And it shall burn and devour his thorns "And he shall burn and consume his thorn" - The briers and thorns are the common people; the glory of his forest are the nobles and those of highest rank and importance. See note on Isaiah 9:17, and compare Ezekiel 20:47. The fire of God's wrath shall destroy them, both great and small; it shall consume them from the soul to the flesh; a proverbial expression; soul and body, as we say; it shall consume them entirely and altogether; and the few that escape shall be looked upon as having escaped from the most imminent danger; "as a firebrand plucked out of the fire," Amos 4:11; ὡς δια πυρος, so as by fire, 1 Corinthians 3:15; as a man when a house is burning is forced to make his escape by running through the midst of the fire.
I follow here the reading of the Septuagint, נסס כמאש kemash noses, ὡς ὁ φευγων απω φλογος χαιομενης, as he who flees from the burning flame. Symmachus also renders the latter word by φευγων, flying.
And the light of Israel - That is, Yahweh. The word “light” here, אור 'ôr is used also to denote a “fire,” or that which causes light and heat; see Ezekiel 5:2; Isaiah 44:16; Isaiah 47:14. Here it is used in the same sense, denoting that Yahweh would be “the fire” אור 'ôr that would cause the “flame” (אשׁ 'êsh ) which would consume the Assyrian. Jehovah is often compared to a burning flame, or fire; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 9:3; Hebrews 12:29.
Shall be for a fire - By his power and his judgment he shall destroy them.
His Holy One - Israel‘s Holy One; that is, Yahweh - often called in the Scriptures the Holy One of Israel.
And it shall burn - That is, the flame that Yahweh shall kindle, or his judgments that he shall send forth.
And devour his thorns and his briers - An expression denoting the utter impotency of all the mighty armies of the Assyrian to resist Yahweh. As dry thorns and briers cannot resist the action of heat, so certainly and speedily would the armies of Sennacherib be destroyed before Yahweh; compare the note at Isaiah 9:18. Lowth supposes, that by ‹briers and thorns‘ here, the common soldiers of the army are intended, and by ‹the glory of his forest‘ Isaiah 10:18, the princes, officers, and nobles. This is, doubtless, the correct interpretation; and the idea is, that all would be completely consumed and destroyed.
In one day - The army of Sennacherib was suddenly destroyed by the angel; see the notes at Isaiah 37:36.