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Isaiah 10

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ch. 10:5-19    ch. 10:20-31-34


God's Judgment On Assyria (ch. 10:5 - 19)


As the title to this section suggests, this chapter is about the judgment that will come on Assyria for their treatment of both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Israel.  We need to realize that God used Assyria to judged the northern kingdom of Israel.  They were doing God's will by attacking the northern kingdom.  Yet, even though Assyria was used by God, God will judge Assyria for what she does to Israel.  The same is true of Babylon.  God uses Babylon to judge Assyria for how they treated Israel, then, he turns around and judges Babylon, even though He used her as well.   Babylon fell to the Mede and Persians just because  she attacked the southern kingdom of Israel.


The Assyrian empire lasted 700 years.


Verse 5 begins by saying, "woe to the Assyrian".  The Assyrian is the king of Assyria. That being said, most all Biblical  Prophetic Futurists believe "the Assyrian" is a reference to the anti-Christ for a number of  reasons.  Therefore, some suggest that the anti-Christ will be a modern day equivalent to an Assyrian.  Others don't necessarily believe the anti-Christ has to be an Assyrian, and then, you'd have to determine who is an Assyrian today.  The original Assyria was in northern Iraq, but as you know, the empire spread all across the middle east, so, just what part of the middle east the anti-Christ will come from would be debatable. 


Verse 5 is simply saying that Assyria is the tool of God to bring judgment to the northern kingdom of Israel.  Assyria is God's club.  We see the same in verse 6.  The godless nation spoken of in verse 6 is the northern kingdom of Israel.    


Note in verse 7 that God is using Assyria to judge the northern kingdom of Israel , but Assyria has more than just Israel in mind.  Assyria is out to take over all nations, and that she did.  She became the biggest world empire to that point in history.  You might want to note that in like manor, the anti-Christ has his eye on Israel, but ultimately he wants the world.  We must remember that the Lord will use the anti-Christ to judge Israel one last time.  That is really the number one reason for what we call the Great Tribulation.  The second reason is then to judge the nations of the world that come against Israel.  The same pattern we see throughout the Old Testament is seen in the last seven years of this age.  God will use the anti-Christ and his empire to judge Israel, then, when that is complete, God judges the anti-Christ and his empire for coming against Israel.  


Verse 9 can be simply summarized by saying the cities mentioned here are a contrast between current victories of war with previous victories of war.  This is all about Assyria bragging. 


Verse 11 is a warning to the south.  As God was to deal with the northern kingdom, at some future point He will deal with the southern kingdom. 


From verses 12 to 14 we see Assyria bragging. I'll just point out a few, and by so doing, compare what I point out to the anti-Christ.  Verse 13 states that the Assyrian will remove the boundaries of nations.  This speaks of him taking over these nations and bringing them into his empire, the same way that the anti-Christ will do at the end of this age.


The Assyrian plundered the treasures of those nations he overthrew.  The anti-Christ and his empire will plunder the economies of the nations he will overthrow.  His economic victories are a major part of his empire as seen in the number 666. 


Verse 12 says that God will punish the king of Assyria for all he does, and, all he does is based on pride.  Pride is one of the main characteristics of the anti-Christ.  In one real sense of the word, pride is the root of all sin.  Pride is probably what God hates most.  It was pride that caused satan to fall.  Satan tempted Eve with pride and it was pride that caused her to be deceived.  She thought she could be like God.  That's pride.


Verse 12 states that when God is finished His work with the southern kingdom, He will then punish Assyria .  He will cause her to fall.  Babylon overthrew Assyria in 606 B. C., and, in the process partially overthrew Judah.  Judah finally fell in 586 B. C..           


Verse 15 asks a question.  "Does an ax rise up against the one who swings it".  Verses 15 and 16 give the clear picture of what is going on here.  Assyria is the ax.  She is a tool in the hand of the Lord to bring judgment on Israel.  Yet, in so doing, she rises up against God Himself and thus another instrument, another ax in the hand of the Lord will cut her down.  That ax is Babylon.  Again, the Abrahamic Covenant comes into play here.  He that blesses Israel will be blessed and he that curses Israel will be cursed.  Even though God used Assyria to judge the northern kingdom of Israel , the very fact that Assyria attacked the north, and wanted to do so all along, she would be subject to God's judgment herself for cursing Israel.


Verse 17 is a Messianic verse.  The Holy One and the Light spoken of here refers to Jesus.  


The pronoun "him" in verses 17 and 18 refers to the king of Assyria who he and his empire will be destroyed as this passage says by the Holy One of Israel.  This did take place when Babylon overthrew Assyria in one short hour. 


Verses 17 and 18 also speak of the anti-Christ at the end of this age, who he and his empire, will be thrown down and destroyed by Jesus.  I don't think there is any way around not seeing these verses referring to the end of this age as well as the fall of Assyria .  We must realize that most Old Testament prophecy has a double, sometimes triple, fulfillment.


The Remnant (ch. 10:20 - 34)        


In verse 20 the words "in that day" have to refer to the end of this age.  The context makes that clear.  This section speaks of a restoration of Israel that has never happened in human history.  This is an end time prophecy.


The last section spoke of the judgment on Assyria.  Assyria was judged by God by being overthrown by the Babylonians.   If you continue into this section in the same vein, that is, Babylon overthrowing Assyria, you would think that when that happened in 606 B. C., Israel would have been restored.  That didn't happen.  So, I believe there are two things to consider here.  One is that this section is an end time prophecy.  Two is that the last section has a double fulfillment; one being in 606 B. C. and the other being at the end of this age.  If that is so, then Assyria represents the anti-Christ empire at the end of this age.  That makes sense to many prophetic futurists since they believe "the Assyrian" spoken of here and elsewhere is prophetically symbolic of the anti-Christ.


Note the word "remnant" in verse 20.  A remnant is a smaller part of something larger.  At the end of this age, as predicted in many places in the Bible, there will be a remnant of Israelis who will return to their God. 


Note also the phrase, "survivors of the house of Jacob".  The term "house of Jacob" usually refers to all of Israel , although we know that the northern kingdom of Assyria never returned to nationhood.  It was through the southern kingdom of Israel that returns into nationhood, and, in the southern kingdom are those from all 12 tribes of Israel.  The word "survivor" here speaks of the Battle of Armageddon when thinking of this section as an end time prophecy.


At this point in history, as verse 20 states, Israel will no longer rely on them that struck them down.  From the time that Babylon overthrew the southern kingdom of Judah in 586 B. C., Israelis have been under someone's domination.  After Babylon it was the Persians, then the Greeks, and then the Romans.  After that, they were scattered all over the world, under domination of the nations in which they live.  It wasn't until 1948 when Israelis once again became a nation that they have experience no such domination.  That being said, there is so much pressure on Israel that I'm sure at times they feel like they're under domination by the world community. 


If this is truly an end time prophecy in this section, then, the domination here might well be the domination of the anti-Christ.  This is likely because many, if not most, prophetic futurists believe Israel will agree to a treaty with the anti-Christ which brings a measure of peace, but at the same time brings a measure of domination by the anti-Christ over Israel.


When this domination ends and Jesus defeats the anti-Christ, this remnant of Israel will rise and serve her God, who is, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as verse 20 states.


Verse 21 basically repeats verse 20.  A remnant of Israelis will return to their "Mighty God", or, as the Hebrew states, "to the God of armies", the God who returns to earth in Jesus along with this army.


Verse 22 confirms the Abrahamic Covenant.  Israel will be as many as the sands of the sea.  God promised that to Abraham and He will fulfill that promise, but something He didn't promise Abraham was that not all of His descendents would be faithful to their God. 


Verse 22 states that "only a remnant will return''.  I believe this means that only a remnant will return to both their land and to their God.  You cannot separate the return of Israel to their land, which comes first, and to their God, which comes after.  If you read Ezekiel 36 and 37 you will see this to be true.


Verse 22 also says the "destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous".  Whatever destruction you think this means, it was decreed by the Lord God before it took place.  It was not a last minute idea in the mind of God.  That being said, if you maintain the future end time aspect to this prophecy, the destruction spoken of here would be that of the anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation that ends this age.  Note that this decreed destruction is both overwhelming and righteous.  Jesus spoke of these days in terms of being so bad that human history will have never seen such times.  And, the things taking place, which is God's judgment, are righteous.  Many do not understand that when God judges, when He pours out His wrath, He is motivated by righteousness and nothing else.


Verse 23 is confirmation of verse 22.  The whole land, which I believe is the land of Israel, will see total destruction as we see in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and throughout the book of Revelation and elsewhere.


Note also, it's the Lord Almighty, the Lord of armies, it is He who carries out this destruction.  He is behind the Battle of Armageddon that ends this age. 


Because of the bright future Isaiah has just prophesied, God says to these Israelis not to be afraid in verses 24 to 27.  His anger will turn from Israel to Assyria, which it did.  The same will take place at the end of this age. 


Verse 27 speaks of a revival that would take place in Israel, that is, Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel.  For this reason, God would spare Judah. 


From verse 28 to the end of the chapter you see a number of cities mentioned.  These cities are in order of distance away from Jerusalem.  They represent the route the Assyrian army would take on their way to invade Jerusalem.  They'd get right to the city and then miraculously God would intervene and save Judah. Examples of this are as follows. Aiah 30 miles north east of Jerusalem; Micmash 7.5 miles from Jerusalem , Geba 6 miles away, Gibeah 4 miles away, Madmenah is 1 mile away, Nob is just inside of Jerusalem.



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