Isaiah 29:5

5 But the multitude of your foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff. And in an instant, suddenly,

Isaiah 29:5 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 29:5

Moreover, the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small
Or "of those that fan thee" F17, as the Vulgate Latin Version; and so the Targum,

``of those that scatter thee;''
or of thine enemies, as others; meaning the Romans, who were a strange people to them, who got the dominion over them, and scattered them abroad in the world: and the simile of "small dust", to which they are compared, is not used to express the weakness of them, but the greatness of their number, which was not to be counted, any more than the dust of the earth; see ( Numbers 23:10 ) : and the multitude of the terrible ones [shall be] as chaff that
passeth away;
designing the same numerous army of the Romans as before, who were terrible to the Jews: nor does this metaphor signify any imbecility in them, and much less the ruin of them, but their swiftness in executing the judgments of God upon his people, who moved as quick as chaff, or any such light thing, before a mighty wind: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly;
either the numerous army should be suddenly before Jerusalem, or the destruction of that city should be as it were in a moment; and though the siege of it lasted long, yet the last sack and ruin of it was suddenly, and in so short a time, that it might be said to be in an instant, in a moment, as it were. The Jewish writers interpret this of the sudden destruction of Sennacherib's army by the angel, ( 2 Kings 19:35 ) but the next words show that the destruction of Jerusalem is meant.

F17 (Kyrz) "ventilantium te", V. L. "dispergentium te", Vatablus, so Targum; "hostium tuorum", Pagninus, Cocceius.

Isaiah 29:5 In-Context

3 And like David I will encamp against you; I will besiege you with towers and raise siegeworks against you.
4 Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.
5 But the multitude of your foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff. And in an instant, suddenly,
6 you will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.

Footnotes 1

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.