10:20 At that time 1 those left in Israel, those who remain of the family 2 of Jacob, will no longer rely on a foreign leader that abuses them. 3 Instead they will truly 4 rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 5 10:21 A remnant will come back, a remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 6 10:22 For though your people, Israel, are as numerous as 7 the sand on the seashore, only a remnant will come back. 8 Destruction has been decreed; 9 just punishment 10 is about to engulf you. 11 10:23 The sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, is certainly ready to carry out the decreed destruction throughout the land. 12
10:24 So 13 here is what the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, says: “My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, even though they beat you with a club and lift their cudgel against you as Egypt did. 14 10:25 For very soon my fury 15 will subside, and my anger will be directed toward their destruction.” 10:26 The Lord who commands armies is about to beat them 16 with a whip, similar to the way he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb. 17 He will use his staff against the sea, lifting it up as he did in Egypt. 18
the Lord will remove their burden from your shoulders, 20
and their yoke from your neck;
the yoke will be taken off because your neck will be too large. 21
[10:21] 6 tn The referent of אֵל גִּבּוֹר (’el gibbor, “mighty God”) is uncertain. The title appears only here and in 9:6, where it is one of the royal titles of the coming ideal Davidic king. (Similar titles appear in Deut 10:17 and Neh 9:32 [“the great, mighty, and awesome God”] and in Jer 32:18 [“the great and mighty God”]. Both titles refer to God.) Though Hos 3:5 pictures Israel someday seeking “David their king,” and provides some support for a messianic interpretation of Isa 10:21, the Davidic king is not mentioned in the immediate context of Isa 10:21 (see Isa 11, however). The preceding verse mentions Israel relying on the Lord, so it is likely that the title refers to God here.
[10:22] 8 sn The twofold appearance of the statement “a remnant will come back” (שְׁאָר יָשׁוּב, she’ar yashuv) in vv. 21-22 echoes and probably plays off the name of Isaiah’s son Shear-jashub (see 7:3). In its original context the name was meant to encourage Ahaz (see the note at 7:3), but here it has taken on new dimensions. In light of Ahaz’s failure and the judgment it brings down on the land, the name Shear-jashub now foreshadows the destiny of the nation. According to vv. 21-22, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that a remnant of God’s people will return; the bad news is that only a remnant will be preserved and come back. Like the name Immanuel, this name foreshadows both judgment (see the notes at 7:25 and 8:8) and ultimate restoration (see the note at 8:10).
[10:23] 12 tn Heb “Indeed (or perhaps “for”) destruction and what is decreed the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, is about to accomplish in the middle of all the land.” The phrase כָלָא וְנֶחֱרָצָה (khala’ venekheratsah, “destruction and what is decreed”) is a hendiadys; the two terms express one idea, with the second qualifying the first.
[10:24] 13 tn Heb “therefore.” The message that follows is one of encouragement, for it focuses on the eventual destruction of the Assyrians. Consequently “therefore” relates back to vv. 5-21, not to vv. 22-23, which must be viewed as a brief parenthesis in an otherwise positive speech.
[10:25] 15 tc The Hebrew text has simply “fury,” but the pronominal element can be assumed on the basis of what immediately follows (see “my anger” in the clause). It is possible that the suffixed yod (י) has been accidentally dropped by virtual haplography. Note that a vav (ו) is prefixed to the form that immediately follows; yod and vav are very similar in later script phases.
[10:26] 18 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and his staff [will be] against the sea, and he will lift it in the way [or “manner”] of Egypt.” If the text is retained, “the sea” symbolizes Assyria’s hostility, the metaphor being introduced because of the reference to Egypt. The translation above assumes an emendation of עַל הַיָּם (’al hayyam, “against the sea”) to עַלֵיהֶם (’alehem, “against them”). The proposed shift from the third singular pronoun (note “beat him” earlier in the verse) to the plural is not problematic, for the singular is collective. Note that a third plural pronoun is used at the end of v. 25 (“their destruction”). The final phrase, “in the way/manner of Egypt,” probably refers to the way in which God used the staff of Moses to bring judgment down on Egypt.
[10:27] 21 tc The meaning of this line is uncertain. The Hebrew text reads literally, “and the yoke will be destroyed (or perhaps, “pulled down”) because of fatness.” Perhaps this is a bizarre picture of an ox growing so fat that it breaks the yoke around its neck or can no longer fit into its yoke. Fatness would symbolize the Lord’s restored blessings; the removal of the yoke would symbolize the cessation of Assyrian oppression. Because of the difficulty of the metaphor, many prefer to emend the text at this point. Some emend וְחֻבַּל (vÿkhubbal, “and it will be destroyed,” a perfect with prefixed vav), to יִחְבֹּל (yikhbol, “[it] will be destroyed,” an imperfect), and take the verb with what precedes, “and their yoke will be destroyed from your neck.” Proponents of this view (cf. NAB, NRSV) then emend עֹל (’ol, “yoke”) to עָלָה (’alah, “he came up”) and understand this verb as introducing the following description of the Assyrian invasion (vv. 28-32). מִפְּנֵי־שָׁמֶן (mippÿney-shamen, “because of fatness”) is then emended to read “from before Rimmon” (NAB, NRSV), “from before Samaria,” or “from before Jeshimon.” Although this line may present difficulties, it appears best to regard the line as a graphic depiction of God’s abundant blessings on his servant nation.