A short portion is next: Isaiah 9:18-21
v18: Mount up like rising smoke: Perhaps what this verse is saying is that G-d shows His majesty in judgment. When smoke goes up from G-d, judging and destroying those who reject Him, it is indeed a source showing that He is G-d Almighty that He is the only majestic G-d (Ex 19:18, Rev 15:8 etc)
v19: The land: Referring to the land of Israel.
- Fuel for the fire: What the fire consumes strengthens the fire.
- No man shall spare his brother: They have no love for their neighbour. They have no thought within themselves to be merciful or kind. Everyone is driven by what they want. This same type of self-centeredness is going to be one of the characteristics that mark people in the last days (2 Tim 3:1-5).
v20: Hungry: Hunger pains are uncomfortable.
- Devour … and not be satisfied: They are going to be utterly frustrated, empty and will find no satisfaction in anything.
- Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm: This phrase speaks of desperation. The people who do not give to G-d what rightly belongs to Him are going to be in a miserable situation.
v21: Manasseh … Ephraim: Joseph’s two sons (Gen 46:20) – i.e. the next generation (they were initially not part of the 12 tribes of Jacob). The rabbis say that whenever there is a reference to the next generation it is an indicator that we need to prepare for the coming of Messiah as it might be the last generation.
- Be against Judah: The Northern kingdom, despite the fact that they were ‘brothers’ wanted to attack the Southern kingdom.
- His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still: This phrase is repeated for the third time in this chapter. G-d did not remove His wrath (He was still angry with the people because of their behaviour), but even in the midst of His judgment He was willing to forgive them if they repented and turned from their conflict and rebellion.