The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 37 Part 3


Our next reading is Isaiah 37:21-27

We are instructed to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). This means that when we find ourselves in a very difficult situation, we should not look at the obstacle with our natural eyes and, seeing no clear way for success, be tempted to compromise or turn away from faith (embrace the ways of the world). Faith is believing that G-d is all-powerful and can take victory where none seems possible. Walking by faith involves remaining faithful and not compromising, but doing what is right by behaving according to the truth, the instruction of, and the commandments of G-d.

At this point in the book of the Isaiah we have seen that the city of Jerusalem is under siege and is in a dire situation. Many of the nations around them, greater nations with larger armies, have fallen to Assyria. The fortified towns belonging to Judah have also fallen to Assyria (Isaiah 36:1). In the natural, according to what they can see, there is not much hope for the people inside Jerusalem. However, through faith and through the promises of G-d, we are going to see that victory takes place here. G-d is able to make great changes in a moment and bring about victory for His covenant people.

v21: Isaiah…(said) to Hezekiah: There is a response from the prophet to the king in regard to what to do.

  • Thus says the L-rd: Isaiah has heard from G-d. 

v22: Him: The king of Assyria. This king is full of himself. He does not care about what is right or wrong but does according to his own desires.

  • Virgin: She was designated for the L-rd G-d of Israel. This is His bride. A bride and groom build together. With His bride, G-d builds His Kingdom. Sennacherib is moving to destroy the bride. He is moving to destroy the purposes of G-d. However, he will not be successful in his endeavour to do this. 
  • Despised: Shown contempt. Mocked. 
  • The daughter of Jerusalem: G-d has a covenant with the daughter of Zion. He has a purpose and a plan for her. 

v23: Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?: Sennacherib has despised and blasphemed G-d Himself.

  • Lifted up your eyes on high: Sennacherib has lifted up his eyes to the high places, i.e he has put himself in the same category as G-d. 
  • The Holy One of Israel: ‘Holy’ is a word associated with being set apart for the purposes of G-d. The G-d of Israel has a purpose for Israel. Sennacherib also has a plan for Israel, but his plan is against the purposes of G-d. 

v24: Your servants: Example: Rabshakeh was one of Sennacherib’s servants. For the sake of Sennacherib, Rabshakeh acted in a contemptuous way against the L-rd.

  • You: Referring to Sennacherib
  • The height of the mountains: Sennacherib thought he was greater than humanity, that he was a type of god – invincible. 
  • Lebanon: Many scholars teach that when ‘Lebanon’ is mentioned in this kind of a context it is not talking about the physical location of Lebanon but is an indirect reference to the temple – Lebanon’s trees were chopped down to build the temple (1 Kings 5). This battle with Sennacherib is a spiritual battle. He wants to conquer Jerusalem, and the temple, in an attempt to show that he is greater than the G-d of Israel (2 Thess 2:3-4)
  • I will enter its farthest height (the high place): The king of Assyria thinks he is going to reach the very pinnacle, the place where G-d is. This king wants to take the place of G-d. He thinks that he can wage war against the G-d of Israel and be successful.
  • Fruitful forest: Plentiful land.

Note: All of this terminology is telling us that the king of Assyria wants to come into Israel (the mountains of Zion). He wants to destroy the G-d of Israel and set himself up in the Holy of holies as G-d. He wants to be worshipped as G-d (Dan 11:41, 45, 2 Thess 2:3-4). 

v25: Note: This is G-d’s response to Sennacherib. If G-d wants water, He can get it for Himself. If G-d wants to dry up the water, He can do that too. He is Sovereign and has control over His creation. 

  • All the brooks of defence (literally: rivers of Egypt): The waters of Egypt were plentiful. It had the Nile River and all the tributaries that feed it. 

v26: Crushing…into heaps of ruins: Absolute catastrophe. A word of annihilation. All that Sennacherib is planning, all that he wants to accomplish, is going to be destroyed, annihilated.

v27: Inhabitants had little power: The soldiers in the fortified cities are going to lack power. 

  • Grain blighted before it is grown: When the corn is very young, before it has grown much, it is very susceptible to things and can be injured and destroyed quite easily. G-d is warning Sennacherib that he is like the grass – here today and gone tomorrow. Likewise, it doesn’t take a lot to destroy the herbs of the field, or the corn while it is still young. Sennacherib (his strongholds and his armies) could be easily destroyed by the L-rd.

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