Verse

Isaiah 10:22

ESV For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.
NIV Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous.
NASB For though your people, Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.
CSB Israel, even if your people were as numerous as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed; justice overflows.
NLT But though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant of them will return. The Lord has rightly decided to destroy his people.
KJV For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

What does Isaiah 10:22 mean?

It's possible some Israelites in Isaiah's day held the same attitude as some religious leaders who talked to Jesus. They took God's promises to Abraham that their numbers would be as "countless as the sands of the sea" (Genesis 22:17) to mean that the Lord would never judge them for their sinfulness.

Jesus directly confronted this false idea. Speaking of judgment to come on Israel, "Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" (Luke 3:8–9).

Isaiah, too, directly disagrees that God's promise means that God cannot decrease the number of Israelites for a time. Only a remnant will remain after the failed siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:35) and much later after the captivity in Babylon.

Paul quotes this verse in Romans 9:27–28, speaking of the remnant of Israel that will be eternally saved through faith in Christ. Isaiah concludes by saying that God's judgment in this destruction is filled with righteousness. In other words, the Lord is right and acting fairly in only leaving a fraction of the people of Israel due their faithlessness and disobedience.
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