Isaiah 10:27
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
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(27) The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing . . .—The English, as it stands, is scarcely intelligible, but suggests the idea that the “anointing” was that which marked out the kings and priests of Judah as a consecrated people, and the remembrance of which would lead Jehovah to liberate them from bondage. Most commentators, however, render “by reason of the fat,” the implied figure being that of a bullock which grows so fat that the yoke will no longer go round his neck, as the symbol of a people waxing strong and asserting its freedom. Comp. “Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked” (Deuteronomy 32:15).

Isaiah 10:27. In that day his burden shall be taken away, &c. — The burden imposed on the Jews by the Assyrian. They shall not only be eased of the Assyrian army, now quartered upon them, and which was a grievous yoke and burden on them; but they shall no more pay that tribute to the king of Assyria which, before this invasion, he had exacted from them, 2 Kings 18:14; shall no longer be at his service, nor lie at his mercy, as they had done; nor shall he ever again put the country under contribution. Perhaps, as some think, the promise may look to the deliverance of the Jews from the captivity of Babylon, if not also to the redemption of believers from the tyranny of sin and Satan. Because of the anointing — Hebrew, מפני שׁמן, literally, Because of, from before, or, from the presence of, the oil, ointment, or fatness. Leigh says, “Est nomen generale ad omnem pinguedinem sive naturalem, sive conditam: It is a general name for every kind of fatness, whether natural or artificial.” Hence some translate the sentence, “The yoke shall be loosed because of the fatness;” supposing the meaning to be, that the affairs of the Jews would be in so good a condition, signified by fatness, after this destruction of the Assyrian army, that the Assyrians would not pretend any longer to lay any burden of tribute, or any impositions upon them, as they had done, ever since Ahaz put himself under their protection, and, as it were, made a surrender of himself and people to them, to become tributary to them. But the common interpretation given of the text seems preferable, namely, The yoke shall be destroyed, because of the (oil, unction, or) anointing — That is, out of regard to the holy unction, which God had established among his people. Or, for the preservation of the priesthood and kingdom, priests and kings being both initiated into their offices by the ceremony of anointing. The Jews, therefore, and some others, apply this to Hezekiah, who was the anointed of the Lord, an active reformer, and very dear to God, and in answer to whose prayers, as we read, (Isaiah 37:15,) God gave this deliverance. But possibly it might be better understood of David, who is often mentioned in Scripture by the name of God’s anointed; and for whose sake God gave many deliverances to the succeeding kings and ages, as is expressly affirmed 1 Kings 11:32; 1 Kings 11:34. And, which is more considerable, God declares that he would give this very deliverance from the Assyrian for David’s sake, 2 Kings 19:34; 2 Kings 20:6. But the Messiah is principally intended, of whom David was but a type; and who was in a particular manner anointed above his fellows, as is said Psalm 45:7. For he is the foundation of all the promises, (2 Corinthians 1:20,) and of all the deliverances and mercies granted to God’s people in all ages. Vitringa is of opinion, that “the prophet, in this last passage, rises in his ideas; and, having expressed the temporal deliverance of the church in the preceding clauses, here seals up the period with a consolatory clause, admonishing the pious of their deliverance from a spiritual yoke, that is, from all the power of sin and Satan, and their vindication into the full and perfect liberty of the sons of God, through Jesus Christ, the king of his church, who, for this purpose, would communicate an abundance of the anointing spirit of wisdom, knowledge, prayer, liberty, and adoption: see Zechariah 4:6.” The reader may see an explication and defence of this interpretation in Vitringa on the place. 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.His burden shall be taken away - The oppressions and exactions of the Assyrian.

From off thy shoulder - We bear a burden on the shoulder; and hence, any grievous exaction or oppression is represented as borne upon the shoulder.

And his yoke ... - Another image denoting deliverance from oppression and calamity.

And the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing - In the interpretation of these words, expositors have greatly differed. The Hebrew is literally, 'From the face of oil,' מפני-שׁמן mı̂peney-shāmen. The Vulgate renders it, literally, a facie olei. The Septuagint, 'His fear shall be taken from thee, and his yoke from thy shoulders.' The Syraic, 'His yoke shall be broken before the oxen.' The Chaldee Paraphrase, 'The people shall be broken before the Messiah?' Lowth renders it, 'The yoke shall perish from off our shoulders;' following the Septuagint. Grotius suggests that it means that the yoke which the Assyrians had imposed upon the Jews would be broken by Hezekiah, the king who had been annointed with oil. Jarchi also supposes that it refers to one who was anointed - to the king; and many interpreters have referred it to the Messiah, as the anointed of God. Vitringa supposes that the Holy Spirit is here intended.

Kimchi supposes, that the figure is derived from the effect of oil on wood in destroying its consistency, and loosening its fibres; and that the expression means, that the yoke would be broken or dissolved as if it were penetrated with oil. But this is ascribing a property to oil which it does not possess. Dr. Seeker supposes that, instead of "oil," the text should read "shoulder," by a slight change in the Hebrew. But for this conjectural reading there is no authority. Cocceius supposes, that the word "oil" here means "fatness," and is used to denote prosperity and wealth, and that the prophet means to say, that the Assyrian would be corrupted and destroyed by the great amount of wealth which he would amass. The rabbis say, that this deliverance was performed on account of the great quantity of oil which Hezekiah caused to be consumed in the synagogues for the study of the law - a striking instance of the weak and puerile methods of interpretation which they have everywhere evinced. I confess that none of these explanations seem to me to be satisfactory, and that I do not know what is the meaning of the expression.

27. his burden—the Assyrians' oppression (Isa 9:3). Judah was still tributary to Assyria; Hezekiah had not yet revolted, as he did in the beginning of Sennacherib's reign.

because of—(Ho 10:15).

the anointing—namely, "Messiah" (Da 9:24). Just as in Isa 9:4-6, the "breaking of the yoke of" the enemies' "burden and staff" is attributed to Messiah, "For unto us a child is born," &c., so it is here. Maurer not so well translates, "Because of the fatness"; an image of the Assyrians fierce and wanton pride drawn from a well-fed bull tossing off the yoke (De 32:15). So Isa 10:16 above, and Isa 5:17, "fat ones."

His burden; the burden of the Assyrian: for so it was actively, because imposed by him; though passively it was Israel’s burden, as being laid upon him. Because of the anointing; out of the respect which I bear to that holy unction which I have established amongst you. And so this may relate either,

1. To the body of the people, who were in some sort anointed, being made by God a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation, Exodus 19:6; or,

2. To that sacred kingdom which God had, by his positive precept and solemn covenant, established in David and his posterity for ever. The Jews therefore, and some others, understand this of Hezekiah, to whom God had a singular respect, and upon whose prayers God gave this deliverance, as we read, Isaiah 37:15, &c. Possibly it might be better understood of David, who is oft mentioned in Scripture by the name of God’s anointed, as Psalm 20:6 89:20 132:17, and elsewhere; and for whose sake God gave many deliverances to the succeeding kings and ages, as is expressly affirmed, 1 Kings 11:32,34 2 Kings 8:19. And, which is more considerable, God declareth that he would give this very deliverance from the Assyrian for David’s sake, 2 Kings 19:34 20:6. But the Messiah, I doubt not, is here principally intended, of whom David was but a type, and who was in a peculiar manner anointed above all his fellows, as is said, Psalm 45:7. For he is the foundation of all the promises, 2 Corinthians 1:20, and of all the deliverances and mercies granted to God’s people in all ages; whence this very prophet makes use of this great promise of the Messiah, as an assurance that God would make good his promises of particular deliverances from their present or approaching calamities, as Isaiah 7:14, &c.; Isaiah 9:4, &c. And therefore the prophet might well say, that God would grant this deliverance for Christ’s sake; especially if it be considered, that this was the very reason why God had promised, and did so constantly perform, his mercy promised unto the tribe of Judah, and unto the house of David, until the coming of the Messiah, because the Messiah was to come of the tribe of Judah, and of the posterity of David, and was to succeed David in his throne and kingdom; and he was to be known by this character; and therefore this tribe, and house, and kingdom were to continue, and that in a visible manner, till Christ came. And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder,.... The tax or tribute imposed upon Hezekiah by the king of Assyria, 2 Kings 18:14,

and his yoke from off thy neck; the same with the burden; unless it means also the subjection of the cities of Judah, which were taken by the Assyrian; and indeed it may be extended further, and be considered as a prophecy not merely of deliverance from the present distress, but from the future captivity in Babylon; and which was a type of the deliverance and redemption by Christ, when the Lord's people were delivered from the burden of sin, the guilt and punishment of it; from the yoke of the law, the yoke of bondage; and from the tyranny of Satan, and out of the hand of every enemy; and this seems to be hinted at in the next clause:

and thy yoke shall be destroyed, because of the anointing; or, "be corrupted, because of fatness" (u); through the multitude of riches and honours, with which the Assyrian monarchy abounded; which fill with pride, introduce luxury, and so bring ruin, on a state. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret the anointing of Hezekiah, the anointed king of Israel, for whose sake the Assyrian yoke was destroyed. The Rabbins say, that this deliverance was wrought on account of the large quantity of oil which Hezekiah consumed in the schools and synagogues, for the study of the law, and the explanation of it; but the Targum much better refers it to the Messiah,

"the people shall be broken from before the Messiah;''

who was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, and for whose sake, and by whom, the yoke of sin, Satan, and the law, has been destroyed. Vitringa interprets it of the Spirit of God, and his powerful operations, whose gifts and graces are often compared to oil and ointment; and makes the words parallel to Zechariah 4:6.

(u) "et corrumpetur jugum propter oleum", Cocceius; "prae pinguedine", Quidam in Munster.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of {x} the anointing.

(x) Because of the promise made to that kingdom, by which Christ's kingdom was prefigured.

Verse 27. - The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing; literally, before the oil; i.e. "the Anointed One" - primarily Hezekiah, "the anointed of the Lord" (2 Samuel 19:21; 2 Kings 11:12; Lamentations 4:20) for the time being, but with a further refer-once to the Messiah, who breaks all the bands of the wicked asunder, and casts away their cords from him (Psalm 2:2, 3); and who is represented by each prince of the house of David, as he was by David himself. "The remnant will turn, the remnant of Jacob, to God the mighty." El gibbor is God as historically manifested in the heir of David (Isaiah 9:6). Whilst Hosea (Hosea 3:5) places side by side Jehovah and the second David, Isaiah sees them as one. In New Testament phraseology, it would be "to God in Christ."
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