What does Isaiah 10:12 mean?
ESV: When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.
NIV: When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, 'I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.
NASB: So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, 'I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the arrogant pride of his eyes.'
CSB: But when the Lord finishes all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, "I will punish the king of Assyria for his arrogant acts and the proud look in his eyes."
NLT: After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him — for he is proud and arrogant.
KJV: Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
Verse Commentary:
The kings of the Assyrians believed in their own might. They built armies into cruel and relentless machines of war. They developed strategies and executed them to wild success. They were conquering the world (Isaiah 10:8–11). According to their own thinking, this was entirely their own power and their own will coming to be.

Yet that was not true. Isaiah states that it is the Lord who is executing His own plans and strategies. The Assyrians are nothing but a destructive tool in His hands. One that He will use to bring judgment on His own people in Israel and Judah. Once the Lord has finished that work of judgment on Mount Zion, where the temple stood, and in Jerusalem, He will turn and punish the king of Assyria.

What exactly is the king of Assyria guilty of? If he is fulfilling the Lord's purpose, even without realizing it? Isaiah says that the Lord will punish the king for his arrogance and pride. God hates such arrogance and self-glorification, even among those who do not worship Him as Lord.

Very few people will ever rise to the temporary glory of the kings of Assyria. These ancient rulers inspired dread, hatred, and respect from those they ruled over. Still, the belief that our plans and our successes are our own, instead of merely being elements in the plans of the Lord are common throughout time.
Verse Context:
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.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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.
Book Summary:
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).
Accessed 4/22/2024 8:30:43 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com