Isaiah 10:24
Therefore thus said the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite you with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against you, after the manner of Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) O my people . . . be not afraid of the Assyrian.—The practical conclusion of all that has been said is, that the people should not give way to panic as they had done in the days of Ahaz (Isaiah 7:2), but should abide the march of Sargon, or his successor, with the tranquillity of faith. They were not to faint beneath the blows of the “rod” and “staff,” even though it were to reproduce the tyranny of Egypt. In that very phrase, “after the manner of Egypt,” there was a ground of hope, for the cruelty of Pharaoh was followed by the Exodus. As the later Jewish proverb had it, “When the tale of bricks is doubled, then Moses is born.”

Isaiah 10:24. Therefore, &c. — We have here the fourth part of the enarration, or unfolding of the proposition, mentioned Isaiah 10:5, namely, the application of it to the consolation of the people of God: to which, having digressed a little, the prophet returns, it being the true and proper scope of his discourse, to comfort the pious with respect to the evils that threatened their republic. The words are an inference, not from the verses immediately foregoing, but from the whole prophecy: as if he had said, Seeing the Assyrian shall be destroyed, and the remnant of my people preserved and restored, thus saith the Lord God of hosts — The Lord of all the armies of earth and heaven, the God superior to all human, yea, to all crested power; O my people that dwellest in Zion — Where I dwell; where are the ordinances of my worship and service, my temple, my priests; the thrones of justice which I have established, and the princes of the house of David mine anointed; where my people assemble to worship me, and where I am present to defend them: Be not afraid of the Assyrian — A man that shall die, the son of man that shall be as grass; forgetting the Lord thy maker, that stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. With his staff indeed shall he smite thee, (as Bishop Lowth translates it,) and his rod shall he lift up against thee. He shall threaten and correct, yea, afflict thee, but not destroy thee; after the manner of Egypt — As the Egyptians formerly did, and with the same ill success to themselves, and comfortable issue to you.10:20-34 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, ver. 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.Therefore ... - In this verse the prophet returns to the main subject of this prophecy, which is to comfort the people of Jerusalem with the assurance that the army of the Assyrian would be destroyed.

O my people - An expression of tenderness, showing that God regarded them as his children, and notwithstanding the judgments that he would bring upon them for their sins In the midst of severe judgments, God speaks the language of tenderness; and, even when he punishes, has toward his people the feelings of a father; Hebrews 12:5-11.

That dwelleth in Zion - literally, in mount Zion; but here taken for the whole city of Jerusalem; see the note at Isaiah 1:8.

Be not afraid ... - For his course shall be arrested, and he shall be repelled and punished; Isaiah 10:25-27.

He shall smite thee - He shall, indeed, smite thee, but shall not utterly destroy thee.

And shall lift up his staff - Note, Isaiah 10:5. The "staff" here is regarded as an instrument of punishment; compare the note at Isaiah 9:4; and the sense is, that by his invasion, and by his exactions, he would oppress and punish the nation.

After the manner of Egypt - Hebrew, 'In the way of Egypt.' Some interpreters have supposed that this means that Sennacherib would oppress and afflict the Jews in his going down to Egypt, or on his way there to attack the Egyptians. But the more correct interpretation is that which is expressed in our translation - "after the manner of Egypt." That is, the nature of his oppressions shall be like those which the Egyptians under Pharaoh inflicted on the Jews. There are "two" ideas evidently implied here.

(1) That the oppression would be heavy and severe. Those which their fathers experienced in Egypt were exceedingly burdensome and cruel. So it would be in the calamities that the Assyrian would bring upon them. But,

(2) Their fathers had been delivered from the oppressions of the Egyptians. And so it would be now. The Assyrian would oppress them; but God would deliver and save them. The phrase, 'in the way of,' is used to denote "after the manner of," or, as an example, in Amos 4:10, 'I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt;' Hebrew, 'In the way of Egypt;' compare Ezekiel 20:30.

24. Therefore—Return to the main proposition, Assyria's ultimate punishment, though employed as God's "rod" to chastise Judea for a time.

O my people—God's tenderness towards His elect nation.

after the manner of Egypt—as Egypt and Pharaoh oppressed thee. Implying, too, as Israel was nevertheless delivered from them, so now it would be from the Assyrian Sennacherib. The antithesis in Isa 10:26 requires this interpretation [Maurer].

Therefore: this is an inference, not from the words immediately foregoing, but from the whole prophecy. Seeing the Assyrian shall be destroyed, and a remnant of my people preserved and restored.

In Zion; in Jerusalem, which is frequently called Zion, as Psalm 48:12 87:2 Isaiah 1:8,27 33:20, &c.; which he mentions, because this was the principal object of the Assyrians’ design and rage, and there were the temple, and thrones of justice, and the king and his princes, and multitudes had fled thither from the Assyrian.

He shall smite thee with a rod; he shall afflict thee, but not destroy thee. Compare 1 Kings 12:11.

After the manner of Egypt; as the Egyptians formerly did, and with the same ill success to themselves, and comfortable issue to you. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts,.... Since there is such a decree, and this will certainly be executed:

O my people, that dwellest in Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem; such of them especially as feared the Lord, and worshipped him, and served him in the temple:

be not afraid of the Assyrian: the king of Assyria; neither Sennacherib, that threatened them with ruin, having taken the cities of Judah, and laid siege to Jerusalem; nor Nebuchadnezzar, who carried them captive, since he would not be able utterly to destroy them, they would return and dwell in the land again; for there was a decree concerning the salvation of a remnant, which would certainly take place; and till that was executed, it was impossible the nation should be destroyed.

He shall smite thee with a rod; be an instrument of chastising and correcting, but not of destroying; Jarchi interprets it of smiting with the rod of his mouth, by means of Rabshakeh reproaching, and blaspheming:

and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt; which Kimchi explains of the tribute the Assyrians exacted of them, in like manner as the Egyptians set taskmasters over them, and afflicted them with hard bondage, in Egypt: the sense is, that though the Assyrians should annoy and distress them, yet should not utterly consume them; there would be an end of their oppression, and a deliverance out of it; even as when they were in Egypt, and oppressed there, the Lord appeared for them, and supported them, and at length saved them, and so he would now. Mention is made of a rod and a staff, in allusion to what the Assyrian is said to be in the hand of the Lord, Isaiah 10:5.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of {s} Egypt.

(s) As the Egyptians punished you.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. O my people that dwellest in Zion] Cf. ch. Isaiah 14:32, Isaiah 30:19. Dwelling in Zion is the emblem of security, since it is there that Jehovah will beat back and destroy the Assyrian (Isaiah 10:32-34).

he shall smite thee … and shall lift up …] These are relative clauses attached to “the Assyrian.” Render: who smites thee … and lifts up his staff, &c. (cf. Isaiah 9:4).

after the manner of Egypt] As the Egyptians did in the time of the Oppression, Exodus 5 (cf. for the expressions Amos 4:10).

Isaiah 10:25. For yet a very little while] Cf. ch. Isaiah 29:17, (Isaiah 16:14).

and mine anger in their destruction] A more grammatical rendering would be: and mine anger (is directed) to their (the Assyrians’) annihilation. The two clauses of the verse appear to be antithetical; indignation (against Israel) comes to an end, wrath (against Assyria) culminates in its utter destruction.

Isaiah 10:26. For stir up for him render brandish over him, a sense authenticated by 2 Samuel 23:18.

according to the slaughter … Oreb] Transl. like the smiting of Midian at the rock Oreb. For the incident referred to, see Jdg 7:25 (cf. Psalm 83:9; Psalm 83:11; Isaiah 9:4).

and as his rod … Egypt] To be paraphrased thus: “and his rod (which was stretched out) over the (Red) Sea (at the Exodus from Egypt), he shall lift up as it was lifted up to destroy the Egyptians.” The last phrase is used in effective antithesis to the use in Isaiah 10:24.

Isaiah 10:27. The figures of the burden and the yoke are combined exactly as in ch. Isaiah 14:25.

and the yoke … anointing] A very difficult sentence. The closest rendering is that of the margin of R.V.: and the yoke shall be destroyed by reason of fatness. This has usually been interpreted to mean that the animal (Judah) will “wax fat and kick” (Deuteronomy 32:15) and break its yoke; or that its increasing fatness will burst the yoke on its neck (a very odd comparison!). Neither of these senses is at all tolerable; according to Isaiah’s teaching the prosperity of the nation only commences after Jehovah has destroyed the Assyrian yoke. Dillmann’s interpretation—Judah will become so vigorous after its emancipation that no one will ever think of putting it under the yoke again—is equally unsatisfying. The text is almost certainly corrupt, and of the various emendations that have been proposed the most plausible are those which find in the clause a mutilated introduction to Isaiah 10:28-32. Prof. Robertson Smith has suggested instead of the last four words: יחרל ׃עלה מצפון שרד. The twenty-seventh verse would end with the first word (“the yoke shall cease from off thy neck”), and the next would begin thus: “A destroyer comes up from the north; he comes to Aiath, &c.” The alterations are considerable, but undoubtedly we thus obtain a suitable commencement to the sketch of the Assyrian advance. Duhm follows on the same lines, but reads, “he comes up from Pene-Rimmon” (i.e. the Rock Rimmon, a few miles north of Aiath, Jdg 20:45). This however plunges us in medias res as abruptly as before.

Isaiah 10:28-32. A free delineation (mostly in prophetic perfects) of the march of an Assyrian army towards Jerusalem. The verses are not to be taken as a prediction that the enemy will actually come by this route, still less of course are they an oraculum post eventum. They simply present a graphic picture of the unresting energy and eagerness of an Assyrian army, and the ease with which it might invade Judah from the north now that Samaria has fallen. And this is done in order to introduce the assurance that when the invader does come, and the prize is just within his grasp, Jehovah will smite him down (Isaiah 10:33 ff.). A passage of very similar character is Micah 1:10-16.

The strategic point in the itinerary here sketched is the Pass of Michmash, the scene of Jonathan’s famous exploit against the Philistines (1 Samuel 14), and at this time probably marking the northern frontier of the kingdom of Judah. It is situated in the modern Wadi Suweinît, and is guarded by the villages of Michmash on the north and Geba on the south. The road from Michmash crosses the valley in a south-westerly direction, and about midway between Michmash and Geba (the whole distance is about two miles) traverses an extremely narrow defile, where a large army might easily be checked by a handful of resolute defenders, In Isaiah 10:28 f. Isaiah alludes to the precautions that would naturally be taken to secure a safe passage of this difficult ravine.

Isaiah 10:28. He comes upon Aiath] ‘Ayyath (cf. 1 Chronicles 7:28 [R.V. marg.]; Nehemiah 11:31) is no doubt the ancient ‘Ai, and was probably two miles N.W. from Michmash.

Migron] The only known place of this name lay on the south side of the pass (1 Samuel 14:2). Prof. Robertson Smith thinks the operation indicated is the seizing of this post on the southern side by a coup de main before attempting to lead the main army through the defile. Most other commentators, however, hold that some place, not to be certainly identified, between Ai and Michmash is intended.

laid up his carriages] R.V. layeth up his baggage, deposits his impedimenta. “Carriages” in old English means of course not that in which one is carried, but that which one carries (cf. Acts 21:15).

Isaiah 10:29. They go through the pass; they make Geba their encampment for the night. The latter clause might also be translated as the eager cry of the Assyrians: “Geba is our night quarters.” From this point the road to Jerusalem lies open; hence the remaining verses simply describe the terror spread amongst the villages along the route of the Assyrians. Ramah (Er-Râm) is less than two miles due west of Geba, Gibeah of Saul is probably Tulêl el-Fûl, about halfway between that place and Jerusalem.Verse 24. - O my people... be not afraid. God now addresses those who are faithful to him among the people; they have no need to fear - he will bring them safely through all the coming troubles. He shall smite thee; rather, if he smite thee; or, though he smite thee. After the manner of Egypt; i.e. as the Egyptians did in the oppression that preceded the Exodus. The yoke of Assyria was heavy even upon the nations that submitted to her. She claimed to march her armies through their territories at her pleasure, and probably pressed men and cattle into her service. She exacted a heavy tribute, and otherwise "distressed" her many vassals. "And the glory of his forest and his garden-ground will He destroy, even to soul and flesh, so that it is as when a sick man dieth. And the remnant of the trees of his forest can be numbered, and a boy could write them." The army of Asshur, composed as it was of many and various nations, was a forest (ya‛ar); and, boasting as it did of the beauty of both men and armour, a garden ground (carmel), a human forest and park. Hence the idea of "utterly" is expressed in the proverbial "even to soul and flesh," which furnishes the occasion for a leap to the figure of the wasting away of a נסס (hap. leg. the consumptive man, from nâsas, related to nūsh, 'ânash, Syr. n‛sı̄so, n‛shisho, a sick man, based upon the radical notion of melting away, cf., mâsas, or of reeling to and fro, cf., mūt, nūt, Arab. nâsa, nâta). Only a single vital spark would still glimmer in the gigantic and splendid colossus, and with this its life would threaten to become entirely extinct. Or, what is the same thing, only a few trees of the forest, such as could be easily numbered (mispâr as in Deuteronomy 33:6, cf., Isaiah 21:17), would still remain, yea, so few, that a boy would be able to count and enter them. And this really came to pass. Only a small remnant of the army that marched against Jerusalem ever escaped. With this small remnant of an all-destroying power the prophet now contrasts the remnant of Israel, which is the seed of a new power that is about to arise.
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