Isaiah 10:14
And my hand has found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathers eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) My hand hath found as a nest.—The inscription of Sargon presents an almost verbal parallelism (Records of the Past, vii. 28). In other documents the king looks on himself as a colossal fowler, and the kingdoms are but as birds’-nests for him to spoil, and the nests are left empty.

There was none that . . . peepedi.e., chirped. See Note on Isaiah 8:19. Not a fledgling was left in the nests which the royal fowler had despoiled.

10:5-19 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?And my hand hath found, as a nest - By a beautiful and striking figure here, the Assyrian monarch is represented as describing the ease with which he had subdued kingdoms, and rifled them of their treasures. No resistance had been offered. He had taken them with as little opposition as a rustic takes possession of a nest, with its eggs or young, when the parent bird is away.

Eggs that are left - That is, eggs that are left of the parent bird; when the bird from fright, or any other cause, has gone, and when no resistance is offered.

Have I gathered all the earth - That is, I have subdued and plundered it. This shows the height of his self-confidence and his arrogant assumptions.

That moved the wing - Keeping up the figure of the nest. There was none that offered resistance; as an angry bird does when her nest is about to be robbed.

Or opened the mouth - To make a noise in alarm. The dread of him produced perfect silence and submission.

Or peeped - Or that chirped - the noise made by young birds; the note at Isaiah 8:19. The idea is, that such was the dread of his name and power that there was universal silence. None dared to resist the terror of his arms.

14. nest—implying the ease with which he carried off all before him.

left—by the parent bird.

none … moved … wing—image from an angry bird resisting the robbery of its "nest."

peeped—chirped even low (Isa 8:19). No resistance was offered me, of deed, or even word.

Hath found as a nest; as one findeth young birds in a nest, the nest being put for the birds in it, as Deu 32:11. No less easily do I both find and take them.

Eggs that are left; which the dam hath left in her nest. This is more easy than the former; for the young birds might possibly make some faint resistance, or flutter away; but the eggs could do neither.

All the earth; all the riches of the earth or world. An hyperbole not unusual in the mouths of such persons, upon such occasions.

That moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped; as birds do, which, when they see and cannot hinder the robbing of their nests, express their grief and anger by hovering about them, and by mournful cries. And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people,.... With that ease as a man finds a nest of birds, and takes them:

and as one gathereth eggs that are left; by the bird, who not sitting upon them, there is none to protect them; whereas, when they are sat upon by the bird, she will flutter with her wings, and strike with her bill, and preserve them as well as she can:

have I gathered all the earth; the kingdoms and inhabitants of it, there being none to resist, or that dared to do it, as follows:

and there was none that moved the wing; as a bird will do, when its young or eggs are taken away from it:

or opened the mouth, or peeped; chattered, clucked, or expressed any grief, uneasiness, or resentment; the Targum is,

"that opened his mouth, and spoke a word.''

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. The magnificent simile represents the ease with which the Assyrians had rifled the countries of their treasures, and the panic terror which their approach everywhere produced.

or peeped] R.V. chirped; the same word as in Isaiah 8:19.Verse 14. - My hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people; rather, of the peoples. The Assyrians are fond of comparing their enemies to birds ('Records of the Past,' vol. 7. pp. 36, 62, etc.); but the exact metaphor here used does not, I believe, occur in the inscriptions. The nations' treasures are like eggs found in deserted nests, which the hunter gathers without any, even the slightest, risk. All the earth. Oriental hyperbole. Assyrian monarchs often say that they "have subdued all the races of men," or "carried the glory of their name to the ends of the earth," or "overthrown the armies of the whole world in battle." Peeped; rather, chirped (see note on Isaiah 8:19). None of the inhabitants offered even such feeble resistance as a bird makes when its nest is robbed. Asshur was to be an instrument of divine wrath upon all Israel; but it would exalt itself, and make itself the end instead of the means. Isaiah 10:7 "Nevertheless he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; for it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few." Asshur did not think so (lo'-cēn), i.e., not as he ought to think, seeing that his power over Israel was determined by Jehovah Himself. For what filled his heart was the endeavour, peculiar to the imperial power, to destroy not a few nations, i.e., as many nations as possible, for the purpose of extending his own dominions, and with the determination to tolerate no other independent nation, and the desire to deal with Judah as with all the rest. For Jehovah was nothing more in his esteem than one of the idols of the nations. Isaiah 10:8-11 "For he saith, Are not my generals all kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish, or Hamath as Arpad, or Samaria as Damascus? As my hand hath reached the kingdoms of the idols, and their graven images were more than those of Jerusalem and Samaria; shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, do likewise to Jerusalem and her idols?" The king of Asshur bore the title of the great king (Isaiah 36:4), and indeed, as we may infer from Ezekiel 26:7, that of the king of kings. The generals in his army he could call kings,

(Note: The question is expressed in Hebrew phraseology, since sar in Assyrian was a superior title to that of melek, as we may see from inscriptions and proper names.)

because the satraps

(Note: Satrapes is the old Persian (arrow-headed) khshatra (Sanscr. xatra) pâvan, i.e., keeper of government. Pâvan (nom. pâvâ), which occurs in the Zendik as an independent word pavan (nom. pavao) in the sense of sentry or watchman, is probably the original of the Hebrew pechâh (see Spiegel, in Kohler on Malachi 1:8).)

who led their several contingents were equal to kings in the extent and splendour of their government, and some of them were really conquered kings (cf., 2 Kings 25:28). He proudly asks whether every one of the cities named has not been as incapable as the rest, of offering a successful resistance to him. Carchemish is the later Circesium (Cercusium), at the junction of the Chaboras with the Euphrates (see above); Calno, the later Ctesiphon, on the left bank of the Tigris; Arpad (according to Mershid, i. p. 47, in the pashalic of Chaleb, i.e., Aleppo) and Hamath (i.e., Epiphania) were Syrian cities, the latter on the river Orontes, still a large and wealthy place. The king of Asshur had also already conquered Samaria, at the time when the prophet introduced him as uttering these words. Jerusalem, therefore, would be unable to resist him. As he had obtained possession of idolatrous kingdoms (ל מעא, to reach, as in Psalm 21:9 : hâ-'elil with the article indicating the genus), which had more idols than Jerusalem or than Samaria; so would he also overcome Jerusalem, which had just as few and just as powerless idols as Samaria had. Observe there that Isaiah 10:11 is the apodosis to Isaiah 10:10, and that the comparative clause of Isaiah 10:10 is repeated in Isaiah 10:11, for the purpose of instituting a comparison, more especially with Samaria and Jerusalem. The king of Asshur calls the gods of the nations by the simple name of idols, though the prophet does not therefore make him speak from his own Israelitish standpoint. On the contrary, the great sin of the king of Asshur consisted in the manner in which he spoke. For since he recognised no other gods than his own Assyrian national deities, he placed Jehovah among the idols of the nations, and, what ought particularly to be observed, with the other idols, whose worship had been introduced into Samaria and Jerusalem. But in this very fact there was so far consolation for the worshippers of Jehovah, that such blasphemy of the one living God would not remain unavenged; whilst for the worshipers of idols it contained a painful lesson, since their gods really deserved nothing better than that contempt should be heaped upon them. The prophet has now described the sin of Asshur. It was ambitious self-exaltation above Jehovah, amounting even to blasphemy. And yet he was only the staff of Jehovah, who could make use of him as He would.

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