Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 17:13

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

God shall rebuke them - The word ‹God‘ is not here in the original, but is evidently to be supplied. The word ‹rebuke‘ means that he would disarrange their plans, prevent their success, and defeat their purposes. It shows the great power of God, that he can thus by a “rebuke” - a word - arrest mighty nations, and discomfit thom when they are tumultuously hastening onward in the confidence of victory. This discomfiture refers, doubtless, to the overthrow of Sennacherib and his army by the pestilence (2 Kings 19:35; see the notes at Isaiah 37:36).

And they shall flee far off - The whole army of Sennacherib was not destroyed, but a part with himself returned to Assyria 2 Kings 19:36.

And shall be chased as the chaff … - Denoting the case with which God would do it, and the certain and entire discomfiture of the army. The figure is one that is very striking in describing an army that is routed, and that flees in disorder (compare Job 21:18; Psalm 1:4; Psalm 35:5; Isaiah 29:5; Hosea 13:3).

And like a rolling thing - Margin, ‹Thistle-down.‘ It means, literally, anything that “rolls” (גלגל galgal from גלל gâlal to roll). It is applied to chaff, stubble, or anything that is driven about by a whirlwind Psalm 83:14.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The rage and force of the Assyrians resembled the mighty waters of the sea; but when the God of Israel should rebuke them, they would flee like chaff, or like a rolling thing, before the whirlwind. In the evening Jerusalem would be in trouble, because of the powerful invader, but before morning his army would be nearly cut off. Happy are those who remember God as their salvation, and rely on his power and grace. The trouble of the believers, and the prosperity of their enemies, will be equally short; while the joy of the former, and the destruction of those that hate and spoil them, shall last for ever.