Isaiah 10

1 Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, and to the writers who write oppressive decrees; 2 to deprive the needy from justice, and to rob the poor amongst my people of their rights, that widows may be their plunder, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! 3 What will you do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4 They will only bow down under the prisoners, and will fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 5 Alas Assyrian, the rod of my anger, the staff in whose hand is my indignation! 6 I will send him against a profane nation, and against the people who anger me will I give him a command to take the plunder and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 However he doesn’t mean so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off not a few nations. 8 For he says, “Aren’t all of my princes kings? 9 Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus?” 10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, whose engraved images exceeded those of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12 Therefore it will happen that, when the Lord has performed his whole work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the willful proud heart of the king of Assyria, and the insolence of his haughty looks. 13 For he has said, “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I have understanding: and I have removed the boundaries of the peoples, and have robbed their treasures. Like a valiant man I have brought down their rulers. 14 My hand has found the riches of the peoples like a nest, and like one gathers eggs that are abandoned, have I gathered all the earth. There was no one who moved their wing, or that opened their mouth, or chirped.” 15 Should an axe brag against him who chops with it? Should a saw exalt itself above him who saws with it? As if a rod should lift those who lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up someone who is not wood. 16 Therefore the Lord, the LORD of Armies, will send amongst his fat ones leanness; and under his glory a burning will be kindled like the burning of fire. 17 The light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day. 18 He will consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body. It will be as when a standard bearer faints. 19 The remnant of the trees of his forest shall be few, so that a child could write their number. 20 It will come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those who have escaped from the house of Jacob will no more again lean on him who struck them, but shall lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people, Israel, are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord, the LORD of Armies, will make a full end, and that determined, throughout all the earth. 24 Therefore the Lord, the LORD of Armies, says “My people who dwell in Zion, don’t be afraid of the Assyrian, though he strike you with the rod, and lift up his staff against you, as Egypt did. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation against you will be accomplished, and my anger will be directed to his destruction.” 26 The LORD of Armies will stir up a scourge against him, as in the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb. His rod will be over the sea, and he will lift it up like he did against Egypt. 27 It will happen in that day, that his burden will depart from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing oil. 28 He has come to Aiath. He has passed through Migron. At Michmash he stores his baggage. 29 They have gone over the pass. They have taken up their lodging at Geba. Ramah trembles. Gibeah of Saul has fled. 30 Cry aloud with your voice, daughter of Gallim! Listen, Laishah! You poor Anathoth! 31 Madmenah is a fugitive. The inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety. 32 This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his hand at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of Armies, will lop the boughs with terror. The tall will be cut down, and the lofty will be brought low. 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-4

These verses are to be joined with the foregoing chapter. Woe to the superior powers that devise and decree unrighteous decrees! And woe to the inferior officers that draw them up, and enter them on record! But what will sinners do? Whither will they flee?

Verses 5-19

See what a change sin made. The king of Assyria, in his pride, thought to act by his own will. The tyrants of the world are tools of Providence. God designs to correct his people for their hypocrisy, and bring them nearer to him; but is that Sennacherib’s design? No; he designs to gratify his own covetousness and ambition. The Assyrian boasts what great things he has done to other nations, by his own policy and power. He knows not that it is God who makes him what he is, and puts the staff into his hand. He had done all this with ease; none moved the wing, or cried as birds do when their nests are rifled. Because he conquered Samaria, he thinks Jerusalem would fall of course. It was lamentable that Jerusalem should have set up graven images, and we cannot wonder that she was excelled in them by the heathen. But is it not equally foolish for Christians to emulate the people of the world in vanities, instead of keeping to things which are their special honour? For a tool to boast, or to strive against him that formed it, would not be more out of the way, than for Sennacherib to vaunt himself against Jehovah. When God brings his people into trouble, it is to bring sin to their remembrance, and humble them, and to awaken them to a sense of their duty; this must be the fruit, even the taking away of sin. When these points are gained by the affliction, it shall be removed in mercy. This attempt upon Zion and Jerusalem should come to nothing. God will be as a fire to consume the workers of iniquity, both soul and body. The desolation should be as when a standard-bearer fainteth, and those who follow are put to confusion. Who is able to stand before this great and holy Lord God?

Verses 20-34

By our afflictions we may learn not to make creatures our confidence. Those only can with comfort stay upon God, who return to him in truth, not in pretence and profession only. God will justly bring this wasting away on a provoking people, but will graciously set bounds to it. It is against the mind and will of God, that his people, whatever happens, should give way to fear. God’s anger against his people is but for a moment; and when that is turned from us, we need not fear the fury of man. The rod with which he corrected his people, shall not only be laid aside, but thrown into the fire. To encourage God’s people, the prophet puts them in mind of what God had formerly done against the enemies of his church. God’s people shall be delivered from the Assyrians. Some think it looks to the deliverance of the Jews out of their captivity; and further yet, to the redemption of believers from the tyranny of sin and Satan. And this, “because of the anointing;” for his people Israel’s sake, the believers among them that had received the unction of Divine grace. And for the sake of the Messiah, the Anointed of God. Here is, Is. 10:28-34, a prophetical description of Sennacherib’s march towards Jerusalem, when he threatened to destroy that city. Then the Lord, in whom Hezekiah trusted, cut down his army like the hewing of a forest. Let us apply what is here written, to like matters in other ages of the church of Christ. Because of the anointing of our great Redeemer, the yoke of every antichrist must be broken from off his church: and if our souls partake of the unction of the Holy Spirit, complete and eternal deliverances will be secured to us.

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