The rising waters of the Nile River (Jer 46:7-46:9)

“Who is this?

Who is rising like the Nile?

Who is like rivers

Whose waters surge?

Egypt rises

Like the Nile.

They are

Like rivers

Whose waters surge.

It said.

Let me rise!

Let me cover the earth!

Let me destroy cities!

Let me destroy their inhabitants!

Advance!

O horses!

Dash madly!

O chariots!

Let the warriors go forth!

Men of Ethiopia!

Men of Put

Who carry the shield!

Men of Lud,

Who draw the bow!”

The Egyptians had originally thought that they would have the waters of the Nile River, or their power, take over the Babylonians, but the reverse was true. They wanted to be like rivers surging forth. They wanted to destroy other cities and their inhabitants. They had horses and chariots to carry out their mission as they advanced. They had the people from Ethiopia and Somalia. They had the people of Put, the Libyans, and Lud, the Lydians, who had shields and were good at bows and arrows. However, all this great might was turned back by the Babylonians.

The king’s choice (Jer 22:4-22:5)

“If you will indeed obey this word,

Then through the gates of this house

Shall enter kings

Who will sit

On the throne of David.

They will ride in chariots.

They will ride on horses.

They will do this

With their servants,

With their people.

But if you will not heed these words,

I swear by myself,

Says Yahweh,

That this house

Shall become a desolation.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, gave the king a choice. He could obey the word of Yahweh, then there would be many kings sitting on the throne of David with chariots and horses for all the people of Judah. However, if he did not listen to the word of Yahweh, Yahweh himself would make the house of Judah a desolation.

The good results if you observe the Sabbath (Jer 17:24-17:25)

“Yahweh says.

‘But if you listen to me,

If you bring in no burden

By the gates of this city

On the Sabbath day.

But rather keep the Sabbath day holy

By doing no work on it,

Then there shall enter

By the gates of this city

Kings who will sit

On the throne of David,

Riding in chariots,

Riding on horses.

They with their officials,

The men of Judah,

As well as the inhabitants of Jerusalem

Shall enter the gates.

This city shall be inhabited forever.”

Yahweh says that good things will happen if they observe the Sabbath. They had to bring no burdens through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath. They also were to keep the Sabbath holy by doing no work at all on that day. If they did these things, then kings would sit on the throne of David with chariots and horses. There would be officials along with the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem going through the gates. All would be able to enter the gates of Jerusalem. Thus the city would be inhabited forever.

The enemy approaches (Jer 4:13-4:14)

“Look!

He comes up like clouds!

His chariots are

Like the whirlwind.

His horses are swifter

Than eagles.

Woe to us!

We are ruined!

O Jerusalem!

Wash your heart clean of wickedness!

Thus you may be saved.

How long shall your evil schemes

Lodge within you?”

The enemy is coming like a series of clouds. His chariots are like tornado winds. His horses are quicker than eagles. Jerusalem will be ruined. The only way that they can be saved is if they cleanse their heart of wickedness. Their evil schemes are so much a part of their life that it will be difficult to get rid of them quickly.

Everyone is coming to Jerusalem (Isa 66:20-66:21)

“‘They shall bring all your kindred

From all the nations

As an offering to Yahweh.

They will come on horses.

They will come in chariots.

They will come in litters.

They will come on mules.

They will come on dromedaries.

They will come

To my holy mountain Jerusalem.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Just as the Israelites

Bring a grain offering

In a clean vessel

To the house of Yahweh,

I will also take some of them

As priests,

As Levites.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh proclaims how they would get to Jerusalem. They would come on horses, chariots, litter couches on poles, mules, and the one humped camel dromedaries. They would all come to Jerusalem. In fact, some of these kindred people might become priests or Levites of Yahweh.

Chariots of fire (Isa 66:15-66:16)

“Yahweh will come in fire.

His chariots will be

Like a whirlwind.

He will pay back his anger in fury.

His rebuke will be in the flames of fire.

Yahweh will execute judgment By fire.

Yahweh will execute judgment

By his sword upon all flesh.

Those slain by Yahweh shall be many.”

The prophet portrays Yahweh coming in fire with chariots, so that we have the chariots of fire. His anger and fury will be in the flames of this fire. He will execute his judgment with fire and the sword on everyone. Yahweh will kill many people.

The new Exodus (Isa 43:16-43:19)

“Thus says Yahweh.

He makes a way

In the sea.

He makes a path

In the mighty waters.

He brings out chariots.

He brings out horses.

He brings out armies.

He brings out warriors.

They lie down.

They cannot rise.

They are extinguished.

They are quenched like a wick.

Do not remember the former things!

Do not consider the things of old!

I am about to do a new thing.

Now it springs forth.

Do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness.

I will make rivers in the desert.”

Second Isaiah seems to have Yahweh imply that there will be second Exodus. Yahweh would make a way for them through the sea and the mighty warriors. Despite the fact that chariots, horses, armies, and warriors will come after them, these armies will lie down and not rise again. They will be extinguished like a candle wick. They should not remember the former past old things because there will be a new way in the wilderness. They should be able to see it, since there will be rivers in the desert.

The oracle of Yahweh against the Assyrian king (Isa 37:22-37:25)

“This is the word

That Yahweh

Has spoken

Concerning King Sennacherib.

‘She despises you.

She scorns you.

Virgin daughter Zion!

She tosses her head

Behind your back.

Daughter Jerusalem!

Whom have you mocked?

Whom have you reviled?

Against who have you raised your voice?

Against who have you haughtily lifted your eyes?

Against the Holy One of Israel!

By your messengers,

You have mocked Yahweh.

You have said.

‘With my many chariots,

I have gone up to

The heights of the mountains,

To the far recesses of Lebanon.

I felled its tallest cedars,

Its choicest cypresses.

I came to its remotest heights,

Its densest forest.

I dug wells.

I drank foreign waters.

I dried up with the sole of my foot

All the streams of Egypt’”

Once again, this is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 19. In very poetic words, Isaiah speaks for Yahweh. Judah was his daughter Zion as well as his daughter Jerusalem, his favorite spot. King Sennacherib has mocked, reviled, raised his voice, and lifted up his eyes against the Holy One of Israel. He even sent messengers mocking Yahweh. He has bragged about his mighty exploits with chariots in mountains, trees, wells, and streams.

 

Against those who trust in Egypt (Isa 31:1-31:1)

“Woe to those

Who go down to Egypt

For help!

They rely on horses!

They trust in chariots

Because they are many!

They trust in horsemen

Because they are very strong!

But they do not look

To the Holy One of Israel!

They do not consult Yahweh!”

Isaiah has another strong warning about going to Egypt to get help. Those who go to Egypt will be cursed. They want help from horses, chariots, and cavalry horsemen because there are many strong ones in Egypt. However, they did not look to the Holy One of Israel. They did not consult with Yahweh before they set out on this mission. Besides many of this help would have been useless on the Israelite terrain.

Idol worshipers (Isa 2:6-2:8)

“You have forsaken

The ways of your people!

O house of Jacob!

You are full of diviners

From the east.

You are full of soothsayers

Like the Philistines.

They clasp hands with foreigners.

Their land is filled with silver.

Their land is filled with gold.

There is no end

To their treasures.

Their land is filled with horses.

There is no end to their chariots.

Their land is filled with idols.

They bow down

To the work of their hands.

They bow down

To what their own fingers have made.”

Isaiah speaks out strongly against idol worship that must have been common among the house of Jacob in eight century BCE. The Israelites have forsaken the ways of their people since they had a lot of eastern diviners, like priestly prophets who foretold the future in the name of some god, roughly the equivalent of a Yahweh prophet among the non-Israelites. There were also the fortune tellers or soothsayers from Philistine, from along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. There must have been some kind of magic handshake with foreigners that was also forbidden. Why were they doing this? Their land was full of silver, gold, many treasures, horses, and chariots. What else did they want? Despite all this, they still bowed down in worship to the idol gods that they had made with their own hands and fingers. Why were they worshiping these false idol statutes that they themselves had made?