Judah picks Assyria over God
Odd name for a kid1The LORD said to me, “Get a large scroll. Write this clearly, so it’s easy to read: This is the property of Quick-Steal Rob&Run.” 2I want reliable witnesses to see you do this. Get Uriah the priest to witness it. Also get Zechariah, Jeberechiah’s son.” 3So, I later had sex with my wife, and she got pregnant and had a son. The LORD told me, “Name the boy Quick-Steal Rob&Run. 4Before the boy can say ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mommy,’ Damascus and Samaria are going to get robbed. Assyria’s king will clean them out and carry their wealth away.”
Judah puts faith in Assyria5The LORD spoke to me. 6
“These people ignored me again.
They didn’t trust the local stream,
The gently flowing Shiloah.
They’re happy about what they think will happen
To Rezin and Remaliah’s son.
You’ll get the flood that comes with it.
The King of Assyria is coming
And he’s bringing his powerful army.
This river is going to flood its banks.
8Here comes a flash flood,
And it’s going to hit Judah.
It’ll rise neck high,
Spilling out and covering the land
In a wet blanket.
But God is with us.
9Nations of the world, unite.
It won’t help. You’re going to fall apart.
Nations, arm yourselves.
It won’t help. You’re going to lose.
One more time: You’re going to lose.
10Put your heads together. Nothing.
More empty heads aren’t better than one.
Make a plan.
Watch it fall apart.
But God is with us.”
Don’t follow the crowd11The LORD warned me not to go along with the crowd or to start thinking like everyone else. Here’s how he put it. 12
“Don’t call something a conspiracy
Just because someone else does.
Don’t be afraid of something
Just because someone else is.
He’s the LORD of everyone.
He’s the one you should respect.
He’s the one you don’t want to cross.
14He’s your safe house of protection.
But not to Israel or Judah.
He’s a rock that will trip them.
He’s a trap that will snare Jerusalem.
15A lot of people are going get hurt.
They’ll fall and get captured.
16Sear these teachings into your head.
Don’t let them be forgotten.
Share them with the people devoted to me.”
17So, here I am, waiting to see what the LORD will do.
He’s not available to Israel and Judah now. But I trust him.
Isaiah and his friends, an example to Judah18I’m here with my friends who trust the LORD like I do. We intend to serve as examples of devotion to the all-powerful LORD. He makes his home on Jerusalem’s hilltop. 19Some people who want to know what’s going to happen might suggest contacting spirit beings, ghosts, and fortune-tellers who mutter, chirp, and squeak. Come on, what sense does it make for a live person to ask for help from a dead person? 20Instead, follow the teachings we got from the LORD. And live up to the agreement we made with him. Anyone who doesn’t is bumping around in the darkness. 21People will someday wander through this land, worried and hungry. The hunger will make them cussing mad. So, they’ll look up at their king and their god. And they’ll cuss them both. 22Then they’ll look down on earth to see what’s happening. All they’ll see is trouble: the darkness of depression and the worry that comes with fear.
The Hebrew words, sounded out in English, are Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Scholars sometimes use antiquated words to translate it: Quick to Plunder, Swift to Spoil. Other scholarly descriptions: Pillage Hastens, Looting Speeds or Swift-Plunder, Hastening-Booty. Perhaps more descriptive: Hurry to the spoils or Hurry to the plunder. The point is robbery in high gear. Hit the gas and go, brake for curbside pickup, hit the gas and gone.
If ever a kid needed an endearing nickname…Swifty.
The gently flowing stream seems to represent Judah’s King Ahaz, and God’s recommendation that the people stick with the status quo and trust him. But they didn’t. Judah asked the Assyrians to protect them from Syria and Israel. They chose the rushing water of the Euphrates River, which represents the Assyrian Empire. The Euphrates ran through the Empire, which was in what is now Iraq.
Shiloah may have been a stream diverted from Gihon spring, located outside the Jerusalem city walls, in a cave below the hill where Israelites built the Temple. King Hezekiah later had a tunnel built to bring the spring water into the city so they would have water in case Assyrians lay siege to the city—which Assyria did in 701 BC, unsuccessfully. They gave up and went home (2 Kings 19).
Scholars translate this difficult phrase in a variety of ways. Some say the people of Judah were happy because they knew what Assyria was capable of doing to their enemies. Others translate it to say Rezin was happy Israel was helping him fight Judah. Still others say it’s talking about the people of Judah being afraid of their enemies.
Literally “Mount Zion.” “Zion” is a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City, “The City of Love” for Paris.
God entered into an agreement—often called a covenant or a contract—with the Jewish people. He promised to protect them and bless them with success in life. In return the Jewish people were to obey the laws Moses gave them. The Book of Deuteronomy is a summary of those laws and the rituals they were to observe. For one, they were to sacrifice animals to atone for their sins and to thank God for his kindness. Deuteronomy 28 lays out the rewards the Jewish people get for honoring their part of the agreement and the penalties for breach of contract, which meant breaking the laws. Observant Jews today still take these laws and rituals seriously.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.