Journey Through The Scriptures

Isaiah I

Lesson 6: Judgment on the Nations, Continued

(Scripture to Read: Isaiah 19:123:18)

Isaiah’s oracle concerning Egypt is an amazing prophecy that, at least in part, remains to be fulfilled. As in all the judgments of Isaiah 13–23, the impending Assyrian invasion of Israel and the entire region serves as the backdrop. Some people in Israel wanted to turn to Egypt for help to repel the Assyrian assault, but Isaiah pointed out that Egypt would be no support because she too would fall under God’s judgment. It is obvious that Egypt’s acknowledgment and worship of the God of Israel has yet to be realized; this remains for the Messianic age.

The further oracle against Babylon in chapter 21 may refer not to the fall of Babylon in 539, but a much earlier invasion in which Babylon was conquered by Assyria as part of Assyria’s sweep through the Middle East. One reason some Bible teachers point to this earlier scenario is that, whereas the conquest of Babylon in 539 was a cause of rejoicing for Israel, this conquest was a cause of fear and dread. This fear would be easily understood if the conqueror is Assyria, which would overrun and destroy Israel and besiege Jerusalem. Edom and Tyre were two other ancient kingdoms that were ripe for God’s judgment.

Study Questions

  1. What are some of the clear warnings Isaiah recorded to discourage the king and people of Judah from trusting in Egypt for help against Assyria?
  2. What unusual action was Isaiah instructed to take to visualize the defeat of Egypt (20:24)?
  3. Who were the people of Seir (21:11)?
  4. What was Isaiah’s burden concerning Jerusalem?

Something to Think About

“Let us eat and drink… for tomorrow we die!” (Isaiah 22:13) has become a famous refrain of those who often see no ultimate purpose to life. But as people of faith, we are called to remember and to bless the Lord who provides us with life’s necessities and gives our lives true meaning.