by Wayne Blank
Ariel, one of the "men of insight"
"Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of insight, and sent them to Iddo, the leading man at the place Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his brethren the Temple servants at the place Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God. And by the good hand of our God upon us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen, eighteen; also Hashabiah and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his kinsmen and their sons, twenty; besides two hundred and twenty of the temple servants, whom David and his officials had set apart to attend the Levites. These were all mentioned by name" (Ezra 8:16-20 RSV)
Ariel was, and is, used as a symbolic, and prophetic, name for Jerusalem (note also the yet future application of the prophecy, "you will be visited by The Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire"):
"Ho Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts run their round. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be moaning and lamentation, and she shall be to me like an Ariel. And I will encamp against you round about, and will besiege you with towers and I will raise siegeworks against you. Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust. But the multitude of your foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff. And in an instant, suddenly, you will be visited by The Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her, shall be like a dream, a vision of the night. As when a hungry man dreams he is eating and awakes with his hunger not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched, so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion. Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor, blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink! For The Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets, and covered your heads, the seers."
Fact Finder: The above prophecy in Isaiah included the nations fighting against Ariel, or Jerusalem - which has happened. Did Jesus Christ prophesy that, prior to His Return, that Jerusalem would again be surrounded by armies?