What does Isaiah 10:11 mean?
ESV: shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?”
NIV: shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?''
NASB: Shall I not do the same to Jerusalem and her images Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?'
CSB: and as I did to Samaria and its worthless images will I not also do to Jerusalem and its idols? "
NLT: So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods, just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.’'
KJV: Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?
The Lord quotes Sargon as asking one last question, and this question holds solid logic. He and his armies have destroyed the peoples of one city and nation after another. This was regardless of how powerful their gods were supposed to be (Isaiah 10:10). The gods and idols of those peoples could not stop the Assyrians. That included the idols of the people of Samaria in Israel. What would stop Sargon from doing the same to Jerusalem and her idols?
Sargon was right about one thing. Israel's false gods, these "images," had no power to keep him from destroying them and deporting tens of thousands out of the land. The Lord used Assyria to show His people just how utterly worthless their false idols were at protecting them.
He was wrong about Jerusalem. It's true that many in Jerusalem also worshipped false idols. But the Lord would not allow the Assyrians to take Jerusalem, no matter how hard they tried. The Lord was no idol or carved image that could be defeated.
Isaiah 10:5–19 describes Assyria as a weapon of the Lord's anger directed at His own people. The king of Assyria imagines himself to be the source of his own strength. He also images that he will keep conquering one nation after another. However, when the Lord has finished using Assyria, He will turn and judge the king for his arrogance. Does the axe boast over the one who uses it? Or does the staff lift the one who holds it? The Lord will consume Assyria as fire consumes a forest.
Isaiah declares woe on those in Israel and Judah who use the law to take advantage of the poor. These people will not escape the Lord's judgment. He next describes the Assyrians as the Lord's staff of judgment against the godless nation that is His people. When He is done punishing His people, the Lord will turn His anger on the Assyrians, nearly destroying them. Eventually, a remnant of Israelites will return to faith in the Lord. Destruction will come, but it will not consume everything. The Lord will triumph over Assyria.
Isaiah 10 follows prophecies about God's judgment on Israel for the nation's sins. It begins pronouncing sorrow for those who oppress the poor and needy. He also declares woe on the Assyrians, whom the Lord is using to judge His people Israel. Soon, the Lord will direct His anger against the Assyrians for the arrogance of their king. He will burn them down as a forest. A remnant of Israel will survive the Assyrian judgment and trust the Lord again. His anger will turn from Israel to Assyria. The Assyrian oppression of Israel will be ended.
Isaiah is among the most important prophetic books in the entire Bible. The first segment details God's impending judgment against ancient peoples for sin and idolatry (Isaiah 1—35). The second part of Isaiah briefly explains a failed assault on Jerusalem during the rule of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—39). The final chapters predict Israel's rescue from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 40—48), the promised Messiah (Isaiah 49—57), and the final glory of Jerusalem and God's people (Isaiah 58—66).
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