Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 10:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Like a valiant man "Strongly seated" - Twelve MSS. agree with the Keri in reading כביר kabbir, without the א aleph . And Sal. ben Melec and Kimchi thus explain it:" them who dwelled in a great and strong place I have brought down to the ground."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For he saith - The king of Assyria saith. This verse and the following are designed to show the reason why the king of Assyria should be thus punished. It was on account of his pride, and wicked plans. He sought not the glory of God, but purposed to do evil.

For I am prudent - I am wise; attributing his success to his own understanding, rather than to God.

I have removed the bounds of the people - That is, ‹I have changed the limits of kingdoms; I have taken away the old boundaries, and made new ones at my pleasure. I have divided them into kingdoms and provinces as I pleased.‘ No higher assumption of power could have been made than thus to have changed the ancient limits of empires, and remodelled them at his will. It was claiming that he had so extended his own empire, as to have effectually blotted out the ancient lines which had existed, so that they were now all one, and under his control. So a man who buys farms, and annexes them to his own, takes away the ancient limits; he runs new lines as he pleases, and unites them all into one. This was the claim which Sennacherib set up over the nations.

Have robbed their treasures - Their hoarded wealth. This was another instance of the claim which he set up, of power and dominion. The treasures of kingdoms which had been hoarded for purposes of peace or war, he had plundered, and appropriated to his own use; compare the note at Isaiah 46:3.

I have put down the inhabitants - I have subdued them; have vanquished them.

As a valiant man - כאביר ka'bbı̂yr Margin, ‹Many people.‘ The Keri, or Hebrew marginal reading, is כביר kabbı̂yr without the Hebrew letter א, ‹a mighty or, strong man.‘ The sense is not materially different. It is a claim that he had evinced might and valor in bringing down nations. Lowth renders it, ‹Them that were strongly seated.‘ Noyes, ‹Them that sat upon thrones.‘ The Chaldee renders the verse, not literally, but according to the sense, ‹I have made people to migrate from province to province, and have plundered the cities that were the subjects of praise, and have brought down by strength those who dwelt in fortified places. Our translation has given the sense correctly.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
See what a change sin made. The king of Assyria, in his pride, thought to act by his own will. The tyrants of the world are tools of Providence. God designs to correct his people for their hypocrisy, and bring them nearer to him; but is that Sennacherib's design? No; he designs to gratify his own covetousness and ambition. The Assyrian boasts what great things he has done to other nations, by his own policy and power. He knows not that it is God who makes him what he is, and puts the staff into his hand. He had done all this with ease; none moved the wing, or cried as birds do when their nests are rifled. Because he conquered Samaria, he thinks Jerusalem would fall of course. It was lamentable that Jerusalem should have set up graven images, and we cannot wonder that she was excelled in them by the heathen. But is it not equally foolish for Christians to emulate the people of the world in vanities, instead of keeping to things which are their special honour? For a tool to boast, or to strive against him that formed it, would not be more out of the way, than for Sennacherib to vaunt himself against Jehovah. When God brings his people into trouble, it is to bring sin to their remembrance, and humble them, and to awaken them to a sense of their duty; this must be the fruit, even the taking away of sin. When these points are gained by the affliction, it shall be removed in mercy. This attempt upon Zion and Jerusalem should come to nothing. God will be as a fire to consume the workers of iniquity, both soul and body. The desolation should be as when a standard-bearer fainteth, and those who follow are put to confusion. Who is able to stand before this great and holy Lord God?