a cudgel with which I angrily punish. 2
I ordered him to attack the people with whom I was angry, 5
to take plunder and to carry away loot,
to trample them down 6 like dirt in the streets.
10:7 But he does not agree with this,
his mind does not reason this way, 7
for his goal is to destroy,
and to eliminate many nations. 8
“Are not my officials all kings?
10:9 Is not Calneh like Carchemish?
Hamath like Arpad?
Samaria like Damascus? 10
whose carved images were more impressive than Jerusalem’s 12 or Samaria’s.
10:11 As I have done to Samaria and its idols,
so I will do to Jerusalem and its idols.” 13
10:12 But when 14 the sovereign master 15 finishes judging 16 Mount Zion and Jerusalem, then I 17 will punish the king of Assyria for what he has proudly planned and for the arrogant attitude he displays. 18 10:13 For he says:
“By my strong hand I have accomplished this,
by my strategy that I devised.
I invaded the territory of nations, 19
and looted their storehouses.
10:14 My hand discovered the wealth of the nations, as if it were in a nest,
as one gathers up abandoned eggs,
I gathered up the whole earth.
There was no wing flapping,
or open mouth chirping.” 22
10:15 Does an ax exalt itself over the one who wields it,
or a saw magnify itself over the one who cuts with it? 23
As if a scepter should brandish the one who raises it,
or a staff should lift up what is not made of wood!
their Holy One 28 will become a flame;
it will burn and consume the Assyrian king’s 29 briers
and his thorns in one day.
10:18 The splendor of his forest and his orchard
will be completely destroyed, 30
as when a sick man’s life ebbs away. 31
10:19 There will be so few trees left in his forest,
a child will be able to count them. 32
10:20 At that time 33 those left in Israel, those who remain of the family 34 of Jacob, will no longer rely on a foreign leader that abuses them. 35 Instead they will truly 36 rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 37 10:21 A remnant will come back, a remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 38
2 tn Heb “a cudgel is he, in their hand is my anger.” It seems likely that the final mem (ם) on בְיָדָם (bÿyadam) is not a pronominal suffix (“in their hand”), but an enclitic mem. If so, one can translate literally, “a cudgel is he in the hand of my anger.”
4 tn Or “defiled”; cf. ASV “profane”; NAB “impious”; NCV “separated from God.”
5 tn Heb “and against the people of my anger I ordered him.”
6 tn Heb “to make it [i.e., the people] a trampled place.”
7 tn Heb “but he, not so does he intend, and his heart, not so does it think.”
8 tn Heb “for to destroy [is] in his heart, and to cut off nations, not a few.”
9 tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).
10 sn Calneh … Carchemish … Hamath … Arpad … Samaria … Damascus. The city states listed here were conquered by the Assyrians between 740-717
13 tn The statement is constructed as a rhetorical question in the Hebrew text: “Is it not [true that] just as I have done to Samaria and its idols, so I will do to Jerusalem and its idols?”
sn This statement indicates that the prophecy dates sometime between 722-701
16 tn Heb “his work on/against.” Cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV “on”; NIV “against.”
18 tn Heb “I will visit [judgment] on the fruit of the greatness of the heart of the king of Assyria, and on the glory of the height of his eyes.” The proud Assyrian king is likened to a large, beautiful fruit tree.
19 tn Heb “removed the borders of nations”; cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV “boundaries.”
20 tc The consonantal text (Kethib) has כְּאַבִּיר (kÿ’abir, “like a strong one”); the marginal reading (Qere) is כַּבִיר (kavir, “mighty one”).
21 tn Heb “and I brought down, like a strong one, ones sitting [or “living”].” The participle יוֹשְׁבִים (yoshÿvim, “ones sitting”) could refer to the inhabitants of the nations, but the translation assumes that it refers to those who sit on thrones, i.e., rulers. See BDB 442 s.v. יָשַׁב and HALOT 444 s.v. ישׁב.
22 sn The Assyrians’ conquests were relatively unopposed, like robbing a bird’s nest of its eggs when the mother bird is absent.
23 tn Heb “the one who pushes it back and forth”; KJV “him that shaketh it”; ASV “him that wieldeth it.”
25 tn Heb “will send leanness against his healthy ones”; NASB, NIV “will send a wasting disease.”
26 tc Heb “and in the place of his glory burning will burn, like the burning of fire.” The highly repetitive text (יֵקַד יְקֹד כִּיקוֹד אֵשׁ, yeqad yiqod kiqod ’esh) may be dittographic; if the second consonantal sequence יקד is omitted, the text would read “and in the place of his glory, it will burn like the burning of fire.”
27 tn In this context the “Light of Israel” is a divine title (note the parallel title “his holy one”). The title points to God’s royal splendor, which overshadows and, when transformed into fire, destroys the “majestic glory” of the king of Assyria (v. 16b).
30 tn Heb “from breath to flesh it will destroy.” The expression “from breath to flesh” refers to the two basic components of a person, the immaterial (life’s breath) and the material (flesh). Here the phrase is used idiomatically to indicate totality.
31 tn The precise meaning of this line is uncertain. מָסַס (masas), which is used elsewhere of substances dissolving or melting, may here mean “waste away” or “despair.” נָסַס (nasas), which appears only here, may mean “be sick” or “stagger, despair.” See BDB 651 s.v. I נָסַס and HALOT 703 s.v. I נסס. One might translate the line literally, “like the wasting away of one who is sick” (cf. NRSV “as when an invalid wastes away”).
32 tn Heb “and the rest of the trees of his forest will be counted, and a child will record them.”
34 tn Heb “house” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
35 tn Heb “on one who strikes him down.” This individual is the king (“foreign leader”) of the oppressing nation (which NLT specifies as “the Assyrians”).
36 tn Or “sincerely”; KJV, ASV, NAB, NRSV “in truth.”
38 tn The referent of אֵל גִּבּוֹר (’el gibbor, “mighty God”) is uncertain. The title appears only here and in 9:6, where it is one of the royal titles of the coming ideal Davidic king. (Similar titles appear in Deut 10:17 and Neh 9:32 [“the great, mighty, and awesome God”] and in Jer 32:18 [“the great and mighty God”]. Both titles refer to God.) Though Hos 3:5 pictures Israel someday seeking “David their king,” and provides some support for a messianic interpretation of Isa 10:21, the Davidic king is not mentioned in the immediate context of Isa 10:21 (see Isa 11, however). The preceding verse mentions Israel relying on the Lord, so it is likely that the title refers to God here.