Isaiah 3:5 Generation and Class Warfare

Isaiah 3:5 And the people will be oppressed, each one by another, and each one by his neighbor; the youth will storm against the elder and the inferior against the honorable.

The verb oppressed, nagas in the Hebrew, is defined in Strong’s Concordance as: to press, drive, oppress, exact, or exert demanding pressure. This is how the people were treating each other. Can you imagine living in a neighborhood where every one treated each other this way? You can forget about borrowing a cup of sugar…

The youth of the day were on the offensive towards older people of society. The word “storm” does not capture the essence of these youngsters. The Hebrew word is rahab. It is used as a simple action verb. It means to behave proudly, act stormily or boisterously or arrogantly, to act insolently, beset, importune. One can imagine the attitude. Their man, their generation is the king. It is their time.

The last comparison is the inferior against the honorable. Those who are disgraced, dishonorable, lightly esteemed, or despised will oppose themselves against those who are heavy, weighty, rich, honorable, and glorious. Simply put, class warfare is the result of youthful and inexperienced leadership.

A contemporary of Isaiah’s was Micah. Micah had these observations and implications on the family. Micah 7:6 For son treats father contemptuously, daughter rises up against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household. The children are on the rampage. The father and mother are not honored. It is a breakdown of the family unit and structure.

Prophetically, these things came to pass approximately 100 years later from the time of Isaiah and Micah. These events were fulfilled approximately 600 before the birth of Christ. Moving forward 600 plus years to the ministry of Jesus, He quotes Micah 7:6 in Matthew 10:21 and Luke 12:53.  These words have passed the test of time. Jesus Himself has validated them by quoting.   

Fast-forward to early 21st Century in the Middle East. Are we seeing the seeds of the re-emergence of youth and their desire to take a leadership position? The Arab Spring of 2011 was lead by the students who desire Democracy (so we are told). Does Isaiah 3:5 resemble the current state of affairs in the Middle East? The Bible tells us where this leads when young people are in charge. God Himself says that youthful and inexperienced leadership is a judgment on the people. This is something to monitor and something to think about.


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