In this section (17-18), we have a prophecy dealing with Damascus and an interlude containing a soliloquy of the prophet. The burden of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1-11) announces its doom. It is evident, however, that the prophet had in mind an alliance which had been entered into between Israel, or Ephraim, and Damascus. The doom of Damascus means the destruction of the fortress of Ephraim.
The prophet then proceeds to describe the judgment of Ephraim, which will issue from the destruction of Damascus; and to declare that the effect will be to compel men to look to Jehovah rather than to idols. The reason for this visitation is that Ephraim had forgotten God.
The soliloquy of the prophet commences here (verses Isaiah 17:12-14), and reveals his consciousness of the opposing peoples all about the chosen nation, and of Jehovah as perfect Defense.
the Second Week after Epiphany