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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 20

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-6

Chapter 20

Now in chapter 20, Isaiah predicts that Assyria is going to waste both Egypt and Ethiopia.

In the year that Tartan ( Isaiah 20:1 )

Which is the title which means the commander in chief. Tartan, the commander in chief.

came unto Ashdod ( Isaiah 20:1 ),

One of the major cities of the Philistines. It is now a seaport city of Israel.

(when the commander in chief of the forces of Assyria under Sargon) came to Ashdod, and took it; At the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off your loins, and put your shoes off your feet. And so he did, walking naked and barefoot. And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot for three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory. And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, where can we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape? ( Isaiah 20:1-6 )

So, it was a sort of a method by which the conquering armies would seek to disgrace the conquered people is by making them march naked. Now it is interesting that God would tell his prophet Isaiah to walk around naked for three years. So that it would be the sign to the people. So Assyria is going to embarrass both Ethiopia and Egypt by conquering them and leading away their captives naked. And their confederacy together is not going to stand. And that is why Isaiah's saying, "Don't make a league with Egypt or don't look to them for help against Assyria. Look to the Lord. If you look to man, if you look to the arm of flesh, you're going to fall anyhow."

Now the counsel of God is pretty much perennial in that God is encouraging us to look to Him for our help and for our strength and for our defense. Don't look to the arm of flesh. Don't look to the arm of man to help you, because man can fail. The Lord will not fail. And so this was the message of Isaiah unto Judah and to king Hezekiah to trust in the Lord. Don't trust in an alliance and an agreement, because these nations are going to fall to Assyria. You trust in the Lord, the Lord will take care of you. And as we trust in the Lord, we can be sure the Lord will take care of us.

Shall we pray.

Father, we thank You again for Thy sure Word, that even as You have spoken, surely it shall come to pass. And Father, we can see as we look at history and as we read of the prophets, who before the events so clearly described them, we thank You, Lord, for this proof of Your divine capacities and divine nature. Dwelling, Lord, as You do in the eternal, outside of our time continuum. And thus, speaking of things before they come to pass as though they had already come to pass because You know they are going to come to pass. Oh, how thankful we are for Your sure Word and for the promises that yet await us as Your children, of those things that are going to come, of Thy glorious kingdom upon this earth. And our privilege of being with You and reigning with You. Now hide Thy Word away in our hearts and let us grow in our confidence and trust in Thee. In Jesus' name.

Shall we stand.

May the Lord be with you and watch over you through the week as special emphasis is being made, the emphasis and attention upon the death of Jesus Christ and His subsequent resurrection. May the power to raise Jesus from the dead dwell in you, quicken you to every good work. God bless you and anoint you with His Spirit and use your life as His instrument to shine forth His light to a dark world. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 20". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-20.html. 2014.
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