Isaiah 20:1-21:17 Reading the Passage

Four False Hopes – Isaiah 20:1-21:17

20 In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it—(2) at that time Jehovah spoke through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet. And he did so, walking around naked and barefoot. (3) Then Jehovah said, Just as my servant Isaiah has walked around naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and portent against Egypt and Ethiopia, (4) so shall the king of Assyria lead away naked and barefoot the Egyptian captives and the Ethiopian exiles, young and old, with bare buttocks—to Egypt’s shame. (5) Then my people will be dismayed and will despair because of Ethiopia, who was their hope, and because of Egypt who was their confidence. (6) On that day the people who live along the coast will say, Look, if this is our source of hope—those to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria—how shall we escape?

21 The oracle concerning the Wilderness by the Sea. Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, peril comes from the wilderness, from a land of terror. (2) A grievous vision has been shown to me. The treacherous man deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Attack, O Elam! Lay siege, O Media! I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused. (3) Because of this my body is full of anguish; sharp pains seize me, like those of a woman in childbirth. I am so bewildered I cannot hear; I am so terrified I cannot see. (4) My heart falters, fright overwhelms me. The twilight I longed for has become a horror to me. (5) They set the table for feasting, they spread out the rugs to lie upon; they eat, they drink. Get up, you officers, oil the battle shields!—(6) for this is what the Lord has said to me, Go, station a lookout, and have him report what he sees. (7) When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, a train of donkeys, a train of camels, let him be alert, fully alert. (8) Then the lookout cried out like a lion, O Lord, day after day I am stationed on the watchtower; and every night I am at my post. (9) Look! Here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs! And he reported, Babylon has fallen! It has fallen! And all the images of her gods lie shattered on the ground! (10) O my people who have been threshed, you who are the grain of my threshing floor, I have reported to you what I have heard from Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel.

(11) The oracle concerning Dumah. Some one calls to me from Seir, Watchman, how far spent is the night? Watchman, how far spent is the night? (12) The watchman replies, Morning is coming—but also the night. If you want to inquire, do so. Turn, and come.

(13) The oracle concerning Arabia. O you caravans of Dedanites, you must camp in the forests of Arabia. (14) They brought water to him who was thirsty; the inhabitants of the land of Tema shared their bread with the fugitives—(15) because they have fled from the sword, from the drawn sword and the bent bow, from the heat of the battle. (16) This is what the Lord has said to me, Within a year, as it is reckoned when making a contract with a hired laborer, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. (17) The number of archers that are left, the mighty men of the people of Kedar, will be few; because Jehovah, the God of Israel, has declared it.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.