Isaiah 10:15
New International Version
Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!

New Living Translation
But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it? Is the saw greater than the person who saws? Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it? Can a wooden cane walk by itself?

English Standard Version
Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!

Berean Study Bible
Does an axe raise itself above the one who swings it? Does a saw boast over him who saws with it? It would be like a rod waving the one who lifts it, or a staff lifting him who is not wood!

King James Bible
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh 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.

New King James Version
Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!

New American Standard Bible
Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting the one who is not wood.

NASB 1995
Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.

NASB 1977
Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.

Amplified Bible
Is the axe able to lift itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw able to magnify itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club moving those who lift it, Or like a staff raising him who is not [made of] wood [like itself]!

Christian Standard Bible
Does an ax exalt itself above the one who chops with it? Does a saw magnify itself above the one who saws with it? It would be like a rod waving the ones who lift it! It would be like a staff lifting the one who isn’t wood!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Does an ax exalt itself above the one who chops with it? Does a saw magnify itself above the one who saws with it? It would be like a staff waving the one who lifts it! It would be like a rod lifting a man who isn’t wood!

American Standard Version
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? shall the saw magnify itself against him that wieldeth it? as if a rod should wield them that lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up him that is not wood.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Is the axe boasting over him who cuts with it, or is a saw exalted over him who saws with it, or does a rod lift itself up over him who raises it?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Shall the axe glorify itself without him that hews with it? or shall the saw lift up itself without him that uses it, as if one should lift a rod or staff? but it shall not be so;

Contemporary English Version
King of Assyria, can an ax or a saw overpower the one who uses it? Can a wooden pole lift whoever holds it?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Shall the axe boast itself against him that cutteth with it? or shall the saw exalt itself against him by whom it is drawn? as if a rod should lift itself up against him that lifteth it up, and a staff exalt itself, which is but wood.

English Revised Version
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if a rod should shake them that lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up him that is not wood.

Good News Translation
But the LORD says, "Can an ax claim to be greater than the one who uses it? Is a saw more important than the one who saws with it? A club doesn't lift up a person; a person lifts up a club."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Can an ax attack the person who cuts with it? Can a saw make itself greater than the person who saws with it? A rod cannot move the person who lifts it. A wooden stick cannot pick up a person.

International Standard Version
"Does the ax exalt itself over the one who swings it? Or does the saw magnify itself in opposition to the one who wields it? As if a rod were to wield those who lift it, or as if a club were to brandish the one who is not wood!

JPS Tanakh 1917
Should the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Should the saw magnify itself against him that moveth it? As if a rod should move them that lift it up, Or as if a staff should lift up him that is not wood.

Literal Standard Version
Does the axe glorify itself Against him who is hewing with it? Does the saw magnify itself Against him who is shaking it? As a rod waving those lifting it up! As a staff lifting up that which is not wood!

NET Bible
Does an ax exalt itself over the one who wields it, or a saw magnify itself over the one who cuts with it? As if a scepter should brandish the one who raises it, or a staff should lift up what is not made of wood!

New Heart English Bible
Should an axe brag against him who chops with it? Should a saw exalt itself above him who saws with it? As if a rod should lift those who lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up someone who is not wood.

World English Bible
Should an axe brag against him who chops with it? Should a saw exalt itself above him who saws with it? As if a rod should lift those who lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up someone who is not wood.

Young's Literal Translation
-- Doth the axe glorify itself Against him who is hewing with it? Doth the saw magnify itself Against him who is shaking it? As a rod waving those lifting it up! As a staff lifting up that which is not wood!

Additional Translations ...
Context
Judgment on Assyria
14My hand reached as into a nest to seize the wealth of the nations. Like one gathering abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth. No wing fluttered, no beak opened or chirped.’ ” 15Does an axe raise itself above the one who swings it? Does a saw boast over him who saws with it? It would be like a rod waving the one who lifts it, or a staff lifting him who is not wood! 16Therefore the Lord GOD of Hosts will send a wasting disease among Assyria’s stout warriors, and under his pomp will be kindled a fire like a burning flame.…

Cross References
Romans 9:20
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, "Why did You make me like this?"

Romans 9:21
Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use?

Isaiah 7:20
On that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates--the king of Assyria--to shave your head and the hair of your legs, and to remove your beard as well.

Isaiah 10:5
Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger; the staff in their hands is My wrath.

Isaiah 29:16
You have turned things upside down, as if the potter were regarded as clay. Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pottery say of the potter, "He has no understanding"?

Isaiah 45:9
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker--one clay pot among many. Does the clay ask the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?

Jeremiah 51:20
"You are My war club, My weapon for battle. With you I shatter nations; with you I bring kingdoms to ruin.


Treasury of Scripture

Shall the ax 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.

the axe

Isaiah 10:5
O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

Psalm 17:13,14
Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: …

Jeremiah 51:20-23
Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; …

itself, as if it were no wood.









(15) Shall the ax boast itself . . .?--The words spoken by the prophet as the mouthpiece of Jehovah remind us of the way in which Christian writers of the fifth century spoke of Attila as "the scourge of God." There was comfort in that thought for the nations that were scourged. The man's lust for power might be limitless, but there was the limit of the compassion and longsuffering of God.

As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up.--Better, As if the rod should shake them. The plural is used either as generalising the comparison, or more probably as suggesting the thought that Elohim (God) is the true wielder of the rod. (Comp. Isaiah 10:5.)

As if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.--The multiplied italics show that the translators found the clause difficult. Better and more simply, As if the staff should lift that which is not wood, i.e., the living arm that holds it. Was it for the king of Assyria to assume that he could alter and determine the purposes of Jehovah? Did the man wield the rod, or the rod the man?

Verse 15. - Shall the axe boast itself? Here the prophet takes the word, and rebukes Assyria for her folly in forgetting, or not perceiving, that she is a mere instrument, like an axe, a saw, a rod, or a stuff. The saw... him that shaketh it; rather, him that moveth it to and fro. The action of sawing is alluded to. As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up; rather, as if a rod were to move them to and fro that lift it up. For Assyria to assert herself as if she were independent of God is like a rod attempting to sway the hand that holds it. It is a complete inversion of the natural order of things. Or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Translate, or as if d staff should lift up that which is not wood; i.e. "as if a staff should take action and lift up its holder, who is not wood, but flesh and blood."

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Does an ax
הַגַּרְזֶ֔ן (hag·gar·zen)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1631: An axe

raise itself
הֲיִתְפָּאֵר֙ (hă·yiṯ·pā·’êr)
Verb - Hitpael - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 6286: To gleam, embellish, to boast, to explain, oneself, to shake a, tree

above
עַ֖ל (‘al)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the one who swings it?
הַחֹצֵ֣ב (ha·ḥō·ṣêḇ)
Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 2672: To cut, carve, to hew, split, square, quarry, engrave

Does a saw
הַמַּשּׂוֹר֙ (ham·maś·śō·wr)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4883: A saw

boast
יִתְגַּדֵּ֤ל (yiṯ·gad·dêl)
Verb - Hitpael - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1431: To grow up, become great

over him
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

who saws with it?
מְנִיפ֔וֹ (mə·nî·p̄ōw)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 5130: To move to and fro, wave, sprinkle

It would be like a staff
שֵׁ֙בֶט֙ (šê·ḇeṭ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7626: Rod, staff, club, scepter, tribe

waving
כְּהָנִ֥יף (kə·hā·nîp̄)
Preposition-k | Verb - Hifil - Infinitive construct
Strong's 5130: To move to and fro, wave, sprinkle

the one who lifts it!
מְרִימָ֔יו (mə·rî·māw)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 7311: To be high actively, to rise, raise

It would be like a staff
מַטֶּ֖ה (maṭ·ṭeh)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4294: A staff, rod, shaft, branch, a tribe

lifting
כְּהָרִ֥ים (kə·hā·rîm)
Preposition-k | Verb - Hifil - Infinitive construct
Strong's 7311: To be high actively, to rise, raise

him who is not
לֹא־ (lō-)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

wood!
עֵֽץ׃ (‘êṣ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6086: Tree, trees, wood


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OT Prophets: Isaiah 10:15 Should an axe brag against him who (Isa Isi Is)
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