The Vision of Isaiah

Chapter 17

Syria and Israel are threatened, 1-5. A remnant shall forsake idolatry, 6-8. The rest shall be plagued for their impiety, 9-11. The woe of Israel's enemies, 12-14.

1 [The burden of Damascus.]

"Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city/
and it shall be a ruinous heap.

The cities of Aroer are forsaken./
They shall be for flocks,/
which shall lie down and no one shall make them afraid.

The fortress shall also cease from Ephraim,/
and the kingdom from Damascus,/
and the remnant of Syria./
They shall be as the glory of the children of Israel,"/
says the LORD of hosts.

"And in that day it shall come to pass,/
that the glory of Jacob shall be diminished/
and the fatness of his flesh shall become lean.

And it shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain/
and reaps the heads with his arm./
And it shall be as he who gathers heads [of grain]/
in the valley of Rephaim.

Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it,/
as the shaking of an olive-tree,/
two or three berries/
in the top of the uppermost bough,/
four or five in its outermost fruitful branches,"/
says the LORD God of Israel.

In that day a man shall look to his Maker/
and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

And he shall not look to the altars,/
the work of his hands,/
neither shall he respect that which his fingers have made,/
either the groves, or the images.

9 In that day his strong cities shall be as a forsaken bough and an uppermost branch which they left because of the children of Israel. And there shall be desolation.

10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation/
and have not been mindful of the rock of your strength,/
therefore you shall plant pleasant plants/
and shall set it with foreign cuttings.

11 In the day you shall make your plant to grow/
and in the morning you shall make your seed to flourish,/
but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief/
and of desperate sorrow.

12 Woe to the multitude of many people/
who make a noise like the noise of the seas,/
and to the rushing of nations/
who make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!

13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters,/
but God will rebuke them, and they shall flee far off/
and be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind/
and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

14 And behold at the time of evening trouble./
And before the morning he is no more./
This is the portion of those who ravage us/
and the lot of those who rob us.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 17[➚]


[v.5] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning.

[v.10] - "foreign cuttings" - From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: "Cuttings of plants from far, and therefore valuable."