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Go to Bible: Isaiah 10
“enact unrighteous laws.” The Hebrew text is more literally, “decree unrighteous decrees,” but while that catches the attention, it is harder to understand in English so most translations avoid it. A lot of the “lawlessness” in society is not due to people defying human law, but to rulers writing laws that defy and contradict God’s laws (see commentary on Matt. 24:12).
“oppressive regulations.” The word “laws” is not in the Hebrew text, which would more literally be something like “oppressions,” but it refers to oppressive laws and regulations.(top)
|Isa 10:2||- (top)|
“the day of visitation.” No specific day is mentioned; the reference is general. It refers to a time when trouble comes and only God could really help but the people have forsaken Him. The “day of visitation” also includes Judgment Day, even though that is not the primary focus here.
“Where will you leave your wealth?” The greedy, evil rulers had enacted laws that allowed them to get rich by taking advantage of the poor and needy. But what will they do in the day that God punishes them, and what will they do with their wealth then? They will pay a terrible price for their evil deeds.(top)
|Isa 10:4||- (top)|
|Isa 10:5||- (top)|
“I will send him against a godless nation.” God is saying, “I will send the king of Assyria against Israel,” which currently is a godless nation; and Israel is currently the people of God’s wrath.(top)
“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.(top)
|Isa 10:8||- (top)|
|Isa 10:9||- (top)|
“idols.” The Hebrew text has the word 'eliyl (#0457 אֱלִיל), more literally “Worthless Ones” or “worthless things,” a sarcastic name for “idols” (see commentary on Habakkuk 2:18, “Worthless Ones”).(top)
“Worthless Ones.” The Hebrew text has the word 'eliyl (#0457 אֱלִיל), “worthless ones” or “worthless things” a sarcastic name for “idols” (see commentary on Habakkuk 2:18, “Worthless Ones”). This is contrasted with the word “idol” (or “image”) at the end of the verse.(top)
“I will.” The text abruptly changes here from third-person speech to first-person speech, with God speaking directly about what He will do.
“punish.” The word is also translated “visit,” but here “punish” is the clearer translation. [For more on “visit,” see commentary on Exodus 20:5].
“arrogant heart.” The Hebrew is more literally, “the greatness of the heart,” idiomatically referring to the arrogance or pride in the heart of the king. The “fruit” of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria is the words and deeds of the king of Assyria. An evil heart produces evil fruit (see commentary on Matt. 15:18).
“boastfulness of his haughty looks.” The Hebrew is more literally, “the glory of the height of his eyes.” The Hebrew seems unclear, but it is because the text is comparing King of Assyria to a large, glorious fruit tree: he has fruit, glory, and height.
[For more on hypocatastasis, the figure of comparison being used in this verse to compare the king of Assyria to a large fruit tree, see commentary on Rev. 20:2].(top)
|Isa 10:13||- (top)|
|Isa 10:14||- (top)|
|Isa 10:15||- (top)|
|Isa 10:16||- (top)|
“Light of Israel…their Holy One.” These are “names” of God, designations of the God of Israel, who will eventually have vengeance on Israel’s enemies, in this case Assyria.(top)
|Isa 10:18||- (top)|
|Isa 10:19||- (top)|
|Isa 10:20||- (top)|
|Isa 10:21||- (top)|
|Isa 10:22||- (top)|
|Isa 10:23||- (top)|
|Isa 10:24||- (top)|
|Isa 10:25||- (top)|
“His rod.” That is, God’s rod.(top)
|Isa 10:27||- (top)|
“He.” The Assyrians, here personified under their leader.
“Ai.” The city mentioned in Joshua chapters 7 and 8. Here it is spelled with the feminine ending, thus “Aiath” in the Hebrew text.(top)
“Ramah trembles.” That is, the people of Ramah tremble. “Ramah” is put by metonymy for the people who live there.
“Gibeah of Saul has fled.” The people of Gibeah have fled. Here the city of Gibeah is put by metonymy for the people who live in it.(top)
|Isa 10:30||- (top)|
|Isa 10:31||- (top)|
“He shakes his fist.” It is a very common human jesture to shake your fist at something or someone in anger and defiance.
“Daughter Zion.” The Hebrew is idiomatic for Zion itself, i.e., Jerusalem (see commentary on Isa. 1:8). Describing Zion as a daughter can have the connotation of someone that is beloved, but more often, and certainly here, it has the connotation of one who is like a daughter in that culture: vulnerable, in need of support and protection. Zion would be smitten by the Assyrians (Isa. 10:22-23), but God would eventually vindicate her. However, we know from history that she would not be grateful for God’s deliverance, but would turn against Him and be carried into captivity by the Babylonians.(top)
|Isa 10:33||- (top)|
“Lebanon will fall.” The wording is perfectly chosen. The area of Lebanon would be conquered, but Lebanon was famous for its tall cedar trees, and they would be cut down, felled.(top)