Isaiah 10:22
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
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(22) Though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea.—The word “remnant” has, however, its aspect of severity as well as of promise. Men are not to expect that they, the hypocrites and evil-doers, shall escape their punishment. The promise of restoration is for the remnant only. (Comp. St. Paul’s application of the text in Romans 9:27-28).

The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.—Literally, a finished (or final) work, decisive, overflowing with righteousness. A like phrase meets us again in Isaiah 28:22; Daniel 9:27. The “finished work” is that of God’s judgment, and it “overflows with righteousness” at once punitive and corrective.

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.For though ... - In this verse, and in Isaiah 10:23. the prophet expresses positively the idea that "but" a remnant of the people should be preserved amidst the calamities. He had said Isaiah 10:20-21, that a remnant should return to God. He now carries forward the idea, and states that only a remnant should be preserved out of the multitude, however great it was. Admitting that the number was then very great, yet the great mass of the nation would be cut off, and only a small portion would remain.

Thy people Israel - Or rather, 'thy people, O Israel,' making it a direct address to the Jews, rather than to God.

Be as the sand of the sea - The sands of the sea cannot be numbered, and hence, the expression is used in the Bible to denote a number indefinitely great: Psalm 119:18; Genesis 22:17; Genesis 41:49; Joshua 11:4; Judges 7:12; 1 Samuel 13:5, ...

Yet a remnant - The word "yet" has been supplied by the translators, and evidently obscures the sense. The idea is, that a remnant only - a very small portion of the whole, should be preserved. Though they were exceedingly numerous as a nation, yet the mass of the nation would be cut off, or carried into captivity, and only a few would be left.

Shall return - That is, shall be saved from destruction, and return by repentance unto God, Isaiah 10:21. Or, if it has reference to the approaching captivity of the nation, it means that but a few of them would return from captivity to the land of their fathers.

The consumption - The general sense of this is plain. The prophet is giving a reason why only a few of them would return, and he says, that the judgment which God had determined on was inevitable, and would overflow the land in justice. As God had determined this, their numbers availed nothing, but the consumption would be certainly accomplished. The word "consumption" כליון kilāyôn from כלה kâlâh to complete, to finish, to waste away, vanish, disappear) denotes a languishing, or wasting away, as in disease; and then "destruction," or that which "completes" life and prosperity. It denotes such a series of judgments as would be a "completion" of the national prosperity, or as should terminate it entirely.

Decreed - צריץ chârı̂yts. The word used here is derived from חרץ chârats, to sharpen, or bring to a point; to rend, tear, lacerate; to be quick, active, diligent; and then to decide, determine, decree; because that which is decreed is brought to a point, or issue. - "Taylor." It evidently means here, that it was fixed upon or decreed in the mind of God, and that being thus decreed, it must certainly take place.

Shall overflow - שׁטף shoṭēph. This word is usually applied to an inundation, when a stream rises above its banks and overflows the adjacent land; Isaiah 30:28; Isaiah 66:12; Psalm 78:20. Here it means evidently, that the threatened judgment would spread like an overflowing river through the land, and would accomplish the devastation which God had determined.

With righteousness - With justice, or in the infliction of justice. justice would abound or overflow, and the consequence would be, that the nation would be desolated.

22. yet—rather in the sense in which Paul quotes it (Ro 9:27), "Though Israel be now numerous as the sand, a remnant only of them shall return"—the great majority shall perish. The reason is added, Because "the consumption (fully completed destruction) is decreed (literally, decided on, brought to an issue), it overfloweth (Isa 30:28; 8:8) with justice"; that is, the infliction of just punishment (Isa 5:16) [Maurer]. Israel; or, O Israel; to whom by an apostrophe he directeth his speech.

A remnant; or, a remnant only, as before; for that this is a threatening in respect of some, as well as a promise in respect of others, is evident from the rest of this and from the following verse.

The consumption decreed shall overflow; the destruction of the people of Israel was already decreed or determined (as it is in the next verse) by the fixed counsel of God, and therefore must needs be executed, and like a deluge overflow them.

With righteousness, as this word is rendered, Romans 9:28; the preposition in or with being here understood, as it is every where. And this is added, to show, that although this judgment of God may seem very severe, yet it is most just, not only by the laws of strict and rigid justice, but even by the rules of equity and clemency, as this word oft signifies, inasmuch as he hath spared a considerable remnant of them, when he might have destroyed, them utterly. And so this word is added as a reason why a remnant, and why but a remnant, should return, because God would both glorify his justice, and manifest his mercy. And in this mixed sense the apostle seems to expound this place, Romans 9:27,28.

For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea,.... These words are spoken either by the Lord to the prophet, calling Israel his people; or by the prophet to Hezekiah, as Jarchi and Kimchi think; or they may be rendered thus, "for though thy people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea" (s); that is, innumerable, as was promised to Abraham, Genesis 22:17,

yet a remnant of them shall return; or "be converted in it" (t), to the Messiah; or "be saved", as the apostle interprets it; see Gill on Romans 9:27; a remnant is a few, as Kimchi explains it, out of a great number: it signifies, that the majority of the Jewish nation should reject the Messiah, only a few of them should believe in him; and these should certainly believe in him, and be saved by him; and that for the following reason, because

the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness; that is, the precise and absolute decree, concerning the salvation of the remnant, God will cause to overflow, or abundantly execute, in a righteous manner, consistent with his divine perfections; and so it makes for the comfort of the remnant of the Lord's people, agreeably to the intent of the apostle's citation of it; see Gill on Romans 9:28; though some understand it of God's punitive justice, in consuming and destroying the greater part of the Jewish people, the ungodly among them, and saving a remnant, which return and repent; and to this sense are the Targum, and the Jewish commentators.

(s) "Nam etsi fuerit populus tuus, O Israel, sicut arena maris", Piscator. (t) "convertetur in eo", Montanus, Cocceius.

For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the full end {q} decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

(q) This small number which seemed to be consumed and yet according to God's decree is saved, will be sufficient to fill all the world with righteousness.

22. “For though thy population, O Israel, should be as the sand of the sea, (only) a remnant in it shall turn (and be saved).” (Cf. Hosea 1:10; Genesis 22:17.)

the consumption decreed … righteousness] Render: extermination is decreed overflowing in righteousness. The “extermination” is the judgment which reduces the teeming population of Israel to a mere remnant; this will be an overwhelming manifestation of Jehovah’s judicial righteousness (see on ch. Isaiah 1:27). It seems impossible to take this clause in a consolatory sense, as if the verb “decreed” expressed the limitation fixed for the judgment. The very similar phraseology of the next verse, compared with ch. Isaiah 28:22, shews that the threatening aspect of the decree is prominent.

Isaiah 10:23. The verse reads: For an extermination and a decisive work is the Lord Jehovah of Hosts about to execute in the midst of the whole earth (or land): cf. ch. Isaiah 28:22. The phrase “extermination and decisive work” is repeated in Daniel 9:27 (cf. Daniel 11:36). The word for “decisive” is from the verb rendered “decreed” in last verse.

Isaiah 10:24-27. In view of this ultimate prospect, the prophet turns with a message of consolation to the believing kernel of the nation.

Verses 22, 23. - These verses are exegetical of the term "remnant," and bring out its full force. The promise had been made to Abraham that his seed should be "like the sand of the sea for multitude" (Genesis 22:17). This promise had been fulfilled (1 Kings 4:20); but now the sins of the people would produce a reversal of it. It would be a remnant, and only a remnant, of the nation that would escape. Judah would have to make a fresh start as from a new beginning (see Ezra 2:64). Verse 22. - The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness; rather, the consummation (Daniel 9:27) determined on is one that overflows with righteousness (comp. Isaiah 28:22). The prophet means that God is about to visit the land in such a spirit of severe justice that it cannot be expected that more than a remnant will survive the awful visitation. Isaiah 10:22To Him the remnant of Israel would turn, but only the remnant. "For if thy people were even as the sea-sand, the remnant thereof will turn: destruction is firmly determined, flowing away righteousness. For the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, completes the finishing stroke and that which is firmly determined, within the whole land." As the words are not preceded by any negative clause, ci 'im are not combined in the sense of sed or nisi; but they belong to two sentences, and signify nam si (for if). If the number of the Israelites were the highest that had been promised, only the remnant among them, or of them (bō partitive, like the French en), would turn, or, as the nearer definition ad Deum is wanting here, come back to their right position. With regard to the great mass, destruction was irrevocably determined (râchatz, τέμνειν, then to resolve upon anything, ἀποτόμως, 1 Kings 20:40); and this destruction "overflowed with righteousness," or rather "flowed on (shōtēph, as in Isaiah 28:18) righteousness," i.e., brought forth righteousness as it flowed onwards, so that it was like a swell of the penal righteousness of God (shâtaph, with the accusative, according to Ges. 138, Anm. 2). That cillâyōn is not used here in the sense of completion any more than in Deuteronomy 28:65, is evident from Isaiah 10:23, where câlâh (fem. of câleh, that which vanishes, then the act of vanishing, the end) is used interchangeably with it, and necherâtzâh indicates judgment as a thing irrevocably decided (as in Isaiah 28:22, and borrowed from these passages in Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36). Such a judgment of extermination the almighty Judge had determined to carry fully out (‛ōseh in the sense of a fut. instans) within all the land (b'kereb, within, not b'thok, in the midst of), that is to say, one that would embrace the whole land and all the people, and would destroy, if not every individual without exception, at any rate the great mass, except a very few.
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