Isaiah 2:12-22

Isa 2:12

For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:


The day of the LORD here will be when the Babylonians sweep the land and all those who are in high positions or are the wealthy and powerful will be humbled and they be treated as all the other people without any concern for the positions they held.  As arrogant as they were in Judah, they will be humbled as the poor people of the land.  Just as Israel faced the judgment of God for their sins, all the unsaved people of the world will stand before the LORD on the last day in judgment and that will include the mighty men as well as the frail men.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12) 


Isa 2:13

And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,


The cedars of Lebanon which are high and lifted up represents those who held high positions like rulers of countries and kingdoms.  The cedars of Lebanon were very strong and odoriferous which mean they had a sweet scent.  Many who are in high positions put on the front that they are sweet and nice when they are really self-serving.  The oaks of Bashan represent those who had inferior positions such as princes or nobles because the oaks of Bashan were inferior to the cedars of Lebanon.  In contrast to these unbelievers being likened to the trees of these places the true believer is also called a tree but a tree of righteousness.  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)


Isa 2:14

And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,


The high mountains and hills may be representative of kingdoms and cities which would come under the judgment of God.  It would also point to literal mountains and hills as many would flee to them thinking they could escape from the invading armies and the judgment of God.  As we saw back in 2:10 that the people would be looking for secure places to hide and would hope that the rocks and dust would hide them.


Isa 2:15

And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,


Jerusalem had a wall which surrounded it for the purpose of keeping out invaders plus on those wall there were high towers which were used for the purpose of keeping watch to see any approaching invaders from a distance.  During the time of Nehemiah, he had rebuilt many of the towers which were on the wall such as the tower of the furnaces, the tower of Meah, the tower of Hammeah and the tower of Hananeel.


Isa 2:16

And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.


Tarshish was located on the southern part of Spain.  It was where Jonah had attempted to go to when he was running away from the LORD, like that is possible.  The ships of Tarshish was what the Israelites used to buy and sell merchandise from other parts of the world and because these were their focus, they too would come under the judgment of God.  The pleasant pictures was the precious cargo that the ships would carry back to Judah.  Even the cargo would come under judgment because it represented the evil dealings that many of the Israelites partook of.


Isa 2:17

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.


The LORD is emphasizing that the loftiness of man which is the arrogance of man shall no longer reign but they will be bowed down as any subject bows to one of higher importance on the social ladder.  The arrogance of man shall be made low and all the people will see that the LORD alone will be exalted in that day instead of the pride of man.  Whenever the Bible records something two or three times, God is emphasizing that point more emphatically.


Isa 2:18

And the idols he shall utterly abolish.


The LORD will destroy all idols off the land as he will show them that they have no power nor can they stand against the LORD or oppose him in any fashion.  God will eventually destroy all idols in the world such as those of Roman Catholicism, Buddha, Hinduism and other false religions.  God takes seriously today the worship of idols as he did throughout history.  There are billions who stand before idols in the present world.  The funny thing is the man thinks he has intellectually advanced when he does the same thing as the ancient pagan people did.


Isa 2:19

And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.


Many will seek the protection of caves and holes in the rocks to avoid the judgment of God.  They will be unable to hide themselves from him who sees all.  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (Revelation 6:16)  It will be the same thing on the last day when the day of the wrath of the lamb has come.  They will try to use natural hiding places but will be unable to escape God’s judgment.  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (Hebrews 12:26)  When he ariseth means he will at that time intentionally bring judgment upon the earth as had been prophesied in the Scriptures.  It will be a time of such devastation that the people will fear the LORD greatly.  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Luke 21:26)  They will also see the glory of the majesty of the LORD as he will be the one who will be bringing the calamities on the earth and the arrogant man will be bowing.


Isa 2:20

In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;


Once the day of judgment has begun, the people will be so frightened that they will no longer look to their idols as their focus of worship but they will then realize that the real God is now showing his superiority over the false idols as they can do nothing to stop the judgment of God.  The idols will have no value so that the people will discard them wherever they are.  Here it is represented by the moles and bats.  Moles live in holes in the ground and bats live in caves.  They will come to a realization that these false gods are just that, false, and they have no power nor can they do anything but get a person under the judgment of God.  Notice these idols are made of silver and gold which is coveted by man but on the day of judgment, they will have lost their value and will be worth nothing when a person is under the judgment of God.


Isa 2:21

To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.


Here the LORD parallels his destruction from verse 19.  The difference is the type and places of the rocks.  Many shall go to different places in the mountains and hills to try and hide themselves from the coming of the LORD to judge them.  The clefts are rocks which have fissures or gaps and if it is wide enough a person could find a good hiding place.  The ragged rocks would be like rocks which tower above and can hide a person and give them cover from any marauders.  It would be considered a stronghold but even that would be of no use to hide.


Isa 2:22

Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?


In other words, do not put your trust in any man, even if he is a strong man because all have only breath in their nostrils which can be stopped at any time.  Putting your trust in man is placing your trust in someone like yourself which is only a living being which can be killed at any time and has no strength to oppose God. To be accounted means he can be here today and gone tomorrow and that would be the end of your hope.  It is like Christians who place their trust in their preacher instead of trusting only the word of God, they trust the thoughts of a man.  A foolish thing to do.  Isaiah speaks of this in another part of his prophecy.


6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)