As our discourse continues on what lies ahead for the house of Yisra’el – those who have pronounced the declaration “the bricks have fallen . . .” – the prophecy of Yisha’yahu takes time to discuss a person he calls the Assyrian.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 10:5-6
O Assyrian, the rod of my anger, and the staff in his hand is my indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
The Assyrian (in the Hebrew, Ashur) is sent against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of the wrath of YAH. The people of his wrath have been identified already in the prior chapter. So, who is the Assyrian? In the Hebrew, the word interpreted as Assyrian is Ashur. Ashur is the son of Shem, whose tribe became the Assyrians. Importantly, Ashur is not a son of Ya’aqov, nor a child of Yisra’el (Yashar’el). He is a stranger to the people chosen in this passage. He will take the spoil; he will take the prey, and he will tread down the people of Yisra’el like mire in the streets. There is more to be understood about this stranger.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 10:7-11
Howbeit he means not so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 8 For he says, Are not my princes altogether kings? 9 Is not Calno as Karkemiysh? is not Chamath as Arpad? is not Shomeron as Damascus? 10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Yerushalayim and of Shomeron; 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Shomeron and her idols, so do to Yerushalayim and her idols?
Whoever this stranger is who has the rod of YAH’s anger, and the staff of YAH’s indignation, and who rules over the hypocritical nation, the people of the wrath of YAHUAH, he has apparently already tread down all of these other places listed in these last verses, and intends to do the same to Yerushalayim. The people of the wrath of YAH is America, because America has proclaimed these verses as its doctrine. So, we see that this stranger who rules over America has taken the spoil, taken the prey, and tread down places like Calno, Karkemiysh, Chamath, Arpad, Shomeron and Damascus, and intends to do the same to Yerushalayim. However, these plans are going to fail.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 10:12-14
Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when ADONAI has performed his whole work upon Mount Tsiyon and on Yerushalayim, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he says, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14 And my hand has found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathers eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
This Assyrian is one who glories in himself, who glories in his high looks, and who claims that by the strength of his own hand he has been successful in his own endeavors, which is to cut off and destroy not just a few nations. This Assyrian is a stranger to the house of Yisra’el, yet he rules over Yisra’el with a rod of anger and indignation. He finds the riches of the people of America and steals their wealth and gathered all the earth (real property), and yet in response none moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or even peeped. Is this reflected in today’s America?
Let us see what lies in the future for the Assyrian.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 10:15-19
Shall the axe boast itself against him that hews therewith? Or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shakes it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. 16 Therefore shall ADONAI, YAHUAH ADONAI TSEVA’OT, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17 And the light of Yisra’el shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; 18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer faints. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
We remember that the Assyrian serves at the pleasure and will of YAH, although the Assyrian does not hold such a memory. He is the axe that boasts against YAH who hews therewith. He is the saw that magnifies himself against YAH who shakes it. He is the rod who shakes himself against YAH who has lifted him up, as if the Assyrian could lift himself up, as if the Assyrian was not made only of wood!
And, of course, wood is flammable. Consider that he who judges does not merely set forth his name here, but we see a threefold power in the name of he who brings judgment: YAHUAH ADONAI TSEVA’OT – commander of the all of the hosts of heaven. The fat ones (in the modern vernacular, the fat cats) of the Assyrian will experience leanness – all of what they have shall be taken from them. YAH shall then kindle under his splendor and glory burning, a burning fire.
The next passage shows the joining of Yisra’el (as the fire) and his Holy One (qodeshi) as the flame. It is therefore the morally righteous together with the Holy One who shall burn and devour the thorns and briers of the Assyrian, and they shall do so in a single day.
Consider the crude interpretation of verse 18: And his glory (v’kavod) and his forest (v’yahar) and his planted field (v’karmeli), his soul (ma’nefesh) as (ad) his flesh (besar) are consumed (y’kalaw) and they will be (v’hayah) but a wasted [or faint] (b’masas) fluttering [ensign] (nasas).
All of those things belonging to the Assyrian will perish, and when they are gone, even the memory of them will be but a faint fluttering of a flag.
Those who are part of the political machine of this stranger, the Assyrian, might want to consider this passage, as this stranger shall be consumed, together with the glory of his forest, and his fruitful field, both soul and body. His confederates shall be but a faint waving in the wind. So few will remain, that a child can count them.
However, in this chapter, for the house of Yisra’el something new is foretold.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 10:20-23
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Yisra’el, and such as are escaped of the house of Ya`aqov, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon YAHUAH, the Holy One of Yisra’el, in truth. 21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Ya`aqov, unto the mighty EL. 22 For though your people Yisra’el be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 23 For ADONAI YAHUAH TSEVA’OT shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.
While the current discussion of the harbingers associated with the cycle of the shemitah years indicates financial calamity, this prophecy indicates something much more; that the light of Yisra’el shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame which shall burn and devour the stranger and his minions in one day.
Before they are destroyed by fire, however, the stretched out hand of YAH continues to bring judgment on Yisra’el – a judgment which is a consumption that is determined, and which will choose only a remnant of those who are as numerous as the sand of the sea to return.