With his dying breath in Star Wars film Return of the Jedi, the great Yoda tells the young Jedi Luke Skywalker, “There is another Skywalker.” Unbeknownst to Luke at that time, that other unknown Skywalker was his twin sister Leia–another special child of the Jedi lineage.
So far in Isaiah 7-8, Isaiah has spoken about two special children with prophetic significance (734 B.C.). One child was Isaiah’s existing son Shear Yashub (whose symbolic name means “a remnant shall return”), and the other was a yet-to-be-born child whose symbolic names would be “Immanuel” (God is with us) and “Mahar Shalal Hash Baz” (Swift is the booty and speedy is the prey). The significance of these symbolic names was that within two years God would save Israel from the Syro/Israelite threats to overthrow the Davidic Dynasty by having mighty Assyria invade Syria and Israel. This, in fact, is what happened in 732 B.C. when Tiglath Pileser commanded his armies to invade both Syria and Israel. The promised child spoken of in Isaiah 7 and 8 was a child born to Isaiah in 734 B.C.
However, as we continue our study of Isaiah 7-12, we find out that there is another promised child with prophetic significance. This promised child, though, is not another Skywalker, but the Messiah Himself–the One who has been promised since the entrance of sin in the beginning of man’s time in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15). Today’s blog will come from Isaiah 9:1-10:4 in my Isaiah commentary. Enjoy.
The warning for Israel in 8:22 was “distress” (tsarah), “darkness” (chashekah), “gloom of anguish” (me‘uph tsuqah), and being driven away into “darkness” (’aphelah). Here, however, Isaiah announces in 9:1 a removal of the gloom (me‘uph) and anguish (tsuqah) darkness (chashekah). The words are very dark and gloomy. Chapter 9 brings a strong shift in tone, the kind of shift that is common in Isaiah. Whereas chapter 8 focused on judgments, the beginning of chapter 9 focuses on a future restoration. This chapter (ending in 10:4) divides broadly into two parts, first, a message of restoration (9:1-7), and second, a message of more judgments (9:8-10:4).
First message: The message of restoration vv. 1-7
Verses 1-7 all revolve around the eschatological restoration of Israel. This promise opens with a general declaration of this future restoration.
The general declaration of a future restoration (vv. 1-3)
The latter portion of chapter 8 warned that disbelief would bring distress (tsarah), darkness (chashekah), gloom of anguish (me‘uph tsuqah), and being driven away into darkness (’aphelah). Isaiah now announces a removal of the gloom (me‘uph), anguish (tsuqah), and darkness (chashekah). Isaiah does not give a precise chronology for this restoration, but his statements about “earlier” and “later” times convey the idea that this restoration will not come until the distant future. The earlier days included judgments that started with Assyrian invasions of the northern tribes, but a future day is coming when God will “make it glorious” (cf. Zech. 9:16-17 for a post-exilic confirmation of this still yet-future restoration). Isaiah describes the land of Israel as from the perspective of the Babylon exile and calls it the region that is “by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,” the regions in Galilee that were the first to experience the northern military invasions. Martin notes, “In 732 b.c. this northern portion of Israel became an Assyrian province under Tiglath-Pileser III, thus humbling the people there and putting them in gloom” (2 Kings 15:29 describes the events and the annals of Tiglath-Pileser III confirm them in ANET, 283-284).
The promise of divine blessings (v. 1). God says that He will make the land glorious. This is the first of a string of “prophetic perfect” verbs that look ahead to Israel’s eschatological restoration.
The gospels cite this text at the first coming of Christ (v. 2). The restoration promises continue in verse 2 as God tells Israel that even though they had walked in a dark land, one day they will see great light and that great light will shine upon them (cf. Matt. 4:12-16; Lk. 1:79).
This verse raises the question whether or not one should see the first coming of Christ as bringing a fulfillment of Isaiah 9. This is a great hermeneutical question that calls for careful explanation. The short answer is that Isaiah 9:1-7 is speaking about a literal, eschatological restoration of Israel—a restoration that will not be fulfilled until the second coming. At the same time, we also recognize that there was a literal aspect of fulfillment when Christ went out preaching at His first coming. The important piece to this puzzle that must not be left out is the fact that Isaiah also tells us in other places that the Messiah was going to be rejected and killed for the sins of His people (Isa. 52:13-53:12). The best hermeneutical explanation of Matthew’s citation of Isaiah 9 is that it is an application of the literal meaning of the prophecy at His first coming, but the contextual fulfillment will not come until the second coming.
The promises continue (v. 3). Seen from the perspective of a nation already under the still future Babylonian exile, Isaiah assures the rejected nation that in the day of restoration God will once again (1) make the nation large and prosperous, and (2) fill them with joy. Some scholars (i.e., Reformed theologians who embrace supersessionism) find it hard to believe that these are literal promises to Israel, but such promises are repeated many times. Frequently these promises are tied to the coming of Israel’s messianic King who will save an elect remnant from ruin (Zeph. 3:14-20; Zech. 2:10; 8:18-23; 9:9). One day all the oppression, gloom and despair will be gone forever and replaced with freedom, joy and hope.
The explanation of God’s future restoration (vv. 4-7)
Verses 4-7 explain what this grand restoration is going to look like and how God will make it happen. This explanation comes in the form of three explanatory clauses each introduced with the word “for” (kiy).
The first explanation of how God will restore Israel: The promise that God will remove enemy oppressors (v. 4). Enemy oppression began coming against Israel with Assyria (cf. 10:27), and it has continued to this very day. God’s promise to Israel is that His day of restoration will bring a complete removal of all such oppression. Isaiah says that God will break the yoke, the staff, and the rod of their oppressors and completely free Israel from all Gentile oppression. What will it look like?
The second explanation of how God will restore Israel: A complete annihilation of all enemy powers (v. 5). Isaiah continues to explain how God will save Israel. He will utterly destroy all enemy powers. The messianic kingdom will bring peace to the world (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3; Ps. 46:9-10), but this peace cannot happen until God brings a final destruction to the godless world powers seeking the destruction of Israel (Rev. 16:12-21; 17:12-18; 19:11-21). Verse 5 graphically describes how every piece of military equipment, even the least of these items like boots and cloaks, will be burned in fire (cf. Ezek. 39:9-10). The promise is wonderful, but still it leaves the reader asking how such a salvation could be possible. God answers that question with the third kiy clause in verses 6-7.
The third explanation of how God will restore Israel: Yahweh will send Israel’s its warrior King (vv. 6-7). Here in 6-7 we again find the promise of a special male child. As previously explained, this is not the same child who was promised to Isaiah back in chapters 7-8. This male child is one who is not going to be born until after long ages of darkness, gloom, and oppression (cf. 8:22; 9:1). Oswalt notes that, “this is clearly an eschatological figure, the Messiah,” a fact recognized in the Targums. Verses 6-7 give us seven explanations of this promised King and the kingdom He brings.
The first promise is that He will be a male child (yeled), a son (ben). God’s salvation is not going to come through abstract, philosophical ideas, but through one promised son—the same son whom God promised from the moment humanity fell under the curse of sin and death (Gen. 3:15; 4:1; 9:27; 12:1-3; Num. 24:17). Oswalt explains, “Ultimately God’s truth is not merely in the realm of ideas; ultimately it is meant to be incarnated.”
The second promise is that boy will one day become the King of Israel, for the government will rest on His shoulders. Israel and Judah had many ungodly kings in its history, but this King will rule with the perfect wisdom of God since He Himself will be God in flesh (cf. Isa. 11:1-5).
Third, this boy will not be a mere man, but somehow God in flesh as suggested by His four symbolic names. The name “Wonderful Counselor” refers to the fact that this King will rule with the wisdom of God, as opposed to the multitude of foolish, unsaved kings they had in past ages (1:26; 3:3; 5:21; 19:11-15; 28:7-10; 29:9-14; 30:1-2; 31:1-3; 47:10-13). Because the Messiah is divine and filled with the Spirit of God, He will give counsel that only God can give. Second, this male child will be called “Mighty God” (’El Gibbor). Some writers have sought to treat this expression as simply meaning “mighty warrior,” but parallel references that treat this expression as referring to God argue that the traditional rendering “Mighty God” is preferable (Isa. 10:21; cf. Deut. 10:17; Jer. 32:18). The third name “Eternal Father” is best understood as meaning that the king is the father of the nation, the One who will rule forever. Kidner explains, “Everlasting Father has no exact parallel but there is a paradox in so naming a child yet to be born. Father signifies the paternal benevolence of the perfect Ruler over a people whom he loves as his children.” The fourth and final name that connotes the idea of deity is the name “Prince of Peace.” The never-ending peace He brings will come after He has brought a violent end to all sinful rebellion (cf. 32:17). This is the promise of never-ending peace for the whole world, both Gentiles and Jews: “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken, says the Lord who has compassion on you” (Isa. 54:10).
The fourth promise is that His kingdom will be one without any of the limitations of the kingdoms of men (Dan. 2:44). His government and peace will see no limitation as human kingdoms have limitations (cf. Ps. 72).
The fifth promise is that all of these blessings will fulfill the promises of the Davidic Covenant—the covenant God swore to King David that the Son of God would come from His own seed (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Pss. 2:7; 89; 110; 132:11). When Christ returns, He will rule the world from Zion, i.e., Jerusalem (Isa. 2:2-4; 16:5; 54:14; Mic. 4:1-5; Zech. 14:9-21; Pss. 48:2; 132:13-18; Matt. 5:35; 19:28; 25:31; Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 5:10; 14:1; 20:1-6). This messianic kingdom is not in force at the present time. Amillennial and Progressive Dispensational theologians try to argue that Christ is ruling on the throne of David from heaven, but this theological concept has no valid, biblical support.
The sixth promise is that the kingdom of the God is one that will never see an end, for He will “establish it” and “uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.” Daniel 2:44 describes the eternality of this kingdom: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever” (cf. Dan. 7:13-14; Mic. 4:7; Luke 1:33; Rev. 11:15). The messianic kingdom will first consist of 1,000 years upon this present earth (cf. Rev. 20:1-15), and then be followed by an eternal kingdom in a new heavens and new earth (cf. Rev. 22:5).
Seventh and lastly, the kingdom of the Messiah is one that God Himself will bring and establish: “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” In other words, Christ’s kingdom will be no mere human exercise, but it is the passion and zeal of God for His own truth and glory.
This sin-cursed world is constantly looking for an answer to this world’s woes. Sadly, the vast majority will never find these an answer, for they refuse to soften their hearts to believe in Jesus Christ. Sin is the root problem that separates men from God and creates the ruin that dominates this world (59:1). God made a provision for men to be saved when He sent His Son to die for the sins of mankind (John 1:29), but no one can share in the blessings of God’s saving grace unless they are willing to receive Jesus Christ in personal faith (John 1:12). Those who refuse to believe remain in their sin and under the wrath of God (John 3:36), and as we see in the following section, sin always brings the judgment of God.
Second message: The message of judgment vv. 9:8-10:4
Once again, we see a sharp break in flow of Isaiah’s messages, the kind of break that one finds in many portions of Isaiah (cf. e.g., 2:2-4 and 2:5-7). Verses 1-7 highlighted the promises of restoration through the Messiah, but now in 9:8-10:4 Isaiah abruptly returns to the theme of present judgment. Severe wrath is coming on Judah, but why is this? This present section highlights four reasons why the wrath of God was coming on Israel.
The first reason for wrath: Arrogance and pride (vv. 8-12)
Once again, we are reminded of the ubiquitous problem of pride. Judah’s pride was about to be judged.
God revisits Israel’s pride (vv. 8-10). The Bible makes many statements telling us that God hates pride (e.g., Prov. 6:16-17; 21:4; 30:13). Pride, so it would seem, is a universal sin. In the present context it is especially focused on the pride (ga’awah) and arrogance of heart (godel) of the northern kingdom as indicated by the name references (i.e., Jacob, Israel, Ephraim, Samaria). Assyria had already begun its invasion of the northern kingdom, but Israel was arrogant enough to suppose that they could simply rebuild with building materials that were even more glorious than before (vv. 8-10). Samaria was in fact a beautiful city as archeological excavations have indicated, but the people of Israel were being arrogant to think they could defy God and still find lasting prosperity with a rebuilding of their capital (cf. Amos 5:11-12). By the time God was finished with the northern kingdom, everyone would recognize that their destruction was the work of Yahweh to avenge Himself against Israel (Hos. 9:7; Ps. 14:4).
The northern kingdom will not recover (vv. 11-12). Not only will invading armies come from Assyria, but also from the east with the Syrians and from the west with the Philistines. With graphic language, God says they will “devour Israel with gaping jaws.” Assyria, Syria, and Philistia are the ones invading, but interestingly God says that He Himself is the One raising them up (Piel of sagab, “to make high”) and stirring them on (Pilpel of sug, “to provoke”). Once again, we are reminded of the absolute sovereignty of God. He is the One who rules His creation, and nothing happens outside of His perfect sovereignty and rule.
The destruction will be terrible, but God makes it clear that His judgments are nowhere near completed, so Isaiah finishes verse 12 with these words: “In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.” In other words, one painful blow is not going to be enough to bring them to repentance.
A biblical theology of God’s wrath on Israel. We have already noted in earlier sections that this idea of wrath we find in 9:12 gets repeated multiple times in Isaiah (Isa. 5:25; 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4, 23, 25; 12:1; 26:20). God is going to redeem His apostate nation, but He is going to do so by using the afflictions of war to bring them to faith in His Son, all by the work of the Holy Spirit to bring them to repentance (Zech. 12:10; 13:1).
The second reason for wrath: A refusal of leaders to listen (vv. 13-17)
God’s chastising judgments had the purpose of bringing Israel to repentance, but Israel would not listen. Therefore, the judgments would get even harsher (Isa. 1:5; cf. Hos. 5:15-6:5; Amos 4:6-11). Martin explains,
The prophet lamented that even though the Northern Kingdom had suffered at the hand of God, they still had not returned to Him. So their continued refusal would lead to more judgment. Israel was like a child who stubbornly refuses to obey his parents and therefore is punished more severely.
In this present section we see a basic flow of thought where God (1) reviews the situation (vv. 13-16), (2) gives His response (v. 17a), and (3) states His resolve (v. 17b).
God reviews the situation (vv. 13-16). Israel has been struck (nakah) by the Lord, but they were still refusing to listen (v. 13). For this reason, more severe judgments would come. The foolish leaders of the land, i.e., the elders, honorable men, and prophets, would not listen, so God would bring a swift destruction upon them (vv. 14-15).
God gives further confirmation about the guilt of the northern-kingdom leaders in verse 16 when He says, “For those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.” Godless leadership had already brought Israel to ruin, and the same problem in the south would also lead Judah into complete ruin (Jer. 6:13-14; 8:10-11; 12:10; 14:14; 28:1-17, esp. vv. 15-17).
God’s response: Judgment on all who refuse Him (v. 17a). The leaders had the greatest guilt, but the impact of their sin would bring ruin not only upon themselves, but also to the whole country. God identifies three groups who will be suffer great consequences. The young men (bachur) are those in the prime of life who get sent into battle and die. The orphans (yathom) and widows (’almanah) are the weakest and most-vulnerable elements of society (cf. 1:17). These will not be sent into battle, but they too will suffer, and all because of a wicked society (cf. Isa. 5:20-23).
God states His resolve (v. 17b). The whole land is godless, so God will bring all of them to ruin. Even now, however, they still will not repent, so God declares, “In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.” The solution is very simple: repent and believe. Why such wrath? Not only is it because of their arrogance (vv. 8-12), and refusal to listen to God’s Word (vv. 13-17), but also because of their devotion to selfish self-exaltation (vv. 18-21).
The third reason for wrath: Devotion to self-exaltation (vv. 18-21)
Israel was consumed with selfish desires. For this reason, God reviews the situation and follows this with a statement about resolve.
God’s review of the situation (vv. 18-21a). Verse 18 gives an explanation to the last portion of verse 17. Isaiah gives a four-fold picture of how the wickedness (resh‘ah) of Israel was bringing them to ruin. Wickedness was burning and consuming the nation—even the briars and thorns (Isa. 5:6; 7:23-25; 10:17; 27:4; cf. Gen. 3:18)—but still the people had no idea that their miseries were because of their own sins. If only they would listen, they would recognize that their woes were “the fury of the Lord of hosts” burning up the land making the people fuel for fire (v. 19a).
Instead of repenting that God might heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14), they continued to harden their hearts and even began turning against one another (vv. 19-21a; cf. 1 Kings 14:30). These national conflicts in Israel would continue until the final overthrow of Samaria in 722, and they would also be found in Judah, even up to the time of the Roman wars of A.D. 66-70 (cf. Zech. 11:14). It is curious, writes Martin, how the nation would eventually, “destroy itself by its own wicked deeds,” the kind of self-ruin America seems to be experiencing at the present time. Kidner also observes that, “Sin, doubly destructive, first reduces society to a jungle, then spreads its fires through it—as our modern strifes still bear witness.”
God’s resolve (v. 21b). For the third time here in chapter 9 (cf. vv. 12, 17), God says, “In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.” His judgment should have humbled them and brought them to repentance, but such was not the case.
The fourth reason for wrath: God hates oppression (10:1-4)
Isaiah introduces another woe in 10:1-4 (just like he gave in 5:8-23). The reason for this woe is because of oppression of the weak and helpless, a problem that was common in the northern kingdom as noted by Amos (2:6-7; 5:11-12; 8:4-6). Isaiah addresses this wicked oppression by (1) declaring a woe, (2) asking a question, and (3) restating God’s resolve.
The woe (vv. 1-2). This woe is directed against evil leaders who were using their power and wealth to create unrighteous statutes that went against God’s laws (Isa. 1:17; cf. Exod. 22:22; 23:6; Deut. 15:7–8; 24:17–18), but enabled them to legally steal from the poor and helpless (v. 1). These wicked leaders used the system to claim legality, but God says that they were simply depriving the needy of justice (v. 2). God saw it all.
The question (vv. 3-4a). These powerful thieves will not prosper. God asks them what they will do once the invaders plunder them of all their possessions so that, “nothing remains but to crouch among the captives or fall among the slain.” Many will be slain and taken away, but no one will remain to enjoy their wickedly-obtained wealth. Pfeiffer explains,
Those unrighteous judges and government officials who abused their power by oppressing their people and inscribing unjust sentences and decrees for their own personal gain would find their iniquities fittingly punished before God’s bar of justice. They would lose all their tainted possessions when foreign invaders would strip them of all they had and lead them off as miserable captives into bondage.
One would think that these people would get the lesson. Instead, they continued in their sin and disbelief, and for this reason God repeats for a fourth time that His judgment would likewise continue.
The resolve (v. 4a). Here for the fourth time in this section (9:12, 17, 21; 10:4) God announces that His fiery judgments are going to continue against His unrepentant people: “In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.” Mercy and restoration could be theirs, but not unless they turn to the Lord. Sadly they would not.
Summary for application One thing is certain: No one who continues in sin and refuses to repent will prosper. Men may spurn the Lord for a time, but sooner or later their sins will catch up with them. By the time of Isaiah, the Jews had been living under the covenant for over 700 years, much of which involved serious transgressions of the covenant. For centuries the prophets had been calling the nation to repentance, but it was now in the days of Isaiah those covenant curses were beginning to fall down on their heads.
 Isaiah describes it as God treating the land of Zebulun (about 10 miles west of the Sea of Galilee) and Naphtali (northwest of the Sea of Galilee) with contempt (Hiph. of qalal). These judgments are the curses of the Sinaitic Covenant described in Deuteronomy 28:15-68, judgments that have continued to this present day, and which will not end until the nation repents and enters the messianic kingdom. The hatred and persecution of Israel is driven by satanic hatred (cf. Rev. 12), but all of it is also part of the just consequences of Israel’s apostasy from Yahweh.
 The “the way of the sea” most likely refers to the plain that starts at Gennesaret and runs westward and southward from the Sea of Galilee (Grogan, “Isaiah,” 73)
 Martin, “Isaiah,” 1052.
 Wolf, Interpreting Isaiah, 96-97; Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, 1-39, 242-243. See other passages that emphasize this eschatological restoration after ages judgment (Isa. 4:5; 24:23; 35:2; 58:8; 60:1-3; cf. Hos. 1:1-11; 3:4-5; 5:13-15).
 Regarding this expression “dark” (tsalmaweth, cf. Ps. 23:4 where it is often translated “shadow of death”), some today argue that this word simply means “deep shadow,” but recent studies seem to support the “shadow of death” kind of translation (ibid., 240). The essential idea does seem to be that of deep darkness.
 God is compared to the sun in 60:1-3, 19-20 and Messiah is called a “Light” to the Gentiles in 42:6 and 49:6. The idea of God’s favor shining on His people comes out in the Aaronic blessing (Num. 6:22-27; cf. 2 Sam. 22:29; Job 29:3; Ps. 139:11, 12; 1 John 1:5).
 Isaiah elaborates on this theme in ch. 54 where the “seed” of the Servant (Isa. 53:10) expands greatly in the restored land (cf. Zech. 10:10).
 There is some textual question over whether we should read a negation here as reflected in the Kethib of the MT (lo’, “you have not increased the joy”), or if the Qere is preferable (loh, “to it”). Though M, 1Q, the Vulg, and Sym. have the negative, it is better to go with B, Syr., the Targ, and Saadia and see it as “to him” and not “not” (, 326, n. 59).
 Daniel describes this as a sequence of godless Gentile powers starting with Babylon that would rule the world and oppress Israel until the Messiah comes and establishes the eternal kingdom of God (Dan. 2:31-45; 7:1-28).
 Even during times of relative freedom such as during the reign of Persia, the people of Israel still lived as slaves under oppressing Gentiles (cf. Neh. 9:36-37).
 The yoke is the large bar on the neck of an ox to pull the plow and wagon, but here it speaks metaphorically about Gentile oppression. God compares this future defeat to the defeat He gave when Gideon defeated Midian (Judg. 6:17-22; 7:22).
 Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, 1-39, 244. If the least of the equipment is destroyed, so too will the greatest. This catastrophic overthrow of godless world powers is precisely what one finds in many of the Psalms (cf. e.g., 2; 110).
 Ibid., 245.
 Ibid., 244.
 Some medieval Jewish commentators tried to say that this is speaking about Hezekiah, but Hezekiah was already born, and did none of these things (ibid., 245).
 This term “wonderful,” literally “the one who counsels wonder” (pele’ yo‘ets), is only used of God and His supernatural ways (Isa. 28:29; cf. Ps. 78:12; Judg. 13:18).
 Kidner, “Isaiah,” 640.
 This peace will come between God and man (Rom. 5:1), man and man (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3), and also between man and animals and animals and animals (Isa. 11:6-9). All of this is because He Himself made this peace on the cross (Isa. 53:5; 57:19; 66:12; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:11-22).
 This is not to deny the possibility of spiritual aspects of Christ’s kingship at the present time during the church age (cf. e.g., Matt. 13:11; Rev. 1:6, 9).
 The Hebrew expression (me‘atah we‘ad ‘olam) conveys the sense of “infinite duration” (, 344).
 God Himself will make all this happen because of His jealousy for what is true and right, His ardor, His zeal, His jealousy (Isa. 37:32; cf. Exod. 20:5; 34;14; Deut. 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Zech. 1:14; 8:2).
 Wolf, Interpreting Isaiah, 98.
 We see similar ideas in other passages that show how God’s ongoing indignation against Israel will climax in a final period of indignation during the tribulation period (Dan. 8:17, 19, 23; 9:16, 27; 11:36; Matt. 23:38-39). In Daniel, it says that these horrific judgments on Israel will not come to an end until the last three and a half threes have passed and “they finish shattering the power of the holy people” (Dan. 12:7).
 Martin, “Isaiah,” 1054.
 We see this same theme very clearly in Amos 4:6-11.
 The converted Waw Imperfect form of the verb in “cuts off” (v. 14) conveys a preterit force and indicates this is not merely a future warning, but events that have already begun falling upon them.
 The language of vv. 19-21 sounds like that of vicious wild animals devouring one another.
 Martin, “Isaiah,” 1054. Oswalt notes that “in the north there was one bloody coup after another” (Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, 1-39, 257).
 Kidner, “Isaiah,” 640.
 Oswalt notes that the usage of the first Hebrew word in v. 4 (“nothing,” biltiy) does not match up with its usual usage despite being rendered by “nothing” in the NASB, ESV, NIV, etc. The term typically means “except” so it appears that the usage here is somewhat elliptical (ibid., 260, n. 12).
 Pfeiffer, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: Old Testament, Is 10:1.