Isaiah 30:31
For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) Shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.—Better, and He (Jehovah) shall smite with the rod. Asshur appears as the foremost and most dreaded enemy of Judah. The prediction points to the destruction of the armies of Sennacherib.

30:27-33 God curbs and restrains from doing mischief. With a word he guides his people into the right way, but with a bridle he turns his enemies upon their own ruin. Here, in threatening the ruin of Sennacherib's army, the prophet points at the final and everlasting destruction of all impenitent sinners. Tophet was a valley near Jerusalem, where fires were continually burning to destroy things that were hurtful and offensive, and there the idolatrous Jews caused their children to pass through the fire to Moloch. This denotes the certainty of the destruction, as an awful emblem of the place of torment in the other world. No oppressor shall escape the Divine wrath. Let sinners then flee to Christ, seeking to be reconciled to Him, that they may be safe and happy, when destruction from the Almighty shall sweep away all the workers of iniquity.For through the voice of the - Lord By the command of the Lord; that is, his voice going forth in the manner specified in Isaiah 30:30.

Which smote with a rod - Who was accustomed to smite as with a rod; that is, his government was tyrannical and severe. As he had been accustomed to smite in that manner, so he would now meet the proper reward of his oppression of the nations.

31. The Assyrian rod which beat shall itself be beaten, and that by the mere voice of the Lord, that is, an unseen divine agency (Isa 10:5, 24). The voice of the Lord; that voice mentioned in the last verse.

Which smote with a rod; which was the rod wherewith God smote his and other people, Isaiah 10:5,6. He who used to smite others shall now be smitten himself. Or, as the words may be, and by others are, rendered, he (the Lord last mentioned) shall smite him with a rod, or with his rod. For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down,.... As anything is by a storm of thunder, lightning, hail, and rain: or "fear", or be "affrighted", as the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it; Sennacherib, the Assyrian monarch, and that part of his army which escaped, though not destroyed by it, were put into the utmost consternation: this shows that the prophecy in the context refers to the overthrow of the Assyrian army by the angel, when besieging Jerusalem in Hezekiah's time; though the Assyrian is sometimes used for any enemy of God's people at other times, particularly antichrist, and especially the eastern antichrist, the Turk:

which smote with a rod; other nations, particularly the Jews, whom the Assyrian is expressly said to smite with a rod; and because he was an instrument in God's hand for the chastising of that people, he is called the rod of his anger, Isaiah 10:5 but now he that smote shall be smitten himself; him whom God used as a rod to correct others, he will smite with his rod, for his own correction: for this may be understood of God, and be rendered thus, "with a rod, he", that is, God, "shall smite" the Assyrian, as before; so Aben Ezra and Kimchi. The Targum interprets the "rod" of dominion.

For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, who smote with a {c} rod.

(c) God's plague.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. Assyria is here named for the first time as the object of the judgment. The voice of Jehovah is the thunder, as in Isaiah 30:30. For beaten down render panic-stricken.

which smote with a rod] (cf. ch. Isaiah 10:24) Or “when He (Jehovah) smites with the rod.”Verse 31. - For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down; rather, for at the voice of the Lord shall Assyria be dismayed (compare the first clause of ver. 30). Which smote with a rod; rather, with the rod will he (i.e. Jehovah) smite. The promise, after setting forth this act of penitence, rises higher and higher; it would not stop at bread in time of need. "And He gives rain to thy seed, with which thou sowest the land; and bread of the produce of the land, and it is full of sap and fat: in that day your flocks will feed in roomy pastures. And the oxen and the young asses, which work the land, salted mash will they eat, which is winnowed with the winnowing shovel and winnowing fork! And upon every high mountain, and every hill that rises high, there are springs, brooks in the day of the great massacre, when the towers fall." The blessing which the prophet depicts is the reverse of the day of judgment, and stands in the foreground when the judgment is past. The expression "in that day" fixes, as it were, the evening of the day of judgment, which is followed by the depicted morning of blessing. But the great mass of the Jewish nation would be first of all murdered in war; the towers must fall, i.e., (though without any figure, and merely as an exemplifying expression) all the bulwarks of self-confidence, self-help, and pride (Isaiah 2:15; Micah 5:9-10). In the place of the self-induced calamities of war, there would now come the God-given rich blessings of peace; and in the place of the proud towers, there would come fruitful heights abounding with water. The field would be cultivated again, and produce luxuriant crops of nutritious corn; so that not only the labour of man, but that of the animals also, would receive a rich reward. "Rain to thy seed:" this is the early rain commencing about the middle of October. אשׁר as an accusative, זרע being construed with a double accusative, as in Deuteronomy 22:9. מקניך might be the singular, so far as the form is concerned (see Isaiah 1:30; Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 22:11); but, according to Exodus 17:3, it must be taken as a plural, like מוריך. The 'ălâphı̄m are the oxen used in ploughing and threshing; the ‛ăyârı̄m, the asses used for carrying manure, soil, the sheaves, or the grain. Belı̄l châmı̄ts is a mash (composed of oats, barley, and vetches, or things of that kind) made more savoury with salt and sour vegetables;

(Note: Such as Salsola kali, Salsola tragus, Salsola soda, and other plants of the family of the chenopodiaceae.)

that is to say, a farrago (from bâlal, to mix; Comm. on Job, at Job 40:19-24). According to Wetzstein, it is ripe barley (unthreshed during the harvest and threshing time, and the grain itself for the rest of the year) mixed with salt or salt vegetables. In any case, belı̄l is to be understood as referring to the grain; this is evident from the relative clause, "which has been winnowed" ( equals mezōreh, Ewald, 169, d), or perhaps more correctly, "which he (one) winnows" (part. kal), the participle standing for the third person, with the subject contained within itself (Ewald, 200), i.e., not what was generally given from economy, viz., barley, etc., mixed with chopped straw (tibn), but pure grain (habb mahd, as they say at the present day). Rachath is a winnowing shovel, which is still used, according to Wetzstein, in Merj. Gedur, and Hauran; mizreh, on the other hand, is the winnowing fork with six prongs. Dainty food, such as was only given occasionally to the cattle, as something especially strengthening, would then be their regular food, and would be prepared in the most careful manner. "Who cannot see," exclaims Vitringa, "that this is to be taken spiritually?" He appeals to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:9, viz., that God does not trouble Himself about oxen. But Paul did not mean this in the same sense as Aristotle, who maintained that the minima were entirely excluded from the providence of God. What the Scriptures say concerning cattle, they do not say for the sake of the cattle, but for the sake of men; though it does not follow that the cattle are to be understood figuratively, as representing men. And this is the case here. What the prophet paints in this idyllic style, in colours furnished by the existing customs,

(Note: Asses particularly, even those of a guest, are generally very much neglected. The host throws them a little grass, and then hangs up the fodder-sack full of chopped straw; and it is a sign of extraordinary hospitality of corn is given to the asses as well as to the horses. - Wetzstein.)

is not indeed intended to be understood in the letter; and yet it is to be taken literally. In the age of glory, even on this side of eternity, a gigantic stride will be taken forward towards the glorification of universal nature, and towards the end of all those sighs which are so discernible now, more especially among domestic animals. The prophecy is therefore to be interpreted according to Romans 8:19.; from which we may clearly see that God does trouble Himself about the sighing of an ox or ass that is overburdened with severe toil, and sometimes left to starve.

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