What does Isaiah 10:22 mean?
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.
NKJV: For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Isaiah 10:20–34 describes the remnant that will be saved in Israel and who will reestablish trust in the Lord. Only these few will be saved, and the Lord's destruction will come. The Lord, though, urges His people not to fear the Assyrians. His anger will soon turn from Israel to Assyria's direction. He will use His supernatural power to end Assyria's oppression over Israel. Even if a great Assyrian army marches all the way to the edge of Jerusalem, the Lord will cut them down as 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 6/13/2024 8:39:53 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.