What does Isaiah 10:9 mean?
ESV: Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus?
NIV: ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad, and Samaria like Damascus?
NASB: Is not Calno like Carchemish, Or Hamath like Arpad, Or Samaria like Damascus?
CSB: Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus?
NLT: We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish. Hamath fell before us as Arpad did. And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus.
KJV: Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?
NKJV: Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus?
Verse Commentary:
Every city is alike to Sargon, the king of the Assyrians. From his arrogant perspective, his armies are unbeatable. Each new city is just more food for their brutal appetites. Each city will fall before them as those who have already been destroyed.

Sargon gives a list of where each successive city mentioned is farther south. He is describing the path of the Assyrians as they work their way toward Egypt. The Assyrian king is stating each city falls and is destroyed in the same way. This is including the Syrian capital of Damascus and the Israelite capital of Samaria. He claims nothing and no one can stand in his way.

The Lord, however, is not pleased with Sargon's arrogance. After He has finished using Sargon to bring judgment on His people, He will bring judgment on Sargon (Isaiah 10:12).
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).
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