Dave Burnette's Commentary

Isaiah Chapter 10

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Isaiah
Date Penned: (700-681 BC)
Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)
Theme: Words of Judgment (c 1-39)
Message: God Will Punish Assyria (v 1-34)

Isaiah 10 Commentary 

(10:1-2) Dealing Justly with the Needy. God will bring justice against crooked judges and those who make unjust laws. Those who oppress others will be oppressed themselves. It is not enough to live in a land founded on justice; each individual must deal justly with those who are poor and powerless. Don't pass your responsibility off to the government or even your church. You are accountable to God for what you do for people who are poor. 

(10:7) God Uses the Unjust - Although the Assyrians did not know they were participating in God's plan, God used them to judge his people. God accomplishes his plans in history even through people and nations who reject him. He did not merely set the world in motion and let it go! Because our all-powerful, sovereign God is still in control today, we have security even in a dangerous and confusing world. 

(10:9) Protected by God's Hand - Calno, Carchemish, Hamath, Arpad, Samaria, and Damascus were cities conquered by Assyria. Filled with confidence because of his great victories, the king of Assyria gave an arrogant speech. He thought that Judah would be defeated just as the other kingdoms had been. Little did the Assyrian king know that Judah was being protected by the mighty hand of God. 

(10:10) Samaria and Jerusalem were filled with idols that were powerless against the Assyrian military machine. Only the God of the universe could and would overthrow Assyria, but not until he had used the Assyrians for his purposes. 

10:12 The predicted punishment of the Assyrians soon took place. In 701 BC, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slain by the angel of the Lord (37:36-37). Later, the Assyrian Empire fell to Babylon, never to rise again as a world power. 10:12 The Assyrians were arrogant. Proud of the victories God had permitted them, they thought they had accomplished everything in their own power. Our perspective can also become distorted by pride if we fail to recognize that God is working his purposes through us. When we think we are strong enough for anything, we are bound to fail because pride has blinded us to the reality that God is ultimately in control. 

10:15 No instrument or tool accomplishes its purposes without a greater power behind it. The Assyrians were a tool in God's hands, but they failed to recognize it. How foolish for a tool to boast of having greater power than the one who uses it. We must not consider the resources and special talents that God has given us as something we have created or earned. All we are and have is a gift from God. 

10:17 Assyria's downfall came in 612 BC when Nineveh, the capital city, was destroyed. The Assyrians had been God's instrument of judgment against Israel, but they, too, would be judged for their wickedness. No one escapes God's judgment against sin, not even the most powerful of nations (Psalm 2). Some people may think that because they live in a so-called Christian country God will protect them. But being known as a Christian means very little. God always looks at hearts, not labels. What would God find if he judged your heart today? God will bring justice against crooked judges and those who make unjust laws. Those who oppress others will be oppressed themselves. It is not enough to live in a land founded on justice; each individual must deal justly with those who are poor and powerless. Don't pass your responsibility off to the government or even your church. You are accountable to God for what you do for people who are poor. 

10:20-21 Once Assyria's army was destroyed, a small group of God's people would stop relying on Assyria and start trusting God. This remnant would be but a fraction of Israel's former population. (See Ezra 2:64-65 for the small number who returned to Judah; see also Isaiah 11:10-16.) 10:20-21 Those who remained faithful to God despite the horrors of this invasion are called the remnant. The key to being a part of the remnant was faith. Being a descendant of Abraham, living in the Promised Land, having trusted God at one time--none of these were good enough. Are you relying on your Christian heritage, your participation in church, or a past experience to qualify you for a place in God's family? The key to being a true Christian is faith in the almighty God. 10:28-32 The way these cities are listed approximates the route the Assyrians would have taken in their invasion of Judah in 701 BC, going from Aiath (probably Ai) at the northern border to Nob (only two miles from Jerusalem).

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 10. In our text today, we see how God will punish Assyria as He judges those who make unfair laws to oppress others. In this judgment - God oppresses the oppressors. In making an application, we see how those who are in authority and have rule over others are accountable to God for how they treat them. Today, many in authority, power, and politics believe they are above God. Still, our Lord is and will judge leaders who oppress others. How about you? Are you a person who is in authority? Let us learn from our text today and the warning of Isaiah to treat others as themselves and be fair to those we lead because the Lord oppresses those who oppress others.  


Isaiah 10

Isaiah 10

 1Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;

 2To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

 3And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?

 4Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

 5O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

 6I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

 7Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

 8For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?

 9Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?

 10As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;

 11Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

 12Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

 13For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:

 14And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

 15Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

 16Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.

 17And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;

 18And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.

 19And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.

 20And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

 21The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.

 22For 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.

 23For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

 24Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.

 25For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

 26And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.

 27And 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 the anointing.

 28He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:

 29They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.

 30Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.

 31Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.

 32As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

 33Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.

 34And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.