Isaiah 10:13

ESV For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
NIV For he says: ''By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings.
NASB For he has said, 'By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, Because I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a powerful man I brought down their inhabitants,
CSB For he said: I have done this by my own strength and wisdom, for I am clever. I abolished the borders of nations and plundered their treasures; like a mighty warrior, I subjugated the inhabitants.
NLT He boasts, 'By my own powerful arm I have done this. With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it. I have broken down the defenses of nations and carried off their treasures. I have knocked down their kings like a bull.
KJV For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:

What does Isaiah 10:13 mean?

The Lord has said that once His work of judging His people through the Assyrians is finished, He will turn and punish the Assyrian king for his arrogance (Isaiah 10:12). Sargon II may be one of the kings described here, along with Sennacherib, though the attitude is representative of many of the kings of Assyria.

Isaiah puts words in the mouth of those kings to describe their arrogance. They genuinely believe in their greatness. They are convinced they have succeeded in destroying one nation after another by their own strength. They remove the boundaries between nations by claiming each one they overpower as their own. They have plundered the treasures of each new conquered people, adding to Assyria's enormous wealth. They are as unstoppable as a bull, bringing down everyone who dares to stand against Assyria's might.

The prophet Isaiah is not overstating the attitude of these rulers. These over-the-top descriptions of kings from this era of history can be found in ancient inscriptions. Each insisted on trumpeting his accomplishments and claiming ultimate power in the world. The Lord detested their blind pride. He knew they were merely tools in His hands. Tools that He would quickly dispose of once He was done with them.
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