In Isaiah 10:20-23 who are referred to as the remnant of Israel and the escaped of the House of Jacob referenced by Hashem? Are the remnant referenced to as only some of the Jewish people?

Why would Hashem not want all of the Jewish people to return to His Torah and Eretz Yisroel? Had the majority of the Hebrew people done something evil or contrary to Hashem and His Torah?

2 Answers 2


Welcome Arnold and it's a good question with many possible responses.

Traditional Jewish teaching is that the Prophets of the Tanach are prophecies that relate to each and every generation. So how the words apply to a given generation, hundreds or thousands of years ago, would be different from our lifetime.

But in the current context, if you look from the beginning of the chapter, it appears to be addressing the Holocaust and the massacre of the Jewish people by the Nazis. The remnant are those who physically survive that process.

In various Jewish writings, like Sefer Avkat Rochel of Rabbeinu Makir ben Abba Mori, book 1, sign 1-4, it refers to this time period, which is the beginning of the process of the final redemption as the Pekidah which is alluded to in Isaiah 10:3 and also 10:12. For whatever reason (something we cannot truly understand), G-d's wisdom decreed that it would begin in this way.

There are some who wish to relate this to the Jewish concept of Reward and Punishment for the nation of Israel, but there is another traditional view in Judaism that this decree, which seems to be directed toward the Jewish people, transcends that system and is simply something G-d required according to His wisdom, which is not like our wisdom, as part of the final redemption. That it is really more of an assessment of how the nations of the world relate to the Jewish people, who G-d loves and cherishes, not a measure of the merit of the Jewish people themselves. This association to the re-establishment of the Monarchy of the House of David is alluded to in Isaiah 10:5 and also 10:24 which mentions the rod and staff, which are symbols of the Monarchy of the House of King David.

This time period is also referred to in the Talmud and other places as the Heels of Moshiach, and is a period when the Jewish people suffer greatly.

Concerning your last question, G-d wants all the Jewish people, in every generation, to return to His Torah and to the land which is an allusion to His will. And in fact, that is also G-d's promise through his Prophets. That every Jew will be included in the final redemption because like it says in Isaiah 60:21, they are all righteous in G-d's eyes. And this relates to our belief in the ultimate resurrection of the dead. Not a single Jew will ultimately be left out or forgotten like is found in Tanna D'vei Eliyahu and Pesikta Rabbati and elsewhere discussing when Moshiach ben David accepts his mission from G-d to bring about the final redemption.

  • Yaacov, I have a reply which is apparently too long for this comment section. I would like to reply to your kind response. Please provide a valid email address for my reply. Thank you Sep 25, 2019 at 20:51
  • Isaiah 60:12 sefaria.org/Isaiah.60.12?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en כִּֽי־הַגּ֧וֹי וְהַמַּמְלָכָ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹא־יַעַבְד֖וּךְ יֹאבֵ֑דוּ וְהַגּוֹיִ֖ם חָרֹ֥ב יֶחֱרָֽבוּ׃ For the nation or the kingdom that does not serve you shall perish; such nations shall be destroyed. -------- I do pray that all Jews will be included in the final redemption which includes all relatives from the time of the writing down of the Oral Torah until His final millennium of peace on earth. Hopefully, we will peacefully enter His reality and a complete understanding of His will Sep 26, 2019 at 11:51
  • You find that the final redemption in Isaiah 60:21 all Jews shall be included in the final redemption. If you look at the entire Isaiah 60, you will see His reference to the remnant of His people. The current Talmudic Rabbinical Judaism is evidence that a second nation has formed following those men who do not serve Him but led the people away as described in Devarim 13 and Leviticus 26:27-33. Isaiah 60:12 sefaria.org/Isaiah.60.12?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en Sep 26, 2019 at 11:52
  • You state that every generation will return to His Torah is G-d’s promise through His Prophets. Not the prophets, sages, Rabbinim of a second Torah but those found in the Tanach. Yes, the Torah is not totally literal but His meanings are usually metaphorical illusions to His intent. The explanations can be understood by comparing related Parshahs in the Tanach to explain His meanings for any generation. You affirm “That every Jew will be included in the final redemption because like it says in Isaiah 60:21, they are all righteous in G-d's eyes. Sep 26, 2019 at 11:53
  • I will lay your cities in ruin and make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not savor your pleasing odors. וַהֲשִׁמֹּתִ֥י אֲנִ֖י אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ וְשָֽׁמְמ֤וּ עָלֶ֙יהָ֙ אֹֽיְבֵיכֶ֔ם הַיֹּשְׁבִ֖ים בָּֽהּ׃ I will make the land desolate, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled by it. וְאֶתְכֶם֙ אֱזָרֶ֣ה בַגּוֹיִ֔ם וַהֲרִיקֹתִ֥י אַחֲרֵיכֶ֖ם חָ֑רֶב וְהָיְתָ֤ה אַרְצְכֶם֙ שְׁמָמָ֔ה וְעָרֵיכֶ֖ם יִהְי֥וּ חָרְבָּֽה׃ And you will scatter among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword against you. Your land shall become a desolation and your cities a ruin. Sep 26, 2019 at 11:58

Yeshayahu is talking about the Jews that are left over from the destruction that he prophesies will come, as he says in (10:1-3):

ה֥וֹי הַחֹֽקְקִ֖ים חִקְקֵי־אָ֑וֶן וּֽמְכַתְּבִ֥ים עָמָ֖ל כִּתֵּֽבוּ׃ לְהַטּ֤וֹת מִדִּין֙ דַּלִּ֔ים וְלִגְזֹ֕ל מִשְׁפַּ֖ט עֲנִיֵּ֣י עַמִּ֑י לִהְי֤וֹת אַלְמָנוֹת֙ שְׁלָלָ֔ם וְאֶת־יְתוֹמִ֖ים יָבֹֽזּוּ׃ וּמַֽה־תַּעֲשׂוּ֙ לְי֣וֹם פְּקֻדָּ֔ה וּלְשׁוֹאָ֖ה מִמֶּרְחָ֣ק תָּב֑וֹא עַל־מִי֙ תָּנ֣וּסוּ לְעֶזְרָ֔ה וְאָ֥נָה תַעַזְב֖וּ כְּבוֹדְכֶֽם׃ בִּלְתִּ֤י כָרַע֙ תַּ֣חַת אַסִּ֔יר וְתַ֥חַת הֲרוּגִ֖ים יִפֹּ֑לוּ בְּכָל־זֹאת֙ לֹא־שָׁ֣ב אַפּ֔וֹ וְע֖וֹד יָד֥וֹ נְטוּיָֽה׃ (ס)

Ha! Those who write out evil writs And compose iniquitous documents, To subvert the cause of the poor, To rob of their rights the needy of My people; That widows may be their spoil, And fatherless children their booty! What will you do on the day of punishment, When the calamity comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help, And how will you save your carcasses From collapsing under [fellow] prisoners, From falling beneath the slain? Yet His anger has not turned back, And his arm is outstretched still.

(Sefaria’s translation)

Yeshayahu is saying that the few that survive that destruction will come back to Israel.

  • Lo ani, are you referencing my question or Yaacov Deane's reply to my question? Sep 25, 2019 at 20:56
  • @Arnold Wolf this is referencing your question. It mostly addresses the second part of your question: “Why would Hashem not want all of the Jewish people to return to His Torah and Eretz Yisroel? Had the majority of the Hebrew people done something evil or contrary to Hashem and His Torah?” but it also answers who will come back- the few that survive this destruction that yeshayahu prophesied
    – Lo ani
    Sep 25, 2019 at 21:59

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