Is 23, 24
So tonight we continue in Isaiah at Chapter 23, the burden or “masa” heavy message against Tyre. Tyre with sister city Sidon where what we would call Phoenician seaport cities that were known for their skill and superiority at seamanship and moving cargo all over the world. The were a symbol of materialism and wealth.
As we begin we see Isaiah for prophesying the destruction of Tyre and the sailors of Tyre agonizing over it.
23:1 -5 The burden against Tyre. Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no harbor; from the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them. Be still, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, whom those who cross the sea have filled. And on great waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the River, is her revenue; and she is a marketplace for the nations. Be ashamed, O Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the strength of the sea, saying, "I do not labor, nor bring forth children; neither do I rear young men, nor bring up virgins." When the report reaches Egypt, they also will be in agony at the report of Tyre.
Notice the name Tarshish. You might remember that Jonah took a ship, to get away from his mission from God to preach to Nineveh, to go to Tarshish. But where is Tarshish? I had heard it was Spain but there is no concensus. Some believe an Island in the Mediterranean or some believe Britain. Interestingly Britannia means source of Tin and according to Tin is listed as one one of its goods.
In some ways you can say that Tyre was the Babylon of the seas and it prefigures “Commercial Babylon” of . Compare with the list of goods is very similar.
i. Tyre was the "Babylon of the Sea." Because of their excellent harbor and seamanship, they established a commercial empire far greater than one would expect given their size and military power.
ii. Tyre was a city in two parts - an inland city, and an island city. The inland city was conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, just as Isaiah prophesied. The island city was conquered later by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C..
iii. Tyre was a mixed bag for Israel. King Hiram of Tyre supplied David and Solomon great timbers for the building of the temple and other projects. Hiram gave Solomon sailors so Israel could build their commerce by sea. But later, Tyre gave Israel one of the worst rulers Israel ever had: Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel.
23:6 - 9
Cross over to Tarshish; wail, you inhabitants of the coastland! Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is from ancient days, whose feet carried her far off to dwell? Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honorable of the earth? The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.
Remember that the famous passage in , we see as referring to Lucifer is against the King of Tyre. Pride is what God indicts.
1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because your heart is lifted up, And you say, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas,’ Yet you are a man, and not a god, Though you set your heart as the heart of a god 3 (Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! 4 With your wisdom and your understanding You have gained riches for yourself, And gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; 5 By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, And your heart is lifted up because of your riches),” 6 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god, 7 Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers against you, The most terrible of the nations; And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, And defile your splendor. 8 They shall throw you down into the Pit, And you shall die the death of the slain In the midst of the seas. 9 “Will you still say before him who slays you, ‘I am a god’? But you shall be a man, and not a god, In the hand of him who slays you. 10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised By the hand of aliens; For I have spoken,” says the Lord God.’ ”
Isaiah continues, 23:10-14
Overflow through your land like the River, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no more strength. He stretched out His hand over the sea, He shook the kingdoms; the LORD has given a commandment against Canaan to destroy its strongholds. And He said, "You will rejoice no more, O you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus; there also you will have no rest." Behold, the land of the Chaldeans, this people which was not; Assyria founded it for wild beasts of the desert. They set up its towers, they raised up its palaces, and brought it to ruin. Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your strength is laid waste.
Video - The prophecy of Tyre 7:32
A promise of restoration to the city of Tyre.
() Seventy years of desolation for the city of Tyre.
Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot: "Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten harlot; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.
Tyre will be forgotten 70 years and then remembered. He quotes what may have been a song at that time. "Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten harlot; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.
Now Isaiah states Gods purpose for restoration.
And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.
The LORD will visit Tyre: Many commentators think this refers to the presence of Christianity in Tyre in the days of the early church.
"Tyre, after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, recovered, as it is here foretold, its ancient trade, wealth, and grandeur; as it did likewise after a second destruction by Alexander. It became Christian early with the rest of the neighboring countries. St. Paul himself found many Christian there, . It suffered much in the Diocletian persecution. It was an archbishopric under the patriarchate of Jerusalem, with fourteen bishoprics under its jurisdiction. It continued Christian till it was taken by the Saracens in 639; was recovered by the Christians in 1124; but in 1280 was conquered by the Mamelukes and afterwards taken from them by the Turks in 1517. Since that time it has sunk into utter decay; is now a mere ruin, a bare rock, 'a place to spread nets upon,' as the Prophet Ezekiel foretold it should be, chapter 26:14." (Clarke)
Now we move into an interesting section where Isaiah changes his message from the various burdens against individual nations to a message for the entire world. Some call this, 24 -27, the “little apocalypse”. As in Revelation...
1 Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, Distorts its surface And scatters abroad its inhabitants. 2 And it shall be: As with the people, so with the priest; As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress; As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the creditor, so with the debtor. 3 The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, For the Lord has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and fades away, The world languishes and fades away; The haughty people of the earth languish. 5 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, And those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, And few men are left. 7 The new wine fails, the vine languishes, All the merry-hearted sigh. 8 The mirth of the tambourine ceases, The noise of the jubilant ends, The joy of the harp ceases. 9 They shall not drink wine with a song; Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. 10 The city of confusion is broken down; Every house is shut up, so that none may go in. 11 There is a cry for wine in the streets, All joy is darkened, The mirth of the land is gone. 12 In the city desolation is left, And the gate is stricken with destruction. 13 When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done. 14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; For the majesty of the Lord They shall cry aloud from the sea. 15 Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light, The name of the Lord God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. 16 From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: “Glory to the righteous!” But I said, “I am ruined, ruined! Woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.” 17 Fear and the pit and the snare Are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. 18 And it shall be That he who flees from the noise of the fear Shall fall into the pit, And he who comes up from the midst of the pit Shall be caught in the snare; For the windows from on high are open, And the foundations of the earth are shaken. 19 The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again. 21 It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth. 22 They will be gathered together, As prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished. 23 Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the Lord of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously.
24:1 - 3
Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants. And it shall be: As with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for the LORD has spoken this word.
So here it seems obvious that we are looking into the future to the time of the Great Tribulation. In the days of the Great Tribulation, the earth will not be literally empty, but Isaiah's poetic description applies, because the earth will seem empty in many places. More than one-third of humanity will die in the judgments of the great tribulation (), making the areas hardest hit seem as if the earth were empty.
In Isaiahs comparisons of the people in different stations of life, i.e. the servant and the master, it indicates that no matter ones power or money that there is no escaping Gods judgement.
24:4 - 6
The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.
The word for ordinance here is Torah, it often is used for the law of God. To change the ordinance is to make it into something more “acceptable to our culture, something lighter or easier. Every time a preacher soft-peddles the gospel, every time a politician twists the Scriptures to rise in the opinion polls, every time a counselor wrenches the context of God's word to make it fit a crazy psychological theory, they have changed the ordinance, and are ripe for judgment!
Because they have … broken the everlasting covenant: God has entered into covenant with man, and man has turned his back on His covenant. Instead of receiving God's everlasting covenant, man wants to make up his own way with God!
There is no single covenant known as the everlasting covenant, because the title applies to several different covenants. The covenant God made with mankind after the flood, never to judge the world again by water is called an everlasting covenant (). The covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants is called an everlasting covenant (, , ). The covenant God made with Israel and the priesthood is called an everlasting covenant (). The covenant God made with David, to bring the Messiah from his line, is called an everlasting covenant (). The New Covenant is called an everlasting covenant, both prophetically () and after its establishment ().
i. There is no single covenant known as the everlasting covenant, because the title applies to several different covenants. The covenant God made with mankind after the flood, never to judge the world again by water is called an everlasting covenant (). The covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants is called an everlasting covenant (, , ). The covenant God made with Israel and the priesthood is called an everlasting covenant (). The covenant God made with David, to bring the Messiah from his line, is called an everlasting covenant (). The New Covenant is called an everlasting covenant, both prophetically () and after its establishment ().
Isaiah continues 24:7 - 13
The new wine fails, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh. The mirth of the tambourine ceases, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a cry for wine in the streets, all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city desolation is left, and the gate is stricken with destruction. When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, it shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.
During the Great Tribulation, God's judgment will bring destruction everywhere: In the city desolation is left, and the gate is stricken with destruction. The judgment will be so complete that the cities will look like olive trees bare (like the shaking of an olive tree) and grape vines striped of everything (like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done).
They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the LORD they shall cry aloud from the sea. Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light, the name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: "Glory to the righteous!" But I said, "I am ruined, ruined! Woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously."
Before the Great Tribulation, God will remove all His people; but many come to trust in Jesus during the Great Tribulation, and these will praise Him in the midst of judgment ().
24:17 - 18
Fear and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall be that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who comes up from the midst of the pit shall be caught in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken.
"The images are taken from the different methods of hunting and taking wild beasts, which were anciently in use." Simply put, the judgment of the LORD is inescapable. If escape the fear, you will fall into the pit. If you escape the pit, you will fall into the snare.
Note the Pit… and he who comes out of the Pit.
Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Now it gets more intense 24:19 -20
The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again. It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.
The GT is going to be a horrible time. Some see a close pass by of a rogue planet, like during the long day of Joshua as the cause. Only God knows how this will happen but you should be aware that the earths volcanos and tectonic plates are going crazy all over the world.
New Zealand - Mexico - Guatemala - Italy - Mt Ranier - Mt Hood
Cascadia seduction zone
in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, this really what is going on, the war in the heavens.
1 Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
All this happens when: the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously!