Isaiah 9:12-21

Isa 9:12

The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


God now mentions some of the former judgments which he brought against Ephraim but they never heeded the warnings they received.  This verse describes the situation that Ephraim was in.  They had faced the Syrians and then they had the Philistines which came from behind because they inhabited the coastal areas.  Even after sending those armies against Israel, they would not listen so God continued to send judgments upon them and will continue until they are gone into captivity with Assyria and removed from the land. 


Isa 9:13

For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.


Here is the total obstinacy of Israel.  Instead of realizing they have angered the LORD with their rebellion against him they remained in rebellion to him and did not turn to him and ask for him to send a prophet to show them how to repent.  Then they did not seek the LORD of hosts in a reverent manner in prayer and a desire to return to obeying the Mosaic law and seeking the LORD. 


Isa 9:14

Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.


Then the LORD declares that the leadership of Israel, both the political and religious leaders who did not bring the people back to a life of obedience, they will be cut off in one day and that would be when the Assyrians would remove them from their positions and make them as common slaves to the land.  The branch also represents the great men or leaders and the rush represents the weak and feeble common people who were in league with the leaders and were guilty as well.  Just because a person is poor does not mean they automatically have a pass to do any kinds of evil they want.  Every person on earth is accountable to God for either their obedience or their rebellion.  It should be noted that false teachers in our generation will also be cut off especially those who try to cause the true believer to stray.  These types of verses should be warnings to those who hold to false teachings.


Isa 9:15

The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.


The ancient and honorable who would be the elders in their office who should have known better and did not cause the people to return to the Lord, instead caused them to go astray and to engage in all kinds of acts of rebellion.  The prophet that teaches lies is the tail which is the basest part of the body.  Like a dog who wags his tail at his master.  False prophets are the lowest because they created lies and scenarios and spoke lies in the name of the LORD.  There are many false prophets and teachers today who are doing the same thing.  They are making promises and twisting the scriptures for their own benefit and the people accept it and keep sending money to these frauds thus expanding their outreach and deceiving more people.  Poor people are never exempt from being obedient.  The reason these false teachers exist is because the people keep supporting them which means they are as guilty as the ones who are doing the deceiving.


Isa 9:16

For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.


Here is the truth about the sin of a false teacher in a nutshell.   The leaders who normally being in positions of authority and possess the ability to speak have helped the people to err with them and creating a consensus with their false teachings and as a result the people are destroyed and will face eternal damnation.  It is like today when so many follow these false teachers because they tell the people what they want to hear and as a result, those who followed them will be destroyed in eternal damnation along with the false teachers.


Isa 9:17

Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


The young people should have been a joy to the Lord but the fact is that they were sinning just as much as the ones who caused them to err.  The LORD was always a protector of the fatherless and widows.  A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)  However, now even the widows and orphans have been disobedient to the Lord, and because of that, mercy will not be shown to them because they are all evildoers and have sinned against the Lord and none of them ever questioned about returning to the Lord.  None of them came to their senses.  Not only their acts were evil but the words of their mouth were evil also and probably their words were against the Lord plus just like today people like to boast about their wickedness just look at all the Gay pride parades in so many cities around the world.  Since the people of Israel from the greatest to the smallest refuse to return to the Lord, his anger remained kindled and his hand is stretched out against Israel, which means he is not just angry but he is acting on that anger by bringing judgments upon Israel.


Isa 9:18

For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.


The wickedness in man will burn them like a consuming fire when the Lord begins to bring judgment upon them.  Briers and thorns are very dry and are consumed very quickly by any fire but especially by a raging fire. But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: (2 Samuel 23:6)  The sons of Belial are those who have disobeyed the LORD and caused others to do the same.  They went from being the children of God to the children of Belial.  When the judgments come it will be like a fire raging in the thickets of the forest where there would be the most trees and they are very close together like in a thick jungle.  This would cause one tree to ignite another one very quickly and the judgment would be as a fire or furnace that disperses smoke so all the land can see the fire.  Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. (Ezekiel 18:30)  The smoke will continue to rise just as it will when man is judged on the last day.  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. (Revelation 14:11)


Isa 9:19

Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.


During the time of Joshua the land was a land of light when all the tribes were in obedience to the Lord but now because of their rank disobedience, the Lord had to bring judgments upon them and as a result the land has been darkened, that is, it no longer has the truth of the LORD in it but is only under his wrath because of their turning to false religions and idolatry and the accompanying sins.  The wickedness of the people were the catalyst for the judgments coming upon them and they are referred to as fuel for the fire.  Not even family relationships would be able to stop the judgments as each person must be judged for their own sins.  There would also be civil wars where the Israelites would kill each other and as brethren they would be destroying the family of God as each tries to defend themselves because of their sins but it will be to no avail.


Isa 9:20

And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:


They shall attempt to snatch or grab what they could with their right hand which could be provisions or even wealth and yet it is not enough as they will still be hungry for more whether it be physical hunger or greed.  They will attempt to do the same thing on the left hand as they seek to grab what they can and whatever they get in the time of judgment will not satisfy them.  It is unfortunate that so many turn to material things thinking that the more you have, the more secure you are and that is a total deception.

Then no matter what they have will not benefit them as their hunger increases because they will turn to cannibalism as recorded in Jeremiah.  And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. (Jeremiah 19:9) 


Isa 9:21

Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


There will be tremendous tribal dissension even among the tribes of Joseph which are Ephraim and Manasseh and then together they will join and come against the tribe of Judah which probably happened before Shalmaneser took Ephraim.  It was probably not a long siege yet it was harsh one as many on Judah were killed.  For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. (2 Chronicles 28:6)  For this the anger of the Lord will still be kindled against Ephraim and the other nine northern tribes and will not escape the coming judgment which will come by the hand of the LORD.