About Jesus Steve Sweetman
"oracle" is better translated as "burden" here as it
is throughout Isaiah. I say
this because it's a burden to Isaiah who is speaking this prophecy and a
burden for those to whom this judgment is spoken.
To help understand this
chapter I think it's important to know that Isaiah lived somewhere
around 740/745 to 680/685 B. C.. Jeremiah
lived from 627 B. C. to 580 B. C. and Daniel from 603/4/5 to 536 B. C.
Ezekiel lived from 592/3 B.C. to 570 B. C..
We need a bit of history
before we go any farther.
There are two other
passages that go along with this one.
One is in Daniel 5 which speaks of the fall of
As the chapter title in
the NIV states, the judgment spoken here by Isaiah is against Babylon, but he doesn't make that real clear in verse 1.
He does make it clear in a round about way in verse 2.
There we see Elam.
It's important to note
that Isaiah's prophecy of the fall of
Verse 2 uses the word
Note the words "
When God tells
Verses 3 and 4 shows us
how Isaiah reacted to the Word of the Lord given to him.
She was fearful, bewildered, and racked with pain, as a woman
giving birth to a child. We
should understand that the roll of a real prophet of God is not an easy
thing to fulfill. You will
note that all the prophets in the Old Testament carried a huge burden.
They did not live an easy life.
Besides being criticized, even killed, for their prophecies, the
weight of the burden God gave them was next to unbearable.
Verses 5 and 6 are very
interesting. It speaks to
what we see in Daniel 5. This
is the historical record. The
troops of the Medes and Persians surrounded the city of
Verses 7 through 9 speak
of the watchman on the wall of
Concerning the wall
surrounding Babylon, this is one huge and wide wall. It
is said that six chariots could race on the wall side by side.
Verse 9 is key to this
chapter for a few reasons.
One is that now we know exactly, without a doubt, which this
judgment is against. The
text clearly states that it is Babylon.
Verse 9 begins with
"here he comes". The
watchman sees a man, a messenger, coming towards him.
The messenger yells out to the soldier on the wall, "Babylon
Note that verse 9 also
says that "all the images of the gods lie shattered on the
ground". This is a key
sentence, both to the context and to prophecy in general.
It's noteworthy that when Cyrus attacked any nation, he did not
destroy the gods. He left
the gods intact as a memorial to his conquest.
So, when Cyrus overthrew
We need to understand
An important point to
understand here in verse 9 is that
Concerning Cyrus, King of
Persia, more should be said about him.
Isaiah 45 speaks about Cyrus long before he was ever born.
Isaiah, in chapter 45, says that God will raise Cyrus up and make
him strong. In verses 13 and
14 Isaiah states that God will do this for a specific reason.
The text reads, "He will rebuild my city and set my exiles
city" refers to
Jewish history states
that Daniel, about a 150 years after Isaiah wrote Isaiah 45, he brought
this Isaiah 45 text to King Cyrus and when Cyrus saw the prediction
about him rebuilding
Verse 11 speaks of Dumah.
Dumah was an Arab tribe from the lineage of Ishmael.
I'm not really sure what
is going on in verse 12 so I won't really comment.
Much has been speculated about verse 12.
This section concerns the
judgment of three Arab communities. Arabs are descendents of Ishmael.
One phrase that might be
a bit confusing to you, found in verse 16 is, "within one year, as
a servant is bound by contract …"
This is an idiom of of the day that means this judgment will come
within one exact year' not one day early or one day late.
It is interesting that
Kedar mentioned in verse 16 is the Arab tribe that Mohammed's lineage is