Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 17

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-14

Isaiah 17:1 . A ruinous heap. Tiglath-pileser destroyed it in the support of Ahaz, and carried away the inhabitants. 2 Kings 16:8. Yet it was afterwards rebuilt.

Isaiah 17:2 . The cities of Aroer are forsaken. Aroer was a city on the banks of Arnon, near the dead sea, which belonged to the tribe of Gad. When Tiglath came up with his Chaldaic armies, he apparently divided them into two. The one burned Damascus, and then invaded Ephraim, or the ten tribes; and the southern army extended to Aroer in the land of Moab. This city, says Burckhardt, still subsists under the name of Araayr.

Isaiah 17:4 . The glory of Jacob shall be made thin, indicating the reduction of the Hebrew population by civil and foreign wars. The Lord now began to cut Israel short.

Isaiah 17:9 . “In that day, the cities shall be forsaken as when the Hivites and Amorites forsook them, because of the children of Israel.” Lowth.


King Ahaz sought help in an arm of flesh, which only helped for the present, and at an expense ruinous to his people, and eventually ruinous to all under the yoke of Babylon. Oh how much more blessed was Samuel, who in trouble called upon the Lord, and joyfully raised his Ebenezer in Mizpeh.

We see that God will punish the wicked, who help their neighbours through motives of wickedness. Woe to the multitude of many people, who make a noise like the roaring of the seas; that is, the Chaldeans, who boasted and blasphemed. We have seen the fall of their empire, as in chapters 13. and 14.

We learn also the low and distressed state of the Jews before their final overthrow: they were as a tree stripped of all its fruit, except some upper branches out of the reach of purloiners. The prophet Micah has a similar idea: woe is me, for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruit; yea, like the inferior fruit left for the poor to pick. If God be not with a man, or a nation, his glory shall fade like the verdure of the year.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 17". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/isaiah-17.html. 1835.
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