The Two Attacks of the Assyrian
Isaiah 9:8 – 10:34
Isaiah 9:8 – 10:34
8 The Lord sent a word unto Jacob, and it lighteth upon Israel. 9 And all the people shall know it, Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in pride and stoutness of heart, 10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamore trees are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars. 11 And Jehovah will set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and arm his enemies, 12 the Syrians on the east, and the Philistines on the west; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. 13 But the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, and they do not seek Jehovah of hosts. 14 And Jehovah will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm-branch and rush, in one day: 15 the ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 16 For the guides of this people mislead them; and they that are guided by them are swallowed up. 17 Therefore the Lord will not rejoice in their young men, neither will he have mercy on their fatherless and on their widows; for every one is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. 18 For wickedness burneth as a fire: it devoureth briars and thorns, and kindleth in the thickets of the forest, and they go rolling up like a pillar of smoke. 19 Through the wrath of Jehovah of hosts is the land burned up, and the people is as fuel for fire: a man spareth not his brother; 20 and he snatcheth on the right hand, and is hungry, and eateth on the left hand; and they are not satisfied. They eat every man the flesh of his own arm: 21 Manasseh, Ephraim, and Ephraim, Manasseh; and they together are against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.
1 Woe unto them that decree iniquitous decrees, and to the writers that prescribe oppression, 2 to turn away the poor from judgment, and to take away the right from the afflicted of my people; that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! 3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the sudden destruction which shall come from far? To whom will ye flee for help, and where will ye leave your glory? 4 They can but crouch under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. 5 Ah! the Assyrian! the rod of mine anger! and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge; to take the spoil, and to seize the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 But he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; for it is in his heart to extirpate and cut off nations not a few. 8 For he saith, Are not my princes all kings? 9 Is not Calno as Karkemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus? 10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, — and their graven images exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria, 11 — shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her images? 12 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stoutness of heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am intelligent; and I have removed the bounds of the peoples, and have robbed their treasures, and, like a valiant man, I have brought down them that sit on thrones; 14 and my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the peoples, and as one gathereth forsaken eggs, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or chirped. 15 — Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? shall the saw magnify itself against him that wieldeth it? As if the rod should wield them that lift it up; as if the staff should lift up him who is not wood! 16 Therefore shall the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness, and under his glory he shall kindle a burning, like the burning of a fire: 17 and 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 briars in one day, 18 and it shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body; and they shall be as when a sick man fainteth. 19 And the remainder of the trees of his forest shall be few: yea, a child might write them. 20 And 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 rely upon him that smote them; but they shall rely upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 The remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty GOD. 22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them shall return: the consumption determined shall overflow in righteousness. 23 For a consumption, and one determined, will the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, accomplish in the midst of all the land. 24 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Jehovah 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: 25 for yet a very little while, and the indignation shall be accomplished, and mine anger, in their destruction. 26 And Jehovah of hosts will stir up a scourge against him, according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and his rod shall be upon the sea, and he will lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 27 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 the anointing. … 28 He is come to Aiath, he hath passed through Migron; at Michmash he layeth up his baggage. 29 They are gone through the pass; they make their lodging at Geba: Ramah trembleth, Gibeah of Saul is fled. 30 Lift up thy voice, daughter of Gallim! Hearken, O Laish!1 — Poor Anathoth! 31 Madmenah is fugitive; the inhabitants of Gebim take to flight. 32 Still a day of halting at Nob; he shaketh his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. … 33 Behold the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, shall lop the boughs with violence; and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be brought low; 34 and he shall make clearings in the thickets of the forest with iron; and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
- We might wonder why the the famous city of Laish is mentioned here in the approach of the Assyriah, as that was the northernmost city of Israel, renamed “Dan” (see Judges 18:29). However, I think there may have been a town near Jerusalem (just north) with the same name. Notice that there was a son of “Laish” in Gallim in the days of David. This may support the hypothesis that there was another town named Laish near Jerusalem. “But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim” (1 Sam. 25:44). See https://bibleatlas.org/laishah.htm.