In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.(ca. 710 B.C.)
A Song or Psalm of Asaph. Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
The first verse of Isaiah 17 is perhaps the most controversial, and many believe that this is a past fulfillment, but they do with without knowing Isaiah, knowing ancient history, without considering the context of the first verse to establish their timeline.
For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen thechildren of Lot. Selah.
Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they arefainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet. Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy! Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts. And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
- Damascus is the oldest inhabited city on earth, with a 4,000-5,000 pretty much consistent, steady habitation
- This was not fulfilled fully, ever, in the past, as some claim.
- Many point to 732 B.C. as the fulfillment but, as Isaiah 14:28 shows, this portion of Isaiah was written well after that in 710 B.C. (Ahaz death)
- Damascus has been attacked, conquered many times in history (Isaiah 7 and 8) , but never to this extent
- Damascus is still there today, strong as ever, but never "taken away from being a city"
- Damascus is mentioned over fifty times in Scripture, the first being Abraham and Lots, SOdom, etc. in Genesis 14:15
- Until the early 1900s (1946), Damascus was not even the capital of Syria
The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
- There is no one there to make them afraid, since the people are dead or fled
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 was the most dominant of the ten tribes of the north, and gave the name to this area, perhaps then even the military bases of Northern Israel will be destroyed here as well.
- 2 Kings 15:29 (captive by Tiglath-Pileser), 2 Kings 17:6 (Ephraim deported by Shalmaneser )
- This is therefore probably an area wide destruction of at least Israel and Syria-it is bad
- This is a warning to Ephraim
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.
- "In that day" is future (our day, the last days)
- The war will deplete Israel's IDF forces.
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.
- It is as though everything was deliberately picked clean, during harvest time
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.
- Famine conditions
- When what is left is up, then there are no birds, and only what was reached by whoever or whatever is what has been taken
At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
- After all of this judgment comes humility
- From the humility comes praise, thankfulness, acknowledgement
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.
- God is acknowledged, gods are not
- God is God, man is not
- Idolatry includes idols, sacrificial altars, groves of trees ( especially oak), images
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.
- If there is a tremendous interruption during harvest, this is what it would look like-complete, sudden abandonment
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:
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.
- The physical food blessing from God will not be enjoyed
- Notice that it shall not diminish (blessing), but it shall not be harvested by the reapers (curse)
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!
- This is the current state of all of the nations surrouding Israel in any and every direction
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.
- That current state ends immediately when God decides to take a side with Israel and rebuffs them, chasing them away
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
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.
- This is an instant destruction, the start and end of the events in verse one