Future problems for the king of Assyria (Isa 10:16-10:19)

“Therefore the Sovereign,

Yahweh of hosts,

Will send

A wasting sickness

Among his stout warriors.

Under his glory

A burning will be kindled,

Like the burning of a fire.

The light of Israel

Will become a fire.

His Holy One

Will be a flame.

It will burn his thorns.

It will devour his briers in one day.

Yahweh will destroy

The glory of his forest.

Yahweh will destroy

The glory of his fruitful land,

Both soul and body.

It will be as

When an invalid wastes away.

The remnant of the trees

Of his forest

Will be so few

That a child

Can write them down.”

Isaiah predicts the devastation of the army and land of the king of Assyria. Yahweh was going to send a wasting sickness among his warriors. This maybe an allusion to 2 Kings, chapter 19, when 185,000 Assyrian troops died. The light of Israel will become a raging flame starting a great fire that will destroy and devour the thorns and briers of Assyria itself. Yahweh will destroy the forests and the fruitful land with a wild fire, so that both their bodies and souls will be destroyed. There will be so few trees left, so that a mere child can count and write the number down.

From darkness to light (Isa 9:2-9:5)

“The people who walked in darkness

Have seen a great light.

Those who lived

In a land of deep darkness,

Light has shined on them.

You have multiplied the nation.

You have increased its joy.

They rejoice before you,

As with joy

At the harvest,

As people exalt

When dividing plunder.

You have broken

The yoke of their burden,

The bar across their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor,

As on the day of Midian.

All the boots

Of the tramping warriors,

With all the garments

Rolled in blood,

Will be burned

As fuel for the fire.”

Isaiah predicts that the time of darkness will turn to light. Light will shine on them. Their nation will increase with joy just like at harvest time or the splitting up of plunder. Their yoke and the bar across their shoulders will have been broken. The oppressor’s rod will have been laid aside just like at Midian. Could this be a reference to Midianites in Judges, chapter 7, when Gideon attacked them? Anyway, all the boots of the trampling warriors and their bloody garments will be used as fuel to be burned in a fire.

The pending crisis in the days to come (Isa 7:17-7:19)

“Yahweh will bring on you,

On your people,

On your ancestral house

Such days

As have not come

Since the day

That Ephraim

Departed from Judah.

Watch for the king of Assyria!

On that day,

Yahweh will whistle for the fly

That is at the sources

Of the streams of Egypt.

He will whistle for the bee

That is in the land of Assyria.

They will all come.

They will settle

In the steep ravines,

In the clefts of the rocks,

On all the thorn bushes,

On all the pastures.”

Isaiah predicts that things will not be good in the near future. Yahweh was going to bring bad things to the Israelites, their people, and their ancestral homes that they had not been seen since Ephraim split with Judah after the death of King Solomon. Yahweh would call out the king of Assyria with his bees to get together with Egypt and its flies to attack Judah. Yahweh, via Isaiah, had just reassured King Ahaz that Ephraim and Syria would fail in their attacks. However, this seems like another more serious attack from a combination of Assyria and Egypt. These attacking bees and flies would settle in the ravines, rocks, thorn bushes, and pastures.