Isaiah 19Edit

  • TO: Judah and Jerusalem
  • ABOUT: Judah and Jerusalem
  • CONTEXT: Comparison of Judah and Jerusalem to Egypt.

It is especially important to note this chapter as a comparison of Jerusalem to Egypt spiritually, just as it is to note the comparison to Sodom.

The language used by the prophet here is very familiar to anyone who has read Christ’s discourse on Mt. Olivet in Matt. 24:3-35. Notice the similarities:

19:1The 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. 2And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.

He comes in the clouds – Matt. 24:30; Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Luke 21:27 He comes quickly/swiftly – Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30 His coming causes family to turn on family – Mark 13:12 His coming causes kingdom to rise against kingdom – Matt. 24:7

Other important symbols to consider:

Rivers and sea dry up:Edit

19:5And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. 6And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. 7The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more

Merchants, especially those who make their living by the waters will mourn:Edit

19:8The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. 9Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.

Judah a Terror to EgyptEdit

And finally we get down to the direct warnings and comparisons to Judah:

19:17And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it. 18In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

What is the import of this verse? Why will Egypt speak the language of Canaan (Hebrew)? Why will one city be called the city of destruction? Because Isaiah is actually talking about Jerusalem here. The things that God was going to do to the land of Judah would terrify those spiritually compared to Egypt, the Jews themselves.

Altar to Jehovah in EgyptEdit

19:19In 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.

What altar to Jehovah was ever set up in Egypt? What pillar (a reference to the pillars found in the books of Moses, they are a symbol of a covenant between two parties) erected to Him? I believe this to be a reference to the time when the Gentiles were accepted into the church.

19:20And 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.

Another prophecy of the coming of Christ.Edit

21And 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. 22And 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. 23In 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. 24In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.

And finally we see the uniting of the children of Jacob with the Gentiles and all are called God’s people. This is a prophecy of the coming of the church.

NT References: Isa. 19:1-2 - Matt. 24:7, 30, 34; Mark 13:12, 26, 30; 14:62; Luke 21:27; Rev. 1:1, 3, 7; 2:5, 16; 3:11; 22:6-7, 10, 12, 20

Isaiah 20-22Edit

  • TO: Judah and Jerusalem
  • ABOUT: Judah and Jerusalem
  • CONTEXT: Continued comparison of Judah and Jerusalem to Egypt, Babylon, and other assorted cities and nations during a time when Assyria threatened Judah.

Read 2 Kings 18-19 for some context.

The WatchmanEdit

This is a great comparison to the warning Christ gave in his Olivet Discourse to watch (Matt. 24:42-25:13). A great army is coming to destroy Jerusalem and the faithful people of God should watch and be prepared and if they are obedient to God he will save them from destruction. God did it for the Jews when Assyria came to take Jerusalem. He did it again for the Christians when Rome came to take Jerusalem.

Babylon is FallenEdit

21:9b…And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

A very key passage and one that might be very familiar to many. Remember it because I will refer back to it certainly. I will ask at this time, what does Isaiah ever say or know about Rome or the Roman Empire? In a passage comparing Jerusalem to real Babylon, where is there room for Babylon to be Rome? The subject at hand is Jerusalem not Rome.

Again, read 2 Kings 18-19. Eventually Eliakim, who name was changed to Jehoiakim, became king of Judah in the time when Judah would be set up to fall to Babylon under king Jehoachin (2 Kings 23-24). This prophecy is even mentioned in 2 Kings 24:2.

This prophecy was given specifically to warn Judah of its eminent fall to Babylon. But moreso as a type pointing to its future fall for spiritual depravity like all the nations that had come up against it over the years…nations which God overthrew for their wickedness.

NT References:

Isaiah 23Edit

  • TO: Judah and Jerusalem
  • ABOUT: Judah and Jerusalem
  • CONTEXT: Comparison of Judah and Jerusalem to Tyre and Zidon (Sidon).

23:1The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

Remember from the introductory chapter 2 of Isaiah I told you that we would return to these ships of Tarshish. These ships are an indicator that the writer is again speaking of Judah. The ships of Tarshish are those ships that brought the wealth from all over the world that made Solomon and Israel so rich during his reign (2 Chron. 9). These ships represent the material wealth of Judah. The ships were to howl (a term of mourning) because “Tyre” (Jerusalem) is laid waste.

Zidon (Sidon) is connected to water trade in this passage as well. Zidon is a metaphor for Jerusalem as well. Judah was situated at the crossroads of the ancient world. It had shores on the Mediterranean Sea. It sat between Egypt, Rome, Babylon, Greece, and Persia by land. It’s geographical location made it a trading powerhouse and a strategic military point for foreign nations.

This is the city that would be destroyed, made desolate. Its strength of monetary wealth laid waste:

23:14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

But the apex of proof that this is about Jerusalem is the last few verses of the chapter:

23:15And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 16Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. 17And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. 18And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

This seventy years is the seventy weeks (or sevens) of Daniel 9. This Tyre, this metaphor for Jerusalem, is said to turn to harlotry with all the nations of the world at the end of this seventy years. Jerusalem’s wealth her value is called holiness to Jehovah because to God the wealth of the Jews was not her gold, but her spiritual value. That would not be stored up for the Jews, but given to them who “dwell before Jehovah” at the end of the seventy years. That is, what had been the Jews would be given to the Christians. (Matt. 21:33-45).

NT References: Isa. 23 - Matt. 11:21-22; Luke 10:13-14

In Truth and Love.