For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
For thus saith the Lord God,.... The Lord confirms what he had before said of redeeming his people without money, who had been sold for nothing, by past instances of his deliverance of them:
My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; Jacob and his family went down there of their own accord, where they were supplied with food in a time of famine, and settled in a very fruitful part of it; but when they were oppressed, and cried to the Lord, he appeared for them, and delivered them:
and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause; which some understand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who they say was an Assyrian, or so called, because of his power and cruelty; or it being usual to call any enemy of the Jews an Assyrian: or rather the words may be rendered, "but the Assyrian", &c. Pharaoh had some pretence for what he did; the Israelites came into his country, he did not carry them captive; they received many benefits and favours there, and were settled in a part of his dominions, so that he might claim them as his subjects, and refuse to dismiss them; but the Assyrians had nothing to do with them; could not make any pretence why they should invade them, and oppress them; and therefore if the Lord had delivered them from the one, he would also deliver them from the other. This may be understood of the several invasions and captivities by Pul, Tiglathpileser, Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, and even Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; Babylon having been the metropolis of Assyria, and a branch of the Assyrian empire, though now translated to the Chaldeans: or the sense is, and the Assyrians also oppressed Israel, as well as the Egyptians, without any just reason, and I delivered them out of their hands; and so I will redeem my church and people out of antichristian bondage and slavery.