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But this is not what he intends,
and his heart does not think that way;
but it is in his heart to destroy
and to cut off nations—not a few. Bible other translations

“But this is not what he intends, and his heart does not think that way.” The king of Assyria does not think like Yahweh thinks, that Assyria is against Israel because of Yahweh’s anger; instead he is bent on destruction and conquest. The NLT, a paraphrased version, catches the sense: “But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool; his mind does not work that way. His plan is simply to destroy, to cut down nation after nation.”

“cut off nations—not a few.” This is an emphatic way of saying “many nations.” It is the figure of speech tapeinosis, saying something that lessens something to actually emphasize it.


Commentary for: Isaiah 10:7