The reading of Isaiah 10:28-34 should be read cohesively with Isaiah 11:1-12:6, seeing that the “Mighty One” being spoken about in Isaiah 10:34 is the “Rod” and “Branch” of Isaiah 11:1. That being said, let us consider the reading as a whole starting with the history and then moving into futurity. For, yet again, we will see another shocking diversion from the historical events.
Historically speaking, the Assyrian Army is prophetically described in how it will march towards Jerusalem city by city (Isa. 10:28-31). In terms of distance from Jerusalem, Isaiah sees the Assyrians 12 miles away and closing in: 12 miles to 9 miles, 9 miles to 6 miles, 6 miles to 4 ½ miles, and finally 4 ½ miles to 3 miles. Being poised to take Jerusalem, it is foreseen by Isaiah how the Assyrian Army will abide for a time while Rabshakeh hurls threats and blasphemies (“As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the Mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.” – Isa. 10:32) at the last remaining stronghold of Judah, the City of Jerusalem (Isa. 36:4-21). Then, to Assyria’s shock and amazement, the Lord will respond by lopping the bough and hewing down the high ones of stature, by cutting down the thickets of the forest and causing Lebanon to fall, as described in Isa. 10:33-34. Being interpreted in accordance with 2 Chronicles 32:21, this meant that the LORD will send an angel into the host of Assyria to “cut off ALL the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captians in the camp of the King of Assyria”. How will such a feat be accomplished?
Marvelously, “the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 10:33) did this in history by sending an angel according to 2 Chronicles 32:21. However, according to Isaiah 10:34 the Assyrian Army will “fall by a Mighty One” who is in fact a man, a human being, a person who is wholly God and wholly Man, the same one called a “Rod” and a “Branch” in Isa. 11:1. How can it be? Apparently, this is an incohesive continuance of one divine utterance extending from Isaiah 10:28-12:6 that sharply diverges from the historical event from Isaiah 11:1 and onward. Why? This, of course, indicates that there will be a greater adversary than Assyria that will require a more glorious defense than what is recorded in Isaiah 36-38, 2 Chronicles 32, & 2 Kings 18-20.
Who, but future Babylon, and what, but the 2nd Advent War resulting in the Millennial Reign of Christ, could possibly amount to the divine acts described in Isaiah 11-12? Indicating this, the Spirit of Prophecy directs Isaiah to behold the soon-to-be historical and ultimately future threat of BABYLON in Isaiah 13-14. Why? This is a seamless transition into an overall message of futurity. You see, my reader? The transcendent meaning of these historical prophecies cannot be realized unless one undertakes a seamless reading of the Book of Isaiah. The chapters of the Book of Isaiah and the topics being addressed therein are intentionally placed by God to underscore an ultimate fulfillment in the soon-to-be future.
In diverging from the defeat of Assyria in Isaiah 10:28-34, and in speaking of “a Mighty One” who will make her fall, we are suddenly brought to look upon a “Rod” and “Branch” that will smite a far greater company than the comparatively small army of Assyria. It is foreseen that this Man, “the Stem of Jesse” (Isa. 11:1), “shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Isa. 11:4)! Furthermore, in the aftermath of this worldwide smiting, the maladies of nature have been restored into peace and glory (Isa. 116-9)! How? Namely, in the dissolving of violence among creation’s fiercest enemies to wit, the wolf and lamb, the leopard and the kid, the calf and the lion, the cow and the bear, the serpent and children, all of them and more, are brought to peace and, miraculously, they’re endeared to one another insomuch that they dwell together, lie down with one another, and eat beside each other! This marvelous sight, described in Isaiah 11:6-9, demonstrates the peace and prosperity that comes from the Millennial Reign of Christ. This surreal scene is one of the many crowning achievements of the Messiah, who is nature’s true Ruler. Thus, with the Creator enthroned in His rightful place, creation itself flourishes in a period of unimaginable glory!
However, remember, all of this is in the aftermath of the 2nd Advent War described in Isaiah 11:4. The event which signals all these glorious acts is the arrival of one Man, “a Root of Jesse”, insomuch that He “shall stand for an ensign of the people” to whom even the Gentiles will seek (Isa. 11:10). Moreover, the display of this “ensign” will somehow compel all nations to assemble and gather together all the outcast and dispersed Jews who suffered immensely under the hand of future Babylon (Isa. 11:12). We know this regathering and restoration of the Jews will ultimately be fulfilled in the aftermath of Babylon’s fall (Isa. 21:9, Jer. 51:8, Rev. 14:8, 18:2), as formerly stated, but Assyria is still the primary type in this segment of prophecy.
Speaking in terms of the typological and historical instance from which this prophecy originally diverged, according to Isaiah 10:28-34, the Assyrian Captivities resulting in the dispersion of the Jews from the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were the prophetic undoing of the Jews. Thus, as the prophetic adversary was originally proposed in terms of Assyria (resulting in this dispersion), so also the regathering and restoration is explicitly proposed in the aftermath of the Assyrian Captivity in Isaiah 11:11 and Isaiah 11:14-16. Evidently, the historical references are harmonious from beginning to end in Isaiah 10:28-12:6, even though they are interchangeably referenced in a prophecy that is dominated with futurity rather than history. Further confirming the overall vision of futurity, the regathered and restored estate of the united Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (Isa. 11:12-13) is described in Isaiah 12:1-6 illustrating a status of glory that is comparable to what has already been foretold in Isaiah 2:2-4, 4:1-6, & 9:6-7. No further comment is necessary. This is a glory nothing short of the Millennial Reign of Christ! Note: for further insight into the full meaning of Isaiah 11:15-16 in referencing “the Egyptian Sea”, which speaks of the tongue of the Red Sea, and “the River”, which is likely the Euphrates River, see the 6th Trumpet & the 6th Vial.