Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 10

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-4

The fall of Israel (9:8-10:4)

Isaiah now describes the situation in the northern kingdom Israel, which becomes weakened by enemy attacks and finally is conquered by Assyria. The northerners refuse to acknowledge that God is the one who has brought this catastrophe upon them. They make a show of self-assurance by saying they will rebuild, bigger and better, whatever their enemies have destroyed (8-12).
Because the people refuse to repent, God will punish them further. His purpose is to remove the whole nation from the land (13-14). Sin dominates in every level of Israel’s society, from civil and religious leaders to the common people. Therefore, all must fall under God’s judgment (15-17).
As a fire destroys a forest, so the people’s wickedness has destroyed their nation. This catastrophe has been sent by God, as a punishment on the people for their sins (18-19). They are greedy and jealous, and attack each other like a lot of wild animals (20-21). Special blame is placed on the judges and civil leaders who, through injustice and corruption, have oppressed the people while making themselves rich. But their wealth will not save them when God sends a foreign army to destroy the nation and take its survivors captive (10:1-4).

Verses 5-34

Assyria’s pride and punishment (10:5-34)

God is angry with the rebellious people of Israel and has used Assyria to punish them (5-6). Assyria, however, has no concern for God’s purposes and thinks it has won its victories by its own might. It therefore decides to attack Jerusalem, confident that it will conquer Judah as it has conquered other nations (7-9). It thinks that because the gods of other nations have not been able to save them from Assyria’s might, the God of Judah will not be able to save Jerusalem (10-11). This boastful self-confidence and lack of respect for Yahweh is Assyria’s big mistake. God will not allow it to go unpunished (12-14).
Assyria is merely a tool that God uses to do his work, but when that tool tries to make itself greater than the one who uses it, it must be destroyed. Assyria will come to a humiliating end. It will be like a mighty forest that is burnt down, like a strong soldier who grows sick and dies (15-19).
Israel may be destroyed and Judah attacked, but God will always preserve the remnant of faithful believers who trust in him and not in military alliances. Those who trust in Assyria will come under Assyria’s power, and in the end will cause their nation to be taken into captivity. But a remnant will return and rebuild the nation (20-23).
On the basis of these certainties, Isaiah appeals to Judah once again not to fear Assyria nor to ask help from it. Assyria will be defeated, just as enemies in Israel’s past history have been (24-27). Isaiah then paints a vivid picture of an Assyrian attack on Jerusalem - the setting up of the base camp, the rapid approach over the mountains and through the valleys, the conquest of towns along the way, the flight of the citizens (28-32). But the Assyrian army is suddenly smashed by God, like a giant tree that is chopped down and comes crashing to the ground (33-34).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Isaiah 10". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/isaiah-10.html. 2005.
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