The End is Near! Prophecy and the Present Every-Day Scene. Isaiah ch.3
Isaiah (NASB) 3:
1 For behold, the LORD God of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah
Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread
And the whole supply of water;
Jerusalem and Judah will suffer from lack of water and food (3:1).
Usually Jerusalem and Judah mean just that i. e. the People of Judah. These terms can on occasion also represent other Israelite entities.
Even now Israel has a water problem. The water supply of Israel is fed largely from aquifers the largest sections of which are in the so-called West Bank. Even if it wanted to Israel could not let these areas go.
Foreign forces such as the EU, Turkey, iran, and others could force Israel to lessen its control of these territories. If that happened the supply of water to Israel could be cut off.
Even now part of these water sources are being polluted due tot he Palestinians not treating their sewage and it seems deliberately polluting them.
The Palestinians have a suicidal tendency and do not mind harming them selves if they can hurt the Jews in the process.
And what do they do this?
Why do they take this attitude.
Out of hate for the Jewish people.
This is the same hate most of the world has. That is why most UN declarations and decisions today are against Israel.
Most people as individuals may be alright BUT in the aggregate they are bad. The Almighty will punish them.
2 The mighty man and the warrior,
The judge and the prophet,
The diviner and the elder,
3 The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter.
4 And I will make mere lads their princes,
And capricious children will rule over them,
They will lack leadership (3:4)
The KJ says,
"BOYS THEIR PRINCES, AND BABES SHALL RULE OVER THEM." Teenagers and almost-teenagers determine much of our culture and values. Our kids rebel against us and have claims (justified and unjustified) against us. The whole of society including many TV programs appears to back them up.
They harm themselves and by doing so they put us on a "guilt" trip.
In order to placate them we sometimes compromise too much. Instead of leaders we adults turn into marshmallows.
Instead of our children taking a lead from us and wanting to imitate us we sometimes imitate them.
5 And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The youth will storm against the elder
And the inferior against the honorable.
People will oppress each other with no respect for age or position (3:5).
This is happening today. Our children are taking over and telling us what to do. Even our culture is dominated by what the kids want or rather by what those in charge anticipate the kids may want.
"Each one by his neighbor": People are beginning to hate and irritate each other for no reason. Small things get blown out of proportion.
Poor people from uneducated primitive backgrounds invade our neighborhoods, molest our women, intimidate and rob our elderly.
6 When a man lays hold of his brother in his fathers house, saying,
You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler,
And these ruins will be under your charge,
7 He will protest on that day, saying,
I will not be your healer,
For in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
You should not appoint me ruler of the people.
"You should not appoint me ruler of the people": The Prophet is suggesting that, even though one should not necessarily push oneself forward, if a position of responsibility falls to one's lot it should not necessarily be run away from. We have a reasponisbility to do what we can for the sake of others and good in general.
8 For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen,
Because their speech and their actions are against the LORD,
To rebel against His glorious presence.
Jerusalem and Judah refer to the physical Jerusalem and the Jewish people BUT the point is also applicable to all of ISRAEL. "Jerusalem" in a sense can be regarded (on a secondary symbolical level) as representing the chief center of the Israelite nation.
9 The expression of their faces bears witness against them,
And they display their sin like Sodom;
They do not even conceal it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves. And they display their sin like Sodom.
: This also happens today. "Sodom" represents corrupt behavior in general. It also has connotations of public homosexuality. In the past people were at least discreet about their misdeeds and even ashamed of them. A great Rabbi once said that if only we were afraid of God seeing our bad deeds as we are afraid of people seeing them then things would be good.
Not so, in a lot of cases, nowadays.
This is bad since example is always important.
If you remember the first time you did anything wrong it was probably due to your having seen, or heard of, someone else doing the same thing beforehand.
We probably thought if they (i.e. they who misbehavior) can get away with it, if it is socially acceptable for them, it should be the same for us.
10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.
Judah and Jerusalem will suffer because of their wickedness but the righteous amongst them will be watched over (3:10).
Stay good and sooner or later you will be rewarded, both in this world and the next.
11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.
12 O My people! Their oppressors are children,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray
And confuse the direction of your paths.
Women and children will rule the People of God because of their sins. This is a punishment (3:12).
WOMEN RULE OVER THEM: This is not good for society. It has been proven. Books have been written and statistical studies conducted. The dominance of women tends to emasculate the masculine element of society. This applies even though in some cases the women may be competent and able to perform the task as well as (or better than) the male can.
13 The LORD arises to contend,
And stands to judge the people.
14 The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people,
It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
"DEVOURED THE VINEYARD": Ecological damage due to irresponsibility verging on criminal neglect.
"The plunder of the poor": Poor people are more likely to be the victim of shoddy products, negligent services, deliberate and offensive discrimination, oppressive financial demands, inadequate police protection, etc. It is our responsibility to do what we can to rectify such situations.
15 What do you mean by crushing My people
And grinding the face of the poor?
Declares the LORD God of hosts.
"MY PEOPLE"... THE POOR": God pities poor people. So should we.
16 Moreover, the LORD said, Because the daughters of Zion are proud
And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes,
And go along with mincing steps
And tinkle the bangles on their feet,
"seductive eyes": This is our culture. This is what we want. It is not for our good.
17 Therefore the LORD will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs,
And the LORD will make their foreheads bare.
Oppression of the poor, and deliberate sexual provocation by women will bring disaster upon Zion (3:15-17)
"make their foreheads bare" this is translated in the KJ as "SECRET PARTS": The KJ is more consistent with the simple meaning of the Hebrew which says "pat-hen" i.e. their female sexual organ, "ya-arey" will be uncovered or alternately "made to flow" (Metsudat). This could indicate venereal diseases.
Venereal disease and other problems caused by sexual transgression are a serious problem today. Modern medical treatments often hide the issue.
Due to immodest sex-orientated cultural values some of our women sometimes dress immodestly. This is not good for us nor for the people concerned. It is not even really attractive. It is just as often the opposite of attractive. When women flaunt their secret parts it is often a form of aggressive provocation and offensive in intent. Historically the more easily men can obtain sex through promiscuity the less they want it in any way whatsoever. The less masculine they become.
18 In that day the LORD will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments,
19 dangling earrings, bracelets, veils,
20 headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets,
21 finger rings, nose rings,
22 festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses,
23 hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils.
24 Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction;
Instead of a belt, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp;
Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth;
And branding instead of beauty.
The above listed afflictions indicate both diesease and illness caused by nature and other problems resulting from physical oppression by antagonistic foreigners\.
Sexual abuse may result in severe physical afflictions that leave ugly symptoms and cause physical repulsion in others (3:17-24).
"well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp": Treatment for cancer? New fashion? Notice how in many cases people actually inflict the threatened punishments on themselves.
25 Your men will fall by the sword
And your mighty ones in battle.
26 And her gates will lament and mourn,
And deserted she will sit on the ground.
Young men will die in battle and strategic points ("gates") be lost (3:26).
Britain and the USA became great partly due to their possession of strategic thoroughfares controlling international trade and imparting geo-political advantages.