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Restoration of Judah


But the L ord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land; and aliens will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. 2And the nations will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess the nations as male and female slaves in the L ord’s land; they will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Downfall of the King of Babylon

3 When the L ord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has ceased!

How his insolence has ceased!


The L ord has broken the staff of the wicked,

the scepter of rulers,


that struck down the peoples in wrath

with unceasing blows,

that ruled the nations in anger

with unrelenting persecution.


The whole earth is at rest and quiet;

they break forth into singing.


The cypresses exult over you,

the cedars of Lebanon, saying,

“Since you were laid low,

no one comes to cut us down.”


Sheol beneath is stirred up

to meet you when you come;

it rouses the shades to greet you,

all who were leaders of the earth;

it raises from their thrones

all who were kings of the nations.


All of them will speak

and say to you:

“You too have become as weak as we!

You have become like us!”


Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,

and the sound of your harps;

maggots are the bed beneath you,

and worms are your covering.



How you are fallen from heaven,

O Day Star, son of Dawn!

How you are cut down to the ground,

you who laid the nations low!


You said in your heart,

“I will ascend to heaven;

I will raise my throne

above the stars of God;

I will sit on the mount of assembly

on the heights of Zaphon;


I will ascend to the tops of the clouds,

I will make myself like the Most High.”


But you are brought down to Sheol,

to the depths of the Pit.


Those who see you will stare at you,

and ponder over you:

“Is this the man who made the earth tremble,

who shook kingdoms,


who made the world like a desert

and overthrew its cities,

who would not let his prisoners go home?”


All the kings of the nations lie in glory,

each in his own tomb;


but you are cast out, away from your grave,

like loathsome carrion,

clothed with the dead, those pierced by the sword,

who go down to the stones of the Pit,

like a corpse trampled underfoot.


You will not be joined with them in burial,

because you have destroyed your land,

you have killed your people.


May the descendants of evildoers

nevermore be named!


Prepare slaughter for his sons

because of the guilt of their father.

Let them never rise to possess the earth

or cover the face of the world with cities.


22 I will rise up against them, says the L ord of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, offspring and posterity, says the L ord. 23And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the L ord of hosts.


An Oracle concerning Assyria


The L ord of hosts has sworn:

As I have designed,

so shall it be;

and as I have planned,

so shall it come to pass:


I will break the Assyrian in my land,

and on my mountains trample him under foot;

his yoke shall be removed from them,

and his burden from their shoulders.


This is the plan that is planned

concerning the whole earth;

and this is the hand that is stretched out

over all the nations.


For the L ord of hosts has planned,

and who will annul it?

His hand is stretched out,

and who will turn it back?


An Oracle concerning Philistia


In the year that King Ahaz died this oracle came:



Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,

that the rod that struck you is broken,

for from the root of the snake will come forth an adder,

and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.


The firstborn of the poor will graze,

and the needy lie down in safety;

but I will make your root die of famine,

and your remnant I will kill.


Wail, O gate; cry, O city;

melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!

For smoke comes out of the north,

and there is no straggler in its ranks.



What will one answer the messengers of the nation?

“The L ord has founded Zion,

and the needy among his people

will find refuge in her.”


25. That I may bruise the Assyrian in my land. Some think that this relates to Sennacherib’s army, which the hand of God destroyed by means of an angel, when he besieged Jerusalem. (2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37:36.) If this interpretation be preferred, the meaning will be, that the Lord will shortly give some evidence of that destruction which he has threatened against the Babylonians. Those who heard these predictions might have brought this objection: “Of what avail will it be to us that Babylon is destroyed, after Babylon has ruined us? Would it not have been better that both Babylon and we had remained uninjured? What consolation will be yielded to us by its destruction, when we, too, shall have been destroyed?” And, indeed, I have no doubt that he holds out a proof of God’s favor in destroying their enemies, which either had been already manifested, or would be manifested soon afterwards.

I dare not affirm at what time this prediction was uttered by the Prophet, but it may be conjectured with some probability that the slaughter of Sennacherib’s army by the angel had already taken place. In this way, from a striking event which they had known, the Prophet would lead them to expect a future redemption; as if he had said, “You have already perceived how wonderfully God assists his people at the very hour of danger.” I am thus prepared to assign a reason for thinking that Sennacherib’s army had been already slain. Undoubtedly this instruction must have been of some use.

But Babylon did not begin to give any annoyance to the Jews before she had subdued the Assyrians and renewed the monarchy. So long, therefore, as the Jews had nothing to do with Babylon, why did the Prophet speak of the judgment of God, by which he would avenge his people? There is no absurdity in supposing that the record of a past event is confounded with a prediction. And yet it will not be inadmissible to say that the Assyrians are here put for the Chaldeans; for though they had been deprived of the government, yet it is probable that they were always first in a state of readiness whenever there was an opportunity of attacking the Jews, and that, while they fought under foreign leaders, they formed the greater part of the army. Not only were they nearer than the Chaldeans, but those who at that time held the sway were aware that their inveterate hostility against the Jews would make them loyal and obedient in that war. Besides, it was advantageous to the conquerors to weaken the vanquished by continual wars, till they had been accustomed to bear the yoke.

Most appropriately, therefore, by a figure of speech in which a part is taken for the whole, Isaiah, though he is speaking of Babylon, describes the whole of its forces under the name of Assyria. There will thus be no argument which lays us under the necessity of explaining this passage as relating to the slaughter effected by the angel in Sennacherib’s army. The Prophet merely affirms, so far as my judgment goes, that the Lord will put an end to the tyranny of the Assyrians, so that they shall not always enjoy their present superiority. As if he had said, “Though for a time God permits wicked men to rule over you, this power will not always last; for one day he will, as it were, break the yoke, and deliver this people from this bondage under which they groan.” The Assyrians, though they were vanquished by the Chaldeans, did not on that account, as we have said, cease to be enemies of the Church; but Babylon, which had succeeded in the room of Nineveh, began at that time, by a kind of transferred right, to carry on war with the Jews.

And his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden shall be taken from their shoulder. When he says that the Assyrian will be broken in Judea, this must not be understood as if they would be slain there, or that they would be instantly crushed by some calamity; but that the chosen people would be delivered from their tyranny, and that their authority would thus be taken away. The breaking, therefore, does not refer so much to persons as to the empire. What he says about the yoke and the burden would not apply strictly to the Assyrians alone, who at least never were masters of the city of Jerusalem; and therefore we must attend to the succession which I mentioned, for the Chaldeans had no right to carry on war except that right which they boasted of as having been conveyed to them by the Assyrians. Thus I think that I am justified in extending this prophecy to that deliverance by which the Lord showed that he would avenge his people against the Chaldeans and Assyrians; for at that time the yoke was shaken off by which the Jews were miserably held bound, and it even includes the redemption obtained through Christ, of which that deliverance was a forerunner.

And upon my mountains I will tread him under feet. Some think that the word mountains is put in the plural number for Mount Zion; but I prefer a different interpretation. Jerusalem being situated among the mountains, the whole country around was despised for that reason. The Prophet therefore speaks contemptuously, as if he admitted that the country was regarded by the enemies as of little value because it was mountainous. But this very contempt serves to magnify the power of God; for he shakes off from his mountains the dominion of this powerful monarchy. This refers to the narrative contained in 1 Kings 20:23, 28

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