Isaiah 10:5-34

Judgment on Arrogant Assyria

5 Ah, Assyria, 1the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!
6 Against a 2godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take 3spoil and seize plunder, and to 4tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 But he 5does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
8 for he says: 6"Are not my commanders all kings?
9 7Is not 8Calno like 9Carchemish? Is not 10Hamath like 11Arpad? 12Is not 13Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has reached to 14the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and 15her idols 16as I have done to Samaria and her images?"
12 17When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, 18he[a] will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.
13 19For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14 My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped."
15 Shall 20the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his 21stout warriors, and under his glory 22a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.
17 23The light of Israel will become a fire, and 24his Holy One a flame, and 25it will burn and devour his thorns and briers 26in one day.
18 The glory of 27his forest and of his 28fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down.

The Remnant of Israel Will Return

20 29In that day 30the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more 31lean on him who struck them, but 32will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, 33to the mighty God.
22 34For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, 35only a remnant of them will return. 36Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.
23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: "O my people, 37who dwell in Zion, 38be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as 39the Egyptians did.
25 For 40in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction.
26 And 41the LORD of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck 42Midian 43at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it 44as he did in Egypt.
27 And in that day 45his burden will depart from your shoulder, and 46his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat."[b]
28 He has come to Aiath; he has passed through 47Migron; at Michmash he stores 48his baggage;
29 they have crossed over 49the pass; at 50Geba they lodge for the night; 51Ramah trembles; 52Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Cry aloud, O daughter of 53Gallim! Give attention, O Laishah! O poor 54Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32 This very day he will halt at 55Nob; he will shake his fist at the mount of 56the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts 57will lop 58the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will cut down 59the thickets of the forest with an axe, and 60Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

Isaiah 10:5-34 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 10

This chapter contains denunciations of punishment, first on the governors of the Jewish nation, and then upon the Assyrians; a woe is denounced on the makers and imposers of bad laws, whereby the poor and the needy, the widows and the fatherless, were deprived of their right, Isa 10:1,2 which woe or punishment is explained to be a desolation of their country by the Assyrians, that should come afar off, and which they could not escape; under whom they should bow and fall; and yet there should not be an end of their punishment, Isa 10:3,4 next follows a prophecy of the destruction of the Assyrians themselves, for the comfort of God's people; in which is observed, that the Assyrian monarch was an instrument in the hand of the Lord to chastise his people, and therefore is called the rod and staff of his wrath and indignation, Isa 10:5 the people are described against whom he was sent, and the end for which is mentioned, Isa 10:6 though this was not his intention, nor did he design to stop here, but to destroy and cut off many other nations, Isa 10:7 which he hoped to do from the magnificence of his princes, who were as kings, and from the conquests he had made of kingdoms, and their chief cities, Isa 10:8-11 wherefore, when the Lord had done what he designed to do by him among his people the Jews, he was determined to punish him, because of the pride of his heart, and the haughtiness of his looks, and his boasting of his strength and wisdom, and of his robberies and plunders, without opposition; which boasting was as foolish as if an axe, a saw, a rod, and a staff, should boast, magnify, move, and lift up themselves against the person that made use of them, Isa 10:12-15 which punishment is said to come from the Lord, and is expressed by leanness, and by a consuming and devouring fire; for which reason his army is compared to thorns and briers, to a forest, and a fruitful field, which should be destroyed at once; so that what of the trees remained should be so few as to be numbered by a child, Isa 10:16-19 and, for the further consolation of the people of God, it is observed, that in the times following the destruction of the Assyrian monarchy, a remnant of the people of Israel should be converted, and no more lean upon an arm of flesh, but upon the Lord Christ, the Holy One of Israel; even a remnant only; for though that people were very numerous, yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, should be saved, when it was the determinate counsel of God, and according to his righteous judgment, to destroy the far greater part of them, for their perverseness and obstinacy, Isa 10:20-23 wherefore the people of God are exhorted not to be afraid of the Assyrian, though chastised by him; since in a little time the anger of the Lord would cease in his destruction, which should be after the manner of the Egyptians at the Red sea, and as the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; whereby they would be free from his burden and yoke, because of the anointed King that should reign, or the King Messiah, Isa 10:24-27 and then follows a description of the expedition of the king of Assyria into Judea, by making mention of the several places through which he should pass with terror to the inhabitants, until he should come to Jerusalem, against which he should shake his hand, Isa 10:28-32 and then, under the similes of lopping a bough, and cutting down the thickets of a forest, and the trees of Lebanon, is predicted the destruction of his army and its generals by an angel, Isa 10:33,34.

Isaiah 10:5-34 In-Context

3 What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?
4 Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.
5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!
6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
8 for he says: "Are not my commanders all kings?
9 Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?"
12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.
13 For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14 My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped."
15 Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.
18 The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down.
20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.
23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: "O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.
25 For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction.
26 And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt.
27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat."
28 He has come to Aiath; he has passed through Migron; at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29 they have crossed over the pass; at Geba they lodge for the night; Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim! Give attention, O Laishah! O poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32 This very day he will halt at Nob; he will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe, and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

Cross References 60

  • 1. ver. 24; Isaiah 9:4; [Micah 5:1; Micah 6:9]
  • 2. Isaiah 9:17
  • 3. See 2 Kings 18:14-16
  • 4. Isaiah 5:5
  • 5. [Micah 4:12]
  • 6. [2 Kings 18:24]
  • 7. 2 Kings 19:12, 13
  • 8. [Genesis 10:10; Amos 6:2]
  • 9. 2 Chronicles 35:20; Jeremiah 46:2
  • 10. Isaiah 11:11; Amos 6:2; Zechariah 9:2
  • 11. 2 Kings 18:34
  • 12. [2 Kings 16:9; 2 Kings 17:6]
  • 13. Isaiah 7:9
  • 14. [2 Kings 19:17, 18]
  • 15. Isaiah 2:8
  • 16. 2 Kings 18:34
  • 17. [Isaiah 29:4, 5; Isaiah 30:18; 2 Kings 19:31]
  • 18. See 2 Kings 19:35-37
  • 19. Isaiah 37:23-25; 2 Kings 19:22-24
  • 20. [ver. 5; Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 45:9; Romans 9:17]
  • 21. Psalms 78:31
  • 22. [Isaiah 30:33]
  • 23. [Obadiah 18]
  • 24. Isaiah 37:23
  • 25. Isaiah 27:4; [Isaiah 9:18; Nahum 1:10]
  • 26. [Isaiah 9:14; 2 Kings 19:35]
  • 27. ver. 33; [Isaiah 2:13]
  • 28. [Psalms 107:33-34]
  • 29. ver. 27; Isaiah 2:11
  • 30. Isaiah 4:2
  • 31. [2 Kings 16:7; 2 Chronicles 28:20, 21]
  • 32. 2 Kings 19:14
  • 33. Isaiah 9:6
  • 34. Cited Romans 9:27, 28
  • 35. [Isaiah 6:13]
  • 36. Isaiah 28:22
  • 37. [Isaiah 31:5]
  • 38. 2 Kings 19:6
  • 39. Exodus 2:23
  • 40. [Isaiah 17:14]
  • 41. 2 Kings 19:35
  • 42. Isaiah 9:4
  • 43. Judges 7:25; [Isaiah 9:4]
  • 44. [Exodus 14:30]
  • 45. 2 Kings 18:14
  • 46. [Isaiah 9:4; Nahum 1:13]
  • 47. 1 Samuel 14:2
  • 48. Judges 18:21; 1 Samuel 17:22; Acts 21:15; [Isaiah 46:1]
  • 49. 1 Samuel 13:23
  • 50. 1 Samuel 13:16
  • 51. 1 Samuel 7:17
  • 52. 1 Samuel 11:4
  • 53. 1 Samuel 25:44
  • 54. Jeremiah 1:1
  • 55. 1 Samuel 21:1; 1 Samuel 22:19
  • 56. Isaiah 1:8; Isaiah 37:22
  • 57. [Nahum 1:12]
  • 58. ver. 18
  • 59. [See ver. 33 above]
  • 60. [Ezekiel 31:3; Amos 2:9]

Footnotes 2

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.