Monday, March 16, 2015

Judgment on Various Countries.

Isaiah 20:1-21:17

“In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.” (Isaiah 20:1-2)

About 727 BC Assyrians invaded Israel under Tiglathpileser, at the request of Judah.    Sargon came to power and under his general, Tartan, Assyrian forces conquered the Philistine region around Ashdod.  When that happened, God commanded Isaiah to put away the sackcloth and shoes he had been wearing and go around naked as a sign warning what was to come for Egypt and Ethiopia.    Shalmaneser became king and conquered Israel in 721 BC.   Hoshea, King of Israel made a deal with Egypt to help him break away from Assyria, according to II Kings 1:1-4

“And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; 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.  And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.  And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?” (Isaiah 20:3-6)

The Assyrian conquest of Egypt and what we now call Upper Egypt, which was then known as Ethiopia would dash all hope of Egypt being able to come to their aid as the Egyptian and Ethiopian captives were carried away with nothing.   

“The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.  A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.  Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.  My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.” (Isaiah 21:1-4)

Elam and Media were both in present day Iran and Iraq.  While much of the area is well waters and lush, there are also some huge deserts known as salt deserts.  They appear like dried ocean or sea beds.  One of them has recorded the hottest surface temperatures on earth, at 159° F.  There are no known living things in that dessert, and it is a terrible land, with less than 1.2 inches of rainfall annually.   In addition, a great deal of the area of Iraq is desert, even along the coast of the Persian Gulf.   The Medes were associated with Babylon in the overthrow of Assyria, later joining the Persians in conquering the Babylonian Empire, with their capitol at Babylon.     

“Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.  For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.” (Isaiah 21:5-10)

Isaiah is warned to keep a watch on what is going on with those peoples because they are treacherous and not to be trusted.   The destruction of Babylon at the time of the Lord’s return is described in Revelation 18.  During the Tribulation, they will be some of Israel’s worst opponents, closely allied with the Antichrist.   It is a warning to Israel of what is coming. 

“The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?  The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come.” (Isaiah 21:11-12)

Dumah was a city in south eastern Judah, near the Edomite border.  Seir was the Edomite capitol.  The Edomites are portrayed as asking Judah about what the future will hold and What God is doing.   As descendants of Abraham and Isaac, they still have a vested interest in what happens to Israel. 

“The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.  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.” (Isaiah 21:13-15)

Tema and Dedan were cities in western Arabia near the Gulf of Aqaba occupied by the Edomites, but closely allied with the Arabs and descendants of Ishmael.     Edom was long held as Jewish territory and helped the Jews, but when they got the chance, they broke away and turned on the Jews.   

“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.” (Isaiah 21:16-17)

Kedar was one of Ishmael’s sons and represents many Arab peoples.  Within a year of Isaiah’s prophecy, the Arab people’s power would be broken.  As we see from history Assyria gained control of northern Arabia about the time they conquered Israel


  1. It will be interesting to see these prophesies begin to play out as we get closer and closer to the End Times. Praise God that the church will be raptured before their final fulfillment. Thanks for the excellent post & God bless!

    1. Thanks, Laurie.

      It is exciting to see these prophecies coming into place. Unfortunately, the entire teaching about the rapture coming first is based on a questionable interpretation of part of one verse, II Thessalonians 2:7, "...only he who now letteth will let until he be tsken out of the way." the interpretation assumes this refers to the Holy Spirit, but passages such as Daniel 9:18-21, Daniel 12:1-2, and Revelation 12:7-9 indicate it refers to Michale the Archangel instead. Many passages indicate the rapture coming later, near the end of the Tribulation. Either way, God has promised to protect and take care of those who obey him..