Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 12

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 5-6

The Assyrian Invasion and its Sequel

This is one of the finest of Isaiah’s prophecies. The subject is the advance against Jerusalem of the arrogant Assyrian conqueror, who meets with a sudden check and is foiled when his triumph is apparently secure. Then with Jehovah’s interposition for the deliverance of Zion is connected a forecast of the reign of the Messianic king (Isaiah 11:1-10). The occasion to which the prophecy probably refers is Sennacherib’s famous invasion in the reign of Hezekiah, 701 b.c. (36, 37; 2 Kings 18:13 to 2 Kings 19:36), but some scholars place it earlier, in the time of the preceding Assyrian king, Sargon. The cities referred to in Isaiah 10:9 were captured between 740 and 717 b.c., so that the Assyrian king’s boast must at least be later than 717 b.c. It may be true that the line of march which Sennacherib followed was not identical with that which the prophet represents the invader as taking in Isaiah 10:28-32 but Isaiah speaks before the event, and naturally thinks of the Assyrians as approaching Jerusalem by the usual route from the N.; he is drawing a vivid imaginative picture of the threatening danger, and expresses his confident expectation of a wonderful deliverance through a sudden discomfiture of the foe (Isaiah 10:16-19; Isaiah 33, 34). The same remarkable anticipation is a feature of Isaiah’s other utterances at this crisis (Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 17:13-14; Isaiah 33, Isaiah 37:6-7, Isaiah 37:29-35) and it received a startling fulfilment (Isaiah 37:36-37).

Isaiah 10:5-11. The Assyrian, though proud of his conquests, is but the instrument of divine punishment.

12-19. and when God’s purposes have been accomplished through him he shall be punished for his pride.

20-27. The faithful remnant of God’s people, therefore, need not fear.

28-34. Though his advance towards Jerusalem seems irresistible, the Assyrian will meet with a sudden discomfiture.

Isaiah 11:1-10. The future king of David’s line and the nature of his kingdom.

11-16. God’s people shall be restored to their own land and reunited.

Isaiah 12. Two hymns of the redeemed.

1-3. A hymn of joy in the deliverance Jehovah has wrought.

4-6. A hymn of praise for God’s mighty deeds, which have manifested His glory to all the world.

Verses 1-6

1. The thanksgiving that now follows is the counterpart of the hymn of praise sung after the passage of the Red Sea (Exodus 15), and is partly based upon it. Some scholars doubt its Isaianic authorship and date it after the return from exile.

3. Draw water] Under a figure it is indicated that there shall be a continual supply of divine protection and deliverance. Or, if we follow the Talmud, there may be an allusion to the ceremonial of the Feast of Tabernacles, on the last day of which water was drawn from the pool of Siloam by the priests and poured at the altar of burnt-offering (see John 7:37).

5. He hath done excellent things] from Exodus 15:1, ’triumphed gloriously,’ the same word. This is known] RV ’let this be known.’

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.