The lamentation (Isa 33:7-33:9)

“Listen!

The valiant cry in the streets!

The envoys of peace weep bitterly!

The highways are deserted!

The travelers have quit the road!

The treaty is broken!

Its cities are despised!

Its obligations are disregarded!

The land mourns.

The land languishes.

Lebanon is confounded.

Lebanon withers away.

Sharon is like a desert.

Bashan shakes off their leaves.

Carmel shakes off their leaves.”

Now we have a lamentation. Things are in bad shape. Once again, there is the continual plea to listen. The valiant ones are crying in the streets. The peace envoys are also weeping. The highways are deserted, since no travelers are going any place. The treaties have been broken. The city is despised since no one keeps their obligations. The land itself mourns and languishes. Even the northern neighbor Lebanon is confused and withering away. Sharon and Carmel on the west and Bashan on the southeast are like dying trees in a desert. Everybody is having troubles.

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Oracle about Damascus (Isa 17:1-17:1)

“An oracle

Concerning Damascus.”

Damascus was the Syrian capital city about 130 miles northeast of Jerusalem, fairly close to the older northeastern territory of Manasseh. Damascus still exists today as the capital of Syria. It was under Aramean rule from 950-732 BCE so that is often referred to in the Bible as Aram instead of Syria. However, the Assyrian people conquered them in 732 BCE. Damascus was an important city with over 100,000 people during the biblical times, about half the size of Babylon. Thus it is often mentioned in the Bible as the northern neighbor of Israel.