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Bible Commentaries

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
Isaiah 16

 

 

Verses 1-14

Let"s turn to Isaiah chapter16 as we continue our study through the prophecy of Isaiah.

Now, in these next few chapters that we are covering here in Isaiah, behind the scenes Assyria is arising as a strong powerful military force. Assyria with its capital city of Nineveh is becoming extremely powerful and beginning to develop a tremendous army that will soon be on a campaign of subjugating the world. And so the prophet Isaiah begins to address himself to some of the various countries roundabout-to Moab, to Syria, to Ephraim, and all because these nations, Egypt, Ethiopia, are to be in conflict and in battle with the Assyrians. And so behind these next chapters you have to see the clouds of war rising from Assyria as they are going to soon begin their sweep down into this area of the world. And Isaiah is addressing now the nations concerning the destruction that is sure to come during this Assyrian invasion.

And the first nation that he addresses himself to is the nation of Moab, which is the present-day Jordan. It lies on the east of the Jordan River from Mount Gilead actually on south to Mount Seir.

Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela ( Isaiah 16:1 )

Now Sela is the word rock and from it the word petra and the city of Petra which happens to be in the area of Moab.

to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness ( Isaiah 16:1-5 ).

And then he begins his lament over Moab because of their great pride. Now, as we mentioned earlier as we were studying the prophecies of Isaiah, there"s a unique characteristic in... well, it isn"t unique because it is in many of the prophets, where they will be talking about a situation that is close at hand, but there seems to be a dual fulfillment of the prophecy and it reaches on out to another era and it spans into another time. And so, there is often what we call the near fulfillment and the far fulfillment of this prophecy.

Now many Bible scholars in the far fulfillment of this prophecy, as God is commanding Moab to "meet the wandering bird that is cast out of the nest, at the fords of Arnon and to hide the outcast and betray not him that wanders. And let the outcast dwell with thee, Moab," there are many Bible scholars who see this in its fulfillment as yet to come when in the midst of the seven-year period that God has yet to reckon to the nation Israel. For in Daniel the ninth chapter, the angel said unto Daniel, "There are seventy sevens determined upon the nation Israel, to finish the transgressions, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy One" ( Daniel 9:24 ).

No one understands from the time the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens and the walls will be built again in troublous times. But the Messiah will be cut off without receiving the kingdom. And the people will end up by being dispersed. Now Daniel said, "The prince of the people that shall come will make a covenant with Israel for the seventieth week." Or for this last week, this last period of seven years, but in the midst of the seven years, he will break the covenant and set up an abomination which causes desolation.

The disciples came to Jesus one day and they said, "Lord, what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?" And Jesus began to tell them the signs that they should watch for, the things that would be transpiring in the earth which would be a warning to them that they were approaching the end of the age. And as Jesus is talking to them about the various signs, He does speak to them, talking again to the Jews, "When you see the abomination of desolation, that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness. And if you happen to be on the roof of your house, don"t even bother grabbing a coat as you"re going through. Just get out of there as quickly as you can. And if you are out in the field working, don"t even return to your house, but get down to the wilderness just as quickly as possible."

So the Lord is warning them that the sign of the abomination of desolation. Now He said, "He that has wisdom understand." Because He said, "There is going to be a time of Great Tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again." Now, we are told in the book of Revelation, chapter12 , that John saw these various characters, or these various symbolisms. He saw a woman clothed with the moon and the stars. Twelve stars and the moon. And she was travailing, ready to bring forth a child. And he saw this great dragon that was seeking to devour the child as soon as it was born. And he speaks of how the woman brought forth the child which was caught on up into heaven to his throne. And so the dragon sought to make war against the remnant of the woman"s seed, but God gave to her the wings of an eagle to bear her to the wilderness place where she is to be nourished for three-and-a-half years.

From a prophetic standpoint, what this is all talking about is that God has one more seven-year cycle to fulfill in the history of the nation of Israel. The sixty-nine seven-year cycles were fulfilled from the time of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of Jesus Christ. The sixty-nine seven-year cycles were fulfilled actually to the day. For in March14 , 445 B.C. Artaxerxes gave the commandment to Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and173 ,880 days later, 483years on the Babylonian calendar, 360 days in the year, Jesus on April the sixth, 32 A.D. made His triumphant entry in Jerusalem. Fulfilled right on the letter.

But the angel said," There are seventy sevens." Now Jesus in being cut off, the Messiah will be cut off. Jesus was cut off. But in being cut off, in His being cut off, He made, through His death upon the cross, He made reconciliation for iniquity. He made an end of our sins. But He did not set up the everlasting kingdom, nor was the most holy place anointed, nor were the prophecies all fulfilled. So a part of those prophecies are yet remaining and they will take place at the end of the seventieth seven-year cycle. So there is one missing seven-year cycle that Jesus, when He was talking with His disciples, declared that it was a yet future thing.

When the church is taken out of the earth, it will then immediately give rise to the antichrist. Sometime after the church is removed, I believe that it will pretty much coincide with the removal of the church, for "that which hinders shall hinder until it is taken out of the way" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7 ); and then shall that "man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ) who comes forth with all kinds of lies and deceit and guile. In Revelation chapter4you see the church taken up into heaven. "I saw a door open in heaven: and the first voice was as of a trumpet saying, "Come up hither, and I will show things which will be after" [the church thing]. And immediately I was caught away by the Spirit into heaven; and there I saw the throne of God and the emerald type of rainbow about the throne of God. The twenty-four lesser thrones of the elders and the cherubim as they were worshipping God and the elders as they join in the worship, falling on their faces and casting their crowns on the glassy sea" ( Revelation 4:1-4 , Revelation 4:10 ). Declaring the worthiness of God to receive the praise and the worship.

And then in chapter5 he saw the scroll with seven seals in the right hand of Him that was sitting upon the throne. Heard the angel say, "Who"s worthy to take the scroll and loose the seal? The title deed to the earth. Who"s worthy to take this title deed? To reclaim the earth. The day of redemption has come. Who is worthy?" And John began to sob because no man was worthy in heaven, in earth, under the sea to take the scroll or even to look thereon. And the elders said, "Don"t weep, John. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to take the scroll, and loose the seal." And John saw. Turned and he saw Him as a lamb that had been slaughtered. And he saw Him as He stepped forth and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. And immediately the twenty-four elders took little golden bowls that were full of incense odors, the prayers of the saints. Offer them before God. And they sang a new song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the scroll, and loose the seal thereof: for Thou was slain and You have redeemed us by Your blood out of all of the nations, tribe, kindred, tongues and people. And You have made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign with You upon the earth" ( Revelation 5:9-10 ).

The song of the redeemed church in heaven. Only the redeemed church can sing that song. That is not the song of Israel; it"s out of all of the families of the people on the earth. That is not the song of angels; it"s only the song of the redeemed church. "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us by Thy blood." Angels can"t sing that song, but they can sing the chorus, and so they join in. A hundred million strong plus millions and millions as they sing, "Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and power and might and dominion and glories and thrones," and so forth. But we sing the verse.

And so we get into chapter6. "And he opened the first seal and the angel said, "Come." And I saw, and a white horse with his rider came forth conquering and to conquer" ( Revelation 6:1-2 ). The antichrist, the revelation of the antichrist, it immediately follows the glorious acclamation of the worthiness of Christ to take the scroll and loose the seals. So the introduction of the antichrist upon the earth. And one of the first orders of business of the antichrist as he is putting together the earth once again that has been ravaged by war when Russia invades the Middle East. So now he"s starting to put the pieces together because Russia has been soundly and thoroughly defeated in her invasion of the Middle East. He starts to put the pieces together again and the first thing he does is make a covenant with the nation of Israel.

Now the Bible doesn"t say that the covenant includes the rebuilding of the temple, but that is my own personal feeling and opinion, and it"s very strong. That this covenant that he makes with the nation Israel includes their giving to them the privilege of the rebuilding of their temple. And when they rebuild their temple, they will not build it on the site of the Mosque of Omar, or that which is commonly called the Mosque of Omar, which in reality is the Dome of the Rock Mosque.

I believe that they"ll leave the Dome of the Rock Mosque intact. I believe that they will build a wall on the north side of the Dome of the Rock Mosque. And in that large area of some fifteen acres or so they will make provision for the Jews to build their temple, which many of their scientists now believe is above the site of Solomon"s temple. Just last June one of the archaeologists and scientists in Israel came out with a very interesting article that was published in the Jerusalem Post in which he declared and gave his findings for believing that the temple of Solomon actually was north of the Dome of the Rock Mosque. Which if they can prove and all, which they are seeking to do, it will be a tremendous kind of a boon for those Jews that are wanting to rebuild their temple, because it means they can build it without having a holy war. All the Moslems of the world marching against them. It would be very easy just to put a wall and there is a verse in Ezekiel that talks about putting a wall along to separate. And in the eleventh chapter of the book of Revelation where the Lord gave unto John a ruler and said, "Now go measure the new temple and the court." He said, "Don"t measure the outer court because it"s been given to the heathens." And the Dome of the Rock Mosque stands in what would have been the outer court of Solomon"s temple if Solomon"s temple was there on the north side.

So he"ll make a covenant with the nation Israel. But in the midst of the seven-year period, after three-and-a-half years, he will come to Jerusalem and according to what Paul tells us in Second Thessalonians, and Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:1-51 , and Daniel spoke about in chapter9 , he will stand in the rebuilt temple and declare himself to be God. And he will demand that they worship him as God. Now according to the scriptures, according to Jesus, this is the sign for the Jews to flee out of Jerusalem. Get out of there as quickly as you can, because the antichrist, the man of sin, is going to now demand that the Jews worship him as God. And though they had initially hailed him as the Messiah, at this point they"re going to realize that they were mistaken and deceived by this man. And Jesus said, "Get out of there as quickly as you can. Don"t bother taking anything with you."

And according to Revelation, God will give to them wings of an eagle to bear them to a wilderness place where they will be nourished for three-and-a-half years. And the antichrist will send out an army after them, but the earth will open up and swallow his army. And so we begin to see the prophetic scene take place. Now where are they going to the wilderness and where will they be fleeing? Here"s where this prophecy of Isaiah begins to unfold.

Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Petra to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; betray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts [God says, "mine outcasts"] dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covering to them from the face of the spoiler [or from the antichrist]: for the extortioner [the antichrist] is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, and the oppressors are consumed out of the land. [And what will happen?] And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he [that is, Jesus] shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hastening righteousness ( Isaiah 16:1-5 ).

Now one further note should be made about this before we move on. And that is, the day that the antichrist comes, or the man of sin, the son of perdition, the beast, one of the many names that the scripture gives to him, the spoiler, the extortioner, the day that he comes and stands in the rebuilt temple and declares that he is God in the midst of the seven-year period, the day that that takes place, it will be from that day1 ,290 days until Jesus comes again with His church to set up His kingdom upon the earth. So we"re moving down towards this final sequence of events. We are reading constantly of Russia"s threat to move into the Middle East because of her own oil needs. And that will be the event that will more or less trigger this final sequence of events. For as Russia moves in, God will soundly defeat Russia. It will give rise to the ten nations of Europe out of which will arise this man of sin who will make a covenant with the nation of Israel for seven years. But in the midst of the seven-year period, he"ll break the covenant by coming into the temple declaring that he is God, demanding that he is worshipped as God, stopping the daily sacrifices and prayers. And1 ,290 days later, Jesus coming again with the church to establish God"s kingdom upon the earth.

So at this point the Jews are to flee to the wilderness. God is telling Moab, "Open up your arms. Receive them. Cover them. Keep them safe from the extortioner and from the spoiler and all. And hide them. Don"t betray them until this time of indignation is over passed." Time of great tribulation. And of course, until the King comes to sit upon the throne of David and to establish it in righteousness.

Now he turns to Moab at the immediate condition. Moab has been filled with pride.

he is very proud: filled with haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath ( Isaiah 16:6 ):

Now notice: pride, very proud. Haughtiness, pride, these words in the Hebrew are all a little different, but they come from the same base or root word. It is like using the word boast, boastfulness, boasting, and the boaster, and so forth. It"s the same root word in the Hebrew as it speaks of the great pride of Moab.

Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken ( Isaiah 16:7 ).

And so it tells about how that this tremendous... the vineyard for which Moab was famous were going to be trampled under the soldiers that were to come. They would no longer be trampling... the people would no longer be trampling the grapes in the winepresses. Now there was a cry that the people used to sort of as they would stomp the grapes in the winepresses they would cry, "Haddad! Haddad! Haddad!" With every, you know, "Haddad! Haddad! Haddad!" as they were stepping down the grapes and crushing them. And so the prophet is saying this cry Haddad! will no longer be heard in the winepresses, but it will be heard by the marching of the soldiers that are trampling down the vineyards. They will be coming marching to the, "Haddad! Haddad! Haddad! Haddad!" and it will be a not a sign of, not a shout of rejoicing, but a sound of the conquering armies of the Assyrians who shall destroy the marvelous vineyards of Moab.

And in verses Isaiah 16:13 , and Isaiah 16:14 he declares that this judgment against Moab will actually come within a three-year span of time. And within three years, Assyria conquered over Moab. And as the result, Moab will become, though she was very proud and all, she"ll become very small and feeble. "

 


Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.

Bibliography Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:4". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/isaiah-16.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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