Isaiah 7:23-25 Shekels and Thorns and Thistles

Isaiah 7:23 And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns.

How much is a shekel worth in modern day terms? We know these particular shekels were made of silver.  There is no definitive statement of accuracy in regards to how much a shekel weighs. The best estimate is a shekel weighs roughly .5 ounces. In March of 2013, silver is worth approximately $30.00 per ounce. Based on the text, one grape vine equals one shekel of silver.

1000 shekels X ½ ounce per shekel = 500 ounces of silver.

500 ounces X $30.00 per ounce of silver = $15,000 in today’s economy.

$15,000 divided by 1,000 plants = $15 per plant.

Genesis 3:18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field…Thorns and thistles are a reminder of disobedience that took place in the Garden of Eden. Thorns and thistles exist because Adam listened to his wife instead of to God. Adam ate the fruit from the tree that God said, “You shall not eat from it”. The ground was cursed and as a result, we now have thorns and thistles. According to God, thorns exist because of disobedience to Him. Consider this the next time you look at a beautiful red rose. It did not have thorns in the beginning. Every thorn we see should be a reminder.

From a humanist perspective, it was just a piece of fruit. What is the big deal?

The humanist cannot say, “Nobody was harmed or died because of this action”. We all die because of disobedience to a simple request. Do not eat from one tree.

And let’s not get all pious and bust on Adam for eating the fruit. Who are we kidding? Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?

Isaiah 7:24 People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns.

This ground is a barren waste land. People are hunting for food in the wild. Bows and arrows are the tools used for hunting game. The people are hungry.

Isaiah 7:25 As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample.

Previously, this land was used for growing food. Choice vines were tendered as noted in verse 23. It was productive farm land. It will become a space for animals to wander around looking for food.

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