Geneva Study Bible
Woe to them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that a write grievousness [which] they have prescribed;
(a) Who write and pronounce a wicked sentence to oppress the people: meaning, that the wicked magistrate, who were the chief cause of mischief, would be first punished.
And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation [which] shall come from b far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your c glory?
(b) That is, from Assyria.
d Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.
(d) Because they have forsaken me, some will go into captivity and the rest will be slain.
O e Assyrian, the rod of my anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation.
(e) God calls for the Assyrians to be the executioners of his vengeance.
I will send f him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I command him, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
(f) That is, the Assyrians against the Jews who are hypocrites. In the sixth and seventh verse is declared the difference of the work of God and of the wicked in one very thing and act: for God's intention is to chastise them for their amendment, and the Assyrians purpose is to destroy them to enrich themselves. Thus in respect to God's justice, it is God's work, but in respect to their own malice, it is the work of the devil.
[Is] not Calno as g Carchemish? [is] not Hamath as Arpad? [is] not Samaria as Damascus?
(g) Seeing that I have overcome one city as well as another, so that none could resist, shall Jerusalem be able to escape my hands?
Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord hath performed h his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart i of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
(h) When he has sufficiently chastised his people (for he begins at his own house) then will he burn the rods.
Shall the k axe boast itself against him that heweth with it? [or] shall the saw magnify itself against him that moveth it? as if the rod should shake [itself] against them that lift it, [or] as if the staff should lift [itself, as if it were] no wood.
(k) Here we see that no creature is able to do anything, but as God appoints him, and that they are all his instruments to do his work though the intentions are diverse, as in (Isaiah 10:6).
And the light of Israel shall be for a l fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour m his thorns and his briers in one day;
(l) Meaning that God is a light to comfort his people and a fire to burn his enemies.
And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul n and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer o fainteth.
(n) That is, body and soul utterly.
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again lean upon him that smote them; but shall p lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
(p) This is the end of God's plagues toward his, to bring them to him, and to forsake all trust in others.
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, [yet] a remnant of them shall return: the full end q decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
(q) This small number which seemed to be consumed and yet according to God's decree is saved, will be sufficient to fill all the world with righteousness.
For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a full end, even r determined, in the midst of all the land.
(r) God will destroy this land as he has determined and later save a small portion.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of s Egypt.
(s) As the Egyptians punished you.
And the LORD of hosts shall raise up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of t Midian at the rock of Oreb: and [as] his rod [was] upon the u sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
(t) Read (Isaiah 9:4).
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of x the anointing.
(x) Because of the promise made to that kingdom, by which Christ's kingdom was prefigured.
He is come to y Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath attended to his carriages:
(y) He describes by what way the Assyrians would come against Jerusalem, to confirm the faithful, when it would come to pass, that as their plague was come, so should they be delivered.
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the z bough with terror: and the high ones of stature [shall be] hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.
(z) Fear and destruction will come on Judah for the princes and the people will all be led away captive.
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