Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 10

Woes against proud oppressors. (1-4) The Assyrian but an
instrument in the Hand of God for the Punishment of his people.
(5-19) The deliverance from him. (20-34)

1-4 These verses are to be joined with the foregoing Chapter.
Woe to the superior powers that devise and decree unrighteous
decrees! And woe to the inferior officers that draw them up, and
enter them On record! But what will sinners do? Whither will
they flee?

5-19 See what a change Sin made. The King of Assyria, in his
pride, thought to act By his own will. The tyrants of the world
are tools of Providence. God designs to correct his people for
their hypocrisy, and bring them nearer to him; but is that
Sennacherib's design? No; he designs to gratify his own
Covetousness and ambition. The Assyrian boasts what great things
he has done to other nations, By his own policy and power. He
knows not that it is God who makes him what he is, and puts the
staff into his Hand. He had done all this with ease; none moved
the wing, or cried as birds do when their nests are rifled.
Because he conquered Samaria, he thinks Jerusalem would fall of
course. It was lamentable that Jerusalem should have set up
graven images, and we cannot wonder that she was excelled in
them By the Heathen. But is it not equally foolish for
Christians to emulate the people of the world in vanities,
instead of keeping to things which are their special honour? For
a tool to boast, or to strive against him that formed it, would
not be more out of the way, than for Sennacherib to vaunt
himself against Jehovah. When God brings his people into
trouble, it is to bring Sin to their remembrance, and humble
them, and to awaken them to a sense of their duty; this must be
the Fruit, even the taking away of Sin. When these points are
gained By the affliction, it shall be removed in Mercy. This
attempt upon Zion and Jerusalem should come to nothing. God will
be as a Fire to consume the workers of iniquity, both soul and
body. The Desolation should be as when a standard-bearer
fainteth, and those who follow are Put to confusion. Who is able
to stand before this great and holy Lord God?

20-34 By our Afflictions we may learn not to make creatures our
confidence. Those only can with comfort stay upon God, who
return to him in Truth, not in pretence and profession only. God
will justly bring this wasting away On a provoking people, but
will graciously set bounds to it. It is against the mind and
will of God, that his people, whatever happens, should give way
to fear. God's Anger against his people is but for a moment; and
when that is turned from us, we need not fear the Fury of Man.
The rod with which he corrected his people, shall not only be
laid aside, but thrown into the Fire. To encourage God's people,
the Prophet puts them in mind of what God had formerly done
against the enemies of his Church. God's people shall be
delivered from the Assyrians. Some think it looks to the
deliverance of the Jews out of their Captivity; and further yet,
to the Redemption of believers from the tyranny of Sin and
Satan. And this, "because of the anointing;" for his people
Israel's sake, the believers among them that had received the
Unction of Divine Grace. And for the sake of the Messiah, the
Anointed of God. Here is, ver. 28-34, a prophetical
description of Sennacherib's march towards Jerusalem, when he
threatened to destroy that City. Then the Lord, in whom Hezekiah
trusted, cut down his Army like the hewing of a Forest. Let us
apply what is here written, to like matters in other ages of the
Church of Christ. Because of the anointing of our great
Redeemer, the Yoke of every Antichrist must be broken from off
his Church: and if our souls partake of the Unction of the Holy
Spirit, complete and eternal deliverances will be secured to us.