Isaiah 10:5-19

God’s Judgment on Assyria

5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations.
8 ‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says.
9 ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad, and Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols, kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’ ”
12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.
13 For he says: “ ‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued[a] their kings.
14 As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as people gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.’ ”
15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers.
18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down.

Isaiah 10:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
ESV
5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!
NLT
5 “What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger. I use it as a club to express my anger.
MSG
5 "Doom to Assyria, weapon of my anger. My wrath is a cudgel in his hands!
CSB
5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger- the staff in their hands is My wrath.

Isaiah 10:5-19 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 10:5-19 In-Context

3 What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?
4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations.
8 ‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says.
9 ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad, and Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols, kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’ ”
12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.
13 For he says: “ ‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings.
14 As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as people gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.’ ”
15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers.
18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down.
20 In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.

Cross References 47

  • 1. S 2 Kings 19:21; S Isaiah 28:1
  • 2. ver 12,18; S Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 31:8; Isaiah 37:7; Zephaniah 2:13
  • 3. Isaiah 14:5; Isaiah 54:16
  • 4. ver 15,24; Isaiah 30:31; Isaiah 41:15; Isaiah 45:1; Jeremiah 50:23; Jeremiah 51:20
  • 5. Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 13:3,5,13; Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 30:30; Isaiah 34:2; Isaiah 63:6; Isaiah 66:14; Ezekiel 30:24-25
  • 6. S Isaiah 9:17
  • 7. Habakkuk 1:12
  • 8. S 2 Chronicles 28:9; Isaiah 9:19
  • 9. S Judges 6:4; S Isaiah 5:29; Isaiah 8:1
  • 10. S 2 Samuel 22:43; S Psalms 7:5; S Isaiah 5:5; Isaiah 37:26-27
  • 11. S Genesis 50:20; Acts 4:23-28
  • 12. 2 Kings 18:24
  • 13. S Genesis 10:10
  • 14. S 2 Chronicles 35:20
  • 15. Numbers 34:8; 2 Chronicles 8:4; Isaiah 11:11
  • 16. 2 Kings 18:34
  • 17. 2 Kings 17:6
  • 18. S Genesis 14:15; 2 Kings 16:9; Jeremiah 49:24
  • 19. 2 Kings 19:18
  • 20. S 2 Kings 19:13; S Isaiah 2:8; Isaiah 36:18-20; Isaiah 37:10-13
  • 21. Isaiah 28:21-22; Isaiah 65:7; Isaiah 66:4; Jeremiah 5:29
  • 22. 2 Kings 19:31
  • 23. S ver 5; S 2 Kings 19:7; Isaiah 30:31-33; Isaiah 37:36-38; Jeremiah 50:18
  • 24. S Isaiah 2:11; S Ezekiel 28:17
  • 25. Psalms 18:27
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 8:17
  • 27. S Deuteronomy 32:26-27; Isaiah 47:7; Isaiah 37:24; Daniel 4:30
  • 28. Ezekiel 28:4
  • 29. Isaiah 14:13-14
  • 30. Jeremiah 49:16; Obadiah 1:4; Habakkuk 2:6-11
  • 31. S Job 31:25
  • 32. Isaiah 14:6
  • 33. 2 Kings 19:22-24; Isaiah 37:24-25
  • 34. S Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 45:9; Romans 9:20-21
  • 35. S ver 5
  • 36. ver 18; S Numbers 11:33; Isaiah 17:4
  • 37. Psalms 78:31
  • 38. S Isaiah 8:7
  • 39. Jeremiah 21:14
  • 40. S Job 41:21; S Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 31:9; Zechariah 2:5
  • 41. Isaiah 37:23
  • 42. S Numbers 11:1-3; S 2 Samuel 23:6
  • 43. S Isaiah 9:18
  • 44. S 2 Kings 19:23
  • 45. S ver 5
  • 46. ver 33-34; Isaiah 32:19
  • 47. Isaiah 17:6; Isaiah 21:17; Isaiah 27:13; Jeremiah 44:28

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "treasures;" / "I subdued the mighty,"
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