What does Isaiah 10:6 mean?
ESV: Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
NIV: I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
NASB: I send it against a godless nation And commission it against the people of My fury To capture spoils and to seize plunder, And to trample them down like mud in the streets.
CSB: I will send him against a godless nation; I will command him to go against a people destined for my rage, to take spoils, to plunder, and to trample them down like clay in the streets.
NLT: I am sending Assyria against a godless nation, against a people with whom I am angry. Assyria will plunder them, trampling them like dirt beneath its feet.
KJV: I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
The prophet Isaiah is quoting God's words about the Assyrian empire. The Lord is describing Assyria as "him," likely referring to Assyria's king. Sargon II was the Assyrian king from 721 to 705 BC. He waged three campaigns in the region, during which he successfully turned Israel into an Assyrian state. According to historical sources, more than 27,000 Israelites were deported. He also succeeded in turning tiny Judah into a puppet government.
The Lord declares in this verse that He is the one sending the Assyrian king against a "godless nation." That phrase presents a bit of dark sarcasm. The Assyrians were known to be the most godless nation on earth: the most fundamentally opposed to the tenets exhibited by the God of Israel. Yet the Lord calls His own people "godless." Isaiah leaves no room for doubt the depth of the anger of God. It is their faithlessness to the Lord as their God that has provoked Him to send the Assyrians to nearly wipe His people out.
The Lord goes as far as to say He commands the Assyrian king to take Israel's spoil. He commands the invading army to tread down His people, the people of His wrath, like mire in the streets. Mire describes ground that is like a swamp or a bog. The Lord pictures the streets of Israel as thick with the remains of the people as the Assyrian war machine treads over their decaying remains.
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).
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:38:40 PM
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