Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 10:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Without me - That is, without my aid: they shall be taken captive even by the captives, and shall be subdued even by the vanquished. "The י yod in בלתי bilti is a pronoun, as in Hosea 13:4." - Kimchi on the place. One MS. has לבלתי lebilti .

As the people had hitherto lived without God in worship and obedience; so they should now be without his help, and should perish in their transgressions.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Without me - בלתי biltı̂y There has been a great variety of interpretation affixed to this expression. The sense in which our translators understood it was, evidently, that they should be forsaken of God; and that, as the effect of this, they should bow down under the condition of captives, or among the slain. The Vulgate and the Septuagint, however. and many interpreters understand the word bore as a simple negative. ‹Where will you flee for refuge? Where will you deposit your wealth so as not to bow down under a chain?‘ Vulgate, Ne incurvemini sub vinculo. Septuagint, Τοῦ μὴ ἐμπεσεῖν εἰς ἀπαγωνήν tou mē empesein eis apagōnēn - ‹Not to fall into captivity.‘ The Hebrew will bear either mode of construction. Vitringa and Lowth understand it as our translators have done, as meaning that God would forsake them, and that without him, that is, deprived of his aid, they would be destroyed.

They shall bow down - They shall be subdued, as armies are that are taken captive.

Under the prisoners - That is, under the “condition” of prisoners; or as prisoner. Some understand it to mean, that they should bear down “in the place of prisoners;” that is, in prison, But it evidently means, simply, that they should be captives.

They shall fall under the slain - They shall be slain. Gesenius renders it, “‹Among the prisoners, and “among” the slain.‘” The Chaldee reads it, ‹You shall be east into chains out of your own land, and beyond your own cities you shall be cast out slain.‘ Vitringa supposes that the prophet, in this verse, refers to the custom, among the ancients, of placing prisoners in war under a yoke of wood to indicate their captivity. That such a custom obtained, there can be no doubt; but it is not probable that Isaiah refers to it here. The simple idea is, that many of them should be taken captive, and many of them slain. This prediction was fulfilled in the invasion of Tiglath-pileser; Isaiah 10:12.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
These verses are to be joined with the foregoing chapter. Woe to the superior powers that devise and decree unrighteous decrees! And woe to the inferior officers that draw them up, and enter them on record! But what will sinners do? Whither will they flee?