1. them that decree—namely, unrighteous
write grievousness, &c.—not the
scribes, but the magistrates who caused unjust decisions
(literally, "injustice" or "grievousness") to be recorded by
65:6) [Maurer], (Isa 1:10, 23).
2. To turn aside, &c.—The effect of
their conduct is to pervert the cause of the needy [Horsley]. In English Version "from judgment"
means "from obtaining justice."
take away the right—"make plunder of
the right" (rightful claim) [Horsley].
3. what will ye do—what way of escape
will there be for you?
visitation—of God's wrath (Isa 26:14; Job 35:15; Ho 9:7).
from far—from Assyria.
leave … glory—rather, "deposit
(for safekeeping) your wealth" [Lowth]. So Ps 49:17.
4. Without me—not having Me to "flee to"
bow down—Bereft of strength they shall
fall; or else, they shall lie down fettered.
under … under—rather, "among"
(literally, "in the place of") [Horsley]. The "under" may be, however, explained,
"trodden under the (feet of the) prisoners going into
captivity," and "overwhelmed under the heaps of slain on
the battlefield" [Maurer].
Isa 10:5-34 and Isa 11:12. Destruction of
the Assyrians; Coming of Messiah; Hymn of Praise.
Isa 10:9, 11 show that Samaria was destroyed before
this prophecy. It was written when Assyria proposed (a design which it
soon after tried to carry out under Sennacherib) to destroy Judah and
Jerusalem, as it had destroyed Samaria. This is the first part of
Isaiah's prophecies under Hezekiah. Probably between 722 and 715 B.C. (see Isa 10:27).
5. O Assyrian, &c.—rather, "What, ho
(but Maurer, Woe to the)
Assyrian! He is the rod and staff of Mine anger (My instrument in
punishing, Jer 51:20; Ps 17:13). In their hands is Mine indignation"
[Horsley, after Jerome]. I have put into the Assyrians' hands the
execution of Mine indignation against My people.
6. send him—"Kings' hearts are in the
hand of the Lord" (Pr 21:1).
nation—Judah, against whom Sennacherib
was forming designs.
of my wrath—objects of My wrath.
give … charge—(Jer 34:22).
and to tread, &c.—Horsley translates: "And then to make him
(the Assyrian) a trampling under foot like the mire of the streets" (so
Isa 10:12; Isa 33:1; Zec 10:5). But see Isa 37:26.
7. meaneth not so—He is only thinking of
his own schemes, while God is overruling them to His
think—intend. Sinners' plans are no
less culpable, though they by them unconsciously fulfil God's designs
(Ps 76:10; Mic 4:12). So Joseph's brethren (Ge 50:20; Pr
16:4). The sinner's
motive, not the result (which depends on God), will be the
test in judgment.
heart to destroy … not a
few—Sennacherib's ambition was not confined to Judea. His
plan was also to conquer Egypt and Ethiopia (Isa 20:1-6;
8-11. Vauntings of the Assyrians. Illustrated
by the self-laudatory inscriptions of Assyria deciphered by Hincks.
princes … kings—Eastern satraps
and governors of provinces often had the title and diadem of kings.
Hence the title, "King of kings," implying the greatness of Him who was
over them (Eze 26:7; Ezr 7:12).
9. Is not … as—Was there any one
of these cities able to withstand me? Not one. So Rab-shakeh vaunts
Calno—Calneh, built by Nimrod (Ge 10:10), once his capital, on the
Carchemish—Circesium, on the
Euphrates. Taken afterwards by Necho, king of Egypt; and retaken by
Nebuchadnezzar: by the Euphrates (Jer 46:2).
Hamath—in Syria, north of Canaan
10:18). Taken by Assyria
about 753 B.C. From it colonists were
planted by Assyria in Samaria.
Damascus—(Isa 17:1, 3).
10, 11. found—unable to resist me:
hath overcome (so Ps 21:8).
and whose—rather, "and their." This
clause, down to "Samaria," is parenthetical.
excel—were more powerful. He regards
Jerusalem as idolatrous, an opinion which it often had given too much
ground for: Jehovah was in his view the mere local god of Judea,
as Baal of the countries where it was adored, nay, inferior in power to
some national gods (Isa 36:19, 20; 37:12). See in opposition, Isa 37:20;
As my hand … shall I not, as I
have—a double protasis. Agitation makes one accumulate
12. whole work—His entire plan is regard
to the punishment of the Jews (Isa 10:5-7).
Zion—the royal residence, the court,
princes and nobles; as distinguished from "Jerusalem," the
people in general.
fruit—the result of, that is, the
plants emanating from.
stout—Hebrew, "greatness of,"
that is, pride of.
13. I am prudent—He ascribes his success
to his own prudence, not to God's providence.
removed the bounds—set aside old, and
substituted new boundaries of kingdoms at will. A criminal act, as
Jehovah Himself had appointed the boundaries of the nations (De 32:8).
treasures—"hoarded treasures" [Horsley].
put down … inhabitants like,
&c.—rather, "as a valiant man, I have brought down (from
their seats) those seated" (namely, "on thrones"; as in
Ps 2:4; 29:10; 55:19). The Hebrew for "He that
abideth," is He that sitteth on a throne); otherwise, "I have
brought down (as captives into Assyria, which lay
lower than Judea; therefore 'brought down,' compare Isa 36:1,
10), the inhabitants"
14. nest—implying the ease with which he
carried off all before him.
left—by the parent bird.
none … moved … wing—image
from an angry bird resisting the robbery of its "nest."
peeped—chirped even low (Isa 8:19). No resistance was offered me, of deed,
or even word.
15. Shall the instrument boast against Him who
uses it? Through free in a sense, and carrying out his own
plans, the Assyrian was unconsciously carrying out God's
shaketh it—moves it back and
staff … lift … itself … no
wood—rather, "as if the staff (man, the instrument of
God's judgments on his fellow man) should set aside (Him who is) not
wood" (not a mere instrument, as man). On "no wood"
32:21, "that which is not
God;" Isa 31:8
shows that God is meant here by "not wood" [Maurer].
16. fat ones—(Isa 5:17). The robust and choice soldiers of
78:31, where "fattest"
answers in the parallelism to "chosen," or "young men,"
leanness—carrying out the image on
"fat ones." Destruction (Ps 106:15). Fulfilled (Isa 37:36).
his glory—Assyria's nobles. So
5:13, Margin; Isa 8:7.
kindle—a new image from fire
consuming quickly dry materials (Zec 12:6).
17, 18. light of Israel—carrying out the
image in the end of Isa 10:16.
Jehovah, who is a light to Israel, shall be the
"fire" (De 4:24; Heb 12:29) that shall ignite the "thorns," (the
Assyrians, like dry fuel, a ready prey to flame).
18. glory of his forest—The
common soldiers, the princes, officers, &c., all
alike together, shall be consumed (see on Isa
in one day—(Isa 37:36).
fruitful field—literally, "Carmel," a
rich mountain in the tribe of Asher. Figurative for Sennacherib's
mighty army. Perhaps alluding to his own boasting words about to be
uttered (Isa 37:24),
"I will enter the forest of his Carmel."
soul and body—proverbial for utterly;
the entire man is made up of soul and body.
as when a standard bearer
fainteth—rather, "they shall be as when a sick man"
(from a Syriac root) wastes away." Compare "leanness," that is,
wasting destruction (Isa 10:16)
[Maurer]. Or, "there shall be an entire
dissipation, like a perfect melting" (namely, of the
Assyrian army) [Horsley].
19. rest—those who shall survive the
destruction of the host.
his forest—same image as in Isa 10:18, for the once dense army.
child … write—so few that a
child might count them.
20-22. The effect on the "remnant" (contrasted
with the Assyrian remnant, Isa 10:19);
namely, those who shall be left after the invasion of Sennacherib, will
be a return from dependence on external idolatrous nations, as Assyria
and Egypt (2Ki 18:21; 16:7-9), to the God of the theocracy; fulfilled
in part in the pious Hezekiah's days; but from the future aspect
under which Paul, in Ro 9:27, 28 (compare "short work" with "whole work,"
10:12, here), regards the
whole prophecy, the "remnant," "who stay upon the Lord," probably will
receive their fullest realization in the portion of Jews left after
that Antichrist shall have been overthrown, who shall "return" unto the
Lord (Isa 6:13; 7:3; Zec 12:9, 10; 14:2,
3; Zep 3:12).
21. mighty God—(Isa 9:6) the God who shall have evinced such
might in destroying Israel's enemies. As the Assyrians in
Sennacherib's reign did not carry off Judah captive, the
returning "remnant" cannot mainly refer to this time.
22. yet—rather in the sense in which
Paul quotes it (Ro 9:27),
"Though Israel be now numerous as the sand, a remnant only of
them shall return"—the great majority shall perish. The reason is
added, Because "the consumption (fully completed destruction) is
decreed (literally, decided on, brought to an issue), it
overfloweth (Isa 30:28; 8:8) with justice"; that is, the
infliction of just punishment (Isa 5:16) [Maurer].
23. even determined—"A consumption,
and whatever is determined," or decreed [Maurer].
midst—Zion, the central point of the
earth as to Jehovah's presence.
land—Israel. But the
Septuagint, "in the whole habitable world." So English
Version (Ro 9:28),
"upon the earth."
24. Therefore—Return to the main
proposition, Assyria's ultimate punishment, though employed as God's
"rod" to chastise Judea for a time.
O my people—God's tenderness towards
His elect nation.
after the manner of Egypt—as Egypt and
Pharaoh oppressed thee. Implying, too, as Israel was nevertheless
delivered from them, so now it would be from the Assyrian
Sennacherib. The antithesis in Isa 10:26 requires this interpretation [Maurer].
25. For—Be not afraid (Isa 10:24), for, &c.
indignation … cease—The
punishments of God against Israel shall be consummated and ended (Isa
26:20; Da 11:36). "Till the
indignation be accomplished," &c.
mine anger—shall turn to their (the
26. slaughter of—"stroke upon."
Midian—(Isa 9:4; Jud 7:25).
as his rod was upon the sea—rather,
understanding "stroke" from the previous clause, "according to the
stroke of His rod upon the Red Sea" (Ex 14:16, 26). His "rod" on the Assyrian (Isa 10:24,
26) stands in bold contrast
to the Assyrian used as a "rod" to strike others (Isa 10:5).
after the manner of Egypt—as He lifted
it up against Egypt at the Red Sea.
27. his burden—the Assyrians' oppression
9:3). Judah was still
tributary to Assyria; Hezekiah had not yet revolted, as he did in the
beginning of Sennacherib's reign.
because of—(Ho 10:15).
the anointing—namely, "Messiah" (Da 9:24). Just as in Isa 9:4-6, the "breaking of the yoke of" the
enemies' "burden and staff" is attributed to Messiah,
"For unto us a child is born," &c., so it is here. Maurer not so well translates, "Because of the
fatness"; an image of the Assyrians fierce and wanton pride drawn from
a well-fed bull tossing off the yoke (De 32:15). So Isa 10:16 above, and Isa 5:17, "fat ones."
28-32. Onward gradual march of Sennacherib's
army towards Jerusalem, and the panic of the inhabitants vividly
pictured before the eyes.
come to—come upon as a sudden
Aiath—same as Ai (Jos 7:2; Ne
7:32). In the north of
Benjamin; so the other towns also; all on the line of march to
Michmash—nine miles northeast of
laid up … carriages—He has left
his heavier baggage (so "carriages" for the things
carried, Ac 21:15) at
Michmash, so as to be more lightly equipped for the siege of Jerusalem.
So 1Sa 17:22; 25:13; 30:24 [Jerome
29. passage—the jaws of the wady or
defile at Michmash (1Sa 13:23; 14:4, 5).
lodging—their quarters for the night,
after having passed the defile which might have been easily guarded
Ramah—near Geba; seven miles from
Gibeah of Saul—his birthplace and
residence, in Benjamin (1Sa 11:4),
distinct from Gibeah of Judah (Jos 15:57).
30. daughter of Gallim—Gallim and her
sons (see on Isa 1:8; 2Ki
19:21). "Cry aloud in consternation."
Laish—not the town in Dan (Jud 18:7), but one of the same name near
Jerusalem (1 Maccabees 9:9).
Anathoth—three miles from Jerusalem in
Benjamin; the birthplace of Jeremiah. "Poor" is applied to it in pity,
on account of the impending calamity. Others translate, Answer her, O
31. Madmenah—not the city in Simeon
15:31), but a village near
removed—fled from fear.
gather themselves to flee—"put their
goods in a place of safety" [Maurer].
32. that day—literally, "As yet
this (one only) day (is allowed to the soldiers) for remaining
(halting for rest) at Nob"; northeast of Jerusalem on Olivet; a town of
the priests (Ne 11:32).
daughter—rightly substituted for the
Chetib reading, house. His "shaking his hand" in menace
implies that he is now at Nob, within sight of Jerusalem.
33. bough—literally, the "beauty" of the
tree; "the beautiful branch."
high ones of stature—"the upright
stem," as distinguished from the previous "boughs" [Horsley].
34. This verse and Isa 10:33 describe the sudden arrest and overthrow
of Sennacherib in the height of his success; Isa
10:18, 19; Eze 31:3, 14,
&c., contain the same image; "Lebanon" and its forest are the
Assyrian army; the "iron" axe that fells the forest refers to the
stroke which destroyed the one hundred and eighty-five thousand
Assyrians (2Ki 19:35).
The "Mighty One" is Jehovah (Isa 10:21; Isa 9:6).