For the most part however these chapters concern countries which still today afflict Israel - Moab (Jordan), Syria, Ethiopia/Egypt, Assyria (Iraq) and Babylon (Iran). The difference between then and now is that in the days of these prophecies, these nations were tools of judgment that God used against his faithless people whereas today Israel has just been reborn - regathered from all the nations of the earth unto which God had scattered them. Many there are who do not believe in the Scriptures, but it surely cannot escape anyone's attention, that the principle nations named in the Bible, still exist. Israel has returned, and once again the world is returned to witnessing the battle between the people whom God has chosen and their historical enemies.
Who were the Prophets and what did they say? The Prophet Isaiah Part Five (5)
As previously stated, this Isaiah overview is a topical not theological overview that is meant to highlight points in Scripture rather than bore readers and the focus is on the role that religious and secular leaders play in the destruction of their societies. I generally use the "Bible Resources KJV edition" found at Minister book . com but for those who wish to really examine the prophets I recommend John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
I ended the previous overview at Chapter 14 by saying:
Many there are who do not believe in the Scriptures, but it surely cannot escape anyone's attention, that the principle nations named in the Bible, still exist. Israel has returned, and once again the world is returned to witnessing the battle between the people whom God has chosen and their historical enemies.
Today, as we look at Chapters 15 through 22, we will see what was God's word to those nations 2700 years ago.
Isaiah Chapter 15
There are only 9 verses in this chapter and the first verse declares that the chapter is about "The burden of Moab. Because in the night (in various places mentioned) Moab is laid waste...
Various images are provided to demonstrate the effect on the people: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off - gird themselves with sackcloth - every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in today's Jordan. (See Wikipedia) The people of Moab were descended from Abraham through Lot and one of his daughters. They worshipped a pagan God and the Israelites had been instructed to keep themselves separate from the Moabites. Ruth, the ancestor of King David was a Moabitess.
Isaiah Chapter 16
Chapter 16 continues where Chapter 15 left off.
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 (verse 2) 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. (Verse 14)
Isaiah Chapter 17
Chapter 17 concerns Damascus, the capital of Syria.
Verse 1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
The King of Damascus was often the oppressor of Israel and just as often he was oppressed by the Assyrians. During the Syro-Ephraimitic War 734-732 BCE Tiglath Pileser III conquered and killed King Rezin of Damascus who at that time was aligned with King Pekah of Israel against King Ahaz of Judah. These events took place during the period specified by the book of Isaiah as that period in which he prophesied.
The chapter concerns Syria directly and after it Assyria, and their treatment (as agents of God's chastisement) of God's people. While there will be a remnant of God's people who will be faithful to him, the land and its inhabitants will suffer God's judgment.
Verse 7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
Verse 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.
Verse 13 refers to "nations that rush like the rushing of many waters" and undoubtedly refers to the Assyrians overrunning Israel but the end result will be that they will be rebuked by God.
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. 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. (Verses 13,14)
Isaiah Chapter 18
Chapter 18 concerns Ethiopia:
Verse 1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
The prophetic word is short and its significance appears to lay in the fact that around the time (or shortly thereafter) of the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (722 BCE) the twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt was founded by an Ethiopian leader named Shabako. Bible commentators consider that this prophetic warning about the fate of Ethiopia is meant to indicate that Judah must not rely on the Egyptians to save them from the Assyrians. (See Isaiah Chapter 20) Historically, Israel and Judah were controlled by whichever of the two states was in the ascendance, and often bartered their allegiance to whoever seemed to be gaining the most power.
King Jehoiakim of Judah's demise in 596 BCE is directly related to such switching of allegiances and refusal to pay tribute for 3 years to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. (Babylon controlled Assyria at that point in history).
Isaiah Chapter 19
Verse 1 The burden of Egypt.
God is going to come into and bring dread upon Egypt, its idols and its people. (V. 1.) He will cause the Egyptians to turn against each other (V.2.) and their leadership and strength will fail and they will turn to their idols and pagan practices for help (V.3.). God however will turn them over to a cruel leader (V.4.)
Verses 5-10 describe how God will cause all water reliant industry (principally perhaps the Mother Nile) to dry up and bankrupt the economy.
Verses 11-16 relates to derision of Egypt’s leadership - calling them fools.
Verse 17 relates that Egypt will be in terror of Judah because of the Lord of Hosts and then proceeds to describe a situation which, whilst partly observed in history, has not yet been fulfilled.
In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (Verses 19-25)
Isaiah Chapter 20
Chapter 20 provides us with a specific date in relation to the prophecy.
Verse 1 In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it..
The Northern Kingdom of Israel had fallen in 722BCE. Whilst it was King Shalmaneser who initiated the siege of Samaria in 725BCE, his successor King Sargon claims to have completed it in 722 BCE. In 720BCE he campaigned in Syria and in 714 BCE commenced the Ashdod Campaign. It was about this time that King Hezekiah commenced his sole rule over Judah (given that 701 BCE was his 14th year.)
Verse 2 indicates that God has ordered Isaiah to walk "naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia"
These few verses in this chapter are a warning to King Hezekiah and/or his father King Ahaz and the country's leadership not to put their trust in Egypt because it too was going to fall. "So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (V.4.)"
Isaiah Chapter 21
This chapter commences with what appears to be obscure language, but researching it reveals that the identity of the 'Desert of the Sea' is actually Babylon. There are numerous reasons provided for this, but Verse 9 confirms the identity by saying "Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."
The first 12 verses of the chapter are but a reinforcement of the previous prophecy in Chapter 13 against Babylon.
Verse 13 relates to the area of Arabia, and the John Gill Commentary relates that to the end of the passage the verses are demonstrating that there will be many people fleeing the coming judgment and requiring assistance of distant peoples.
The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the LORD said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it. (Verses 14-17)
Isaiah Chapter 22
This chapter concerns Jerusalem or as it is called in verse 1 'The Valley of Vision'.
Verses 1-10 describe the leadership of the people 'failing to lead' the people but scurrying to escape the coming judgment.
Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago. And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die. (Verse 11-13)
Captivity and Death is decreed these iniquitous leaders (V.17 and 14 resp.) who failed to heed the voice of the Lord. Verse 15 speaks directly of the treasurer 'Shebna' whom God will drive out and replace with (V.20.) Eliakim the son of Hilkiah (the palace administrator under King Hezekiah Isaiah 36:22).
Given the description of Eliakim and his duties it would appear that these verses apply to the corrupt administration at the time that King Hezekiah commenced to rule in his own right at the time of the Ashdod Campaigns as related in Chapter 20 above.
Concerning Eliakim (V 21-24)
And I will clothe him with thy (Shebna's) robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.
These final verses in today's overview demonstrate clearly what God expects of leadership. Not the gaudy, rich, pompous, uncaring 'lords of the people', but men of diligence, hard work and honor who put the nation before their own estate. Faithful Servants!
For the most part however these chapters concern countries which still today afflict Israel - Moab (Jordan), Syria, Ethiopia/Egypt, Assyria (Iraq) and Babylon (Iran). The difference between then and now is that in the days of these prophecies, these nations were tools of judgment that God used against his faithless people whereas today Israel has just been reborn - regathered from all the nations of the earth unto which God had scattered them.
Today, he who touches Israel is he who stands opposed to the will of God.
An Overview of the Prophet Amos during the reign of King Uzziah, prior to Assyrian incursions into Syria, Israel and Judah. The prophecies take place about 30 years prior to the destruction of the Northern Kingdom Israel and the exile of its people, and less than 200 years before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the Southern Kingdom of Judah into exile in Babylon and destroyed King Solomon's Temple. Amos Chapter 1 verse one says that the prophet Amos was a herdsman from a place called Tekoa and relates that the things which he saw concerning Israel and Judah occurred in the latter years of the reign of King Uzziah of Judah (2 years before the earthquake of 759 BC) during the final few years of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel - perhaps no more than 6 years.
Hosea's message: The people having chosen kings to lead them, put their faith in the kings rather than God and as the Kings and leaders failed to listen to the voice of God, the people became further and further removed from God. The end result in Israel was the fulfilled promise of the destruction of Samaria. Hosea 1:4-7 states that God will no longer show mercy on the Northern Kingdom but will cause it to cease to exist. This was accomplished in 722 BC when the capital city Samaria was taken by the King of Assyria during the reign of King Hoshea and the people were sent into exile. Mercy is however granted to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
At the height of the reigns of King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam II of Israel, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity due mainly to the weak political and military state of affairs in Syria and Assyria. One can only assume that the relative peace, security and prosperity led to a decrease in dependence on religious faith and following the Law of God. Hence we have 4 prophets arise to chastise the people and warn them of impending disaster. (Isaiah, Amos, Micah and Hosea).
The message in the books of Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and Micah are almost identical. Secular and religious leaders and those with the power that comes from wealth neither paid attention to doing what was right in the eyes of God nor treated the common man with decency and dignity. When leadership fails to set the right example for society, that society crumbles, and since these societies - Israel and Judah - were the chosen of God - 'a light of the Gentiles' - the people of God through whom the world would come to know God, that society could not be allowed to degenerate to the level of the common pagan world. Chastisement leading to repentance was a necessity and the time was drawing near.
Faith without works is as equally as dead as works without faith and it is an easy thing to inadvertently shift the focus of our lives away from 'Christ', to a focus of 'being' the faithful servant and doing 'the work of God' and in the process, to become a poor facsimile of what we once were. We must give comfort and give good counsel, but we must remember to trust and rely on the 'Real Counselor' - the Holy Spirit to continue to do his work in any one individual's life. If they reject us, it matters not! We are not masters. We merely serve the master. When our Religion and its ritualism replaces our relationship with God and by default, with our fellow man, we have made our religion a 'false religion', and our ritual practices become idolatry.
God's ways may not be our ways but his judgments tend to be accurate! God sees past all that you do and say. He sees the 'real' you. Only God can truly know whose identity is Holey, Whole or Holy. Jeremiah's job description required saying a lot of things that just didn't sit too well with the 'powers that be', both religious and secular. Moses was a rash man with a temper that made him careless. For decades his life just didn't go the way he had planned it and by the time he was content enough with his life and ready for a peaceful retirement, it was thrown into turmoil again by a pesky deity who for some reason considered him the best person for the job of 'leader'.
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.