O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger
. Either as calling him to come against the land of Israel to spoil it, so Kimchi; or as grieving that he was obliged to make use of him in such a manner against his people; or as threatening him with ruin. So the Targum, Septuagint, and all the Oriental versions render it, "woe to the Assyrian"; wherefore this, and what follows, serve to comfort the people of God; that though they should be carried captive by the Assyrians, yet they should be utterly destroyed, and a remnant of the Jews should be saved. The Assyrian monarch is called the "rod of God's anger", because he was made use of by him as an instrument to chastise and correct Israel for their sins: and the staff in their hand is mine indignation;
that is, the staff which was in the hand of the king of Assyria, and his army, with which they smote the people of Israel, was no other than the wrath and indignation of God against that people, and the execution of it, which he committed to them as instruments. Kimchi interprets "their hand" of the land of Israel, into which this staff was sent, the Assyrian, to smite and chastise them. The Targum is,
``woe to the Assyrian, the government of my fury; and an angel sent from before me against them for a curse.''