The Prophecy of Eliakim

Isaiah 21 and 22 give us several prophecies.  The last one is fantastic.

Isaiah 21 begins with a terrifying prophecy about the coastal desert.  More specifically, Elam and Media are being called upon to advance and lay siege against Babylon.  The Lord told Isaiah to post a watchman in the watchtower so he can report what he sees.  In verse 6, the Lord wanted Isaiah to post himself as the watchman and later in verse 8, the Lord told him to set someone else there.

When the watchman saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, he reported that Babylon had fallen.  He emphasized this by repeating the phrase twice.  He also said all of the carved images of her gods lie shattered on the ground.  Since the phrase “is fallen!” is repeated, it begs us to ask the question as to whether or not this implies multiple fulfillments.

Originally, the kingdom of Babylon was given to the Medes and the Persians during Daniel’s time.  Strangely enough, a few years ago, journalists around the world told us of the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  At that time, people around the world could see the statues and images of Saddam Hussein being pulled down and destroyed.  As incredible as that seemed, there is yet another time in the future when the mysterious harlot known as Babylon will fall.

During Daniel’s time, God’s people were exiled in Babylon until Cyrus eventually allowed them to return to their homeland before Medo-Persia was conquered by Alexander the Great.  In Revelation 18, an angel declares the fall of Babylon the Great and a voice from heaven commands God’s people to come out of her so they don’t share in her sins and receive her plagues.  Surely, this must be done prior to the take over and rule of the false prophet.

The burden of Dumah (Idumea or Edom) begins in verse 11.  Most English translations begin, “He calls to me out of Seir…”  This is a little hard to understand until we realize that it can also be translated, “He calls to me because of Seir…”  The question asked of the watchman is “what of the night?”  The Hebrew word, layil can be translated as night but it can also figuratively refer to adversity.  It seems the people of Seir were causing misery to God’s people.  The book of Obadiah describes the coming judgment on Edom.  In the future, the prophecy of Obadiah will be fulfilled; what Edom has done to others will be done to them and Israel will be delivered.

Obviously, the misery caused by Edom was meant to be a method to discipline God’s people.  It was supposed to cause the Lord’s people to repent and return to Him so that joy and salvation could come in the morning to those who do so.

There is also a prophecy concerning Kedar in Arabia.  In this prophecy, the Dedanites will dwell in the forest in Arabia instead of the desert.  According to Ezekiel, the Dedanites were one of the peoples that Judah traded with.  Apparently, war will make it unsafe to dwell in the desert. During that time, the inhabitants of Tema should bring water and bread to those who flee from the sword of war.  By the end of a year, Isaiah prophesied that the glory of Kedar would end.

Following this burden is the prophecy of the Valley of Vision.  This is a vision of the invasion of Jerusalem.  This took place because of a grave sin; they failed to look to the Lord who caused the breaches to take place.  Instead of repenting, the people decided to eat, drink, and be merry because the next day they knew they were going to die.  Please pray that the people of Israel do not ever make the same mistake again.

In this prophecy, a man named Shebna was to be removed from being in charge of the king’s house and be replaced by Eliakim, son of Hilkiah.  This is an awesome prophecy.  Look at what the Bible says in Isaiah 22:17-25:

“Indeed, the Lord will throw you away violently, O mighty man, And will surely seize you. 18 He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball Into a large country; There you shall die, and there your glorious chariots Shall be the shame of your master’s house. 19 So I will drive you out of your office, And from your position he will pull you down. 20 ‘Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 ‘They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. 25 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the Lord has spoken.'”

The reason I like this prophecy so much is because it is a picture of what the Lord will do in the future.  The Lord will make sure the false prophet is removed from the place where he will exalt himself.  Within a short amount of time, Satan will be seized and thrown into the Abyss.  Jesus, the suffering servant who has the key of David will open and shut the house (Revelation 3:7).  On the Day of the Lord, He will be clothed in a robe of righteousness; a belt of justice will be around his waist; and a sash of faithfulness will be around his hips.  When He comes, He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth (Isaiah 11:4-5).  His kingdom and His throne will be secure forever because He will rule in righteousness (Prov. 16:12; 29:14). 

As we wait for that day to come, we are only mere vessels of clay.  Let us continually bring glory to the Lord now and forever!

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The Prophecy Against Egypt

Isaiah 19 is a prophecy against Egypt.  It begins, “The burden against Egypt.  Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, And will come into Egypt; The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.”

This is vaguely reminiscent of the Lord coming into Egypt on the night of Passover.  Exodus 12 says the Lord Himself promised to pass through the land of Egypt and to strike the firstborn man and beast, and all the gods of Egypt. The Bible says this took place at midnight.  When the mixed multitude left Egypt, the Lord went before them in a pillar of cloud to lead them during the day and in a pillar of fire during the night.

Isaiah 19:2 continues, “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; Everyone will fight against his brother, And everyone against his neighbor, City against city, kingdom against kingdom.”

As I consider what happened long ago in Egypt during the time of Moses, I wonder if the Egyptians were fighting one another as the plagues fell upon them.  Even the magicians realized this was the finger of God.  Surely they wanted Pharaoh to give in to Moses and Aaron before more damage was done.  If they felt this way, surely many of the other Egyptians felt the same way.  The question remains as to whether or not they were willing to fight one another over it.

We have to wonder if this Scripture has been fulfilled in our midst today.  Back in February 2011, during the Arab Spring, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime fought against the popular uprising in Tahrir Square.  What was quite curious at the time was the viral video of a ghostly rider on his horse.  Could this have been the equivalent of the Lord coming on a cloud into Egypt or was this one of the horsemen of Revelation?

If this is not the actual fulfillment of Isaiah, then it will come in the future.

Isaiah 19:3-4 goes on to say, “The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, And they will consult the idols and the charmers, The mediums and the sorcerers. 4 And the Egyptians I will give Into the hand of a cruel master, And a fierce king will rule over them,” Says the Lord, the Lord of hosts.”

Today the most predominant religion in Egypt is Islam (mostly Sunni) although there are some Jews and Christian denominations there and people of other beliefs. [i] By the end of June 2012, Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, won the presidency of Egypt.  So far, all of this activity in the country has decreased tourism in Egypt and unemployment is rising.[ii]  Time will tell exactly how cruel Mr. Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood will be as president of Egypt.

Isaiah 19 prophesies that at some point, the waters of Egypt will also be affected by drying up and turning foul.  This will cause the plant life to wither.  The fishing and textile industry will be negatively affected in addition to the daily wages suffering due to lack of available work.

As we consider this passage, we must also consider the information found in Ezekiel 29.  The Lord will be against the Pharaoh of Egypt.  He’s referred to as a great monster that dwells in the river of Egypt.  The Lord says he will put hooks in his jaws and draw him out with all the fish in his rivers sticking to him.  I other words, the Lord will draw the Egyptians into battle.  This is a reference to the president of Egypt and his army.  All of them will be left in an open field to be eaten by the beasts of the field and birds of the air.  This portion of Scripture has obvious connections with the feast for birds mentioned in Revelation 19:17-21. 

I wonder what the Egyptians thought when they realized their Pharaoh and his army was drowned in the sea.  As I consider the future, I’m confident Ezekiel was correct when he said that only after the flesh of the Pharaoh and his army are eaten will the Egyptians know the Lord.

Prior to that, there will be no wise men in Egypt; the counselors will give foolish counsel.  A perverse spirit will cause Egypt to error in all its work.

Will the Egyptians realize that what is happening to them is caused by the hand of the Lord?  Since the Egyptians in Moses’ time did, I think it will only be a matter of time before the Egyptians will fear the Lord and Israel.

At some point, there will be an altar to the Lord in Egypt and a pillar at its border.  This will be a sign and a witness for the Lord.  Just like the Hebrews called out to the Lord for deliverance because of their oppressors, many Egyptians will do the same thing in the future.  The Lord will send Jesus to deliver them!  Even though the Lord will strike Egypt, He will heal it afterwards.  The people will return to the Lord and He will heal them. 

As hard as it is for us to imagine, there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria when Jesus returns. The Assyrians and Egyptians will travel back and forth on this road.  Both the Assyrians and Egyptians will serve the Lord with the people of Israel.  This is very different from the Egyptians being led away from their homeland by the Assyrians unclothed and ashamed as described in Isaiah 20.