"they of the house of "Manasseh", with those of the house of "Ephraim", and they of the house of "Ephraim", with those of the house of "Manasseh", shall be joined together as one, to come against them of the house of Judah;''
and so Jarchi interprets them,
""Manasseh" shall be joined with "Ephraim", and "Ephraim" shall be joined with "Manasseh", and they together shall be joined against Judah;''
so it follows,
and they together shall be against Judah; as the ten tribes did sometimes make war against the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, see 2 Chronicles 28:6,
for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still; more and sorer judgments were to come upon this people for their sins. See Gill on Isaiah 9:12.
INTRODUCTION TO Isaiah 10
This chapter contains denunciations of punishment, first on the governors of the Jewish nation, and then upon the Assyrians; a woe is denounced on the makers and imposers of bad laws, whereby the poor and the needy, the widows and the fatherless, were deprived of their right, Isaiah 10:1 which woe or punishment is explained to be a desolation of their country by the Assyrians, that should come afar off, and which they could not escape; under whom they should bow and fall; and yet there should not be an end of their punishment, Isaiah 10:3 next follows a prophecy of the destruction of the Assyrians themselves, for the comfort of God's people; in which is observed, that the Assyrian monarch was an instrument in the hand of the Lord to chastise his people, and therefore is called the rod and staff of his wrath and indignation, Isaiah 10:5 the people are described against whom he was sent, and the end for which is mentioned, Isaiah 10:6 though this was not his intention, nor did he design to stop here, but to destroy and cut off many other nations, Isaiah 10:7 which he hoped to do from the magnificence of his princes, who were as kings, and from the conquests he had made of kingdoms, and their chief cities, Isaiah 10:8 wherefore, when the Lord had done what he designed to do by him among his people the Jews, he was determined to punish him, because of the pride of his heart, and the haughtiness of his looks, and his boasting of his strength and wisdom, and of his robberies and plunders, without opposition; which boasting was as foolish as if an axe, a saw, a rod, and a staff, should boast, magnify, move, and lift up themselves against the person that made use of them, Isaiah 10:12 which punishment is said to come from the Lord, and is expressed by leanness, and by a consuming and devouring fire; for which reason his army is compared to thorns and briers, to a forest, and a fruitful field, which should be destroyed at once; so that what of the trees remained should be so few as to be numbered by a child, Isaiah 10:16 and, for the further consolation of the people of God, it is observed, that in the times following the destruction of the Assyrian monarchy, a remnant of the people of Israel should be converted, and no more lean upon an arm of flesh, but upon the Lord Christ, the Holy One of Israel; even a remnant only; for though that people were very numerous, yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, should be saved, when it was the determinate counsel of God, and according to his righteous judgment, to destroy the far greater part of them, for their perverseness and obstinacy, Isaiah 10:20 wherefore the people of God are exhorted not to be afraid of the Assyrian, though chastised by him; since in a little time the anger of the Lord would cease in his destruction, which should be after the manner of the Egyptians at the Red sea, and as the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; whereby they would be free from his burden and yoke, because of the anointed King that should reign, or the King Messiah, Isaiah 10:24 and then follows a description of the expedition of the king of Assyria into Judea, by making mention of the several places through which he should pass with terror to the inhabitants, until he should come to Jerusalem, against which he should shake his hand, Isaiah 10:28 and then, under the similes of lopping a bough, and cutting down the thickets of a forest, and the trees of Lebanon, is predicted the destruction of his army and its generals by an angel, Isaiah 10:33.
and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; laws grievous and intolerable being made by them, they wrote them, or ordered them to be written, to be engrossed and promulgated, published them, and obliged the people to be subject to them. This some understand of the scribes of judges, who sat in court, and wrote out the decrees and sentences made by them; but it rather intends the same persons as before; and not ecclesiastical but political governors are meant, and such as lived before the Babylonish captivity; or otherwise the whole is applicable to the Scribes and Pharisees, to the Misnic doctors, the authors of the oral law, the fathers of tradition, whose decisions and decrees were unrighteous and injurious, and contrary to the commands of God; heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and very oppressive of the poor, the fatherless, and the widow; for which they are reproved by Christ, Matthew 15:3 Jarchi says it is an Arabic (g) word, which signifies scribes.
(g) So and Scriba, Golius, col. 1999; so the word is used in the Chaldee and Syriac languages. See Castel. col. 1828, 1829.
and to take away the right from the poor of my people; for not to do justice to the poor is the same as to rob and plunder them, and take away by force what of right belongs to them; wherefore it follows:
that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless; who have none to protect and defend them, and whose protectors judges ought to be, in imitation of God, whom civil magistrates represent, who is the Judge of the widows and the fatherless; and therefore this is observed as an aggravation of their sin, which was very great indeed: it is very wicked in a judge to pervert the judgment of the poor and needy, the widow and the fatherless, contrary to laws that are made by God and men; but to make and prescribe wicked and unrighteous laws, that wickedness may be framed, and mischief committed by a law, that the poor and the needy, the widows and fatherless, may be injured under colour and pretence of law and justice, is the height of injustice. See Psalm 94:20.
"what will ye do in the day that your sins shall be visited upon you?''
it designs the Babylonish captivity, as the next words show; the same phrase is used of the destruction of the Jews by the Romans, Luke 19:44,
and in the desolation which shall come from far? from Assyria, which was distant from the land of Judea: the word (h) for "desolation" signifies a storm, tumult, noise, and confusion; referring to what would be made by the Assyrian army, when it came upon them:
to whom will ye flee for help? Rezin king of Syria, their confederate, being destroyed; and Syria, with whom they were in alliance, now become their enemy, see Isaiah 9:11,
and where will ye leave your glory? either their high titles, and ensigns of honour, as princes, judges, and civil magistrates, which they should be stripped of; or rather their mammon, as Aben Ezra interprets it, their unrighteous mammon, which they got by perverting the judgment of the poor and needy, the widow and the fatherless, of which they gloried; and which now would be taken away from them, when they should go into captivity.
(h) "sub procella, quae a longinquo veniet", Cocceius; so the Targum renders it, "in tumult of tribulation".
for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still; the final and utter destruction of the nation of the Jews being then not yet come, when carried captive to Babylon, there remained a greater calamity for them, to come by the hands of the Romans. These first four verses Isaiah 10:1 seem more properly to belong to the preceding chapter Isaiah 9:1, and this should begin with the next verse Isaiah 10:5.
(i) Ebr. Concord. Part. p. 201, 771.
and the staff in their hand is mine indignation; that is, the staff which was in the hand of the king of Assyria, and his army, with which they smote the people of Israel, was no other than the wrath and indignation of God against that people, and the execution of it, which he committed to them as instruments. Kimchi interprets "their hand" of the land of Israel, into which this staff was sent, the Assyrian, to smite and chastise them. The Targum is,
"woe to the Assyrian, the government of my fury; and an angel sent from before me against them for a curse.''
and against the people of my wrath: who provoked him to wrath, were deserving of it, and upon whom he was about to bring it; it was their hypocrisy that stirred up his wrath against them; nothing is more hateful to God than that:
will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey: that is, the Assyrian monarch, to make a spoil and a prey of the people of the Jews, not by any legal commission, or express command, but by the secret power of his providence, guiding and directing him into the land of Judea, to ravage and spoil it:
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets: which denotes the great subjection of the inhabitants of it to him; the very low and mean estate into which they should be brought; the great contempt they should be had in; the little account that should be had of them; and their inability to help and recover themselves.
but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations, not a few; not the nation of the Jews only, but many others, and so establish an universal monarchy; and what flushed him with hope and expectation of success were the magnificence of his princes, and the conquests he had already made.
"as the children of Carchemish are princes and rulers, so are the children of Calno;''
as if this was giving an instance of the grandeur of his subjects; but much better is the Targum,
"as Carchemish is subdued before me, shall not Calno be so?''
as I or my ancestors have conquered the one, it is as easy for me to conquer the other; or as sure as the one is subject to me, so sure shall the other be; for Carchemish was a city belonging to the Assyrians, situated upon the river Euphrates, 2 Chronicles 35:20 called by Ammianus (k) Circusium; the Syriac version calls it Barchemosh; and Calno is the same with Calneh in the land of Shinar, a city built by Nimrod, Genesis 10:10 in the Septuagint version it is called Chalane, and it is added,
"where the tower was built;''
from whence the country, called by Pliny (l) Chalonitis, had its name, the chief city of which was Ctesiphon, thought to be the same with Calneh.
Is not Hamath as Arphad? Hamath and Arphad were both cities conquered by the Assyrians; see 2 Kings 18:34 and are both mentioned along with Damascus, Jeremiah 49:23.
Is not Samaria as Damascus? Damascus was the metropolis of Syria, and was taken by the Assyrians; and Samaria was the metropolis of Ephraim, or the ten tribes; see Isaiah 7:8 and was as easy to be taken as Damascus was. The Targum is,
"as Arphad is delivered into my hands, shall not Hamath be so? As I have done to Damascus, so will I do to Samaria.''
(k) L. 23. c. 5. p. 360. (l) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 26. and 27.
And whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; being made of better metal, or more richly ornamented, or worshipped in a more pompous manner; or were "more" than they of Jerusalem and Samaria, exceeded them in number; or were "stronger" and mightier than they, as Kimchi supplies it, and yet could not protect them; or were "from Jerusalem, and from Samaria"; the wicked men of Israel, Jarchi says, supplied all the nations with images, they all sprung from them; and if the idols which came from hence could not secure the nations of the earth from falling into the hands of the Assyrian monarch, neither could they preserve Jerusalem and Samaria from being taken by him.
so do to Jerusalem, and her idols; he had taken Samaria, and carried the ten tribes captive, and now his eye was upon Judah and Jerusalem; and such was his insolence, impiety, and blasphemy, that he reckons the true God, whom the Jews worshipped, among the idols of the Gentiles, and upon a level with them, if not inferior to them, especially to his own idol, and thought himself superior to him.
that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion, and on Jerusalem; in correcting, chastising, and humbling the inhabitants thereof, by suffering them to be besieged by the Assyrian army. God sometimes makes use of wicked men to chastise his people; this is his work, and not theirs; and when he begins, he goes on, and finishes it; and when he has done, punishes the instruments he uses; after he has scourged his children, he takes the rod, and breaks it to pieces.
I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks; that is, he would punish him for his wicked actions, which were the fruit of the haughtiness of his heart, and the pride of his eyes; or for that pride which filled his heart, and showed itself in his lofty looks. Kimchi joins this to the preceding clause, and makes the sense to be, that God would punish the Assyrian for his pride, in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; for there his army died, or near it, being smitten by the angel. The Targum is,
"and it shall be, when the Lord hath finished to do all that he hath said in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem.''
and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; attributing his conquests partly to his power, and partly to his skill and prudence in marshalling his army, making use of stratagems to decoy the enemy, and get an advantage of him; whereas strength and power, and so wisdom and prudence, are from the Lord; as he gives safety, victory, and salvation to kings, so he teaches their hands to war, and their fingers to fight; which they ought to acknowledge, and will, unless vain and proud:
and I have removed the bounds of the people; by subduing kingdoms, and adding them to his own, so that they were no more distinct governments; and by transplanting the inhabitants of them to other places, and making new colonies and settlements; and so the Targum,
"and I have removed the people from province to province:''
taking that to himself which belongs to God, who has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of men's habitations:
and have robbed their treasures: laid up in palaces, temples, sepulchres, and private houses, for time to come, which are usually plundered when cities and towns are taken; the Targum renders it,
"their laudable cities:''
and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man; from their greatness, from their seats of honour and dignity; or I have put down many inhabitants, as Jarchi, and reduced great numbers to a low and mean estate. The Targum is,
"I have brought down with strength they that dwell in fortified places;''
and so Aben Ezra and Kimchi explain it, they that dwell in a strong place or palace.
and as one gathereth eggs that are left; by the bird, who not sitting upon them, there is none to protect them; whereas, when they are sat upon by the bird, she will flutter with her wings, and strike with her bill, and preserve them as well as she can:
have I gathered all the earth; the kingdoms and inhabitants of it, there being none to resist, or that dared to do it, as follows:
and there was none that moved the wing; as a bird will do, when its young or eggs are taken away from it:
or opened the mouth, or peeped; chattered, clucked, or expressed any grief, uneasiness, or resentment; the Targum is,
"that opened his mouth, and spoke a word.''
or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? or draws it to and fro; which is the sense of the Targum, Septuagint, and Vulgate Latin versions, and others; and which further exposes the vanity and arrogance of the Assyrian monarch, who had no more concern in the spoiling of nations, and destruction of kingdoms, than the saw has in cutting of timber that is hewn; which has its form, its sharp teeth, not of itself, but from the maker; and when thus made, and fit for use, cannot draw itself to and fro, and cut trees in pieces, which are felled by the axe, but must be moved by another; and to insult the mover of it, as if it was not his act, but its own, is not more absurd than what this haughty prince was guilty of, in boasting of his power, wisdom, and prudence, in the above mentioned things:
as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up (m); for such was the king of Assyria, he was no other than the rod of the Lord's anger, Isaiah 10:5 and which he lifted up, and with it chastised his people; wherefore for him to behave haughtily against the Lord, and arrogate that to himself which was the Lord's doing, was as if a rod should shake itself against him that lifts it up; or, "as if a rod should shake those that lift it up": as if there were more power in the rod than in them that take it up and strike with it; yea, that even the rod moves them, and not they the rod, which is wretchedly absurd:
or, as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood (n); but something more than wood, an animate creature, a rational agent, whereas it is nothing else but wood; or "as if a staff should lift up" itself against that which is "not wood", like itself, but is a man, that can move himself and that too; or "as if a staff should lift up" that which is "not wood"; attempt to bear, carry, move, and direct that which is not material like itself, but is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, even the almighty God. De Dieu thinks that is not a verb, but a noun of the plural number, of "a mountain": and renders it, "as if a rod should shake those that lift it up: and as if a staff were mountains, and not wood". The Targum is,
"when a rod is lifted up to smite, it is not the rod that smites, but he that smites with it.''
The sense is, that the Assyrian monarch was only a rod and staff in the hand of the Lord, and only moved and acted as used by him; whereas, according to his vain boast, he was the sole agent, and all was done by his own power and prudence; and was so far from being moved and directed by the power and providence of God, that he was the director of him; which is infinitely more absurd than the things instanced in.
(m) Ben Melech observes, that this is to be understood of the blessed God; and the word being in the plural number, it is the same way, of speaking as in Joshua 24.19. "the Holy Gods is he".
(n) Gussetius thinks this clause contains an ironical answer to the above questions, "shall the axe boast itself?" &c.; "shall the saw magnify itself?" &c.; they should, "as the rod should shake itself" &c.; just in like manner as that does, and so by lifting up itself, ceases to be wood; and which being sarcastically spoken, carries in it a strong negative, that the axe and saw should not glory, or magnify themselves, and no more should the king of Assyria. Vid. Comment. Ebr. p. 360.
send among his fat ones leanness; the Targum is, among his princes, who abounded in riches and honour; or his army, and the chiefs in it, the mighty and strong; and by "leanness" is meant destruction and death, which came upon his army, and the great men of it, immediately from the hand of God; see Psalm 106:15 compared with Numbers 11:33,
and under his glory he shall kindle a burning, like the burning of a fire; that is, under his army, which was great and glorious, very numerous, and well accoutred with clothes and arms, and made a very splendid and glittering show, and of which the Assyrian monarch gloried; this army the Jews say was destroyed by fire, and that the bodies of the men were burnt, and their clothes untouched; but Jarchi interprets this glory of their garments, which give a man glory, and says these were burnt; the Targum calls them their vessels of glory; perhaps meaning their glittering arms, which were burnt along with them.
and his Holy One for a flame; that is, the Holy One of Israel, the God of Israel, who is holy in himself, and the sanctifier of others; the Syriac version reads, "his Holy Ones": so Jarchi observes it as the sense of some, that the righteous of that generation are meant; the Targum is,
"and there shall be the Lord, the light of Israel, and his Holy One; and his word strong as fire, and his word as a flame;''
see Jeremiah 23:29 so Jarchi interprets it of the law Hezekiah studied:
and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; the Targum interprets it, his rulers and governors; and so Jarchi, his princes and mighty men; the chief in the Assyrian army, called briers and thorns, because mischievous and hurtful, and caused grief; but rather the multitude of the common soldiers is designed, who were all destroyed in one night, 2 Kings 19:35 by an angel; who, according to Aben Ezra, is the light and Holy One of Israel here spoken of.
both soul and body, or "from the soul even to the flesh" (o); which denotes the total consumption of them, nothing of them remaining; the Targum is,
"the glory of the multitude of his army, and their souls with their bodies, it shall consume;''
and so some understand this of the eternal destruction of soul and body in hell: the Rabbins are divided about the manner of the consumption of the Assyrian army; some say their bodies and souls were both burnt, which these words seem to favour; and others, that their souls were burnt, and not their bodies, their lives were taken away, and their bodies unhurt; which they think is favoured by Isaiah 10:16 where it is said, "under his glory", and not "his glory" (p):
and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth; who when he fails, the whole company or army is thrown into confusion, and flees; and so the Targum,
"and he shall be broken, and flee.''
Some render it, "as the dust of the worm that eats wood" (q); so Jarchi; signifying that they should be utterly destroyed, and become as small as the dust that falls from a worm eaten tree; which simile is used, a forest being made mention of before.
(o) "ab anima usque ad carnem", V. L. Montanus, Piscator. (p) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 113. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol 94. 1, 2. See Kimchi in loc. (q) "at pulvis teredinis", Tigurine version.
that a child may write them; count them, and take down their names; and it may be understood of a military muster, and the sense be, that the army should be reduced to so small a number by this stroke upon them, that there would be no need of an able muster master to take the account of them, a child would be equal to such a task. The Targum is,
"and the rest of his warriors shall fail, that the people shall be a small number, and shall be reckoned a weak kingdom.''
(r) T. Bab. ib. fol. 95. 2. Praefat. Echa Rabbati, fol. 41. 1.
that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob; who should return from the Babylonish captivity, and be settled in their own land:
shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; either on the kings of Egypt, who were originally their oppressors, and in whom they had been so foolish as to put their trust and confidence, they being but a broken staff and reed, Isaiah 30:2 or on the king of Assyria, in the time of Ahaz, who made him pay tribute, and afterwards fought against him:
but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth; that is, upon Christ, the Lord of all, and King of saints; the Lord their righteousness, and from whom they have their holiness: to stay or lean on him is expressive of faith in him, of reliance and dependence on him, and trust in him; which is done in sincerity and uprightness of soul, unfeigned and without dissimulation; not in profession only, but in reality, and as nakedly revealed in the Gospel, without type and figure; for this respects Gospel times, in which the shadows of the law are gone, and Christ, as the object of faith, appears unveiled, being come a High Priest of good things to come. The Targum is they
"shall no more lean on the people whom they served; but they shall lean upon the Word of the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth;''
that is, on the essential Word, the Messiah: this was the case of a few of them, a remnant according to the election of grace, as the following words show.
even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God; the Messiah, so called, Isaiah 9:6. The Targum is,
"the remnant which have not sinned, and are turned from sin; the remnant of the house of Jacob shall return to worship before the mighty God.''
yet a remnant of them shall return; or "be converted in it" (t), to the Messiah; or "be saved", as the apostle interprets it; see Gill on Romans 9:27; a remnant is a few, as Kimchi explains it, out of a great number: it signifies, that the majority of the Jewish nation should reject the Messiah, only a few of them should believe in him; and these should certainly believe in him, and be saved by him; and that for the following reason, because
the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness; that is, the precise and absolute decree, concerning the salvation of the remnant, God will cause to overflow, or abundantly execute, in a righteous manner, consistent with his divine perfections; and so it makes for the comfort of the remnant of the Lord's people, agreeably to the intent of the apostle's citation of it; see Gill on Romans 9:28; though some understand it of God's punitive justice, in consuming and destroying the greater part of the Jewish people, the ungodly among them, and saving a remnant, which return and repent; and to this sense are the Targum, and the Jewish commentators.
(s) "Nam etsi fuerit populus tuus, O Israel, sicut arena maris", Piscator. (t) "convertetur in eo", Montanus, Cocceius.
even determined, in the midst of all the land; that is, the determined decree should be executed in the several parts of the land of Judea, where this remnant was; for which reason the Gospel was preached in the several cities of Judah, in order to accomplish it, both by Christ and his apostles.
O my people, that dwellest in Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem; such of them especially as feared the Lord, and worshipped him, and served him in the temple:
be not afraid of the Assyrian: the king of Assyria; neither Sennacherib, that threatened them with ruin, having taken the cities of Judah, and laid siege to Jerusalem; nor Nebuchadnezzar, who carried them captive, since he would not be able utterly to destroy them, they would return and dwell in the land again; for there was a decree concerning the salvation of a remnant, which would certainly take place; and till that was executed, it was impossible the nation should be destroyed.
He shall smite thee with a rod; be an instrument of chastising and correcting, but not of destroying; Jarchi interprets it of smiting with the rod of his mouth, by means of Rabshakeh reproaching, and blaspheming:
and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt; which Kimchi explains of the tribute the Assyrians exacted of them, in like manner as the Egyptians set taskmasters over them, and afflicted them with hard bondage, in Egypt: the sense is, that though the Assyrians should annoy and distress them, yet should not utterly consume them; there would be an end of their oppression, and a deliverance out of it; even as when they were in Egypt, and oppressed there, the Lord appeared for them, and supported them, and at length saved them, and so he would now. Mention is made of a rod and a staff, in allusion to what the Assyrian is said to be in the hand of the Lord, Isaiah 10:5.
and the indignation shall cease; the indignation of the Lord against his people Israel, shown by bringing the Assyrian monarch against them, of which he was the staff or instrument, Isaiah 10:5,
and mine anger in their destruction; not in the destruction of the Jews, but the Assyrians: the sense is, that the anger of God towards the people of the Jews for the present should be discontinued, when the Assyrian army was destroyed. The Targum is,
"for yet a very little while, and the curses shall cease from you of the house of Jacob; and mine anger shall be upon the people that work iniquity, to destroy them;''
that is, the Assyrians.
according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: this refers to the destruction of the Midianites in the time of Gideon; and suggests, that the slaughter of the Assyrians should be like that, as it was; for as that was in the night, and very general, and immediately from the hand of the Lord, and was unthought of, and unexpected, and such of their princes that fled were taken and slain, particularly Oreb, at the rock which took its name from him; for not mount Horeb, and the rock there smitten by Moses, are meant, which is written with different letters; see the history of this in Judges 7:19 so it was in the night when the Assyrian army was destroyed, and that wholly; and not by the Israelites, but by the Angel of the Lord; and at once, at an unawares; and though Sennacherib fled and escaped, he was slain by his own sons, in his own city, in the temple of his god, 2 Kings 19:35,
and as his rod was upon the sea; referring to Moses's rod, which was lifted up, by the order of the Lord, over the Red Sea, when the Egyptians were drowned:
so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt; and destroy the Assyrians, in like manner as he destroyed the Egyptians, all at once.
and his yoke from off thy neck; the same with the burden; unless it means also the subjection of the cities of Judah, which were taken by the Assyrian; and indeed it may be extended further, and be considered as a prophecy not merely of deliverance from the present distress, but from the future captivity in Babylon; and which was a type of the deliverance and redemption by Christ, when the Lord's people were delivered from the burden of sin, the guilt and punishment of it; from the yoke of the law, the yoke of bondage; and from the tyranny of Satan, and out of the hand of every enemy; and this seems to be hinted at in the next clause:
and thy yoke shall be destroyed, because of the anointing; or, "be corrupted, because of fatness" (u); through the multitude of riches and honours, with which the Assyrian monarchy abounded; which fill with pride, introduce luxury, and so bring ruin, on a state. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret the anointing of Hezekiah, the anointed king of Israel, for whose sake the Assyrian yoke was destroyed. The Rabbins say, that this deliverance was wrought on account of the large quantity of oil which Hezekiah consumed in the schools and synagogues, for the study of the law, and the explanation of it; but the Targum much better refers it to the Messiah,
"the people shall be broken from before the Messiah;''
who was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, and for whose sake, and by whom, the yoke of sin, Satan, and the law, has been destroyed. Vitringa interprets it of the Spirit of God, and his powerful operations, whose gifts and graces are often compared to oil and ointment; and makes the words parallel to Zechariah 4:6.
(u) "et corrumpetur jugum propter oleum", Cocceius; "prae pinguedine", Quidam in Munster.
He is passed to Migron; this place, as the former, was in the tribe of Benjamin; mention is made of it, as in the uttermost part of Gibeah, 1 Samuel 14:2. Sennacherib seems not to have stayed either in this, or the former place:
at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages; here was a passage, called the passage of Michmash, where was the garrison of the Philistines; and on each side of it were two rocks, one called Bozez, and the other Seneh; one of which fronted Michmash to the north, and the other Gibeah to the south, 1 Samuel 13:23 by Josephus (y) it is called Mechmas, a city; and so it is in the Apocrypha:
"Thus the sword ceased from Israel: but Jonathan dwelt at Machmas, and began to govern the people; and he destroyed the ungodly men out of Israel.'' (1 Maccabees 9:73)
In Jerom's time it was a very large village, who says it was nine miles from Jerusalem (z): mention is made of it in the Misna (a), as famous for the best fine flour; and this the king of Assyria made his magazine, and in it laid up his provisions and warlike stores, from whence he might be supplied upon occasion. The words may be rendered, "he hath laid up his arms"; and Kimchi thinks he left the greatest part of his arms here, and went in haste to Jerusalem, imagining he should have no occasion for them, but should easily take it. The Targum is,
"at Micmas he shall appoint the princes of his army;''
the generals of it: perhaps the sense is, that here he made a muster of his army, examined the arms of his soldiers, appointed the proper officers, and gave them their instructions.
(w) Shemot Rabba, sect. 32. fol. 135. 2.((x) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 87. E. (y) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 6. sect. 1. & l. 13. c. 1. sect. 6. (z) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 93. F. (a) Menachot, c. 8. sect. 1.
they have taken up their lodging at Geba; or "Geba was their lodging"; that is, for a night only; not that they continued here for any time, as our version seems to suggest. This was a city in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 21:17 called Geba of Benjamin, 1 Kings 15:22.
Ramah is afraid; the inhabitants of it, as the Targum, at the report of the march of the king of Assyria and his army, and their being near to them. Ramah was in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25 it is mentioned with Gibeah in Hosea 5:8 upon which place Jerom says it was seven miles from Jerusalem; but elsewhere (c) he says it was but six, and was to the north against Bethel. See Judges 19:13.
Gibeah of Saul is fled; that is, the inhabitants of it fled, upon hearing the king of Assyria with his army was coming that way. This was also a city of Benjamin, and is called Gibeah of Benjamin, 1 Samuel 13:2 and Gibeah of Saul, 1 Samuel 11:4 as here; either because he was born there, as Jerom (d) affirms; and certain it is, that he was of the tribe of Benjamin; or because he built it, or at least a palace in it to dwell in, as Kimchi thinks; and it is plain he dwelt here, for it is called his home, 1 Samuel 10:26 the name of the place with Josephus (e) is Gabathsaoula, which he makes to be thirty furlongs or four miles from Jerusalem, and says it signifies "Saul's hill", and that it was situated in a place called the Valley of Thorns.
(b) "a transitu". (c) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 94. B. (d) Comment. in Hos. v. 8. (e) De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 2. sect. 1.
Cause it to be heard unto Laish; if this was the place the Danites took, and called it Dan, it was on the northern border of Judea, in the furthermost part of the land; hence the phrase, from Dan to Beersheba; it was near to Caesarea or Paneas, from whence the river Jordan took its rise; and was a great way off, either of Gallim or Anathoth, for the voice of them to be heard.
O poor Anathoth! this was a city in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 21:18 it was the native place of the Prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:1 according to Josephus (g), it was twenty furlongs from Jerusalem; and, according to Jerom (h), three miles: it is called "poor", because it was but a poor mean village; or because it would now become so, through the ravages of the Assyrian army.
(f) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 92. D. (g) Antiqu. l. 13. c. 7. sect. 3.((h) Comment. in Hieremiam, l. 1. fol. 121. H. & l. 2. fol. 132. F. & l. 6. 161. C.
The inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee; of this place we have no account any where. Hillerus (k) thinks the whole name of the city was Joshebehaggebim, which we render "the inhabitants of Gebim"; and supposes it had its name from the ditches that were in it, or about it.
(i) De Iocis Hebraicis, fol. 93. E. (k) Onomast. Sacr. p. 310.
he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem; threatening what he would do to it, and despising it as unable to hold out against him; or the sense is this, yet a day, or in a day's time, from the last place where he was; he shall come to Nob, and there shall he stop, and go no further: or, "the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem, shall shake its hand"; bidding him defiance, insulting over him, or rejoicing at the fall of the Assyrian army. Wherefore it follows:
(l) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 95. 1.
"behold, the Lord of the world, the Lord of hosts, shall cast forth the slain in his camp, as grapes that are trod in a winepress.''
And the high ones of stature shall be hewn down; the princes of Assyria, so boasted of as kings, Isaiah 10:8 comparable to tall trees, to oaks and cedars:
and the haughty shall be humbled; who, like their monarch, boasted of their wisdom and strength, Isaiah 10:12 but now both he and they will be brought very low.