by Ken Cayce

Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


Table of Contents




Back to Table of Contents

Isaiah Explained

Go To Isaiah Index

Book of Isaiah Explained

Go to index of Isaiah

Title: The book derives its title from the author, whose name means "Yahweh is salvation," and is similar to the names Joshua, Elisha, and Jesus. Isaiah is quoted directly in the New Testament over 65 times, far more than any other Old Testament prophet, and mentioned by name over 20 times.

Author - Date: Isaiah began his ministry in Judah around 740 B.C., "in the year that king Uzziah died" (6:1), some two decades before Assyria invaded and conquered the 10 northern tribes known as the nation of Israel. The prophet witnessed the final years of Israel's spiritual decline and the utter disaster that followed. And God called him to warn the tiny nation of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, about a similar outcome.

Isaiah, the son of Amoz, ministered in and around Jerusalem as a prophet to Judah during the reigns of 4 kings of Judah: Uzziah (called "Azariah" in 2 Kings), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1; from 739-686 B.C.).

He evidently came from a family of some rank, because he had easy access to the king (7:3). He was married and had two sons who bore symbolic names: "Shear-Jashub" ("a remnant shall return"; 7:3), and "Maher-shalal-hash-baz" ("hasting to the spoil, hurrying to the prey"; 8:3), When called by God to prophesy, in the year of King Uzziah's death (739 B.C.), he responded with a cheerful readiness, though he knew from the beginning that his ministry would be one of fruitless warning and exhortation (6:9-13). Having been reared in Jerusalem, he was an appropriate choice as a political and religious counselor to the nation.

Isaiah was a contemporary of Hosea and Micah. His writing style has no rival in its versatility of expression, brilliance of imagery, and richness of vocabulary. The early church father Jerome, likened him to Demosthenes, the legendary Greek orator. His writing features a range of 2,186 different words, compared to 1,535 in Ezekiel, 1,653 in Jeremiah, and 2,170 in Psalms.

(2 Chronicles 32:32), records that he wrote a biography of king Hezekiah also. The prophet thrived until at least 681 B.C. when he penned the account of Sennacherib's death (compare 37:38). Tradition has it that he met his death under king Manasseh (ca. 695-642 B.C.), by being cut in two with a wooden saw (compare Heb. 11:37).

Background - Setting: During Uzziah's prosperous 52 year reign (ca. 790-793 B.C.), Judah developed into a strong commercial and military state with a port for commerce on the Red Sea and the construction of walls, towers, and fortifications (2 Chron. 26:3-5, 8-10, 13-15). Yet the period witnessed a decline in Judah's spiritual status. Uzziah's downfall resulted from his attempt to assume the privileges of a priest and burn incense on the altar (2 Kings 15:3-4; 2 Chron. 26:16-19). He was judged with leprosy, from which he never recovered (2 Kings 15:5; 2 Chron. 26:20-21).

His son Jotham (ca. 750-731 B.C.), had to take over the duties of king before his father's death. Assyria began to emerge as a new international power under Tiglath-Pileser (ca. 745-727 B.C.), while Jotham was king (2 Kings 15:19). Judah also began to incur opposition from Israel and Syria to her north during his reign (2 Kings 15:37). Jotham was a builder and a fighter like his father, but spiritual corruption still existed in the Land (2 Kings 15:34-35; 2 Chron. 27:1-2).

Ahaz was 25 When he began to reign in Judah and he reigned until age 41 (2 Chron 28:1, 8; ca. 735-715 B.C.). Israel and Syria formed an alliance to combat the rising Assyrian threat from the East, but Ahaz refused to bring Judah into the alliance (2 Kings 16:5; Isa. 7:6). For this, the northern neighbors threatened to dethrone him and war resulted (734 B.C.). In panic, Ahaz sent to the Assyrian king for help (2 Kings 16:7), and the Assyrian king gladly responded, sacking Gaza, carrying all of Galilee and Gilead into captivity, and finally capturing Damascus (732 B.C.). Ahaz's alliance with Assyria led to his introduction of a heathen altar, which he sat up in Solomon's temple (2 Kings 16:10-16; 2 Chron. 28:3). During his reign (722 B.C.), Assyria captured Samaria, capital of the northern kingdom, and carried many of Israel's most capable people into captivity (2 Kings 17:6, 24).

Hezekiah began his reign over Judah in 715 B.C. and continued for 29 years (to ca. 686 B.C.; 2 Kings 18:1-2). Reformation was a priority when he became king (2 Kings 18:4, 22; 2 Chron. 30:1). The threat of an Assyrian invasion forced Judah to promise heavy tribute to that eastern power. In 701 B.C., Hezekiah became very ill with a life-threatening disease, but he prayed and God graciously extended his life for 15 years (2 Kings chapter 20; Isa chapter 38), until 686 B.C. The ruler of Babylon used the opportunity of his illness and recovery to send congratulations to him, probably seeking to form an alliance with Judah against Assyria at the same time (2 Kings 20:12ff.; Isa. Chapter 39). When Assyria became weak through internal strife, Hezekiah refused to pay any further tribute to that power (2 Kings 18:7). So (in 701 B.C.), Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, invaded the coastal areas of Israel, marching toward Egypt on Israel's southern flank. In the process, he overran many Judean towns, looting and carry many people back to Assyria. While besieging Lachish, he sent a contingent of forces to besiege Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17 - 19:8; Isa. 36:2 - 37:8). The side expedition failed, however, so in a second attempt he sent messengers to Jerusalem demanding an immediate surrender of the city (2 Kings 19:9ff.; Isa. 37:9ff.). With Isaiah's encouragement, Hezekiah refused to surrender, and when Sennacherib's army fell prey to a sudden disaster, he returned to Nineveh and never threatened Judah again.

Historical - Theological Themes : Isaiah prophesied during the period of the divided kingdom, directing the major thrust of his message to the southern kingdom of Judah. He condemned the empty ritualism of this day (e.g., 1:10-15), and the idolatry into which so many of the people had fallen (e.g. 40:18-20). He foresaw the coming Babylonian captivity of Judah because of this departure from the Lord (39:6-7).

Fulfillment of some of his prophecies in his own lifetime provided his credentials for the prophetic office. Sennacherib's effort to take Jerusalem failed, just as Isaiah had said it would (37:6-7; 36-38). The Lord healed Hezekiah's critical illness, as Isaiah had predicted (38:5; 2 Kings 20:7). Long before Cyrus, king of Persia appeared on the scene, Isaiah named him as Judah's' deliverer from the Babylonian captivity (44:28; 45:1). Fulfillment of his prophecies of Christ's first coming have given Isaiah further vindication (e.g., 7:14). The pattern of literal fulfillment of his already fulfilled prophecies gives assurance that prophecies of Christ's second coming will also see literal fulfillment.

Isaiah provides data on the future day of the Lord and the time following. He details numerous aspects of Israel's future kingdom on earth not found elsewhere in the Old or New Testaments, including changes in nature, the animal world, Jerusalem's status among the nations, the Suffering Servant's leadership, and others.

Through a literary device called "prophetic foreshortening", Isaiah predicted future events without delineating exact sequences of the events or time intervals separating them. For example, nothing in Isaiah reveals the extended period separating the two comings of the Messiah. Also, he does not provide as clear a distinction between the future temporal kingdom and the eternal kingdom as John does (in Rev. 20:1-10; 21:1 - 22:5). In God's program of progressive revelation, details of these relationships awaited a prophetic spokesman of a later time.

Also known as the "evangelical Prophet", Isaiah spoke much about the grace of God toward Israel, particularly in his last 27 chapters. The centerpiece is Isaiah's unrivaled chapter 53, portraying Christ as the slain Lamb of God.

Isaiah, in my opinion, is the most spiritual of the Old Testament books. The man, Isaiah, was a prophet and preacher at the time he wrote this book. Isaiah was prophet during the reign of 5 kings, most of whom were evil. His wife was a prophetess in her own right. Some believe that the word "prophetess" means wife of a prophet, but that is not correct. A person does not become a prophet, or a prophetess, because they are married to a prophet. The office of prophet, or prophetess, is a call from God. You are not called to preach, because your husband preaches. You may be called to preach, but if you are, the call is from God, not because of who you are related to.

History tells us that Manasseh had Isaiah tied to two boards and sawn in two. The following Scripture is believed to be in reference to the horrible fate of Isaiah.

Hebrews 11:37 "They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;"

Isaiah had great reverence for God. He was a serious, spiritual man. He was known as the prophet of redemption. There were more prophecies of the coming Messiah in Isaiah than any other book, except Psalms.

The book of Isaiah contains 66 chapters divided into 39, and 27 the same way the Old and New Testament is divided. The one thing that tells us beyond a doubt that Isaiah, the prophet, wrote all of it, is his use of the title "Holy One of Israel". It occurs 12 times in the first 39 chapters and 14 times in chapters 40 through 66. This expression of who God is, is only mentioned 7 times in all the other books of the Bible, and one of those times says, "Holy One in Israel". This is Isaiah's expression. If there is a key word in all of this, it would be salvation. Isaiah expressed over and over that the Light and the Savior are One and the Same. As we continue in this study, we will see Isaiah had a depth of understanding who God is, that few have.

It is commonly believed that Isaiah lived (from 750 to 680 B.C.). Isaiah prophesied during the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh. He faced many hardships, but continued in his call from God. It is commonly believed that Isaiah was about 20 years old when his ministry began, and he continued until his death. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found in the caves near the Dead Sea, contained the writings of Isaiah, and were very close in interpretation to what we have in the King James version of the Bible.

That his book should stand at the head of the 17 prophetic works is no mistake. All who have an appreciation for literature must be impressed by Isaiah's excellence of style, seen in his vivid descriptions and dramatic rhetorical touches. The grandeur and dignity are paralleled by a liveliness of energy and profusion of imagery. He was without doubt the "Prince of Prophets".


Back to Table of Contents

Chapter Selection


Back to Table of Contents

Isaiah 1 Isaiah 23 Isaiah 45
Isaiah 2 Isaiah 24 Isaiah 46
Isaiah 3 Isaiah 25 Isaiah 47
Isaiah 4 Isaiah 26 Isaiah 48
Isaiah 5 Isaiah 27 Isaiah 49
Isaiah 6 Isaiah 28 Isaiah 50
Isaiah 7 Isaiah 29 Isaiah 51
Isaiah 8 Isaiah 30 Isaiah 52
Isaiah 9 Isaiah 31 Isaiah 53
Isaiah 10 Isaiah 32 Isaiah 54
Isaiah 11 Isaiah 33 Isaiah 55
Isaiah 12 Isaiah 34 Isaiah 56
Isaiah 13 Isaiah 35 Isaiah 57
Isaiah 14 Isaiah 36 Isaiah 58
Isaiah 15 Isaiah 37 Isaiah 59
Isaiah 16 Isaiah 38 Isaiah 60
Isaiah 17 Isaiah 39 Isaiah 61
Isaiah 18 Isaiah 40 Isaiah 62
Isaiah 19 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 63

Isaiah 20 Isaiah 42 Isaiah 64
Isaiah 21 Isaiah 43 Isaiah 65
Isaiah 22 Isaiah 44 Isaiah 66

Isaiah 1

Isaiah Chapter 1

Isaiah 1:1 "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah."

We can quickly see from this, that these 4 kings did not include the wicked king Manasseh, who had Isaiah killed. We find, in this verse, that Isaiah's father was named Amoz. This does not give us any further background on Isaiah. It appears that God just chose him as an unknown for this job.

This prophecy, that Isaiah gave, was revealed to him in a vision from God. Kings, and also the people, listened when a prophet spoke, because they believed that prophets were bringing them a message directly from God.

This particular vision and prophesy had to do with Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah was a prophet in the southern kingdom.

King Uzziah was sometimes called Azariah. (In 2 Kings 14:21), we find that he was called Azariah, and he was 16 years of age when he began to reign. We find in the 3rd verse of the 15th chapter of 2 Kings that Azariah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.

(In 2 Kings 15:5), we read that Jotham was the son of Azariah, and was king in his father's place. (2 Kings 15:34), tells us that Jotham did what was right in the sight of the Lord.

Ahaz was known by several names; Achaz, and Jehoahaz. He was a wicked king. Hezekiah and Ezekias are the same. His mother's name was Abijah. She was the daughter of Zechariah (the reference for this is 2 Chronicles 29:1).

Hezekiah did what was right and prospered. Read (2 Kings 18:5-7) to get a more thorough view of this. Manasseh was very evil.

Verses 2-9 is like a courtroom scene in which the Lord is the plaintiff and the nation of Israel is the defendant. Instead of responding to God's ultimate care and provision for them, these people have failed to give Him the loving obedience that is His due.

Isaiah 1:2 "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me."

We must remember this is a vision from God. Isaiah is speaking for God here. Prophets were sometimes called seers, because of the visions they had. These were God's chosen people, and they have turned their back from serving God. They have sinned over and over.

God does not stop calling them His children, but is disappointed in their rebellion towards Him. The only thing now, that will stop the judgment of God from falling upon them, is national repentance.

Our land could take a warning from this. We need to repent as a nation, as well as individuals for the rampant sin in America. We belong to Jesus Christ. He paid for us with His precious blood on Calvary.

God intended Israel to be a channel of blessing to the nations, but instead He must call the nations to look on Israel's shame. The physical descendants of Abraham are God's chosen people, in spite of their disobedience.

Isaiah 1:3 "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider."

The ox is spoken of here, because it is a dumb work animal, but still has enough sense to realize who feeds him. The ass here, is a donkey, supposedly a very dumb animal. Israel was God's people, and yet they did not follow Him. They were a people who did not consider the blessings He had bestowed on them.

Animals appear to have more powers of reason than God's people who break fellowship with Him.

Isaiah 1:4 "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."

"The Holy One of Israel": This is Isaiah's special title for God, found 25 times in this book, but only 6 times in the rest of the Old Testament. Isaiah also uses "Holy One" as a title 4 times and "Holy One of Jacob" once. In many contexts, the name contrasts the holiness of God with the sinfulness of Israel.

This seems as though it is describing our generation, as well as the physical house of Israel. Notice "Holy One of Israel" which seems to be a favorite name that Isaiah uses for God. It seems this is not just a single sin, but they have taken up a sinful way of life.

This is Isaiah speaking in this verse. He mourns over the sinful condition of the people and realizes the punishment that lies in store for them.

Isaiah 1:5 "Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint."

It seems that the greatest even unto the least are caught up in this sinful way of life. The "head" could symbolize the mind and the heart symbolizes the morality of the nation. The head could also mean, the leaders of the country.

It certainly does appear that they stay their mind on evil things, and those who should be leading them morally have been caught up in this evil as well.

Already in ruins because of rebellion against God, the nation behaved irrationally by continuing their rebellion.

Isaiah 1:6 "From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment."

This is not speaking of physical sores, but is speaking of sin, as the leprosy spoken of in Leviticus symbolized sin. This sin is so rampant, that it has involved almost everyone.

It means also, that the sinful way of life has totally consumed them from their feet to their heads. This also means, that there has been no effort made to cure this degraded society.

Isaiah 1:7 "Your country [is] desolate, your cities [are] burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and [it is] desolate, as overthrown by strangers."

This is speaking of the judgment that came to pass, because of their wayward ways. This is speaking of a war waged against them that they seemed helpless to stop. Many times, wars are actually judgments of God against a nation. Strangers tell us that this war was not other Hebrews warring against them.

Since Isaiah is speaking part of the time in the near future, sometimes in the far future, and sometimes at their present time, it is difficult to pinpoint which war this is speaking of.

Isaiah 1:8 "And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city."

"Daughter of Zion" speaks symbolically of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ many times. Other times it is speaking of the city of Jerusalem. The phase occurs 28 times in the Old Testament, 6 of which are in Israel. It is a personification of Jerusalem, standing in this case for all of Judah.

This cottage in the vineyard was a temporary house. This was like the booths (spoken of in Leviticus), that were 8 day housing in the vineyard. The lodge was a more solid dwelling. The key word is "as" a besieged city.

This means that this attack against Jerusalem was yet to come. It would be left in such bad condition that it would appear the housing had been temporary.

Isaiah 1:9 "Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, [and] we should have been like unto Gomorrah."

Isaiah used the title "Lord God of hosts" 60 times. It pictured God as a mighty warrior, a leader of armies, capable of conquering all of Israel's enemies and providing for her survival.

Survivors, rendered "remnant", is a term designated the faithful among the Israelites. Paul cited this verse to prove the ongoing existence of faithful Israelites even in his day (in Rom. 9:29). Such a remnant will constitute the nucleus of returning Israelites in the nation's regathering when the Messiah returns to earth.

Even this terrible siege of Jerusalem was not as bad as the punishment levied against Sodom and Gomorrah. In destroying them, God rained brimstone and fire on these two Canaanite cites because of their aggravated sinfulness (Gen. 18:20).

These two cities thereby became a proverbial expression for the ultimate in God's temporal judgment against any people. Had God's grace not intervened, He would have judged Israel in the same way.

As bad as this was, God had spared a few. God will always have a remnant of His people.

(In verses 10-17), the prophet applied the names of the sinful cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, to Judah and Jerusalem in decrying their empty formalism in worship. God found their activities utterly repulsive when they engaged in the rituals prescribed by Moses, because when doing so, they persisted in iniquity.

Isaiah 1:10 "Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah."

This is speaking of Jerusalem as if it were Sodom and Gomorrah. This is a warning of the terrible fate that awaits this evil city, if they do not repent and turn to God. Isaiah is saying, you are just as evil as Sodom and Gomorrah. Isaiah's plea to them is to listen to the Word of God, before it is too late.

Isaiah 1:11 "To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats."

I have had enough ... I take no pleasure. God found all sacrifices meaningless and even abhorrent if the offeror failed in obedience to His laws. Rebellion is equated to the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness to iniquity and idolatry.

They are so laden with sin that God does not want an offering from them. They are going through the motions of being God's people, but God will not accept their offerings offered with sinful hands. Just sacrificing without true repentance will not be acceptable to God. You could not then, and you cannot now, buy your way into heaven.

1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."

He wants their obedience and love, not their sacrifices.

Isaiah 1:12 "When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?"

In 2 Timothy 3, it is called having a form of Godliness. God does not want formality, He wants sincerity. In carrying out the required sacrifices, they had lost the meaning of sacrifice. It had become a practiced habit, not an act of love for God.

2 Timothy 3:5-7: "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts," "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

He is just saying that all the sacrifice without meaning in the world would not save them. (If we go to church because it is expected of us, we might as well stay home). It should not be done from obligation, but because we love to fellowship with God and His people.

Isaiah Chapter 1 Questions

1. In the opinion of the author, _______ is the most spiritual of the Old Testament books.

2. Isaiah was a __________ and preacher at the time he wrote this book.

3. He prophesied during the reign of how many kings?

4. Why do we know that Isaiah's wife was a prophetess, instead of just being a prophet's wife?

5. What does history tell us about the fate of Isaiah? Is there any Scripture in the Bible that indicates the history account is true?

6. Describe the personality of Isaiah.

7. He was known as the prophet of ____________.

8. What does the name "Isaiah" mean?

9. How many chapters are in Isaiah, and how are they separated?

10. What tells us without question that Isaiah the prophet wrote all of Isaiah?

11. What is the key word in Isaiah?

12. When did Isaiah live approximately?

13. Name the kings in power when Isaiah ministered.

14. How old was Isaiah when he began his ministry?

15. What interpretation of the Bible were the Dead Sea scrolls of Isaiah very close to?

16. We read in Isaiah that the message was given to him by __________.

17. Who was the father of Isaiah?

18. Who did the vision concern?

19. The four kings mentioned in the first verse were kings of ___________.

20. Which wicked king was not included?

21. What did the people believe about a prophet?

22. What region did Isaiah prophesy in?

23. What was another name for Uzziah?

24. How old was Uzziah when he began to reign?

25. What kind of a king was Uzziah?

26. Hezekiah is the same as whom?

27. Who was the most evil of the kings Isaiah ministered to?

28. What were prophets sometimes called?

29. Why were they called by this name?

30. What is the only thing that would stop the punishment of God from falling on them?

31. Why are the ox and ass mentioned in verse 3?

32. What is God called in verse 4?

33. What is meant by the "head being sick"?

34. What does the heart in verse 5 symbolize?

35. What kind of sores are spoken of in verse 6?

36. What judgment is spoken on them in verse 7?

37. Who is "daughter of Zion" speaking of?

38. What does "as", in verse 8, tell us?

39. What kept them from being like Sodom and Gomorrah?

40. What is called Sodom in verse 10?

41. What chapter, in Timothy, relates to Isaiah chapter 1 verse 12?

Isaiah Chapter 1 Continued

Isaiah 1:13 "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting."

These were all occasions prescribed by the Law of Moses.

Vain oblations are worthless offerings. Even the solemn meeting became nothing more than a sinful gathering because of their wrong motives.

All of these things just remind God of His children He loved who had gone astray. Vain oblations would be those given to no avail. They would be given, not of the heart, but in formality. They were keeping the law in form only.

Isaiah brings to light some of the times when they would offer unto the Lord. These times now are just painful memories of their transgressions. Incense had been a sweet smell to the Lord, now it was a stench.

"I cannot away with" means endure.

This type of offering was a sin itself. To worship in form only, greatly displeases God.

Isaiah 1:14 "Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them]."

It is impossible to doubt the Lord's total aversion toward hypocritical religion. Other practices God hates include robbery for burnt offering (61:8), serving other gods (Jer. 44:4), harboring evil against a neighbor and love for a false oath (Zech. 8:16), divorce (Mal. 2:16), and the one who loves violence (Psalm 11:5).

The new moon was the signal of the first of the month and a time of special worship. The feasts were especially holy times, such as feast of Unleavened Bread. They had been a joy, but when done out of obligation and not from love, became a sad remembrance to the Lord.

Isaiah 1:15 "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."

The following Scriptures show us that Solomon knelt before the altar of God and held his hands up to heaven in praise, when he prayed.

1 Kings 8:22 "And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:"

1 Kings 8:54 "And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven."

This type of prayer is usually very pleasing to God. God looks into the heart of man and knows when the prayer offered is sincere. It would not help to lift your hands up in humble praise before the Lord, when you prayed, if the praise and prayer are not sincere.

God will not hear our prayers when we are not sincere. His eyes are closed to them, because they have bloody hands. This possibly is referring to the death of Isaiah.

Isaiah 1:16 "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;"

This is the answer to their problems. They must repent of their sins. "Repent" means to turn the other way. It actually means, turn in the opposite direction. To say we are sorry is not enough, we must walk in the salvation provided. A Christian washes in the blood of the Lamb to get clean and free from sin.

These Hebrews must repent and wash away their sins and then walk before God uprightly. The Hebrews had ceremonial washings which symbolize our water baptism. The old man of sin must be buried in water baptism. The new man rises to walk a wholesome life.

Wash does not indicate that the sinner may cleanse himself. Nor does it refer to mere ritual washing. Rather, it indicates that the sinner must accept the cleansing offered by the Lord, a cleansing of the heart resulting in true repentance.

The outward evidence of the emptiness of Jerusalem's ritualism was the presence of evil works and the absence of good works.

Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

These Hebrews had been given the Law of God. They must set an example to the whole world of how to live. They were the chosen people. This is just exactly like the Christian walking in newness of life.

Doing well is a slow progressive learning of what is pleasing to God. You cannot do the will of God, until you know what His will is. First learn, and then do the will of God. Be fair in all of your judgments. Help those who cannot help themselves, especially the widow and orphans.

Illustrative of good works are deeds done on behalf of those in need (verse 23).

Verses 18-20: The prophet's appeal to come and reason together reveals God's gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be "reasonable" by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God.

The term crimson also means "worm", referring to the colorfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus, the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.

In developing His call for cleanliness (in verse 16), the Lord pardoned the guilty who desire forgiveness and obedience. This section previews the last 27 chapters of Isaiah, which focus more on grace and forgiveness than on judgment.

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

The two colors speak of the guilt of those whose hands were "covered with blood" (verse 15). Being covered with blood speaks of extreme iniquity and perversity (59:3; Ezekiel 9:9-10; 23:37 and 45).

White as snow ... like wool: Snow and wool are substances that are naturally white, and therefore portray what is clean, the blood guilt (verse 15), having been removed. Isaiah was a prophet of grace, but forgiveness is not unconditional. It comes through repentance as (verse 19 indicates).

The beautiful thing about Almighty God is that He will reason with us. There is no way that we can completely do away with our own sin. Even the blood of animals could just cover the sin for a year and not clear the conscience of man. The precious blood of the perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ, did away with sin for all time for everyone who would receive it.

The type of whiteness (as snow above), symbolizes the righteousness. Snow is beautiful white and falls from heaven with no effort on our own. Salvation is that way, as well. God, Himself, reconciles Himself to man. Salvation and freedom from sin, is a free gift coming down from God. We have no part in it, except to believe and receive it. We need to see in this that, even though the sin is very bad, God will cleanse it.

Verses 19-20: "Willing and obedient ... refuse and rebel". The prophet offered his readers the same choice God gave Moses (in Deut. Chapter 28), a choice between a blessing and a curse. They may choose repentance and obedience and reap the benefits of the land or refuse to do so and become victims of foreign oppressors.

"Eat ... be devoured": To accentuate the opposite outcomes, the Lord used the same Hebrew word to depict both destinies. On one hand, they may eat the fruit of the Land; on the other, they may be eaten by conquering powers.

Isaiah 1:19 "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:"

Throughout the Bible, obeying God brings great blessings, and disobeying God brings a curse. The beautiful thing about those who work for God is, God does not care about your technical training. He wants you to have a willing heart and obey Him. The Holy Spirit will train you.

Psalms 37:25 "I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

Isaiah 1:20 "But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]."

The fact that "the LORD hath spoken it" means it will certainly happen. God cannot and does not lie. About the most foolish thing a person could do, would be to refuse so great an offer. Rebellion is akin to witchcraft. To rebel against God would be a much more severe thing than to rebel against people.

Verses 21-31: recounts Jerusalem's current disobedience, with an account of God's actions to purge her (in verses 24-31).

This concluding passage is supplementary to the rest of the chapter. It looks forward to the millennial kingdom when Jerusalem will again be restored as God's faithful city.

Verse 24 uses three different divine names: Lord (Adon, lower case); LORD (Yahweh, caps), and mighty One of Israel (Abir Yisra'el). All refer to the same person of the Godhead. Converts are literally "turned ones" or "repentant ones."

Isaiah 1:21 "How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers."

Often in the Old Testament, spiritual harlotry pictured the idolatry of God's people. In this instance however, Jerusalem's unfaithfulness incorporated a wider range of wrongs, including murders and general corruption (verses 21 and 23). As Isaiah prophesied, ethical depravity had replaced the city's former virtues.

We see the results of refusing to follow God. The main thing to notice here is the fact that they had been faithful in the past. God speaks of Jerusalem as His bride. To become unfaithful, turns a beautiful bride into a harlot. This is true, whether it is a city, church, or an individual. To go against God is to commit spiritual adultery.

The blessings of God were upon His bride, but unfaithfulness causes all kinds of sin. Murder is a sign of total degradation.

Isaiah 1:22 "Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:"

Silver of this kind has trash mixed in it. It is not pure. Wine, many times, symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God. It appears the operation of the Holy Spirit has been stopped. Silver indicates that at some time these people were redeemed, but have gotten mixed up with the world and are become debased by the evil of society around them.

This is about what has happened in our society today. Even churches have gone so far as to deny the power of God in their services. This appears that there is great danger in wandering from the pure teachings of God.

Isaiah 1:23 "Thy princes [are] rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them."

The LORD is King. His sons would be called princes. Christians (sons of God), are princes, because our Father is the King. This "princes" is speaking of God's children who have rebelled against Him. The lost world is not spoken of here; these are God's people who have become worldly. They are disobedient to the teachings of God.

These rewards are speaking of bribes to pervert justice. This is a perfect description of our society today, even many Christians. The two most important commandments are love of God and fellowman. Both of these are broken in the verse above.

Isaiah 1:24 "Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:"

These titles of God emphasized His role as the rightful judge of His sinful people. "The Mighty One of Israel" occurs only here in the Bible, though "the Mighty One of Jacob" appears 5 times.

Now we see the judgment spoken upon the rebellious. In the physical, this is speaking of Jerusalem. Silver is purified by applying great heat to it. The redeemed (in this case), will be purified by great persecution and trials. Those who are not purified by the heat are destroyed by it.

Notice, the three names for God in the above verse: Lord, the LORD of hosts, and the Mighty One of Israel. The wrath of God is poured out to get the people to repent.

Isaiah 1:25 "And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:"

God's judgment of His people has future restoration as its goal. They were subsequently restored from the Babylonian captivity (Jer. 29:10), but his promise has in view a greater and more lasting restoration. It anticipates a complete and permanent restoration, which will make Jerusalem supreme among the nations.

The only such purging and restoration in Scripture is that spoken of in conjunction with the yet future "time of Jacob's distress" (Jer. 30:6-7), i.e. Daniel's 70th week and the second advent of the Messiah.

The tin, in the verse above, is the non-precious metal that had been used to take away the pure state of the silver. The Right Hand of God is Jesus Christ. Whether that is meant here, I cannot tell.

Jesus is the One who cleanses us with His blood and makes us righteous in God's sight. Tin symbolizes sin in the verse above.

Isaiah 1:26 "And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city."

This is a prophecy of the New Jerusalem, wherein dwelleth righteousness. It is also, speaking of the church which Jesus, Himself, purifies. Jesus is the Judge of all the world. Christians will reign with Him as His subordinates, when He sets up His kingdom. He is the Righteous Judge.

Isaiah 1:27 "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness."

Zion was originally a designation for the hill Ophel, this name became a synonym for the entire city of Jerusalem. Isaiah always uses it that way.

"Be redeemed, her converts": That remnant of the city who repented of their sins would find redemption in conjunction with God's future restoration of Israel's prosperity (59:20).

"Zion", as we said before, is the church or the city of Jerusalem. Those who repent (converts), and receive Jesus as their Savior are redeemed and take on the righteousness of Christ.

Isaiah 1:28 "And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners [shall be] together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed."

When heat is applied to silver and the trash (dross), comes to the top, the dross is skimmed off and thrown away. It is no good to anyone. This is what happens to the transgressors who will not turn to God. Those who reject God will be put in the lake of fire with Satan and all of his followers.

Concurrent with the future blessing of the faithful remnant, the Lord will relegate the unrepentant to destruction. This is the only way Zion can become pure.

Isaiah 1:29 "For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen."

These were settings where Israel practiced idolatrous worship. It is ironic that the Lord has chosen Israel while some citizens of Jerusalem have chosen the "gardens". When God calls them to account for their rebellious choice, they will be ashamed and embarrassed.

It seems there was false worship being conducted under these trees and, also, places of worldly pleasure called gardens. This is just saying they chose the pleasures of the earth for a little season over God.

Isaiah 1:30 "For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water."

In the winter, the oak tree sheds its leaves. The evergreen tree symbolizes everlasting life. A garden would soon wither and die without water.

Isaiah 1:31 "And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench [them]."

The tow "tinder", would hold him back from doing what he desired to do. This, again, is speaking of the pull of the world being so great that they would go that way. This leads to destruction in the lake of fire.

Both the rebel and his works will perish. This is final judgment, not merely another captivity.

Isaiah Chapter 1 Continued Questions

1. Why does God say the oblations and incense are an abomination to Him?

2. They were given not of the __________, but in formality.

3. To worship, in form only, greatly __________ ______.

4. What did the new moon signify?

5. Name one of the feasts spoken of here?

6. They had been a joy, but when done from obligation and not from love, they become a _____ ________ to the Lord.

7. How did Solomon pray in the dedication of the temple?

8. When would it do no good to raise your hands in prayer to God?

9. What is wrong with the hands in verse 15?

10. What could these bloody hands be referring to?

11. What is the answer to their problem?

12. What does repent mean?

13. How does a Christian get clean and free from sin?

14. What did the Hebrews have that symbolized our water baptism?

15. What were the instructions in verse 17?

16. Why must the Hebrews set an example for others?

17. Who is the Perfect Lamb?

18. Whiteness like the snow comes from where?

19. First _____, then __, the will of God.

20. If ye are _________ and ___________, ye shall eat the good of the land.

21. What does Scripture mean when it says, "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it"?

22. Rebellion is akin to _________________.

23. To become unfaithful, turns a beautiful bride into a harlot, whether it is a ______, ___________, or an __________.

24. What is murder a sign of?

25. What does wine symbolize many times?

26. What does the silver, in verse 22, tell us?

27. Who is the King?

28. Who are the "princes"?

29. What 2 commandments of God are broken in verse 23?

30. How is silver purified?

31. What are the three names given for God in verse 24?

32. What is the tin, in verse 25, symbolic of?

33. Who is the Right Hand of God?

34. Verse 26 is a prophecy of what?

35. What is "Zion" symbolic of?

36. What happens to the dross burned out of the silver?

37. What is intended by the leaf of the oak fading?

38. What problem would the tow cause?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 2

Isaiah Chapter 2

Chapters 2 through 5 comprise a single connected discourse.

Verses 2:1-5: Gives the first of 3 pictures of Zion (Jerusalem), in this discourse that depicts her future exaltation.

"The word that Isaiah ... saw" indicates that this is a separate prophecy from that of chapter one. The prophetic perfect tense implies that the prophet sees the future as though it had already happened. The passage is repeated (in Micah 4:1-4), in similar form.

The setting is the millennial age, when the nations of the world will come to the Holy City (Jerusalem), to learn the ways of God. Christ Himself is pictured as the Judge who will direct the affairs of nations during His millennial kingdom. Thus, the weapons of war will be turned into tools of peace and economic productivity.

Isaiah 2:1 "The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem."

This is a prophecy of the last days beginning here. This is not the last days on the earth for the people living when Isaiah wrote this, but of the end of the age in, possibly, our time. It seems that the prophecy was directed to Judah and Jerusalem.

The book of Micah contains this portion of Isaiah's prophecy almost word for word (Micah 4:1-3), indicating that the younger contemporary of Isaiah may have obtained the words from him. Both passages present a prophetic picture of Zion in the future messianic kingdom when all people will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the world.

Isaiah 2:2 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."

The "last days" is a time designation looking forward to the messianic era (Ezekiel 38:16; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1). The New Testament applied the expression to the period beginning with the first advent of Jesus Christ.

Old Testament prophets, being without a clear word regarding the time between the Messiah's two advents, linked the expression to the Messiah's return to establish His earthly kingdom, i.e., the millennial kingdom spoken about (in Rev. 20:1-10).

This is speaking of the church. The true Zion is not only Jerusalem, but the church as well. The church is many times spoken of as a city on a hill which sends out the Light. This could be a time, when all, who are mentioned here, will attend the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is high and lifted up.

We must look up for our help. "Our help cometh from the Lord". This will be a time when the LORD's house (church), will be lifted up.

"Mountain of the Lord's house" is a reference to Mt. Zion, the location of the temple in Jerusalem. The expression occurs two other times in the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 33:15; Micah 4:1).

Isaiah 2:3 "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

Isaiah frequently called Mt. Zion the "holy mountain".

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ teaches the Word of God. The above Scripture is speaking of the Word of God being taught by God's servants. The written and the spoken Word of God comes forth from God, but is presented to the world by God's servants.

Isaiah 2:4 "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

With the Messiah on His throne in Jerusalem, the world will enjoy uninterrupted peaceful conditions. Warfare will continue to characterize human history until the Prince of Peace (9:6), returns to earth to put an end to it.

The One we know as Jesus is the Judge of all the world. There will be no war, or even thoughts of war, during this time. There will be perfect peace. Jesus is the King of Peace. The next verse helps us understand what causes this great peace.

Hebrews 8:10-11 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" "And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

The house of Israel is not just the Hebrew nation, but all believers in Christ, as well. The Hebrews are physical Israel, and the Christians are spiritual Israel.

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

When the King of Peace (Jesus Christ) comes, there is perfect peace.

Isaiah 2:5 "O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD."

Isaiah is saying, since they know the total outcome in the end days, why not live that way now? He is inviting them to walk in the Light which is Jesus Christ our Lord. They are God's children. They should not be walking in darkness.

When it speaks of "house of Jacob", it is speaking of his family. This then, is the Hebrew nation spoken of here.

Verses 2:6-4:1: After a glimpse of Judah's glorious future (2:1-5), the prophet returned to the present for a scathing rebuke of her idolatry and the Judgment of God it evokes.

Verses 2:6-9: Isaiah stated the Lord's formal charge against the people of Jerusalem.

The phrase "replenished from the east" means that they had become filled with pagan influences from the East, namely Assyria and Babylon. Soothsayers (Hebrew anan, "to cloud" or "cover"), clouded over the truth rather than shedding any real light on it. The mean man refers to the lower class of society and the great man to the upper class. Both were bowing to idols and in danger of God's judgment.

Isaiah 2:6 "Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and [are] soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers."

It seems they have picked up some of the sins of their neighbors. They have become worldly. They have followed the ways of the Assyrians and the Ammonites. God has always called His people to be holy and separate.

Through caravans from the East, an influx of religious superstitions had filled Jerusalem and its environs.

God has stopped hearing their prayers, because they are living in darkness. They are living worldly lives. They have even begun soothsaying like the evil Philistines around them. The countries around them have evil practices in worship, and these of the house of Jacob have picked up their evil ways. God had warned them not to be yoked with those of darkness.

Isaiah 2:7 "Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither [is there any] end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither [is there any] end of their chariots:"

Their wealth was probably one of the things that had drawn these Hebrews. Silver and Gold are not a sin, in themselves. It is a sin to get them by tricking, or cheating others. It is also, a sin to lust for them, or covet someone else's silver and Gold.

These Hebrews had none of these things in abundance. These Hebrews had abandoned their teachings in favor of earthly things.

Isaiah 2:8 "Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:"

The word that "idols" was taken from means nothings. These idols are not a god. They are nothing compared to God who created all things. The second commandment in the Bible forbids this type of worship.

Exodus 20:4 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:"

The Jews were given the 10 commandments. They knew not to do this. The Gentile world did not have these laws.

Jotham and Ahaz, two of the kings under whom Isaiah prophesied, failed to remove the idolatrous high places from the land.

Isaiah 2:9 "And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not."

This is just speaking of the fate of these evil ones. They must turn from all of this, before God will forgive them.

The "mean man" refers to the lower class of society where the "mighty man" refers to the upper class.

This section (from 2:10-22), pictures conditions during the future day of the Lord. Though some elements of the description could fit what Judah experienced in the Babylonian captivity, the intensity of judgment predicted here could not have found fulfillment at that time. The tribulation period before Christ's return will be the time for these judgmental horrors.

Isaiah warns his listeners to "run for cover" because of the coming judgment of the human government (Joel and 2 Thess. 1:7-2:12). Since this Day of Judgment is coming, when all human government shall collapse into the dust, the prophet urges his readers to trust in God. The ships of Tarshish refer to the fleet of Western Europe (Spain), which carried smelted ore. The reference to shaking the earth (is similar to Revelation 6:14).

Isaiah 2:10 "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty."

This is speaking of them hiding in the caves in the rocks. It seems the land of Israel has many of these places, where they hid in time of great trouble. No one can hide from God. He knows everything, and He sees everything. Even though they are involved with these people, they still fear the LORD.

Isaiah 2:11 "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day."

This is speaking of that day when every knee will bow.

Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"

When the Judge of all the earth comes in all His glory, everyone will bow down in humble adoration of Him. God loves the humble, not the haughty.

Isaiah 2:12 "For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty, and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low:"

The wrath of God is reserved for those who are too proud of themselves to admit they need a Savior. We know a day is certainly coming that will be the Lord's Day. It will be the day when He will say "It is enough". On that day, every person on the earth will be judged of God.

The phrase "day of reckoning" or "day of the Lord" appears 19 times in the Old Testament and 4 times in the New Testament to express the time of God's extreme wrath. The day of reckoning can refer to a near future judgment (Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3), or a far future judgment (Zech. 14:1; 2 Thess. 2:2).

Two "day of the Lord" expressions remain to be fulfilled:

(1) At the end of Daniel's 70th week; and

(2) At the end of the Millennium (see 2 Peter 3:10).

At times, the near fulfillment (Joel 1:15), prefigures the far fulfillment (Joel 3:14); on other occasions, both kinds of fulfillment are included in one passage.

Here Isaiah looks to the far fulfillment at the end of the time of Jacob's trouble (Jer. 30:7).

Isaiah 2:13 "And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, [that are] high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,"

The cedars and oaks were objects of great admiration to people of Old Testament times (Psalms 91:12; 104:16; Ezekiel 27:6; and 31:3). Yet even these impressive created objects would face destruction because of human rebellion.

When the wrath of God comes on the earth, the trees will be burned. You see, the wrath comes through burning of trees, the water becoming wormwood, etc. This could also, speak of a day near unto them when the trees were cut before the fall of the land.

Isaiah 2:14 "And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,"

It seems these people had a false idea of their worth. They thought themselves to be above punishment from God. This is speaking of the fall of their country by judgment from God. This is not just speaking of those of Judah, but could also, be a warning to us today.

We are not above the judgment of God either. As we have said before, wars are sometimes judgments of God on His people.

Isaiah 2:15 "And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,"

King Uzziah and King Jotham built great fortifications to hold back the enemy. In the corners on top of the wall, they had high towers to warn early of an attack. All of this will not protect them from God however.

Isaiah 2:16 "And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures."

This does not mean the handful of ships that were built to go to Tarshish, but means all of the great ships. The pleasant pictures, probably mean the various works of art. It appears these people had put their faith in things of this world. Nothing in this world can equal Almighty God, who made it all.

Isaiah 2:17 "And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day."

It appears this haughtiness was because of acquiring things thought to be valuable on the earth. They had a false sense of their own worth; because of the great accumulations of things they called wealth.

All of these things shall be brought low, and the LORD alone shall be exalted. Those who have put their faith in the LORD will be exalted. Those who have put their faith in things of the world shall be brought down.

Isaiah 2:18 "And the idols he shall utterly abolish."

This just means that there will be total destruction of every idol. This could be speaking of the time the Babylonians come and conquer them, and can also mean at the end times. God wants us to be His 100%, or not His at all. He will not tolerate us having idols.

Isaiah 2:19 "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."

(Revelation 6:12; 15; 16 uses this passage and 2:21), to describe man's flight from the terrors of tribulation during the period before Christ's personal return to earth. This shows that the final fulfillment of the prophecy will be during Daniel's 70th week.

Whether this means that great earthquake that will be felt around the entire earth, or whether this is something that greatly frightens them, is uncertain. This is saying, they will run from the city and hide in the caves. Their fear is not of man, but of the LORD. This makes me believe it is a great earthquake. It is however, impossible to hide from the LORD.

Isaiah 2:20 "In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;"

There will come a sudden awakening that these idols, made by hand, have no power to save them. They will toss them away, because they are of no help to them at all.

Isaiah 2:21 "To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."

Be sure, your sins will be found of God, regardless of where you hide. It appears they try to hide in the rocks, but this will not save them. When the judgment of God comes, there will be no hiding place from Him.

Isaiah 2:22 "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?"

This is just a warning to stop trusting in mankind, or in the things he makes with his hands. This scripture calls readers to stop depending on other humans and to trust only in God, who alone is worthy.

The statement, whose breath in his nostrils, implies that even the breath of man is not a product of man, but God. God breathed the breath of life in man, and he became a living soul.

Even the breath of man, belongs to God. He can take it back any time He wants to. God is in control of the next breath man takes. When the breath of life leaves man, he must give account to God. Mankind is of no account at all on his own.

The only hope for mankind is to turn from his idols, repent, and receive the LORD.

Isaiah Chapter 2 Questions

1. The word that Isaiah saw in verse 1 was concerning whom?

2. What age is this really speaking of?

3. What does verse 2 say, will be established in the top of the mountains?

4. What is this speaking of?

5. Where can we expect help from?

6. What is the LORD's house?

7. What does the church of the Lord Jesus teach?

8. Who is doing the teaching?

9. Out of ________ shall go forth the law.

10. And the Word of the LORD from _____________.

11. They shall beat their swords into ______________.

12. Who establishes the peace spoken of in verse 4?

13. What Scripture tells us the believers in Christ are included in this?

14. Let us walk in the ________ of the LORD.

15. What does "house of Jacob" mean?

16. Why has God forsaken them?

17. What is one of the evil things they have begun to do in verse 6?

18. What was, probably, the thing that lured them to pick up the ways of these evil people?

19. The Hebrews had abandoned their teachings for what?

20. What did these evil people worship?

21. Why did they enter into the rock?

22. The lofty looks of man shall be _____________.

23. Who is the wrath of God reserved for?

24. What effect will the wrath of God have on the trees?

25. What are wars, sometimes?

26. Who were two of the kings who had built fortifications?

27. What had these people put their faith in?

28. What had caused these people to be haughty?

29. Where will they try to hide from the LORD?

30. What is the terrible shaking, probably?

31. What will the people do with their idols in that day?

32. What great awakening will come to the people?

33. Who has control of man's breath?

34. What is the only hope for mankind?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 3

Isaiah Chapter 3

From (3:1 - 4:1), the Lord's indictment against and judgment of Jerusalem and Judah continued.

In verses 3:1-8: The prophet denounces the private sins of the affluent upper class of Judah by warning them that God will take away their leaders and replace them with incompetent ones. Stay and staff are two genders of the same noun and serve as a Hebrew idiom for "all kinds of things" He then lists the kinds of leaders who will fail, beginning with the mighty man (gibor, heroic leader).

In place of these national leaders God warns that He will give them children ... and babes to rule over them. This prophecy was literally fulfilled when Manasseh (at age 12), began his long and wicked reign, which eventually led to Judah's final downfall. "Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen" is stated in the prophetic perfect as if this future event were already a fact.

Isaiah 3:1 "For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water."

"The Lord, the LORD of hosts": Emphasizing His ultimate authority, God refers to Himself by the title Adonai ("the Lord"), the sovereign Lord of all, and by the mighty and warlike "God of hosts".

The Lord has always provided the needs of His people of Judah from Jerusalem. This is just saying that, this will no longer be. God will remove His help from the mighty of Jerusalem. The Bread and Water are both symbolic of Jesus. Whether this is a spiritual blessing being taken away or a physical blessing, I cannot say. Perhaps it is both.

From (verses 1-3), God's judgment was to include a removal of the people's leadership.

Isaiah 3:2 "The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,"

These are all people who had been held in high esteem. The mighty man of war would probably be of great service in the battle to come. This is probably, speaking of the Babylonian captivity, but also is speaking of the end of the age.

The judge and the prophet had great power with the king and the people. In these days that Isaiah lived in, there was really no separation of church and state.

Isaiah 3:3 "The captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator."

Again, these were people of authority in their land. God will bring them low, and they will be ruled by children. All those of skill were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar. The orator, in the verse above, was really an enchanter.

Isaiah 3:4 "And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them."

This came true very soon after this was said, because the rulers of Judah were all under 25 years of age after the reign of Hezekiah. Manasseh was 12, and Josiah was 8, when they began to reign. Babes (in verse 4), means those who act in a child-like manner.

Isaiah 3:5 "And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable."

One of the reasons the youth would act proudly against the aged, is the fact that youth were ruling the land. It seems all respect for those in authority was wiped out, as well.

This society Isaiah spoke of, would not be practicing the golden rule to love thy neighbor as thyself. They would be against their neighbors.

Verses 6-7: "This ruin ... ruler of the people": Conditions of anarchy were to be so bad that no one would accept a position of authority over the people.

Isaiah 3:6 "When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, [saying], Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and [let] this ruin [be] under thy hand:"

No one wanted to be responsible for their brothers. Each was seeking to take care of himself. If one of them seemed to have more, they would try to get him to lead them, so they could share in his goods.

Isaiah 3:7 "In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be a healer; for in my house [is] neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people."

The rulers of households were expected to take care of their servants, as well as their own families. Isaiah is saying, there will be so little, no one wants to be the one to care for all of them. How can he feed the servants, if he does not even have enough to feed his own family?

The shortages will be so great that even the meager provisions, such as bread and clothing, will not be available.

Isaiah 3:8 "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings [are] against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory."

The fall of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.), was only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy. The final fulfillment awaits the times just prior to Christ's second coming.

"Against the Lord": The root of Zion's problem surfaces: overt rebellion against the Lord. The people sinned shamelessly; they made no effort to conceal it (3:9).

We can easily see the reason for the judgment of God against Jerusalem. They have sinned against the LORD. Notice, their speech had been opposed to the LORD and their deeds, as well. We will read in other lessons where God's fury has come up in His face.

(In Romans 10:9), we know that confession of the LORD is the very means to receive salvation. This is speaking of God's people renouncing Him with their mouths. This would bring about the wrath of God, not salvation.

Verses 9-15: "The show of their countenance" means "the look of their faces." Their guilty faces clearly revealed their sinful hearts.

"Children are their oppressors, and woman rule over them", indicates the utter failure of male leadership in their society (verse 12).

"Isaiah 3:9 The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves."

The sin of Sodom was the practice of homosexuality. Those, who are habitual sinners, have a hard look in their faces. Not only, have their hearts been hardened to sin, but it shows in their faces.

This is speaking also, of proclaiming their sins as an alternate life style. God calls this type of sin an abomination. He gives them over to a reprobate mind. Sin of this kind, in our days, can bring the plague of A.I.D.S. on you.

The sad thing, in the verse above, is they do not even have a repentant heart. They are proud of their sins.

Isaiah 3:10 "Say ye to the righteous, that [it shall be] well [with him]: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings."

The best way to explain this is with another Scripture.

Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

This Scripture of the righteous is in direct contrast to those who commit these terrible sins (of verse 9). The righteous are those who have placed their faith in the LORD, and are made righteous by that faith. Abraham's faith was counted unto him as righteousness.

Christians take on the righteousness of Christ, when they receive Him as their Savior. There will be tremendous rewards awaiting those who put their faith in the LORD.

Isaiah 3:11 "Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]: for the reward of his hands shall be given him."

Those who plant the seed of sin will reap sin. The wicked will be judged, by the Judge of all the world, not fit for heaven and eternal life with Him. In fact, they will have their place in the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

There are only two places to go, heaven, or hell (the lake of fire). It is our choice while we are still alive, but on judgment day, it will be up to the LORD.

Isaiah 3:12 "[As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."

"Children ... women". Children and women were considered ill-suited for governmental leadership so they figuratively depicted the incompetent rulers.

This is not speaking in a factual sense, but is saying the rulers will behave as children and will be effeminate. These rulers did not have the characteristics of strong rulers, but acted as women and children. The blind leading the blind is what has gotten them into trouble.

In our day, the Scripture above could be taken literally. Women should not rule over their husbands in the flesh; in their homes. The father should be the head of the house. Children should not be able to oppress their parents either, but both things are happening in our society.

Isaiah 3:13 "The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people."

The LORD has always stood up for the oppressed. In the verse above, it perhaps means that those in authority have over-stepped their bounds and are ruling harshly those of lesser wealth.

Isaiah 3:14 "The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor [is] in your houses."

The spoiling of the vineyard by the leaders amounts to their inequities in ruling the nation. Isaiah gave a more detailed comparison of God's people to a vineyard (in 5:1-7).

The LORD, back in Leviticus, had told them never to pick the entire crop, but to leave the edges to the poor and oppressed. It seems here, their greed has overcome them, and they have left nothing for the poor. The part of the crop that belonged to the poor had been gathered and carried into their houses.

Isaiah 3:15 "What mean ye [that] ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts."

The LORD always helped the poor, who could not help themselves. It seems the poor had been mistreated by God's people.

Verses 16-26: The arrogant and fashionable women of Jerusalem are condemned by the prophet for being more interested in the latest fads of fashion than the spiritual well-being of the nation. They are described as haughty, proud and wanton (suggestive). They walk with heads held high and with mincing steps, tinkling the bangles on their feet; they have flashing, seductive veils.

Suits of apparel, or festal robes. Mantles, or tunic. Wimples, or cloaks. Glasses, or mirrors. Thus, the prophet predicts that the women of Judah will cease to delight in these feminine accessories and will perish with the men of Judah.

Isaiah 3:16 "Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:"

When women cultivate beauty for beauty's sake, they thereby reflect the moral decay of the nations and detract from the glory of God. Rather than emphasizing outward apparel and activities (verses 16-24), ladies should cultivate the beauty of the inner person.

Mincing steps. Ornamental chains about the ankles necessitated shorter steps and produced tinkling sounds to attract attention.

Isaiah 3:17 "Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts."

We are now looking at the sins of the women. In the spiritual sense, this could also be speaking of the sins in the church. Zion many times is speaking of the church. In any case, this is speaking of lust of the eyes and the flesh.

Their "stretched forth necks" mean that they are puffed up with pride. The wanton eyes mean they are flirting and desire the men. This type of sin causes a woman to lose her beauty.

This says, the LORD will bring baldness to them and sores on their body. Their secret part I believe to be their hearts. God sees their heart and knows it is stayed on evil.

Isaiah 3:18-23 "In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of [their] tinkling ornaments [about their feet], and [their] cauls, and [their] round tires like the moon," "The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers," "The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings," "The rings, and nose jewels," "The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins," "The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils."

All of these things are outward adornment which they are trying to appeal to the men with. God looks on the inward man, not on the outward. All of the things above are earthly things which will pass away.

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;" "But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Isaiah 3:24 "And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; [and] burning instead of beauty."

This is an explanation of exactly what comes from being a loose woman. Notice, the punishment from God fits the sin. God is righteous.

Isaiah 3:25 "Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war."

This is speaking of the coming war, when Jerusalem is overcome by the enemy. When God does not stand up for the Hebrews, they fall to their enemies.

Isaiah 3:26 "And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she [being] desolate shall sit upon the ground."

Captivity is not a pretty thing. The city was plundered. It is too late to lament and mourn. It is done. The "sitting upon the ground" indicates that everything is gone. They have no chairs to sit on.

Isaiah Chapter 3 Questions

1. In verse 1, what has the LORD of hosts taken away from Jerusalem?

2. What is "Lord, the LORD of hosts" speaking of?

3. What does Lord mean in verse 1?

4. What does LORD in verse 1 mean?

5. What are the Bread and Water symbolic of?

6. Who are the mighty men in verse 2?

7. What captivity is this probably speaking of?

8. What other time is it probably speaking of?

9. Who are the eloquent orator, counselor, and honorable man speaking of in verse 3?

10. Who will be their princes?

11. What is "babes", in verse 4, really speaking of?

12. Why were the youth acting proudly against the ancient?

13. Who were they trying to choose to rule them?

14. What was the reason not to want to be a leader?

15. For ____________ is ruined, and _________ is fallen.

16. What was the reason for the judgment of God against them?

17. What city's sin was theirs compared to?

18. What was the evil city's sin?

19. What is the saddest thing of all about verse 9?

20. Who are the righteous?

21. What do those who put their faith in the Lord have awaiting them?

22. What chapter and verse, in Revelation, tells us about the lake of fire being for those whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life?

23. What is verse 12 speaking of really?

24. Who should be the head of the home?

25. Who has always stood up for the oppressed?

26. In Leviticus what instruction had been given to God's people about the poor, pertaining to their crops?

27. How are the daughters of Zion described in verse 16?

28. Verse 16 and 17 are speaking of the sins of whom?

29. What do the "stretched forth necks" show?

30. What are all the things in verses 18 through 23?

31. What comes of being a loose woman?

32. What happens to the Hebrews, when God does not stand up for them?

33. What does "sit upon the ground", in verse 26, show us?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 4

Isaiah Chapter 4

Isaiah 4:1 "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach."

"Seven women ... one man". In the day of reckoning, or the day of the Lord, He will judge wicked women indirectly by allowing a slaughtering of males, thereby producing a shortage of husbands.

This verse serves as a summary of the proceeding chapter. As a result of the coming devastation of the land, seven women shall take hold on one man, meaning that the male population will be so devastated that there will be seven women for every surviving male.

We must remember that it was thought to be a curse from God, if a woman was barren. It appears, in the verse above, that there are so few men that seven women want to wed one man, to be able to have his name, and perhaps, his child.

They are certainly aware that one man cannot afford to take care of seven families, so they offer to support themselves just to be able to use his name. War takes a great toll upon the men.

The branch of the Lord is the Messiah Himself. This same title is used (in Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15 and Zechariah 3:8 and 6:12). Thus, in the midst of his warning of judgment, Isaiah reveals a glorious promise of the future hope of the coming of the Messiah.

He sees ahead to the millennial kingdom when once again the cloud of glory shall rule them by day and the pillar of fire shall lead them by night. The phrase for upon all the glory shall be a defense should read: "the glory shall be spread over them as a canopy of protection."

The third picture of Zion resembles the first (2:1-5): an eventual purification and prosperity in the Land.

Isaiah 4:2 "In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel."

Sometimes when the Branch is mentioned, it symbolically means the Lord Jesus. The Messianic title "Branch" occurs also (in Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8 and 6:12). The thought behind the title relates to (2 Sam. 23:5), that of growth. The life of the Branch will bear spiritual fruit.

Notice that the fruit that grows is for the branch. We see those who have escaped (remnant), as those who are believers in Christ (Christians).

Isaiah 4:3 "And it shall come to pass, [that he that is] left in Zion, and [he that] remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, [even] every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:"

Holy or set apart is another way of describing the remnant who will inherit God's prosperity in that day (1:9, 27; and 3:10).

This "living" could easily be those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. They inherit eternal life. Christians are righteous, because we have taken on the righteousness of Christ.

This "holy" could be speaking in the sight of the LORD. All who put their faith in the LORD and live for Him are holy, because He has made us holy. Notice also, that there is an "and" between Jerusalem and Zion in the verse above.

The 144,000, spared by being sealed with the Father's mark, are physical Israel. They are the remnant of the Father. Christians are spiritual Israel. We are heirs with Abraham, because of our faith. Jesus will reign 1000 years from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 4:4 "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning."

"The daughters of Zion" could be speaking of the bride of Christ. We are made holy by the washing of the water of Jesus' shed blood.

Revelation 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"

Jesus Christ is the Judge of all the earth. God is also, a consuming fire. The fire is for purification purposes.

For other instances of purging by burning (see 1:25 and 6:6-7).

Isaiah 4:5 "And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defense."

Defense ... refuse (in verses 5-6). The future inhabitants of Jerusalem will enjoy the Lord's protective covering over the glory on Mt. Zion. This recalls Ezekiel's prophecy of the return of the Shekinah to the temple (Ezekiel 43:2-5).

God's dwelling place is with the Christian.

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God."

LORD (in verse 5 above), means the fullness of the Godhead. This is the name for the eternally existing One. Mount Zion is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The LORD protects the church with a cloud, and smoke by day and a flaming fire by night.

"Assemblies" shows you that this is the congregation of the church. He is our Defense. He builds a hedge of protection around His followers. His blood protects us from the enemy. God's glory is manifest in His church. The pillar of fire by night, and the smoke by day, symbolized the presence of God.

Isaiah 4:6 "And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain."

This is divine protection from the storms of life, whether physical, or spiritual. We can see the protection the church has from the LORD.

Isaiah Chapter 4 Questions

  1. And in that day _____ women shall take hold of one man.
  2. What do they want from the man?
  3. Who can the branch be?
  4. Who does the author believe verse 2 is speaking of as the branch?
  5. Who are those who have escaped?
  6. What is another way of describing the remnant who will inherit God's prosperity?
  7. Who does verse 3 say will be called holy?
  8. What does Zion, many times, symbolize?
  9. Who does the author believe the "living" in verse 3 are?
  10. Why are Christians righteous?
  11. The 144,000 in Revelation are spared because of what?
  12. What saves the Christians?
  13. Who does the author believe are the "daughters of Zion"?
  14. What makes the Christians holy?
  15. Where is God's dwelling place?
  16. What does "Mount Zion" symbolize?
  17. What word keys us that this is the congregation of the church?
  18. The pillar of fire by night and the smoke by day symbolize what?
  19. What is verse 6 speaking of?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 5

Isaiah Chapter 5

The conclusion of the extended discourse (begun at 2:1), comes by way of a comparison of God's people to a vineyard which He cultivated, but which did not bear fruit.

These verses (from 5:1-7) explain a parable of the vineyard, which symbolizes Israel. The poem is called the song of my believed, and resembles the Song of Solomon, but in this passage, it becomes a song of lament. The beloved is the lord, and Israel is the vineyard that has brought forth wild grapes.

There is a play on sounds and letters in the Hebrew of "he looked for judgment, (mishpat), but behold oppression, (mispach); for righteousness (tsedaqah), but behold a cry (tse'aqah). The prophet's point is that the judgment of God will bring the opposite of what they expect.

Isaiah 5:1 "Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:"

The Lord is the friend who is well-beloved by Isaiah. The vineyard belongs to Him (5:7).

"Well-beloved" is speaking of the Lord. The vineyard is His followers. The word "Well-beloved" is an expression of appreciation to Creator God and God our Savior. When we sing to God, we are expressing joy for what He has done. Song is a form of praise.

The "vineyard in a very fruitful hill" is speaking of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which cannot be hid. The "vineyard" can also mean, the house of physical Israel. Both physical and spiritual Israel is spoken of as God's vineyard. The difference is the very fruitful hill.

Isaiah 5:2 "And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes."

The owner made every conceivable provision for the vine's productivity and protection, illustrating the Lord's purely gracious choice of Israel. Justifiably, He expected a good yield from His investment, but the vine's product was "sour berries," inedible and fit only for dumping.

The Hebrew nation was chosen from all of mankind to be God's people. They, in the beginning, were the choicest vine. The "tower" symbolized the protection they had from their enemies. The "winepress" was a source of squeezing the choice wine out of the grape. "Wine" symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God.

The sad thing about this vine was the fact that the grapes were not fit to be used to make pure grape juice. This, in a sense, is saying they went back to their worldliness. "Wild grapes" symbolize worldliness. They were not acceptable for God's purposes, because they were worldly.

We Christians, must be careful how we grow, as well. God has planted the seed of the Word of God within us. We must grow toward Him and not go back into worldliness. The new Christian is like the baby vine. It is just planted. What kind of fruit the vine produces has to do with the way we feed it. The way to have beautiful fruit is to feed the vine the pure Word of God, regularly.

The Christian must not be drawn back into the world by getting fed the impure teachings. Read your Bible for yourself and feed upon God's Word as you would your daily food. Then you will produce fruit fit for God.

Isaiah 5:3 "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard."

Jesus Christ is the holy One. Christians should be Christ like. Some should drop the name, Christian, because they follow the world, instead of Christ.

Isaiah 5:4 "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?"

This is primarily speaking of God sending the prophets and judges of old to His vineyard, and yet they did not receive them. They killed them and went the way of the world.

Isaiah 5:5 "And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:"

As punishment for her unfruitfulness, Israel became desolate and accessible to any nation wishing to invade her, such as happened in the Babylonian invasion of 586 B.C., and will happen repeatedly until her national repentance at the second coming of the Messiah.

When the LORD was with the Hebrews, they won their battles against the enemy. The LORD was their very present help. It was as if He had built a fence of protection around them, and the enemy could not destroy them.

When they became worldly, the LORD removed His protection from them, and they were overcome by their enemies. In the basic sense, this is speaking of them being overcome by the Babylonians.

Isaiah 5:6 "And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it."

This is speaking of a time when the protection of the LORD is removed, and their enemies come and destroy them. Even the blessing of rain is withheld, because of their unfaithfulness to God.

Isaiah 5:7 "For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry."

As we have said before, there is a physical house of Israel and a spiritual house of Israel. This is primarily speaking of the physical house of Israel.

God expected them to produce good fruit. He expected them to be fair in their judgments and to be righteous, but instead they oppressed others and caused a cry to go forth. They were a great disappointment to God.

In this lesson, we are looking primarily at the judgment that came upon the physical house of Israel, and primarily the men of Judah. As I have said before in these lessons, we are looking at all of the Scriptures in the Bible as a guide to us and what brings blessings from God.

We must also, be aware of the curses that come from disobeying God. I cannot stress enough the need to study the Bible for yourself, so that you will not be deceived by many of the modern (worldly), teachings. It is just as dangerous today to let the world creep into your worship as it was for the people of those days.

In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the tares were growing with the wheat. They possibly, were in the same church together. One was worldly (tares), and the other was Godly (wheat). The thing that makes one different from the other is the fact that the wheat was fed on the Truth. The tares listened to the call of the world.

Just as in this lesson today, it was possible for the vineyard to produce two types of grapes. One pleasing unto God, and the other was pleasing to the flesh and the world. Be careful to please God. His Word (Bible), will set you free from worldliness.

Isaiah Chapter 5 Questions

  1. Who is "Well-beloved" speaking of?
  2. Who is His vineyard?
  3. What are we doing, when we sing to the LORD?
  4. The "vineyard of the fruitful hill" is who?
  5. What kind of vine was planted in chapter 5:2?
  6. What does the "tower" symbolize?
  7. What kind of grapes did the vine produce?
  8. What is the brand new Christian like?
  9. Who had God sent to help the vine to grow good grapes?
  10. What special thing did the LORD do for these Hebrews as long as they followed Him?
  11. What must be done, to bring forth good fruit?
  12. Disobedience to God's teachings brought ________ to the house of Israel?
  13. What time is verse 6 of chapter 5 referring to?
  14. From what standpoint are these lessons written?

Isaiah Chapter 5 Continued

The prophet Isaiah pronounces a six fold "woe" on the sins of Judah. Join house to house means they are greedy land grabbers. By foreclosing mortgages, the wealthy landowners acquired all the adjoining land to form huge estates.

A bath was a liquid measure equivalent to an ephah of dry measure (about 8 gallons). A homer was about 83 gallons. Strong drink (shekar), refers to fermented drink.

Draw iniquity with cords refers to pulling a load of sin with a rope on a cart. Thus, the people of Judah are condemned for parading their sin before God.

Isaiah 5:8 "Woe unto them that join house to house, [that] lay field to field, till [there be] no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!"

This first woe was against real estate owners because of their greedy materialism.

"House to house ... field to field": God gave the land to the Israelites with the intention that the original allocation remain with each family (Lev. 25:23-25). By Isaiah's time, land speculators had begun putting together huge estates (Mica 2:2 and 9), and the powerful rich used legal processes to deprive the poor of what was rightfully theirs (Amos 2:6-7).

This is speaking of someone who has no regard for his neighbors. He tries to buy up all the acreage around him and just builds a bigger house for his own use. This land owner has moved all of his neighbors out to build himself a bigger estate.

Pretty soon, the whole town will belong to him alone.

Isaiah 5:9 "In mine ears [said] the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, [even] great and fair, without inhabitant."

This is speaking of a time when the houses will be empty. This is speaking of beautiful buildings without inhabitants. It appears to me, that the Lord of Host has said this in the ears of Isaiah.

Isaiah 5:10 "Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah."

God judged the greedy rich by reducing the productivity of their land to a small fraction of what it would have been normally. About one half bushel would be produced from about six bushels of planted seed. Such amounts indicate famine conditions.

A bath is approximately 7-12 gallons. That would be a very small amount for ten acres to produce. The homer was the same as ten ephahs. The homer was thought to be the amount a donkey could carry.

We see from this, that they planted more seed than they yielded. We can see the futility of farming or raising a vineyard with these results. It seems that God had cursed these crops.

Isaiah 5:11 "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, [that] they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, [till] wine inflame them!"

The second woe addressed the drunkards for their neglect of the Lord's work of judgment and redemption, and their devotion to pleasure.

In our day, we would call this person an alcoholic. Someone, who drinks in the morning, is addicted to alcohol. It would be especially so of someone who drank all day. The Lord speaks a woe on people addicted to alcohol.

We know from our society today, the destruction of lives that this type of drinking brings.

Isaiah 5:12 "And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands."

The instruments, mentioned above, had been used in worship services in the past. It seems, in this case, they were used in drunken parties.

It seems this message is saying, they have turned away from the tried and true methods of worship of the past, and have gone to new methods. This has become a place to meet and socialize, instead of a place of worship.

Isaiah 5:13 "Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because [they have] no knowledge: and their honorable men [are] famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst."

The people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge of the Lord. Their concerns have been on worldly things and not that of God. Now they are in punishment because of their evil deeds.

We find in this the punishment for such behavior is swift and exacting. Isaiah speaks of it as if it had already happened. The outcome of drinking in excess and revelry has been slavery. This slavery can be literal, as in this case, or it could be the slavery of alcoholism.

Again, the thirst could be literal, or it could be thirst for the truth in God; either way, it is terrible.

Isaiah 5:14 "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it."

The term Sheol in this context pictures death as a great monster with wide open jaws, ready to receive its victims. Such was to be the fate of those who perish in the captivity God will send to punish the people's sinfulness.

A sinful way of life leads to total destruction and to hell. I personally believe to be a Christian in name only brings about the same thing. God does not want luke-warm followers, He wants 100% of you, or none of you at all.

Notice the word "multitude" in the verse above. Christianity is not a religion of the masses. It is a walk through life in personal relationship with Him. He does not save the masses, but individuals in those masses. "Pomp" indicates someone who is conceited.

Some-one not humble, but pompous, finds it very difficult to be humble before God. The accepting of the Lord with our head is not what He wants. He wants our heart.

"Hell enlarging herself" indicates that it must be enlarged to hold, not only the professing non-believer, but also those who are Christians in name only.

Isaiah 5:15 "And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:"

The "mean man" refers to the lower class of society where the "mighty man" refers to the upper class.

There will come a time when all the proud, lofty, arrogant, and all unbelievers will be brought down, and will know Him for who He is. In some cases, it will be too late.

The Bible says every eye shall see Him. This will be the time when many, who did not believe, will believe, because they see Him in all His majesty. (Faith in the Lord Jesus purchases our salvation, not fact). If we see Him with our eyes, it takes no faith to believe.

John 20:29 "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed."

Isaiah 5:16 "But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness."

Jesus Christ is Judge of all the earth. The very ones who denied Him will exalt Him, when they realize He is the Judge of all the earth. Only God has His own righteousness and holiness.

Our righteousness, as Christians, is a gift from Jesus. It is His righteousness that makes us holy in the sight of the LORD.

Isaiah 5:17 "Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat."

Lambs are baby sheep. These "fat ones" could mean those who had all of the food of life, and yet perished because of being alien to God. This land and its food are left for those young Christians who are willing to follow the Shepherd.

Isaiah 5:18 "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:"

To me, this would be saying that they draw sin unto themselves and embrace it. They have so many sins they cannot carry all of them, so they must pull them along with them tied to them by this rope. The sin is never very far away from them. It is within the distance of the rope. They can embrace this sin, just by pulling the rope to them.

This third woe was against those who defied the Lord and ridiculed His prophet.

Isaiah 5:19 "That say, Let him make speed, [and] hasten his work, that we may see [it]: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know [it]!"

"Let him make speed" is what the taunting unbelievers said, "Where is the judgment of which you have spoken, Isaiah? Bring it on. We will believe it when we see it."

This challenge for God to hasten His judgment represented their disbelief that the Holy One of Israel would judge the people. See Isaiah's response in the naming of his son: "Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey" (8:1; 5:26).

They are expressing a desire for the judgment to come, thinking they will be spared. They think there will be no judgment. Speaking literally, these Jews cannot and will not believe, God will judge them harshly. They have been spared so many times, because of His great love for them. They believe this will be no different, and they will be spared. They are arrogantly saying "come on and do what you will". They have no idea what lies ahead for them.

Christians today, are doing the same thing as many are saying; I have been baptized, it does not make any difference how I am living. God will save me, I am a Christian. Those who are a Christian in word only, will be surprised when He says "Get away from me, I never knew you".

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Christians, do not play church. If you profess Christianity, live the Christian life every day and bare fruit fit for the kingdom.

Isaiah Chapter 5 Continued Questions

  1. Woe unto them that join _________ to _________.
  2. What is wrong with building that close?
  3. What time is verse 9 telling us of?
  4. How many gallons are in a "bath"?
  5. How many ephahs is a homer?
  6. What has apparently happened to these crops?
  7. What was the next woe, spoken of in verse 11?
  8. In our day, what would the person who did this be called?
  9. Verse 12 lists some things that had been used for worship services previously, what were they?
  10. What were they used for, in this prophecy?
  11. These people had fallen so far, that they did not regard the work of the _______.
  12. The place of worship had become what?
  13. Why had the people gone into captivity?
  14. How had the punishment come?
  15. What is the outcome of drinking in excess and revelry?
  16. What two thirsts could be mentioned in verse 13?
  17. What does a sinful way of life lead to?
  18. What does the author believe, being a Christian in name only leads to?
  19. God wants _____% of you.
  20. God saves __________ in the masses.
  21. What does the word, "pomp" tell us?
  22. What is meant by "hell enlarged herself"?
  23. What happens to the mean man in verse 15?
  24. Who will see Jesus and know Him for who He is?
  25. Verse 16 says "God that is holy shall be sanctified in _________________.
  26. Who is the only one to have His own righteousness and holiness?
  27. Who are the lambs?
  28. Who leads the lambs?
  29. The land and its food are left for whom?
  30. What does the Scripture mean?
  31. They are expressing a desire for what to come?
  32. How are many Christians today like these prophesied in verse 19?

Isaiah Chapter 5 Second Continued

Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

"Evil good and good evil": The fourth woe condemned the reversal of morality which dominated the nation. They utterly confused all moral distinctions.

In this fourth woe, we see wolves in sheep's clothing. These are those who pretend to be believers, and yet, in their heart they are not followers of God at all. These are pretenders. They are so involved in the ways of the world; they have forgotten what is good and what is evil.

They look at the darker side of life and call it light, because they are blinded. They have eyes to see, but they do not see. Sin is sometimes spoken of as the bitter cup. Sin seems to be sweet, until the consequences of that sin arrive. Then we realize that sin is a bitter pill.

Isaiah 5:21 "Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

"Wise in their own eyes": The object of the fifth woe was the people's arrogance. "Pride goes before destruction ..." (Proverbs 16:18).

Those who are wise in their own eyes cannot learn, because they believe they already know everything. You must be humble to receive the Lord. To put faith in yourself in place of faith in God is destructive.

A conceited person has trouble receiving the simple good news of Jesus Christ. In this scripture, "prudent" is associated with cunning. This then, is just repeating that he is wise in his own eyes. This type person would see no need for salvation. They would believe they could save themselves.

Isaiah 5:22 "Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:"

Verses 22 and 23 is the sixth woe that pointed to the unjust sentence passed by drunken and bribed judges.

This is a problem very prominent in our society today. This is someone who drinks and goes on with the daily functions of his, or her, life. They would not be aware that the wine or strong drink impairs their thinking ability.

In fact, many of these people are deceived into thinking that their ability to function as a salesperson is improved because of their drinking. Since alcohol of any kind dulls the senses, they are not able to function at full capacity, but are not aware of their inability.

They do not make sound decisions, because their thinking ability is slowed down by the drinking.

Isaiah 5:23 "Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!"

This is speaking of bribes. The person will pretend nothing wicked has happened, because they have been bought off. This seems to be a judgment in favor of the wicked against the righteous, because of the bribe he received.

This hurts both parties. The wicked are hurt, because one sin leads to another. The righteous are hurt, because the truth was not accepted, and they were judged against.

Verses 24-30 is the conclusion of the discourse announced God's action in sending a mighty army against Judah to conquer and leave the land in darkness and distress.

Isaiah 5:24 "Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel."

The word "therefore" shows us the connection of this Scripture with the previous Scriptures. We see the judgment against the ones who have committed the evils. The Hebrews were always breaking the law of God. They seemed to believe that God would forgive them, even if they did not keep His law.

"Word", in the verse above, is speaking of the Word the prophets spoke under the influence of God. You could class them as Words from God spoken through the prophet's mouth. Burning the tops of these plants is sometimes done to make a better crop, but this speaks of total destruction of the roots, as well. This would leave desolation.

This could, also, prophetically be speaking of the time in Israel when the law of God was disregarded, and God sent His Son (the living Word). Jesus was despised and rejected. This would bring great punishment. In fact, God would turn from the house of Israel (physical Israel), to the Gentile believers who would become spiritual Israel.

Isaiah 5:25 "Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases [were] torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still."

Now we see the anger of the LORD and what it brings. The sad thing is that the anger is vented against the LORD's own people. They have been like a disobedient child. I have always said, I would rather have the devil attack me, rather than feel the anger of God.

We can resist the devil in the name of Jesus and he will flee, but there is no place to hide when the anger of the LORD is against you. There is no higher power than the LORD. The specific judgment spoken by the LORD on these people is the soon-coming war, when they will be overcome of the enemy.

Looking to the shadow of the judgment at the end time speaks of a time of terrible unrest and war as well. Only those who are sold out to the LORD will be spared this terrible holocaust. At the presence of an angry LORD, even the hills tremble. A "carcass" is the body of the dead. This indicates many will die.

Isaiah 5:26 "And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:"

Principal among the nations God would bring against Israel were:

(1) Assyria, which conquered the northern kingdom (in 722 B.C.); and

(2) Babylon, which completed its invasion of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.), and destroyed the temple.

This battle against God's people will not be like Sodom and Gomorrah, when the punishment came from the heavens from an angry God. This war will be waged by the nations that the LORD calls to battle.

All leaders of every country are subject unto the LORD. To "hiss" is a way of calling them. When they are called of the LORD to battle, they waste no time getting there. This war would be what we would call sudden onslaught.

The ensign is of the LORD. It would be a symbol (probably made of wood, or metal). This is a recognizable emblem, very much like a flag. It would not be a flag, because each country flies its own flag.

This Scripture has at least two prophesies. It is speaking of the soon fall of these Israelites, but it also speaks of the gathering of the nations at the end times, as well. This is the great battle that comes against the Israelites.

Isaiah 5:27 "None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:"

This speaks of a war without stop. It speaks of not even stopping at night long enough to take their shoes off. This is speaking of an army ready to go and carry out the purposes God has called them to, even if they are unaware what the war is for.

God uses heathen people to carry out His wishes sometimes. All are subject to God from the least to the greatest.

Isaiah 5:28 "Whose arrows [are] sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind."

This speaks of any army in readiness. They will travel so fast that the dust they stir up will look like a whirlwind. A flint is strong and hard. When they are moving fast, there will not be time to shoe the horses. The bow being bent indicates their readiness to shoot.

Isaiah 5:29 "Their roaring [shall be] like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry [it] away safe, and none shall deliver [it]."

We find many Scriptures in the prophetic books, such as Ezekiel and Daniel, about those in battle being as a roaring lion. This is probably speaking of the great fury when they will take Jerusalem. They shall suddenly jump on these people as their prey, just as a lion pounces on his prey.

The battle over Jerusalem was a fierce battle with no mercy. I believe this is what this Scripture is saying.

Isaiah 5:30 "And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if [one] look unto the land, behold darkness [and] sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof."

"Darkness": God's wrath against the people was to eliminate light (8:22; 42:7), but His promised deliverance of the remnant will ultimately turn that darkness into light at the coming of the Messiah (9:2; 42:16; 58:10; 60:2).

"That day" is speaking of a specific day. The Light is symbolic of God. Jesus is the Light. This absence of Light indicates, to me, that the Lord is not fighting this battle for them. They will have to defend themselves without the help of the Lord. The darkness is spiritual and physical.

We know there was darkness in the earth for three hours, when Jesus was crucified. Darkness in the heavens shows great sorrow of God for what is happening. Remember, this war is a product of the wrath of the Lord.

Isaiah Chapter 5 Second Continued Questions

  1. Woe unto them who call evil________.
  2. We are looking at _________ in ________clothing.
  3. What has caused them to forget what is good?
  4. Why can they not recognize the Light?
  5. Woe unto them who are wise in their ______ eyes.
  6. What is "prudent" associated with in verse 21?
  7. What type of drinking is verse 22 speaking of?
  8. Why can a person like this not make sound decisions?
  9. What one word covers what is happening in verse 23?
  10. Explain how this hurts the wicked, as well as the righteous?
  11. Why are they burned as the stubble and their root become rotten?
  12. What one word, in verse 24, shows connection to the previous verses?
  13. These were Words of God spoken through the___________ mouth.
  14. What is a prophetic message spoken of in this verse about the Word?
  15. When the LORD's anger was kindled again His people, what did the hills do?
  16. What is the sad thing about this anger in verse 25?
  17. They have been like a _______________child.
  18. Who will be spared this terrible holocaust?
  19. What is a "carcass"?
  20. What word is used to indicate God called the nations?
  21. How will the nations come?
  22. How will this wrath of God differ from the wrath of God shown at Sodom & Gomorrah?
  23. Why is an ensign raised instead of a flag?
  24. What far reaching prophecy is this speaking of, in addition to the soon fall of Jerusalem?
  25. How do we know this war will go through the night, as well as day?
  26. Who are subject to God?
  27. They will travel so fast their dust will look like a _____________.
  28. What are two other prophetic books which have Scriptures speaking of the army being as a roaring lion?
  29. The battle over Jerusalem was a fierce battle with no__________.
  30. What type of darkness is verse 30 speaking of?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 6

Isaiah Chapter 6

Verses 1-5: In preparation for calling Isaiah to be the prophet who would proclaim the coming judgment, God gave him a vision of His majestic holiness so overwhelming that it devastated him and made him realize his own sinfulness.

In chapter 6 Isaiah recounts his original call to the prophetic ministry, dating it from the year that king Uzziah died (740 B.C.), With the death of godly Uzziah, Judah's golden age was fast slipping away. No human leader appeared on the scene to reverse the decadence that had begun during Uzziah's final years of isolation due to leprosy. At this crucial hour, the prophet's attention was turned to God Himself, the true Sovereign in the affairs of men. A throne refers to the throne of heaven (see Rev. 4:2).

His train refers to His royal robes. Seraphim ("burning ones") are six winged angelic creatures that continually fly in the presence of God, declaring His holiness. Holy, holy, holy is a threefold declaration of God's person and may be taken as a suggestion of the Trinity.

Note that when God speaks, He uses the plural pronoun us (verse 8).

Isaiah 6:1 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."

King Uzziah's death: After 52 years of reigning, leprosy caused the death of king Uzziah, and Isaiah began his prophetic ministry that year. He received the prophecies of the first 5 chapters after his call, but at (6:1), he returns to authenticate what he has already written by describing how he was called.

"I saw": The prophet became unconscious of the outside world and with his inner eye saw what God revealed to him. This experience recalls the experience of John's prophetic vision (in Rev. 4:1-11).

"High and lifted up": The throne was greatly elevated, emphasizing the Most High God. "Train" refers to the hem or fringe of the Lord's glorious robe that filled the temple.

"Temple": Though Isaiah may have been at the earthly temple, this describes a vision which transcends the earthly. The throne of God is in the heavenly temple (Rev. 4:1-6; 5:1-7; 11:19; 15:5-8).

Many Bible students believe this happened at the very beginning of the book of Isaiah. I tend to believe the book is in the order it should be. Many of those called to work for God have a deeper experience with the Lord, after they have begun to serve Him. This is not unusual, as far as I am concerned.

This vision Isaiah had was a specific time. It is very similar to the first vision that Ezekiel had. Lord is speaking of Adonay. The name Adonay is just a way to express the name of the Lord more reverently, referring to the Hebrew Yahweh.

We know from other Scriptures, that there is a throne in heaven, and that Jesus (as we know Him), sits at the right hand of the Father. The Holy of Holies in the tabernacle was a type of this throne. This majestic throne is above all. The curtain was pulled aside, and Isaiah was allowed to see the throne of God.

This train is like the train brides have on their wedding dresses, but this is more elaborate and fills the temple.

Isaiah 6:2 "Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly."

The seraphim are an order of angelic creatures who bear a similarity to the 4 living creatures (of Rev. 4:6), which in turn resemble the cherubim (of Ezekiel 10:1).

"Six wings": Two wings covered the faces of the seraphim because they dared not gaze directly at God's glory. Two covered their feet, acknowledging their lowliness even though engaged in divine service. With two they flew in serving the One on the throne. Thus, 4 wings related to worship, emphasizing the priority of praise.

A seraphim in the near presence of God was like a flaming fire. It is interesting to me, that there are 6 wings. The number 6 symbolizes mankind. The seraphim are in the near presence of God, waiting on the instructions of God.

It is interesting to me, that they can fly. When God appears to man, or one of His creatures, male or female, there must be some kind of shielding to keep him from the direct view of the Lord's face. Usually there is a smoke around Him to keep Him somewhat hidden.

Isaiah 6:3 "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory."

"Cried unto another": The seraphs were speaking to each other in antiphonal praise. Holy, Holy, Holy" The primary thrust of the 3-fold repetition of God's holiness (called the trihagion), is to emphasize God's separateness from and independence of His fallen creation, though it implies secondarily that God is 3 persons. (See Rev. 4:8, where the 4 living creatures utter the trihagion).

"Full of His glory": The earth is the worldwide display of His immeasurable glory, perfections and attributes as seen in creation (see Rom. 1:20). Fallen man has nevertheless refused to glorify Him as God (Rom. 1:23).

This crying out Holy seems to be part of their task. The fact of the Holiness of God is the very thing that separates Him from mankind. We are told to be holy, because He is Holy. Personally, I believe the word holy being said 3 times indicates Father, Word, and Holy Ghost.

We know from the Scripture (in 1 John 5:7), there are three that bear record in heaven, and those 3 are One.

1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

LORD is generally used when it is speaking of the fullness of the Godhead. The whole world is full of His glory. We can take a look around us and see the glory of God. The whole earth speaks out in glory to God. The sun, the moon, the stars, the flowers, and the mountains in their majesty.

The greatest thing to glorify God is His creation of mankind. The human body is one of the most outstanding mysteries. When I see someone who does not desire to glorify God, because they are so caught up in self, I ask them, have you created any worlds lately?

That pretty well explains the glory of God. He is so far above anything and everything else in the world; it leaves no room for anything except to glory in Him. Then, it is not just the seraphims that should cry Holy, holy, holy, but all mankind, as well.

Isaiah 6:4 "And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke."

The trembling and smoke symbolize God's holiness as it relates to His wrath and judgment (Exodus 19:16-20; Rev. 15:8).

The volume of the seraphims crying out to God made such a powerful sound that it shook the foundations the posts were set upon. Smoke is many times the sign that God is there. He had shown Himself present in the camp with the Israelites with a smoke by day and a fire by night.

Isaiah 6:5 "Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

Isaiah's confession" Having seen God in the full glory of His holiness, Isaiah pronounces the prophetic "Woe" upon himself. This was a legal charge meaning "ruined" or "dead." His self-evaluation was I am undone, from Hebrew damah, meaning "to be dumb" or "silent". Thus, his response was a statement of total self condemnation: "I am dead ... I am speechless!"

Recognizing that he has no legitimate excuse for himself, he further realizes that he is unclean (tame, "defiled" or "polluted"). This self-evaluation is made in light of the fact that he has seen the King, the Lord of hosts. The heavenly King is identified as Yahweh Himself, who is called "Lord of hosts" 62 times in Isaiah and 261 times throughout the Old Testament.

This scripture just means that he had been in the presence of God. It does not mean that he looked into the face of God. You cannot look upon the face of God and live. This is speaking of being in the presence of God.

To be a mortal man and come into the presence of God would be a terribly humbling experience. There is no comparison between Almighty God and man. To be in His presence, would show the person the sinful nature he had. It would turn God's great Light on the man to such an extent that the man would be totally aware of all his faults.

Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. Perhaps, Isaiah thought he would die, because he was in the presence of God. "Unclean lips" just means that every word that proceeded from his mouth was not perfect. Out of the heart the mouth speaketh.

If the lips are unclean then, so too is the heart. This vision of God's holiness vividly reminded the prophet of his own unworthiness which deserved judgment. Job (Job 42:6 and Peter, Luke 5:8), came to the same realization about themselves when confronted with the presence of the Lord.

He knew anything he said had revealed that he was not a perfect man, and no one living was perfect either. He was overwhelmed by being in the presence of Holy God who is perfect.

Verses 6-7: Isaiah's Consecration: Isaiah's confession of his personal sin brought the response of God's cleansing to equip him for service to the Lord. The altar was the place of blood sacrifice, called by later rabbinic writers the Paraclete, or place of expiation or intercession. The coal has no redemptive ability of its own but is symbolic of the efficacy of the burnt offering consumed on the altar. Thus, Isaiah's sin was purged (cleansed).

Isaiah 6:6 "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, [which] he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:"

The hot coal taken from the altar of incense in heaven (Rev. 8:3-5), is emblematic of God's purifying work. Repentance is painful.

We know the throne of God in heaven is the original that the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle was patterned from. We know that all things in the close proximity of God must be pure gold.

This altar was possibly, the altar of incense. This fire never went out. The live coal would have been some kind of stone that was lying on the altar. Notice this scripture says that the seraphim had the coal in his hand. This tells us seraphims have hands.

Another thing we must notice is the seraphim took the golden tong to remove the coal from the golden altar. He was not allowed to touch the altar itself.

Isaiah 6:7 "And he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."

Our God is a consuming fire. This cleansing of Isaiah's mouth symbolically cleansed the source of iniquity. The heart is the source, but the iniquity comes out the mouth. We have spoken earlier in these lessons of how the fire burns away the sin and leaves the person pure.

The baptism Jesus gave us was the baptism of fire of the Holy Ghost. "Purged", in this Scripture, means canceled.

Isaiah 6:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me."

"Isaiah's call": Isaiah states that he heard the voice of the Lord asking whom He should send and who will go for us? The plural pronouns are used here (as in Genesis 1:26), to refer to the triune God. The prophet himself is now a changed man. Having his burden of guilt and worry removed, he spontaneously volunteers: Here am I; send me. His consecration by God prepared him to answer God's call to service.

This is the most beautiful call to minister and the answer to that call. Not only was Isaiah aware of the presence of the Lord in the smoke and in the fire, but now he hears the voice of God. The answer Isaiah gave showed his willingness, and even eagerness, to serve God.

Verses 9-13: Isaiah's commission: God warns Isaiah that his ministry, for the most part, will fall upon deaf ears. The syntax of the sentence indicates that "hear ye indeed" means "keep on hearing."

"Fat, heavy ears" "shut their eyes": indicates that the more he preaches, the more the people will harden themselves to his message until the Babylonian captivity, after which only a tenth shall return.

Isaiah 6:9 "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not."

Isaiah's message (in verses 9 and 10), was to be God's instrument for hiding the truth from an unreceptive people. Centuries later, Jesus' parables were to do the same.

There is no understanding or true sight, until the Holy Spirit of God reveals what the words of the prophet are saying. Isaiah will bring the message as God has given him, but these people are not willing to understand and believe.

Isaiah 6:10 "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

Jesus spoke in parables, so the people would not accept Him with their mind and be saved. God wants the heart of mankind, not his mind. These people were so hardened to the teachings of God, that they would not receive the message Isaiah gives them from God. They will be without excuse, because they were told and did not listen.

Isaiah 6:11 "Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,"

Because of such rejection from his people, the prophet asked how long he should preach this message of divine judgment. God replied that it must continue until the cities are desolate (verse 11, and the people have gone into exile (verse 12).

God will have a remnant, but many will perish in their unbelief. Isaiah is to continue to preach, until the country is taken by the enemy. This is a punishment from God.

Isaiah 6:12 "And the LORD have removed men far away, and [there be] a great forsaking in the midst of the land."

Thousands will be taken captive and taken to a foreign land. The land of Judah will be desolate.

Isaiah 6:13 "But yet in it [shall be] a tenth, and [it] shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance [is] in them, when they cast [their leaves: so] the holy seed [shall be] the substance thereof."

"A tenth": Though most will reject God, the tenth, also called "stump" and "holy seed", represents the faithful remnant in Israel who will be the nucleus who hear and believe.

A teil tree is a lime tree.

God always has a remnant. The Jews would be taken by the Egyptians, Persians, and Syrians. Any, or all of these, could be intended.

These trees are mentioned, because they are known to shoot up again from a root, and make another tree. This remnant will always be for God. He leaves Himself a portion of His people to spring forth again.

Isaiah Chapter 6 Questions

  1. What happened to Isaiah the year King Uzziah died?
  2. What year did Uzziah die?
  3. What word was Lord translated from in verse 1?
  4. What does it mean?
  5. What is the train in verse 1?
  6. What stood above the throne?
  7. How many wings did they have?
  8. What did they do with their wings?
  9. What is a "seraphim"?
  10. What is the seraphim's purpose?
  11. What does the number 6 symbolize?
  12. What were the seraphims crying out?
  13. What does the author believe the three "holys" indicate?
  14. LORD is generally used when it is speaking of the fullness of the ____________.
  15. What do we see His glory in, here on the earth?
  16. What happened when the seraphims cried out?
  17. What was the house filled with?
  18. Why did Isaiah say "Woe is me"?
  19. What exactly does verse 5 mean about seeing God?
  20. Where did the seraphim get the coal?
  21. What did the seraphim do with the coal of fire?
  22. How do we know the seraphim has hands?
  23. How do we know the seraphim did not touch the altar?
  24. What was the altar made of?
  25. What happened to Isaiah when the coal touched his mouth?
  26. Our God is a consuming _______.
  27. What does "purged" in verse 7 mean?
  28. What did the voice of the Lord say to Isaiah?
  29. How did Isaiah answer?
  30. What did the answer Isaiah give show about himself?
  31. Would the people receive Isaiah's message from God?
  32. Why will these people be without excuse?
  33. How long was Isaiah to bring the message?
  34. What will happen to the land of Judah?
  35. Why were these particular trees chosen as an example (in verse 12)?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 7

Isaiah Chapter 7

The Immanuel Prophecy (7:1-12:6), introduces the hope of the future in spite of pending judgment. Ahaz ruled Judah from 736 to 720 B.C. He was an ungodly king who refused Isaiah's words of encouragement. Rezin was the last king of Syria to reign in Damascus. He was later killed by Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria. Pekah was the king of northern Israel from 740 to 732 B.C. He usurped the throne by assassinating his predecessor, Pekahiah, and was later murdered by his successor, Hoshea, the last king of Israel.

Syria is confederate with Ephraim refers to the fact that they had formed an alliance against Ahaz to force him into an alliance with them against Assyria. This event is generally dated at 734 B.C. What Ahaz fears is an invasion of Judah by Syria and Israel.

Isaiah 7:1 "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, [that] Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it."

An unsuccessful invasion of Judah by Aram or Syria and Israel, i.e., the northern 10 tribes, led to a continued presence of King Tiglath-Pileser's Assyrian forces in Israel. Shortly after Ahaz assumed the throne, this threat to Judah's security brought great fear to the king and the people of Judah (see 2 Chron. 28:5-8; 17-19).

Ahaz was a wicked king. Jotham, his father, was a better man. He rebuilt the temple gates. Uzziah did what was right, as well. We find in this a desire to change rulership over Jerusalem. Jerusalem is God's, so they did not overthrow Jerusalem, and Ahaz remained as their ruler.

These two, Rezin and Pekah, did not overthrow Ahaz.

Isaiah 7:2 "And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind."

This expression, house of David, refers to the Davidic dynasty, personified in the current king, Ahaz.

It was told to the descendent of David that these two evil groups, Israel and Syria, had made an agreement to overthrow the king of Judah and rule in Jerusalem their selves. Notice in this, that Ephraim is actually speaking of Israel at this point.

The blowing wind shakes the tree. The news of the confederacy of these two caused Ahaz to fear in his heart.

Verses 3-9: Isaiah is sent by the Lord to warn Ahaz not to form an alliance with Assyria, but to trust Him to rid the land of its enemies. Accompanying the prophet was Shear-Jashub ("A remnant Shall Return"), his son, whose name was indicative of hope. The location at the end of the conduit of the upper pool is the same place that the Assyrian Rab-Shakeh would later defy Hezekiah (36:2). The invading kings are described as smoking firebrands (literally "smoldering sticks"). The prophet predicts that the threatened invasion will not succeed and that within three score and five years (65 years) the northern kingdom will fall into captivity.

Isaiah 7:3 "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;"

The presence of Isaiah's son is an object lesson of God's faithfulness to believers among the people.

The son of Isaiah was named Shear-jashub, which means a remnant shall return. The fact that Isaiah took his son with him to meet Ahaz could have been to encourage Ahaz that truly a remnant would return even though they were overtaken.

This conduit was a way to gather water and bring it underground to the city. Water was caught in the high places and funneled into pools for use, especially when they were under siege.

Isaiah 7:4 "And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah."

Isaiah's message to Ahaz is one of reassurance the two invading kings will not prevail.

The two tails were Pekah and Rezin. Notice, that Ahaz was not to panic, but have faith. Ahaz was to be strong in the Lord, not fainthearted. In this instance here, there was a great deal of smoke, and very little fire. At best, their confederacy was shaky.

Pekah was the general of Pekahiah. Pekah had killed him and taken his job. Both men were very evil. It is only fair that Pekah's successor killed Pekah, as well.

Isaiah 7:5 "Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,"

The son of Remaliah was Pekah. They are against Ahaz, of course.

Isaiah 7:6 "Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, [even] the son of Tabeal:"

We see from this, they were not as interested in destroying Judah, as they were of overthrowing Judah's king and putting a king of their own liking in Judah. Tabeal seems to be a Syrian name. "Tabeal" means pleasing to God.

The "breach" could be a break in the wall, or it could be a break in the confidence of the people in Ahaz.

Isaiah 7:7 "Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass."

This particular conspiracy against Judah and its king will not be successful. Jerusalem will remain in the same hands for now.

Isaiah 7:8 "For the head of Syria [is] Damascus, and the head of Damascus [is] Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people."

"Ephraim be broken". This tribe represented all the northern 10 tribes. The prophet predicted the coming demise because of idolatry (Hos. 4:17). In 65 years they would cease to be a people, first through the captivity of most of them in 722 B.C. and then with the importation of foreign settlers into the land.

All of this is just saying that Syria is headed up by a mortal man who is no match for God, who is the head of Judah. The overthrow of Ephraim as a distinct race of people was accomplished in 65 years after this prophecy is spoken.

Ephraim is later on spoken of in a spiritual sense.

Isaiah 7:9 "And the head of Ephraim [is] Samaria, and the head of Samaria [is] Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established."

The choice belongs to Ahaz. He could trust the Lord's word or fall into the enemy's hands or, even worse, experience a final heart hardening (6:9-10).

The Samaritans had inner-married so much, that they nearly destroyed the entire race of people. This is a call for Ahaz to stand firm in the faith. To doubt would bring destruction, but faith would remove this mountain of problems the evil neighbors had brought.

Ahaz (like us), should have faith in God's ability, not his own.

Verses 10-13: As the spokesman of the Lord (Yahweh), Isaiah urges Ahaz to ask thee a sign (miracle). However, the king responded with a surprising pious ploy announcing that he would not ask for such a sign nor tempt the Lord. Instead, Isaiah announced that God Himself had chosen a miraculous sign addressed to the house of David.

Isaiah 7:10-11 "Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying," "Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above."

Since the Davidic line, and hence the messianic line, was at stake, the prophecy was directed to all generations. It was a prediction of hope: though Israel and Judah may be cut down, a Child will spring forth as a Branch out of its roots.

God is trying to encourage Ahaz by offering to give him a sign. The fact of the depth and height above shows that nothing is impossible to God. Look at "thy God". The Lord is trying to let Ahaz know that He is Ahaz's God.

It is not always the correct thing to ask the LORD for a sign, but in this particular case, God told Ahaz He would show him a sign to help him have faith.

To encourage his faith, the Lord offered Ahaz a sign, but Ahaz feigned humility in refusing the sign (verse 10).

Isaiah 7:12 "But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD."

Even though God offered Ahaz a sign, Ahaz refused, believing he might be tempting the LORD. We know that Gideon asked for a sign from God and got his sign. It helped Gideon have enough faith to believe God could use him.

Gideon's lack of faith was in his own ability. He just wanted to be sure that God had truly called him. He had no lack of faith in God's ability, just his own. Ahaz would have been better off to handle this as Gideon did.

Isaiah 7:13 "And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?"

Upon hearing Ahaz's refusal, the prophet broadened his audience beyond Ahaz (see verse 2), to include the whole faithless house of David. The nation was guilty of wearying God (1:14).

"House of David" was mentioned here, because God had promised that there would be a ruler from the house of David on this throne. Also, this message is not just to Ahaz, but to all of the house of David as well.

Refusing God is a very dangerous thing to do. This is not a man that Ahaz has said no to, but to God.

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Since Ahaz refused to choose a sign (verses 11 and 12), the Lord chose His own sign, whose implementation would occur far beyond Ahaz's lifetime. A virgin: This prophecy reached forward to the virgin birth of the Messiah, as the New Testament notes (Matthew 1:23).

The Hebrew word refers to an unmarried woman and means "virgin" (Gen. 24:43; Prov. 30:19; Song of Solomon 1:3; 6:8), so the birth of Isaiah's own son (8:3), could not have fully satisfied the prophecy. Immanuel, the title applied to Jesus (in Matthew 1:23).

This, of course is the promise of the Messiah. This is the One we call Jesus Christ being prophesied to be born of a virgin. The name "Immanuel" means God with us. In fact, God the Word became God the Son, when He was born of the Virgin Mary and the Spirit of God.

His flesh was as a man, but the Spirit within that flesh was of God. The prophecy of Messiah being in this particular place, seems to be awkward. We must remember the terrible things, mentioned here of Judah, come to an end.

Messiah, the Son born of the virgin Mary, is the hope for their future. It gives them something to look forward to in this time of gloom. It is a promise that God will visit Judah again. I do not believe it is out of place at all. This is a little glimmer of hope that God has not forsaken them.

Isaiah 7:15 "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good."

Curds result from coagulated milk, something like cottage cheese. This diet indicated the scarcity of provisions which characterized the period after foreign invaders had decimated the land.

Butter and honey was not all that Jesus ate, but is a symbol here to show that He would be in a humble family here on the earth. Jesus always knew right from wrong, He did not have to be taught that. In fact, He is the Truth. He alone is righteous in His own behalf.

The righteousness of a Christian is because we have taken on His righteousness. This is speaking of time, and not the personality of Jesus.

Isaiah 7:16 "For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings."

"Refuse evil": Before the promised son of Isaiah was old enough to make moral choices, the kings of Aram, or Syria, and Ephraim were to meet their doom at the hands of the Assyrians.

Verse 16 happens even before the birth of Jesus, so you can see it is not speaking of a condition of Jesus, but a time. Of course, the land that he abhorrest is Syria and Samaria. They became overthrown spiritually, as well as physically.

Verses 17-25: The day that Ephraim departed from Judah refers to the division of the kingdom between the northern and southern tribes after the death of Solomon (in 931 B.C.). The king of Assyria is named as the source of the coming destruction of northern Israel, which was fulfilled (in 722 B.C.).

The fly symbolizes Egypt and the bee symbolizes Assyria. Within two years after Isaiah's prophecy to Ahaz, Syria fell to Assyria (732 B.C.), and Pekah no longer ruled Israel. Within another 10 years, Israel, (Ephraim), had also fallen to Assyria.

Isaiah 7:17 "The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; [even] the king of Assyria."

Not only did the Lord use the Assyrians to judge the northern kingdom, He also used them to invade Ahaz's domain of Judah. This coming of the Assyrian king was the beginning of the end for the nation and eventually led to her captivity in Babylon.

Since Ahaz will not use God's help, destruction will come. He is comparing the time with the time when the 10 tribes broke away from the twelve, just leaving the two, of which Judah was one.

This terrible happening is not just on Ahaz, but all of his people. This is speaking of terrible times to come. This will happen prior to the birth of Jesus.

From here to the end of this chapter, the desolation prophesied in this section began in the days of Ahaz and reached its climax when the Babylonians conquered Judah. Its results continue to the time when the Messiah will return to deliver Israel and establish His kingdom on earth.

Isaiah 7:18 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall hiss for the fly that [is] in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that [is] in the land of Assyria."

"Fly ... bee": Egypt was full of files, and Assyria was a country noted for beekeeping. These insects represented the armies from the powerful countries which the Lord would summon to overrun Judah and take the people into exile.

Isaiah 7:19 "And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes."

Not even inaccessible areas of the land were free from the invading armies.

Please notice that God just has to hiss (call), the fly and bee, and they will come. They are subject to God. It does not matter how far away they are, they must obey the voice of God. Satan is not the ruler, ultimately, God is.

Isaiah 7:20 "In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, [namely], by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard."

The Assyrians were the Lord's hired blade to shave and disgrace the entire body of Judah (1:6).

This is not a man being shaved, but a land. It speaks of the utter destruction and barrenness.

Isaiah 7:21 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;"

The foreign invasion would cause a change from an agricultural economy to a pastoral one.

This is just saying that the remnant, which is left, will live a very meager life, sustained by, perhaps, one cow and two sheep. Poverty has overtaken those who are left, and they wander with their families just barely getting by.

Isaiah 7:22 "And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk [that] they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land."

Milk, butter and honey will be their food. We see from this, that it is possible to get by on just a very little bit. God will bless the cow, and it will give an abundance of milk to help them survive.

This will not be a prosperous life, but one of survival. The honey will be found wild. This is the land God had promised them, when they came out of Egypt. He had said it would be a land of milk and honey.

Isaiah 7:23 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall [even] be for briers and thorns."

The presence of these uncultivated growths was a sign of desolation (as in 5:6).

"Silverlings" means pieces of silver.

The vineyard with 1000 vines would have been very valuable. God has stricken the vineyard, and all of the vines have died. Nothing but briars and thorns grow where the vines used to flourish.

Isaiah 7:24 "With arrows and with bows shall [men] come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns."

The "arrows and bows" speak of a hunter out to kill some wild game. The land that is grown up with briars is a good place for wild game to hide. It is no good for cultivation, and the farmers have moved.

Isaiah 7:25 "And [on] all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle."

A "mattock" is a hoe. This is, possibly, speaking of an area that had been cultivated with a hoe in the past. This is, possibly, saying that it would be a place the cattle could go into to find something to eat, but would not be fit for man.

The lesser cattle could be speaking of wild animals similar to a deer. They like to hide in briar thickets. A person navigating the same briars and thorns would probably get stuck.

Isaiah Chapter 7 Questions

  1. Who was Ahaz's father?
  2. Which of them was the better man?
  3. Who was king of Syria at the time mentioned here?
  4. Why were they not able to overthrow Jerusalem at this time?
  5. Who was confederate with Syria?
  6. His heart was moved as what?
  7. Who is Ephraim speaking of in verse 2?
  8. What was the name of Isaiah's son?
  9. What did his name mean?
  10. Why did Isaiah take his son with him to meet Ahaz?
  11. What instruction from God did Isaiah give Ahaz in verse 4?
  12. Who were the two tails?
  13. There was a great deal of _______, and very little ______.
  14. Who was the son of Remaliah?
  15. What could the breach in verse 6 be?
  16. What were these enemies really interested in doing?
  17. What does "Tabeal" mean?
  18. The head of Syria is __________.
  19. In how many years from the time Isaiah spoke the prophecy, will Ephraim be broken?
  20. Whose ability should Ahaz have faith in?
  21. What unusual thing did God tell Ahaz to do?
  22. Did he do it?
  23. Ahaz would have been better off to handle this as ________ did.
  24. Why was "house of David" mentioned in verse 13?
  25. What sign did God give them?
  26. What is this prophetic of?
  27. What does "Immanuel" mean?
  28. Why does the author believe the promise of Messiah, here, is not out of place?
  29. What is the "butter and honey" in verse 15 saying?
  30. In what time frame does verse 16 occur?
  31. What day is this terrible day compared to?
  32. What will the LORD do in that day to call the fly?
  33. What is verse 20 really talking about?
  34. What does verse 21 mean, when it speaks of a cow and 2 sheep?
  35. What will the remnant eat?
  36. What does "silverlings" in verse 23 mean?
  37. What grows in place of the vineyard?
  38. The "arrows and bows" indicate what?
  39. What is a "mattock"?
  40. What could hide in the briars without harm?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 8

Isaiah Chapter 8

Maher-shalal-hash-baz, his name was to symbolize the swift and successful Assyrian conquest of Damascus (Syria), and Samaria (Israel). Uriah is referred to as a faithful witness and may be the priest named (in 2 Kings 16:16). Zechariah is one of the 28 men so named in the Old Testament. He is here distinguished as the son of Jeberechiah.

Isaiah 8:1 "Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz."

"Great roll" Isaiah was to prepare a large placard for public display. That placard read reiterated, from another perspective, the prophecies just concluded (in 7:18-25).

We know the sign that was to be given in the previous lesson was the sign of the virgin having a child, who would be their Messiah. We now see that the warnings Isaiah had given these people had not been heeded to the extent God wanted them to.

We see now, God tells Isaiah to take a tablet and write the warning on the tablet with a natural pen that can be read with natural eyes. The Message was just four words. The words being connected just shows that one will immediately follow the other.

The meaning of Maher-shalal-hash-baz means, plunder speeds, and spoil hastens. Not only was this a sign to be posted and read, but Isaiah named his son this. This sign being posted was a sign to all the people, and not just to the king.

Isaiah 8:2 "And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah."

"Faithful witnesses": After the prophecies fulfillment, the respected leaders Uriah and Zechariah verified to the people that Isaiah had spoken it on a given date before the Assyrian invasion. This verification accredited the Lord's word and upheld His honor (Deuteronomy 18:21, 22; Jeremiah 28:9).

Uriah was a priest who was not separated from the king. We will find in later lessons, that Ahaz had great influence on Uriah. It appears that at this writing he was respected as a true witness. The priesthood was to be Godly men, who were in direct contact with God and could not be controlled by the king. It seemed Uriah was not a strong priest.

The name "Zechariah" means Jehovah remembers. This particular Zechariah seems to have been just an ordinary man of this time in extraordinary circumstances. The name "Jeberechiah" means Jehovah blesses. Very little is known of him.

Isaiah 8:3 "And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz."

We got into the discussion earlier about the wife of a prophet not being a prophetess. The office of prophetess is a call from God, and not a station in life received because of marriage to a prophet. We know then, that Isaiah's wife was called of God to be a prophetess.

The reason I stress this is the fact, that a man being a preacher does not make his wife a preacheress. The call to be a prophet, or prophetess, is an individual calling. The fact that a woman is married to a prophet does not give her the messages from God that she would need; to be a prophetess.

Isaiah's wife was called a prophetess because the son to whom she gave birth was prophetic of the Assyrian conquest. Maher-shalal-hash-baz told the Assyrian invaders with no doubt as to who was to win the battle. Hash-baz told them to reap the benefits of the conquered land quickly, (5:26).

We mentioned earlier in this lesson, that Isaiah's son was named the same as the wording of the sign that Isaiah had posted.

Isaiah 8:4 "For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria."

Isaiah is speaking of the swiftness with which this prophecy will come. Many children can speak mother and father by the time they are a year old.

"Before the child" The time before the plunder of Aram, or Syria, and the northern kingdom of Israel began was very short. The Assyrians initiated their invasion before Isaiah's child learned to talk. That prophetic limit resembled the one set (in 7:16), but there the prophecy was more far-reaching. Fulfillment of the closer prophecy verified the one relating to the distant future.

The waters of Shiloah refer to the waters of the pool of Siloam, known for their healing powers (John 9:7). Since the people of Israel have refused the Lord in a time of peace, God will bring upon them the waters of the river, which are contrasted to those of the Gentile pool. This phrase is used figuratively of the overflowing of the Army of the King of Assyria.

Thus, Isaiah names in advance the nation that will destroy Israel. That this invasion will also pass through Judah, and will overflow even to the neck, indicates that the Assyrian invasion will wipe out the northern kingdom and nearly drown the southern kingdom. Judah's narrow escape is described (in Isaiah 36 and 37). "O Immanuel" indicates that Immanuel is no ordinary person born in the days of Isaiah. He is the One who owns the land Himself (a claim reserved in Scripture only for God).

Thus, the invading nations are told that their alliances will not stand against Judah because God is with us. There can be no doubt that the use of these terms is intended to connect this chapter with the prophecy of the virgin birth of Immanuel and to serve as a link to the prediction of His birth as King (in chapter 9).

Isaiah 8:5 "The LORD spake also unto me again, saying,"

We see from this, that God spoke to Isaiah more than once.

Isaiah 8:6 "Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son;"

"These people", literally "this people" (the Hebrew word is "sing"). These were the people of Judah (6:9), but perhaps secondarily the whole nation of Israel. Ahaz had called on Assyria for help rather than relying on the Lord.

"Waters of Shiloah" this was a stream from the Gihon spring outside Jerusalem's city wall flowing to the Pool of Siloam inside the city which supplied the city's water (see 7:3), symbolized the cities dependence on the Lord and His defense of the city, if they were to survive. First, the northern 10 tribes refused that dependence, later, King Ahaz of Judah in the South did the same.

Isaiah 8:7 "Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, [even] the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:"

"Waters of the river": In place of the waters of Shiloah, the waters of the River Euphrates were to overflow its banks and flood all the way to and including Judah. In other words, the King of Assyria was to sweep through the Land with his devastating destruction. Though outwardly Ahaz's submission to the Assyrians brought peace to Judah (2 Kings 16:7-18), Isaiah saw the reality that David's throne was merely a hollow sham.

People are many times spoken of as waters. This is the case here. This is speaking of the armies that come. Shiloah sometimes means Jesus. To refuse the waters of Shiloah would be to refuse to worship God who gave the water.

Rezin was the king of Damascus at the time Pekah was king of Israel, and the same time of Jotham and Ahaz in Judah. Pekah was the son of Remaliah.

This water coming up over the land is the flood of the Assyrian army. There could have been a natural flood that accompanied this, as well. The primary thought, I believe, is the flood of the army.

Isaiah 8:8 "And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach [even] to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel."

"O Immanuel". Because of the Assyrian onslaught, the land of Immanuel (7:14), was to be stripped of all its earthly glory. What a pity that He who owns and will someday possess the land must see it in such a devastated condition!

The word that gives this away as being an army and not a literal flood is "he". We will see this army continue on, until it is in Judah. They will be up to their neck with this army. There will be a remnant left, however. They do not go beyond the neck and totally destroy them.

It does not speak of this army covering their head. "O Immanuel" is a cry similar to "come quickly Lord Jesus". "Immanuel" means God with us. It is as if he is saying, O God be with us.

Isaiah 8:9 "Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces."

The "broken": Less Assyria and other foreign powers think they conquered in their own strength; the prophet reminded them that they were holy instruments for the Lords use and would eventually come to nothing.

If they resist, they would be fighting against the wishes of God. The army may be the Assyrians, but God allows this to happen to them, because of their idolatry.

Isaiah 8:10 "Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God [is] with us."

"God is with us". The Hebrew is Immanuel. The name of the virgin's child (7:14), guaranteed the eventual triumph of the faithful remnant of Israel.

Plans made against God and His people will never work. The Assyrians will be the sufferers in the end. These people the Assyrians are attacking are God's people. This could not happen, had God not allowed it. The victory for Assyria is short-lived.

Verses 8:11-18: The stone of stumbling and ... Rock of offense (in verse 14 is quoted in Romans 9:33 and 1 Peter 2:8), as predictably referring to Christ. A gin is a trap. Instead of finding asylum in the Lord, the unbelievers will stumble over Him in disbelief.

The prophet closes this section by stating that he and his children are intended to be "signs and ... wonders" to the nation of Judah. Their symbolic names were to serve as a final warning to the people of Zion.

Isaiah 8:11 "For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,"

"With a strong hand". God inspired Isaiah with compelling power to speak a message that by its nature distanced him from the people he ministered to.

This is the LORD speaking to Isaiah. Isaiah was in the hand of the LORD. Isaiah was not an idolater. He was separated from the sins of this people. He was speaking all of this representing God. He was speaking as an ambassador for God with God's message to this people.

God was his protection. It was as if he were hidden in the hand of the LORD.

Isaiah 8:12 "Say ye not, A confederacy, to all [them to] whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid."

A Confederacy means conspiracy. Many in Israel considered Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other profits to be servants of the enemy when they advocated a policy of non-reliance on foreign powers and complete dependence on the Lord alone (see Jeremiah 37:13-15).

Isaiah was to say, "Do not make a deal with these Assyrians". Isaiah is calling for the few who would, to stand up for God and be counted. He reminded them, their strength is in the LORD, and they should not fear what these worldly people could do to them.

Isaiah 8:13 "Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread."

"Sanctify" in the verse above means to separate the LORD and worship only Him. Fear God only. The fear, or reverence, of God is the beginning of wisdom. They were not to fear the Assyrians. This is a call to worship and fear only the LORD.

Isaiah 8:14 "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem."

"Sanctuary ... Stone of stumbling": Isaiah found encouragement in the Lord as his holy place of protection from his accusers. The New Testament applies this verse to corporate Israel in her ongoing rejection of Jesus as Messiah (Luke 2:34; Romans 9:32-33; 1 Peter 2:8). Both the houses of Israel will be collapsed until the return of the Messiah to the earth restores them.

Those, who fear and reverence the LORD, will be hid in Him. He will be their safe haven. He will protect them from all harm. Those, who do not, will stumble and fall. The same Rock (Jesus Christ), which saves the believers is a stone of stumbling to those who do not believe. He is their downfall.

He is saying that those of the house of Israel, or of Judah, who do not continue in faith in the LORD, will fall. This message can be to the many Christians today who do not remain with the Lord.

Jerusalem would fall then. Zion (the church of the Lord Jesus Christ), will fall now, if we do not fear and reverence the Lord and walk daily in His ways.

Isaiah 8:15 "And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken."

Many will stumble, another prediction anticipated the stumbling of Israel, which included a rejection of her Messiah at His First Advent (Luke 20:18; Romans 9:32; 28:16).

This is just a warning to those who are not hid in the LORD. It was impossible then, and it is impossible now, to live victorious lives, unless we find our sanctuary in the Lord.

Isaiah 8:16 "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples."

"My disciples": These were God's faithful remnant, and hence disciples of Isaiah and a secondary sense. They have the responsibility of maintaining written records of his prophecies so that they could become public after the prophesied Syrian invasion (see 8:2).

A "disciple" is someone who has disciplined themselves to follow a particular teaching. In this instance, Isaiah is speaking of those who have disciplined themselves to walk with him.

These are a dedicated few, who still loved and reverenced the LORD. They were of one mind with Isaiah. God wants them to protect the testimony. They are to bind it up to keep it safe.

Isaiah 8:17 "And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him."

"I will wait ... Look for him". The speaker is Isaiah whose disposition was to await the Lord's deliverance, the national salvation promised to the faithful remnant (40:31; 49:23).

Isaiah was willing to stand firm and wait as long as was necessary. Isaiah is saying that the house of Jacob had displeased the LORD, so the LORD would no longer look with favor upon them.

Isaiah 8:18 "Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me [are] for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion."

"I and the children": In their historical setting, the words referred to Isaiah and his two sons, whose names have prophetic significance (i.e., as "signs and wonders").

We know that the names that were given to Isaiah's children were actually living messages to these people. This could be the signs spoken of here. Mount Zion is speaking spiritually of the church, but it also speaks of God's holy hill in Jerusalem.

Verses 8:19-22: Familiar spirits refer to witches and wizards refer to male soothsayers. Peep and ... mutter is better translated "chirp and whisper." In times of distress people often turn to witchcraft instead of God.

The prophet warns them not to seek these mediums for the living to the dead, that is, "Do not consult the dead on behalf of the living." This warning speaks against Spiritualism and calls the reader back to "the law and ... the testimony" as the only basis for interpreting a claim to divine revelation.

Isaiah 8:19 "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?"

People of Isaiah's day were using spiritualists to communicate with the dead as king Saul did through the medium at En-dor (1 Samuel 28:8-19). The law strictly forbade such consultations (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10-11).

We know that king Saul had made the terrible mistake of seeking information from those with familiar spirits. We should learn a lesson from that, not to ever seek for answers from wizards and those who have familiar spirits.

Those who do these things are dead and dying. They minister death to those who come to them. Jesus Christ ministers life. Isaiah was saying God is life. Do not choose death over life.

Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them."

The law and the testimony is the Word of God. The Word of God is Light. Light came through the prophecies of God's spokesman, Isaiah. There is no darkness where the true Word is. Those who do not live by the Word of God are filled with darkness and death.

John 1:1-5 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."

The Word and the Light are the same One (Jesus Christ, as we know Him).

Verses 8:21-22: Contains a dismal picture of those who are frustrated, desperate and angry even to the point of cursing God, all because they refused to accept the truthfulness of what Isaiah had predicted regarding the nation's future hardships.

Isaiah 8:21 "And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward."

This is speaking of those who walk through life in darkness. They curse their own life, because they are not filled with the Light which brings life and hope. When these people are hungry, they have no one to go to, since they have rejected God.

Isaiah 8:22 "And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and [they shall be] driven to darkness."

Darkness brings eternal death and no hope while you are alive.

John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

John 12:35 "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."

Isaiah Chapter 8 Questions

  1. In verse 1, we know that God told Isaiah to write on the great roll with what?
  2. Why was he to use this type of pen?
  3. What was the message on the roll?
  4. What did it mean?
  5. Why was this to be posted so all could see?
  6. Who was the priest that was carried for a witness?
  7. What type of priest was he?
  8. What does "Zechariah" mean?
  9. Who was his father?
  10. Who is verse 3 calling a prophetess?
  11. Was her name this because she was a prophet's wife?
  12. What did she name her son?
  13. When will this prophecy come to pass?
  14. What country will be the aggressor?
  15. Does the LORD speak to a person more than once?
  16. What was the waters of the river that the Lord would bring upon them?
  17. Where did Rezin rule?
  18. Who was Pekah's father?
  19. What word tells us they were not completely overcome?
  20. What does "Immanuel" mean?
  21. What are the people saying, when they say, "O Immanuel"?
  22. If they resist, they will be fighting against the wishes of _____.
  23. What was the only reason the Assyrians could take them?
  24. How was Isaiah different from these people?
  25. What is God really saying to them in verse 12?
  26. What does "sanctify" in verse 13 mean?
  27. What is "fear" in verse 13?
  28. What one word covers what the Lord is to those who put their trust in Him?
  29. What is He to those who will not believe?
  30. What is a "disciple"?
  31. What had happened to the house of Jacob?
  32. What are the signs spoken of in verse 18?
  33. Why should you not seek information from a wizard?
  34. Who had made that mistake and paid dearly for his mistake?
  35. What is the law and the testimony?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 9

Isaiah Chapter 9

9:1-5: The dimness of Israel's rejection was especially prevalent in the northern tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali, which would suffer greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Galilee is named and identified with the nations (Gentiles). To those in the darkness of the North, God promises to send a great light, which is quoted (in Matthew 4:15-16), as being fulfilled in Jesus' ministry in Galilee. The prophet sees these events as though they were already happening. Thus, he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.

Isaiah 9:1 "Nevertheless the dimness [shall] not [be] such as [was] in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict [her by] the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations."

"Zebulun ... Naphtali ... Galilee": Zebulun and Naphtali on the northern border in Northeast Galilee west of the Jordan River were the first to suffer from the invasion by the Assyrian king (2nd Kings 15:29), marking the beginning of dark days for Israel.

In earlier times, the days were to be full of gloom, but later on God would transform that gloom into honor. The New Testament applies this prophecy of Galilee's honor to the time of Jesus Christ's First Advent (Matthew 4:12-16; Matthew 4:15-16 quotes Isaiah 9:1-2 directly). Ultimately, its fulfillment will come at His Second Advent when the area is free from the yoke of foreign invaders

This chapter is encouraging them. Even though God has allowed them to be overrun with the Assyrians, there is the promise of Messiah coming and bringing the Light to them. Notice, the word "dimness" which means the light did not go completely out. It was darkened by their disobedience to God, but did not go out.

Isaiah 9:2 "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

A great light: The coming of the Messiah is synonymous with the coming of light to remove the darkness of captivity (42:16; 49:6; 58:8; 16:1, 19-20).

2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

This is most assuredly speaking of the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only will his Light shine on those of Judah and give them the power to be, but it will shine on the Gentiles as well. The world was in a terrible state when the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Light, came. He came to bring the Light.

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

This Light is available to whosoever will.

Isaiah 9:3 "Thou hast multiplied the nation, [and] not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, [and] as [men] rejoice when they divide the spoil."

"Multiplied the nation": Once again the Lord confirmed His covenant with Abraham to multiply his physical descendants as the sands of the seashore (Genesis 22:17).

The blessings of God had been on the Hebrews, always. From time to time, when their sins became great, God would partially remove the blessings. In the fuller sense, they belonged to God, and He blessed them as His children.

It seemed they were never satisfied. Their joy was more in material things, instead of in Him.

The harvest spoken of here, is the harvest of the crops in the fall. They had a feast of harvest at that time. Their joy was in things and not in God. There will be a great harvest of the wheat at the end of the world.

Isaiah 9:4 "For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian."

"Broken the yoke": eventually the Lord will free national Israel from bondage to Assyria, Babylon, and every other foreign power that has oppressed her.

When the Lord Jesus Christ (their Messiah) comes, He will set the captives free. True worship of the Lord sets everyone, who practices it, free. I have always said the reason they did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah, is they were expecting a mighty warrior king like David had been.

Jesus sets us free from the bondage of sin and death. His freedom is not an outward freedom, but a freedom of the soul and spirit of man.

Isaiah 9:5 "For every battle of the warrior [is] with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but [this] shall be with burning [and] fuel of fire."

"Burning and fuel of fire": The world will no longer need the accessories of warfare because a time of universal peace will follow the return of Christ.

The battle they were familiar with was a battle of the flesh. The battle familiar to them had shed blood, and was a noisy battle of physical strength. This battle will be a battle in the spiritual.

Jesus baptizes with fire. His sword is the Word of God. His battle is fought for the soul of man, not for earthly plunder.

Verses 9:6-7: The Gift-Child in this passage is the same divine Child as Immanuel. Again, using the prophetic perfect, the prophet sees Him as though He were already born. Wonderful, Counselor is actually one term in Hebrew. A wonder is indicative of a miracle. Counselor is often used in parallel with king (Micah 4:9). Plus, miraculous counsel is given by this God-like King.

The mighty God (El Gibor) is the strongest of these titles. In Isaiah; El is always used of God and never refers to man. Gibor means "Hero". Together they describe One who is indeed God Himself. Everlasting Father literally means Father of eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life. Prince of Peace indicates that the mighty God will be a benevolent ruler bringing eternal peace on earth through the establishment of His kingdom. Thus, the obscure figure of Immanuel is now brought to clear light: He is Himself God incarnate!

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

"Child ... Son": these terms elaborate further on Immanuel, the child to be born to the Virgin (7:14). The virgin's child will also be the royal Son of David, with the rights to the Davidic throne (9:7; Matthew 1:21; Luke 131-33; 2:7, 11).

In fulfillment of this verse (and Psalm 2:9), the Son will rule the nations of the world (Revelation 2:27; 19:15).

"Wonderful ...Counselor": in contrast to Ahaz, this King will implement supernatural wisdom in discharging His office (2nd Samuel 16:23; 1 Kings 3:28).

"Mighty God": as a powerful warrior, the Messiah will accomplish the military exploits mentioned (in 9:3-5; 10:21; Deut. 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32).

"Everlasting Father": The Messiah will be a Father to his people eternally. As Davidic King, He will compassionately care for and discipline them (40:11; 63:16; 64:8; Psalms 68:5-6; 103:13; Proverbs 3:12).

"Prince of Peace": The government of Immanuel will procure and perpetuate peace among the nations of the world (2:4; 11:6-9; Micah 4:3).

The child, spoken of here, is the Lord Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin and God. He would be Immanuel (God with us). The Son of God would become the Savior of all mankind.

1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."

We must accept Him as our Savior, for Him to save us. The government of the earth will be upon His shoulder, when He reigns on the earth for 1000 years. The power He has is unlimited.

Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"

All persons and things are subject unto Him. The fact that the Word of God took on the form of flesh and dwelt among mankind on the earth is Wonderful. He was God in the flesh of man. The counsel of the Lord Jesus is beyond comparison. We can put our trust in Him.

"Mighty God", lets us know that He was truly God. He was God the Word in heaven. When He came to the earth to save us from our sins, He was God the Son, mighty in works and deeds.

"Everlasting Father" shows the eternity of the One we call Jesus. He and the Father were One in the Spirit (read 1 John chapter 5 verse 7). This is beautiful in its application. We are even told that we can be one with them, if we accept Jesus as our Savior.

There is only one King of Peace, and it is Jesus. When Jesus comes into your life, He brings perfect peace. This is the peace that passes all understanding. It is peace in the midst of a troubled world.

Isaiah 9:7 "Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

"Throne of David": the virgin's Son will be the rightful heir to David's throne and will inherit the promises of the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalms 89:1-37; Matthew 1:1).

The kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is His church. Christianity started with Jesus and truly has spread to all the world. Jesus is the Judge of all the world. His judgment is just. The wonderful thing is that Jesus has done it all for us.

We do not have to earn our salvation by good works. Salvation in Him is a free gift. The only thing we must do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive His salvation.

Verses 9:8-10:4: This poem tells of great warning calamities sent by the Lord that have gone unheeded by Israel. The same refrain recurs 4 times (9:12, 17, 21; 10:4), dividing it into for strophes.

Verses from Chapter 9:8-12: The prophet warns Ephraim "northern Israel" that she cannot rebuild with the bricks that are fallen down. This refers to the invasion of Israel by Tiglath-Pileser (in 732 B.C.). All hope of rebuilding the northern kingdom will finally be lost. His hand is stretched out still means that God's hand of judgment is still stretched out in anger to punish Israel.

Isaiah 9:8 "The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel."

We now see a return to the more immediate prophecy. The word sent to them was a warning from God. The more severe warning was for Israel, but Judah was also warned.

Isaiah 9:9 "And all the people shall know, [even] Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,"

"Pride and stoutness of heart": Israel's downfall was her feeling of self-sufficiency, whereby she thought she could handle any eventuality (verse 10).

Their pride was possibly, one reason they did not repent and come to God. They have begun to believe that their victories were because of their own strength, instead of giving God credit. This is definitely not for Judah alone, but for Ephraim and Samaria as well.

Isaiah 9:10 "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change [them into] cedars."

We see the arrogance of these people. They are forgetting where their victories came from. They are putting their faith in their own ability to build back. They have forgotten the following Scripture.

Psalms 127:1 "(A Song of degrees for Solomon). Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain."

They are puffed up with pride.

Isaiah 9:11 "Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;"

"Adversaries from Rezin": The Aramean or Syrian king's enemies were the Assyrians.

God must teach them a lesson. The word "therefore" shows us that the Lord setting up the adversaries against them is because of their pride. They believe they do not need the LORD, and He will show them differently.

Isaiah 9:12 "The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still."

"His hand is stretched out still": the outstretched hand will punish (5:25), beyond what the people had already experienced.

Israel has turned its back on the LORD. The LORD Himself causes these enemies of Israel to form a partnership and come against Israel. Notice, even though this happens, the Lord is still reaching out to Israel. Even though the Lord is angry, He still will save them, if they will look to Him for help.

Verses 9:13-21: "The people turneth not unto him" means they refused to repent and turn back to the Lord. To "turn" means to repent (Hebrew shub), with the change of mind that results in a change of direction. Branch and rush means "palm branch and bulrush". The leaders are specifically condemned for misleading the people. Isaiah's words here are reminiscent of his message (in chapter 3).

Isaiah 9:13 "For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts."

The enemies of Israel are not on the side of the LORD of hosts. This is happening to Israel because of their disobedience, but God still loves them.

Isaiah 9:14 "Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day."

The Lord will cut off the rich and the poor. The leaders (head), and the prophet of lies (tail), will be affected by this punishment from God. One day here, is meaning the short time of the war to overtake them.

Isaiah 9:15 "The ancient and honorable, he [is] the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he [is] the tail."

We did not need the explanation above. Isaiah explains it himself. The ancient and honorable is speaking of the prophets who are bringing truth.

Isaiah 9:16 "For the leaders of this people cause [them] to err; and [they that are] led of them [are] destroyed."

The aggravated wickedness of Israel extended to all classes, even the fatherless and widows" (verse 17), who often were the objects of special mercy (1:17).

Israel was led into idolatry by their spiritual leaders. They even mixed pagan rituals with their worship of God. Jeroboam included worship of the calf. Those of Judah had not slipped that far, but were guilty themselves to a lesser degree.

Isaiah 9:17 "Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one [is] an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still."

God's wrath allowed wickedness to cause a society to self-destruct. A senseless mutual exploitation resulted in anarchy and confusion (see verse 20).

The young men were a joy to the Lord, when they served the One True God. God's blessings on His people come, when they are obedient to Him. If they are not obedient to Him, they bring a curse upon themselves.

A hypocrite is someone professing one thing and doing something entirely different. They were professing to be God's children, but they were living evil lives. Even though God was so angry with them for their sin, He still wanted them to repent and turn back to Him, and He would have blessed them. He was still reaching out to them. They were just not reaching out to Him.

Isaiah 9:18 "For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up [like] the lifting up of smoke."

Sin is very much like a fire started by a very small match. The first sin may not be too serious, but sin brings on more sin. The condition of a person living in sin (who has not repented), gets worse and worse.

Each time they sin, their conscience is deader. They become more and more evil with each sin. The person who throws a lit match down in the forest does not intend to start a forest fire, but that is the end result.

Isaiah 9:19 "Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother."

"No man spares his brother": God's wrath allowed wickedness to cause the society to self-destruct. A senseless mutual exploitation resulted in anarchy and confusion (see verse 20).

The wrath of the Lord has caused this terrible happening. The people will be destroyed in the wake of the wrath. "No man will spare his brother" speaks of a time when even friends and relatives will be against each other. They will be lacking in natural affection.

Isaiah 9:20 "And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:"

This is not speaking literally. This does not actually mean human flesh. It means the man turns against his neighbors on the right and left. He destroys his friends who were the only help he had, since he had turned on God.

Isaiah 9:21 "Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: [and] they together [shall be] against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still."

The sentence of Joseph's two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim), had engaged in civil war with one another before (see Judges 12:4), and united only in their opposition to Judah.

Ephraim and Manasseh were Hebrews, the same as Judah. They had banned together to come against Judah. God would forgive Ephraim and Manasseh the same as He would Judah, if they would repent and come to Him. God is willing. They were not willing.

Isaiah Chapter 9 Questions

  1. What does "dimness" in verse 1 mean?
  2. What had caused the Light to dim in their lives?
  3. What does "A great light mean"?
  4. Who is this speaking of?
  5. Who had blinded the minds of them which believe not?
  6. Who had the blessings of God been upon?
  7. God blessed them as His ____________.
  8. What had they put their joy in, rather than God?
  9. When the Lord Jesus Christ came, He set the __________ free.
  10. What harvest is verse 3 speaking of?
  11. Why did they not recognize Jesus as their Messiah?
  12. What was the difference in their battle and the battle of Jesus?
  13. The Son of God would become the ___________ of all mankind.
  14. When will the government of the earth be on the shoulders of Jesus?
  15. What does the name "Everlasting Father" show us about Jesus?
  16. Who is the only King of Peace?
  17. What is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ?
  18. Salvation in Him is a ______ gift.
  19. What does verse 8 return to?
  20. Why did Ephraim not repent and come to God at this time?
  21. What do we see in the statement "We will build with hewn stones"?
  22. Who is sending Rezin against them?
  23. Are the enemies of Israel on the side of the LORD?
  24. Why is God letting this happen?
  25. Who are the head and tail?
  26. Who caused these people to err?
  27. How far had their false worship gone?
  28. Wickedness burneth as the _______.
  29. Through the _________ of the________ of______ is the land darkened.
  30. Is verse 20 speaking of cannibalism?
  31. Who are the two in verse 21 against Judah?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 10

Isaiah Chapter 10

Verses 10:1-4: A prophetic Woe is pronounced against those administrators who pervert justice. These government officials have abused their power and are now called to God's bar of justice.

Isaiah 10:1 "Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness [which] they have prescribed;"

In these first two verses, the prophet returned to assigned reasons for God's wrath again;

(1) Iniquities in administering the laws; and

(2) Harsh treatment of those in need.

This is speaking of those who are listened to by others. It is bad to sin yourself, but to lead someone else into sin through statements you make is much worse. This woe is spoken to those who lead others astray, with the things they say.

Writing plans for others to live by is very dangerous, as well, when they are things the writer has decided, and not God. The leader, who writes or speaks, better speak as an oracle of God. Their writing and speaking must be from God and not from themselves.

Isaiah 10:2 "To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and [that] they may rob the fatherless!"

This is speaking of those who favor the wealthy over the poor in judging them. This is also, speaking of people who take advantage of a widow or orphan. God teaches that we are to take care of the widow and orphan, not cheat them out of the little they have.

Isaiah 10:3 "And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation [which] shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?"

"Day of visitation": The Assyrians were the first to invade, then Babylon and other foreign powers followed.

There is a day of reckoning when Jesus will stand and Judge the whole world. His judgment will be righteous. Who can help you when that day comes? The answer is no one, because you cannot deceive the Lord.

Just because you have had some place of authority on this earth will not speak in your favor before the Lord. In fact, if you have been a cruel leader, or one who taught them falsely, you will be judged the more severely. To whom much is given, much is required.

Isaiah 10:4 "Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still."

This seems to be a little different rendering of the stretching of His hand. In this case, it is the wrath of God. Since they have turned from God, they will go into captivity. The wrath of God is not immediately removed, even after they are captured. They endure many hardships in prison.

Verses 10:5-19: Like an offended father dealing with the disobedient son, God used the Assyrian as a rod of anger to discipline Israel. "Howbeit he meanest not so" indicates that the Assyrians did not intend to cooperate with God, but in the providence of God they cooperated unwittingly. The cities listed (in verse 9), are on a direct line from Nineveh (capital of Assyria), to Jerusalem (capital of Judah).

Note that Samaria is already listed as fallen. The prophet's intention is to make it clear that Assyria will not conquer Israel by her own power but by God's permission.

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

"Rod of mine anger": God used Assyria as His instrument of judgment against Israel and Judah. He did the same with Babylon against Judah later on. (Habakkuk 1:6).

The Assyrians are the instrument God uses to carry out His will. They are the rod of His anger. This tells us that even worldly people are sometimes used to carry out the will of God.

All are subject to the wishes of God. The Assyrians are not on the side of God. He is just using them to carry out His wrath on His people.

Isaiah 10:6 "I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets."

This verse is speaking of Israel and Judah.

This is just another way of saying, "judgment begins at the house of God". These hypocrites are thought of as God's people. They actually say they are God's people, but they are not living like God's people. The wrath of God is against them to get them to repent and live right.

This is very much like those Jesus spoke to that thought they were Christians. He told them to get away from Him, because He never knew them. They said they were Christians, but they were not acting Christ like. They were not feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, etc.

Are you truly a Christian? Are you a hypocrite, saying you believe, but acting as if you do not believe?

Isaiah 10:7 "Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but [it is] in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few."

Assyria did not realize that she was the Lord's instrument, but thought her conquest were the result of her own power.

This is speaking of the heart of the Assyrian. In his heart, he wants to war and take by force anything he can. He is worldly. This is why God chose him for this job. Assyria is not aware God is using her for His purpose.

Isaiah 10:8 "For he saith, [Are] not my princes altogether kings?"

This is speaking of there being secondary kings under the king in their country. Instead of calling them princes, the king had made them kings. It would be no problem for the king to set one of his secondary kings over a country he had conquered.

Isaiah 10:9 "[Is] not Calno as Carchemish? [is] not Hamath as Arpad? [is] not Samaria as Damascus?"

"Calno ... Damascus": the cities and territories all capitulated to the Assyrian invaders.

The cities mentioned in the verse above, except for Samaria as Damascus, were all cities that had been overrun by the Assyrians.

Verses 10:10-11: Proud Assyria warned Jerusalem that she would overcome that city just as she had been the instrument used by God against other nations.

Isaiah 10:10 "As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;"

These conquered countries were called, in the verse above, kingdoms of idols. Notice, this is in the eyes of the Assyrians. All gods, besides their false gods, were thought to be idols.

We have discussed before that the word translated "idols", means nothings. The Assyrians regarded no ones gods, but their own.

Isaiah 10:11 "Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?"

The Assyrians were not aware that Jerusalem was the center for the One True God. True, the people of Jerusalem had strayed from the One True God. That was part of the reason for the Lord allowing this terrible overthrow to happen.

This was a very bold statement to make to the people who belonged to the One True God.

Isaiah 10:12 "Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks."

"Punish ... The king of Assyria": The Lord expressed his intention of punishing proud Assyria after He had finished using that nation to punish Jerusalem.

We see that the strength of the Assyrian will last long enough to carry out the wrath of God upon the Hebrews, who God has chosen to punish. The minute this task is finished, God will turn on the Assyrian, and show him where the strength came from. God will bring the Assyrians down Himself. Notice the "fruit".

This means that the descendants of this Assyrian king will be brought low, as well. The punishment was against the Assyrians in general, not just the king and his family.

The prophet proved the Assyrian Kings pride by reiterating his boast (in verses 13 and 14; see versus 8-11).

Isaiah 10:13 "For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done [it], and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant [man]:"

Now we see the reason for the Lord bringing the king and the Assyrians down. They thought they won the battle because of their own personal strength. They did not give credit to God for this at all.

Their arrogance is what really brought them down. The word "I" brings the punishment on the Assyrians.

Isaiah 10:14 "And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs [that are] left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped."

The land was left ravaged, because the greed of the king of Assyria. He had robbed them of their wealth. Assyria had devastated these Israelites. The ten tribes of Israel had broken away from Judah, and the main part of the devastation by these Assyrians were on these of Israel.

Isaiah 10:15 "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."

Here we see the axe, saw, club, and rod which are nothing more than instruments of the Lord (verses 5, 24). Assyria had no power or wisdom of her own.

This is just saying that the Assyrians are just the instrument God used to show His wrath against His people. They are boasting against God, who was the power behind them to do the task the Lord sent them to do. An axe is of no use to anyone, unless there is a hand to use it. God is the hand, and the Assyrians are the axe.

We had read earlier that Assyria was the rod that God would use against Israel. Assyria is like the axe, the rod, or the staff. The instrument has no power in itself. The power and ability to do this came to them, because they were carrying out a task for God.

They were unaware that it was God who was the power, or that they were actually doing this for God. It did not make any difference what they thought, they were doing this in obedience to God's will.

Verses 10:16-19: When God had finished using Assyria as His instrument, the Lord terminated the kingdom's existence (see verse 12).

Isaiah 10:16 " Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire."

We know this verse is speaking of the destruction that will come on Assyria. The Assyrians will become weak within their country, and they will, also, fight the Babylonians, and the Medes from without.

Many times, God uses other countries to bring about the punishment on a nation.

Isaiah 10:17 "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;"

The Light of Israel is the Light of the world (Jesus Christ), as we know Him.

John 1:9: "[That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

Hebrews 12:29: "For our God [is] a consuming fire."

The fire and the Light are of God. God is actually the One who will be fighting against Assyria. They will not be able to stand against the fire of God. The destruction will be so quick and complete, that it will appear to happen in one day. Man (no matter how strong he is), is no match for God.

Isaiah Chapter 10 Questions

  1. Who is the first woe spoken to?
  2. What is even worse than sinning yourself?
  3. The leader, who writes or speaks, had better speak as an ________ of God.
  4. What is verse 2 speaking of?
  5. What is the day of visitation?
  6. To whom much is given, much is ____________.
  7. What message can we get out of verse 4?
  8. Verse 5 tells us the Assyrians are the ____________ God uses to carry out His will.
  9. What can we learn from this about God and worldly people?
  10. Verse 6 is saying, judgment begins where?
  11. What is a hypocrite?
  12. Which are you, a Christian or a hypocrite?
  13. What does the Assyrian want to do in his heart?
  14. What does Assyria have instead of princes?
  15. What cities had they already destroyed?
  16. What kind of kingdoms are mentioned in verse 10?
  17. What does "idols" mean?
  18. What bold statement did the Assyrians make against Jerusalem?
  19. When will God punish Assyria?
  20. The "fruit" of the king means the ______________.
  21. Whose power won the battle for the Assyrians?
  22. Why did God bring the Assyrians down?
  23. Who received the worst of the damage from the Assyrians?
  24. What message is in verse 15?
  25. How will Assyria be destroyed?
  26. Who is the Light of Israel?
  27. Our God is a consuming ______.
  28. Why does the destruction appear to happen in one day?

Isaiah Chapter 10 Continued

Isaiah 17-18 "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;" "And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth."

We have repeated (verse 17), to get a better picture of where we are picking up on the punishment that God brings on the Assyrians. They were not God's people, but God had used them to come against Israel. They were just the instrument He used, but they thought it was by their great power they had done this thing.

We saw in the last lesson that the Light and the fire was from God. The quick destruction had made it appear to be in one day. The forest and the fruitful field show the total destruction of the people, and the things useful to them for a livelihood.

They are not of God, so this destruction is not just of their body, but their soul, as well. The battle is lost when the standard-bearer falls.

Isaiah 10:19 "And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them."

The trees left, after this destruction, are so few that even a small child would be able to count them. This is destruction to the utmost.

Verses 10:20-34. The remnant of Israel are those who have come to trust in the Lord. The remnant shall return is reminiscent of the prophet's son, Shear-Jashub. The slaughter of Midian at the rock Oreb occurred centuries earlier in the days of Gideon (Judges 7:15). It symbolizes the overwhelming power of divine intervention in human affairs.

Isaiah 10:20 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth."

"The remnant of Israel": A small nucleus of God's people, preserved by His sovereign grace, form this righteous remnant in the midst of national apostasy. There were always the obedient few who preserved, obeyed and passed on God's law. There will always be a remnant because God will never forsake the Abrahamic Covenant (Micah 2:12-13; Romans 9:27; 11:5).

Those left of Israel have turned to God. They place their faith and trust in the only One who can help them, and that is God. The time, spoken of here, is the time when Assyria is destroyed.

There will be no worship involving false gods of Assyria, but they will now worship and adore the One True God. Their strength will be in Him. Lord, the Holy One of Israel, is the One True God.

Isaiah 10:21 "The remnant shall return, [even] the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God."

The remnant of Jacob is speaking of the family of Jacob, the Israelites. God will always have a remnant. He is Mighty God.

Isaiah 10:22 "For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, [yet] a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness."

The promise to Abraham, handed down through Isaac and Jacob, was their seed would be as many as the sand of the sea. The physical house of Israel had been into the millions for number, but never reached the number as large as the sand of the sea.

The remnant, spoken of, is of the physical house of Jacob (Israel). The descendants that are as the sand of the sea for number (promised to Abraham), are spiritual Israel.

Galatians 3:29: "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

The promise is fulfilled in the spiritual house of Israel, the Christians. The remnant of physical Israel, and the number without number of spiritual Israel, are full of righteousness. Christians may not appear to be righteous, but we have taken on the righteousness of Christ.

Isaiah 10:23 "For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land."

The word "consumption" was translated from the word kalah, which means completion, or utterly consumed. We can see from this, that the completion was done by the Lord God of hosts. It is not by the efforts of the people it is finished, but by the wishes of God.

They must face the wrath of God (see Paul's use of this verse in Romans 9:28).

Isaiah 10:24 "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt."

We see the Lord God of hosts speak to both houses of Israel here. The physical house of Israel that God is speaking to here, dwell in God's holy city. The spiritual house of Israel dwells in the church (Zion).

This does not mean just the Assyrian. It means do not fear the world and its people. Egypt is a type of the world. We are not to fear. We have hope. Our faith is in Jesus Christ and His resurrection.

Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Isaiah 10:25 "For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction."

"Indignation" is speaking of the wrath of God. God is a forgiving God. He forgave Israel over and over and restored them to Himself. God is like a loving parent, who punishes his child and then restores him.

The indignation covers the entire period of Israel's exile (26:20; Daniel 11:36). Here is a promise that it will end with the return of the Messiah (11:1-16).

Isaiah 10:26 "And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and [as] his rod [was] upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt."

"Midian ... Egypt". Isaiah selected 2 examples from the past to illustrate the Lord's future deliverance of Israel: Gideon's victory over the Midianites (Judges 7:25), and the slaughter of the Egyptians who pursued the Israelites through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:16, 26, and 27).

In this, we see the LORD of hosts stirring up a punishment against Assyria, as he did when Gideon took three hundred men and destroyed the army of Midian at the rock of Oreb.

God also destroyed the army of the Pharaoh of Egypt, when they were drowned in the Red Sea. God fights the battles for His people. He is our very present help in trouble.

Isaiah 10:27 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing."

"Burden ... Yoke": The removal of this yoke speaks of the future freeing of Israel from compulsion to render service to foreign oppressors.

"Christ" means the Anointed One. Jesus Christ set the people free from the bondage of sin and death. This could also, be speaking of the physical yoke. They had been under the rule of a sinful man. God will send them a king who will do right.

Hezekiah is spoken of as a man who trusted God. He prospered, because of his trust in God. He was a good king. The people were released from the wicked rule of Ahaz.

Hezekiah means strengthened of Jah. His power was in his anointing from God.

Verses 10:28-32: Isaiah visualize the Assyrian army approaching Jerusalem from the North. The places he names grow closer to Jerusalem as his vision progressed.

Isaiah 10:28 "He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:"

Aiath is probably the same as Ai, which is near Beth-el. Migron was in the land of Benjamin. Michmash was 7 miles north of Jerusalem. It seems these cities were on the way to Jerusalem. This is a description of the attack by an Assyrian army on Jerusalem.

Isaiah 10:29 "They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled."

Geba is near a valley just out of Jerusalem. Ramah is Er-Ram, probably. It is even nearer Jerusalem. All of this is just explaining the route they take to get to Jerusalem. Fear causes the people to flee from the oncoming army.

Isaiah 10:30 "Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth."

Both, Gallim and Laish, are both believed to be near Jerusalem. Anathoth was, probably, Anata, a city of refuge.

Isaiah 10:31 "Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee."

These were, probably, little suburbs of Jerusalem. It seems the people were so frightened that they ran in front of the army.

Isaiah 10:32 "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."

Nob was the city destroyed by Saul. This is speaking of the Assyrians, probably. His real attack is against the mount of the daughter of Zion, or the hill of Jerusalem. It is a dangerous thing to come against God and His people.

Isaiah 10:33 "Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature [shall be] hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled."

"Lop ... Hewn down ... Humbled": though the Assyrian army reached the walls of Jerusalem, the sovereign Lord, the Lord of hosts, intervened and sent them away in defeat. Later Isaiah recorded the literal fulfillment of this prophecy (37:24, 36-38; 2nd Kings 19:35-37; 2 Chronicles 32:21).

Notice, it is the Lord God who defeats these Assyrians. Lopping the bow with terror, to me means, they are so afraid they are not able to raise their weapon. These Assyrians have taken on more than they are able to handle.

The Lord strikes down their leaders, the haughty ones. They would have to be at least haughty to think they could destroy people protected by the Lord.

Isaiah 10:34 "And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one."

The Old Testament equates Assyria to Lebanon (Ezekiel 31:3 Isaiah 2:13; 37:24).

Lebanon is speaking of these Assyrians who think they are as strong as the cedars of Lebanon. The strong tree must be cut down with a strong saw. That is what is meant by iron. The Mighty One is the Lord God Jehovah. Who can fight against God? No one.

Isaiah Chapter 10 Continued Questions

  1. What terrible assumption had the Assyrians made about their part in the destruction of Israel?
  2. What made it appear to be one day?
  3. Why is the soul of the Assyrian mentioned as destroyed?
  4. How few trees were left after God's punishment on Assyria?
  5. What are the few of Israel who are saved called?
  6. Who would the remnant worship and adore now?
  7. Where will their strength be?
  8. Who is the remnant of Jacob?
  9. What is the name of God in verse 21?
  10. Who was the promise to Abraham handed down through?
  11. What was the number of God's people compared to?
  12. Who are the descendants who are as the sand of the sea for number?
  13. Why is a Christian righteous?
  14. What does kalah mean?
  15. Verse 24 says God's people dwell where?
  16. ________ is a type of the world.
  17. What must our faith be in?
  18. What is "indignation" in verse 25?
  19. In verse 26, we see the LORD stirring up what?
  20. Who fought the Midianites at the rock of Oreb?
  21. What did God's defeat of Pharaoh have to do with the sea?
  22. What does "Christ" mean?
  23. What did Jesus Christ set His followers free of?
  24. What good king did God send them in place of Ahaz?
  25. What does "Hezekiah" mean?
  26. The verses beginning with verse 28 are telling of what?
  27. In verse 33, what action does God take against Assyria?
  28. What is meant by "cutting down the thickets of the forest with iron"?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 11

Isaiah Chapter 11

The millennial reign of Christ is described (in 11:1-12:6). The time of the Messiah's coming was undoubtedly a puzzle in Old Testament times. In this section, the prophet indicates that His coming is yet in the distant future. Isaiah predicts that the "tree" of the line of David will be cut down and that a shoot must grow out of the stock of Jesse before it will flourish again.

He predicts that a rod (choter, "shoot" or "sprout"), will come forth from the stem (geza, "root" or "stump"), of Jesse (David's father and the forefather of the Davidic line). Branch (netser), is used in parallel with rod.

Isaiah 11:1 "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:"

Stem ... Roots. With the Babylonian captivity (of 586 B.C.), the Davidic Dynasty appeared as decimated as the Assyrian army. A major difference between the two was the life remaining in the stump and roots of the Davidic line. That life was to manifest itself in new growth in the form of the Rod and Branch.

"Jesse": Jesse was David's father through whose line the Messianic King was to come (Ruth 4:22; 1 Samuel 16:1, 12, 13).

"Branch": This was a title for the Messiah (see 4:2).

We have seen in the last lessons, that the wrath of God came against His people, and God allowed the Assyrians to devastate their country. Except for God's remnant, they would have been annihilated.

There was a remnant left, however. It was as if the tree had been cut off even with the ground. It seems though a tree will come up again from the roots, if it gets enough water.

The word "rod" here, was translated from the word "choter", which means twig. It appears that the growth that came forth was weak, but alive.

Job 14:7: "For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease."

"Stem", in this verse, means resemble. We can see this twig was not a literal twig, but a race of people stemming from Jesse through David. This remnant was like the roots of the tree. When the Spirit of God (water), was applied to the root, it grew again. At first it was weak.

The "Branch", of course, is Jesus. He was spoken of as Son of David, because David was in His earthly ancestry.

Jeremiah 23:5 "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth."

These Scriptures should leave no doubt that this Branch is speaking of Jesus Christ. Jesus is actually the Tree of Life.

Verses 11:2-5: The Branch is personalized (in verse 2), as the Messiah himself. The spirit of the Lord refers to the sevenfold Spirit of God (Revelation 4:5), described here in relation to His seven attributes. The words for counsel and might are the same as used (in 9:6), to describe the divine Child. Because the Spirit of God is upon Him, the Messiah will not judge after the sight of his eyes, for He will have true spiritual vision and judge the poor with righteousness. He will rule the earth with the rod (shebet, scepter), of his mouth, the power of His spoken word, by which He will slay the wicked with His breath (Revelation 19:15).

Isaiah 11:2 "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;"

The Spirit of the Lord: As the Spirit of the Lord came upon David when he was anointed king (1 Samuel 16:13; Psalm 51:11), so He will rest upon David's descendent, Christ, who will rule the world.

This verse refers to the 3 persons of the Holy Trinity (see 6:3).

Wisdom and understanding ... Console and might... Knowledge ... Fear of the Lord. These are Spirit-imparted qualifications that will enable the Messiah to rule justly and effectively. Compare the 7-fold Spirit in Revelation 1:4.

Look with me, at the time when Jesus said this very thing about Himself.

Luke 4:16-19 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read." "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written," "The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," "To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

Jesus was of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God hovered over Mary, and she conceived of the Spirit of God. Jesus was God the Son housed in the flesh of man. Jesus is the Spirit of Wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. Jesus is the source of all Wisdom. "Understanding", in the verse above, comes from a word that means helper.

The Holy Spirit is Helper, Teacher, and Guide. Jesus was full of the Spirit. In Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt. We find that counsel and might go hand in hand with wisdom. "Knowledge" is accumulated learning.

Jesus does not need to learn. He is all-knowing, so He is the source of knowledge. Fear, in the verse above, is speaking of a willingness to carry out the wishes of God. Jesus said, Father, not my will, but thine. He fulfills every statement in the verse above.

Isaiah 11:3 "And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:"

"Sight of His eyes ... What His ears hear": These are ordinary avenues for a king to obtain information needed to govern, but the future King will have supernatural perception beyond these usual sources.

Since Jesus is the Judge of all the world, and contains all knowledge and understanding, He will not judge as a man from outward appearances. He will not depend on his eyes, or His ears to guide Him in His judgment.

He will judge in truth, because He knows all things, even the heart of man. His judgment will be just. He will not need to hear the witnesses. He already knows everything about every individual on the earth.

Isaiah 11:4 "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."

"Poor ... The meek": The Messiah will reverse Israel's earlier dealings with the underprivileged (3:14-15; 10:2).

"Rod of His mouth": The Branch's rule over the nations will be forceful. The New Testament uses the equivalent terminology to describe the warrior King at his triumphant return to earth (Revelation 19:15; Isaiah 49:2; Psalm 2:9).

"Breathe of His lips": This is another figure for the Messiah's means of inflicting physical harm. Paul draws upon this to tell of the distraction of the man of lawlessness at Christ's second advent (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

His judgment is righteous. He is not influenced by earthly things. The poor will get fair judgment from Him, because He is not impressed by the earthly greatness of man, or great wealth. Many earthly judges can be bought. This is not so with Jesus. He is righteous.

Whatever He decides about any of us, we can say we deserve it, because He knows all about even what is in our heart. The "rod of His mouth" is the spoken Word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The breath of His lips caused the soldiers, who had come for Jesus, to fall backward to the ground.

John 18:6: "As soon then as he had said unto them, I am [he], they went backward, and fell to the ground."

The spoken and the written Word are the 2 most powerful forces in the earth. The Word of God created all things. The Word of God will condemn us to hell, or reward us with eternal life in heaven.

Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Our fate is in the hands of Jesus, the Word of God.

Isaiah 11:5 "And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."

Girdle ... Girdle. The belt, which gathered the loose garments together, is figurative for the Messiahs readiness for conflict. Righteousness and faithfulness are His preparation. Ephesians 6:14.

He is surrounded by righteousness. In fact, He has clothed the Christians in His righteousness.

Revelation 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"

Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels."

Faithfulness as a girdle is speaking of Jesus as the Truth.

Verses 11:6-9: Peace and harmony will characterize the Messiah's kingdom. Ravenous predatory animals, Wolf, leopard, lion and bear are set in deliberate contrast to the more defenseless lamb, kid, calf, cow, and ox. That the lion should eat straw implies a change of diet. Even the Asp and the cockatrice (snakes), will be harmless to a small child. Isaiah sees the Messiah ruling the world in righteousness and a peace that extends even to the animal kingdom. During this time the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Thus, the prophet sees beyond the restoration of Judah to a time when the Messiah will rule the entire world.

Conditions of peace will prevail to the extent that all enmity among men, among animals (rapacious or otherwise), and between men and animals will disappear. Such will characterize the future millennial kingdom in which the Prince of Peace (9:6), will reign.

Isaiah 11:6 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."

This is speaking of that wonderful time when the devil is bound up. There will be no evil where Jesus reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. There will be no danger from anything, when the devil is bound. Jesus, who is the King of Peace, brings perfect peace to all of mankind and all the animals, and in fact, the elements of the earth.

All of the animals, mentioned in the verse above, are violent against man. From the little child leading them, you can see the extent of the peace that will reign, because the King of Peace is among them. This will be a glorious time of no problems.

Isaiah 11:7 "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox."

We see in this, animals that had been enemies in the past that now will not fear each other. The Peace extends to all the animals, as well as the people. The whole world will be at peace.

Isaiah 11:8 "And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den."

Both the asp and the cockatrice would have been deadly to anyone, if they bit them. We see, in this, that the curse spoken on the serpent against the woman in the Garden of Eden has been broken. Jesus has won. Peace extends even unto the serpent.

Isaiah 11:9 "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."

"Full of the knowledge of the Lord": Everyone will know the Lord when He returns to fulfill His new covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 31:34).

Not only will the people be full of the knowledge of the LORD, but the animals and the earth itself. Just as surely as the water covers the sea, the peace of the Lord Jesus will cover the earth. The "holy mountain" speaks of the people of God, the Christians.

Isaiah 11:10 "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."

"In that day": The time of universal peace will come in the future reign of the Lord.

"An ensign of the people": The Root of Jesse will also attract non-Jews who inhabit the future kingdom (49:6; 52:10; 60:3; 66:18). Paul saw God's ministry to Gentiles during the church age as an additional implication of this verse (Romans 15:12).

The Messiah is again referred to as a root (shoresh), of Jesse (as in verse 1). He is clearly Jewish, for He will stand for an ensign of the people (amim, a term applied to the Jewish people). Yet Isaiah goes on to say that this is this banner the Gentiles seek. Thus, Isaiah is predicting a time when salvation will come to the gentiles as well as to the Jews.

When Isaiah wrote this, it was unheard of for a Gentile to seek God. This is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. The church is primarily made up of Gentile converts. He (Jesus), set up a standard, or an "ensign". We cannot get to heaven by any other name. We must go through faith in the name of Jesus.

The root here, is the same as the Branch in the earlier part of this lesson. He is our mediator, even now at the throne of God. He is our standard. There is a rest that comes to the believer. When the presence of the Lord is with us, then there will be perfect peace and rest.

The Prophet foresees a time when the hostile in a maze of Israel will be at peace with her during the millennial kingdom. Assyria to the North and Egypt to the South are especially in view, as are Pathros in Upper Egypt. Cush (Ethiopia), Elam (the Persian Gulf), Shinar (Babylon), and Hamath on the Orontes River in Syria.

Isaiah 11:11 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea."

"2nd time": The first return of Israel to her land was from Egyptian captivity (Exodus 14:26-29). The second will be from her worldwide dispersion (51:9-11).

Isaiah had seen that the people of God, the Hebrews, would be scattered all over the earth into many countries. The Scripture above is speaking of the time when they will come back to the land of Israel.

This Scripture is being fulfilled in our lifetime. Since Israel became a nation in 1948, the return of the people has been almost continuous. The "islands of the sea" could cover lands that were unknown at the time of Isaiah.

Isaiah 11:12: "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."

"From the four corners of the earth": figurative expression depicts the whole world (Revelation 20:8). The faithful remnant of Israel will return from a worldwide dispersion to their Land.

The number four means universal. We see from this, then, that this is all over the world. We decided Jesus Christ is the Ensign. The word that "outcasts" was translated from a masculine word. "Dispersed" is taken from a word that is feminine. We see in this, that the Lord is calling male and female.

He is also calling all of the original 12 tribes back unto Himself. He is calling all believers. Even Christians are included in this, because we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. This is both a physical calling of the physical house of Israel back to the land of Israel, but is also a spiritual calling of all believers to draw closer to the Lord.

Isaiah 11:13 "The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim."

"Ephraim ... Judah": these are the 2 major divisions of Israel after the schism under Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:16-20). Ephraim was the name representing the northern 10 tribes, and Judah the southern two. When the Messiah returns, they will reunite in a lasting peace

Judah is speaking of the physical house of Israel. In my opinion, "Ephraim" symbolizes all the believers in Christ. The two sticks in the book of Ezekiel chapter 37 that come together are the physical and the spiritual house of Israel. Notice in this, God has forgiven Ephraim.

Isaiah 11:14 "But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them."

"West ... East": and that day Israel will be free from all foreign oppression and will be the dominant political force.

All of the countries listed above are enemies of the Israelites. We know the church will have no difficulty in handling these enemies.

The Christians will reign over the worldly people. The Lord is their strength.

Isaiah 11:15 "And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make [men] go over dryshod."

"The river": just as He dried up the Red Sea in the deliverance from Egypt, the Lord will in the future dry up the Euphrates in connection with the final deliverance of his people.

The mighty breath of the LORD will blow on the great river and turn it into 7 smaller streams. In places, the streams will be shallow enough for the people to walk over them in their regular shoes. There will be no physical barriers that will restrain God's people in that day.

Isaiah 11:16 "And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."

"Highway": Isaiah has much to say about a way for the remnant returning to Jerusalem (35:8-9; 42:16; 43:19; 48:21; 49:11; 57:14; 62:10).

The Israelites walked on dry land in the middle of the Red Sea, when the nostrils of God heaped the water to allow His people to walk over on dry land. The dry road across the Red Sea was called a highway. It was only open to God's people.

When the Egyptians tried to use it, they were drowned. God will make a way for His people to come home.

Isaiah Chapter 11 Questions

  1. A tree will come again from the roots, if it gets enough ______.
  2. "Rod was translated from _________.
  3. What does the word "choter" mean?
  4. What does "stem" mean in this verse?
  5. This twig was actually a _________ of ________.
  6. Who were they descended from?
  7. Who is the Branch?
  8. Name the different things this Branch had through the Spirit.
  9. What book of the Old Testament did Jesus read from in the synagogue?
  10. "Understanding", in verse 2, came from a word meaning ________.
  11. What is "knowledge"?
  12. How will Jesus judge?
  13. In the finality of time, what happens to those whose names are not written in the Lambs book of life?
  14. The wolf shall dwell with the _______.
  15. The leopard shall lie down with the ______.
  16. And a ______ _______ shall lead them.
  17. What happens to bring so great a peace?
  18. Who is the mortal enemy of the cow?
  19. What will the lion eat that is like an ox?
  20. Who does the "holy mountain" speak of?
  21. What is an "ensign"?
  22. When will perfect peace come?
  23. When did the return of the Israelites to Israel begin?
  24. What is meant by "islands of the sea"?
  25. What does the number 4 symbolize?
  26. What is strangely different in the "outcasts", and the "dispersed"?
  27. Who does the author believe Ephraim symbolizes?
  28. What chapter of Ezekiel tells us of the physical and the spiritual house of Israel?
  29. The great river will break up into how many streams?
  30. How was it possible for the Israelites to walk through the Red Sea on dry ground?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 12

Isaiah Chapter 12

This chapter is a song of triumphant praise and serves as a dramatic climax and doxology to the Immanuel prophecy (7:1-12:6). I will praise thee is an imperfect verb expressing continual action. Behold, God is my salvation literally means, "My salvation is God Himself!" The Lord Jehovah is our strength, song and salvation. The expression is similar to the song of deliverance sung by the people of Israel when they crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15:12).

(John 4:14), is reminiscent of the water out of the wells of salvation. Excellent things are majestic things. These great things are to be preached to the whole world and sung and shouted aloud, for great is the Holy One of Israel. With beautiful imagery, Isaiah closes this section of prophecy with a triumphal doxology of praise.

Two brief songs of praise (verses 1-3 and 4-6), which redeemed Israel will sing at the outset of the millennial kingdom. They are the earthly counterpart to the heavenly doxology (in Rev. 19:6-7).

Isaiah 12:1 "And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me."

We know that numerous occasions, such as the crossing of the Red Sea, brought victorious song from the Israelites. Praise can be done in many ways. It can be by lifting of the hands to heaven in prayer and thanksgiving, or it can be done by lifting the voice in song of praise unto the LORD.

It seems these Israelites had a lot of practice in repenting of their wayward ways and receiving God's forgiveness. This immediately brought a spirit of praise to the LORD. In this particular verse above, it is probably speaking of them being lost as a nation, because of their sin, and God saving a remnant that grow into a mighty family of God.

God's anger is seldom forever. He is a forgiving and a restoring God. When God turns His anger away, He comforts them and sets them upright to live again. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are not sinless, we are forgiven. In fact, we are totally pardoned, as if we had never sinned.

Jesus paid the price in full for our transgression. The day (mentioned in the verse above), is any day that deliverance from our sin comes. For them, this was a physical deliverance and restoration. For you and me, it is the day we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

"Thine anger is turned away". For the future remnant who will recognize the substitutionary death of Christ for their sins, Christ bore God's anger in their place. Otherwise, that anger against them would remain.

Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation."

"God is my salvation". God will deliver the faithful of Israel from both their political opponents and the spiritual consequences of their sins. LORD JEHOVAH: The doubling of the personal name of God serves to emphasize His role as the covenant keeping One.

"My strength and my song ... my salvation": Moses and the Israelites sang a similar song to celebrate their deliverance from the Egyptians (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 118:14).

The word "Jesus" in its fullest expression, means JEHOVAH SAVIOR. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is the opposite of fear.

David said the same thing in Psalms 27: "A Psalm of David".

Psalms 27:1 "The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be Afraid?"

John 10:9 "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

1 John 3:23 "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."

Salvation is in the name of Jesus.

Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Faith and trust go hand in hand. Trust is when you rest in the knowledge that Jesus is acting on your behalf in every situation, and you know all is well. The fact that we know we are saved, through Jesus, puts a song of praise in our heart.

The following verse leaves no doubt at all where our strength comes from.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Isaiah 12:3 "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."

The "water" here, is the Spirit of God. Jesus told the woman at the well, if she drank of this water, she would never thirst again. This is the water of the Holy Spirit of God.

John 4:10-14 "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." "The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?" "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:" "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

The "water" Jesus was speaking of is the water of life.

John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

The following Scripture is speaking of the Holy Spirit within.

John 7:38 "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

"Water ... springs": Isaiah's readers doubtless thought of how God satisfied the physical thirst of their ancestors in the Wilderness of Sin (in Exodus 17:1-7). The same provision will apply for their descendants when the Messiah comes to deliver the nation. The New Testament amplifies this provision to include the supply of spiritual water for the thirsty soul (John 4:10, 14; 7:37; Rev. 7:16-17; 21:6 and 22:17).

This water of the Holy Spirit brings God's Word alive to us. Joy comes from knowing we are saved.

Verses 4-5: Following the future Day of the Lord, Israel will testify to the rest of the world about His greatness and majesty. This was His purpose for His earthly people from the beginning.

Isaiah 12:4 "And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted."

The commandment Jesus made unto His followers was to go into the world and testify of Him.

Mark 16:15-18 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;" "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

The Scripture above could also be speaking to the natural house of Israel. Since God has forgiven them and restored them, they are obligated to tell others of His greatness. Notice they praise the LORD, and also tell others to call upon His name. They witness the greatness of God to others, to cause them to come to God.

His name is exalted among all names.

Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"

I will repeat a Scripture which will show the exalted state of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Isaiah 12:5 "Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this [is] known in all the earth."

In that glorious day, all will know Him.

Hebrews 8:10-11 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" "And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

There will be plenty to sing about. The Lord Jesus Christ has come through the tribe of Judah and saved us. Let me give you a few Scriptures which say it so well.

Ephesians 1:10 "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him:"

Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"

Colossians 1:19 "For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fullness dwell;"

Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

Isaiah 12:6 "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great [is] the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."

"Cry out" speaks of telling all who are in hearing distance of His greatness. There is a literal Zion (Jerusalem), and there is a spiritual Zion (church). Are you the church of the Lord Jesus Christ? Then shout the good news of the gospel to all who will listen.

"Thou inhabitant of Zion": The Hebrew of this verse personifies Zion as a woman by commanding her to "cry aloud and shout" in celebration of the Lord's greatness.

The greatness of God is so far beyond the comprehension of the fleshly mind. It is only through the spirit that we get a glimpse of the greatness of God. The glory of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is that He is with them. His light burns brightly in His church.

So many churches have locked Him out, and He is knocking to get in, but the true church is filled with the Light of the Lord so greatly, that it sends out a beacon of Light to the entire world to see. The Light draws men to it.

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."


Isaiah Chapter 12 Questions

  1. What day is verse 1 speaking of?
  2. What was one specific time, when the children of Israel burst out into songs of praise to the LORD?
  3. What are some of the ways to praise the LORD?
  4. What specific deliverance is verse 1 probably speaking of?
  5. What does God do, when He turns His anger away?
  6. We are not sinless, we are __________.
  7. We are just as if we had never __________.
  8. Behold, _____ is my salvation.
  9. I will ________ and not be afraid.
  10. For the _______ _________ is my strength and my song.
  11. What does the word "Jesus" in its fullest sense mean?
  12. Without ________, it is impossible to please God.
  13. What is the commandment given us in 1 John 3:23?
  14. Salvation is in the name of ________.
  15. What causes us to have a song of praise in our heart?
  16. Give a Scripture to show where our strength comes from.
  17. What is the "water" in verse 3?
  18. What promise did Jesus make the woman at the well?
  19. What is this living water?
  20. What were Jesus' instructions to His followers in the 16th chapter of Mark?
  21. Why was the physical house of Israel obligated to tell others?
  22. What does Acts 4:12 tell us about salvation?
  23. What does Hebrews 8:11 tell us about who will know the Lord?
  24. For in Him dwelleth all of the __________ of the Godhead bodily.
  25. What does "cry out" speak of?
  26. Can man fully understand the greatness of God?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 13

Isaiah Chapter 13

This section of Isaiah's prophecy concerns the message of God's judgment against Israel's neighbors. The prophet's message of judgment begins with the word burden (masa), which may also be rendered "oracle." The fact that Isaiah did see these events indicates that he saw then in a vision as though they were actually happening.

The prophet's first message was delivered against Babylon, the very nation that would eventually carry Judah into captivity. Sanctified ones and mighty ones are the armies of Medo-Persia, which God will raise up against Babylon to fulfill His purpose.

Verses 13:1 - 23:18: These 11 chapters group together prophecies against foreign nations, much the same as those (in Jer. 46-51 and Ezekiel 25-32).

Verses 13:1 - 14:27: The section (13:1-14:24), deals specifically with Babylon (and the verses 25-27), with Assyria, though Babylon was not yet a world power at the time of this prophecy. Isaiah foresaw a time when Babylon would overthrow the current dominant nation Assyria and be an international force.

Isaiah 13:1 "The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see."

"Burden or oracle": In the sense of his having heavy responsibility to deliver the message. It is used 15 other times in the Old Testament in superscriptions like this.

This is a very strange statement. "Burden" here, was translated from the word masa, which means tribute, utterance, or spoken doom. It can also mean oracle or prophecy.

We do know that Babylon carried the inhabitants of Jerusalem captive in the 8th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar made his uncle Mattaniah king, and changed his name to Zedekiah about this same time. All of this occurred about 14 generations before the birth of Jesus.

Matthew 1:17 "So all the generations from Abraham to David [are] fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon [are] fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ [are] fourteen generations."

We know that Isaiah received this prophecy in some sort of vision, because the verse above uses the word "see". Notice again, the mention of Amoz as the father of Isaiah. The main thrust of this, however, is judgment against Babylon.

Babylon ... Isaiah ... did see": This chapter foretold the city's destruction. Even during the Assyrian Empire, the city of Babylon was formidable and stood at the head in the list of Israel's enemies to be conquered.

Isaiah 13:2 "Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles."

The lifting of the ensign would be similar to our raising of our flag. The high mountain is mentioned, because it would be easier to see it. They are calling out with their voices to call the army to fight against Babylon.

(As in 5:26), the Lord summoned foreign armies to conquer Babylon in all her greatness.

Isaiah 13:3 "I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even] them that rejoice in my highness."

I, in the verse above, is speaking of God. "Sanctified", possibly, means those set aside for God's purpose. We know in this that God is in control of all nations in the end. He is calling those to battle on the side of the Lord to bring judgment against Babylon.

"I have commanded ... called". The Lord told of His gathering of armies to overcome Babylon. "My anger": God's anger had turned away from Israel (12:1), and toward this oppressive foreign power.

Isaiah 13:4 "The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle."

"The noise of a multitude" is from the large army that comes to fight against Babylon. The army coming is a strong army of men who are strengthened by the Lord. The great people, just means a large number of people.

The Lord of hosts is mustering the army. Literally "the Lord of armies musters the army." This anticipated the end time coming of the Lord to crush the final Babylon and to dash His enemies in pieces and establish a kingdom over all nations (Rev. 19:11-16).

Nations lets us know there will be more than one nation. The Lord of hosts has called this battle in judgment against Babylon.

Isaiah 13:5 "They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land."

The "indignation", spoken of here, is God's fury. My own opinion of this is that the Lord is taking vengeance on Babylon for the terrible things they had done to God's people. He has given them ample time to repent and come to Him, and they have not. I believe this to be speaking of the time of the end, spoken of in the 24th chapter of Matthew.

The fall of Babylon to the Medes was merely a short term glimpse of the ultimate fall of Babylon at the hands of the universal forces of God (Rev. 18:2).

The countries of the world will come against Israel and God's people at that time. God will punish Babylon and all their evil neighbors, when they are defeated. There are many Babylons in the sense of what they believe. See why God comes against them in the following Scripture.

Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"

Babylon, and those with ideas similar to Babylon, will come to destroy and will be destroyed themselves. The wrath of God comes because of disobedience to His Word.

Ephesians 5:6 "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."

"From the end of heaven" means many of the countries come from the other side of the world.

Isaiah's reference to the day of the Lord is both immediate and eschatological. The destruction that he has immediately in view is the fall of Babylon (in 539 B.C.). But he also saw the ultimate fall of "Babylon" in the last days (Rev. 14:18). The Medes are named in advance (in verse 17; as is Cyrus in chapters 44 and 45), since they rose to power before the Persians.

Isaiah 13:6 "Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."

"The day of the Lord is at hand": The prophecy looked beyond the more immediate conquest of the city by the Medes to a greater day of the Lord and anticipated the final destruction of Babylon by the personal intervention of the Messiah.

You see, this destruction does not come from the devil. This destruction comes, because the judgment of God has come.

Joel 1:15: "Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD [is] at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come."

The word "Almighty" in the verse above is showing the power of the Lord to do whatever He wishes. In this case, it is punishment after He has passed judgment. "Howl" is a strong expression of sorrow.

Acts 2:20 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:"

Isaiah 13:7 "Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:"

"Heart shall melt": Courage was to vanish (19:1; Ezekiel 21:7; Nahum 2:10).

Luke 21:26 "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

These two Scriptures seem to be speaking of the same thing. Man can fight against another man, but there is no way to win against the wrath of God.

Isaiah 13:8 "And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames."

The pain comes suddenly and unexpected (similar to a woman at childbirth). Whether the face being as a flame means that their blood pressure has risen from the suddenness of their troubles, or whether this is speaking of a time when they will be burned by the sun, is hard to say. Either way, it has to do with the judgment of God on these wicked people.

"As a woman that travaileth": The comparison of labor pains is often a figure to describe human sufferings in the period just before the final deliverance of Israel. Usually it was the suffering of Israel, but here it pictured the misery of Babylon.

Isaiah 13:9 "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it."

The reason we know this is not just speaking of the evil Babylon, is the fact that just the sinners are destroyed. It appears there are others here, who are not sinners. This is a much wider scope than just physical Babylon.

This occurs when Messiah returns in judgment of all living on earth. In this case the prophet moves forward to the Babylon which is the final evil world city to be destroyed with all its inhabitants (see Rev. chapters 17 and 18).

Romans 13:4: "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil."

Isaiah 13:10 "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."

The following Scriptures are speaking of a time when the sun and moon and stars will not give light to the earth.

Scripture frequently associates cosmic upheavals with the period of tribulation just before Christ's return.

Matthew 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:"

Mark 13:24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,"

The Scriptures we just gave are speaking of something that happens at the time of the great tribulation upon the earth at the second coming of Christ. This could be caused by a natural happening, or this could occur when oil well smoke covers the atmosphere.

Isaiah 13:11 "And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."

The word "world" here, means the globe. It can also mean, the inhabitants of the globe. We can easily see, this is speaking of more than just physical Babylon. This is a global judgment of God on all people who have chosen to disobey Him.

The same sin of pride that led to Israel's judgment will cause Babylon's downfall (47:5, 7-8; Rev. 18:7).

It includes those who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior. This is a warning to all evil people in every country in the world.

Isaiah 13:12 "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir."

Because of this visitation human mortality will be extremely high, but not complete. God will spare a faithful remnant.

Fine gold has been tried in the fire. It has undergone purification by fire. Gold of Ophir was pure gold.

Isaiah 13:13 "Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger."

These upheavals are associated with the ones (in verse 10).

We read in an earlier verse from (Matthew 24:29), how the heavens and the earth will be shaken just after the days of tribulation. If we follow that to (verse 30), we will see when this happens.

Matthew 24:30 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

This is just before the second coming of Christ.

Isaiah 13:14 "And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land."

Humans are frightening to the shy gazelle, but indispensable to the helpless sheep. The Babylonians will find the Lord as their enemy and lose Him as their shepherd. All they can do is flee the land.

When the Christians are removed from the earth, great fear will overtake those remaining here, and they will run for safety.

Matthew 24:31 "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

The true sheep will be caught up in this catching away of the church. Notice, it says, as a sheep. The ones left are not the Lord's sheep. Some of them may be professing to be sheep, but that is just in outward appearance.

Verses 15-16: The prophet for the moment returned to the immediate future, when the Medes committed all those cruel atrocities in captured Babylon.

Isaiah 13:15 "Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined [unto them] shall fall by the sword."

This very thing did happen when they were overthrown, but the message is two-fold. It will happen again at the end of the age.

Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."

This has been true in wars of the past. Children are seldom spared in a vicious war. The captor does not want to be bothered with them. The wives were sexually assaulted and then killed.

Isaiah 13:17 "Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and [as for] gold, they shall not delight in it."

These people from an area southwest of the Caspian Sea, North of Persia, East of Assyria, and Northeast of Babylon later allied themselves with the Babylonians to conquer Assyria and later with the Persians to cause the fall of Babylon (in 539 B.C.).

God established gold and silver as worth in the book of Genesis. Mankind has done away with the money God established and put out worthless paper notes. Anyone, or any nation, who disregards standards the Lord established is in for a great deal of trouble.

In recent years that the United States went off the gold and silver standard. The fact that gold means the purity of God and silver means redemption should tell us something. God will not bless those who tear down His standards and make their own standards.

Isaiah 13:18 "[Their] bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children."

This is speaking of evil people who do not regard children's lives as anything. The Medes and the Persians were skilled in warfare using bows and arrows, and they were known for their disregard for human life.

Verses 19-22: From the near future, Isaiah returned to the distant future. The ultimate fulfillment of these prophecies of Babylon's desolation will come in conjunction with Babylon's rebuilding and utter destruction when Christ returns (Rev. 14:8; 18:2).

Obviously, Isaiah was unable to see the many centuries that separated Babylon's fall to the Medes from the destruction of the final Babylon by God (see Rev. chapters 17 and 18).

Isaiah closes this chapter by predicting the Babylon will be destroyed and will never be rebuilt. Instead it will remain desolate and shall never be inhabited. The reference to wild beasts should be taken literally and not interpreted as demons. Owls, satyrs and dragons are better rendered ostriches, wild goats, and jackals.

Isaiah 13:19 "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."

In the physical sense, Babylon took a punishment in the recent war with the world against them. Much life was lost from the bombing on Iraq. Sodom and Gomorrah were totally destroyed by God for their evil habits of homosexuality. Babylon had been a great city and had great kings as the world views things.

God will overthrow rebuilt Babylon in the same supernatural way He did these two ancient cities, (Gen. 19:24; Rev. 18:8).

God has a different view. God sees the evil of the heart. This is speaking of the literal city, but is, also, speaking of all evil cities as well. God will not always overlook sin. There is a day of reckoning.

Isaiah 13:20 "It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there."

Where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, there is nothing but desolation. Physical Babylon did not keep its greatness either. It is a wasteland, as well. Spiritual Babylon will be the same. God will destroy, where perversion and unnatural life styles prevail. The Arabians believe harm will come to them at this sight, and they will not inhabit Babylon anymore.

Though nothing like its glorious past, the site of Babylon has never been void of inhabitants. A city or town of one type or another has always existed there, so this prophecy must point toward a yet future desolation.

Verses 21-22 "doleful creatures, owls and satyrs" This is the utter devastation referred to (in 21:9 and further described in Rev. 18:2).

Isaiah 13:21 "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."

This just speaks of the total desolation that comes upon this place from the judgment of God. These are animals and fowls repulsive to man.

Isaiah 13:22 "And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in [their] pleasant palaces: and her time [is] near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged."

Animals sometimes have a sense of impending danger. The fall of physical Babylon was nearly 200 years after this was prophesied. The fall of spiritual Babylon is coming soon.

As already noted (in verse 6), once Babylon becomes great, her days are numbered.

Isaiah Chapter 13 Questions

  1. In verse 1, what does "burden" mean?
  2. When did Babylon take Jerusalem captive?
  3. Who did Nebuchadnezzar make king?
  4. What was the new name he gave him?
  5. How many generations are there from the carrying away into Babylon to Christ?
  6. What can we relate the lifting of the ensign to?
  7. Who is "I" speaking of, in verse 3?
  8. What does "sanctified" mean?
  9. What are they being called to battle for?
  10. Who are those who "rejoice in His highness"?
  11. What is "the noise of the multitude" in verse 4?
  12. The "indignation" in verse 5, is what?
  13. Why is God taking vengeance on Babylon?
  14. Who does this destruction come from?
  15. What does "Almighty" in verse 6 show us?
  16. Howl is a strong expression of __________.
  17. What New Testament Scripture is saying the same thing as Isaiah 13:7?
  18. What makes their pain similar to a woman's pain in childbirth?
  19. After what special time, does there come a time when the sun will not give light?
  20. "World" in verse 11, means what?
  21. I will make a man more precious than _______.
  22. I will shake the heavens, and the _________ shall move out of her place.
  23. Matthew 24:30 says the sign of the Son of man is in the _______.
  24. What will be the calling of the Christians?
  25. What is the spiritual meaning of silver?
  26. When did physical Babylon take punishment recently?
  27. Why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by God?
  28. Why have the Arabians not resettled Babylon?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 14

Isaiah Chapter 14

Verses 1-14: This section is a song of triumph over Babylon. The nation that will one day send Judah into captivity will herself be severely judged by God. In spite of this displeasure with Israel, there is coming a time when He will have mercy on Jacob and will choose Israel.

This refers to Israel's future restoration in her own land. Hell (Sheol), is the Old Testament name for the abode of the dead, a fiery place of judgment for the unrighteous. In the proverb used here the king of Babylon is viewed as being welcomed into hell by the kings of the nations (Gentiles), who are astonished that he has become weak as we.

In the first three verses, the primary view was the prophet looked at the final Babylon at the end of the tribulation. The language is that which characterizes conditions during the millennial kingdom after the judgment of the final Babylon. The destruction of future Babylon is integrally connected with the deliverance of Israel from bondage. Babylon must perish so that the Lord may exalt His people. God's compassion for physical Israel receives fuller development (in chapters 40-46).

Isaiah 14:1 "For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob."

We know that God always forgives His people. There was a time of punishment while they were captive of the Babylonians, as there was a time of terrible trial for the modern house of Israel in World War 2.

God always establishes His people again in their Promised Land. There was no limit of time on the promises God made to Abraham.

God restores their land and their freedom, not because they deserve it, but by His grace.

I have a tendency to believe the "strangers", in the verse above, are the Jewish proselytes who join themselves to the nation in the final earthly kingdom of Christ.

Looking to the end of the age, I believe is looking to the two sticks of Ezekiel that come together in Christ.

Isaiah 14:2 "And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors."

The "land of the LORD" spoken of here, is probably speaking of the Promised Land or Israel. The word "take" lets us know they did not come voluntarily. We also see in this, that the enemies of God's people will serve God's people.

Take their captives captive is the great role reversal. Instead of their miserable state of captivity, endured in the tribulation under antichrist, the Israelites will be the rulers of those nations that once dominated them.

This had a near meaning in the fact of those who returned to Israel, but also has to do with the Lord Jesus Christ reigning as King and all His followers ruling with Him.

Isaiah 14:3 "And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,"

"Rest": The future earthly kingdom of Messiah is in view.

There was great oppression in the land of Babylon against God's people. When they come back into the land, there will be a great relief from their oppression. Peace and rest is never real, if it comes from anyone except the Lord.

In World War 2, we know the Jews suffered greatly in the Holocaust. We know that after the war, they were given the land of Israel for their homeland. Many have returned to their homeland, but there is very little peace there today.

There will be no real peace and rest, until the King of Peace (Jesus Christ), returns and sets up His kingdom of peace. Then there will be no sorrow or fear.

Isaiah 14:4 "That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!"

The prophet instructed the delivered nation to sing the song (of verses 4-21), celebrating the downfall of the king of Babylon.

The receiving the king of Babylon into the regions of the dead, shows there is a world of spirits, to which the souls of men remove at death. And that souls have converse with each other, though we have none with them; and that death and hell will be death and hell indeed, to all who fall unholy, from the height of this world's Grandeur, and the fullness of its pleasures. Learn from all this, that the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned.

The royal city is to be ruined and forsaken. Thus, the utter destruction of the New Testament Babylon is illustrated (Rev. 18:2).

This could also refer to the final Antichrist, who will rule Babylon, which will rule the earth (Rev. 17:17-18). It is looking prophetically to the world Babylonian system controlled by the devil himself.

The oppressor ceased means that the nation that made life bitter for God's people disappeared.

Isaiah 14:5 "The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, [and] the scepter of the rulers."

Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. He even took the keys of hell and death away from the devil. Notice the fact that the staff (power), of the wicked people has been broken. All wicked people everywhere are under the influence of the devil, or Satan. His name in heaven was Lucifer.

The scepter was just an outward way to show who the ruler was. LORD is translated here, from Jehovah. Jesus is Jehovah Savior.

Isaiah 14:6 "He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, [and] none hindereth."

"Smote the people ... ruled the nations". These picture the tyranny of the Babylonian king.

The key in this is the fact that it speaks of nations. The rulers under the influence of Satan, himself, are those who smote the people. Satan's tricks never change. He uses all who will allow him to bring his destruction. Satan finds he is no match at all for God. God turns on Satan and persecutes him, as he has the people.

Isaiah 14:7 "The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing."

With the tyrant off the throne, the whole world will have peace. This has to be millennial.

The "whole earth" reveals that this is not just a localized thing. The singing is praise for the deliverance of the people from the oppressor.

Psalms 118:14 "The LORD [is] my strength and song, and is become my salvation."

Isaiah 14:8 "Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the cedars of Lebanon, [saying], Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us."

The fir tree and the cedars of Lebanon are constantly reaching upward. They are praising God for coming against the devil.

Those "kings of the nations" already in the place of the dead stage a welcome party for the arriving king of Babylon.

Isaiah 14:9 "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee] at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, [even] all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations."

Jesus took the keys to hell when he defeated Satan on the cross. Satan is an inhabitant of hell. He will be chained for a thousand years and not able to have any power on the earth at all. He will be like those who followed him and were committed to hell. He has no power in the face of the Lord.

The kings of nations who were under his influence, like Hitler was, have their place in hell with him. They looked to Satan on the earth for their power. It will be no different in hell. They will still look to him for help, but he will be rendered helpless.

This does not mean that every king of a nation is evil; it is speaking of those under the devil's influence, (evil kings).

Isaiah 14:10 "All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?"

The kings mock the king of Babylon, reminding him that human distinctions are meaningless among the dead.

They will look to him for power, but he has been rendered powerless by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is defeated. The answer to their question is yes. He is as weak as they are.

Isaiah 14:11 "Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee."

"Maggots": Human pride vanishes for a rotting corpse covered with worms.

Verses 12-14, "Fallen from heaven ... I will be like the most High". Jesus' use (of verse 12), to describe Satan's fall (Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:8-10), has led many to see more than a reference to the king of Babylon. Just as the Lord addressed Satan in His words to the serpent (in Genesis 3:14-15), this inspired dirge speaks to the king of Babylon and to the devil who energized him. (see Ezekiel 28:12-17), for similar language to the king of Tyre and Satan behind him.

Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

The scene suddenly shifts from the underworld to heaven to emphasize the unbridled pride of the king and Satan energizing him. Son of the morning, translated star of the morning. Tradition of the time saw the stars as representing gods battling among themselves for places of preeminence.

The devil, or Satan, was named Lucifer in heaven, and he was proud and arrogant. His desire was to be God. He is a counterfeit.

Everything God has done that is beautiful, the devil tries to copy. He is so evil himself, that everything he does in the way of a copy becomes evil too. Beautiful, spiritual music is from God. Satan's counterfeit, which I believe we see in much of the rock music today, is a sickening example of what Satan does with everything he touches.

"Lucifer" came from a word which means having the appearance of brightness. Lucifer is not the morning star; he is son of the morning. He would like to be the morning star, but cannot.

Revelation 22:16: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star."

Lucifer most certainly refers to Satan. Now we see the real power behind the Gentile monarchs. Thus, Isaiah uses that fall of Satan, which is an assumed fact, to illustrate the fall of the Babylonian king. The name Lucifer is actually the Latin designation for the morning star (literarily, Light bearer"). The Hebrew (helel), means the "bright one." As the morning star speedily disappears before the rising sun, so Satan, the angel of light, will be banished to outer darkness by the coming of the Son of God.

Satan: Originally created as one of God's highest angels, possessing all angelic attributes, Satan ("Adversary"), led angels in a rebellion. He is described as the originator and chief practitioner of sin (1 John 3:8), "that wicked one" (1 John 5:18), a thief and destroyer (John 10:10, a deceiver (Rev. 12:9), murderer and liar (John 8:44), and the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10).

A Christian can overcome Satan when he remembers four basic principles:

  1. First, though Jesus is greater than the devil (1 John 4:4), a Christian must still have a healthy respect for the enemy; even the archangel Michael did not confront Satan except in the name of the Lord (Jude 9).
  2. Second, a wise Christian will evaluate his life and avoid those situations where he is most likely to be tempted (1 Thess. 5:22).
  3. Third, he should resist the devil by submitting to God (James 4:7-10).
  4. Finally, the Christian should always be prepared by wearing the whole armor of God (Eph.6:13-17).

Lucifer wants to be as God.

2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

Notice in this verse from Corinthians that, Satan is not the Light, but made to be a light. Lucifer was cast down by God, because he wanted to be as God. His conceit and greed for power caused him to be cast out of heaven. He was the essence of evil, and influenced many evil leaders to follow him. Greed and lust for power and money causes much sin.

Verses 13-14: We find five "I wills" emphasizing the arrogance of the king of Babylon and of Satan, from whom he takes his cue.

Isaiah 14:13 "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:"

The mount of the congregation or the mount of the assembly was a mountain in northern Syria, according to local tradition, where the Canaanite gods assemble. The human king aspired to kingship over those gods.

This is not only speaking of Lucifer here, but all who hunger for power and greed. The king of Babylon (literally), and Lucifer are both intended. You could include in that all who desire to be God. Notice the "I will" statements.

This is a statement from someone who is not speaking of doing this through the power and might of God, but believing that they have power to control all of this within themselves. This is a very arrogant attitude. In the main sense, this is Lucifer, himself. He is thinking of himself as God.

Isaiah 14:14 "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

The Babylonians, and many today, want to be God. The father of all of this evil thinking was Lucifer, himself. He was one of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible. He was so powerful in heaven that a third of the angels followed him.

He forgot that God was God, and that he was subordinate to God. He had so much lust for power that he wanted to be as God. Many of the evil kings were worshipped as if they were God. This Scripture goes further than that. This is Lucifer.

The will of man can follow the flesh, or the spirit. The will of man pleasing his own flesh leads to hell and total destruction.

Isaiah 14:15 "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."

We see that the will of man, or Lucifer, following their fleshly desires (their own will), brings them to total destruction and eventually an eternity in hell.

Death awaits those who try to be like God.

Verses 16-21. The final section of the dirge elaborates on the disgrace of the king, on display before all as an unburied corpse.

Isaiah 14:16 "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;"

"Is this the man"? The complete role reversal from the most powerful to utter humiliation will provoke universal amazement.

A king who has fallen under God's judgment is no better off than the people he tricked into believing he had great power. They are both in hell together. The very same thing is true of the devil, Satan, or Lucifer. Jesus defeated him on the cross. He is a defeated foe.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from thee. Satan has no power over the Christians. The only thing that he can do to a Christian is what God allows him to do.

Isaiah Chapter 14 Questions
  1. Who does verse 1 say the LORD will have mercy on?
  2. Name 2 terrible times for the Israelites that have already happened.
  3. Why does God restore Israel?
  4. Who does the author believe the strangers, in verse 1, are?
  5. What is "grace"?
  6. What is the "land of the LORD", probably?
  7. Who shall give them rest from their sorrow?
  8. In World War 2, the Jews suffered greatly in the _________.
  9. When will there be real peace?
  10. What is verse 4 speaking of prophetically?
  11. When was Satan defeated?
  12. What does the staff in verse 5, symbolize?
  13. What one word is the key to verse 6?
  14. Who is Satan no match for?
  15. What in verse 7, indicates this is not localized?
  16. When did Jesus take the keys to hell?
  17. How long will Satan be chained?
  18. Who is a good example of a ruler who Satan controlled?
  19. What is the answer to the question in verse 10?
  20. What was the devil, or Satan's, name in heaven?
  21. What was the devil's personality like?
  22. What caused Lucifer to be thrown out of heaven?
  23. Greed and lust for power cause ______.
  24. Who is verse 13 speaking of?
  25. Name the "I will" statements of verse 13.
  26. In the main sense, verse 13 is speaking of whom?
  27. What were the two terrible statements of "I will" in verse 14?
  28. What was Lucifer in heaven?
  29. What made him want to be as God?
  30. Where does the will of man following the flesh lead to?

Isaiah Chapter 14 Continued

Verses 16-21. The final section of the dirge elaborates on the disgrace of the king, on display before all as an unburied corpse.

Verse 16 from our last lesson is shown again here.

Isaiah 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

"Is this the man"? The complete role reversal from the most powerful to utter humiliation will provoke universal amazement.

Isaiah 14:17 "[That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners?"

Most expositors believe this to be speaking again, of the Babylonian captivity and the fallen king of Babylon, literally.

The evil people's hero has fallen. The devastation caused by Satan through all the evil rulers of the earth is caught up in this one statement. You see, it might be the evil king of Babylon who carried out the evil on the earth, but it was Satan, himself, who directed the evil.

We mentioned Hitler in the previous lesson. He struck fear in many a heart, and left devastation everywhere he went, but there came a day when God said, it is enough. Hitler, the Babylonian king, and all other wicked rulers come to the same fate as Lucifer.

They are thrown down to the pit. They may have struck fear in the hearts of many when they were in power, but now they have no power at all, and we wonder why we ever feared them. In defeat, they are no more than any other man. They will suffer great punishment for the cruelty they inflicted on others on the earth. Hitler and the Babylonian king were under the influence of the devil himself.

Isaiah 14:18 "All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house."

Kings, such as king David, are buried and remembered for their greatness. An evil king is not remembered. It is good to forget their evil life as soon as possible.

"All the kings ... lie in glory": The king of Babylon is the sole exception. The rest of the kings received honorable burials.

Isaiah 14:19 "But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet."

"Carcass trodden under feet": Among the ancients, this was the deepest degradation. Not having a burial, as in the case of king Jehoiakim (Jer. 22:18-19), indicated complete disrespect and disregard for one's life. To die without mourners or honors was considered worse than being born dead, even if one had many children and a full life.

The Babylonian, or Hitler, was not buried with honor and pomp. They did not receive a heroes' grave. Their branch is cut off and thrown away. No one wants to be their offspring. A branch, such as the verse above mentions, is burned or completely destroyed.

They have been dressed in fine garments, but they are blood stained and torn now, of no use to anyone. Bodies of the fallen in battle in the time of the Babylonians, many times, were just left to decay and be forgotten. The main reason is no one claims the body of someone this evil.

Isaiah 14:20 "Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned."

Evil rulers' monuments are torn down; they are not remembered with fondness. God would not let an evil race continue on. Just as He killed all in Sodom and Gomorrah, so the evil of the city would not spread, God will not allow evil to continue from generation to generation. He will stop their line of inheritance.

Because the king of Babylon was an evildoer, he had no monument or posterity to keep his memory alive.

Isaiah 14:21 "Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities."

The thing this is saying to me, is that God does not want evil to live on in the children of the evil one. He will not allow evil to prosper and fill the cities with evil.

Isaiah 14:22 "For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD."

Israel will have a remnant, but not Babylon, according to the Lord's promise (in verses 22-23; Rev. 18:2 and 21).

Isaiah 14:23 "I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts."

The city of Babylon was thought to be indestructible. The hanging gardens of Babylon, also, were thought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We find that world renowned seldom remains. Babylon fell and has never been rebuilt. It is in total destruction, as are many of the evil kings who had reigned here.

It fell to Cyrus of Persia, but really God destroyed Babylon, as He will destroy any city, or people, with the spirit of Babylon today. The spirit of Babylon is the spirit of Satan, himself.

In 1983, Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city on top of the old ruins (because of this, artifacts and other finds may well be under the city by now), investing in both restoration and new construction. He inscribed his name on many of the bricks in imitation of Nebuchadnezzar. One frequent inscription reads: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq". Saddam Hussein, another evil leader and we all know what happened to him. An article published in April 2006 states that UN officials and Iraqi leaders have plans for restoring Babylon, making it into a cultural center. As of May 2009, the provincial government of Babil has reopened the site to tourism.

Verses 24-32. As a part of the same burden (begun in 13:1), the prophet turns his attention to the Assyrian. He promises that God will break the Assyrian upon my mountains (the Judean hills). This promise was later fulfilled during the prophet's own lifetime when the Assyrian army was struck by the Angel of the Lord (37:36). The year that king Ahaz died (was approximately 727 B.C.). Palestina refers to Philistia. Here the prophet warns Israel's perennial enemies not to rejoice in their plight because they too shall be invaded from the north, i.e. Babylon.

Isaiah 14:24-25 "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand:" "That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders."

The Lord is not a man that He should lie, God is Truth. Every thing He has said would happen will happen. It may not happen in the time frame that we wish it to, but it will happen.

Isaiah has stopped looking to the far future here, and is dealing with the more immediate problem of the Assyrians. This breaking of the Assyrian is a direct intervention by God. They will not be burdened by the Assyrian. Their rule will cease shortly.

Isaiah 14:26 "This [is] the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this [is] the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations."

God is not just God of one little people, but is God of all nations. They may be rebellious and serve other gods, but God is their Creator and their God. When God stretches His hand forth, no one can remove it, but Himself.

The scope of this judgment against the whole earth represents His final wrath against the ungodly in Israel (5:25; 9:17), and the nations (23:11).

Isaiah 14:27 "For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul [it]? and his hand [is] stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"

This just puts greater emphasis on what was said (in verse 26). Man may desire something contrary to the will of God, but once God has set the plan, there is no turning back. There is none greater than the LORD, so no one can turn Him back.

Isaiah 14:28 "In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden."

We learned earlier in these lessons, that the word translated "burden" means prophecy. Ahaz died approximately 725 B.C.

Isaiah 14:29 "Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit [shall be] a fiery flying serpent."

Israel need not think an alliance with the Philistines would save them from the Assyrians, since Assyria would conquer this neighbor of Israel too. "Rod ... broken": The prophet pictured the Assyrian weakness, their conquest of Philistia notwithstanding.

Isaiah is saying, that because one enemy is overturned, it does not mean their troubles are over. Another more wicked will come forth seemingly from the same root. Palestina is thought to be a region of Syria. It could be Syria of the Philistines.

Isaiah 14:30 "And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant."

The poor of Judah who depend on the Lord are to find Him to be a refuge, but the Philistine oppressors are to meet their doom. God protects the poor and the needy. They shall have food. God will bring famine to the Philistines. Another army will come to destroy them, but they will be killed by the famine.

Isaiah 14:31 "Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, [art] dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none [shall be] alone in his appointed times."

This is speaking to all of the cities of Philistia. They shall all be destroyed. The smoke is the army of Assyria who overwhelms them and destroys them.

Isaiah 14:32 "What shall [one] then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it."

The messengers were the Philistine envoys who sought an alliance with Israel. Isaiah's answer saw the Lord as Zion's only security. They may come for help, but the only help they will get will be safety in Zion. Those in the world who are wretched and poor of spirit, as well as physically, shall find help in the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and you shall be saved.

Isaiah Chapter 14 Continued Questions

  1. What will the people say, when they see the man who caused the earth to tremble?
  2. What other things does verse 17 say he did?
  3. Who does the author believe this is speaking of?
  4. Regardless of who does the evil on the earth, it originates with _______.
  5. What fate do these evil rulers have awaiting them?
  6. _________ was a good king who is remembered and highly regarded.
  7. What kind of branch is this evil one?
  8. What is done with this kind of branch?
  9. At the time of the literal Babylonians, what happened to those fallen in battle?
  10. Why will they not be joined with them in burial?
  11. What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah?
  12. What happens to the children for the iniquity of their father?
  13. What is verse 22 saying?
  14. The _________ __________ of Babylon was thought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  15. Who did Babylon fall to?
  16. What is the spirit of Babylon?
  17. The Lord of hosts is not a ______ that He should lie.
  18. What time change is there in verse 25?
  19. Who can remove God's hand, when He stretches it out?
  20. Verse 28 says, the burden was when?
  21. What will come from the root of the serpent?
  22. Where is Palestina?
  23. How will God defeat the Philistines?
  24. What is in Zion in verse 32?
  25. Who shall find help in the Lord?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 15

Isaiah Chapter 15

"The burden of Moab" is aimed at Israel's enemies in the eastern Trans-Jordan. The prophet reminds his readers of the fall of Ar, the capital of Moab, and Kir, their chief fortress. Bajith, Dibon, Medeba, Heshbon and so on, form a list of Moabite cities that will be overrun by the coming Assyrian invasion. Zoar was the city to which Lot fled after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Nimrim was a Moabite oasis near the Dead Sea.

Verses 15:1 - 16:14: The demise of Moab taught Israel not to depend on that nation any more than others, but to depend on the Lord.

Isaiah 15:1 "The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence;"

Moab was a country about 30 miles square, east of the Dead Sea, South of the Amon River, and North of the Zered River. Ar and Kir were the two major cities of Moab.

We decided that "burden" probably was a prophecy speaking against (in this case) Moab, who had been enemies of God's people on the east. The two cities mentioned here are no longer in existence, and it is believed that they were attacked at night and destroyed.

Isaiah 15:2 "He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads [shall be] baldness, [and] every beard cut off."

Moab chose the temple of the Moabite god Chemosh, (they were three miles North of the Arnon), as the place of weeping because that god had failed to deliver the nation.

"Nebo ... Medeba". Nebo is the mountain at the North end of the Dead Sea where the Lord took Moses to view the Promised Land. Medeba is 5 miles southeast of Nebo.

"Bald ... every beard". Shaving heads and beards expressed disgrace and humiliation.

The high places were where they went to worship their false god. The shaving of their head, and beards was done as a type of mourning to get their god's attention. They could cry to these false gods all day, and get no help.

Isaiah 15:3 "In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly."

In this, we see the mourning was not just the leaders, but all in the community. When they did not go to the high places, they would get on top of their houses and put on sackcloth, and throw ashes on their heads as a form of mourning.

Howling shows great grief. They wept, because no help came.

Wearing of sackcloth occurs 46 times in the Bible as a sign of mourning.

Isaiah 15:4 "And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard [even] unto Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him."

The city Heshbon was just under 20 miles east of the northern end of the Dead Sea in a territory claimed by both Israel and Moab. Elealeh was about a mile away from Heshbon. The location of Jahaz was over 10 miles south of Heshbon.

This just shows that the mourning and grief would even reach the soldiers in the field. The soldiers saw how useless it was to try to win against the army blessed of God.

The cities mentioned here had been part of Reuben's land he had inherited, when they had separated the land by tribes.

Isaiah 15:5 "My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives [shall flee] unto Zoar, a heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction."

"My heart shall cry out". The prophecy expresses much greater sympathy for Moab's plight that for the other nations to be judged, even allowing for a surviving remnant.

It is unusual for a prophet to sympathize with those being destroyed, but that is the case here. It could possibly be, because Moab is the country Ruth will come from. The word that was translated "heifer" here, means a female calf.

The only connection that I can make is, possibly, that the city is as helpless as the 3 year old heifer. The heifer has no control of her destiny, and neither does this city.

Isaiah 15:6 "For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing."

This is speaking of a great drought. Ordinarily, this water of Nimrim is gushing forth with water from springs. The springs have been dried up. When there is no rain and the waterway is dry, there is no way for the land to have moisture to produce hay. Everything requires water to be green.

This is possibly the Wadi Numeira, the drying up of whose waters, along with the dead grass, pictures widespread devastation in Moab.

Isaiah 15:7 "Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows."

Probably this is the Zered River; the refugees from Moab had to cross this to pass over into Edom to escape their invaders.

The animals, or the people, cannot live where there is no water. It appears the flowing waterway from the springs had provided so much water in the past they had an abundant crop of hay and plenty to drink. Now with the water dried up, they have no prosperity at all.

Isaiah 15:8 "For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beer-elim."

The shouts of the fugitives reached all the way from the northern part of Edom (Eglaim), to its southern extremity (Beer-elim).

This is just speaking of the battle being great. All of their howling to their false god got them nothing. Though the howling is wide spread, it is to no avail. The troops swarm down upon them and destroy them.

It appears they swept across the border, and did not stop until they were defeated. I am saying this in the past tense, because it is past tense to us, but to Isaiah it was future tense, because this was prophecy.

Isaiah 15:9 "For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land."

This shows the severity of the battle. Dimon is the same as Dibon. These waters would probably be from the Arnon.

The blood in the river shows that many will be thrust through with the sword. There will be so much blood shed that the blood will run into the river.

This religious center of heathendom is appropriate as a closing representation of the whole land of Moab.

Lions: Flight from invading armies would not bring security, but new dangers from the beasts of the wilderness.

Isaiah Chapter 15 Questions

  1. What is "burden" in verse 1?
  2. What are the two major cities in Moab?
  3. What were the high places used for?
  4. Who was the false god they worshipped, probably?
  5. Why did they shave their heads and beards?
  6. Did crying to these gods help?
  7. In their streets, they shall gird themselves with __________.
  8. What is the Scripture saying, when it uses the word "howl"?
  9. How many times in the bible is the word "sackcloth" used?
  10. What is verse 4 saying about the soldiers?
  11. Who is Isaiah sympathizing with in verse 5?
  12. From what country does Ruth of the bible come from?
  13. What does "heifer" mean?
  14. What is verse 6 speaking of?
  15. Ordinarily, this water of Nimrim is gushing forth with water from ___________.
  16. Why is the land not producing hay?
  17. Why had they had abundant crops in the past?
  18. What shall the waters of Dimon be full of?
  19. What is another name for Dimon?
  20. What does "blood in the water" mean?
  21. What other danger were there for those who escaped Moab?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 16

Isaiah Chapter 16

Moab's only hope is in making peace with Judah. "Send ye the lamb" means they must pay tribute to the Davidic dynasty. Sela refers to Petra, the capital of Edom, which was carved out of the rocks and served as a natural hiding place. "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee" seems to refer to Israel's fleeing to Petra during the last days to escape the invasion from the north (predicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39). The reference to one sitting on the throne in the tabernacle of David would seem to place this passage in a millennial context.

Isaiah 16:1 "Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion."

"Send ye the lamb": This was an action showing submission to an overlord, as Mesha did to Omri king of Israel (in 2 Kings 3:4).

Sela was a place in Edom not far from Petra (2 Kings 14:7), from which fugitives of Moab were to send to Judah for help. Mount of the daughter of Zion speaks figuratively of Jerusalem and her inhabitants.

We will see a call for repentance and recompense in these first few verses. In the physical sense, this is saying; send the lambs you owe in tribute. "Sela" means rock, and many believe this place to be Petra.

Zion sometimes means Jerusalem, and other times it is speaking of the church. This then, in the spiritual, is a call for repentance.

Isaiah 16:2 "For it shall be, [that], as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, [so] the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon."

A wandering bird, cast out of the nest, has very little hope for survival. Arnon is the largest river in Moab. If the Arnon is full of blood, what help will that be? Possibly, the daughters of Moab, here, are speaking of the people of the little villages.

Perhaps, they are spoken of as daughters, because they are not strong against such an attack.

The fugitives fled to the south to escape the Assyrians entering Moab from the north.

Isaiah 16:3 "Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth."

Isaiah could be saying that they should call their council together and think about the judgment. Perhaps, they should take more consideration for those who have sought refuge here.

Moab asked Judah for shade from the wilting noonday sun, i.e., from their invaders.

Outcasts and wanderers appear to me, to be those who have fled their homeland seeking refuge.

Isaiah 16:4 "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land."

In a sense, this is exactly what Moab was to Naomi, and her husband, and sons. They had fled their homeland because of a famine in the land. They sought and found refuge in Moab.

Covert indicates covering, or hiding place. The extortioner being at an end means that they will not have to protect them for long.

Moab continued its plea to Judah for refuge. The prophet anticipated the day when the oppression by the Assyrians would be no more.

Isaiah 16:5 "And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness."

"Throne ... tabernacle of David": The Davidic king will some day sit on His throne in Zion, ending all injustices such as those committed by the Assyrians.

This has to be speaking of Jesus who will come, full of mercy. The judgment and sitting on the throne of David appears to be speaking of the 1000 year reign of Jesus at His second coming. The reign of righteousness is surely the reign of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Isaiah 16:6 "We have heard of the pride of Moab; [he is] very proud: [even] of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: [but] his lies [shall] not [be] so."

This immediately jumps back to the near future of Moab. The pride of Moab caused them not to receive the forgiveness needed. They would not do what Isaiah had shown them, and they are condemned afresh. Though a small nation, Moab's pride was well know.

Moab is too proud and haughty to ask for the mercy offered. They lie to cover up their sin.

Isaiah 16:7 "Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kir-hareseth shall ye mourn; surely [they are] stricken."

This is a renewed warning of the great destruction, and how all the people living in Moab will cry out in mourning for the land of Moab.

This is the same city called Kir (in 15:1).

Isaiah 16:8 "For the fields of Heshbon languish, [and] the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come [even] unto Jazer, they wandered [through] the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea."

We studied in chapter 15 about how the water had been turned to blood. Now we see the grape vines being torn down and destroyed. The area mentioned here had been given to Reuben for an inheritance.

Sibmah was a suburb of Heshbon. "Jazer ... sea". Moab's vines rather than being on stakes, ran along the ground to Moab's extreme northern border, stretching from the desert of the east to the Dead Sea on the west. This perhaps signified the export of raisins and wine to Judah.

It seemed the vines were flourishing so in the past that they had voluntarily grown into other areas, possibly into the land that was given to Gad. It appears it was questionable whether Heshbon was actually in Reuben's or Gad's inheritance. Jazer was a city of Gad.

Isaiah 16:9 "Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen."

This is just saying, there was no water to water the vines with. It was so bad; Isaiah is speaking of catching his tears for water to put on the vines. The vines had been destroyed, as well. There would be no harvest in the early summer, as there had been in the past.

Isaiah displayed genuine emotion over the destruction of so rich an agricultural resource. This reflected the Lord's response too.

Isaiah 16:10 "And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in [their] presses; I have made [their vintage] shouting to cease."

The normal gladness at harvest time is not to take place.

There had always been gladness at the harvest time of the grapes. The grapes, many times, had been crushed and made into wine. We see the joy being taken away from these people, because there is no harvest of grapes.

Notice, that this came upon them because they had left God. The punishment was from God.

Isaiah 16:11 "Wherefore my bowels shall sound like a harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh."

It grieves Isaiah to tell them this. He feels for them so much that his stomach hurts.

The prophet and the Lord reflected deeply felt sorrow over this necessary judgment of Moab.

Isaiah 16:12 "And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail."

Moab's religion had utterly failed. Rather that deliverance, the nation found weariness in their repeated rituals to their national god.

It appears that Moab will see the error of worshipping Baal in the high places, and return to the worship of God. The problem is, they have waited too long to come. God will not hear them.

Isaiah 16:13 "This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning Moab since that time."

Isaiah assures them that, this is not something he has decided to say against Moab. This Word came from the LORD.

Isaiah 16:14 "But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant [shall be] very small [and] feeble."

It appears from this that Moab had been very prosperous. Isaiah is giving them a time on this prophecy. Within 3 years, this terrible punishment from God would descend upon Moab. Not only will the greatness of Moab cease, but their population shall be greatly reduced.

"Within three years". Moab had 3 more years of "glory," perhaps till 715. B.C. when the Assyrian king, Sargon, overran the country. Assyria was not to completely obliterate Moab. Babylon received no such promise.

God always saves a remnant. This is no exception. He will allow a remnant to live. They will be small and feeble.

Isaiah Chapter 16 Questions

  1. What does "Sela" mean?
  2. What place do many believe Sela is?
  3. What does Zion mean?
  4. In the spiritual, verse one of chapter 16 is a call to ______________.
  5. What happens to a wandering bird that has been cast out of the nest?
  6. What is the largest river in Moab?
  7. Who are the daughters of Moab speaking of?
  8. What should Moab take more consideration of?
  9. Who were the outcasts and wanderers?
  10. What does covert mean?
  11. Who is verse 5 speaking of, prophetically?
  12. Who will one day sit on the throne of David?
  13. What caused Moab not to receive the forgiveness they needed?
  14. Who will howl for Moab?
  15. What was another name for Kirharesh?
  16. What happens to the grape vines in verse 8?
  17. What territory is spoken of that had many grape vineyards?
  18. Sibmah was a suburb of ____________.
  19. What does Isaiah say he would do to water the vines?
  20. Why was there no gladness now?
  21. Where had much of the worship of Baal gone on?
  22. When Moab turns to God, will He hear them?
  23. How soon after Isaiah wrote this prophecy, will it come to pass?
  24. Who was the Assyrian king who overran Moab?
  25. Will God leave anyone in Moab?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 17

Isaiah Chapter 17

"The burden of Damascus" refers to the capital city of Syria. This chapter is contemporaneous with (chapter 7), and predicts the downfall of the coalition between Syria and Ephraim. Tiglath-pileser of Assyria destroyed Damascus (in 732 B.C.), a fulfillment of this prophecy. Jacob shall be made thin refers to the famine that followed the devastation and deportation of the northern tribes by Sargon of Assyria (in 722. B.C.).

Isaiah 17:1 "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."

This city served as the capital of Aram, or Syria. Its location northeast of Mt. Hermon on the main land route between Mesopotamia and Egypt made it very influential. Its destruction by the Assyrians (in 732 B.C.), is the subject of this chapter.

This is just a prophecy from Isaiah that Damascus will be destroyed. Damascus was one of the earliest cities in the area. It was thought to be the earliest by many historians. The destruction will not be partial, but will be so terrible that nothing will be left of the city.

Isaiah 17:2 "The cities of Aroer [are] forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make [them] afraid."

Aram's or Syria's domain extended as far south as Aroer east of the Dead Sea, on the Arnon River (2 Kings 10:32-33).

The cities of Aroer are pretty hard to discover anything about. They were possibly, known by another name. We do know that they will be totally destroyed at some time after Isaiah gave this prophecy. In fact, there will be such destruction that no one will be living to protest the cows grazing there.

Isaiah 17:3 "The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts."

Ephraim: The northern 10 tribes, also known as "Israel", joined with Syria as objects of this oracle. They formed an alliance with Syria to combat the Assyrians, but many of their cities fell victim to the campaign in which Syria fell (see verse 1). Remnant of Aram: Aram, or Syria, was to have a remnant, but not a kingdom left after the Assyrian onslaught.

It appears that Ephraim, Damascus, and Aroer were somehow thought of as a unit, perhaps, because they were all enemies of Jerusalem. Damascus must have had a remnant who rebuilt her.

Ephraim had been fortified, but it appears the fortress had been destroyed. We will find in later lessons, that God forgives Ephraim. Just as there was a remnant of Israel, there will be a remnant of Ephraim.

Isaiah 17:4 "And in that day it shall come to pass, [that] the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean."

The waning of this glory pictured the judgment of God against the northern 10 tribes, descendants of Jacob.

"The glory of Jacob being made thin" just means there will be only a remnant left of Jacob's ancestors. Israel, as a whole, will not recover. The remnant will survive, but they will not have the greatness they were once known by.

Isaiah 17:5 "And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim."

In the valley of Rephaim, David won a great victory over the Philistines. The "valley of Rephaim" is also called the valley of the giants. It seems the "harvestman" has to do with the reaping of the people, or death. The "corn" spoken of is the Israelites.

As harvesters stripped bare that fertile valley west of Jerusalem, so God's judgment would leave nothing fruitful in the northern kingdom.

Isaiah 17:6 "Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two [or] three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four [or] five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel."

This is just stating how small a percentage of the Israelites will be left. When a tree was shaken and beaten to get the fruit, the few that were left were not to be taken.

We learned in Leviticus that they were left for the widows, orphans, and strangers. This, however, is just explaining that most of them are killed. The order to leave the remnant was from the LORD God of Israel.

Two or three ... Four or five: God's judgment against Ephraim was to leave only sparse pieces of her original abundance of olives.

Isaiah 17:7 "At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel."

Those that are left are the ones who looked to God their Creator for safety. Their gratitude will be to the Holy One of Israel for saving them. They will be very aware that His grace is what saved them.

In the future, severe judgments are to awaken a remnant of Ephraim to their failure to depend on the Lord. Then they will repent.

Isaiah 17:8 "And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect [that] which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images."

Repentance is to lead to the forsaking of idolatry, which for so long beset the nation.

The awakening is to the fact that these false gods and idols made with human hands could not save them. The few that remain have realized their only hope is in God.

Isaiah 17:9 "In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation."

The cities will be totally destroyed. The tree is stripped clean except for the branches the remnant was on. Even the remnant will feel the desolation of the land from this great judgment of God.

Isaiah 17:10 "Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:"

"Forgotten the God of thy salvation": Failure to remember God had left Israel unprotected.

God is the "Rock" of their salvation. Jesus Christ is our Rock of salvation. The "slips", spoken of here, are the false doctrines the Israelites had planted. This is almost like what we are seeing today in our churches. Many of the new ideas on worship are for the pleasing of the fleshly sight of mankind.

"Strange slips", then, is speaking of bringing new doctrines into the church that the LORD is not pleased with. There is only one true doctrine, it is found in our Bible. Almost everything pleasant to the flesh of man is opposed to the Spirit. We must choose between flesh and spirit.

Isaiah 17:11 "In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: [but] the harvest [shall be] a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow."

"Make thy plant to grow": The prophet reminded his readers of the futility of trying to meet their needs without the Lord's help.

It seems false doctrine grows faster than the truth. You can plant the seed of false doctrine, and it may even grow rapidly. It sometimes even spreads to other churches, but when harvest time comes, the plant the false doctrine has produced will be gathered up and destroyed.

This is the same as the wheat and the tares (in Matthew 13 beginning with verse 25).

Isaiah 17:12 "Woe to the multitude of many people, [which] make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, [that] make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!"

"Many people": The prophet turned his attention to the coming armies of Judah's enemies and pronounced a "woe" upon them.

There are two distinct meanings in this verse. In one instance, this is speaking of armies of many nations in a great battle. The second I believe is the true message we are to see in this. It is a civilization of many nations rushing to their own destruction.

There is a direct connection between the word "seas" and large numbers of people. Just as God saved a remnant of the physical house of Israel, He will save a remnant of the spiritual house of Israel.

Church, we must realize what we are doing, and get back into right fellowship with God. The Word of God should be our guide. Do not accept other teachings. I pray this woe is not to the present day church.

Isaiah 17:13 "The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but [God] shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."

"But God shall rebuke them": God's rebuke put those enemies to flight.

This again, is probably speaking to the people who would be destroyed in battle. To me, this is speaking of our time when people are rushing to and fro. Many are following false gods. Worse than all of that, is the slack attitude of the church. God is Holy. We must walk holy before Him. These next Scriptures, in Jesus' Words, say it so well.

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Do you go to church to be entertained? If you said yes, you might as well stay at home.

God wants a family who will reverence Him and desire fellowship with Him. True worship is repenting of our sins, accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord, believing that the price for our sin was paid in full at Calvary by the shed blood of Jesus, and believing that He rose again.

Isaiah 17:14 "And behold at eveningtide trouble; [and] before the morning he [is] not. This [is] the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us."

When morning came, the invading force had disappeared. God protects His people.

God had always promised to bless those who bless Israel, and to curse those who curse Israel. This is no exception. To come against physical or spiritual Israel and their God, brings certain disaster.

Isaiah Chapter 17 Questions

  1. What city does verse 1 say will be destroyed?
  2. What happens to Aroer?
  3. What does the cows grazing tell us?
  4. What will happen to Ephraim?
  5. Why were Ephraim, Damascus, and Aroer thought of as a unit?
  6. What is meant by "the glory of Jacob being thin"?
  7. Who had David won a victory over in the valley of Rephaim?
  8. What is another name for the "valley of Rephaim"?
  9. What does the "harvestman" have to do with?
  10. Who is the "corn" in verse 5?
  11. We learned in the study of __________ not to reap the last fruit.
  12. Who was the gleaning left for?
  13. Who was the remnant?
  14. Why were they saved?
  15. What will the remnant be aware of?
  16. What had they awakened to about their idols?
  17. Who had they forgotten?
  18. Who is the 'Rock" of our salvation?
  19. The "slips" in verse 10 are what?
  20. Things pleasant to the flesh of man are opposed to the _______.
  21. Where do we find the parable of the wheat and tares?
  22. What can be connected to "seas" in the spiritual sense?
  23. The nations shall rush like the rushing of many ___________.
  24. Read Matthew 7:21-23.
  25. Describe true worship.
  26. God has always promised to bless whom?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 18

Isaiah Chapter 18

Verses 18:1-7: God's care for his people; and the increase of the church. This chapter is one of the most obscure in Scripture, though more of it probably was understood by those for whose use it was first intended, than by us now.

Here the prophet now pronounces Woe (doom), on the land of Ethiopia (Cush), which rose to such power that it overran all of Egypt (in 715 B.C.). The Ethiopian dynasty of this period (Egypt's twenty fifth), was headed by Pharaoh Shabaku (716-701 B.C.), and Shebitko (701-690 B.C.). Sennacherib of Assyria finally crushed the Ethiopian-Egyptian forces at Eltekeh (in 701 B.C.).

Swift messengers are sent by water to a nation marked by Providence, and measured out, trodden under foot. God's people are trampled on; but whoever thinks to swallow them up, finds they are cast down, yet not deserted, not destroyed. All the dwellers on earth must watch the motions of the Divine Providence, and wait upon the directions of the Divine will.

God gives assurance to his prophet, and by him to be given to his people. Zion is His rest for ever, and he will look after it. He will suit to their case the comforts and refreshments he provides for them; they will be acceptable, because seasonable. He will reckon with His and their enemies; and as God's people are protected at all seasons of the year, so their enemies are exposed at all seasons.

A tribute of praise should be brought to God from all this. What is offered to God must be offered in the way he has appointed; and we may expect him to meet us where he records his name. Thus, shall the nations of the earth be convinced that Jehovah is the God, and Israel is His people, and shall unite in presenting spiritual sacrifices to his glory.

Happy are those who take warning by His judgment on others, and hasten to join him and His people. Whatever land or people may be intended, we are here taught not to think that God takes no care of his church, and has no respect to the affairs of men, because he permits the wicked to triumph for a season.

He has wise reasons for so doing, which we cannot now understand, but which will appear at the great day of his coming, when he will bring every work into judgment, and reward every man according to his works.

Isaiah 18:1 "Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which [is] beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:"

Wings: These may speak of Ethiopia's strong armada of ships. Cush is the Hebrew word for Ethiopia. The country was south of Egypt, including territory belonging to modern Ethiopia.

The more generally received sense is, that either Egypt or Ethiopia themselves are pointed at, described as "shadowing with wings"; not with the wings of birds, as Jarchi interprets it, which flocked thither in great numbers, the country being hot, and so shaded it with their wings; but rather with mountains, with which Ethiopia, at least some part of it, was encompassed and shaded; or else with ships, whose sails are like wings, and which resorting hither, in numerous fleets of them, and hovering about their coasts and ports, seemed to shadow them; to which agrees the Septuagint version, "Woe to the land, the wings of ships!" and so the Targum, "Woe to the land to which they come in ships from a far country, whose sails are stretched out, as an eagle that flies with its wings.

Isaiah 18:2 "That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, [saying], Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!"

"Sea ... water ... rivers": These all apparently refer to the Nile River and its tributaries.

Ambassadors, messengers sent to Jerusalem at the time that negotiations passed between Tirhakah and Hezekiah against the expected attack of Sennacherib (Isa 37:9).

Ezekiel 30:9 "On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt's doom, for it is sure to come."

"By the sea": What "sea" is here meant cannot be accurately determined. The word 'sea' (yam), is applied to various collections of water, and may be used in reference to a sea, a lake, a pond, and even a large river.

"By the sea", on the Nile (Isa. 19:5): As what follows proves, vessels of bulrushes-light canoes, formed of papyrus, daubed over with pitch: so, the "ark" in which Moses was exposed. It does not elsewhere occur. That the ancients were in the practice of making light boats or vessels from the papyrus is well known.

Exodus 2:3 where the little ark is described in which Moses was laid near the Nile. The "rush" (in Job 8:11); and "rushes," (in Isaiah 35:7).

Both the Egyptians and Ethiopians, used boats of rushes or reeds, which were more convenient for them than those of wood, because they were both cheaper and swifter, and lighter for carriage from place to place.

"Go": Isaiah tells them to take back the tidings of what God is about to do (Isa 18:4), against the common enemy of both Judah and Ethiopia.

"Go, ye swift messengers": To this nation before mentioned, who, by the Nile, and by their numerous canals, have the means of spreading the report in the most expeditious manner through the whole country: "go, ye swift messengers", and carry this notice of God's designs in regard to them. These are ordered to publish this declaration made by the prophet throughout Egypt, and to all the world; and to excite their attention to the promised visible interposition of God.

Peeled "Smoothed": Either relating to the practice of the Egyptian priests, who made their bodies smooth by shaving off their hair, or rather to their country's being made smooth, perfectly plain and level, by the overflowing of the Nile.

As Herodotus characterizes the Ethiopians as "the tallest and fairest of men," G. V. Smith translates, "tall and comely"; literally, "extended" (Isa 45:14, "men of stature"), and polished (the Ethiopians had "smooth, glossy skins").

To a nation scattered; that dwelt in towns, villages, and houses, scattered about here and there; or who would be scattered and dissipated by their enemies. Or, "drawn out", and spread over a large tract of ground, as Ethiopia was. And peeled; of their hair, as the word signifies; the Ethiopians, living in a hot country, had very little hair upon their bodies.

"Trodden down", true of the Jews. But Maurer translates it actively, a people "treading under foot" all its enemies. That is, victorious (Isa 14:25), namely, the Ethiopians.

Isaiah 18:3 "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye."

"All ye inhabitants ... dwellers": This prophet calls upon the whole human race to be alert for the signals that God is at work in the world.

Isaiah 26:11 "LORD, [when] thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: [but] they shall see, and be ashamed for [their] envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them".

"All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth". All the men of the world are here called upon, either by the Lord, or rather by the prophet, to be eye and ear witnesses of the judgment that should be inflicted upon the above nation, and of the salvation of his own people; which should be so manifest, that all should see it as easily as an ensign set up on a mountain.

And the news of it should ring through the earth, and be as plainly heard as when a trumpet is blown. Unless it should be thought that these are the words of the messengers sent to the above nation, addressing them in such terms, assuring them, that, however stupid and secure they were now, they should quickly see the sign and hear the alarm of war. It being usual to call any large kingdom the world, and the earth.

Isaiah 31:9 "Their stronghold will fall because of terror; at sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic," declares the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, whose furnace is in Jerusalem."

This is when God shall gather together the nations, as it were, by the lifting up of an ensign, or by the sound of a trumpet, to execute his judgments upon this people.

Jeremiah 51:27 "Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her; summon against her these kingdoms: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts."

This (the eighteenth chapter), declares the coming overthrow of those armies whose presence is announced (in Isaiah 17:12-13). The same motive, which led Hezekiah to seek aid from Egypt, led him to accept gladly the Ethiopian Tirhakah's aid (Isa 36:6; 37:9).

This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

Isaiah 49:22 "Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in [their] arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon [their] shoulders".

Isaiah 18:4 "For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, [and] like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest."

Yahweh has revealed his purpose, that is, to execute punishment on the people who have been described in the previous verses. Their state as there described is that of a fierce people making ready for war, and probably designing an alliance with the enemies of Judea, and marshalling their armies for that purpose.

Yahweh here reveals to the prophet that they shall be discomfited, and shows the manner in which it will be done. He says he will sit calm while these preparations are going on, as the sun shines serenely on the earth while the harvest is growing, and the dew falls gently on the herb; but that "before" their plans are completed, he will interpose and destroy them, as if one should appear suddenly before the harvest is ripe and cut it down.

The "design" therefore, of this part of the prophecy is to comfort the Jews, and to assure them that there is no danger to them from the preparations which were made against them, for Yahweh calmly beholds the proud rage of the enemy.

Proverbs 19:12 "A king's rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass".

The subject of the remaining part of this chapter is, that God would comfort and support his own people, though threatened with immediate destruction by the Assyrians; that Sennacherib's great designs and mighty efforts against them should be frustrated; and that his vast expectations should be rendered abortive, when he thought them mature, and just ready to be crowned with success.

That the chief part of his army should be made a prey for the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, (for this is the meaning of the allegory continued through verses 5-6); and that Egypt, being delivered from his oppression, and avenged by the hand of God of the wrongs which she had suffered, should return thanks for the wonderful deliverance, both of herself and of the Jews, from this most powerful adversary.

God would be still and quiet, and as one asleep and at rest, that took no notice of what was doing, nor interpose between parties preparing for war, and laying schemes for the ruin of each other; not help the one nor hinder the other, but let them go on a while with their designs.

Isaiah 26:19 "But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead."

Isaiah 18:5 "For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away [and] cut down the branches."

"Cut off ... take away ... cut down": As an all-wise farmer, God's pruning activity (i.e. His direct intervention) will be neither too early nor too late.

"For afore the harvest": - This verse is evidently figurative, and the image is drawn from that which is commenced in the previous verse. There, God is represented as calmly regarding the plans of the people here referred to, as the sun shines serenely on the herb, or the dew falls on the grass.

That supposes that they had formed plans, and that they were advancing to maturity, like a growing harvest, while God surveyed them without interposition.

This verse continues and affirms "that those plans shall not be mature;" that God will interpose and defeat them "while" they are maturing, as if a man should enter the harvest field and cut it down after it had been sown. Or go into the vineyard, and cut down the vines while the green grape was beginning to ripen.

Its meaning is, when their plans are maturing, and there is every human prospect that they will be successful. It is, therefore, a most beautiful and expressive figure, intimating that all their plans would be foiled even when they had the prospect of a certain accomplishment.

Isaiah 27:11 "When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor."

"He shall both cut off the sprigs". The shoots; the small limbs on which the grape is hanging, as if a man should enter a vineyard, and, while the grape is ripening, should not only cut off the grape, but the small branches that bore it, thus preventing it from bearing again.

The idea is, not only that God would disconcert their "present" plans, but that he would prevent them from forming any in future. Before their plans were matured, and they obtained the anticipated triumph, he would effectually prevent them from forming such plans again.

Isaiah 18:6 "They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them."

Dropping his metaphorical language, Isaiah describes in grotesque language the fallen carcasses of the victims of God's judgment.

The sense is that the army shall be slain and left unburied. Perhaps the "branches and twigs" in the previous verse denoted military leaders, and the captains of the armies, which are now represented as becoming food for beasts of the field and for birds of prey.

"And the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them." They shall be unburied through the winter; probably indicating that they would furnish food for the fowls and the wild beasts for a long time. On the multitude of carcasses these animals will find nourishment for a whole year, that is, they will spend the summer and the winter with them.

Jeremiah 7:33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.

The following is the Biblical account of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem:

It begins with the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in 722 B.C.), and its capital Samaria. This is how the ten northern tribes came to be known as the Ten Lost Tribes, because as recorded (in 2 Kings 17), they were carried off and settled with other peoples as was the Assyrian policy.

2 Kings 18-19 (and parallel passage 2 Chronicles 32:1-23), details Sennacherib's attack on Judah and capital Jerusalem. Hezekiah had rebelled against the Assyrians, so they had captured all of the towns in Judah. Hezekiah realized his error and sent great tribute to Sennacherib. But the Assyrians nevertheless marched toward Jerusalem.

Sennacherib sent his supreme commander with an army to besiege Jerusalem while he himself went to fight with the Egyptians. The supreme commander met with Hezekiah's officials and threatened them to surrender; while hailing insults so the people of the city could hear, blaspheming Judah and particularly Jehovah. When the King Hezekiah heard of this, he tore his clothes (as was the custom of the day for displaying deep anguish), and prayed to Jehovah in the Temple.

Isaiah the prophet told the king that Jehovah would take care of the whole matter and that he would return to his own lands. That night, the angel of Jehovah killed 185,000 Assyrian troops. Jewish tradition maintains that the angel Gabriel (along with Michael in the Targum's version), was the angel sent to destroy the Assyrian troops, and that the destruction occurred on Passover night.

Sennacherib soon returned to Nineveh in disgrace. Some years later, while Sennacherib was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, two of his sons killed him and fled. Some suggest that Psalm 46 was composed as a Song of Deliverance that was led by the Korahite Levitical singers and accompanied by the Alamoth (maidens with tambourines), and sung by the inhabitants of Jerusalem after their successful defense of the city from the siege.

Whenever it was fulfilled, it is quite evident that the design of the prophecy was to give comfort to the Jews, alarmed and agitated as they were at the prospect of the preparations which were made, by the assurance that those plans would fail, and all the efforts of their enemies be foiled and disconcerted.

Isaiah 18:7 "In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion."

"Place of the name of the Lord of hosts": Jerusalem was and remains the location on earth where the Lord has chosen to dwell (Deut. 12:5). Isaiah's prediction here extends to the future bringing of tribute to Jerusalem in the Messiah's kingdom.

"Of a people scattered and peeled; this explains what the present is, that shall be brought to the Lord; it is a people, and therefore not the spoils of Sennacherib's army, as some interpret it; nor yet the people of the Jews, that shall be brought by the Gentiles out of all nations in the latter day, as an offering to the Lord.

Isaiah 11:11 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

But the Ethiopians or Egyptians (described Isaiah 18:2 as here), who, being converted, shall stretch out their hands to God, submit unto him, and present themselves soul and body as an acceptable sacrifice unto him. When these prophecies (in Psalm 68:31), shall be fulfilled, and which began to be in the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:27). And of which there were other instances in the times of the apostles, and in following ages.

And from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto. That is, some of the people, not all of them; the same people are designed as before, only this Hebraism is used, to show a distinction among them. A nation meted out, and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled.

These descriptive characters, with those in the preceding clauses, are retained, to show that the same people are here meant as (in Isaiah 18:2), and to magnify the riches of God's grace, in the conversion of a people to whom such characters belonged. Which show that it was not owing to themselves, or any deserts of theirs, but to the free favor and good will of God.

To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, Mt Zion. Here the present was to be brought, and here the persons to present themselves to the Lord, even in Mt. Zion, the church of God. Where the name of the Lord is named and called upon, his word is preached, his ordinances are administered, and where He dwells, and grants his presence.

In that time shall the present be brought to the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and stripped, and from a people terrible from their beginning to this time. A nation measured by line and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, Mt. Zion. Meaning that God will pity his Church, and receive that little remnant as an offering to Himself.

Isaiah Chapter 18 Questions

  1. What may the wings be speaking of?
  2. What is the Hebrew word for Ethiopia?
  3. Woe to the ____________ land.
  4. Who were the ambassadors?
  5. What does the work yam mean?
  6. Describe vessels of bulrushes.
  7. In Exodus 2:3, who was found in a little arc of rushes or reeds?
  8. Herodotus describes the Ethiopians as what?
  9. Where was the ensign lifteth up?

10.Their _______________ _______ _______ because of terror.

11.A king's ________ is as the roar of a _______.

12.What happens to Sennacherib's vast army?

13.But you _________ ______ _______; their bodies will _______.

14.What is the meaning of the bud is perfect, the grape is ripening?

15.Will any of their plans mature in the future?

16.What indicates that?

17.What happens to Judah's enemies?

18.What happens to their bodies?

19.For how long does this go on?

20.Which was the first of Israel's kingdoms to be taken capitivity?

21.What was the year?

22.Where were the people carried off to?

23.Did Hezekiah rebel against the Assyrians?

24.What was the purpose of Hezekiah tearing off his clothes?

25.What did Hezekiah do after that?

26.Did God answer Hezekiah?


28.What happened that night?

29.Who was that angel?

30.Where did Sennacherib go after that?

31.What happened to him there?

32.Why was this prophecy given?

33.Where was "the place of the name of the Lord of hosts"?

34.In what book did we find the Ethiopian eunuch?

Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Isaiah Menu | Return to Bible Menu

Isaiah 19

Isaiah Chapter 19

Verses 1-10: The burden of Egypt is a message of both judgment and hope for Egypt. Isaiah then pictures the coming Egyptian civil war of the seventh century B.C. The Egyptians fell to Esarhaddon of Assyria (in 671 B.C.). Idols, charmers, familiar spirits, wizards refer to various aspects of Egyptian religion, which was dominated by the occult. The cruel lord and fierce king are references to the Assyrian overlords who were to dominate Egypt for nearly 20 years.

(In verses 1-4), disunity and internal strife because of idolatry are to spell the end of Egypt's greatness.

Isaiah 19:1: "The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it."

"Burden" is a prophecy against Egypt. There is a physical Egypt and there is a symbolic Egypt (the world). In this sense, I believe this is speaking of the world. The world away from God would be a more specific designation.

"The LORD riding upon a swift cloud" means the LORD will come quickly. Clouds are vehicles for the Lord's coming to execute judgment elsewhere.

God will destroy the idols just as He did with the 10 plagues He brought on Egypt and the Pharaoh in Genesis. We know that God can melt our hearts when He gets ready.

Isaiah 19:2 "And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbor; city against city, [and] kingdom against kingdom."

In the physical, this could be speaking of the different rulers within the country fighting among their selves. This is speaking of upheaval within the country. In the spiritual sense, the world (Egypt), is always trying to do others in for their own self gain.

They do not care whether it is a brother, or not. They are thinking of their own flesh and do not care what happens to others.

Noted for its internal strife through the centuries, the nation will experience even worse under God's judgment.

Isaiah 19:3 "And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards."

"Familiar spirits ... wizards": Internal strife will lead to disorientation and depression. With nowhere else to turn, the Egyptians will consult spiritualists. Israelites of Isaiah's day did the same (8:19).

"The spirit of Egypt" is the spirit of evil in the world. It is wo