Exposition On Isaiah 2:1-22

Isaiah, the son of Amoz was one of the pre-exilic prophets, a contemporary of Hosea, Amos, and Micah. He descended from the kingly line of David. Therefore he is a member of the royal household. Unlike prophet Amos who was a farmer before the Lord called him, Isaiah was highly educated and a man of culture having descended from royalty as is also suggested by the richness of his vocabulary. One could imagine how devoted he was to the God of Israel for him to obey God promptly in answering the call(Isa.6:8). In his unalloyed obedience to God, he performed a prophet act of walking about naked for three years to demonstrate how the Egyptians and Cushites, even their nobles like Isaiah would be led away naked and barefoot into captivity by Sargon II king of Assyria(Isa.20:3,4). God had to so disgrace Egypt and Cush because the southern kingdom of Judah was allied to them, and trusted them to save them from the Assyrian king rather than trust in the Lord their God. Cush was their expectation and Egypt their glory(Isa.20:5).

The name Isaiah means Yahweh saves or Yahweh is Saviour or salvation. As his name suggests, the theme of his work is Yahweh saves or Yahweh is salvation or Saviour. The book of Isaiah contains more prophecies about the Messiah than any other book in the Old Testatment. God’s plan of salvation is so fully and comprehensively revealed in the book of prophet Isaiah that Aurelius Augustinus(Augustine of Hippo: 354-430) called it the Fifth Gospel. Other great biblical scholars have referred to it as the “the Bible in miniature.”

I have retained the Hebrew name Cush rather than Ethiopia as in KJV because this name does not refer to modern day Ethiopia at all. Ethiopia was formerly named Abyssinia. In ancient times it was referred to as Sheba. Cush simply means black. In ancient times it referred to the area south and west of Egypt which more or less corresponds to the nations of modern day Sudan and South Sudan. The reference in the Book of Acts to the noble man who was in charge of the treasures of Queen Candace of Cush(Ethiopia) speaks of Queen Candace of Mero, an ancient kingdom in the region of modern day Sudan(Acts 8:26-40). In antiquities, these areas were inhabited by black skinned people, the Cushites. Hence, the proverb, “can the Cushite change his skin?”(Jer.13:23).

Isaiah was the prophet par excellence. He prophesied for a very long period, spanning the reign of four kings of the southern kingdom of Judah. Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah kings of Judah. Uzziah(Azaiah), Son Of Amaziah reigned for 52 years[767(79)2-740] BC(2 kin.15:1-7; 2 Chron.26:1-23). Isaiah was called the year Uzziah died(2 Chron.26:5). Therefore, the 52 years of the reign of Uzziah was not part of the period of his active ministry. Nevertheless Uzziah laid the foundation for the period. Jotham, Son Of Uzziah reigned for 16 years[740(750)-731]{2 Kin.15:32-38; 2 Chron.27:1-9}. Ahaz, Son Of Jotham reigned for 16 years[731(735)-731] BC {2 Kin.16:1-20; 2 Chron.228:1-27}. Hezekiah son Ahaz ruled for 29 years[715(729)-686] BC{2 kin.18:1-20:21; 2 Chron.29:1-32:33 Is.36:1-39:8}? Isaiah probably ministered for up to half a century or thereabouts. It is not known when Isaiah died. According to tradition, he was sawn in two during the reign of wicked Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah[686(696)-642]. During the reign of these kings, the southern kingdom of Judah experienced prosperity, but the people were morally bankrupt and spiritually destitute as revealed by those of his contemporary prophets(Hos.4:1-2, 6-8; Amos 2:6-8; Mic.1:5, 3:1-11). Their land was full of silver and gold, and there was no end to their treasures. “Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.”(Isaiah 2:8-9).

Despite their prosperity, they were greedy and rapacious. They copied their neighboring powers, especially Egypt and Assyria, and imported horses and chariots from Egypt which led to trust in their military mighty and prowess(Isa.2:7). As if that was not enough, they added insult to injury, and worshipped idols. These were graven and molten images crafted by their own fingers. This they learned through associations with the peoples of neighboring powers, like the Egyptians and Assyrians who were idol worshippers. Their land was full of idols(Isa.2:8). Whatever the nobles did, the am ha’ aretz, the ordinary people of the land copied them and followed suit. The ordinary people of the land took their cues from the elites. The mean bowed down, and the great man humbled himself before the works of their hands. Because they have bowed themselves to graven images, and worshipped the works of their hands, the God of Israel would not forgive them and spare them any punishment which was due. They had to go into captivity. It was not that God was unwilling to forgive them, but rather, they were unwilling to repent.

This was the situation in Israel during the reign of these kings when the prophet Isaiah prophesied to the kings, nobles and people of Judah. He was also looking beyond the immediate period to the End of Time. This is what theologians call the near and far views of prophecy. During this period of the far view of Isaiah’s prophecy, Israel shall enter into a seven-year peace treaty with the Man Of Sin, the Son Of perdition or destruction(Dan.9:27; 2Thess.2:3). For the first three and one-half years, Israel shall be relatively peaceful. They shall prosper being protected by the armies of the most powerful world ruler. When Jesus came to His own in the name of the God of Israel, they rejected Him. When another, the antiMessiah shall come in his own name, they will receive him. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”(John 1:10-11). “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”(John 5:43). The another here is the antiMessiah; a mere man whose breath is in his nostrils(v22).

This covenant is called the covenant of apostasy, because it will lead to total abandonment of the God of Israel by some Jews and Christians three and one-half years later when the antiMessiah shall declare himself God in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem and demand to be worshipped by all and sundry(Dan.9:27; 2Thess.2:4). It is called covenant with death and agreement with Hell. “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.”(Isaiah 28:15, 18-19).

When the antiMessiah breaks his peace agreement with Israel, he shall persecute Jews who refuse to worship him. During the reign of the antiChrist, enlivened images of the Beast shall be situated in strategic places for public worship. This will be like in the Roman period when emperor worship was demanded of citizens. Every Roman citizen was required to offer a pinch of incense to the statue of the emperor at the city square or in the Temple Of Caesar. These images, empowered by AI, and energized by demonic powers shall be able to identify those who do not have the mark of the Beast, and cause them to be put to death if they refuse to capitulate to the authority of the antiMessiah by accepting to be branded with his mark of allegiance. Those who agree to worship him shall be instructed by the second Beast, the false prophet, his enforcer, to make images of the Beast in gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood to worship in their homes, offices, and cars, every man according what he can afford. The second half of the 70th week shall be like the period of the reign of the aforementioned kings when the land of Judah was full of idols, and even worse because the antiChrist shall make the worship of his image mandatory. Although Isaiah was speaking of the situation in his day, but he was also looking forward to the second half of the 70th week when there shall be mass idolatry all over the world. The false prophet, the spiritual head of the one world religion shall instruct his followers all over the world to worship the First Beast and the Dragon(Rev.13:4).

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”(Rev.13:11-18).

This shall account for the preponderance of idols during the second half of the 70th week. Anyone who refuses to bow to these images shall be punished with death, banishment or captivity as the case may be. During this period many shall betray one another. The martyred saints arriving heaven is the fifth seal. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”(Rev.6:9-11).

When the complement of the saints to be martyred is fulfilled as evidenced by the fifth seal, God shall amputate the Great Tribulation with cosmic disturbances which constitute the sixth seal. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”(Rev.6:12-14).

The fifth seal promises wrath during the Day Of The Lord. The sixth seal portends wrath during the Day Of The Lord. There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals. During this interlude, the Shechinah, the sign of the Coming of the Son Of Man appears in the heavens, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed with the seal of God for protection during the Day Of The Lord, and the saints are raptured into heaven, taken away from the scene of persecution from the antiChrist, and the wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord, which begins the very same day the surviving saints are translated into heaven(Rev.7). The interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal therefore protects from the wrath of God.

At the breaking of the sixth seal, the branded idol worshippers who worship the Beast, his image, and the Great Red Dragon, who gave power and authority to the Beast shall dispose of their idols to the moles and bats to hide in the rocks and the mountains, invoking these to fall upon them, and to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”(Rev.6:15-17).

These branded worshippers of the Beast shall be composed of the high and low, the rich and the poor, the mighty men and generals of the armies of nations and kingdoms, bond and free.

We can see that Isa.2:11-22 parallels Rev.6:15-19:21, barring Rev.10-14 which is parenthetic. During this period, the Day Of The Lord’s Wrath, the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in That Day(Isa.2:11,17). It shall be a terrible day for every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low(v.12). It shall be upon the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures(vv.13-16). The cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan are the tallest of trees in the Mid East. They are figurative of the high and mighty, the powerful and influential men, the great men and the nobles. The mountains and hills symbolize the kingdoms of the Earth and their kings which shall be devastated by the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord. All that man has achieved in defiance to God shall be destroyed, the skyscrapers, the lofty institutions of man, his global ideal epitomized by Babylon shall be utterly destroyed at the outpouring of the seventh bowl judgment. The cities of the nations shall be leveled by the great earthquake of the seventh bowl judgment. Apostle Peter asked us, seeing that all these things shall be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness?(2 Pet.3:13,14).

“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”(Rev.16:17-21).

During the Day Of The Lord, the idols, the enlivened images of the Beast in gold, silver, precious stones, wood, etc shall be utterly abolished(v.18). Once the Day Of The Lord has begun, no man or idol shall be worshipped any more anywhere on the planet Earth. Men shall throw away their idols, the enlivened images of the Beast, to go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the Earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the Earth. Every man alive on Earth at that time shall know instinctively that God is about to punish the world for their evils. They will throw away their idols to run for their dear lives. God shall shake the heavens and Earth, and everything that man has built in defiance to God shall be destroyed(v.19).

“In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”(Isaiah 2:20-21). Based on this scenario painted by the prophet Isaiah and corroborated by all the other OT and NT prophets, and graphically summarized by Apostle John, the revelator, Isaiah admonished us, “cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted.”(v.22). This verse is applicable to every man, that man should not worship his fellow man. However, in context, it is referent to the antiMessiah, the ultimate superman who shall arise in the last days to demand worship of all mortals. We must not worship him. He is man not God. And because he is man, he shall die like every other mortal man. He is not to be accounted of anything.

The pretribulationists tell us the whole 70th week of Daniel is the wrath of God. And because the Church is not appointed unto wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Church shall be raptured before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel at the breaking of the first seal(1 Thess.1:10, 5:9). But it is inconceivable, in the light of the scenario painted by the prophets that after the wrath of God has begun in the Day Of His Wrath, that the antiChrist can arise, achieve a worldwide domination, transfer his headquarters to the Jewish Holy City of Jerusalem, demand worship of all men, desecrate the Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, built for the worship of Jehovah, institute the Great Tribulation, brand men as farmers brand cattle, and slave dealers brand their victims, martyr the saints of the Most High all over the world, mount the enlivened images of himself at strategic locations all over the world for men to worship, attempt to kill everyone who refuses the mark of allegiance to him, in the day when the haughtiness of men shall be brought low and the idols utterly abolished? In the day when no man shall be exalted but God alone. All these theological and biblical impossibilities are flouted in an attempt to keep the Church out of the Great Tribulation. Impossible you will say, and you are right.

If the whole of the 70th week were the wrath of God, why are the three angelic announcements made at the midpoint of the 70th. Who shall go about proclaiming the gospel in the Day Of The Lord?(Rev.14:6,7). No one. Who shall abide in Babylon in the Day of her desolation?(Rev.14:8). No one. Who shall worship the Beast or his image in the Day Of The Lord?(Rev.14:9-13). No one. The Day Of The Lord is darkness and not light. It is a day of gloominess, as one did flee from a lion(the Great Tribulation), and bear(the wrath of God) met him; as if one did flee from a lion(the Great Tribulation), entered his house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent(the wrath of God) bit him(Amos 5:18-20). These men in spite of their stellar biblical scholarship and holy living have not rightly divided the word of God(2 Tim.2:15). They have failed to distinguish the wrath of Satan(Rev.12:12), man’s inhumanity to man, from the wrath of God(Rev.6:17) which is God’s direct intervention in the affairs of men to justify the righteous and punish the wicked who bowed to the image of the Beast. One of these dear ministers of God arrogantly tells us, if you are here after the rapture, I tell you 20 things you must do to survive the reign of the antiChrist. When I read through, I said to myself, these are the things he should teach his congregation now in order that they might survive the horrors of the Great Tribulation. He may sleep in the Lord before the antiChrist shows up, but certainly, some members of his congregation or their descendants after them shall one day face the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist before the Rapture takes place.

Although the picture graphically painted here by the prophet Isaiah is gloomy, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our God is wonderful. He works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. He knows all things. He knows the end from the beginning. The word spoken here concerns Judah and Jerusalem, but it has ripples all over the world. “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.”(v1). Israel will not cease to be a nation before God. Jerusalem, her Holy and capital city will not be destroyed. There will be consummative and eschatological restorations. At the end of Armageddon, the whole Earth shall be renovated. The land of Israel shall be restored. Mount Zion shall be restored. It shall be elevated above all other mountains. On its summit shall sit the Fourth And Millennial Temple to be built by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself(Ezek.40-43). Therefore it shall be called The Mountain Of The Lord’s House. All those from all nations who survived the Sheep And Goat Judgment after Armageddon shall flow unto it. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”(v2).

The gentile survivors of the Sheep And Goat Judgment shall make yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast Of Tabernacles and to receive instructions on the Word Of God in order that they may learn to walk in His ways. They shall learn His instructions and do them; for out of Zion shall go forth The Law(Torah; instructions, teachings), and the Word Of the Lord from Jerusalem. “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”(v3). Our Lord Jesus, David’s greater Son shall be judge over the nations and peoples of the Earth. He shall rule with the rod of iron(ps.2:8). He shall rebuke the heathen(peoples). The nations shall not learn war anymore. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks. The nations shall not lift up sword one against another. Every man shall be under his vine and under his fig tree. The heavens and the Earth shall know peace and tranquility. The present laws that govern nature were instituted by Satan after the fall of Adam. They shall be abrogated. New and better laws that govern nature shall be instituted. There shall be no more hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, monsoon rains and landslides etc. There shall be neither pests nor plagues. There shall be no more wars nor hostility between nations. “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”(v4).

In the light of the proposed millennial reign of Christ, God invited the whole house of Jacob, both the Northern And Southern kingdoms, that is, all the twelves tribes to walk in the light of the Lord. The word of God is light. To receive divine instructions is to receive light. In Him was life and the light was the light of men(Jon.1:4). In thy light shall we see light(Ps.36:9). But the sons of Jacob rebelled. They wanted to be like the surrounding nations. They were replenished from the East, and became soothsayers like the Philistines. They entered into military alliances with neighboring nations. They entered into marriage contracts with foreign women which they were forbidden to do in the Law Of Moses(Exod.34:15,16). They also gave their daughters to the sons of strangers. They turned their sons hearts to worship foreign gods, the idols that the nations worshipped. They entered into trading agreements with the surrounding nations. They prospered materially and financially through trade with these nations. “Their land was full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures”(v7a). They entered into military alliances with these surrounding nations. Therefore they learned to trust in chariots and horses like these nations instead of the Name Of The Lord(Ps.2:7). “Their land also is full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots(v7b). Because of their disobedience and rebellion, the Lord forsook them. “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people, the house of Jacob.”(v6).

Avraham Shallom.

Published by midgdal

I believe the saints will go through the Great Tribulation before being evacuated from the Earth in the rapture.

2 thoughts on “Exposition On Isaiah 2:1-22

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