Opening Prayer

Mighty God, thank you for the ways I see your plans faithfully worked out in Scripture. Help me to trust you as you work in and through me.

Read ISAIAH 10

10 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and to the writers that write perverseness; to turn aside the needy from justice, and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! And 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? [a]They shall only bow down under the prisoners, and shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

[b]Ho Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, the staff in whose hand is mine indignation! I will send him against a profane nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and [c]to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes all of them kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? 10 As my hand hath [d]found the kingdoms of the idols, whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will [e]punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he hath said, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I have understanding: and I have removed the bounds of the peoples, and have robbed their treasures, and like a valiant man I have brought down [f]them that sit on thrones14 and my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the peoples; and as one gathereth eggs that are forsaken, have I gathered all the earth: and there was none that moved the wing, or that 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 a rod should wield them that lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up him that is not wood. 16 Therefore will the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and [g]under his glory there shall be kindled a burning like the burning of fire. 17 And the light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day. 18 And he will consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and it shall be [h]as when a standard-bearer fainteth. 19 And the remnant of the trees of his forest shall be few, so that a child may write them.

20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and they that are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again lean upon him that smote them, but shall lean upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 [i]A remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 22 For though thy people, Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant [j]of them shall return: a destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For a full end, and that determined, will the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, make in the midst of all the [k]earth.

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of [l]the Assyrian, though he smite thee with the rod, and lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation against thee shall be accomplished, and mine anger shall be directed to his destruction. 26 And Jehovah of hosts will stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and [m]his rod will be over 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 depart from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed by reason of [n]fatness.

28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed through Migron; at Michmash he layeth up his baggage; 29 they are gone over the pass; [o]they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah trembleth; Gibeah of Saul is fled. 30 Cry aloud with thy voice, O daughter of Gallim! hearken, O Laishah! O thou poor Anathoth! 31 Madmenah is a fugitive; the inhabitants of Gebim [p]flee for safety. 32 This very day shall he halt at Nob: he shaketh his hand at the mount of the [q]daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

33 Behold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, will lop the boughs with terror: and the high of stature shall be hewn down, and the lofty shall be brought low. 34 And he will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.


  1. Isaiah 10:4 Or, Without me they shall bow down etc.
  2. Isaiah 10:5 Or, Woe to Asshur
  3. Isaiah 10:6 Hebrew to make them a treading down.
  4. Isaiah 10:10 Or, reached
  5. Isaiah 10:12 Hebrew visit upon.
  6. Isaiah 10:13 Or, the inhabitants
  7. Isaiah 10:16 Or, instead of
  8. Isaiah 10:18 Or, as when a sick man pineth away
  9. Isaiah 10:21 Hebrew shear jashub. See 7:3.
  10. Isaiah 10:22 Hebrew in it.
  11. Isaiah 10:23 Or, land
  12. Isaiah 10:24 Hebrew Asshur.
  13. Isaiah 10:26 Or, as his rod was over the sea, so shall he etc.
  14. Isaiah 10:27 Hebrew oil.
  15. Isaiah 10:29 Or, Geba is our lodging, they cry
  16. Isaiah 10:31 Or, make their households flee
  17. Isaiah 10:32 Another reading is, house.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.’1

Think Further

God is the Holy One of Israel (v. 17). He is also the Lord Almighty (vv. 16, 21, 23, 24, 26, 33, 34), whose jurisdiction is not restricted to Israel. His rule and the scope of his accountability extends to all nations, hence a ‘woe’ both for Israel (vv. 1–4) and Assyria (vv. 5–19). His holiness brings expectations of everyone associated with him. In Israel he expects the excluded and isolated to be treated with dignity and respect and there will be a ‘day of reckoning’ (v. 3). Assyria is also connected with the Lord. He has chosen Assyria to punish his people for their godlessness. He sends them to trample his people down, grinding them underfoot (v. 6) – but that’s not the end of the story. God can use anyone, but there are still expectations about their attitudes. The Assyrians must never assume that they are sovereign (v. 8), operating with free rein. Power corrupts so easily, creating a hubris (v. 12) which assumes total independence (v. 13). They will be scorched by God’s holiness (vv. 17, 18).

Isaiah takes up the remnant theme (vv. 20–34) introduced in 4:2, 3 and 6:13. We have seen throughout the early chapters of the prophecy how hope and judgment are linked. Here again there is hope for God’s people, alongside judgment on those who have sought to destroy them. God’s salvation means the destruction of evil. John’s epistle reminds us that is why Jesus came, ‘to destroy the devil’s work.’2 Yet, even for the people who have close association with the Holy One, there will be only a few who remain. Being linked to the Holy One of Israel carries responsibilities, just as believers in the Lord Jesus have gracious demands on their bought-with-a-price identity. However, not all who say, ‘Lord, Lord’ will be welcomed in the end.3


This chapter takes us into the field of geopolitics. Are there implications from this passage for how you think about and pray for global issues?

Closing prayer

Forgive me, Father, when my vision for the world is too small. Help me to see with your eyes and to be a part of your work among the nations to see Jesus glorified.

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by kingstar

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