God will punish those who take advantage of the needy, Assyria will be punished for its excessive pride, and only a remnant of the Judean population will return to Jerusalem.
The king of Assyria boasts: “I was able to seize, like a nest, the wealth of peoples; As one gathers abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the earth: nothing so much as flapped a wing or opened a mouth to peep.” (v. 14)
III. Important Verses
1-4a: Ha! Those who write out evil writs And compose iniquitous documents, To subvert the cause of the poor, To rob of their rights the needy of My people; That widows may be their spoil, And fatherless children their booty! What will you do on the day of punishment, When the calamity comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help, And how will you save your carcasses From collapsing under [fellow] prisoners, From falling beneath the slain?
5-6: Ha! Assyria, rod of My anger, In whose hand, as a staff, is My fury! I send him against an ungodly nation, I charge him against a people that provokes Me, To take its spoil and to seize its booty And to make it a thing trampled Like the mire of the streets.
7-12: But he has evil plans, His mind harbors evil designs; For he means to destroy, To wipe out nations, not a few. For he thinks, “After all, I have kings as my captains! Was Calno any different from Carchemish? Or Hamath from Arpad? Or Samaria from Damascus? Since I was able to seize The insignificant kingdoms, Whose images exceeded Jersualem’s and Samaria’s, Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images What I did to Samaria and her idols?” But when my Lord has carried out all his purpose on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, He will punish the majestic pride and overbearing arrogance of the king of Assyria.
15: Does an ax boast over him who hews with it, Or a saw magnify itself above him who wields it? As though the rod raised him who lifts it, As though the staff lifted the man!
20: And in that day, The remnant of Israel And the escaped of the House of Jacob Shall lean no more upon him that beats it, But shall lean sincerely On the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
22: Even if your people, O Israel, Should be as the sands of the sea, Only a remnant of it shall return. Destruction is decreed; Retribution comes like a flood!
1-4. God’s wrath (continued) 1-4a. Warning to those who take advantage of the needy 4b. God’s wrath will not stop 5-19. The fate of Assyria 5-6. Assyria as God’s tool to exact revenge 7-11. Assyria’s evil confidence 12-14. God will punish Assyria for its excessive pride 15. Rhetorical question: does Assyria have a reason to be proud? 16-19. Allegorical description of Assyria’s demise 20-27. Prophecy about Jerusalem 20. Israel will rely on God 21-23. Only a remnant of Israel will return 24-27. Reassurance to Jerusalem: God will punish Assyria 28-32a. Poem about an enemy’s advance 33-32. Deforestation metaphor
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
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