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Friday, July 17 2015

Isaiah 29: The Sieges Of Ariel - Past And Future

"The multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel"

Ariel, from the Hebrew word pronounced are-ee-ale, meaning lion of God, was a term used for Jerusalem ("Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt" Isaiah 29:1 KJV) in the prophecy given to Isaiah at time of the Assyrian siege of the city (see also What Did Isaiah Do During The Siege Of Judah?). The prophecy was however also much wider and deeper in time and extent i.e. "And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel" (Isaiah 29:7 KJV).

Jerusalem has known many sieges ("the action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place and isolates it while continuing to attack") during its long history (see the Fact Finder question below for a compete history and prophecy study series for Jerusalem). It only itself became an Israelite city after it was captured from the Jebusites, after a siege by King David (see When Did Jerusalem Become An Israelite City?).

Ancient Jerusalem

"5:6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. 5:7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.

5:8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

5:9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward." (2 Samuel 5:6-9 KJV)

Jerusalem remained the capital of the united kingdom of Israel through the remainder of the reign of King David, the entire reign of David's son and successor King Solomon, and the beginning of the reign of Solomon's son and successor King Rehoboam (see How Many Kings Reigned In The United Kingdom?).

When Israel divided into the independent kingdoms of Israel and Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), Jerusalem became the capital of the Kingdom of Judah only (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

The Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrian Empire in 721 BC. The LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) brought about their fall because they became irreparably corrupt. They thereafter became, and became known as, "the lost ten tribes" of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes).

The Kingdom of Judah lasted for about 135 years after the fall of the Kingdom of Israel. The LORD then brought about Judah's fall, to the Babylonian Empire, because they too by that later time became irredeemably corrupt. The fall and destruction of Jerusalem at that time came after an 18-month siege of the city by the Babylonian army.

"25:1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. 25:2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah." (2 Kings 25:1-2 KJV)

"25:8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 25:9 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 25:11 Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away." (2 Kings 25:8-11 KJV)

The other major fall and destruction of Jerusalem, that time by the Romans, was prophesied by the Messiah 40 years before it was fulfilled in 70 AD.

"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:1-2 KJV)

The Christians in Jerusalem in 70 AD heeded the Messiah's warning. As we will read, it was a dual prophecy, but the warning was just as vital in the first siege as the second that is yet to come. When they saw the Roman siege coming, they were saved by His words "Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains" - a Biblical prophecy that is documented and proven by historians.

A Roman Ballista

"Under the reign of Vespasian, Rome declared war against the Jews because of their repeated revolts, and General Titus besieged the city of Jerusalem 70 A.D. It is said that eleven hundred thousand [i.e. one million, one hundred thousand] Jews perished in the six month siege, but the church there escaped the horrors of the siege by following the instruction of Christ in Matthew 24, and fleeing to the mountains beyond the Jordan. This timely retreat was made to the small town of Pella." (Hugh Smith's History)

"In the fall of Jerusalem, few if any Christians perished. From the prophetic utterances of Christ, the Christians received warning, escaped from the doomed city, and found refuge at Pella, in the Jordan valley." (Hurlbut's Story of the Christian Church)

The duality of the yet-future siege of Jerusalem is plainly evident in that it will occur at the time of the Messiah's return (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation):

"24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:14-31 KJV)

Isaiah, who resided in the Kingdom of Judah, lived in the time in which the Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians (see The Lost Ten Tribes Would Love Today's "Free" World). When the Assyrians then turned south to conquer Judah as well, the LORD Himself stopped the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem - 185,000 Assyrian troops who were surrounding the city were annihilated by the LORD.

Assyrian Siege

"18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them." (2 Kings 18:13 KJV)

"18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field." (2 Kings 18:17 KJV)

"19:32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 19:33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. 19:34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. 19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh." (2 Kings 19:32-36 KJV)

It was during that siege by the Assyrians, but with the then yet-future fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians and the end-time siege of Jerusalem that will happen just before the return of the Messiah in mind (the prophecy has elements of all of them) that Isaiah wrote this prophecy.

"29:1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. 29:2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. 29:3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. 29:4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

29:5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. 29:6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. 29:7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. 29:8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

29:9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 29:10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. 29:11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

29:12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 29:15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

29:17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 29:19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 29:20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: 29:21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

29:22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob,

Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. 29:23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. 29:24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." (Isaiah 29:1-24 KJV)

Fact Finder: When did the city of Jerusalem originate?
See the complete study series of 20 studies (the links to all are in each one) for Jerusalem beginning with A History Of Jerusalem: In The Beginning


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This Day In History, July 17

431: The Council of Ephesus adjourned. This third of the 21 ecumenical councils of the Roman Empire's Church (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) condemned Nestorianism and Pelagianism (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1203: The Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople (named after the Roman Emperor Constantine; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). The Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus fled into exile.

Nicholas II of Russia 1429: During the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453) between England and France for control of the French throne, Charles VII of France was crowned the King of France at the Reims Cathedral.

1453: The Battle of Castillon took place between France and England. It marked the end of the Hundred Years War between the two countries.

1505: Twenty-one-year-old Martin Luther entered the Augustinian monastic order at Erfurt, Germany. Despite his later "protest" against Rome, Luther maintained (as do the "Protestant" churches of today) nearly all of the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).

1762: Peter III, emperor of Russia, was killed after his abdication and arrest. He was succeeded by Catherine II.

1791: The "Massacre of the Champ de Mars" during the French Revolution. French National Guardsmen under the command of General Lafayette opened fire on a crowd at the Champ de Mars in Paris.

1890: Cecil Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony of South Africa.

1917: The British Royal Family changed its name from the German "House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" to "Windsor" because of anti-German feelings in Britain during the First World War.

1918: The Russian royal family was executed by rebels of the Bolshevik Party: Czar Nicholas, 50; his wife Alexandra (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England), 46; their son Alexei, 13; their daughters Olga, 22, Tatiana, 21, Marie, 19 and Anastasia, 17. Some historians attribute Alexandra's arrogant misrule while Nicholas was away commanding the Russian army during the First World War to the collapse of the imperial government in 1917. She had also made herself unpopular by her association with Rasputin, the infamous "mad monk," who she had hoped could treat her son Alex's hemophilia.

1918: During the First World War, the Carpathia, the ship that rescued over 700 survivors of the Titanic when it sunk in April of 1912, was sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German submarine.

1944: Napalm incendiary bombs were used by U.S. bombers for the first time - on German-occupied France during the Second World War.

1944: Nazi Field Marshall Erwin Rommel ("the Desert Fox") was severely wounded when a British fighter plane strafed his staff car after catching it out in the open in France.

1951: Prince Baudouin became the fifth king of the Belgians after his father, Leopold III, abdicated.

1998: An undersea earthquake produced a tsunami that struck Papua New Guinea, killing thousands of people and leaving thousands more missing.

1998: The International Criminal Court was established with the stated purpose to impartially prosecute individuals for "genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression." The Court has remained mostly impotent because the worst war criminal nations are also usually the most militarily powerful - despite overwhelming eyewitness and video evidence against the accused, they refuse to bring their war criminals (and therefore their nation) to justice for their atrocities. Only the losers face justice, as Adolf Hitler was fond of saying (see Why Does Satan Love Liars?).



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