Isaiah 10:11
Shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?
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(11) Shall I not, as I have done . . .—The verse gives the occasion of Isaiah’s utterance. Sargon was threatening Jerusalem, probably in the early years of Hezekiah’s reign. The inscriptions show, as Isaiah 20:1 also does, that he made war against Philistia and besieged Ashdod (Records of the Past, vii. 40).

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?Shall I not ... - 'Shall I not meet with the same success at Jerusalem that I have elsewhere? As I have overcome all others and as Jerusalem has no particular advantages; as the gods of other nations were more in number, and mightier than those of Jerusalem, and yet were unable to resist me; what is there in Jerusalem that can stay my progress?' 10, 11. found—unable to resist me: hath overcome (so Ps 21:8).

and whose—rather, "and their." This clause, down to "Samaria," is parenthetical.

excel—were more powerful. He regards Jerusalem as idolatrous, an opinion which it often had given too much ground for: Jehovah was in his view the mere local god of Judea, as Baal of the countries where it was adored, nay, inferior in power to some national gods (Isa 36:19, 20; 37:12). See in opposition, Isa 37:20; 46:1.

As my hand … shall I not, as I have—a double protasis. Agitation makes one accumulate sentences.

I shall certainly do it, and neither God nor man can hinder me. Shall I not, as I have done to Samaria, and her idols,.... Kimchi observes, that what is said in the preceding verses was said before Samaria was taken, but this after it was taken:

so do to Jerusalem, and her idols; he had taken Samaria, and carried the ten tribes captive, and now his eye was upon Judah and Jerusalem; and such was his insolence, impiety, and blasphemy, that he reckons the true God, whom the Jews worshipped, among the idols of the Gentiles, and upon a level with them, if not inferior to them, especially to his own idol, and thought himself superior to him.

Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?
11. But Samaria has fallen, her idols have not saved her; how then can Jerusalem escape, who trusts in the same deity? Samaria and her idols (nonentities) … Jerusalem and her idols (images).Verse 11. - Shall I not... so do to Jerusalem and her idols? The speaker ignores the fact of any difference in kind between the religion of Judaea and that of the neighboring countries. He speaks as if he knew nothing of any religion without idols. No doubt Assyrian ideas on the subject of the religion of the Jews were at this time, as they were even later (2 Kings 18:22), exceedingly vague and incorrect. The law of contrast prevails in prophecy, as it does also in the history of salvation. When distress is at its height, it is suddenly brought to an end, and changed into relief; and when prophecy has become as black with darkness as in the previous section, it suddenly becomes as bright and cloudless as in that which is opening now. The hoi (woe) pronounced upon Israel becomes a hoi upon Asshur. Proud Asshur, with its confidence in its own strength, after having served for a time as the goad of Jehovah's wrath, now falls a victim to that wrath itself. Its attack upon Jerusalem leads to its own overthrow; and on the ruins of the kingdom of the world there rises up the kingdom of the great and righteous Son of David, who rules in peace over His redeemed people, and the nations that rejoice in Him: - the counterpart of the redemption from Egypt, and one as rich in materials for songs of praise as the passage through the Red Sea. The Messianic prophecy, which turns its darker side towards unbelief in chapter 7, and whose promising aspect burst like a great light through the darkness in Isaiah 8:5-9:6, is standing now upon its third and highest stage. In chapter 7 it is like a star in the night; in Isaiah 8:5-9:6, like the morning dawn; and now the sky is perfectly cloudless, and it appears like the noonday sun. The prophet has now penetrated to the light fringe of Isaiah 6:1-13. The name Shear-yashub, having emptied itself of all the curse that it contained, is now transformed into a pure promise. And it becomes perfectly clear what the name Immanuel and the name given to Immanuel, El gibbor (mighty God), declared. The remnant of Israel turns to God the mighty One; and God the mighty is henceforth with His people in the Sprout of Jesse, who has the seven Spirits of God dwelling within Himself. So far as the date of composition is concerned, the majority of the more recent commentators agree in assigning it to the time of Hezekiah, because Isaiah 10:9-11 presupposes the destruction of Samaria by Shalmanassar, which took place in the sixth year of Hezekiah. But it was only from the prophet's point of view that this event was already past; it had not actually taken place. The prophet had already predicted that Samaria, and with Samaria the kingdom of Israel, would succumb to the Assyrians, and had even fixed the years (Isaiah 7:8 and Isaiah 8:4, Isaiah 8:7). Why, then, should he not be able to presuppose it here as an event already past? The stamp on this section does not tally at all with that of Isaiah's prophecy in the times of Hezekiah; whereas, on the other hand, it forms so integral a link in the prophetic cycle in chapters 7-12, and is interwoven in so many ways with that which precedes, and of which it forms both the continuation and crown, that we have no hesitation in assigning it, with Vitringa, Caspari, and Drechsler, to the first three years of the reign of Ahaz, though without deciding whether it preceded or followed the destruction of the two allies by Tiglath-pileser. It is by no means impossible that it may have preceded it.

The prophet commences with hoi (woe!), which is always used as an expression of wrathful indignation to introduce the proclamation of judgment upon the person named; although, as in the present instance, this may not always follow immediately (cf., Isaiah 1:4, Isaiah 1:5-9), but may be preceded by the announcement of the sin by which the judgment had been provoked. In the first place, Asshur is more particularly indicated as the chosen instrument of divine judgment upon all Israel. "Woe to Asshur, the rod of mine anger, and it is a staff in their hand, mine indignation. Against a wicked nation will I send them, and against the people of my wrath give them a charge, to spoil spoil, and to prey prey, to make it trodden down like street-mire." "Mine indignation:" za‛mi is either a permutation of the predicative הוּא, which is placed emphatically in the foreground (compare the אתּה־הּוּא in Jeremiah 14:22, which is also written with makkeph), as we have translated it, though without taking הוּא as a copula ( equals est), as Ewald does; or else בידם הוּא is written elliptically for בידם הוּא אשׁר, "the staff which they hold is mine indignation" (Ges., Rosenmller, and others), in which case, however, we should rather expect הוא זעמי בידם ומטה. It is quite inadmissible, however, to take za‛mi as a separate genitive to matteh, and to point the latter with zere, as Knobel has done; a thing altogether unparalleled in the Hebrew language.

(Note: In the Arabic, such a separation does occur as a poetical licence (see De Sacy, Gramm. t. ii.270).)

The futures in Isaiah 10:6 are to be taken literally; for what Asshur did to Israel in the sixty year of Hezekiah's reign, and to Judah in his fourteenth year, was still in the future at the time when Isaiah prophesied. Instead of וּלשׂימו the keri has וּלשׂוּמו, the form in which the infinitive is written in other passages when connected with suffixes (see, on the other hand, 2 Samuel 14:7). "Trodden down:" mirmas with short a is the older form, which was retained along with the other form with the a lengthened by the tone (Ewald 160, c).

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