|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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?
Verse 19. - The rest of the trees; i.e. these that escape the burning - shall be few; literally, a number; i.e. so few that their number shall be apparent.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few,.... Which were left unconsumed, that escaped this destruction, those of the Assyrian army that fled with Sennacherib their king; which, the Rabbins say (r), were no more than ten, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe; yea, some say there were but five left who escaped, and name them, Sennacherib and his two sons, Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuzaradan:
that a child may write them; count them, and take down their names; and it may be understood of a military muster, and the sense be, that the army should be reduced to so small a number by this stroke upon them, that there would be no need of an able muster master to take the account of them, a child would be equal to such a task. The Targum is,
"and the rest of his warriors shall fail, that the people shall be a small number, and shall be reckoned a weak kingdom.''
(r) T. Bab. ib. fol. 95. 2. Praefat. Echa Rabbati, fol. 41. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. rest—those who shall survive the destruction of the host.
his forest—same image as in Isa 10:18, for the once dense army.
child … write—so few that a child might count them.
Isaiah 10:19 Parallel Commentaries
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