Damascus is Rock City1Message about Damascus
Listen. One day Damascus won’t exist anymore,
Except as a pile of broken stones.
Untended flocks will graze freely in the fields,
With no one to scare them away.
3Ephraim’s towns won’t need to worry
About defenses such as city walls.
The Damascus threat will end.
Syrian survivors will share the fate
That is coming to Israelite people.
The LORD of everyone says so.
4When this happens
The Israelite golden age
Dives to dirt.
Its economy breaks,
People lose it all.
5The land will look as bare
As a field picked clean,
Silent and naked in Rephaim Valley.
6You’ll find no more people
Than olives in a harvested tree.
Two or three here and there,
Four or five high and low.
That’s what the LORD says,
7This is when Israel will come back to God.
They’ll look to their Holy One for help. 8They’ll stop worshiping at shrines they built and furnished with altars, sacred poles, and incense stands. 9But by then, it’ll be too late for the Israelite cities. Even the biggest towns looked as empty as Hivite and Amorite towns were when Joshua and the Israelites first arrived. Back then, the Hivite and Amorite towns were deserted because Israel wiped them out.
You fall from God, your cities fall10
Your cities fell for a reason.
You fell away from God.
The God who protects you like a rock wall.
You planted fields as though nothing was wrong,
Importing the finest seed plants.
But they’ll wither and die after that terrible day
When you’re hit with relentless grief and pain.
12Listen to thundering footsteps,
Coalition forces roaring like the sea.
Armies of the world like swells of a storm.
Crashing on the coast.
13Armies of foreign nations thunder when they march,
Like massive waves of water on the shore.
God will chase them off.
They’ll scatter like wheat chaff in the wind,
Like a dirt devil curling down the trail.
14Watch out at night for the terror coming.
Before morning you’ll be gone.
This is what’s going to happen
To the nations that push us around,
Plunder, raid, and rape us and our land.
This describes some of what happened during the Syro-Ephraimite War, from about 736-732 BC. Syro stands for Syria, headquartered in Damascus and known then as Aram. Ephraimite refers to the Israelite tribe of Ephraim, the dominate tribe in the northern Jewish nation called Israel. (The southern nation was Judah.) Assyria forcefully extended its empire into what are now Syria, Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian lands. But Syria and Israel led a revolt for freedom. They wanted Judah to join their coalition, but King Ahaz of Judah refused. When Syria and the northern Israelites threatened to dethrone him and install a more cooperative king, he called on Assyria for help (against Isaiah’s urgent recommendation, chapter 9). Assyrians and Judah won the war. The story runs from Isaiah 7-8.
Aroer means a juniper tree. There are several towns by this name in the Bible, but none yet identified in Syria.
Rephaim Valley is near Jerusalem, leading toward the Mediterranean coast in the west.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.