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The woe of unjust oppressors, ver. 1 - 4.
Of Assyria for their pride and ambition, his folly in it,
ver. 5 - 19.
A remnant of Israel shall be saved, and that speedily,
ver. 20 - 27.
Sennacherib marching toward Jerusalem, ver. 28 - 31.
His judgment, ver. 32 - 34.
1: Woe - Unto those magistrates who make unjust laws, and give unjust
sentences. Grievousness - Grievous things, such unjust decrees as cause
grief and vexation to their subjects.
2: Judgment - From obtaining a just sentence.
3: From far - From the Assyrians. This he adds, because the
Israelites, having weakened the Jews and being in amity with the
Assyrians their next neighbours, were secure. Leave - To be kept
safe for your use. Glory - Your wealth.
4: Without me - Without my favour and help, which you have forfeited.
Shall bow down - Notwithstanding all your succours.
5: O Assyrian - This is God's invitation to him to take the charge,
and set upon the work. The rod - The instrument of mine anger, wherewith
I shall chastise my people. Anger - Mine anger against my people puts
the weapons of war into their hand.
6: Send him - By my providence, giving him both occasion and
inclination to this expedition.
7: Howbeit - He doth not design the execution of my will, but only
to enlarge his own empire. Which is seasonably added, to justify God
in his judgments threatened to the Assyrian. To cut off - To sacrifice
multitudes of people to his own ambition and covetousness.
8: Kings - Equal for power and wealth, and glory, to the kings of
9: Is not - Have not I conquered one place as well as another, the
stronger as well as the weaker? Samaria - Or, shall not Samaria be
as Damascus? Shall I not take that, as I have done this city?
10: The kingdoms - Which worshipped their own idols, and vainly
imagined that they could protect them from my power. He calls the gods of
the nations, not excepting Jerusalem, idols, by way of contempt, because
none of them could deliver their people out of his hands, and because he
judged them to be but petty gods, far inferior to the sun, which was the
god of the Assyrians.
12: Wherefore - Because of this impudent blasphemy. His work - Of
chastising his people so long as he sees fit. Looks - His insolent
words and carriage.
13: Removed - I have invaded their lands, and added them to my own
dominions, (Pr 22:28).
Put down - Deprived of their former glory and power.
14: Eggs - Which the dam left in her nest. Gathered - All the
riches of the earth. An hyperbole not unusual in the mouths of such
persons. Peeped - As birds do, which, when they see the robbing of
their nest, express their grief and anger, by hovering about them,
and by mournful cries.
15: The ax - How absurd is it, for thee, who art but an instrument in
God's hand, to blaspheme thy Lord and master, who has as great power over
thee, as a man hath over the ax wherewith he heweth?
16: The Lord - The sovereign Lord of thine and all other armies, shall
strip him and all his princes, of their wealth, and might, and glory; and
destroy his numerous army, as the fire doth those combustible things which
are cast into it.
17: The light - That God who is and will be a comfortable light
to his people. A fire - To the Assyrians. Thorns - His vast army,
which is no more able to resist God, than dry thorns and briars are
to oppose the fire.
18: The glory - Of his great army, which may not unfitly be compared
to a forest, for the numbers of men, who stood as thick as trees do in a
forest. Field - Of his soldiers, who stood as thick as ears of corn in a
fruitful field. Soul and body - Totally, both inwardly and outwardly.
They shall be - Like that of an army when their standard - bearer is slain
or flees away, which strikes a panic into the whole army.
19: The rest - The remainder of that mighty host.
20: And such - Such Jews as shall be preserved from that sweeping
Assyrian scourge. Stay - Shall no more trust to the Assyrians for
22: A remnant - Or, a remnant only. The consumption - The
destruction of Israel was already decreed by the fixed counsel of
God, and therefore must needs be executed, and like a deluge overflow
them. Righteousness - With justice, and yet with clemency, inasmuch as
he has spared a considerable remnant of them, when he might have destroyed
23: In the midst - In all the parts of the land, not excepting
Jerusalem, which was to be preserved in the Assyrian invasion.
24: Therefore - This is an inference, not from the words immediately
foregoing, but from the whole prophecy. Seeing the Assyrian shall be
destroyed. Smite - He shall afflict, but not destroy thee. Egypt - As
the Egyptians formerly did.
25: Indignation - Mine anger towards the Assyrian. Cease - As
anger commonly does when vengeance is fully executed.
26: Stir up - Shall send a destroying angel. Midian - Whom God
slew suddenly and unexpectedly, in the night. Oreb - Upon which one of
their chief princes was slain, and nigh unto which the Midianites were
destroyed. The sea - To divide it, and make way for thy deliverance, and
for the destruction of the Egyptians.
27: Burden - The burden of the Assyrian.
The anointing - Possibly this may be understood of David, who is often
mentioned in scripture by the name of God's anointed; and for whose
sake, God gave many deliverances to the succeeding kings and ages,
as is expressly affirmed, (1Ki 11:32),34. God declares that he
would give this very deliverance from the Assyrian, for David's sake,(2Ki 19:34,20:6).
But the Messiah is principally intended, of whom David was but a
type; and who was in a particular manner anointed above his fellows,
as is said, (Ps 45:7). For he is the foundation of all the promises,(2Co 1:20), and of all the deliverances and mercies granted to God's
people in all ages.
28: He - Here the prophet returns to the Assyrian invasion; which
he describes, after the manner of the prophets, as a thing present,
and sets down the several stages by which he marched towards Jerusalem.
He, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, is come, in his way to
Jerusalem. Laid up - Leaving such things there as were less necessary,
that so he might march with more expedition.
29: Fled - The people fled to Jerusalem for fear of the
30: Daughter - Jerusalem was the mother city, and lesser towns
are commonly called her daughters.
32: Shake - By way of comminution.
33: The bough - The top - bough, Sennacherib, with a most terrible
34: Iron - Or, as with iron, as the trees of the forest are
cut down with instruments of iron. Lebanon - Or, his Lebanon, the
Assyrian army, which being before compared to a forest, and being
called his Carmel in the Hebrew text, ver.(18), may very fitly
upon the same ground, be called his Lebanon here.