Isaiah 10



Vs 1-4 - The prophecy begun in ch. 9:8 terminates with this stanza, which contains a

warning against injustice and oppression, addressed to Israel and Judah equally, and

accompanied by the threat of a "day of desolation," when those who have refused to

make God their Refuge will have no resource, but to go into captivity with the

"prisoners," or to perish with the "slain." A foreign conquest, accompanied by

slaughter, and the deportation of captives, is plainly intimated. 


1 “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness 

which they have prescribed;”  Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees 

(compare ch. 1:17, 20, 265:23, etc.). The perversion of judgment from the judgment

seat is the sin rebuked. It was certainly prevalent in Judah, it may also have

been practiced in IsraelAnd that write grievousness, etc. Translate, and unto

the writers that enregister oppression. The decrees of courts were, it is clear,

carefully engrossed by the officials, probably upon parchment, every outward

formality being observed, while justice itself was set at naught.


2 “To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor

of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

The poor... the widow... the fatherless. These were the classes who were the chief

sufferers by the perversion of justice (compare ch.1:17, 23). They were exactly

the classes for whom God had most compassion, and whom He had commended

in the Law to the tender care of His people (see note on ch. 9:17).


3“And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which 

shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave

your glory?”  What will ye do in the day of visitation? "The day of visitation" is the

day when God reckons with His servants, and demands an account from each of

the work done in His vineyard, being prepared to recompense the good and

punish the bad (compare Hosea 9:7). It is often used in a bad sense because,

unhappily, so many more are found to deserve punishment than reward. The

desolation which shall come from far; rather, the crashing ruin (Cheyne).

It is sudden, and complete destruction, rather than mere desolateness, that is

threatened. Previous prophecies, especially ch. 7:17-20, had informed the Jews

that it was to "come from far," "by them that were beyond the river." To whom will

ye flee? The prophet speaks in bitter irony. Is there any one to whom ye can flee?

any one who can protect you from the wrath of God? Ye well know there is no one. 

Where will ye leave your glory? With whom will ye deposit your riches, your

magnificence, your jewels, your grand apparel? You cannot save them. They will

all make to themselves wings, and "fly away like a bird" (Hosea 9:11).


4 “Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall

under the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is 

stretched out still.”  Without me. That this is a possible rendering of the word

used seems proved by Hosea 13:4. But here it scarcely suits the context. God

does not speak directly, in the first person, elsewhere in the entire prophecy

(from 9:8 to this verse), but is spoken of in the third person throughout,

as even in the present verse, where we have "His anger," "His hand."

It is better, therefore, to give the word its ordinary meaning - "unless," "except."

Have they anywhere to flee to, unless they shall crouch amid the captives that

are being carried off, or fall amid the slain? In other words, there is no escape for

them; they must either submit to captivity or death. For all this, etc. Even when

the two kingdoms were destroyed, and the captivity of both was complete, God's

 wrath was not fully appeased, His anger was not wholly turned away. Both peoples

suffered grievous things in their captivity, as appears from the Book of Daniel

(Daniel chapters 3 and 6) and other places. It took seventy years for God's

anger to be appeased in the case of Judah (II Chronicles 36:21), while in

the case of Israel IT WAS NEVER APPEASED!   Crushed beneath the iron

heel of their conquerors, Israel ceased to exist as a nation.



                                                            SECTION V.


                                                       (ch. 10:5 to ch. 23)




                                                    TO PUNISH ISRAEL,


                                                               (vs. 5-19)


The wicked are a sword in the hand of God (Psalm 17:13), wherewith He executes

His judgments; but this fact is hid from them, and they imagine that they are successful

through their own strength and might. So it was with Assyria (vs. 5-14), which its

long career of victory had made proud and arrogant above measure. God now,

by the mouth of Isaiah, makes known His intention of bringing down the pride of

Assyria, and laying her glory in the dust, by a sudden and great destruction (vs. 15-19),

after she has served His purposes


5 “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine

indignation.”  O Assyrian; literally, Ho! Asshur. "Asshur" is the nation personified,

and is here addressed as an individual. The transition from vs. 1-4 is abrupt,

and may be taken to indicate an accidental juxtaposition of two entirely distinct

prophecies. Or Assyria may be supposed to have been in the prophet's thought,

though not in his words, when he spoke of "prisoners" and "slain" in the

first clause of v. 4. The rod of mine anger (compare Jeremiah 51:20, where it is

said of Babylon, "Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war; for with thee will

I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy the kingdoms").

So Assyria was now the "rod" wherewith God chastised His enemies. The true "staff"

in the hand of Assyria, wherewith she smote the peoples, was "God's indignation."


6 “I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my

wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and

to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”  I will send him against an

hypocritical nation; or, against a corrupt nation. Israel in the wider sense,

inclusive of Judah, seems to be intended. The people of my wrath; i.e. 

"the people who are the object of my wrath." Will I give him a charge.

In II Kings 18:25 Sennacherib Says, "Am I come up without the Lord (Jehovah)

against this land, to destroy it? The Lord (Jehovah) said to me, Go up against

this land, and destroy it" (compare below, ch. 36:10). It has been usual to

consider Sennacherib's words a vain boast; but if God instructed Nebuchadnezzar

through dreams, may He not also by the same means have "given charges" to

Assyrian monarchs? To take the spoil, and to take the prey; rather, to gather spoil

and seize prey. The terms used carry the thoughts back to ch. 8:1-4, and to the

symbolic name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz. And to tread them down; literally, 

to make it a trampling. "It" refers to "nation" in the first clause.


7 “Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his

heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.”  Howbeit he meaneth not so.

"Assyria," i.e., "does not view the matter in this light - is not aware that she is

merely God's instrument in working out His will. On the contrary, it is in

her heart to destroy the nations for her own advantage, and she imagines that

she is doing it by her own strength."


8 “For he saithAre not my princes altogether kings?”  One mark of the superiority

of Assyria to other countries was to be seen in the fact that her king had not mere

officers, but vassal kings under him. Hence the title "king of kings" assumed

by so many Assyrian monarchs. While conquered territories were by degrees

and to a certain extent absorbed into the empire and placed under prefects

(see the 'Eponym Canon'), an outer zone of more loosely organized dependencies

was always maintained by the Assyrians; and these dependencies continued

ordinarily to be administered by their native monarchs (see 'Ancient Monarchies,'

vol. 2. pp. 524-526). These are the "princes" who were "altogether kings."


9 “Is not Calno as Carchemishis not Hamath as Arpadis not Samaria as

Damascus?”  Is not Calno as Carehemish? A further proof of superiority, and

ground of confidence, lay in the further fact, that the strongest cities had, one

and all, succumbed to the Assyrian army, and been laid in ruins to punish them

for offering resistance. Six such cities are mentioned:


·         Calneh, probably Niffer, in Lower Mesopotamia; Calneh was one

      of the cities of Nimrod (Genesis 10:10), and, according to the

            Septuagint, was "the place where the tower was built." It may have

been taken by Tiglath-Pileser in one of his expeditious into Babylonia.

Amos  (Amos 6:2) speaks of it as desolate in his day.


·       Carchemish, on the right bank of the Euphrates in Lat. 36° 30' nearly;

     Carchemish (Assyrian Gargamis) was a chief city of the Hittites, and has

been called "their northern capital." Long confounded by geographers with

Circesium at the junction of the Khabour with the Euphrates, it has recently

been proved to have occupied a far more northern position, and is now

generally identified with the ruins discovered by Mr. George Smith at

Jerabis or Jerabhs. It was conquered by Sargon in B.C. 717, when

"its people were led captive, and scattered over the Assyrian empire,

while Assyrian colonists were brought to people the city in their place;

 Carchemish being formally annexed to Assyria, and placed under an Assyrian

governor" (G. Smith, 'Assyria,' p. 97). 


·       Hamath, the "great Hamath" of Amos (Amos 6:2), in Coelesyria on the routes;

Hamath was originally a Canaanite city (Genesis 10:18). By the time of

David it had become the seat of an independent monarchy (II Samuel 8:9-10),

and so continued until its reduction by the Assyrians. We find it leagued

with the Hittites, the Syrians of Damascus, and the Israelites against

Assyria about B.C. 850 ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. pp. 361-363).

About B.C. 720 it was taken by Sargon, who beheaded its king, and

probably reduced it to ruins (ibid., p. 411; comp. Amos 6:2). The name

remains in the modern Hamah, where many curious inscriptions have

been recently dug up. 


·       Arpad, perhaps Tel-Erfad, near Aleppo;  Arpad was attacked by

Tiglath-Pileser in the early part of his reign, and reduced to subjection.

It revolted in conjunction with Hamath from Sargon, and was severely

punished ('Ancient Monarchies,' l.s.c.).


·       Damascus.  One of the most ancient and most important of the cities of

     Syria. It is situated 130 miles northeast of Jerusalem, in a plain of vast size

and of extreme fertility, which lies east of the great chain of Anti-Libanus,

on the edge of the desert. This fertile plain, which is nearly circular and

about 30 miles in diameter, is due to the river Barada , which is probably

the "Abana" of Scripture. Two other streams the Wady Helbon upon the

north and the Awaj, which flows direct from Hermon upon the south, increase

the fertility of the Damascene plain, and contend for the honor of representing

the "Pharpar" of Scripture. According to Josephus, Damascus was founded

by Uz grandson of Shem. It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection

with Abraham, ( Genesis 14:15 ) whose steward was a native of the place.

ibid. 15:2 ) At one time David became complete master of the whole

territory, which he garrisoned with Israelites. II Samuel 8:56 ) It was

in league with Baasha, king of Israel against Asa, (I  Kings 15:19 ;

II Chronicles 16:3 ) and afterwards in league with Asa against Baasha.

I Kings 15:20 ) Under Ahaz it was taken by Tiglath-pileser,

(II Kings 16:7-9) the kingdom of Damascus brought to an end, and

the city itself destroyed, the inhabitants being carried captive into

Assyria. (ibid. 16:9 ) compare here ch. 7:8 and Amos 1:5 Afterwards it

passed successively under the dominion of the Assyrians, Babylonians,

Persians, Macedonians, Romans and Saracens, and was at last captured

by the Turks in 1516 A.D. Here the apostle Paul was converted and

preached the gospel. Acts 9:1-25 ) Damascus has always been a great

center for trade. Its present population is from 1.7 million (2009).

(Smith’s Bible Dictionary)


·       Samaria  Is not Samaria as Damascus? This mention of Samaria among

the subjugated and ruined cities may undoubtedly be prophetic; but the

connection with Carchemish, Hamath, and Arpad all of them towns reduced

by Sargon within the years B.C. 720-717 - points rather to the verse being

historical, and would seem to indicate that the date of the entire prophecy –

vs. 5-19 - is subsequent to the capture of the cities, and so not earlier than 

B.C. 716.


10 “As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images

did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;”  As my hand hath found the

kingdoms of the idols. "Found" here means "reached," "punished... subjugated."

It is quite in accordance with Assyrian ideas that the conquered countries should

be called "kingdoms of the idols" (literally, "no gods"). The Assyrian monarchs

regarded their own gods as alone really deserving of the name, and made war

very much with the object of proving the superiority of their deities over

those of their neighbors. Hence their practice of carrying off the idols from the

various cities which they conquered, or else of inscribing on them

"the praises of Asshur." And whose graven images; rather, and their graven images. 

Did excel. In preciousness of material or in workmanship, or both. The Assyrians

went near to identifying the idols with the gods themselves. Those of Jerusalem

and of Samaria. The chief Samaritan idols were the golden calves at Dan and

Bethel; but, in addition to these, "images and groves were set up in every

high hill and under every green tree" (II Kings 17:10), images of Baal, and

Ashtoreth, and perhaps Beltis, and Chemosh, and Moloch. Even in Judah and

in Jerusalem itself there were idols. Ahaz "made molten images for Baalim"

(II Chronicles 28:2). The brazen serpent was worshipped as an idol at Jerusalem

until Hezekiah destroyed it; and probably, even after the reformation of

Hezekiah (II Kings 18:4), many Jews retained privately the images, which he

required them to destroy (II Chronicles 31:1). Isaiah had already declared,

speaking of Judah rather than of Israel, "Their land is full of idols; they

worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made"

(ch. 2:8).


11 “Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and

her idols?”  Shall I not... so do to Jerusalem and her idols? The speaker ignores

the fact of any difference in kind between the religion of Judaea and that of

the neighboring countries. He speaks as if he knew nothing of any religion

without idols. No doubt Assyrian ideas on the subject of the religion of the

Jews were at this time, as they were even later (II Kings 18:22), exceedingly

vague and incorrect.


12 “Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed

His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit

of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of His high looks.”

Wherefore; rather, but. The final result shall be such as "the Assyrian" little

expectedWhen the Lord hath performed His whole work. The "work"

assigned to Assyria was the destruction of the kingdom of Israel, and a share

in the trial, punishment, and discipline of Judah. The last task seems to have

been the humiliation of Manasseh, which brought about his repentance

(II Chronicles 33:11-13). Soon after this the troubles began which led to her

destructionI will punish. The sudden change from the third to the first person

is harsh and abnormal, but not without parallels in other passages of Isaiah

(see ch. 3:1-4 5:3-4, etc.). The fruit of the stout heart; i.e. the actions, language,

etc., which flowed from the stoutness of heart - such language, e.g., as that of

vs. 8-11 and 13-14. Of the King of Assyria. The menace is not leveled

against any one particular king, as Sargon, or Sennacherib; but against the

monarchy itself, which from first to last was actuated by the same spirit, and

breathed the same tone, of pride, selfishness, and cruelty. (See the royal

inscriptionspassim, which become more revolting as time goes on.)


Isaiah 10:13

13 “For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom;

for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have

robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:”

For he saith. Neither this speech nor that in vs. 8-11, nor again that given in 

ch. 37:24-25, is to be regarded as historical in the sense of being the actual

utterance of any Assyrian monarch. All are imaginary, speeches, composed by

the prophet, whereby he expresses in his own language the thoughts which Assyrian

kings entertained in their hearts. I have removed the bounds of the people; rather, 

of peoples. Assyrian monarchs take as one of their titles "the remover of

boundaries and landmarks" (G. Smith's 'Assyrian Discoveries,' pp. 243, 244). 

And have robbed their treasures (compare II Kings 15:19;  18:14-16).

The plunder of conquered countries is constantly recorded by the Assyrian

monarchs as one of the most important results of each successful expedition.

It is not infrequently represented in the sculptures (see 'Ancient Monarchies,'

vol. 2. p. 85). I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. The passage

is obscure; and many different renderings have been given. Perhaps the best is

that of Mr. Cheyne, "I have brought down, like a mighty one, those that sat on

thrones." Abbir, however, the word translated "a mighty one," as often means

"a bull" (see Psalm 22:1250:1368:30here, ch.34:7Jeremiah 1:11).


14 “And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one

 gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was

none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.”

My hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people; rather, of the peoples.

The Assyrians are fond of comparing their enemies to birds ('Records of

the Past,' vol. 7. pp. 36, 62, etc.); but the exact metaphor here used does not,

I believe, occur in the inscriptions. The nations' treasures are like eggs

found in deserted nests, which the hunter gathers without any, even the

slightest, risk. All the earth. Oriental hyperbole. Assyrian monarchs often

say that they "have subdued all the races of men," or "carried the glory of

their name to the ends of the earth," or "overthrown the armies of the whole

world in battle." Peeped; rather, chirped (see note on ch. 8:19). None of the

inhabitants offered even such feeble resistance as a bird makes when its nest

is robbed.


15 “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the

saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake 

itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it

were no wood.”  Shall the axe boast itself? Here the prophet takes the word,

and rebukes Assyria for her folly in forgetting, or not perceiving, that she is

a mere instrument, like an axe, a saw, a rod, or a stuff. The saw... him that

shaketh it; rather, him that moveth it to and fro. The action of sawing is

alluded to. As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up;

ratheras if a rod were to move them to and fro that lift it up. For Assyria to

assert herself as if she were independent of God is like a rod attempting

to sway the hand that holds it. It is a complete inversion of the natural order

of things. Or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

Translate, or as if a staff should lift up that which is not wood; i.e. "as if a

staff should take action and lift up its holder, who is not wood, but flesh and blood."


16 “Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness;

and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.”

Therefore shall the Lord... send among his fat ones leanness. A continuation of

v. 12, showing what the nature of Assyria's punishment shall be. The prophet

expresses it by two images - first, that of a wasting sickness; and secondly,

that of a fire. The first image expresses that gradual decay of national spirit

which saps the vital strength of a nation; the second is more suited to denote

some external attack under which the weakened nation should succumb.

There are traces, in the later history of Assyria, both of increasing internal

weakness through luxury and effeminacy, and of violent external

attacks culminating in the combined Median and Babylonian invasion,

before which her power collapsed (Abyden. ap. Euseb., 'Chronicles Can.,'

pars i.e. 9;  Syncell., 'Chronograph.,' p, 210, B; Tobit 14:15).


17 “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame:

and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;”

The light of Israel. A new name of God. The idea on which it is based may be

found in the (Psalms 27:184:11), and again here in Isaiah (ch.60:19). God

enlightens His people, cheers them, comforts them spiritually, as the light of

the sun enlightens, cheers, and comforts men physically. Christ, as true God,

is "the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world"

(John 1:9). Shall be for a fire. As the same material fire which gives light,

warmth, and comfort may burn and destroy, so the spiritual light, finding fit

material, scorches and consumes. The fire which devours Assyria is to be kindled

by God. His Holy Onei.e. "the Holy One of Israel" (see ch. 1:4). It shall burn

and devour his thorns and his briers. The destruction of Assyria shall resemble

that of Israel, in which Assyria was the instrument (ch. 9:18). It shall be as

complete, as terrible, and as final. In one day. Scarcely "in one battle"

(Cheyne); for the destruction of Assyria was effected by many battles, many

sieges, and much exhausting ravage. "In one day" rather means "at one and

the same time," "within a brief space." It is not to he taken literally.



18 “And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both

soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.”

Forest... fruitful field. "Forest" and "fruitful field" (carmel) are sometimes

united together, sometimes contrasted. Literally, they denote wild and cultivated

woodland. Used symbolically, as here, they are not so much intended to

designate different parts of Assyria's glory, as to convey the idea that

the destruction will be universal. Both soul and body. Here metaphor is

suddenly dropped, and Isaiah shows that he is speaking of the Assyrian 

people, not of the land or its products. Their destruction, wicked as they were,

would be one both of body and soul. As when a standard-bearer fainteth;

ratheras when one that is faint fainteth. Utter prostration and exhaustion

is indicated, whichever way the passage is translated.


19 “And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write

them.” The rest of the treesi.e. these that escape the burning, shall be few; literally, 

a numberi.e. so few that their number shall be apparent.




                                                            (vs. 20-34)


The destruction of Assyria shall be followed - how soon, is not said - by the return

of a "remnant of Israel," not so much to their own land, as to God (vs. 20-21).

(Why could they not have been faithful and served God in their own land? 

CY – 2020)  The remnant, however, shall be but a remnant - judgment shall

have overtaken the bulk of the people (vs. 22-23). Still, there is reason for the

faithful to take courage and be of good heart; Assyria will shortly receive a check

(vs. 24-27) - when her armies swoop upon Jerusalem, God will swoop down on her

(vs. 28-34). 


20 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such

as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that

smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.”

In that day; i.e. "at that time" - the time of the destruction of Assyria. The

remnant of Israel (see ch.1:9). Isaiah had indicated his firm belief in the existence

of this faithful remnant and its return, in the name which he had given to his son,

Shear-Jashub (see note on ch. 7:3). The escaped. Those who escape from the

destruction to be caused by the Assyrian invasion. Shall no more again stay

upon him that smote them. We are told in II Chronicles 28:23 that Ahaz

"sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which smote him" - and we know that he

also trusted to Tiglath-Pileser, who "distressed him and strengthened him not"

(ibid. v. 21). Among the "remnant" there shall be no such mistaken confidences. 

But shall stay upon the Lord; i.e. "shall put their trust in God; and Him only"

(compare II Samuel 22:19Psalm 18:18).


21 “The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.”

The mighty God (compare ch. 9:6). The name is not, however, Messianic in this place.


vs 22-23 - These verses are exegetical of the term "remnant," and bring out its

full force. The promise had been made to Abraham that his seed should be

"like the sand of the sea for multitude" (Genesis 22:17). This promise had

been fulfilled (I Kings 4:20); but now the sins of the people would produce a

reversal of it. It would be a remnant, and only a remnant, of the nation that

would escape. Judah would have to make a fresh start as from a new beginning

(see Ezra 2:64). 



 22 “For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them

shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.”

The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness; rather, the consummation 

(Daniel 9:27determined on is one that overflows with righteousness (compare 

ch. 28:22). The prophet means that God is about to visit the land in such a spirit

of severe justice that it cannot be expected that more than a remnant will survive

the awful visitation.


23 “For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined,

in the midst of all the land.”  The Lord... shall make a consumption; rather, 

a consummation - a final and decisive end of things. Even determined; i.e. 

"determined on beforehand." In the midst of all the land. "Throughout the

entire land," not merely in some portions of it.


24 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest

in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and

shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.”

O my people... be not afraid. God now addresses those who are faithful to Him

among the people; they have no need to fear - He will bring them safely through

all the coming troubles. He shall smite thee; rather, if He smite thee; or, 

though He smite thee. After the manner of Egypt; i.e. as the Egyptians did in

the oppression that preceded the Exodus. The yoke of Assyria was heavy

even upon the nations that submitted to her. She claimed to march her armies

through their territories at her pleasure, and probably pressed men and cattle

into her service. She exacted a heavy tribute, and otherwise "distressed" her

many vassals.


25 “For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger

in their destruction.”  The indignation shall cease; rather, there shall be an end

of wrathi.e. "my wrath against Israel shall come to an end" - Israel having been

sufficiently punished. And mine auger in their destruction; rather, and my

anger shall be to their destructioni.e. to the destruction of the Assyrians

(see the margin of the Revised Version).


26 “And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to

the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as His rod was upon

the sea, so shall He lift it up after the manner of Egypt.”

The Lord... shall stir up a scourge for him; or, lift up a scourge over him.

Isaiah uses the metaphor of the "scourge" again in ch. 28:16,18. It is rare

in Scripture, though common among the Greek and Latin writers. 

According to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb (compare ch. 9:4).

The "slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb" was that great destruction of

the Midianites which was begun by the three hundred under Gideon, and

completed by the men of Ephraim, whereof we have an account in 

Judges 7:19-25. Its counterpart in Assyrian history would seem to be the

destruction of Sennacherib's army, as related in II Kings 19:35

As His rod was upon the sea. An allusion to the drowning of Pharaoh's host

in the Red Sea. This was a nearer parallel to the destruction of Sennacherib's

army than the slaughter of the Midianites, since it was wholly miraculous.

By "His rod" we may understand the rod of Moses, endued by God with

miraculous powers (Exodus 4:3-414:16, 27). After the manner of Egypt

i.e. "after the manner of His action in Egypt."


27 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away

from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be

destroyed because of the anointing.” The yoke shall be destroyed because of

the anointing; literally, before the oili.e. "the Anointed One" - primarily

Hezekiah, "the anointed of the Lord" (II Samuel 19:21 II Kings 11:12

Lamentations 4:20) for the time being, but with a further reference to the

Messiah, who breaks all the bands of the wicked asunder, and casts away

their cords from Him (Psalm 2:2-3); and who is represented by each prince

of the house of David, as He was by David himself.


“We have an unction from the Holy One” (1 John 2:20), if we are

Christians at all, and through that unction obtain more blessings than

we can enumerate; as:


  • comfort and encouragement from Him who is “the Comforter”

      (John 14:26), who encourages humble souls, and cheers up those who

      are depressed, and infuses hope into those who are ready to despair of

      their salvation;


  • strength from One who is stronger than man, who can enter into our

      hearts, and give us the power both to will and to do of His good



  • release from the bondage of sin through the “free Spirit,” who is able

      to overcome Satan, and release us from slavery to evil habits, and make

      us free and willing servants of God;


  • light and knowledge of the truth from Him who is “the Spirit of truth,”

      among whose gifts are wisdom, and knowledge, and faith, and

      discerning of spirits, and prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:8-10);


  • holiness from “the Sanctifier,” the Holy Spirit — the “Spirit of

      holiness” (Romans 1:4).


The anointing of the Holy Spirit once received through the mercy

of God, naturally and almost necessarily, unless we grieve and vex

the Spirit by our perversity, abides in us (1 John 2:27), and teaches

us, and guides us, and strengthens and sustains us, and purifies our

hearts and lives, and enables us to grow in grace, and press on ever

towards the mark of our high calling in Christ, and become more

and more conformed to the image of Him to whom God gave not

His Spirit “by measure” (John 3:34).


vs 28-32. - This graphic portraiture of the march of an Assyrian army on

Jerusalem is probably not historic, but prophetic. Isaiah sees it in vision

(ch. 1:1), and describes it like an eye-witness. There are at present no sufficient

means of deciding to what particular attack it refers, or indeed whether the march

is one conducted by Sennacherib or Sargon. Sargon calls himself in one inscription

"conqueror of the land of Judah" (Layard, 'Inscriptions,' 33:8), and the details

of the present prophecy, especially v. 9, suit the reign of Sargon rather than

that of his son, so that on the whole it is perhaps most probable that some

expedition of Sargon's is portrayed. 


28 “He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up

his carriages:”  He is come to Aiath. "Aiath" is probably Ai (Joshua 8:1-28), with

a feminine termination. It lay about three miles south of Bethel, which had become

Assyrian with the conquest of Samaria. If an Assyrian army mustered at Bethel,

it would naturally enter Judaean territory at Ai. He is passed to Migron; rather, 

he has passed through Migron. "Migron" is mentioned as a village in the territory

of Gibeah of Benjamin (I Samuel 14:2); but the Migron of this passage must have

been further to the north. He hath laid up his carriages; i.e. "has left his

baggage-train." Michmash was about seven miles nearly due north of Jerusalem.

The heavy baggage might conveniently be left there, especially as it was difficult

of attack (ibid. vs. 4-13), while a lightly equipped body of troops made a dash

at Jerusalem.


29 “They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba;

Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.” They are gone over the passage. The

"passage of Michmash" (I Samuel 13:23) - the deeply sunken valley, called now

the Wady Sutveinit, between Michmash (Mukkmas) and Geba (Jeba). They have

taken up their lodging at Geba; or, at Geba they rest for the night. Having crossed

the wady, they bivouac on the crest of the hills enclosing it on the south. Ramah...

Gibeah of Saul. Ramah is, no doubt, Er-Ram, a village on an eminence, as

the name implies, about six miles north of Jerusalem, and on the direct road

from Beitin. Gibeah of Saul is thought to have occupied the site of the modern 

Tuleil-el-Ful, two miles nearer Jerusalem. It is certainly a distinct place from

Geba. The inhabitants evacuate these two places during the night.



30 “Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish,

O poor Anathoth.”  Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim. Gallim and Laish

must have been villages between Geba and Jerusalem; but it is impossible

to fix their site. Anathoth (now Anata) obtains mention in Joshua as a city

of refuge in the territory of Benjamin (Joshua 21:18). It was Jeremiah's birthplace

(Jeremiah 1:1). Gallim was the birthplace of the man who became the second

husband of Michal, Saul's daughter. (I Samuel 25:44)  Laish is not elsewhere

mentionedCause it to be heard unto Laish; rather, hearkenO Laisha.


31 Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.”

Madmenah...Gebim. These are, like Gallim and Laisha, villages otherwise unknown.

They must have been within a mile or two of Jerusalem, towards the north. Their

inhabitants fly as the Assyrians approach.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 32 “As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the

mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.”  As yet shall he remain

at Nob that day; literally, yet that day (is heat Nob to halt. The Assyrians pitch

their camp at Nob, the priestly city destroyed by Saul (I Samuel 22:19), which

was evidently within sight of Jerusalem. Major Wilson's conjecture, that it

occupied the site of the later Scopus, is probable.


33 “Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and

the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.”

The Lord... shall lop the bough with terror. A check to the Assyrian arms is

intended, but of what nature is not clear. The "lopping of the bough with terror" 

might indicate a panic, such as that which seized the Syrians and made Benhadad II

raise the siege of Samaria (II Kings 7:6-7). But the expressions used later on,

" hewn down," "cut down," "shall fall," rather imply a defeat.


34 “And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall

fall by a mighty one.” He shall cut down; or, one shall eat down; Jehovah

being, no doubt, intended. Lebanon (compare Ezekiel 31:3, "Behold, the

Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon"). Here the comparison is enlarged, and 

Assyria appears as Lebanon itself with all its cedar woods. By a mighty one;

rathera glorious one (compare ch. 33:21, where the word here used - adir

is an epithet of Jehovah).   



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