Vv 1,2: More comments about social injustice in Israel: cp Isa
3:14,15; 5:7,23. See also Deu 27:19; Isa 1:23; 29:21; Amo 5:12. Ct these wicked
rulers with the Messiah: Isa 11:3,4.
PREY... ROBBING: "Shalal... bazaz": allusions to the
name Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isa 8:1).
RECKONING... DISASTER: KJV has "visitation...
desolation", appropriated by Jesus in his warnings of coming judgment on his
people because of their rejection of Immanuel (Luk 19:44; Mat 23:38).
WHERE WILL YOU LEAVE YOUR RICHES?: Or, perhaps, "What
will your riches do for you?"
HIS HAND IS STILL UPRAISED: In which is the club of His
wrath, the Assyrian (v 5).
Vv 5-11: "The remarkable similarity between this passage and
2Ki 19:2-37 [// Isa 37] (together with other indications) makes it likely that,
through the renegade Rabshakeh, Sennacherib actually knew the tenor of this and
other prophecies Isaiah had spoken in Jerusalem. Why else should the Assyrian
use the self-confident argument: 'Am I now come up without the LORD against this
land to destroy it? The LORD saith to me, 'Go up against this land, and destroy
it' (Isa 36:10)" (WIsa 174).
God's use of Gentile kings as His "instruments": Neh 9:37; Hab
1:y,12; Jer 22:7; 25:9; 5:15; 34:22; 51:20; Eze 29:18-20; Psa 17:13; Pro 21:1;
THE ROD OF MY ANGER: God's tool to punish Israel: Isa
7:20; Joel 2:25; Jer 27:6; Zec 9:4; Eze 38:4.
I DISPATCH HIM: "I give him a charge" (AV). Although
the Assyrian does not understand the impulse (cp v 7), yet God Himself rules in
the Kingdom of men (Dan 4:17,25).
ARE NOT MY COMMANDERS ALL KINGS?: Like Alexander the
Great and Napoleon later, Sennacherib's policy was to install his generals as
rulers in the conquered territories. Thus Hosea refers to him as the "king of
princes" (Hos 8:10). Yet God would soon demonstrate that He alone was truly
"King of Kings" (Dan 2:37)!
The city states listed here were conquered by the Assyrians
between 740-717 BC. The point of the rhetorical questions is that no one can
stand before Assyria's might.
AS MY HAND SEIZED THE KINGDOMS OF THE IDOLS: Kingdoms
that were weak, unsupported by their gods, and unable to resist Sennacherib. The
same figure as in v 14, of a man plundering the nest of a helpless bird. (These
other nations had idols at least as extravagant and splendid as those found in
Jerusalem in the days of Ahaz.)
JERUSALEM AND HER IMAGES: Heavy sarcasm: 'He has copied
the altar of MY god, but it likely that MY god will help HIM against ME?' "When
the Assyrian campaigns came to their climax in the attempt to take Jerusalem, a
very considerable element in the propaganda was centred around Sennacherib's
determination to vindicate his own deity against the Name and might of Jehovah
(Isa 36:18,19; 37:10)" (WIsa 175).
THE WILLFUL PRIDE OF HIS HEART: Cruelty, lust for
empire, and a vile blasphemy against Jehovah.
THE HAUGHTY LOOK IN HIS EYES: Poss, "the glory of the
lifting up of his eyes", ref the god to which the Assyrian king lifted up his
eyes in worship.
I REMOVED THE BOUNDARIES OF NATIONS: Sennacherib's
policy of deporting the populations of conquered territories (2Ki 15:29;
17:6,24). Yet it was Yahweh who actually "set the bounds of the peoples" (Deu
ABANDONED EGGS...: By ct, Jesus wished to spread his
wings over the "chicks" of Jerusalem, to protect them from the Enemy (Mat
23:37-39; Luk 13:34).
// Rom 9:20,21.
Vv 16-19: Famine and fire: the destruction of Sennacherib's
host: 2Ki 19:35; Isa 37:36.
A REMNANT WILL RETURN: The return from Assyrian
captivity of the 200,000 enslaved of Judah. And in NT, the ultimate regathering
of Jews to their Land.
DESTRUCTION HAS BEEN DECREED, OVERWHELMING AND
RIGHTEOUS: "The first question to settle here is whether the 'consumption'
foretold is a judgment against Judah as God's people or against the Assyrians
for their cruel hostility to Abraham's race... The context here, in vv 24,25,
puts powerful emphasis on the outpouring of wrath on the Assyrian. So presumably
the prophecy is so phrased as to be capable of being read both ways -- against
Judah for their indifference to the God of their fathers, and against the
Assyrians for their national pride and contempt for the true God" (WIsa 179).
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE ASSYRIANS: // Isa 8:12,13;
37:6; 43:1,5; 44:2.
VERY SOON: // Isa 26:20.
AS WHEN HE STRUCK DOWN MIDIAN AT THE ROCK OF OREB:
Already alluded to in Isa 9:4: Gideon's victory: an oppression raised up by God;
irresistible invasion (like locusts); cry of faith in God; a manifestation of
divine glory -- the angel of the LORD; trumpet and fire in the destruction of
the enemy; the hostile leader escapes, only to be slain later (Oreb: Jdg 7:25;
Sennacherib: Isa 37:38) (Jdg 6:1,5,7,8,22,25; 7:1,20,25; Psa
HE WILL RAISE HIS STAFF OVER THE WATERS, AS HE DID IN
EGYPT: The first of many instances in Isa where the saving of Jerusalem by
the destruction of Sennacherib's army is set alongside the saving of Israel at
the Red Sea by the destruction of Pharaoh's army.
THE YOKE WILL BE BROKEN: Cp the acted parable of
Jeremiah (Jer 28:10).
BECAUSE YOU HAVE GROWN SO FAT: "Because of the
anointing" (AV) or "oil" (RV mg): Perhaps an allusion to the royal anointing
oil, ie to the faith of good king Hezekiah.
Vv 28-32: "An invasion of Judah from the north... Many others
identify the invasion as Sennacherib's in 701 BC, but historical records
indicate Sennacherib approached Jerusalem from the southwest... The prophecy of
the invasion was not necessarily intended to be a literal itinerary of the
Assyrians' movements; rather its primary purpose was to create a foreboding
mood. Geographical references contribute to this purpose, but they merely
reflect how one would expect an Assyrian invasion to proceed, not necessarily
how the actual invasion would progress. Despite its rhetorical nature, the
prophecy does point to the invasion of 701 BC, as the announcement of the
invaders' downfall in vv 33-34 makes clear; it was essentially fulfilled at that
time" (NET notes).
"Almost all the names mentioned are associated, in 1Sa, with
king Saul. Here 'Gibeah of Saul' (Isa 10:29) makes the link explicit. Thus an
added purpose behind this dismal record comes to light -- the king men would
choose 'to go out before us and fight our battles' (1Sa 8:20) was no success in
this respect, nor were those descended from him; but, by ct, 'there shall come
forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse' (Isa 11:1) endowed with all the godly
powers which would mean the saving of his people" (WIsa 181,182).
NOB: On Mt Scopus, from where Assyrian threat against
Zion (Isa 2:2,3) would be obvious. For centuries that hill was called "the camp
of the Assyrians".
WILL LOP OFF THE BOUGHS: Cp figure in Isa 6:13. Leaving
nothing but the roots (see Isa 11:1).
THE LOFTY TREES WILL BE FELLED: A preparation for the
final siege of Jerusalem.
LOFTY TREES... TALL ONES: The self-confident leaders of
the nation (Isa 2:11).
FOREST... LEBANON: The forest of Lebanon was the
national armory (Isa 2:13; 33:9; 1Ki 10:17), a building with cedar pillars. Cp
also Jer 22:6,7,23; Isa 2:13; Eze 17:3.
WITH AN AX: Cp John the Baptist: "the ax is laid at the
root of the trees" (Mat 3:10), to warn his heedless generation of impending
judgment -- by the Messiah refd in the next v (Isa 11:1).