Scriptures/The Bible/The Old Testament/Isaiah/17

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Isaiah 17 at

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

Damascus: A city that still exists in modern Syria. In Isaiah's day, it would have been a dwindling site of resistance to Syrian rule in the defeated Aramean kingdom. After earlier having successfully fended off an invasion by the Syrians, the Arameans joined with the Samaritans to invade Israel. The invasion was cut short, however, when the Assyrians attacked again, this time with much greater success, leading to Damascus being the site a dwindling resistance to Assyrian rule. In modern times, Damascus is the capital of Syria, which has been in a state of civil war for a number of years. The civil war in Syria led to the formation of ISIS, which seems to be related to the prophesy in Isaiah 14:29. I'm inclined to imagine that if history is to repeat itself, then modern Syria corresponds with the Arameans, and the rebels correspond with the Assyrians, such that the civil war may seem to ebb, leading Syria join forces with a neighboring power (Palestine? Lebanon?) to attack Israel, but the civil war will resume and break the Syrian government in the end. It is hard to exactly justify that idea based purely on the writings here, and I'm disinclined to feel very strongly about this view.

2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

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.

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.

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.

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.

7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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!

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.

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.