Isaiah 3:12)’s declaration that women would rule over Jerusalem & Judah then she/he would think that said verse is sexist/ male chauvinistic.
However, some of the aforementioned commentaries are stating that (Isaiah 3:12)’s declaration that women would rule over Jerusalem & Judah
Suggests that men who are weak and effeminate would rule
women like the Evil Athaliah, wife of Jehoram, king of Judah ( 2 Chronicles 21, 22) would indirectly rule through her husband.
However, I would like to propose a 3rd interpretation:
- There are great women leaders mentioned in the bible. For example, Judges 4’s narrative about the prophetess Deborah who judged Israel and in some ways The Book of Esther in the bible is a narrative about how Queen Esther influenced her husband King Ahasuerus to honorably treat the Jews in a favorable manner. Therefore, another interpretation would be that (Isaiah 3:12)’s declaration that women would rule over Jerusalem & Judah might just suggest that men of Jerusalem & Judah became irresponsible and/or negligent about leadership positions. Thus, women had No other choice but to take leadership roles that were unfilled by men.
Therefore, would the aforementioned 3rd interpretation be a reasonable deduction/inference?