Isaiah 10:34

34 He will hack down the thickets of the forest with an ax, and Lebanon with its majestic trees will fall.

Isaiah 10:34 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 10:34

And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with
The multitude of the common soldiers, the whole body of the army, by means of one of his angels, that excel in strength, for which he is compared to "iron"; and which is explained in the next clause:

and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one;
the Assyrian army is compared to the forest of Lebanon, for the multitude of trees in it, and the tallness of its cedars, it abounding not only with common soldiers, but with great men; so it is compared to a forest, and to Carmel, or a fruitful field, in ( Isaiah 10:18 ) and the Assyrian monarch is said to be a cedar in Lebanon, ( Ezekiel 31:3 ) which fell by the hands of one of the mighty angels, ( 2 Kings 19:35 ) some, because of this last clause, think that this and the preceding verse ( Isaiah 10:33 ) are to be understood of the calamities that should come upon the Jews, at the time of the Babylonish captivity; for though Sennacherib should stop at Nob; and proceed no further, however should not be able to take Jerusalem, yet hereafter a successor of his should; and, according to this sense, by the "bough" lopped may be meant Jeconiah, or Zedekiah king of Judah; by the "high ones of stature", and the "haughty" ones, his children, the princes of the blood, and the nobles of the land; and by the "thickets of the forest", the common people, who were either killed or carried captive; and by Lebanon, the temple, ( Zechariah 11:1 ) and by the "mighty one", Nebuchadnezzar that burnt it. And some of the ancient Jews interpret this last clause of the destruction of the temple by Vespasian; they observe upon this passage in one place F13, there is no mighty one but a king, as in ( Jeremiah 30:21 ) and there is no Lebanon but the house of the sanctuary, according to ( Deuteronomy 3:25 ) wherefore when a certain Jew saluted Vespasian as a king, and he replied that he was no king, the Jew made answer, if thou art not a king, thou shall be one; for this house (meaning the temple) shall not be destroyed but by the hands of a king, as it is said, "and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one" F14.


F13 T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 56. 2.
F14 Midrash Echa Rabbati, fol 46. 4.

Isaiah 10:34 In-Context

32 This very day he will halt at Nob, he will shake his fist at the mount of daughter Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Look, the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the tallest trees will be cut down, and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will hack down the thickets of the forest with an ax, and Lebanon with its majestic trees will fall.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Cn Compare Gk Vg: Heb [with a majestic one]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.