Archive for February, 2012

Isaiah 3:4 Boy Kings

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , on February 26, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:4 And I will make mere lads their princes, and capricious children will rule over them…

After legitimate leadership is removed, they are replaced with kids. The Hebrew language is clear. These are boys, plural. As Strong’s describes, these are wantonness, vexing, and malicious youngsters. Youth does not have the knowledge base or experience let alone the ability to process, integrate, and apply information to lead a nation. The events of Isaiah Chapter 3 play out in Israel’s history of youthful kings.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary notes four young kings. All were evil in the eyes of God. King Manasseh was only 12 when he began to reign. Jehoiakim was 25. Jehoiachin was 18. And Zedekiah was 21. Look at the language God uses to describe these kings, capricious children. Yes they may have adult bodies, but they have the minds of detestable children.

One example is the 18 year old evil king Jehoiachin. Details of his reign are noted in 2 Kings 24:8-16. His reign was only three months in Jerusalem. In short, the youthful leader played Let’s Make a Deal with Nebuchadnezzar and exchanged his house and the luxurious contents of Solomon’s Temple for the lives of himself, his family, and the rich and privileged in Israel. This group was exiled to Babylon. Only the poor were left in the land Israel.

Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon completed a series of invasions. Isaiah had written his prophecy in the era of roughly 720 to 700 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion was roughly 100 to 120 years later in 597B.C. Other details of this period are also noted by Jeremiah in Chapter 24.

Ecclesiastes 10:16 Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.   In English, “woe” does not sound like that big of a deal. Woe is an interjection that means pity in Hebrew. It is a yell that is intended to get your attention. The word lad is the same word used in Isaiah 3:4. It is na`ar. They are just boys.





Isaiah 3:1-3 Societal Collapse

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:1 For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support, the whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water…

Isaiah 3 is a judgment against Jerusalem and Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel). As an overview of the chapter, God initially takes away food and water from the city and nation. Next, God removes older and experienced leadership and replaces them with young, inexperienced leadership. Judgment against the women of Israel is pronounced due to their attitude of materialism. Lastly, the men of the society are killed by the sword of war.

The idea expressed in the Hebrew grammar of verse 1 is the entirety of supplies and provisions, a complete removal of bread and a complete removal of water. Wycliffe’s Bible Commentary has inferred this is possibly caused by drought. Utter famine and dehydration have fallen on Jerusalem and the southern kingdom.

Isaiah 3:2-3 The mighty man and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the expert artisan, and the skillful enchanter.

Leadership is being removed from Israel. A lack of leadership is a judgment from God. That is a frightening thought when we look at the state of our country today in 2012. Do we really have leadership or are we run by polling, focus groups, or what’s trending on the internet?

The removal is regarding all aspects of society. The mighty man speaks to bravery. The warrior is military strength. The legal system is impacted with the removal of judges. Judicial fairness was not being executed and favoritism and bribes were the flavor of the day. Does this sound familiar? Essentially there was a complete breakdown of government. This is the ultimate outcome of society with a lack of leadership.

There is a removal of the moral and religious fabric of society. Granted some of these folks are false prophets, sorcerers, and diviners but they too are removed along with legitimate leaders. There was not Godly leadership in society. How does our culture view Judeo-Christian values in leadership in general?

Legitimate secular and corporate leadership were removed from the culture. Those who possessed wise counsel and advice were deleted. Technical expertise and a skilled labor force were no more. There were no people to build things. Manufacturing had dried up. Removal of work is judgment from God. What is our 21st Century society crying out at this time? Jobs, jobs, jobs. Does any of this sound familiar?

Arts and education were removed as well. In our case, this may not be such a bad thing. We have hundreds of channels to watch on TV: movies, music, shows, news, sports. Entertain me! The thing I hear more often than not, “There is nothing worth watching.” Our education system is crumbling and we continue to fall further behind the rest of the world in reading and math skills. Business leaders complain today’s graduates are not prepared intellectually.

Collectively, Jewish society of the past collapsed. Will we learn from history? Current trends are not favorable.

Isaiah 2:15-18 Ships of Tarshish

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 2:15-18 Against every high tower, against every fortified wall, against all the ships of Tarshish and against all the beautiful craft. The pride of man will be humbled and the loftiness of men will be abased; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols will completely vanish.

The common thread with all of the items noted in the verses above is they are all man made. The high tower speaks to man’s sense of architecture and construction. Fortified walls are symbols of military power and engineering. The ships indicate economic strength and power. The artisans and their beautiful crafts will be destroyed. Idols reflect man’s religious system. Every aspect of humanity and his system will be wiped out.

Tarshish is a term and concept that is somewhat of a riddle. No one really knows for sure where Tarshish is. But there are some educated observations. Tarshish is a Phoenician word from the Akkad meaning smelting plant or refinery. The term is used in connection with ships, merchants, and trade (I Kings 10:22, I Kings 22:48). Phoenician boats used to sail the sea regularly transporting smelted ores from the mining towns in Sardinia and Spain. A Phoenician inscription from Nora in Sardinia from the ninth century BC refers to a tarshish, or smelting site, on this island. Smeltery fleets or tarshish ships hauled material from this and other mining stations in the western Mediterranean. Ships of tarshish were built by Jehoshaphat in imitation of Solomon. -New Unger’s Bible Dictionary

Ships of Tarshish: A term applied to large seaworthy merchant vessels able to make the voyage to distant Tarshish (probably Sardinia, and secondarily also Spain) -Wycliffe Bible Commentary

Tarshish or Tharshish = “yellow jasper”

A city of the Phoenicians in a distant part of the Mediterranean Sea to which the prophet Jonah was trying to flee. Jonah was directed by God to go east to Ninnevah. Jonah was headed in the opposite direction, west to Tarshish. Site unknown but perhaps in Cyprus or Spain.  A city somewhere near and accessible to the Red Sea to which ships constructed at Ezion-geber on the Elanitic Gulf on the Red Sea were to sail. -Strong’s Concordance

Some maps show Tarshish to be west of the Straits of Gibralter on the southern shore of Spain.

Isaiah 2:13 Oaks of Bashon

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , on February 4, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 2:13 And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, against all the oaks of Bashan…

Bashan is the modern day Golan Heights. This would be the area in the far north east corner of modern day Israel. This place is south of modern day Damascus, Syria. Geographical land marks would include a region east of the Jordan River and north of the Arnon River. This territory extended from Gilead in the south to Mount Hermon on the north.

The oak is long-lived and when it grows old or is cut down it has the ability to renew itself, putting out new shoots from the stump or roots that in time develop into a strong tree. The oak tree is a symbol of strength. Two species of oak growing in Israel are deciduous. On the hills of Lower Galilee there exist groves of the Tabor oak (Quercus ithaburensis). This tree is to be seen in the Hurshat Tal in the Huleh valley where there are about 200 giant trees. The trees are about 50 feet high with trunks of 16 ft. or more in circumference.

The people of Tyre made the oars for their ships from the oaks of Bashan (Ezek. 27:6). “Of oaks from Bashan they have made your oars; with ivory they have inlaid your deck of boxwood from the coastlands of Cyprus. Tyre is a town on the Mediterranean coast of modern day Lebanon.

Isaiah 11 talks of a “shoot” from the lineage of Jesse. We know that shoot to be Jesus. Like an oak tree, He was cut down with His death on the cross. We know He is renewed in His resurrected body. We know He will return as a strong leader and rule the world. Isaiah 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

All of this said these trees, like proud men, are coming down.