The first defeat (Isa 9:1-9:1)

“There will be no gloom

For those who are in anguish.

In the former time,

He brought into contempt

The land of Zebulun

With the land of Naphtali.

But in the latter time

He will make glorious

The way of the sea,

The land beyond the Jordan,

Galilee of the nations.”

Isaiah indicates that the first defeat was to be in the northern tribe territories of Zebulun and Naphtali, which were closer to Syria around the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps, this is the invasion of the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 BCE) when King Pekah (737-732 BCE) was the king of Israel. King Tiglath-pileser III captured the northern territory of Israel, including all of Naphtali, as in 2 Kings, chapter 15. He was the first to displace the Israelites since he took captives from these northern cities and brought them to Assyria, probably around 732 BCE. Isaiah speaks of it as a former time. As for the latter time, “The Way of the Sea” was the name of Assyria province set up in what later will be called Galilee in Naphtali. The land on the other side of the Jordan River will also be taken.