Woe to Egyptian Alliance
Verse 1 – “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;
Woe to God’s children of Judah who would rather take counsel from anyone but Him.
Verse 2 – Who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Hezekiah had been seeking a defensive alliance with Egypt against Sennacherib of Assyria (2 Kings 18:21).
Verse 3 – Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadows of Egypt shall be your humiliation.
Verse 4 – For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
Verse 5 – They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them or be help or benefit, but a shame and also a reproach.
Verse 6 – The burden against the beasts of the south. Through a land of trouble and anguish, from which came the lioness and lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people who will not benefit them;
This verse refers to those who carried bribes through the desert in the Negev region to Egypt.
Verse 7 – for the Egyptians shall help the vain and to no purpose. Therefore I have called her Rahab-Hem-Shebeth.
Rahab was a mythological female sea monster associated with Leviathan. It was a name associated with Egypt, where hippopotamuses, perhaps a likeness to Rahab, sat on the Nile River and did nothing.
Verse 8 – Now go, write before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for a time to come, forever and ever.
A record of the prophecy would show future generations that the destruction had been predicted.
Verse 9 – That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not bear the law of the Lord;
Verse 10 – Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
Kind of sounds like some today, who don’t want to hear the truth of God’s word because it makes them uncomfortable. When the gospel plainly tells people that they have a choice to make; either accept Christ as the living Son of God or spend eternity in hell, they deny there is a hell. The people disregarded what Isaiah was telling them, and so destruction came. Heaven and hell are real whether people believe it or not.
Verse 11 – Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”
Some of the people in Judah may have sought refuge in Egypt. They wanted only to hear good news.
Verse 12 – Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them,
Verse 13 – therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.
Verse 14 – And he shall break it like the breaking of the potters vessel, which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare, so there shall not be found among its fragments a shard to take fire from the hearth, or to take water from the cistern.”
God’s people thought that Egypt would be their high wall of protection against the Assyrians, but the wall had a huge crack. It would eventually be obliterated.
Verse 15 – For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,
Verse 16 – and you said, “No, for we will flee on horses” – therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses” – therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!
God was willing to save them, but instead they decided to flee on horses and the ones that were pursuing them were swifter. The people had what they said, but it was a disaster. We too can have what we say, but we need to make sure its done with a heart turned towards God’s will, not done in our own ambition.
Verse 17 – One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain and as a banner on a hill.
Verse 18 – Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.
The Israelites had just as hard of a time waiting on the Lord as we do today. However, we can see all through scripture the consequences of “not” waiting on Him. I believe that’s a learned practice. We wait patiently by faith with great expectation and He will deliver.
Verse 19 – For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more, He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
This verse is referring to when Israel would be in captivity to the Babylonians, they would cry out to God and He would have mercy on them and deliver them.
Verse 20 – And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers.
Even though affliction came to God’s people, during these hard times He taught them and guided them. God always walks with us through adversity and it can be a great learning experience.
Verse 21 – Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the left.
We should listen for that inner voice that says, “Walk this way!”
Verse 22 – You will also defile the covering of your graven images of silver, and the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; you will say to them, “Get away!”
When people turn back towards God, there will be a transformation that takes place. The things that they have placed their trust in before, will now seem useless compared to what God can do for them.
Verse 23 – Then He will give rain for your seed with which you sow the ground and bread of the increase of the earth; it will be fat and plenteous. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures.
Verse 24 – Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat cured fodder, which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
God will grant agricultural prosperity to His restored people.
Verse 25 – There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill Rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
Verse 26 – Moreover the light of the moon will be as light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven-fold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound.
When the great towers of Babylon fall, God’s people will enjoy many day s of prosperity.
Verse 27 – Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with His anger, and His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation,, and His tongue like a devouring fire;
Verse 28 – His breath is like an overflowing stream, which reaches up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of futility; and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
Verse 29 – You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel.
Verse 30 – The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest of hailstones.
Verse 31 – For through the voice of the Lord Assyria will be beaten down, who struck with a rod.
The Assyrians had been the oppressor of God’s people. Now by His command He would smite them with His Mighty voice.
Verse 32 – And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, which the Lord lays on him, it will be with tambourines and harps; and in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.
Verse 31 – For Tophet was established of old, yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; its pyre is fire with much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it.
The Assyrian army would be completely destroyed, as if it were a large pile of wood in the valley of Hinnon that would be lit by the breath of God. Tophet was a place near Jerusalem, in which the idolatrous Israelite’s used to offer up their children to Moloch.