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The woe of tyrants. Assyria, the rod of hypocrites, for his pride shall be broken. A remnant of Israel shall return after the determined desolation. Israel is comforted with a promise of deliverance from Assyria.
Before Christ 713.
Isaiah 10:1-4. Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, &c.— We have in the two first verses the fourth fault, and in the third and fourth the punishment. The fault complained of is, the injustice and the iniquity of the judges; and the punishment assigned is, that they should be absolutely deserted and deprived of all help and defence from God, whose laws they have so shamefully perverted; and shall miserably perish before their enemies, who shall come from far. Lowth renders the second clause of the first verse, Unto the scribes that prescribe oppression: and, Isa 10:3 instead of leave your glory, he reads, deposit your wealth. See Hosea 9:11-12. The meaning is, "To whom will you commit, as a trust or deposit, your most precious things, your riches, honour, liberty, religion, when God is become your enemy? Who shall be your protection and defence?" To which he answers in the next verse, Without me, every one shall bow down among them that are bound; [i.e. shall commence prisoners;] and they shall fall among the slain. The meaning is, "Without my aid, and when I desert you, you shall all bow under the yoke, and either become slaves or fall by the sword of the Assyrians." See chap. Isa 65:12 and Vitringa.
Isaiah 10:5. O Assyrian, &c.— We have here the fourth section of the fifth sermon, which reaches to the end of this chapter, and which is two-fold; containing, first, a proposition in this verse, and secondly, an unfolding of that proposition; which consists of five parts: the first contains an explanation both of the cause for which God had decreed to permit the Assyrians to have such power over his people; namely, for the punishment of hypocrites and the purification of the church; as also of the crimes which the kings of Assyria would commit in the executing of his judgments; and of the punishment ordained for them, Isaiah 10:6-13. Secondly, We have the confirmation hereof, and a new exhibition of the pride of the Assyrian, with a fuller declaration of the divine judgment upon him: Isaiah 10:13-20. Thirdly, We have a purer state of the church, after having passed through the afflictions brought upon it by the Assyrian; Isaiah 10:20-24. Fourthly, The application of the above prophecy concerning the fall of the Assyrian to the comfort of the church; Isaiah 10:24-28. And, fifthly, A more particular description of this or some other powerful Assyrian monarch, about to lay waste Judaea, with its effects and consequences; from Isa 10:28 to the end of the chapter. It is supposed that Isaiah delivered this prophecy concerning the Assyrian at the same time with that preceding. The prophet, in the former chapters, had foretold the fate of the Ephraimites and Syrians, who had determined to attack, and, if possible, subvert the Jewish church and state. He therefore turns his discourse to the Assyrians, the executors of this judgment, who also in their time should make the same attempt against Judaea, and denounces their punishment; teaching at the same time in what light they were held by God, and consequently were to be considered by the careful observers of the ways of God. The proposition in this verse is elegant, but very difficult to be turned into another language according to its original force. Its immediate meaning is, "Woe to the Assyrian, who is the rod of mine anger; and the staff, which is in his hands, is my severity:" that is to say, "Whatever strength or power they have, which they have used in afflicting my people, would have been none at all, if my people had not provoked my wrath and severity; so that, not the Assyrians themselves, but my wrath and severity, and the decrees of my justice, ought to be esteemed the rod and staff beating my people; since, without that severity, the Assyrians themselves could have done nothing." Vitringa remarks, that all the characters of this prophecy belong to Sennacherib; though possibly it may have a more extensive scope, and refer to the destruction of all the enemies of God, and the following great empires, which God made use of as rods and scourges to chastise and amend his people till the manifestation of the kingdom of his Son in the world. See Jeremiah 51:20. Bishop Newton observes, that, as the Assyrians totally destroyed the kingdom of Israel, and greatly oppressed that of Judah, no wonder they are the subject of several prophecies. The prophet here denounceth the judgments of God against Sennacherib in particular, and against the Assyrians in general; God might employ them as ministers of his wrath, and executioners of his vengeance; and so make the wickedness of some nations the means of correcting that of others. Prophecies, vol. 1: p. 249.
Isaiah 10:6. I will send him, &c.— The enarration follows the proposition; the first part of which, extending to the 13th verse, contains, first, the hypothesis and the occasion of the design of this king; namely, that by the permission of God, he should subvert the Ephraimitish state, and succeed while thus engaged. Secondly, the crimes committed by him in the execution of this divine judgment; Isaiah 10:7-11. Thirdly, the punishment decreed for him; Isaiah 10:12. The reason is assigned in the verse before us, why God gave up his people to be punished by the Assyrian, namely, their hypocrisy. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people that have angered me will I give him instruction to take, &c. See Isa 10:16-17 of the preceding chapter, chap. Isa 8:1-2 and Micah 1:6; Micah 7:10.
Isaiah 10:7-11. Howbeit, he meaneth not so, &c.— The prophet had taught the pious in what light they should consider the Assyrian, leading a large army with a splendid apparatus, and bringing under his power the people of God, so called, in the same manner as other nations; he shews that, though a great prince, he is only the minister of the divine providence and indignation; the executor of the counsels and decrees of the supreme ruler, Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts, without whom he could do nothing: and that in those very expeditions which he undertook against the Ephraimites and Syrians, he was to obey the secret rule of the divine providence. "Yet this prevents not, says the prophet, his becoming guilty of great crimes before God, in the execution of these secret decrees; for, ignorant of the divine counsels, he had far different thoughts in his mind; sacrificing only to his ambition and lust by this war; forgetful of humanity and equity, to which all men are bound, not by any secret, but by the manifest law of conscience and reason: through pride and arrogance he vainly lifted up himself above the true God worshipped at Jerusalem, and raised his ambition far above the state of man; so that God, by the prophet, taxes him with inhumanity and cruelty, with arrogance and ferocity; elation of mind, pride, and contempt of the true God; crimes of such a sort, that he in his turn could not avoid the divine vengeance." After having declared that his princes (Isaiah 10:8.) were as kings; that is to say, that his nobles were as great as the kings of other nations, and indeed made kings or governors by him over the countries which he had subdued, he adds—setting forth the greatness of his power and strength, and his prosperity in war—Is not Calno as Carchemish, &c.? that is to say, "None of those cities against which he had turned his arms had been able to resist them; that he had subjugated them all, one as well as another." Calno, Carchemish, Hamath, and Arpad, were cities of Syria and Samaria, which this mighty monarch had subdued. See 2Ki 18:34 and chap. Isaiah 36:19. To this proud boasting of his conquests, he adds impiety and arrogant contempt of that God of Israel, in whose hand he was but a rod:—As my hand hath found or laid hold of those kingdoms of nothing, whose graven images are more excellent than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, shall I not, &c. The kingdoms of nothing mean those kingdoms which were consecrated to idols, that is, to gods different from the gods worshipped by the Assyrians. See 2Ki 19:12-13 and Vitringa.
Isaiah 10:12. Wherefore it shall come to pass— We have in this verse the punishment which God decreed for the king of Assyria, after he had performed all that work for which God raised him up. Bishop Newton observes, that this verse intimates that the Assyrians should be severely punished for their pride, ambition, tyranny, and cruelty, after they had served the purposes of divine providence. There was no prospect of such an event while the Assyrians were in the midst of their successes and triumphs; but still the word of the prophet prevailed; and it was not long after these calamities brought upon the Jews, that the Assyrian empire, properly so called, was overthrown, and Nineveh destroyed. Instead of I will punish the fruit, &c. Bishop Lowth reads, I will punish the effect, &c.
Isaiah 10:13-14. For he saith, &c.— From these to the 20th verse we have a more full exposition and confirmation of what had gone before; particularly, the pride of the Assyrian, and his vain boasting joined with it—in these verses; a refutation thereof in the fifteenth verse; and the punishment ordained for him by God more fully set forth in Isaiah 10:16-19. This first period comprehends his insolent boasting of the greatness of his deeds, the prosperity of his empire, and the success of his warlike expeditions; ascribed by him to the prudence of his own counsels, and the valour and strength of his forces; but without any the least acknowledgment of any superior and over-ruling power. I have removed the bounds of the people, &c. refers to his causing the conquered people to pass from one province to another; and so the Chaldee renders it. The last clause in this verse may be read, I have put down many that were seated; that is to say, many of those who were seated in thrones or places of honour; princes, rulers, magistrates. Jarchi renders it, I have caused them to descend from the state of their sublimity. Another effect of power and wisdom, in which the Assyrian boasts himself, is, his hand had found as a nest the riches of the people, &c. The comparison is elegant; and nothing could more strongly or significantly describe the insolent boasting of the Assyrian. It is remarkable, that birds, after they have laid their eggs in their nests, are most diligent in their care of them; and if at any time they are obliged, through fear of the spoiler, to forsake them, they hover about their nests, and flutter around, moving their wings, and peeping, chirping, or lamenting; thus imitating the affections of the human mind. The prophet elegantly implies by this simile the extreme terror of this proud and oppressing king, which reigned in the minds of the conquered people; and we find that the mighty tyrants and conquerors of Assyria did spread such terror. See Joseph. Antiq. lib. ix. c. ult. and Lowth's 12th Prelection.
Isaiah 10:15. Shall the axe boast itself, &c.— The prophet here refutes the Assyrian, in a grave discourse, adapted to humble his pride. He teaches what he had before declared, that in all his counsels, motions, works, he was the minister of the divine providence; incapable of doing any thing without the divine will and permission; and therefore his boasting was to be considered no otherwise than as if the axe and saw should magnify themselves against those who handle them, and claim to themselves, as instruments, that effect which was only due to the mover, as the cause. See Isa 10:5 and Vitringa.
Isaiah 10:16-19. Therefore shall the Lord, &c.— The punishment decreed for the Assyrian, and mentioned in the 12th verse, is here more fully set forth. This passage is easy to be understood, if the prophesy be compared with the completion: read only chap. Isa 37:36 and 2 Kings 19:35; 2Ki 19:37 and you will find that our prophet sets before your eyes, in the most lively colours, rather a history, than a prediction of the event. The emphasis of this passage consists in the elegance of the metaphors. The first is taken from a leanness, or consumption, which destroys the fat, and utterly mars the beauty of the human form; and which well describes that terrible plague that destroyed the flower of the Assyrian host. The second is taken from a fire, devouring the army in a short time, as a burning fire reduces combustible matter to ashes. The glory of the Assyrian here means his army. See chap. Isaiah 8:7. This fire was to be kindled by the light of Israel, &c. Isaiah 10:17. The meaning whereof is, that God himself, by the ministry of his angels, would effect the destruction of the Assyrian army without any human aid. The prophet here evidently alludes to that light of Israel, which led them out of Egypt. See Exodus 13:21. The third metaphor is taken from thorns and briers; which also refers to the Assyrian army; and the metaphors continued in the subsequent verses seem to express farther the future destruction, not only of Nineveh, but of the then flourishing Assyrian empire. The words rendered both soul and body, are, without all doubt, proverbial, and imply the whole glory of the Assyrian empire. Vitringa would render the next clause, And they shall be as the dissolution of one running away; as much as to say, that the army of the Assyrians should faint and melt away, like the heart of a man flying from extreme danger. Schultens renders it, And he shall be as when flesh, roasting in the fire, melts away. The expression in the 19th verse in the original is elegant: The trees of his forest shall be a number; that is, a small remnant of inconsiderable people. So the Romans say, nos numerus sumus. See Vitringa.
Isaiah 10:20-21. And it shall come to pass— Here follows the third part of this enarration, which contains a description of the state of the church after the execution of this memorable judgment, and consists of two parts; in the first, a two-fold consequence of this judgment with respect to the church is described. In the second, the latter consequence, which involved a more ample sense, is more fully set forth. The two consequences of this judgment with respect to the state of the church are, first, a confirmation of the true people of God in their confidence to be reposed in him after this great deliverance granted to the church; Isaiah 10:20. Secondly, The conversion of the remnant to God, and their preservation as well in this affliction as in others of the like kind; Isaiah 10:21. This two-fold consequence is opposed to the two-fold vice of the people, before the time of this judgment. There were among them men fearing God; but who yet regarded the power of the Assyrian with greater fear than they ought. There were, besides, many others, totally alienated from God, who, by means of this great miracle, were brought to true repentance, and a serious acknowledgment of the God of Israel. Nay, not only the pious of that, but of future times, would by this means be confirmed in their faith and adherence to the true God. Some apply this to the time of Hezekiah, immediately preceding this overthrow of the Assyrians; and others directly to the time of the Messiah. Vitringa takes a middle opinion, and observes, that, though the prophesy may in a great degree refer to the time of Hezekiah, yet it has its full and absolute completion in the time of the Messiah. See Zechariah 12:11. By the mighty God, in the 21st verse, Vitringa understands the Messiah. See ch. Isaiah 9:6.
Isaiah 10:22-23. For though thy people Israel be as the sand— The prophet had said that a remnant only of Judah and Ephraim would be preserved, and would return in true repentance to God; which might justly cause the wonder of both Jews and Israelites at the time when the prophet spoke these things; for it implied that the far greater part of the people would perish. This might justly offend the Jews, as they must have conceived it highly improbable that God should thus forsake his people; especially when they were at that time very numerous and flourishing. The prophet therefore declares more explicitly, that it was determined by God to exercise his justice and severity upon the Jews, the consequence of which would be, that the far greater part of them would be cut off and perish; and that a few only would remain. This is the sense of the present period, though there is some difficulty in the expressions. Vitringa renders the verses, The consumption shall be precise or limited, overflowing with righteousness or mercy. Isaiah 10:23. For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, but a precise or limited one, in the midst of the whole earth. Though this prophecy might be in part fulfilled at the Babylonish captivity, yet there can be no doubt that it has a farther reference to the times of the Messiah. See Rom 9:27 where we shall have occasion to speak more fully concerning it.
Isaiah 10:24-27. Therefore thus saith the Lord— We have here the fourth part of the enarration, in which the above prophecy is applied to the consolation of the people of God, and wherein is first the proposition, Isa 10:24 and, secondly, the reason of the proposition: Isaiah 10:25-27. Having digressed a little, the prophet returns to the true and proper scope of his discourse; which is, to comfort the pious with respect to the evils that threatened their nation: wherefore, having clearly predicted the fall of the Assyrian, as a faithful teacher he applies this prophecy to the consolation and confirmation of the truly pious. The discourse of the prophet in the name of Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts, the God superior to all human power, is turned to the people of God inhabiting mount Zion; that is, the true Israelites, the sincere observers of that holy religion which was celebrated at Jerusalem and Sion, and who were not only attached to this place in body, but in soul and spirit. See chap. Isaiah 12:6. He dissuades these his people from anxious fear; Be not afraid of the Assyrian, when he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lay his yoke upon thee, after the manner, or, in the way of Egypt, that is, "when the Assyrian shall treat, or purpose to treat thee as a slave, and shall vex thee by his edicts, or the imperious execution of those edicts, as heretofore the Egyptians have treated you, laying heavy burdens upon you, and exacting severe tributes from you." See Exodus 1:14; Exodus 20:2; Exodus 20:26. In the next verses the reasons are given why the Lord would not have his people fear the Assyrians, because in a short time he would take vengeance upon them, Isa 10:25 and that in a singular and extraordinary manner, as he did upon the Midianites and Egyptians, Isaiah 10:26. The consequence of which should be, the removal of the yoke now imposed or to be imposed upon them. Instead of, in their destruction, Isa 10:25 we may read, with their destruction. The latter part of the 26th verse describes the manner of that judgment wherewith God would destroy the Assyrian without any human aid; and therefore the slaughter to be brought upon him is here compared as well to that singular and extraordinary one wherewith the Midianites were smitten, as to that tremendous judgment of God upon the Egyptians, who, upon the lifting up of the rod of Moses, were overwhelmed in the Red Sea. Each of these comparisons is elegant and expressive. Vitringa reads,—a scourge for him, such as the blow upon Midian at the rock Oreb, and that of his rod upon the sea; and he shall lift, &c. and the latter clause of Isa 10:27 he reads,—and the yoke shall be dissolved by means of the oil. According to the common interpretation, it is supposed that the meaning is, "For the sake of God's believing people, called by the Psalmist his anointed; and also for the preservation of the kingdom and priesthood, both which offices were conferred by the ceremony of anointing." But Vitringa is of opinion, that the prophet in this last passage rises in his ideas, and, having expressed the temporal deliverance of the church in the preceding clauses, here seals up the period with a consolatory clause, admonishing the pious of their deliverance from a spiritual yoke, that is to say, from all the power of sin and Satan, and of their entrance into the full and perfect liberty of the sons of God, through Jesus Christ, the king of his church; who, for this purpose, would communicate an abundance of the anointing spirit of wisdom, knowledge, prayer, liberty, and adoption. See Zechariah 4:6. We refer the reader to Vitringa for an explication and defence of this interpretation.
Isaiah 10:28-32. He is come to Aiath— This is so minute a detail of the march of Sennacherib toward Jerusalem, the route of his army, and their several stations, that, though the description is a prophecy, Isaiah seems rather to speak like an historian, who is relating a fact already past, says Bishop Lowth. We have in the fifth part of the discourse, first, the expedition of the Assyrian monarch, described in the most lively manner in these verses; and, secondly, the ill success of that expedition, with its consequences; Isaiah 10:33-34. The several places here mentioned are those where Sennacherib may have been supposed to have pitched his camp. Poor Anathoth, is in the Hebrew, ענתות עניה aniiah anathoth; where the word, עניה aniiah, rendered poor, relates to the signification of Anathoth; a beauty frequently to be met with in the original of the sacred writings, but seldom preserved in translations. The history of Sennacherib's expedition well explains this fine and circumstantial prophesy. See 2 Chronicles 32:9. 2 Kings 18:13-14.
Isaiah 10:33-34. Behold, the Lord, &c. We have in these verses the consequence of the expedition before mentioned, Interpreters, however, vary greatly respecting their application; but Vitringa is clearly of opinion, from the whole scope and coherence of the prophesy, that the passage refers not, as some would have it, to the destruction of the house of David, but to that of Sennacherib, which has been the subject of this whole prophesy; and whose overthrow is painted in similar terms, Isaiah 10:18-19. In Ezekiel the Assyrian is called a cedar in Lebanon. The mighty one by whom this great cedar in Lebanon was to fall, can mean no other than the destroying angel referred to in Isaiah 10:17. See Vitringa.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, God proceeds in his controversy with Israel.
1. He accuses their governors of oppression and injustice, in framing such laws as immediately tended to distress the poor; or by making the proceedings so tedious, and expensive, that the needy man never could afford to maintain his right; or in their administration they were so corrupt, that they enriched themselves with the spoil of the fatherless and widows, and feared not to rob and plunder those who were too weak to resist. Note; There is a lawgiver, to whom the oppressed may appeal, and woe to those whose unrighteous decrees shall come before his bar!
2. He warns them of the folly, sin, and danger of their ways. They braved it out now, but what will ye do in the day of visitation, when God rises up to judge? and in the desolation which shall come from far? from the king of Babylon: to whom will ye flee for help, in that day of calamity? and where will ye leave your glory? the riches, which they accounted their great support, but in that day would perish irrecoverably. Without me, when forsaken of my help, they shall bow down under the prisoners, or among the prisoners, and shall fall under, or among the slain; either in chains led captive, or left dead by the enemies' sword; and after all, greater judgments are still in store. Note; (1.) As there is an awful day of inquiry approaching, it becomes every one seriously to consider what he shall then do, and how he shall be able to stand before the eternal Judge. (2.) Whatever greatness and glory a sinner may acquire, he must leave it all behind, and go a naked criminal to a righteous bar, where no covering or excuse can hide his iniquities, and whence there lies no appeal. (3.) They who live without God, will die without hope, the prisoners of the grave, and lying down among the slain in the second death. (4.) It will be the consummation of misery to the damned, that no gleam of hope will ever cheer their darkness, nor the least prospect appear of God's justice being ever satisfied.
2nd, Desolations upon Israel being accomplished, let not Judah think to go unpunished: Sennacherib is commissioned to shake the rod over them; yet God prescribes bounds to his pride, and faith, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further.
1. The Jews are described as an hypocritical nation; for, though they complied with the reformation of Hezekiah, their hearts in general remained unchanged, and their religious services were but vain formality, and therefore they are called, The people of my wrath; nothing being in God's sight more detestable than hypocrisy, yet no sin so common among professors.
2. God hath a rod prepared to scourge them; the Assyrian monarch is commissioned from him to ravage and spoil their country, and as mire in the streets to tread them under foot. Note; (1.) The tyrants of the world are but the tools of providence. (2.) They who most impiously employ their power against God, receive it from him, and he can make their wickedness subservient to his glory. (3.) When God chastises his children, he intends their profiting, not their perdition.
3. The proud instrument employed thinks not who employs him, nor means to answer God's purposes but his own; to establish universal monarchy, and to gratify his ambition: boasting, therefore, his power and conquests, he promises himself success against Jerusalem, as well as the other cities that he had taken; his princes, equal to kings, were able to supply his army for the accomplishment of the extensive conquests which he meditated. A variety of cities, the capitals of vanquished countries, he enumerates, over which his arms had proved successful; and whose inhabitants he had transplanted into other countries, after having plundered their houses of their treasures, as eggs taken from the nest while the dam is absent, so that no resistance was made, and none able to withstand him, of all the nations that he or his predecessors had invaded; and this he vainly imputes to his own strength and wisdom, as if none could defeat his politics, and none could withstand his power. Whence he concludes, that as the gods of the heathen whom he had subdued were more powerful than the gods of Jerusalem and Samaria, and the former were already fallen a prey, the latter would afford him as easy a victory; blasphemously comparing Judah's God to the idols of the nations, and supposing him equally unable to protect his votaries. Note; (1.) Nothing is farther from the hearts of sinners than to serve God's designs; but while they mean only their own ends, they are made to answer his. (2.) What is a worm of earth, though princes bow before him, compared with him whom angels, principalities, and all the powers above, obey? (3.) To leave out God in the account of our gains, and to ascribe them to our own prudence, is direct atheism. (4.) Vanity and self-sufficiency generally end in shame and disappointment.
4. God by his prophet rebukes the insolent boaster, and foretels his approaching ruin. Not more absurd would be the boast of the axe or saw in the craftsman's hand, as if the work done was theirs and not his who used them, than for this proud king, the rod of God's justice, to vaunt his conquests; or for this staff of God's indignation to arrogate the glory of his victories to himself, as if he was not the mere instrument, but the self-sufficient agent in those atchievements: but God will make him know his folly in his fall; when he has done his work of chastising and correcting God's people, for which he is employed, then shall his pride and haughtiness be humbled; his mighty army, the glory of his strength, like a body emaciated with consumption, shall pine away, and as fuel for the fire shall be burnt to ashes. God, the Light and Holy One of Israel, the Messiah, shall, by his angel, in one day consume the whole army, and as easily as briers and thorns fall before devouring fire. Though thick as a forest his tents or as the javelins of his soldiers, and tall as cedars his mighty captains, they shall be consumed together, body and soul, as when a standard-bearer fainteth, and the rout is universal; so easily and utterly would they be destroyed; and so few escape the general ruin, that, instead of a muster-master, a little child might number them. Note; (1.) The most proud and insolent, God can abase. (2.) In all the visitations on his believing people, God has some gracious design to answer; when that is done, the rod will be burnt. (3.) In the midst of our trials, if God be our light, we shall see a door of escape, or be comforted with his presence, which can make the heaviest afflictions light. (4.) None ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. (5.) When God arises to judge the wicked, he will destroy both body and soul together in hell.
3rdly, When judgment is executed on the enemies of God's church, mercy is reserved in store for his faithful people. Amid the general desolations, a remnant would be preserved, and return to their old habitations after Sennacherib raised the siege of Jerusalem, or from the Babylonish captivity: but this prophecy looks farther, and especially regards the times of the Messiah, Romans 9:27.
1. A remnant of Israel would then be saved, escaping from the general blindness and unbelief which were upon the rest of their countrymen; renouncing their vain confidence, as now they were taught by sad experience the vanity of trusting in Assyria for help, and therefore in faith and truth placing all their hopes of salvation on the power and grace of their Redeemer alone. Note; When we return to God, renouncing our self-dependence and our sins, God will turn to us in pardon and peace.
2. When the mighty God the Saviour hath secured his own faithful people, the remnant of Jacob, then vengeance will, according to God's decree, be executed on the more numerous part of Israel that have rejected his salvation; and herein God will abundantly manifest his righteousness, when in all the land a consumption shall be made of the obstinately unbelieving.
4thly, Now God,
1. Encourages his people to trust, and not to be afraid: terrible as Sennacherib's invasion appeared, God had set bounds to his ambition: though for a while they should suffer, as when their fathers were in Egypt, under the scourge, or be distressed as at the Red Sea, when the Egyptians pursued them, yet in a moment the cause of their fears would cease, and God's anger, which seemed to threaten them in this invasion, be removed by the destruction of the Assyrians. A destroying angel, his scourge, should pass through the Assyrian host with sudden and terrible destruction by night, as the sword of Gideon smote the Midianites, and the sea swallowed up the Egyptians, when Moses stretched out his rod. Their enemies defeated, the burden of tribute imposed on them, 2 Kings 18:14, would be taken off, and their yoke of bondage to Assyria be destroyed, because of the anointing, for the sake of the faithful, who have an unction from the Holy One, or for the sake of the Messiah, who is the author of every mercy and blessing that descends on his people. Note; God's believing people need never fear; there is hope for them in the darkest day.
2. He describes the rapid progress of the Assyrian king advancing to the siege, and the ravages and dismay which he shall spread around him: without the least resistance he marches from Aiath to Migron, and thence to Michmash, where he establishes his magazines; and, hastening through the noted pass, 1 Samuel 14:4, encamps for a night at Geba, in Benjamin. Frighted at his approach, the inhabitants sought only to save themselves by flight; while detachments from his army ravaged the country, and the cries of the poor people, plundered by the soldiers, were heard from one end of Judaea to the other. Nob was his last station, where he halted within sight of Jerusalem, and, shaking his hand in threatening, promised himself a speedy conquest of those high battlements. Note; Success is apt to intoxicate, and the confidence of the proud turns to their destruction.
3. His overthrow is determined. The Lord, the Lord of Hosts, before whom the mightiest are but as dust before the whirlwind, will stretch out his hand, and confound the aspiring hopes of the Assyrian; and all his army and chief captains, as the cedars of Lebanon fall under the stroke of the axe, shall perish by the destroying angel. Note; (1.) The terrors of God in the day of wrath will overwhelm the proudest, and sink the mightiest in despair. (2.) None ever persecuted God's church and people with impunity.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 10". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany