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Book of Isaiah
God’s Judgment on the Nations
Introduction to Isaiah Chapters 13-23
These chapters in Isaiah (13-23) are specifically set apart from the rest of the Book. The opening words of each section starts with the words “The burden of”, with the phrase ending with the nation’s individual name. At times, the name of the nation or empire is not used, but replaced with a symbolical name. ALL of the nations included in this section are on the black list to some degree, enemies of Israel except one, and that was Israel (Judah).
Each of these chapters has its own characteristic. These chapters are not just nation after nation being condemned. They all have character and viewpoints.
The prophet Isaiah is never seen as being proud, but instead a deep-feeling, sensitive man who cries at the destruction of his enemies. Almighty God not only has a special plan of destruction that awaits these nations, but very often He has a special word of hope or comfort, however little that may be. Sometimes it was an offer to change their ways right away; while other times the prophet predicted a restoration of that nation at some later date. Most importantly, we can see different nations who would support God’s work, even though they were very much His enemies.
God never has a simple judge and save plan, but works by threatening and counseling each nation to do its part in His own plan. It is the same in today’s world. The future was unclear,
then and now, but our God always offers a word of hope.
These prophecies seem to be addressed to Israel (Judah). They continued to give faith to a frail nation when they seemed to be on the brink of disaster.
As we read these prophecies, we know that God is indeed in control of all things. Each section has its own background, but because they are not placed in any historical setting, we can in no way accurately know the time of these prophecies.
Most often in an outline of Isaiah, these chapters are lumped together as God’s Judgment on the Nations. If we are wise, we must learn that each section is a special message and consider how that message relates to us today. Each case is different. In this time of a coming one-world government, it does us well to better understand how God deals with Israel and the other nations. I truly believe that Israel is the key to the future. Keep your eyes on Israel! http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_one_world_order.htm
Judgment of the Nations (Isaiah 13-23) extends the focus of God’s judgment to include 10 Gentile nations: Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Edom, Arabia, & Tyre. This is a very important theme in Old Testament prophecy, and much space devoted to this which includes: Isaiah 13-23, Jeremiah 46-51, Ezekiel 25-32 and the Minor Prophets.
There are very few sermons preached from these sections of God’s Word in today’s modern times.
The section as a whole is a lengthy series of prophecies of judgment against basically all of the nations of the Near East, nearly all of which at one time or another were enemies of Israel. Isaiah’s purpose is to demonstrate that God is the Master of all nations. And the first way He did that was to bring the prophesies the Lord gave him about God’s judgment on the nations in Isaiah 13:1-23:18.
Human pride and the honesty of God are the basic subjects. The fact that God brings judgment on all of the nations, shows us that the fate of ALL people is in His Holy Hands. In other words He is the Absolute Master of them all, and for Israel to place her trust in any of those nations would be stupidity.
Some believe that the prophecy against Babylon in 13:1-14:23 at the beginning of the series is more of an attack against the human glory that Babylon symbolized, rather than an attack on Babylon itself. Babylon certainly was the cultural center of the world at the time. So that would fit . . . but it seems to me that the prophecy is a judgment against both Babylon’s culture and against Babylon itself.
Some believe that the prophecy against Tyre that ends the series in chapter 23, is more of an attack against the commercial wealth that Tyre symbolized, rather than against Tyre itself. By the time of David and Solomon, Tyre had become a huge financial power. She had a vast fleet of ships that dominated the Mediterranean commerce, and she also produced a purple dye that became a source of great wealth for Tyrians. But, again, I think that the judgment against Tyre is against both the symbol of Tyre’s wealth and against the city itself.
The Burden on the Nations (13:1-23:18)
The Burden of Babylon (13:1-14:27)
The Burden of Philistia (14:28-32)
The Burden of Moab (15:1-16:14)
The Burden of Damascus (Syria) (17:1-14)
The Burden of Cush (Ethiopia) (18:1-7)
The Burden of Egypt (19:1-20:6)
The Burden of the Wilderness of the Sea (Negev) (21:1-10)
The Burden of Edom/Dumah (21:11-12)
The Burden of Arabia (21:13-17)
The Burden of Jerusalem (22:1-25)
The Burden of Tyre (23:1-18)
Each of the three great prophetical books: Isaiah; Jeremiah and Ezekiel contain a list of judgments or prophecies against the nations. When the three prophets are compared (Isaiah 13-23; Jeremiah 46-51; Ezekiel 25-32) the lists of prophecies are as follows:
In both Isaiah and Jeremiah, Babylon is the empire emphasized for judgment.
In Ezekiel, Egypt bears the full force of the judgmental prophecy.
In Isaiah, Babylon stands at the top of the list and at the height of God's destructive force. Babylon is often seen in Scripture as the arch-enemy of God and His people, and the fall of Babylon, which is prophesied, as something that should cause all the people of God to rejoice.
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page